Category Archives: non-knitting crafts

Good morning!

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This is the second morning in a row that I have had coffee instead of tea. This could be a slippery slope! Proper coffee that I ground up, maple syrup and frothy oat milk.

I’ve had a couple of restless nights and I’m hoping the coffee will kickstart my brain. It tastes good too and feels very comforting now that the mornings are colder.

So, about yesterday’s photos. If you’re interested. I posted those just before I dashed out to work yesterday but I have more time now.

1. Knit Picks Dishie dishcloths or washcloths. A pick-it-up-when-I-feel-like-it project.

2. Gnomes! I made these no-sew, lots-of-hot-glue gnomes before work yesterday and took them to the store to put on display, just for fun. Obviously I bought the felt, faux fur and cotton fabric there. The insides are dollar store socks filled with wheat berries and polyfill. If you look carefully at the photo, you’ll see my Spring garden gnomes in the background.

3. The Festival Cardigan, complete with buttons. I’m keeping it on my couch because the temps have dropped to mid-teens outside. I love to snuggle in warm layers on a cool dark fall evening. I think this season has to be my favourite.

4. And finally, the Relaxation socks. This is a pattern I found on Ravelry. It’s written for bulky yarn but I’m using Bernat Pop in the Full Spectrum colourway and it’s working fine. This is my Strictly Sockalong 2021 project, which is a MAL run by Ali of Little Drops of Wonderful podcast. I haven’t made socks in a long time, and I don’t watch Strictly Come Dancing or even Dance with the Stars, but I do like a good makealong!

There you go, all caught up. I hope you have a wonderful day. Now I’m going to have a quick look at Ravelry and then I need to get ready for work.

Japanese rice bag: “Fox”

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My second foray into sashiko is a Japanese rice bag, which seems appropriate. I looked at the colours left in the pack of embroidery floss that I bought and they worked perfectly with this cotton fabric with foxes, hedgehogs and squirrels.

Each side of the bag is six inches square. I didn’t use a pattern this time. Having made a bag of this style once before I guessed I could do it again without a tutorial. It’s just five squares for the sides and bottom and the same in the lining fabric, plus four 2.5″ squares for the drawstring tabs.

The drawstring is a piece of craft rope from the dollar store and I added a little circle of denim around the knot to finish it off.

Even working downstairs in my sewing room has been challenging the last week because the house retains the heat from the day. Thankfully the temperatures have dropped into the 30s Celsius which, after 40+, feels so much more comfortable.

Playing with sashiko

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Upcycled denim patches, tie dye cotton
Backed with light interfacing

The thread I used was basic embroidery floss. I can see how proper sashiko thread would give a superior result, though, as it’s not plied and wouldn’t split.

Once I had built up this fabric I trimmed it to neat rectangles and made a tote bag. I was inspired by this site. I used more denim from jeans for the handles.

The patches and lining are made from the fabric left over from the tunic top I made recently. There’s a magnetic snap and D ring tab inside.

The lining before assembly
The final result

I love it!

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.

There’s no place like gnome

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I am really happy with these spring gnomes. From their pastel fleece hats to their flowery skirts to their variegated faux fur beards, they look pretty much as I visualised them.

I started with this…

…styrofoam cones, cotton fabric, fleece, yarn, a little faux fur trim, some felt and some blusher…oh, and a lot of hot glue sticks…

…in progress shot so you can see the braids and skirts…

…and ended up with a fun finish with some flowers attached to the mini watering can and garden tools.

Now, when I set these up on a table at work, I intend to add more accoutrements, such as a grass green fabric base, maybe some blue yarn inside the watering can, and ideally some seed packets ‘n stuff. I was hoping to find seeds at the dollar store this morning, but only managed to acquire the terracotta plant pots, watering can, tools and flowers. Why the plant pots? Well, they make a perfect sturdy base for the gnomes and they will also look very similar to the gnomes on the quilting fabric at work which will be part of the display.

After my outing to the dollar store early this morning, I hit the sewing room, finished the gnomes and then did a good tidy-up because there were bits everywhere. Then the sewing machine came out, Netflix went on (New Amsterdam) and I made these masks for Mr Fixit. He does like his batiks!

Mid-afternoon I finally had some lunch and tested out my new Vava milk steamer/frother (from Amazon on the recommendation of a friend and happy user) with some matcha powder, coconut sugar and Earth’s Own unsweetened vanilla oat ‘milk’. Yum! Two exciting packages in one week! Our new phones arrived today from Samsung. Mr Fixit and I now have a Samsung A71 each, though we need to get micro SIM cards for them and set up a data plan. What a game-changer this will be for me, who’s been limping along with (a) an ancient iPad Mini, (b) a basic Android with no data and (c) a slow Windows laptop for years. I know I know, first world problems!!

Another bit of sewing this week was an experimental mask for ds2 who usually sports a full beard and was finding the mask I’d made him at the beginning of “the disease that shall not be named” was too restrictive. I looked online and saw one that’s available commercially that I felt I could use as inspiration. I took the Sweet Red Poppy template that I use for my other masks and redrew it. The first version was huge – I had a brain fart and added seam allowances and also made it too long – but the second version is much better. It basically flattens out over the beard area rather than cupping the chin.

Sadly, I cannot return to my sewing room just yet. It’s coming up for dinnertime and we have to eat. And then we have yoga. But we will be done with that by 8pm so I think there’s a strong possibility of some napkin sewing, which is pretty mindless, and then I can move on to planning the quilt project.

Ta ta for now!

Saturday shopping spree

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OK, it’s Monday now, but I did mean to blog at the weekend to talk about  my SEX (Stash Enhancement eXpedition) at Michaels. I went in there to look for beading supplies actually. I am signed up with a group on Ravelry to do a Christmas swap, which entails filling a toilet paper roll with fun stuff to make a cracker. You have to put in something that you knitted or crocheted, a handwritten joke, and any other little gift-type things that will fit. Then you wrap it up beautifully and send it to your swap partner. Beads are tiny, right? So if I make some earrings or stitch markers they will fit inside easily.

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I did buy some beads – black ones, clear ones, turquoise ones – and some ear wires, pins and bracelet attachments. But I also had to check out the yarn while I was there. And even though my self-discipline has been very good this year, I found clearance yarn that I have seen at Michaels a few times before. I was able to resist while it was regular price, but on clearance? I fell off that darned wagon!

Six little bundles of Loops & Threads Meandering Minis in three colourways. These skeins are 25 grams each. AND…

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Three bundles of Caron X Pantone Bamboo as well.

Now, in theory, the Caron yarn is acceptable as I allowed myself, when making my New Year’s Resolution, to buy yarn that has some plant fibre content. So I wasn’t really being BAD! However, the Meandering Minis are totally synthetic, which goes against my ‘rule’ of stashing down the 100% man-made stuff and not acquiring more. Oh dear! But they are just so pretty!

I feel a bit zombified tonight. Maybe it has something to do with the clocks changing yesterday. You wouldn’t think one hour would make that much difference. But I was working today too, and eight hours on my feet is tiring. What a great feeling it is to come home, change out of my work clothes into my Hello Kitty onesie, eat a big bowl of risotto with kabocha squash (I had the forethought to make dinner this morning before work) and enjoy a large cup of tea. I was watching Ross’s podcast (Smells Like Yarn) and I could feel myself sinking into the couch and feeling so brain dead that I don’t even feel like picking up a crochet hook this evening (though I seem to have found the energy to write a blog post).

So I shall love you and leave you, as they say, before my eyes droop.

 

 

Little things…

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Little things…

 

 

Again, I’m distracting myself from my main WIP with little projects. I finished the pink dishcloth that I started ten days ago as a portable project with Scheepjes Linen Soft in the colour Hummingbird. And I threw together a very plain grey dishcloth with some leftover Knit Picks Comfy Fingering in the colour Whisker. I triple-stranded the Comfy by using a Navajo plying method that I’ve seen on a You Tube tutorial. You do it as you go. It’s very clever.

I have to confess that the soft focus on those dishcloth photos is caused by a smear on my iPad Mini’s camera lens!    >_<    I only realised later on when I went to take a photo of my Thermos cosy.

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This photo therefore benefits from a cleaner lens! I love making things to fit stuff as I go. This shape is pretty easy to cover, though I found once I’d covered the base I had to decrease on about three of the lower rounds to get it to suck in a bit. I thought the popcorn stitches would help with grip. And I hope you can tell that that’s a teacup appliqued to the front!

I was also rather tickled that the cosy coordinates with my Christmas cactus. 🙂

I have added this to the thread in the Little Drops of Wonderful group on Ravelry, where we can post about our makes in the Cosy Up to Winter MAL.

Another couple of things I made for Christmas gifts this week are these:

They are knotted fleece blankets, each made from two metres of fleece fabric (one for each side). I cut down the bear print and the tan pawprints to make a square blanket, and the green dog print and green pawprints I left at one by one and a half metres (the full width of the fabric). I’ve seen these made before but this is the first time I’ve made some, and they are simple to do. I had both finished in one evening. As you can imagine, we sell a LOT of fleece at the store where I work at this time of year. They make cosy gifts that anyone can manage, even if they can’t operate a sewing machine.

I’m coming to the end of my medical leave now. Back to work Friday. I also work Sunday and then there’s a stretch of a few days until my next shift. Tai Chi Man and I have booked a three night retreat at a little cabin in the woods that we know of. It’s our 31st wedding anniversary on the 10th and we always have a little getaway around this time. (It wasn’t so little last year, as we had a week in Maui.) The main room has a decent kitchen/living room/bedroom set up, there’s a woodstove, heated floors in the shower room, and a private hot tub outside. I really hope that there will be snow, because we can take our snowshoes with us. It’s always extra special to be in a hot tub when it’s really cold and snowy out too.

If you take enough food, there’s no need to leave the cabin at all! Though we may take a drive up to the nearest town a little way north.

I hope you’re loving this time of the year and enjoying all the good things about it. What’s your favourite way to spend a winter day?

 

 

A sewing day

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A sewing day

There was nothing on the calendar for today and I was excited that I’d be able to spend a few hours in my sewing room. I did end up having to pop out to collect some plumbing parts so that Tai Chi Man can fix the bath, and I will probably go grocery shopping tonight, but the fabrics were calling.

I followed two different You Tube tutorials and made a total of three bags. One was from The Crafty Gemini for a triangle pouch. The first one was a bit bigger than hers as I cut my fabrics 8 x 16″ for a finished bag that measured about 6.5 inches tall.

This is a lime green cotton fabric with balls of yarn printed on it. I used some medium weight interfacing and added an octopus charm.

I also made a larger version with a contrast lining but no interfacing, as I didn’t have enough left at this point.

The fabric was cut into 10 x 20″ pieces and the bag turned out about 8.5 inches tall. I plan to make two more in these same fabrics, but in different sizes, just for fun.

And this bag is from a pattern/tutorial called Easy Cosmetics Bag by So Sew Easy. You can print out the template from a Craftsy pattern but I just drew it up on a sheet of paper closely resembling the one in the pattern. I like that the base is a little wider than the top. It’s just as well this one is for me as the print is not quite lined up on one side and one of the little side tabs is wonky.

Not sure why my screen is giving the photos a blue cast. I was outside on my deck on a bright day so hopefully clicking to see the full size photos will make them look better.

Recently, I bought some lobster clasps and sea-themed charms from Michaels, along with a tool for opening split rings, and I used some, not just for zipper pulls, but also for progress keepers on my crochet.

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The beads are ones I’ve had for years. In fact two of the above were already made up as earrings, so I took off the hooks and put on the lobster clasps instead.

It’s snack time and then I shall have to see if I feel like sewing some more.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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Christmas buttons are 50% off at work this week so I snapped up a packet of these ‘Christmas lights’ and made some earrings to wear to work the next couple of days with my hot pink Santa hat!

 

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And Christmas just isn’t Christmas without gingerbread people. A home day today in which I did eleventy-bajillion loads of laundry, vacuumed, cleaned bathrooms and the kitchen, baked bread and the aforementioned cookies.

Wishing you all a Cool Yule, Merry Christmas, Super Solstice, Happy Hannukah or just a nice end to 2016.

 

What’s new?

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Well, I spiffed up my couch cushions…

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I’ve had this cheap and cheerful fabric around for at least a year, I think, and I still have about four metres each of lime on white and orange on white to use up! This worked well for my couch cushions because the couch is brown and I love turquoise. I just cut a metre of fabric, trimmed some off the width to square it up, then put the cushion in the middle, brought in two corners, then brought in the other two corners and tied them together. So much quicker than crocheting or sewing!

My crochet news is that I have finished the Happy-go-Lacy shawl, washed it and pinned it to my ever-so-sophisticated blocking mats. It should be dry very soon as it’s thin yarn and the weather is warm and dry. After I took this photo on my kitchen floor, I very carefully dragged the whole shebang into the living room where it will hopefully not be in the way.

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This used three balls of Red Heart Heart and Sole and a 6mm hook. Next, my boss would like me to make something out of the RH Scrubby which should be fairly quick, though the yarn is quite rough and I’m not sure what it’s going to be like to work with.