Bath Towel Bath Mat

Stumbled across a buzz feed blog post, “Recycled Towel Bath Mat,” detailing directions to make a recycled towel bath mat.  I was intrigued with this project  as this would be a first for me.  There was a catch, however, I did not want to use old towels.  Why?  Because I wanted to make a house warming gift for my daughter, who is serving in the Army.  She is away from her home and family and I wanted to give her something I made with love to remind her every day of how much she is loved.  So!  This blog post gave me the perfect gift.

I used three bath towels to make this project–two gray and one canary yellow. Here you can see a close up of the braid and the finished product.

The process to create this bathmat was not complicated at all.  Here are the instructions.

  1.  Trim off the hems of each bath towel.  Fold in half (width wise) to make it easier to handle.  Then using a rotary cutter, cut strips 3 inches wide. Do this for each towel
  2. Taking your first strip, fold sides inward toward the center and then fold again.  This should resemble a double-faced bias tape.  Pin to keep in tack.  Remember that you need the top edge free to be used to anchor three strips together to initiate the braiding.  Repeat the folding process for the other strips.  Note:  I wanted to make sure each folded strip remain closed so I slip stitched the edges.  You need to leave about 2 inches from the bottom edge as you need to have this open to join subsequent strips together.
  3. Starting at the center of the rug, twisting the braid into a coil.  Stitch the coil rings together.  Note:  a hook needle moves this part of the process along nicely.
  4. Once you have completed step two for three strips, stack them on top of each other.  Stitch the top edge together, turn edge over so you have a clean sewn edge and begin braiding.  When you reach the end, stitch on another folded strip to each strand of the braid. Continue braiding and coiling.  Continue to you have all ends have been used.

Cozy and comfy in Silver Slate

Win for last night!  What’s that you say?  Whose team won?  What was the score? What is the prize?

Calm down!  Let me explain.  The prize is a finished cozy and comfy knitted comforter in Silver Slate.  Finished size 68 x 66 inches.  This project took several weeks to complete.  The pattern is quite simple–the entire blanket is done in a garter stitch.  I used five skeins of Bernat Blanket and worked it on a pair of circular needles. Once the main part was done, I used a solid gray to crochet a two-row edging.  img_0941

The first row of the edging is single crochet stitches and four single crochet stitches at each corner.  The second row is a single crochet, chain 2, single crochet.  This is repeated and between the single crochet posts, there is a space of one single crochet.  See picture below to get a visual of this.


Because of the bulkiness of the yarn, you cannot see a clear distinction of the single crochet space.  It was critical otherwise the effect would be quite different.  The effect I wanted was simple and sleek.


Silvery Slate Gray Afghan

Another yarn project is underway.  This one is an afghan for an adult.  I’ve selected Bernat Blanket yarn for this project.  This yarn is an ultra-cozy, super bulky chenille-style yarn.  I Love the fact that it comes in a wide range of stylish colors.  The variegated style adds so much character to a project and in the process is complimentary to any home decor.

So as not to detract from the texture of this yarn, I opted to use a garter stitch.  My foundation knit row consists of 130 stitches using 10.5 circular knitting needles.  I purchased five skeins of this yarn.  Each skein is 10.5 ounces.  I want this afghan to be quite large so anyone can wrap themselves up in it, sit on a sofa, and watch a movie or ball game.  Take a glance at the way the colors blend in this view








For a closer look giving you a better idea  better idea of the texture, check out the photo below.


Stay tune for progress updates!

Reading–My Passion

Reading is my passions!  My dear friends will attest to this powerful declaration.  A while ago, I stumbled onto this poem and tucked it away in my treasure box.

To read is to empower.
To empower is to write.
To write is to influence.
To influence is to change.
To change is to live.
– Unknown

Reading is the catalyst for creativity.  Gaining knowledge opens our minds.  Through reading we broaden our understanding of life.  Biographies allow us into the lives of others and learn how they overcome their challenges.  Fictional pieces allow us to escape with our imaginations into another world. Self-help books help us to grow and improve a skill.  Poetry allows us to enjoy the music words can play.  It doesn’t matter what genre we hold in our hands the end result is the same–the words penned weaves its way into our consciousness changing us forever and expanding our knowledge.  Thus, the power of reading does change our lives.


Lavender Lap Blanket

The other day, I posted a picture of rows of finished lavender and purple granny squares.  Once all the squares were made, I needed to decide on a color for the edging.  I selected a very pale yellow for that job.  Here is an in-progress picture of that phase.  I know upon first glance that edging yarn looks like  white or off-white, but, it really isn’t.


I had 49 squares to join so my lap blanket was laid out in a seven by seven format.  Seven squares per row and seven rows.  After blocking, the lap blanket measures 45 inches by 48 inches.  Here is what the a picture of the finished and blocked lap blanket.


I think the yellow is more evident in this picture because of the yellow in my bedspread.  What do you think?  Don’t you just love the braid edging?  I love it because it is quick, easy and lies flat.  Now stay tuned for the next project.


Searching for Treasure in my Yarn Stash

All crafters, especially those who love to knit or crochet, owns a yarn stash.  Living in tropical paradise challenged my organization skills.  The solution to preserving my yarn stash required plastic storage bins.   yarn-stash  Initially, I just threw partial skeins or singleton skeins into bins.  Once we decided to relocate, the need to get organized kicked in and a monumental task ensued.  All bins were unloaded and restocked according to type of yarn and colors.  Partial skeins and even the singleton skeins were rolled into balls and grouped according to color.

organized-yarn-stash  This looked much better and manageable.  Hence, my needle escapades for 2016 focused on depleting this valuable treasure.

Thus far, my treasure trove of yarn produced these afghans.

I have started on yet another creation.  This one using all of the partial skeins of purple yarn.  The range is from a deep purple to a pale lavender.  Instinctively, I knew that the different shades of purple was not large enough to do a solid afghan, so granny squares is the best approach. Will it be a lap blanket?  Will it be a toddler’s afghan?  

Once the granny squares are made then it is time to lay out a pattern.  The above picture shows seven stacks assorted squares.  The finished afghan will have seven rows of seven squares.  A flat braid edging, my favorite joining stitch, will begin.  The question remaining is … “what color will I use for the flat braid joining?”  Will it be a neutral color?  Will it be bold? Can you guess?

Update on Request from Hawaii

It took me a little while, but, I finally finished this baby blanket.  Finished size is 39 by 36.5 inches.  This includes the one inch white crocheted edging.  This is, by far, the softest baby blanket knitted.


This body of the baby blanket took four (3.5 ounce) skeins and the edging just 1 skein.

Gift Request from Hawaii

One of my friends called me this week with a special request to make a baby blanket for her.  She needs a special blanket for will be for a family member. The special bundle of joy is a boy and is joining the family sometime this September.  I am honored to respond to this request and need to start hopping on this project.

First step is a visit this morning to my one of favorite craft stores–Michael’s.  I found the perfect yarn.  I wanted something soft and cuddling.  My girlfriend thought blue would be appropriate and I agreed but when I saw the variegated blue skeins called “Funny Bunny Print,” I just had to get it.  This is the first time I will be working with Bernat pipsqueak yarn comes in 3.5 ounce skeins and is 100% polyester making it machine washable and dryable.  Perfect for a little bundle of joy!

A simple garter stitch is the perfect stitch for this textured yarn.  Using a 10.5 circular knitting needle I cast on 90 stitches giving me a width of 33 inches.  That will be great.  Easy pattern, great yarn and a fulfilling purpose contribute toward stitches rapidly flying off the needles.

Here’s a tease for you …

Watch for progress updates.

Pop-of-Red Granny-Squares Afghan

What do you do with the left-over yarn from projects of old?  What type of stitch would work?  Well, if you turn to an old favorite like granny squares then you have your next project.  Here is my completed granny square afghan.  Using a flat braid to join 144 granny squares yields a 5 ft by 5 ft afghan.  12 x 12 square

Each granny square was made in an assembly-line fashion.  What do I mean by that?  You start with the center and crochet the desired number of squares.  As I wanted this afghan to be large, I decided that I wanted to have 12 rows by 12 rows.  All yarn used was 4-ply medium weight machine washable yarn.

Gather all of your partial skeins and begin crocheting the granny squares.  In this case, I used tan yarn.  To add pizzazz, red yarn was used  for the second row.  Row 3 of each granny square used blues.  For the last row, I used a dark green.  Tying all of the different squares together, I used Kelly green.  The Kelly green yarn was the only yarn that wasn’t part of my stash.  So, I purchased 4 skeins.

granny square close up

Exciting Announcement!


I have decided to rename my blog to reflect a more accurate representation of my crafting error.  Please note that redbamsews is now Redbam Crafts. Originally, my blog was dedicated to my sewing projects as that was where the bulk of my time and energy focused on.  Whether I sewed for myself, for gifts, for donating to charities or for craft fairs, the primary emphasis was on sewing.

Since retiring and relocating, I find that my sewing projects have decreased.  But, my yarn projects have increased.  The relocation allowed me to do more home decorating type projects like my wreath making.

With this change, I can share my various crafting projects.–such as my crochet, embroidery, knitting, and wood painting, and wreath making.  I am working on rebuilding my inventory for a craft fair and will keep you posted as to any news in that department.


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