I’m all for convenience, but after two years of making school lunches I’m realizing that I create a lot of plastic wrap trash. The other day I saw an ad for beeswax coated fabric that could be used in replacement of plastic wrap. You use the heat of your hands to seal the fabric to itself. You can reuse the fabric several times by just rinsing it in cool, soapy water.
I have an apiarist friend who keeps beeswax as a byproduct. I asked if he could spare a few ounces so I could experiment with this fabric food wrap idea. If you don’t know a beekeeper, you can easily order beeswax online.
This was a super fun crafty activity that required no sewing. Give it a try!
Now that summer has come to a close, my family takes to the kitchen to stock up for winter. Blueberry jam, cranberry marmalade, crabapple sauce are some of what we use with our annual harvest, but lately my dad’s been experimenting with bacon and pancetta.
If you haven’t been introduced to my father, he is the owner of Sausage Mania, a website with thorough tutorials on sausage making, lox, pesto and more. Here’s a photo of the Sausage Meister in action:
He hasn’t added pancetta to his site yet so I thought I’d take this opportunity to post on his behalf.
This time of year isn’t the prettiest in Alaska. Snow is waiting to melt, everything is brown and dusty, and there’s a certain stale odor in the air. But there is LIGHT – so much daylight.
Erin of Blomma Designs, photographer Anne Marie Moran and I decided to take advantage of our ever-increasing sunlight last weekend.I brought my sister, Farra, along too. We all met at Erin’s studio to create modern floral wreaths. It was the perfect respite from Alaska breakup season.
I thought we should share this crafting experience with a step-by-step tutorial. The luscious photos are by the talented and delightful Anne Marie of Anne Marie Moran Photography.
I’m not a big fan of knitting scarves. They take too long and I usually lose interest. But there’s one style I don’t mind knitting. It’s a giant triangle and the pattern is crazy easy.
Two days ago my little sister texted and said she lost her favorite scarf and asked if I’d make her a new one. Here’s her cute little self:
Two binge-watching nights later and the scarf was finished. This is a perfect mindless project since it’s knit in garter stitch and you only have to remember to increase one stitch at the beginning of each row. The mohair adds a beautiful fluff to the scarf so it feels like a cloud when you’ve finished. By combining fuschia and peach yarns the outcome sort of reminds me of sherbet ice cream.
Here’s how to make it:
Super Simple Triangle Scarf Pattern
224 yards aran weight yarn in peach (I used 2 skeins of Sirdar Snuggly SK shade 0451)
224 yards (2 skeins) Rowan Mohair Haze in Caress (00525)
Size US 15 circular needles (straight would work too)
KFB = Knit in the front and then in the back of one stitch, thus increasing work by 1
M1 = make 1 stitch from front to back in the horizontal strand between stitches
Gauge: doesn’t matter
You’ll be knitting both aran and mohair yarns at the same time as though they are one strand.
Cast on 4 stitches.
Row 1: K1, KFB, knit to end of row
Repeat row 1 until you have 108 stitches or until triangle is about 20 inches from tip to needles. Bring in new skeins of yarn when necessary.
Next row: K1, KFB, *K3, M1. Repeat * till there are two stitches remaining. K2.
If you’re a mom in her 30s then you’ve probably encountered the direct sales brand, LuLaRoe. Recently my Facebook feed has been overloaded with pop-up shops and online shopping parties for a women’s clothing brand that touts fun prints and comfortable fit.
I finally went to a LuLaRoe party at a friend’s house. It was sort of like Avon – my girlfriend hosted a shopping party and a sales rep was on-hand to talk up the brand and get you excited about buying things. If you bring a friend, you save 10 percent!
Although I found some cute styles and they were pretty comfortable, it was the price that I wasn’t impressed with. Thirty-five dollars seems like a good price for a skirt, but when I saw the fabric quality and the way they were constructed I concluded it was probably about $1.50 worth of materials and a whole lot of upselling on the part of the sales rep.
One of my coworkers has been sporting LuLaRoe’s Cassie skirt and it looks fabulous on her. It’s essentially a tube of jersey fabric with a wide waistband.
And it was pretty dang easy to make! This project took me about 45 minutes from start to finish and it cost me less than $5.
Copycat Lularoe Cassie Skirt
What you’ll need:
1 yard of jersey (stretchy) fabric. I’d suggest a non-directional pattern to make it easier
Step 1: Determine the stretch of your material. My material was stretchy in both directions but one way was definitely more stretchy. You’ll want the stretchy direction to go side-to-side, around your hips (instead of up and down stretch).
Step 2: Take the fabric and stretch it around your waist. This is how I determined how wide to make my skirt. I marked from the edge of the fabric to where it met when wrapped around my waist once. For me it was 30 inches.
Step 3: Cut a piece from your fabric that’s the measurement you came up with plus 2 inches – for me that was 32 inches. Remember the stretch should be horizontal.
Step 4: Fold down the top edge by 7 inches and cut across for the waistband. My waistband measured 32 inches long and 14 inches tall (you’ll be folding it in half later). Set this aside.
Step 5: Pin your two side edges, right sides together, from top to bottom. Using a zig-zag stitch, sew with a 5/8″ seam allowance thus creating a tube. It should essentially be a pencil skirt with raw edges on top and bottom. Trim the seam edges. Try on your tube to figure out if you want to trim the bottom. My skirt hit just above my knees, which is what I wanted.
Step 6: Determine the bottom of your skirt and inside out, pin up a 1/2-inch hem. Sew around starting at the side seam with a straight stitch using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Turn right-side out.
Step 7: Take your waistband and pin the side edges together, right sides together. Sew using a zig-zag stitch with a 5/8″ seam allowance. Trim seam edges.
Step 8: Keep your waistband inside out and place it over the top of your skirt (which is right-side out). Pin the top edge of the waistband to the top edge of the skirt. Sew using a zig-zag stitch with a 5/8″ seam allowance.
Step 9: Flip the waistband up and fold in half so the raw edge is now inside the skirt. Turn inside out.
Step 10: Pin the raw edge of the waistband to the seam you just made. You’ll be pinning through three layers of fabric. Sew a zig-zag stitch just next to the stitch you made before. This will ensure the seam you’re currently making won’t show on the outside of the skirt.
Step 11: Turn right-side out and you’re done! The waistband is extra tall, so either wear it that way or fold it down to create more tummy control.
As Alaska Knit Nat enters its seventh year, I thought it would be fun to dig into the archives and pull up some of my favorite posts from years past.
I started Knit Nat AK in November 2010 with the intention of cataloging my craftiness.
“It’s mainly for my own benefit,” I wrote in my first-ever post. “I make so much stuff I can’t keep track of it all. In addition to knitting (hence the Knit Nat title), I cook, sew and repurpose things. This blog is a catalog of all things Craft.”
The other day as I was making my thrift store rounds I saw an old table sitting outside of Bishop’s Attic. It had lots of stains on it as though someone was raised in a non-coaster family (oh, the shame!)
It was only $5 so what was there to lose by buying it?
I could tell it was a solid construction made with nice wood. Maybe teak, cherry and walnut in there? I’m not sure. But when I asked my husband if he’d help me refinish it I was surprised to find how easy it was. All we did was refinish the top of the table as the legs were still in good shape. We now have a gorgeous wooden table and all we really paid for was the wood finish.
Remove the top from the legs. Using 80 grade sandpaper sand down the tabletop with the orbital sander. Use circular motions and sand the top evenly all over. Sand the sides of the tabletop too, if you’re able to.
Repeat this step with the next finest grade of sandpaper until you’ve reached 220.
Hand sand any bits or corners you weren’t able to get with the orbital sander. I just eyeballed it.
Use a piece of tack cloth to remove all sawdust from the tabletop.
Pour a big glug of wood finish onto the tabletop and spread out evenly with a shop paper towel. Get all over and around the sides. Get it underneath the edge of the table. No need to finish the whole bottom part, but get some around the underneath edge. It should instantly look amazing.
Make sure the finish is evenly distributed and not applied so heavily that it drips or gloops.
After 3 minutes use a dry paper towel to wipe the table with the grain to remove any excess oil. If you go against the grain it might look streaky.
Wait four hours and repeat steps 5-7.
You could stop here or apply another coat if you’d like. I only did two coats.
Screw the top back onto the legs and presto! New table!
This has been one of the sunniest, hottest Alaska summers I can ever remember. When I woke up and saw low clouds on the Chugach mountains I was looking forward to a cooler day.
My mom and I wasted no time and drove up to Glen Alps to check on the blueberries. Due to the warm weather we were giddy to find the berries plentiful and pretty much ripe.
We picked about two quarts in less than an hour and also picked up a few prize boletes that must have popped up overnight.
After dropping off our loot we packed up our truck and headed toward Wasilla to Alaska Blooms Peony Farm. I had visited a few weeks prior when the peonies were mostly closed but today the sun decided to take center stage and the peonies were bursting with color and perfume. I shed a layer of clothing and set to work.
Sixteen students arrived for crown instructions, cookies and mimosas. It was a joy to incorporate peonies that were grown right where we were having the class.
My students ranged greatly in age, but everyone enjoyed themselves. Each crown was so lovely in its own way!
After the class the students took a tour of the farm. Farm owner, Rachel, brought out a bucket full of pink peonies in full bloom and students bought stems wrapped in newspaper.
My day came full circle by dining on my parents’ deck in the sun and digging into a big slice of blueberry pie.
Spring has sprung (hopefully) and nothing makes your home feel “spring fresh” more than a fresh flower arrangement. Recently I had a coffee meeting with Rachel Christy, owner of Alaska Blooms Peony Farms, and she pointed out that I’m a DIY bride’s florist. Indeed, many of the brides who hire me order the main floral pieces from me and then save money by creating centerpieces themselves. Since I’m a business of one person, I am completely fine with this arrangement. When a bride orders centerpieces I usually hire an assistant.
During a phone consultation with a Kentucky bride, she told me my floral business reminds her of small-batch whiskey makers. These are folks in Kentucky who make whiskey on the side of their normal jobs that are different from the standard whiskeys. I love that comparison.
Anyway, since Mother’s Day is the next floral holiday on the calendar (and often the busiest day for florists) I thought I would share a step-by-step tutorial on how you can make your own flower arrangement. Whether you’re a son, a daughter or a DIY bride, this should be helpful for anyone who is looking to be florally frugal.
If you’re in Anchorage, you can purchase beautiful greenery by the stem at Alaska Wholesale Flower Market. They range from $1.89-2.99 a stem. They also have gorgeous blooms there, but in an effort to save money I purchased grocery store flowers using a buy one, get one half off coupon.
My friend Annie is an avid knitter. She’s more of a knitting ninja – she wears her needles down to near stubs because of her always-popular Harry Potter scarves.
In the past few years it seems all of her friends are procreating because she makes a baby blanket nearly every month. I shared her adorable feather and fan lovey a couple of years back and when she posted a scarf with a similar pattern on her Etsy shop yesterday I asked if I could share the pattern.