It’s a gloriously sunny day today. The last couple of days of sunshine have been very welcome after the fog and cloud of the previous couple of weeks.
Work was quiet today and I got to leave early so I unexpectedly have a free afternoon.
So, how should I spend it? I guess I could add to the Elevation cardigan which has a sleeve and a bit left to do.
I think that each time I change to a new colour I have to get used to it and get over the thought, “Does this work or does it look terrible?!” So I don’t always want to crochet on it.
I could go for a walk in the sunshine. My logical brain is saying that’s what I SHOULD do.
I could go downstairs and play with fabric.
Or lift some weights.
Before I make a decision, I’ll show you what I made with the coffee-themed fabric from the stash.
Each bag has two coasters, a bag of coffee beans and a bar of chocolate inside. I had to fussy cut the fabric just right so didn’t bother looking up a tutorial. I’ve made a lot of bags like this before.
Looking forward to a fun weekend. We are going to a hockey game for the first time in years. And friends are coming for a potluck on Sunday. Hope your weekend is awesome!
It may be well below freezing but we have a cosy suite out in the boonies with a pellet stove, a hot tub and a sauna. It has a view of mountains, fields and even a couple of horses. Oh, and the owner’s husky now and then.
We have lots of food but still ventured out in the car this morning to the nearest town. Our accommodation is in a cellphone deadzone and Mr Fixit needs to check his work phone every now and then.
We also popped into the local Buy Low and picked up coffee and a caffeine-free coffee sub.
Last night I made a good start on a small crochet project which I expect to finish today. I’ll get some photos later and post them. And then I’ll start on the bigger project that I’m planning with one of my sweater quantities of yarn. Of course, I brought six 200 gram skeins of yarn with me. Even though we’re only away for a week!
I love this month of the year. Short hours of daylight, long nights cosied up in layers of yarn or fleece, pretty snow scenes. Ok, the icy roads can dampen the enthusiasm a teeny bit but not too much.
The 1st caught me out a bit. At the end of the day I had to ask Mr Fixit to stuff balls of yarn in bags for me so I could do a yarn Advent again. It’s just yarn this year, no beads or other treats, but it will still be fun to open a bag every day.
And thanks to son #3 we have a Lego Advent calendar too.
Mr Fixit and I opened the first two doors because we’re going to be out of town for our annual anniversary retreat for the next week. The sons can enjoy opening the little doors and building the mini models while we’re gone.
We’re celebrating 35 years of marriage on the 10th! And no chance of parole!!
I know what you’re going to say. I said bowl cosies and I weren’t friends. However I gave it another shot. The largest one I made as before with two layers of batting but was careful to top stitch far enough in from the edge that my stitches looked better.
Then I made two more, going an inch smaller each time. Turns out one layer of batting is fine and so much easier to sew. Sewing all the darts from the edge to the fold gives a better result. And less bulk means easier turning out through the gap and easier top stitching.
These shorts are made from a remnant of fleece-backed knit that was cheap because the backing has some flaws. Super quick and easy. McCall’s 7061.
Another fun fleece onesie. These are easy to sew EXCEPT the zipper gives me grief every time. Even when it seems to go well, like on this version, there’s a glitch (the pocket doesn’t line up perfectly). McCall’s M7518.
This apron is made in an XL from a fun sewing print that I picked up a long time ago. McCall’s 5284.
And this one is from the same pattern, size small. Very cute.
And finally this one in a Small.
It feels good to be making usable wearable things from the stash. Especially when we’re having subzero temperatures and snow. Best feeling ever to be warm indoors, sewing machine running, and looking out at the cold cold day!
I trudged tiredly up the stairs after work today, wiped out from a day of constant action. And then suddenly I was animated by the sight of these two large parcels from Wool Warehouse.
Yay! My order arrived. It took 3 weeks to get here but the important thing is that it came before December 1st.
So what was in the parcels? Ten balls of Wendy Husky in the Peak colourway. 100 grams, 100% acrylic, super chunky, and enough to make a sweater.
Eight balls of Scheepjes Truly Scrumptious, an aran weight yarn, soft and squishy, 100 gram balls, 50% acrylic, 50% recycled plastic bottles. The colour is Spirulina Bites, which was a huge gamble, because I was trying to get out of my comfort zone and was worried it was going to be too bright a green. But so far, bearing in mind I haven’t seen it in daylight, I love it.
In addition, I bought two balls each of the same yarn in Açai Bowl and Honeycomb Crunch. I asked Mr Fixit for his input in colour choices and I think we nailed it. So those will become another sweater.
A Scheepjes Softfun colour pack – this is the Rich one – which contains 12 x 20g balls of cotton/acrylic yarn.
And a Rainbow one.
A Snoopy fat quarter bundle. Nuff said!
And finally, some safety eyes in two sizes (6mm and 9mm) for future crochet fun.
Thanks to a generous gift from my friends, this lot only cost me £25! Because apparently I was unable to stay within the budget.
The tail gave me some grief. Crocheting tiny circumferences is hard! I managed to get past round 4 on my third attempt.
Fall proper has arrived in our neck of the woods. After weeks of warm days, cool nights, sunshine and zero rain, we are now enjoying a bit of wet and windy weather. The thermostat is up indoors, the beanies and scarves and mitts are starting to see some use, and today…………the flannel sheets were put on the bed and the mega granny blanket has been added on top.
Friends can come over and not die of heat exhaustion.
Long walks outdoors without burning up.
I could go on. I think September might be my favourite month.
I’ve made a few things in the last week. Some have been for work. I brought home a preprinted cotton panel and sewed up these trick or treat bags. After I hung them up at work, the fabric sold in a flash.
Today I sewed these stockings from another panel and will take them to the store tomorrow for display.
The sewing pattern I mentioned last time has now been transformed into this:
It looks a bit disproportionate because it’s on a decorative mannequin which is way smaller than I am. But this one will return to me for keepsies once it’s hung at the store for a month.
From the pile of yarn I showed you in my last post, I made these:
Since getting back from holiday, there hasn’t been a huge amount of crafty activity. I did enjoy a day of blitzing my sewing room which I love to do periodically. It reminds me of what I have in the way of fabric and yarn. It makes me look critically at things I’ve hung on to for months or even years and so by the end of the day I had tossed a lot of stuff in the recycling or trash or thrift store pile.
I went through the fabric and yarn, rearranged things more logically, vacuumed into the corners, and now the room is ready for a new project.
The beanie above was made with a 10mm hook and three strands of the same Lion Brand Mandala Ombre that I used for the shawl. I made it up as I went along. I’ve made a tonne of hats in my time and the bill/peak was just a case of experimenting with what looked right.
When I was at work yesterday, business was a little slow in the pm, and my brain turned to things that could go on display. I checked with the boss and she was OK with me crocheting a beanie with store yarn.
Today being a day off, I had some quality sofa time and I had this made in an hour and a half.
It’s crocheted with a bulky chenille yarn and an 8mm hook and the pattern off the ball band.
Next up will be a sewing project. I have the pattern and flannelette fabric ready to make a knee length robe. The fabric is so cute.
The contrast is a solid blue. It’s still drying at the moment.
I just pulled out my Knit Picks Brava oddments from last year.
I’m wondering about some sort of scrap project or perhaps some amigurumi. You may notice my new knitting mug – it says “If I can’t take my knitting, I’m not going!” And the black blocky thing is my new Anker Bluetooth speaker. I wanted one for my phone but had no idea which one to get so took the recommendation of my eldest son who also has one.
I’m currently playing some awesome 80s music via YouTube music (free, so I have to put up with the ads)!
So that, plus work, is the last two weeks. Oh yeah, and I had a very fun meal out with friends for a belated birthday celebration.
This bag, which I have named for my sister, is a cute sewing project which can be used for many purposes. Being a knitter/crocheter, of course I think of small yarny projects, but it could hold all sorts of things. The finished dimensions are 11″ wide by 7″ tall, and the base is about 2″ deep. It’s closed with two snaps (no zippers or Velcro to catch your yarn) and the inside pocket is also closed with a snap to keep small bits safe, like stitch markers.
I used my walking foot to sew this bag, which gives me a neat 3/8″ seam when I line it up along the edge of the fabric. This is the fourth version I’ve made. I’ll put a photo at the end of the other three. You can use a solid piece of fabric for your exterior, or piece together scraps to get the size required. Just allow for seams so that you can trim it to size. Don’t do what I did and mix up the width and height!
Exterior: two pieces of quilt cotton, 12″ wide by 9″ tall (or pieced work to equal the same size)
Interior: two pieces of quilt cotton, 12″ wide by 9.5″ tall (this is deliberate, you’ll see why later)
Thermolam (fusible fleece) or other interfacing of your choice, or batting: two pieces 12″ wide by 9″ tall, and two pieces about an inch square
Pocket: one piece of quilt cotton, 6.5″ wide by 8.5″ tall
Handle: one piece of quilt cotton, 12″ by 3″
3 KAM snaps
For this bag I decided to make the exterior with two fabrics, the paisley floral and the solid. In the photo above, I have already seamed them together. The next photo shows the Thermolam fused to the back and a line of topstitching across to secure the seam allowances. I used a stitch length of 2.2 for seaming and 3.0 for topstitching. If you use batting, you may want to add some quilting.
Pocket: fold the 6.5″ by 8.5″ square in half, right sides together (so that it’s now 6.5 by 4.25). Sew around the three open sides, leaving a couple of inches in the long side open for turning. Trim the corners. Turn right side out, using some sort of pokey tool to push the corners out. Press.
Insert a small square of Thermolam or interfacing inside the pocket, up near the fold and in the centre. Press again and topstitch across the folded edge, securing the interfacing.
Place pocket on one of the lining pieces, centred, about 2.5″ – 3″ from the top edge. Pin and sew around the sides and bottom. Fuse a small square of Thermolam to the back of the lining where the snap will go.
Install a snap near the top of the pocket.
Handle: take the 12″ by 3″ rectangle, fold in half lengthwise and press. Open out, fold raw edges to centre crease and press, refold and press again. Topstitch down both long edges.
Place one exterior piece and one lining piece right sides together, matching top edges. Repeat with the other two pieces. (If the front of your bag is different from the back, take care to attach the pocket/lining piece to the back exterior.) Sew. (Lining will extend half an inch beyond the bottom of the exterior. This is intentional.) Press seams, pressing lining and seam allowances in the same direction.
Fold handle in half and baste to front exterior, close to top, matching raw edges.
Place the two pieces right sides together, matching exterior to exterior and lining to lining. Pin or clip, being careful to line up centre seams. Sew around, starting at the lining bottom, and leave a few inches open for turning.
Box bottoms: Draw a 3/4″ square at all four corners, measuring from the seamline, not the edge of the fabric. Cut along the drawn lines. Squash the corners so that seamlines meet, pin or clip, and sew across each corner.
Press seams open (I used to skip this step but it’s especially important for the seam allowances to be flat for a neat finish around the top of the bag). Caution! Don’t iron your snap!
Turn right side out and press, avoiding snap. Allow lining to do what it wants to do naturally, which is extend about half an inch above the top of the bag. (A thinner interfacing may be more malleable, but the Thermolam wanted to do its thing and I liked how it looked. If you would prefer the lining not to show, cut it the same size as the exterior.) Topstitch “in the ditch” around the top of the bag.
Install snaps: mark centre top of bag, measure out 2.5″ from centre, half an inch down from seamline. Insert snap on front and back (I used my awl to just poke a hole straight through both layers at once), then repeat 2.5″ from centre on the other side.
Sew up gap in lining. And you’re done!
The black/scrappy bag was my first one. The scrap strip was built up on adding machine paper and had been sitting around my sewing room for months. Because I didn’t know at the time that the lining was going to want to stick out, it’s not quite deep enough. The toucan bag came second, and I figured out the better-fitting lining. And then I wanted to make another one. And another one. They are quite addictive! Hope you enjoy making one. Let me know if you do, and whether you made any modifications.
Looking back at my blog posts month by month, it’s obvious that I’ve spent a lot of time at my sewing machine. This may explain why my knitting and crochet output is lower than it used to be. According to my Ravelry notebook, I created 33 project pages this year. In some cases, there are multiple items in one project, like the 20 dishcloths that share a page, so the number of finished items is more like 59.
What did I make?
1 pair fingerless mitts for Mr Fixit
shawl for co-worker who was leaving
3 Among Us amigurumis (which I turned into keyrings for my boys for Christmas)
granny hat and cowl which I gave to a friend
2 phone cosies
3 key covers
an Easter bunny for a co-worker
4 earsavers for masks
double thick ponytail hat for co-worker who was leaving
2 drawstring bags
Little Drop ami
I wish it were as easy to summarise my sewing projects, but sadly I don’t have a Ravelry-esque record of them.
My highlights for each month:
January – I was really happy with my Love is in the Air quilt that I made for display at work. I have it folded up in my sewing room now; perhaps it’s time to find a bit of wall space and hang it. Perhaps when February rolls around I can take down the snowman quilt in the dining room (though there’s a good chance that the Love quilt won’t fit in the space).
February – I played around with frame purses, both sewn and crocheted. I made a cute one for my sister’s granddaughter and mailed it to her – as far as I know, she liked it.
March – A couple of favourites from this month. My March Winds wall quilt, in which I used zippers as tree trunks. And my Spring gnomes, which wore little skirts and stood in terra cotta flower pots and charmed lots of people at work.
April – The highlight of this month has to be the flower power bag. Made from a Yoan Sewing Studio (on YouTube) design, I used some gorgeous fabric from work with “camper vans on the beach” vibes. I was so in love with this when it was done.
May – Another Yoan design is my highlight for May. It’s the nine-patch bag and I used some really fun fabric with toucans and the coordinates from the same range. So bright! This is currently my daily handbag.
June – One of my blog post themes was rainbows as I made a PJ set (dress, pants and slippers) in some eye-searing rainbow fleece. The set went on display at work for a month and now I am really appreciating the cosiness of the outfit on these cold nights. And believe me, these nights are super-cold (I think we hit minus 30).
July – Experiments with sashiko dominated my July posts. I upcycled some denim and other fabrics and played with sashiko stitching and boro, making two tote bags and a small Japanese rice bag. I enjoyed the stitching so much that I even bought special thread online, but haven’t yet used it. However I now have the perfect vest pattern in my possession so my plan is to get started on a long vest using denim and linen very soon. July was the time of our heatwave, when we had 45 degree weather which drove me to swim in the lake. We’ve certainly “enjoyed” quite the range this year.
August – I made myself a new lunch tote for, obviously, carrying my lunches to work. I sewed it out of a pretty canvas and added a fair amount of insulation and some inside pockets. I use it every time I go to work and I love that it holds my containers without them tipping sideways. The pockets are handy for cutlery, teabags and napkins.
September – Dominated by the Festival Cardigan, I knitted through a chunk of this month, juggling up to 20 balls of yarn at a time to make this super bulky cardigan. It’s a fun garment, though I do wish I’d made the sleeves just a bit shorter.
October – Two more garments were added to my wardrobe this month. I sewed a plaid shirt which was a challenge but I was so pleased with it and have worn it several times since then. I also made a swoncho-type garment, which is over-sized and incredibly easy to make.
November – Lots of sewing in November too. No single post stands out but this one sums things up – Makers gonna make!
December – With 25 posts in December, I’m not going to pick just one. But the best things about December were our anniversary retreat and my yarn Advent calendar. And now that my Purrmaid is finished (photo at top) I am officially WIPless and can start 2022 with a clean slate.
I hope I typed in all those links correctly. I’ll do a quick check of them after I’ve published this. If there are any typos and the link doesn’t work, I’ll update.
And so the year draws to a close. Two more days and we can say goodbye to 2021. I hope this year has been kind to you, and I wish you a happy, healthy New Year.