In case you were wondering…

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I actually started a crochet project this week but I’m not sure that I want to continue with it. I wanted to make a baby gift so pulled out some DK yarns in some analogous colours plus some from the opposite side of the colour wheel.

I started following the Relaxghan pattern, found on Ravelry, but now I’m not crazy about the combo or the pattern.

I need this gift to be fast, and a blanket made with DK yarn with lots of ends to weave in is just not doing it for me.

Nah!

Maybe I’ll go back to it later but for now I think I’m going to do a simple quilt with a fun fabric, one piece for the top, one for the backing, add batting and tie the layers together.

I have fabric in my stash for the top. Just need a metre of a coordinating solid for the back.

I did have some fun with rope tonight.

This stuff was from Home Depot and cost about $9 for 100 feet. I used almost a whole pack for a bowl that ended up about 9.5 inches across at the top edge.

Dang, that used a lot of thread. I think I filled the bobbin four times! The teeny bit of vinyl at the end is a scrap from work. I like the pops of colour from bits of quilting cotton wrapped around the rope in places.

I have the makings of more bag handles here – I found the cotton rope at the dollar store today so with the grommets and the scrap of vinyl to cover the ends of the rope I’d say I’m ready to construct a new tote bag. I’m thinking patchwork……….

See you again soon!

More dodgy bags

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More dodgy bags

The beach fabric with the camper vans, surfboards and beach houses has been put to good use in two more bags for the #dodgybagmal2021!

This zipper pouch is bigger than the owl one I talked about a couple of posts ago. I increased the height of the denim base by one inch and did the same with the upper exterior fabric. It made for a more roomy bag but maintained good proportions.

The inside has a couple of extra slip pockets just because.

That was Sunday’s project.

Today’s was a bag from Erica Arndt on YouTube.

Rather than piece a patchwork pocket (how’s that for alliteration) I used a single piece of the surfboard fabric and as I had fusible fleece inside I didn’t bother doing any quilting.

The handles are quite narrowly positioned but I wanted to avoid covering certain parts of the print. If I make this bag again, I will definitely add zipper tabs to avoid that pulled in look at the ends. And I would use my best fabric for the pocket as that’s the main feature.

Sew much fun!

Paisley wallet

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This wallet is another Yoan design.

There are lots of parts but she walks you through it in detail and it comes together quite easily. Even the thickest seams towards the end went well, though I wouldn’t attempt it without a walking foot.

It’s not perfect but it is pretty!

The four fabrics I used are from one collection so they coordinate with each other.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, whatever you’re doing. Happy crafting!

Dodgy bag MAL 2021

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Dodgy bag MAL 2021

As I was sewing my Flower Power bag, which I told you about in my last post, I was listening to Ali of the Little Drops of Wonderful podcast on YouTube.

How fortuitous that she announced the start of her annual Dodgy Bag Make-along during that podcast!

She has a group on Ravelry and there is a chatter thread for the MAL. I posted a photo of my bag in there, of course.

And today, I have another bag to add to the event. I followed her zippered project bag tutorial and made this…

I had this fabric in the stash, bought on a whim because it’s cute. Ditto the lining.

The base is denim and the handle is part of a zipper, the working part of which has previously been used in another project.

I love the name “Dodgy Bags”—so named because she is not accurate in her cutting and if a seam doesn’t get sewn properly the first time she doesn’t mind turning the bag through to redo it. (When I see her using a ruler, set square and scissors it makes me want to send her a rotary cutter, mat and gridded ruler on the mail!)

It’s very freeing to see that even if your cutting and stitching is a bit wonky and your bag isn’t perfect, it still comes out looking pretty good! It’s easy to get caught up in ideas of perfection rather than just having fun with it.

Of course I left it until late in the day to start mine. I’ll make another on the weekend, I think, when I’m less tired.

Flower Power bag

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Happy happy happy! A day off sandwiched between a bunch of workdays turned into a sewing day.

A friend sent me a link to the Blooms bag by Yoan Sewing Studio on YouTube and it’s so pretty. I was won over and abandoned the backpack plans and made this instead.

It has a long strap for wearing over the shoulder or across your body, and handles too. Rather than sew the straps, I used lime green belting. I also used upcycled jeans for the base.

There are two sets of D rings so it can have a foldover top, or not. I had to use a coordinating fabric for the back as the camper fabric would have looked upside down.

There’s a zipper pocket with a slip pocket behind, on the front, and inside there is a magnetic closure, slip pockets and another zipper pocket.

I love it!

Two other small projects were finished last weekend. More scrappy zipper pouches.

The pompom trim was a last minute fix to cover a spot that was lifting and exposing the batting!

FO: the Doppelgänger hat

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Inspired by a comment from a co-worker that she thought a ponytail hat would be nice (it wasn’t really a request and it certainly wasn’t a demand) I thought I’d crochet one on the fly and see what happened.

It needed to be warm so I made it double layered, starting at the crown, working down through the first part and then continuing on and finishing with a second crown to make a one piece hat which is also reversible.

And it has ponytail holes.

The holes were made by chaining 6 and skipping 6 stitches on one round, and then working into the chain on the next round.

The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala in Chimera and I let the colours fall as they came, without cutting or splicing. I mostly used a 5mm hook but went down to a 4.5mm for 6 rows in the brim area.

I considered sewing the edges of the two holes together but that might have reduced the stretch. Also when washing the hat it will dry quicker if opened out. And if one didn’t want to stick a ponytail through the hole, one could stagger the holes to stop draughts!

Orangey shades one side, greeny shades the other. And a closeup of the hole.

Misc makes

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Misc makes

Spring has arrived in full, with today’s temperature reaching the low 20s. I managed to leave work early, which almost never happens, and took a book out to the deck to catch some sunshine before dinner.

I take my new phone now when I go walking because it takes good photos. These are from a couple of days ago.

I burnt the heck out of my fingers making this guy…

I got hot glue on my skin and actually had quite the blister afterwards. I feel like he could use more accessories. Or perhaps I’ll just make more using the rest of the dollar store socks and see how they turn out.

Another easy, quick project was this flowy vest (waistcoat) which is my fifth one of this style.

I like to wear these at work. They go brilliantly over a T shirt and jeans, making an outfit look more dressy and streamlined, and they take 5 minutes to make. You only need a metre of a non-fraying knit fabric. If the print goes all the way to the selvage you don’t have to trim them off. I just make sure to straighten up the cut edges.

Once the edges are neatened all you have to do is fold the fabric with selvages together, measure 8 inches down from the top and 7.5 inches in from the fold, and cut a slit from that point down for 8 inches through both layers to make armholes. Easy peasy!

I had to do a repair on this apron. My sister bought this for me years ago, it was made by a local (to her) crafter and has seen me through many a kitchen mess. But I wore a hole through part of it so dug out some stripey fabric from the stash and patched it and now it’s good to go again.

And finally (FINALLY!) a crochet work-in-progress!

A co-worker of mine is leaving soon. She hasn’t been there long but we will be sad to see her go. She mentioned (not in a gimmiepig sort of way) that she had been wondering if I’d be able to make a hat with a ponytail hole. Well, I didn’t mind having a go, not that she has any idea that I’m making it.

This Lion Brand Mandala is one of my favourite colourways. It’s called Chimera and is sort of a muted rainbow.

I am designing this on the hook and the plan is to make it double thick because she’s headed further north. I’m approximately at the halfway point. It was coming out a bit loose so I went down to a smaller hook for the rounds that will form the brim. It’ll be reversible when it’s done.

Enough distractions, I must get back to my hook. I’m on a deadline.

Fun with dye

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The store where I work has a monthly DIY idea and this month it’s a rope bowl.

My boss has been making these for ages and she uses cotton clothesline which she buys in bulk online. But the fabric store obviously wants to promote their own products so they used cotton piping cord for theirs, plus they dip-dyed it in Rit dye.

I brought home 8 metres of cord, some 100% cotton thread (so it would take up the dye) and some Coral Rit. I already had a scrap of vinyl at home.

Above photos are after sewing and before dyeing. The top diameter is about 7″.

(Spoon for scale.)

I was pleased with the result, but I did just go back and add a bit more stitching to the final loop to make it look neater.

When I was dipping the bowl into the dyebath, the water was barely soaking through so I scooped some water into the inside and then had to hope it would drain out, or I’d have had dye up the side and over the edge!

There was so much dye, I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I grabbed a couple of balls of white cotton Drops Safran and tossed them in as is. They instantly went a vibrant orange. After they’d had a chance to dry a bit, I used my swift to make them into hanks so they’d dry faster.

I got a nice tonal effect. In real life, it’s coral, not as bright as the photo suggests.

I’ve had a satisfying day today, cleaning and airing the house.  Soup is cooking and now I’m going to make a couple more earsavers for myself. This is one I made last night.

Fabric stashbusting

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My latest FO is a wonky basket crocheted from strips of jersey knit fabric. I made something similar not long ago, but this one burned up the last of this $3/metre fabric that I bought years ago.

Cutting the 2″ strips was quick thanks to my rotary cutter and ruler, but snipping a hole in each end of the strips and joining them took a couple of hours.

I ended up with a 2lb ball of the blue/brown and a smaller ball of the red/orange. With hindsight, I should have cut the strips lengthwise instead of crosswise and they would have curled the other way, leaving the colourful right side showing.

Whilst I didn’t follow a pattern, I was inspired to use the stitch pattern from Toni Lipsey’s Jessie Stash Basket, which alternates a single crochet in the back loop and a waistcoat stitch. The base of my basket is 14″ across, so I can fit a lot of stuff in there.

I probably should go easy on the big hook crochet as my right wrist, which I broke three years ago, has been aching again. I think the worst thing is opening cans, with the twisting motion that entails, but this kind of crochet comes second.

I worked today, but had three days off over the weekend. It was lovely but also frustrating as I intended to get going on a sewing project but kept overthinking it and never even started it.

Yesterday I took myself off on a mini road trip as I had something I wanted to pick up from a friend in a town 40 minutes drive away, so I took a picnic and made the most of it.

I had a homemade London Fog, a bag of yarn to wind into balls, food, water, my beach quilt and an extra sweater. It may look gloriously warm in these photos but it was around 10C and the slight breeze off the lake meant I needed to stay wrapped up.

Thanks to my workplace being closed on Sunday, it’s a short week and I only have three shifts rather than four. Wheeeeeee!

Nothing says spring like…

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…bunnies, lakeside walks in the sunshine and hot cross buns!

I made a fun gift for a co-worker. My Ravelry project page is here if you’d like to check out the details and pattern. It’s a cute pattern that I found on Ravelry, of course.

Earlier in the week I met a friend for a walk and tested out the photo capabilities of my new phone.

It was a beautiful day though the wind was really cold. Today I went for another walk and the temperature was in the double digits and I was warm in just a T shirt.

As Easter is imminent I just had to make some hot cross buns though mine don’t have crosses. I completely forgot to add them just before baking. It’s not the first time I’ve done that! Still, they taste wonderful. I used a vegan oil-free recipe from here.

I confess to having scoffed a couple when I returned from my walk and now I just feel sleepy, but I’m cooking dinner so I’m having to keep my wits about me!

I hope your week is going well. I’m working the next two days (yes, I work on Good Friday but at least I get stat pay) and then I have the weekend off.