Save the files, Resetti’s all smiles – Making the Mr. Resetti Mask

Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the DS takes some of our favorite characters from the GameCube version and mingles them with a whole new cast. Mr. Resetti may be a little rough around the edges, and outright startling the first time you meet him, but he’s no doubt recognizable. I made a mask for my friend’s Mr. Resetti CosPlay Costume he wore at PAX East 2016. While at the convention,  a woman approached him with her three boys and said, “Are you Mr. Resetti? You made my kids cry when they were younger. Can I get a picture?” And that became their Christmas card.

Okay, maybe not their Christmas card, but it was a great mask. And I’m going to teach you how to make one of your own. Just try to leave the scaring children until they cry to the actual in-game character.

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Mr. Resetti, of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series, mask next to the Mr. Resetti amiibo.

 

Getting Started

Skill: Beginner

Project type: Papier-Mâché, painting

Time: Full weekend (8+ hrs or overnight dry time required)

Materials:

  • Mask base (purchase at a craft store)
  • Newspaper
    • Some pieces whole for shaping
    • Some pieces torn into 1-inch strips
  • Glue (I prefer Elmer’s School Glue)
  • Water
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic paint
    • brown
    • black
    • white
  • String or cord to tie mask
  • Covering for workspace – this can get messy!
  • paper / plastic bowls (optional)
    • For mixing glue / water
    • Holding shredded newspaper
    • Mixing / holding paint

Making the Mask Part 1:   Shape the Mask

First things first, you’ll need to make the mask look like shape of Mr. Resetti’s face. He’s got a long, pointy nose with little hairs. To shape the nose, take a piece of newspaper and roll it into a cone. Using masking tape, tape the cone shape together so it will not unravel. Sometimes it’s easier to shape the cone and tape it first, then cut the length to size with scissors. Then attach the cone to the mask with masking tape.

When the cone is in place the next step is to secure it to the mask using Papier-Mâché. To do this, first you need to mix the adhesive. There are many recipes available online, but this is the one is the one I prefer because it’s very simple:

Easy Papier-Mâché Mix

  • 3 parts glue

  • 1 part water

Mix these together until combined. You’ll want the substance to be fluid but not runny.

This is when things start to get a little messy – definitely make sure your workspace is covered, extra newspaper is a good option, and you’ve removed any jewelry or nice clothes. Keep the bowl with your glue mix close to your shredded newspaper strips.

Take one of the strips and dip it into the glue mixture. Using your fingers, wipe off the excess glue. If you have too thick of a layer it’ll delay your dry-time. Then apply the strip directly onto the mask. You’ll want to continue doing this until the mask is mostly covered. Take care to ensure that the cone is secured by multiple layers of Papier-Mâché across the front and underside of the mask. Don’t forget to secure it from the bottom. Also, be sure to wrap the cone completely, this will further secure the shape that was originally set by the masking tape. Try to smooth out any bubbles or rough edges while the glue is still wet.

Take care not to cover over the holes at the edge of the mask for tying the string later.  Leave the mask to dry for several hours, overnight is best.

Making the Mask Part 2: Painting the Face

When the mask is dry and Resetti’s nose has been shaped, it’s time to add the paint to really bring it together. First, prime the mask by painting a white base. This will coverup much of the print on the newspaper so it doesn’t show through, and ensures a more uniform final look. Depending on the newspaper you chose, you may need to do more than one coat of white allover the mask.

Let the mask dry between coats; typically a thin layer of acrylic paint will dry within 20-30 minutes. This is why I like to use acrylics for these kinds of projects, because acrylics have a very quick dry time and they’re easy to paint over if you make a mistake. I use the craft store’s basic acrylics line, typically running $3-7 a tube. Expensive paints are not necessary. I also have a lot of paint brushes for use with acrylics and watercolor paints. I take very good care of these brushes and because of this many of these brushes have lasted me for over 15 years.

Then it’s time for my favorite part: the decorative painting. The paint really brings the mask to life. Start with a medium brown paint, for Resetti a Sienna tone is good. Paint the mask brown all over, using two coats if necessary. Again, let the mask dry between coats. Then paint Mr. Resetti’s thick eyebrows with black paint above the eyeholes in the mask.  Don’t forget to add some thin black lines on his nose for his whiskers! Let it dry completely.

Add an elastic cord or some string to create ties for the mask. I used hemp string for a rustic look, with two 12-inch long pieces on either side that could easily be tied together behind the head. If you choose to use elastic, measure twice and sew the ends for a stronger hold.

The Knitting Bag

Probably most (if not all) knitters have more than one project going on at once. Here’s what’s currently in my knit bag.

Waiting for Rain Shawl

Current Status:  Commuting

 

The short rows were a success!! I’ll post a picture on Instagram soon. The lacework was definitely a challenging section, but with (a lot of) focus I got through it. I even felt like I was starting to get the hang of it by the end. Back to knitting on the commute, I’m about halfway through the next garter stitch section now. The garter stitch frames the lace work short rows so prettily. I’m totally in love with this pattern.

Check out this pattern by Sylvia of Softsweater Knits on Ravelry (where I purchased mine) or visit her website.

Ninja Turtles Inspired Child Hat

Current Status:  Goldilocks

 

I have scoured my yarn stash and none of the shades of blue I have match Leonardo’s bandana. One shade was too dark. One shade was too light. This perfect shade of blue was too lightweight and thin. This other perfect shade of blue was too thick. I think at this point, I’m going to have to buy a small skein so the project can progress. There doesn’t seem to be another option if I want to have the hat done in time for the holidays.

Inside the Knitting Bag

Probably most (if not all) knitters have more than one project going on at once. Here’s what’s currently in my knit bag.

Waiting for Rain Shawl

Current Status:  On the coffee table

I first came across this shawl at the shop Yarn in the Farms in Beverly, MA on the day my fiancé and I got engaged. I decided on this shawl pattern for my wedding shawl, because it would be a nice reminder of that day. So The Boy gave me needles, yarn, and pattern as a birthday gift.

Starting the pattern wasn’t easy. I recast probably a dozen times before I felt confident. The garter stitch portion went quickly on my commute. Now, I’m on the first portion of lace work short rows. It’s challenging, because I have to stay focused on the pattern or risk losing my place. This is only my third pattern involving short rows and my first with lace work – I may not be confident yet, but I am determined!

Check out this pattern by Sylvia of Softsweater Knits on Ravelry (where I purchased mine) or visit her website.

Ninja Turtles Inspired Child Hat

Current Status:  Searching for the right shade of blue

I’m trying my hand at writing my own pattern with this hat. I have a vision of what I want this hat to look like, so I’m hoping that I can experiment to bring this into reality.

It’s a fairly simple basic hat, knit in the round on double-pointed needles. After cast-on and simple ribbing the hat is done in stockinette stitch. I’m searching for the blue yarn to make the bandana, so I can continue. Once that’s done, I’ll make eyes to sew onto the hat and I’ve been considering adding the bandana ties to the back of the hat.

Funny Frog Hat

Status: Complete

I found this fun hat pattern on Pinterest, which led me to Cassandra May’s pattern on Ravelry. I knit this hat for a newborn, so the free pattern for a six-month old suited my needs. There are also PDF versions and alternative sizes, such as one or two years, or available on her website.

The hat knit up very quickly, I completed the pattern in four days! (I admit, I was also binge-watching a TV show.) I love patterns knit in the round on double-pointed needles and this was very easy to follow. The details are knit flat and sewn on, the most challenging part of that being not letting the wrong color show through. I love how this hat came out and had such a fun time knitting it!

I’m in Love, and the Shop looks better

Sorry to go dark for so long…. but fellow crafters, I’ve got some sweet news to share: we got engaged!!! I’ve been on a super happy cloud for the past few months, completely caught up in the moment. While enjoying life though, I let my Etsy shop fall a little behind.

Getting right back on track, I’ve reposted 10 listings on the Etsy shop. Go check them out! I hope you find them as awesome and stylish as I do.

 

9 Sewing Tips for Beginners that I had to Learn the Hard Way

They say that part of growth is learning from your mistakes, but let me save you some time and you can learn from mine.

1. There is a correct way to pin a piece.

When I was attempting to sew ribbon onto a tunic for embellishment, I pinned the ribbon to the shirt horizontally along the ribbon. Bad move. When I ran the piece through the machine, I poked my fingers on sharp points as I fed the fabric through, or worse jammed my machine when the head of the pin inevitably got stuck. The correct way to pin is vertically, so the machine can easily glide over the pins without catching or jamming. (At least I’m great at pinning on Pinterest.)
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Examples of how to pin a piece for feeding into a sewing machine. Left Pin: Incorrect way to pin. Right Pin: Correct way to pin.

2. Adjusting thread tension is important.

If your thread’s tension is off, then your stitches will not be even across the front and back of the piece. For me, I struggled with the back of the piece. In transporting my machine to a friend’s house I offset the tension dial without realizing it. When I held up my piece to admire my neat, even, and miraculously-straight stitches, I felt so proud. Short lived pride, I’m afraid. I turned the piece over to find a horrendous, ugly knot of thread on the bottom side. When this happens, the only solution is to take the stitches out with a seam ripper and start again.

3. Adjusting thread tension also requires patience (plus two hours, a phone call to Grandma, two phone calls to Mom, and a burrito).

Your sewing machine’s manual will be essential in helping to correctly adjust the tension. Go slowly, have a piece of scrap fabric that’s a close material to the one you’re working with as a final piece (example, if your working with denim, don’t test on thin cotton), and make adjustments one at a time. Reach out for help if you need it, and if all else fails take a break and come back to it. I struggled adjusting the tension and after two frustrating hours I stopped for a burrito break with my friends. When I came back to the machine I adjusted the thread perfectly on the first try. Obviously, it was the magic burrito that made this happen.

4. Measure how much fabric you’ll approximately need before going to the craft store.

It’s a little embarrassing to be up at the counter at Jo-Anne Fabric’s holding a bolt against your body trying to guesstimate how much fabric you might need. Take your measurements and have an approximate number in your head (or even better, written down!) before you get to the store.

5. Don’t settle for a material that “kind of works”

Most often, buying a back-up material in case you can’t find the one you really wanted will only be a waste of money. Either you’ll find the right material later, and have lost the receipt or be past the return policy’s window for the backup, or even worse, you’ll use the backup and won’t be happy with the finished result. Try to avoid this as best you can, time and planning are big factors in making this happen. Don’t rush through a project if you can avoid it. And if you do have to compromise for a back-up material, it’s okay, that’s called life. We can’t always get what we want, but it’s always worth the effort to try.

6. Operate the sewing machine’s pedal at a speed you’re comfortable with.

You wouldn’t go mach-10 out of the driveway, so there’s no need to also drop a lead foot on the sewing machine’s pedal. It’ll likely cause the fabric to bunch and is harder to control the direction so you’re stitches might not stay in a straight line. That being said, going too slowly can also have a similar effect if you lead the fabric to the machine too quickly. Try and operate at a moderate speed that keeps the fabric moving but you in control.
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This is my mom’s sewing machine, she very kindly let me borrow for crafting.

7. Invest in quality scissors – you’ll waste less fabric this way.

Quality scissors will list on the label that they’re designed for cutting fabric, ideally multiple layers of fabric. With a pair of sharp scissors, material will cut more easily and frey less, which means that you’ll waste less fabric overall because you’re not struggling to get an even line.

8. Sewing in a straight line takes practice.

Don’t compare your stitches as a beginner to someone who has been using a machine for years. Sewing is a skill and you’ll improve over time with practice. In my most recent project, I noticed that the stitches located on the projects in the beginning are more uneven than the ones when I was near the end of the overall project. Through practice, I gained confidence in my ability to operate the machine, as well as improved my technique. I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go, but I won’t be discouraged by measuring myself against someone who excels in this skill.

9. It’s okay to rip out stitches and start over.

We all have to do it at some point. Don’t think of yourself or your project as a failure, just consider it a part of process and keep going. While it’s a pain in the moment, you’ll definitely be happier if you take the time to fix it than if you kept it as is.
Happy crafting!

Making of a Mask: Lucina’s “Marth” Mask

When we first meet Lucina in Nintendo’s Fire Emblem: Awakening, she appears disguised as the legendary hero Marth wearing a dark navy mask that shields her eyes. Though the design initially appears complex, by breaking it down into manageable parts, it’s not too challenging to create your own. Here are easy-to-follow instructions for a mask you can make in a weekend.

Getting Started

Skill: Beginner

Project type: Papier-Mâché, painting

Time: Full weekend (8+ hrs or overnight dry time required)

Materials:

  • Mask base (purchase at a craft store)
  • Newspaper, torn into 1-inch strips
  • Poster-board or thick paper for shaping
  • Glue (I prefer Elmer’s School Glue)
  • Water
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic paint
    • brown
    • black
    • white
  • String or cord to tie mask
  • Covering for workspace – this can get messy!
  • paper / plastic bowls (optional)
    • For mixing glue / water
    • Holding shredded newspaper
    • Mixing / holding paint

Step 1: Shaping

Start with the mask base, available at most craft stores, this saves you a significant amount of time and is totally worth it, especially if this is your first mask. Using the poster-board, create the lower edge of Lucina’s mask by tracing a shape that looks similar to the lower half of a butterfly’s wing. Cut the shape out, and use it to trace an identical one for the other side. With the two shapes cut, tape them to the bottom of the mask base using masking tape.

Step 2: Papier-Mâché

DSC_0227 Lucina Mask Base Papier-Mâché

Messy but worth the effort – Papier-Mâché strengthens your mask.

Definitely take a few minutes to prep your workspace, because this step can get very messy. We’ll use Papier-Mâché to secure the poster-board cutouts to the mask and create a well-balanced piece. Use a paper bowl to mix the Papier-Mâché. There are many recipes available online, but this is the one is the one I prefer because it’s very simple:

Easy Papier-Mâché Mix

  • 3 parts glue

  • 1 part water

Mix these together until combined. You’ll want the substance to be fluid but not runny.

Dip the strips of newspaper into the glue mixture, using your fingers to remove the excess. Gently apply the strips to the mask, concentrating on covering the poster-board for support and securing where it attaches to the mask. Take care to smooth any ridges or air bubbles out while the glue is wet. TIP: Don’t cover the holes for the ribbon to tie the mask on, or you’ll have to punch them through later.

Let dry completely, for 6-8 hours or overnight.

Step 3: Apply a Base Coat

Newspaper is great for using in Papier-Mâché because its thin, inexpensive, and a great way to recycle. The downside? The black ink will show through projects unless you apply a solid base coat. It’s worth the extra effort.

Paint the entire mask white. I like acrylics because they’re easy to use and dry fast. Let the mask dry completely, 1-3 hours depending on how thick of a layer you’ve painted. Apply a second coat of white paint across the entire mask. This will ensure that your base coat is even, and will make your decorative paint colors appear more uniform across the mask. Let dry completely.

Step 4: Painting – The Fun Part

My favorite part of the mask project: Painting! For the Lucina mask, begin with a base of dark Navy blue. If you have navy paint – great! If not, mix small (and I mean tiny!) amounts of black paint in with a dollop of primary blue until you reach the desired shade. It’s better to start small and mix more black in, than to go in too strong and waste a lot of blue paint to get the hue right. I like to use a larger brush for this part.

When the navy dries, using a small brush, paint the detail in white. This thin white layer will dry quickly, and then you can go over it with gold. I find that this method is easier than trying to keep white boarders while painting the mask navy. It does require a little more patience and a steady hand, but the results are worth it. Even though acrylics layer really well, I find that the white base allows the color to pop more – so the white base will help the gold paint stand out better. Let dry completely.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

DSC_0299 Lucina Fire Emblem Mask

The completed Lucina CosPlay Mask

The mask isn’t complete without a way to wear it. Here are a few options arranged by difficulty:

Easy:  Purchase a pre-strung mask, it’ll already be fit to size and ready to wear

Medium:  Cut two lengths of string and tie the ends of each through the holes. Leave the second ends loose to tie around the head to wear.

Hard:  Cut elastic cord 1-2 inches longer than the snug length around head. Thread an end through the mask hold and hand sew to attach. Repeat on the other side, ensuring that the mask will fit snugly on the face without falling off or giving the wearer a headache.

Now your mask is ready to wear.

Challenge your fate, and happy crafting!

Embellished Reading

It’s not an uncommon site to find me lost in a book. When I’m enjoying a good read, I can tune out the world. The TV could be on, the music could be playing, a full conversation could be happening around me, but if Harry Potter is dueling with Voldermort in the battle of Hogwarts you can bet my mind is not in the living room.

It’s because of this love of reading that I’ve come to utilize every scrap of paper as a bookmark – which can actually be a disadvantage when you’re searching for your shopping list or when you’re reading at the bus stop and your bookmark accidentally blows away.

DSC_0537 handmade bookmarks

A little bit heavier than paper; but at 1/4 of an ounce, they’re still pretty lightweight. 

Somewhere along the line, I came to love real bookmarks; particularly the pretty ones that have cute details that hang down the book’s spine. And best part, I don’t have to worry about losing my list or my bookmark blowing away again.

 

The charms on a few of these actually came from cast-off pairs of earrings. While the charm was still in good shape, it wasn’t exactly my style for earrings. Rather than let these go to waste, they can have new life in bookmarks.

Others feature statement beads that are both beachy and eye-catching at the same time. Perfect for hot, sunny days reading with your toes in the sand.

Until next time, happy reading!

Six Rules for Homemade CosPlay Costume Designing

Another PAX East gaming convention has come and gone, and now that the caffeine and sugar has filtered out of the system, it’s time to start looking ahead to next year. Or better yet, Halloween which is much closer! One of the fun, unique elements to PAX are the cosplay costumes that attendees wear. It’s a chance to embrace a favorite character and have fun with others who share your interests. But cosplay can quickly get expensive.

Not everyone can afford to spend $300-1,000 on a costume, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the fun. Homemade costumes offer a more cost-effective alternative without compromising originality. Before you get overwhelmed, it’s important to keep a few rules in mind:

1.  Break down the costume’s design into manageable parts.

This is key to not feeling overwhelmed during creation. Rather than looking at the costume as a whole, look at is a grouping of multiple parts. Then take the parts, one at a time, and construct them at your own pace. I like to use my sketchbook to help work through ideas. If a costume requires a tunic and gloves, I’ll sketch a design out on separate pages. It becomes more manageable this way, and then I’m less likely to feel overwhelmed. Always try to avoid this feeling, because feeling overwhelmed is closely linked to self-doubt, and that’s definitely not an emotion you want to feel.

2.  Don’t get hung up on perfection.

Unless you’re already employed as a painter, designer, or a tailor, don’t get hung up on perfection. This can easily become another enemy that leads to self-doubt. Use the skills you do have, and improve on them, but don’t beat yourself up if your stitches aren’t in a perfect straight line or the paint you’ve mixed isn’t the same exact shade of blue. Chances are, what may be a glaring error to you will go completely unnoticed by others. Cut yourself some slack, pat yourself on the back for working your creative muscles, and continue without the self-depcriating thoughts. You’ll be glad you did when it all comes together.

3.  Allow yourself time to be creative.

Starting an elaborate costume the weekend before an event might not be the smartest decision. In order to avoid undue stress or panic, give yourself time to chip away at your costume, rather than rushing to get it done. It’ll give you a better chance to focus on your ideas and bring them to fruition.

4.  Improvise and disguise.

Masters of any craft are not the ones who perform the task perfectly, but are rather the most adept at correcting or hiding their mistakes. So you forgot to buy enough fabric to make that cross-body strap? The back of the costume will be obscured by a cape anyway, so make the front look how you envisioned, and skimp on the fabric’s criss-cross on the back. It creates the illusion of completion, without waste or requiring another trip to the store. Your costume requires blue boots with a large white cuff? I haven’t seen those in the stores lately, and I’m certainly not a cobbler; but I have access to a sewing machine, leftover blue cotton fabric, and white felt makes a solid cuff. With a little improvisation, those boots became a reality

5.  “Shop” the house to use what you have.

It’s trendy to shop the house for new accent pieces to reinvent the living room’s design; so why not apply that same philosophy to your crafting? If I had to buy all the tools to make a costume, then it would become very expensive. But since I’ve been crafting for years, I’ve amassed a collection of paints, tools, and other general supplies that make this easier. Excess materials from past projects or are never wasted, so with some key organization and an eye for up-cycling you can reduce the costs of buying buttons, fabric, black leggings… I even found a gold belt loop in my button box – which was a great time and money saver! Also, I don’t own my own sewing machine, but I have several family members and friends who are more than happy to let me use theirs. Repurposing and borrowing helps keep your overall costs down, so try to look for easy ways to do this wherever you can.

6.  Have fun.

Never forget the reason why you started crafting in the first place. Creating a costume should be just as much fun as wearing, if not more. And if you’re creating the costume for someone else, keep in mind that they’re going to think it’s awesome not matter how “professional” it looks. To that person, you are the costume designer, so be confident and enjoy every moment.

In future posts, I’m going to provide DIY instructions on how to make your own cosplay costumes. I’ll show you what I’ve designed, mistakes I’ve learned from, and how I’ve applied all six of these rules. In the meantime, remember there’s only six more months until Halloween!

Happy crafting!

Going in Circles; How I conquered my fear of knitting in the round

Knitting has always been an effort of trial and error for me, fueled by a fierce desire to teach myself. However, as with many skills sometimes guidance is needed to at least grasp the basics. Take for instance, the purl stitch.

The Purl Problem

Easy right? Can you remember the first time you tried it though? I just couldn’t get the concept of moving both the yarn and the needle to the front, so instead I was accidentally adding a stitch every time. My swatch looked like a bad triangle shape after a few rows.

I had a solid handle on the knit stitch, my grey garter stitch scarf was coming out fine. But I needed to know how to make the elusive purl stitch. So I did what anyone would do – asked a stranger on the bus!

The Girl on the Train Bus

I carried my knitting in a little bag, and scanned the bus after I boarded. I spotted a woman with fiery red curly hair knitting a hat. I sat next to her and pulled out my  scarf and started knitting, stealing sidelong glances at her advanced project. It was a gorgeous hat, brown with a pattern of owls – and she was knitting with five needles.

Immediately intimidated I asked, “Is that hard, knitting with more than two needles?”

“Not at all.” She replied nonchalantly.

I didn’t believe her obviously.

“Can I ask another question? How do you do a purl stitch?”

She demonstrated the second most basic stitch in all of knitting on her own hat.

Next to her I silently agonized about two things: 1.) The trouble it must be to do a stitch that isn’t part of the pattern and then have to undo that stitch. Un-knitting, as I like to call it, was very difficult for me, and here was a stranger willingly messing with their pattern! 2.) I needed the put BOTH the yarn and the needle in front?

From Scarves to Squirrels

A few months later, purl and knit stitches successfully understood, I came across a hat pattern that required ears knitted in the round. It was a challenge I accepted, in a small scale. My needles were all over the place and I had to restart at least eight times, but eventually I had two small ears. Then I graduated to the squirrel pattern in Knitting MochiMochi by Anna Hrachovec.

Knitting amigurami actually helped me get a better handle on knitting in the round. Unlike knitting socks or mittens, which need to be symmetrical and ultimately require accurate gauging, amigurami don’t need any of those requirements. You can use any size needle, any weight yarn; it’s like a knitted free-for-all. With the common pressures removed, I could focus on the technique of knitting in the round and really become comfortable with it.

Now, knitting in the round with five needles has become one of my favorite ways to knit. I even become confident enough to bring this type of knitting on the bus, which really challenges my coordination. Next up is learning this so-called “magic loop method”.

Until next time, happy knitting!

Free-Style Knitting – The Coozy Mitten

 

The knitted coozy-mitten started out as a joke. After taking up knitting a little over a year ago, my family has been generous with their ideas of items I could knit for them. Their suggestions vary from scarves and sweaters to blankets embroidered with their face or a knitted Charizard toy. My cousin P suggested the knitted coozy-mitten idea over Thanksgiving.
After the commotion of the holidays settled down, I found myself ready to take on new projects. My cousin P’s birthday was approaching so I figured, why not give it a shot? I had a set of new double-pointed size 8 needles and some red yarn. Perfect time to experiment.
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Cold beer, warm hands.

I don’t have a pattern for these coozy mittens, so I decided to make one up. I’ve also never knitted mittens before, so this was truly an experiment.
After cast-on, I did simple ribbing and then stockinette stitch in the round. When I reached the point for the thumb gusset, I decided to divide the stitches in half, securing half on a stitch holder and dividing the remaining sitches across four needles. Then, with the live stitches I once again joined in the round with an increase row and continued around.
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About halfway through the project, part of the hand completed and starting the other half.

At about the halfway point I bound off and then picked up the stitches from the holder, rejoining the yarn and knitting another identical side. When I reached the point that the two sides were equal and would fit around my test can of ginger ale, I bound off and sewed the two ends together to make a continuous loop on the inside. The bound-off edges sewn together created a pretty stitch detail that I hadn’t anticipated.
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In-process stitching the bottom of the coozy-mitten.

 To finish the piece, it needed a bottom on the mitten to prevent the can from sliding through. Using two of my double-pointed needles, I cast-on 6 stitches and continued with knitting in stockinette stitch, increasing on the knit side by 2 stitches each row until I came to the center row, then I decreased the stitches by reversing the pattern.

 

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The finished coozy-mitten, with my trusty test can of ginger ale.

The finished coozy-mitten came out better than I could have expected. I was so thrilled to complete my second pattern design. It may not be perfect yet, but I expect this won’t be the first cozy-mitten I make. And best of all, my cousin liked his birthday gift!!

Until next time, happy knitting!