There are times in life when all you want is an easy project to take your mind off of things, shall we say. Whatever your things are. Something to keep your hands busy while you’re watching Netflix, or sitting in a meeting (think school board, not your 360 review with your boss), chatting with a friend… you get the idea.
Here are five easy projects you can tackle while streaming your favorite show (Outlander anyone?) for a quick dopamine hit. Maybe they’ll help ease the 1,000-pound gorilla of existential dread sitting on your chest, or whatever else plagues you.
1. Simple Garter Knit Scarf
Cast on, and start knitting! Purl Soho has a pattern for a very chunky version made with some of their pricey-but-gorgeous yarn. You could easily use a chunky or worsted weight yarn as well.
To figure out how many stitches to cast on, multiply your desired width by the number of stitches per inch for your yarn weight (this is usually in the description or on the label).
So for a worsted weight yarn (4-5 stitches per inch) and a scarf 8 inches wide:
5 stitches/inch x 8 inches wide = 40 stitches to cast on
The key to having your scarf look beautiful and on-trend are two things: choosing a sophisticated color (though black, grays, and cream are always in style), and choosing a beautiful yarn. This is not the time to use an acrylic that you found at the fabric store, not unless you want it to look like you made it in fifth grade.
Look for yarns made with merino, cashmere, alpaca, silk… you can save money by buying a blend of any of these. I’ve had my eye on Juniper Moon Farm’s Fourteen for a long time.
Pro tip: slip the first stitch of each row knitwise. It’ll give your scarf a much cleaner edge.
2. No Loom Open Weave Placemats
I generally love Anne Weil’s aesthetic, and I’m very tempted to try these placemats in the next few weeks, especially if I can find something in my stash (or garage) to make them out of. They seem beautifully spring-ish to me, and I always feel like something fresh around the house in the springtime.
This post doesn’t give the measurements for cutting the cardboard (because they want you to buy the book) but it looks like about 3/8 to 1/2 an inch to me.
You can find a post by Anne on the different kinds of fibers you can use here. As I said, very tempted…
3. Dyed Coffee Filter Flowers
This is another one that is just executed beautifully. I don’t know that I need a framed thing to hang on the wall, but maybe attaching them to a wreath? Or some floral wire to make a bouquet? Or a basket handle for Easter?
The key to achieving this look is to make sure you get a nice tonal range of color, whether you use pink or another color. They don’t say to change the strength of the dye bath in the instructions, but you might need to in order to get that gorgeous range of pinks.
4. Simple Cross-stitched Table Runner
This is another project that you could turn into something else. Pillowcases? Placemats? Hand towels? You could use linen instead of burlap for a more refined look. You could also add this stitch to something you already have to jazz it up. I have a beautiful tablecloth with a giant hole in the middle (a Ziploc bag of legos met a votive candle one Thanksgiving) so I am going to make a table runner to cover it up!
5. Beaded Macrame Anklet
Of course, I had to include one of my own posts, and anklet season is fast approaching lovelies! The knotting cord comes in so many colors: peach, teal, ginger, portofino, mauve. Make them for all your beloved people.
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