Grand Opening of my Etsy Shop!

Cable Knit Headband on EtsyHey all, sorry for the lack of posts again!  I’ve been fighting another flu!  Ugh!

While I’ve been struggling to write new blog posts, I have managed to create something I’m really excited about… my Etsy shop!

So if you love this headband, but don’t know how to knit or don’t have the time, be sure to check out my shop MicheleVenleeDesigns!  I’ll hopefully be adding more colors and new items very soon!

And if you like what you see, please share with your friends!  Thanks for reading, and I’ll hopefully be adding lots of new blog posts soon!

 


DIY Cable Knit Headband Pattern

Woo hoo, it’s Friday!  I bet you’re all super excited it’s almost the weekend, I know I am!  To make your Friday (hopefully) even better, I’m going to share another free knitting pattern with you all!

DIY Cable Knit Headband Pattern

I’ve recently been obsessing over the knit headband trend, and since I’m back in a colder climate, I decided to make one for myself!  After searching endlessly for a pattern I liked, I finally found this pattern from the blog Transient Expression.  I completed the headband and while it’s super cute, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.  So a new search began for the perfect pattern.  I’ve come to realize the reason I rarely buy new clothes, shoes or accessories is because I’m constantly looking for the perfect item.  I’m not sure yet if that’s a good or bad quality, but in this case I think it was definitely good.  My desire for perfection pushed me to create a brand new pattern, and now I have a knit headband that I LOVE!

After a little bit of trial and error at the start, I eventually perfected the Cable Knit Headband Pattern and here it is for all of you to try out.  Happy Knitting!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 ball Impeccable Impecable in True Grey (100% acrylic, medium)
  • Size 8 (5mm) knitting needles
  • Cable needle
  • Yarn needle for seaming and weaving in ends

Abbreviations:

  • K:  Knit
  • P:  Purl
  • C8F:  Cable eight stitches in front

Gauge:  8 stitches and 15 rows in garter stitch = 2 inches.

Here’s what you do:

Cast on 20 stitches.

Cast On 20 Stitches

Row 1:  K2, P1, K1, P2, K8, P2, K1, P1, K2

Row 2: K3, P1, K2, P8, K2, P1, K3

Row 3: K2, P1, K1, P2, K8, P2, K1, P1, K2

Row 4: K3, P1, K2, P8, K2, P1, K3

Row 5: K2, P1, K1, P2, K8, P2, K1, P1, K2

Row 6: K3, P1, K2, P8, K2, P1, K3

Knit Headband Rows 1-6

Row 7:  K2, P1, K1, P2, C8F, P2, K1, P1, K2.  Here are some detailed images of Row 7…

Knit pattern until you reach “C8F”

Start Knitting Row 7

Slip 4 stitches onto your cable needle and hold it in front of your work (this is part of the C8F)

Slip 4 Stitches Onto Cable Needle

Knit 4 stitches from knitting needle (C8F)

Knit 4 Stitches in Row 7

Knit stitches from your cable needle to complete C8F

Knit Stitches from Cable Needle to Complete Twist

Complete Row 7.  This is what the cable twist will look like

Completed Cable Knit Twist

Repeat rows 2-7 until desired length, for me it was when the whole piece measured 15 ½ inches long.  It’s best to make it a bit tight, since the headband will stretch.

Knit Headband Until Desired Length

Bind off, sew seams together, weave in ends and then you’re done!

Cable Knit Headband Pattern

Close Up of Cable Knit Headband Pattern

Cable Knit Headband

Close Up of Cable Knit Headband

As always, please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.  If any of you make a headband for yourself, I’d love to see photos of your completed project!  AND if you don’t know how to knit or simply don’t have the time, I’m excited to announce that I’m in the process of opening an Etsy shop!  So hopefully in the near future you’ll be able to buy some of the knitting products you see on here!

Can’t wait to share it with you all!  Have a wonderful weekend!


DIY Knit Beard Hat Pattern

Knit Beard Hat Pattern

Hi guys, so today I’m super excited to share my very first knitting pattern with you all!

I was a pretty avid knitter in high school and college, but involuntarily took a break from it while I was focusing on acting in LA. One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my progress in improving new skills, as well as old skills that got pushed aside.  I recently started knitting again because I wanted to make a beard hat for my boyfriend Daniel.

I had a lot of trouble finding a knit beard pattern I liked, especially a free one. I found a pattern that was pretty close to what I wanted, but when I tried it out, I couldn’t get some of the rows to turn out correctly. I adapted it in a way that made more sense to me, and decided to write out the pattern for anyone looking for more beard hat options! Please bear in mind though – this is the first pattern I’ve written out, so it may be a little rough around the edges.

Here’s what you need:

  • Size 8 (5 mm) needles
  • Worsted weight wool, acrylic, or blend yarn in a natural color (I used a dark brown)
  • Needle for weaving in ends

Gauge:  16 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches in moss stitch

Here’s what you do:

Cast on 55 stitches.

Cast on 55 Stitches

Rows 1-2:  Moss stitch.  For those unfamiliar, to create a moss stitch you knit the purls and purl the knits.  You will be using moss stitch for the entire pattern.

Work Rows 1 & 2 in Moss Stitch

Row 3:  K20, BO15, and then continue the row and K20.  You are creating the mouth opening.

Row 3:  Bind Off 15 Stitches

Row 4:  Knit 20, CO15…

Row 4:  Cast On 15 Stitches

Turn work to the right side…

Turn Knitting to Right Side After Cast On of 15 Stitches

And then knit the rest of Row 4.

Row 4:  Cast On 15 Stitches & Continue Knitting

Here’s what the finished mouth opening will look like.

Completed Mouth Opening for Knit Beard Hat

Row 5-10:  Continue moss stitch until the beard just reaches the bottom of your chin.  It was row 10 for me!

Now you will start your decreases to shape the bottom of the beard.

Row 11:  BO7, knit the rest of the row (48 st. remaining).

Row 12:  BO7, knit the rest of the row (41 st. remaining).

Rows 11 & 12:  Bind Off 7 Stitches

Decrease using the following pattern.  You will have 25 st. remaining

Rows 13-16:  K2tog, knit the rest of the row.

Rows 17-20:  K2tog, K2tog, knit the rest of the row.

Rows 21-24:  K2tog, knit the rest of the row.

Bind Off Remaining Stitches of Knit Beard

Bind off the remaining 25 stitches and weave in ends.

Knit Beard with Button FastenersI chose to fasten buttons on each end of the beard, and then (with my uncrafty ways) pulled each button through a stitch on the hat I made. Very technical, I know. You could certainly create button holes in the hat you’re using, I chose not to in case Daniel wanted to wear it without the beard.

You can use any technique you’d like to attach the beard to your hat – elastic, sew it on directly, buttons, etc. Whatever works for you!

Daniel in His Knit Beard HatDaniel loved his finished beard hat!  It’s incredibly warm and perfect for cold winter days!

I hope this knit beard hat pattern comes in handy for anyone looking!  Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions!

Bonus! Check out the hat pattern I used, and my pattern for the color blocking below!

Simple and Easy Knit Hat PatternI used this simple hat pattern for the hat pictured here.  I followed the pattern for the medium size pretty much exact, except I continued the K1, P1 ribbing until it reached 1 1/2″.

As you can see, I also did some color blocking. In case you like it, here’s what I did:

Tan:  2 rows.

Light green:  5 rows.

Tan: 2 rows.

It was a really easy and fast pattern – great for a beginner! Happy knitting!


Home Remedies for Sinus and Chest Congestion

Hi everyone!  Sorry about the decrease in posts lately – I just got over a pretty bad bug and I’m just now getting back into the swing of things.  I’m not really sure what I had, but it involved a lot of sinus and chest congestion (I think it was on the cusp of bronchitis).  I managed to entirely cure myself naturally, which I’m pretty excited about!  Now I want to share the home remedies for sinus and chest congestion that I used.

Eucalyptus Oil Home Remedies for Sinus and Chest CongestionThere were a few key remedies that I believe really helped me feel better quickly.  A bunch of them involved using Eucalyptus Oil.  I had never used it before, but kept seeing a lot of pins about it being great for congestion and phlegm.  Well, it was all true!

One of my favorite ways of using eucalyptus was when I steamed.  Steaming is already a great way to help relieve sinus congestion and break up phlegm in your chest.  Adding in 3-4 drops of eucalyptus oil helped clear up my congestion even quicker and gave me instant relief!  I simply filled a large pot halfway with water, added in the eucalyptus once the water boiled, and then put a towel over my head to keep the steam in.

I breathed the steam in deeply for about 10 minutes, and I did this three times a day.  I even added 4-5 drops to the bottom of my tub when I took a shower.  If your shower is hot enough, it has the same effect as steaming.  It made a huge difference in my morning, since we all know that when you have congestion and phlegm it builds up, making you feel worse in the morning.

I also relieved my congestion by adding eucalyptus oil into my detox baths.  If you saw my original post, you know I love taking detox baths when I’m fighting a cold or flu.  I used my typical base recipes and then added about 10-12 drops of eucalyptus into the bath.  Oh man!  I felt AMAZING after soaking for about 30 minutes!

Towards the end of this bug, the congestion started going deeper into my chest and I started developing a cough.  This is when I started rubbing eucalyptus into my chest right before bed.  It has the same effect as Vicks, but I read that when you massage the oil in, it actually breaks up the mucus/phlegm.  Straight oil can be irritating to your skin though, so I rubbed coconut oil on my chest first, and then a few drops of eucalyptus on top of that.  I massaged my chest for about 1 minute.

Also on Pinterest, I read that the best way to suppress a cough is to rub a few drops of eucalyptus oil into the soles of your feet.  Because I was also rubbing eucalyptus into my chest, I’m not exactly sure which remedy attributed to preventing my cough, or if it was the combination of both.  Either way, when I started doing these remedies I was able to get a good night’s sleep cough free!

Eucalyptus oil provided the most immediate relief for my symptoms.  From what I’ve read:  it’s antibacterial, anti-flammatory, analgesic and antifungal.  So basically, not only does it relieve symptoms, but it also helps to heal them instead of just masking them.  I picked up a bottle at Whole Foods, but I’m sure you can find it at any health food store.

Pineapple Juice for Sinus and Chest CongestionMy next remedy comes from a time when I was battling chronic bronchitis.  It’s when I first moved to LA, and I think it had something to do with adjusting to a different climate, and a weakened immune system from a case of mono.  It was a miserable time for me, and I was desperate to find a natural solution to cut the phlegm and minimize a whooping cough.  After a few Googling attempts, I found one of my favorite remedies:  Pineapple Juice.

Pineapple juice naturally thins mucus and phlegm, plus it’s packed with vitamin C, which will boost your immune system.  Not to mention it’s delicious!  I had a glass with every meal, and a small glass right before bed to help prevent mucus build-up while I slept.

The third remedy I used during this illness was Apple Cider Vinegar.  I have to admit, I think I drove my boyfriend crazy whenever I was sick.  Any time I started to feel under the weather, he suggested I have a glass of apple cider vinegar, but I always refused.  And I KNOW how many wonderful health benefits it has, but I just couldn’t get pass the taste and smell.  Until this bug, that is.  I felt SO congested that the potent smell could not deter me, but I was determined to make it taste (somewhat) good!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, and Lemon Hot DrinkHere’s what I did:

In a mug of hot water, I stirred in 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 teaspoons of Honey, and 1-2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice.

There are multiple reasons this drink is a great remedy for congestion and mucus/phlegm:  Apple Cider Vinegar, like pineapple juice, thins mucus.  Honey helps fight infections and soothes your throat.  Lemon also thins mucus, gives you extra vitamin c, and helps flush toxins out of your body.  Warm liquids are also soothing to your throat and help break up mucus.

I had this drink three times a day, and like the other home remedies I shared, it gave me instant relief while actually helping me get better (instead of just masking symptoms).

There you have it, these were the main home remedies for sinus and chest congestion that were most beneficial for me.  While I hope none of you catch the flu, if you do, I hope these remedies will help speed up your recovery!

Disclaimer:  I am in no way a doctor, and these home remedies are only suggestions of what worked for me.  They are not intended as a diagnosis or prescription, and should not be in place of medical treatment and/or advice from a professional.  Please always consult your doctor first, before trying any home remedies.


DIY Valentine’s Day Gift – “Places We’ve Been”

DIY Valentine's Day Gift

Hey guys, so I know I’ve blogged about the Places We’ve Been DIY before, but I wanted to bring it up to the front for any newcomers or anyone that may have missed it the first time around.  I originally made this as an anniversary gift for Daniel, but it would make an amazing DIY Valentine’s Day Gift for your significant other!  Very romantic and meaningful, and chock full of memories!  Not to mention it’s also quick, easy, and inexpensive!

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 pieces of Matboard, both at least 12×12 inches
  • Mod Podge (or any glue you prefer)
  • Sharp scissors
  • A heart stencil
  • 12 printed maps
  • 12×12 picture frame
  • Cardstock, or any thick paper (optional)

Here’s what you do:

Obviously this project is all about the maps, so the first thing I did was figure out how I wanted them to look.  I did this DIY right before moving to Portland, so I was working on limited time and a small budget.  Because of that, I personally chose to use Google Maps and print them out at home.  Easy peasy!  It was also a great choice for me because I wanted to control what would be seen within the heart, so zooming was key.  You could also use an Atlas, Thomas Guide, or look for old maps at a thrift store if you want more variety.

DIY Heart Maps

Because we were about to move from Los Angeles to a new home in Portland, I chose to include a map of the neighborhood we dearly loved but had to leave behind.  You can use any heart stencil you’d like – as for me, I didn’t have one (remember that whole uncrafty crafter thing?).  So I just searched for an image of a heart I liked and printed it out on cardstock, thus making my own stencil!  That’s a little crafty, right?

DIY Heart Maps

I stenciled and cut out each heart, and before I knew it, I had 12 perfect little sentimental maps laid out before me.  This is the moment when I got really excited because I knew the project was going to turn out just as I had imagined it!   Which is always a little shocking to me.  Here are some measurements for your reference:  the widest part of the heart measured in at 2 1/2″, and from the top point to the bottom point it measured out to 2 3/4″.  This size worked perfectly for me based on 12 hearts and a 12×12 frame.  You’ll want to adjust the sizes depending on how many hearts you’re planning on using.

Next, I pasted each heart on a piece of matboard with Mod Podge and then cut out each heart again.  The reason I did this is because I wanted the hearts to have a 3D effect.  I used a pair of scissors to do this, and even though they were REALLY dull, it was still fairly easy to cut through the matboard.  With sharp scissors it should be a breeze, but use whatever cutting tool works best for you!

DIY Heart Maps

I tried to get fancy and penciled in a mathematical grid onto the matboard to try and ensure all the hearts would line up perfectly.  It mostly worked.  The grid was totally wrong, but it still helped me eyeball them into the right placement!

I pasted each heart onto a 12×12 piece of matboard using Mod Podge (you will most likely have to cut your matboard down to size), and weighed it down with heavy books for about 48 hours to make sure the edges wouldn’t curl up.  As for placement, I arranged the maps mainly by how they looked, not by chronological order.  I didn’t want two mostly blue hearts next to each other, same with the green.  I also wanted to make sure our neighborhood heart was kind of in the middle, and because a lot of the places we visited were in California and on the East Coast, I tried to vary those from each other as well.

DIY Heart MapsAfter that, all that was left was putting the finished project in a frame!  I really liked the idea of a white picture frame, since almost all the frames in our house are black.  Apparently white frames aren’t very popular though.  I searched for a LONG time to find the perfect white 12×12 frame, and still didn’t have that many options.  In the end, I decided to go with this frame, and I am more than pleased with it.  It’s not the highest quality frame I’ve ever seen, but it doesn’t look cheap and feels very sturdy.

So, here it is, my completed DIY Valentine’s Day gift – Places We’ve Been!

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of my DIY and the original product I was inspired by.  What do you think?  I really loved how it turned out.  The original is over $500, and in total mine only cost me about $20.  Much easier on my wallet!

DIY Heart Maps vs. Pinspiration

Bonus:  The Gift Wrap!

Anniversary Gift Wrapping

I love to make gift wrap just as meaningful as the gift itself, and I thought I’d share what I did in case anyone is looking for some wrapping inspiration.

All I did was take brown packing paper (which came from an Amazon shipment), and with a black Sharpie wrote the lyrics from our song in cursive (in case you’re wondering, our song is “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” by Elvis Presley).  Simple as that!

There you have it!  I hope this tutorial gave you all inspiration to make your own DIY Valentine’s Day gift!