Monday, February 19, 2018

Wooden Counting Disks

Wooden counting disks made from tree branches, stickers and paint, for busy bags and toddler play.

Good morning all!!

This morning I want to share with you a very super simple project! Wooden countings disks!

Master J loves learning with his hands. He enjoys textures, and being able to get hands on learning is something he really thrives with. Lately we've been focusing more on numbers, and in particular counting to 10.

I was going to print out some flash cards for him, and was hunting in the craft cupboards for the laminate sheets when I knocked over a basket of supplies. Inside was these wooden disks that I'd asked a friend to slice from an old tree branch years ago for buttons, and never got around to finishing.

The idea hit me, that I could turn them into counters instead of printing something and here we are!

The best thing about this project is you can make as many or as few as you like, in whatever size you want! Plus, it's all made from dollar store items, and FREE items! This entire set cost me a grand total of $2. Now that's what I call cheap play!

You will need some wooden disks. Mine are sliced from a tree branch when we trimmed the trees back a few years earlier, but you could always use some driftwood from the beach, or go for a walk in the park and find a branch that has come out of a tree already. Keep in mind though that the thickness of the branch will play a part in the size of the numbers you can use. Cut your disks about a cm thick using a saw (or if you don't have one, ask a friend!) They don't even need to be the same thickness, some of mine are not. I figure we can talk about the thickness too and discuss which ones are higher and lower.

Next you'll need number stickers, and some paint. The paint I already had, and actually, it's puff paint that I use for my felt pieces, but any paint will work fine. The number stickers I had to go buy. We have a local store called Shiploads, which is a discount/bargain store, and I knew they had a huge range of cheap stickers, so that's where I went. Boy was I right, soooo many stickers! They also had a selection of rub on scrapbook transfers that I wouldn't mind trying later on, but for now I opted for foam glitter stickers. Mainly because I liked the added texture they would give the disks, plus the size looked pretty close to what I wanted. They cost me $2 for a big pack, and I have some to spare!

The rest, is super simple! The foam numbers had sticky backs, but I also added some 450 clear glue to them just to make sure they didn't come off, and positioned them into place on the wooden disks.
Then, I used a toothpick and dotted on some coloured dots for the matching disks. The puff paint also added another layer of texture.

And that, is it! Let it all dry overnight and you'll be done! Master J loves touching these. He tells me how the back of the disk is smooth, how the numbers are rough and the spots are bumpy. Best of all, we're starting to get more familiar with numbers, which is fantastic!

Maybe once he's a little older and we start looking at adding and subtracting, I'll make a few more and some symbols to extend the set further.

This idea would also work fantastic with  shapes and learning pattern sequences!

I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know how your little one goes with their disks if you make some too!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Rose Preemie Blanket

Good morning lovelies!

Woohoo, first blanket pattern of 2018! Today's blanket is actually really simple. It's based off of the Rose gown from the start of the month and is super easy to adjust. The stitch repeat is so easy that after a few rows, you likely won't even need to look at the pattern anymore!

I've used 2 strands of yarn for this blanket. The results are a super soft squishy blanket, without too much bulk.

I'm making mine to suit CCP's blanket sizing chart, and making it large enough for a 28 week preemie. It's about 46cm square. But you can make it larger or smaller very easily. The stitch is a multiple of 3 repeat, with a +1 chain on the starting chain for turning. Simples! To make one like mine, follow the directions below!

You Will Need:
6mm hook
1 ball of DK/Light Worsted/8ply yarn in a main colour
1 ball of DK/Light Worsted/8ply yarn in a contrasting colour
1 part ball of whatever colour you want to do the edge in (I used white)
1 ball of 2ply/Lace Weight yarn in a white or cream, or another colour that compliments the other 2 balls you picked.

This blanket is stitched holding 2 strands of yarn together throughout. It creates a squishy texture, and softens the colours.

NOTE: I won't make a note of the colour changes in the pattern, otherwise it's going to be a page long, with the same instructions each line and "Change colour" before it.

I went with stripes, and did 3 rows of pink, 2 of brown, repeated for the entire blanket, and ending on 3 rows of pink.  You could do a solid blanket, alternate the stripes each row, every second row or even just do a stripe for the second and 33rd row! Or, a different colopur for EVERY row! Have fun with it!

1: Holding a strand of 8ply and 2ply together, chain 52

2: In the first stitch (slst, ch3, 2dc), shell made *skip 2 stitches, (slst, ch3, 2dc) in the next stitch*, repeat across, sc in the last stitch.

3:  Ch1, turn, (slst, ch3, 2dc) in the first sc, *in the ch3 space of the next shell (slst, ch3, 2dc)*, repeat across, when you reach the last shell, sc in the ch3 space.

4-33: Repeat row 3, changing colours as indicated in the note above.

34: Ch1, turn, dc into the first sc, hdc into the next 2 stitches, *Skip the ch3, dc into the slst, hdc in the next 2 stitches*, repeat across for a total of 51 stitches, slst into the top of the last ch3 and end off. Weave in all tails.

Using your edging colour, held doubled with your 2ply yarn, join to any stitch on the top of the blanket, and ch2. hdc along the top of the blanket, then hdc evenly down the side, working in the edges, hdc along the starting chain, back up the other side and then across what remains of the top, joining to the ch2. In all corners, make 2-3 hdc's to make the corners sit flat and even (the number will depend on your tension, I did 2) End off and weave in tails.

I finished here, but if you wanted a larger edge, you could just do a few more rounds of hdc.

You can block this one if you like, but I find after the round of hdc it tends to sit pretty well.