Category Archives: Crafty Stuff

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013

I’m thinking of doing this little thing next week.

knitting and crochet blog week 2013 copy


Click the image for more details!

The Great 8-Bit Mario Quilt Adventure

For my brothers Christmas/birthday present, I decided to make an 8-bit Mario quilt. I concepted the idea in September of last year and just now finished with it. It was a huge, extensive process and many many hours of work!8-bit-mario

The idea came from this sprite that I found online when trying to think of something geeky and fun that my brother would appreciate. We grew up playing Zelda and Mario, so when I found this sprite, I knew that I had to make something from it.

8-bit-mario-quilt | tolmema

It’s made with 252 4″ squares, measuring at about  48″ x 60″. I hand-dyed the grey background and thrifted the peach from an old twin bedsheet. Instead of brown boots, I just used black. I also modified the sprite slightly by adding an extra red block for Mario’s suspenders.

8-bit-mario-quilt | tolmema

Here’s the quilt after piecing and quilting – I hadn’t added the yellow binding yet.

8-bit-mario-quilt | tolmema

I cheated and used yellow jersey knit for the binding  because 1) I hate binding; 2) I suck at binding; and 3) I wanted something fun as a border. I knew that the knit would curl up in the wash and hide any – ahem – mistakes that I made during the binding process.

8-bit-mario-quilt | tolmema

I used a black/white checkerboard fabric for the backing. Despite my original concerns, it hides the colored thread pretty well.

Here’s a quick list of the time/resources I used to make it below.


  • Thrifted Sheets – $5.00
  • Rit Dye – $10.00
  • Fabric – $60.00
  • Binding – $5.00


  • Dyeing  – 4 hours
  • Cutting – 3 hours
  • Piecing – 10 hours
  • Quilting – 9 hours
  • Binding – 2 hours
  • Clean Up/Prettify –  2 hour

Total: about 30 hours of labor and $80 in materials.

I’m so glad that this project is finished. While I enjoyed the process and the end result of my hard work, it was a However, in the end it was all worth it because my brother absolutely loves the quilt and isn’t mad that the quilt was only six weeks late!

Hand-dyed Yarn Update

I balled up the yarn that I hand-dyed earlier this week and am incredibly happy wit the results!

hand-dyed-yarn | tolmema

This color combo includes orange, teal, and green. I’ve been in a fingerless mitt phase so I think that’s what this will become.

hand-dyed-yarn | tolmema

This one was my favorite – lime green, teal, and purple. I’d like to make something for myself out of this yarn, but I’m not sure what. I could use a new pair of gloves, or maybe a new hat?

hand-dyed-yarn | tolmema

This is a deceiving ball. I personally don’t think it looks very pretty but I worked up a small swatch and it looks really nice. My husband has asked for me to make a scarf out of it.

hand-dyed-yarn | tolmema

This is construction vest orange. I tried to make a pair of fingerless mitts out of it yesterday but I didn’t have quite enough, so it looks like this will become a headband or something.

Overall, I’m incredibly happy with the way my yarn dyeing experiment worked out, and I plan on trying again soon. I’d like to get some signature color combos nailed down to add some brand recognition to my crochet items; we’ll see where that goes for 2013.

Hand-dyed Yarn

I experimented with hand-dyeing yarn today. I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile but haven’t been able to  I used this tutorial as a guideline. I bought some of the white Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool and some koolade packets and went to work. My house now smells like fly spray (vinegar)!

hand-dyed-yarn | tolmema

This was the result of my first try. I put the whole hank into the pot and tried to add all  of the colors at once. I like the blue and green, but I got kind of purple-happy and it took over the skein a bit, which kind of turned the whole thing a bit brown. I wasn’t a huge fan of it at first, but it’s been growing on me. The colors are starting to pop a bit more as it dries.

hand-dyed-yarn | tolmema

I’m much happier with the results from the second round than the first, where I just put a part of the yarn into the pot at a time. The yarn on the left is a vibrant orange/red that is so loud it’s practically screaming. The middle is a lime green, teal, and purple mix. The one on the right is an orange/red, teal, and green mix.

All in all, I’m very happy with the results of this experiment. I can’t wait for the yarn to dry so that I can get it wound up and work with it!