Tag Archives: Bag

Staycation – days 4 – 7

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Day 4 was a long day, mostly at home. There was library book reading, sewing and Ravellenics project planning.

I finally decided on a crochet project for the Ravellenic Games (on Ravelry, to coincide with the Olympics). I went for a bag pattern I’ve made before. It’s called the Feelin’ Groovy Drawstring Purse. It’s a paid pattern now but years ago I was one of the testers for the designer so I got it free.

I’m using Lion Brand Mandala in Chimera from the stash. I had to wait to actually start the project because the Games hadn’t started yet.

My exercise class on Thursday was Strength and Lengthen at the gym with Mr Fixit. That was a good class. The teacher was nice, which makes a huge difference.

Day 5, Friday, was an early spin class. I sweated a lot and had very sore quads afterwards. Once that was out of the way, I could get going on the crochet.

I decided I needed to make the base bigger and do six squares instead of five because the bag would have been too small. So I’ll be adapting this a bit as I go.

The sashiko on my tote bag pieces was done, so I made up the bag with a white linen lining and vinyl handles.

My muscles were glad to have a rest day on Day 6, Saturday. I cooked in the morning and we had lunch and games at our friend’s house. That took up the whole afternoon.

I finally finished Troubled Blood, the fifth Cormoran Strike novel, the one that weighs over 4lbs!

I also made more progress on the bag.

Six squares all joined up and the base circle complete.

My Little Drop of Wonderful wanted to be in my photos today, inspired by the fun photos of Ravellenic mascots in the Colourful CALs group on Ravelry.

She also came out with us today to our favourite tea shop and Costco.

I think I will name her Sparklii.

Day 7 isn’t over yet but the plan is to go to the gym for a weights workout later. And tomorrow I’ll be back at work.

Staycation!

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Before inventory at work, I booked a week off. I knew it’d be something to look forward to, after the extra shifts and overtime, and now I’m appreciating my good planning.

Day 1: I looked at the week ahead and booked myself into some gym classes. Monday, I just did a regular self-directed workout, with some treadmill time and some weights machines.

I did laundry, cleaned up the kitchen and mopped the floor, and then treated myself to a few blissful hours in my sewing room.

This is another boro/sashiko project, probably a bag, but this time I’m covering the whole surface with stitching. I’m not rushing it, just stitching away while playing YouTube videos or Netflix, and it’s very relaxing.

The weather has been in the 30s every day, and even in the basement it’s been uncomfortably warm. Add to that the hot flashes that I’m getting every day now and sometimes I’m mopping my face as my glasses slide down my nose.

I’ve been reading a series of novels by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling) which are detective novels. I read the fourth one in the series first, because I picked it up at the library not realising it was part of a series. And I only realised that J K Rowling was the author once I’d finished it. So I requested the rest of the books from the library and quickly devoured the first three.

The book above is the fifth one. Admittedly it’s a large print version, but still, it’s huge compared to the others. If you’re interested, the first book is called The Cuckoo’s Calling.

What do you think of this adorable pincushion? One of my co-workers left this week, and I gave her one of the bags I’ve made as a leaving gift. She gave me this with a lovely note.

I’ve been eating quite a few apricots this week. Our tree produced a fair few this year, and even though some fell on the ground before I could get to then and others were occupied by earwigs, I still got to enjoy those little packages of edible sunshine.

Our valley has been hit by smoke again this summer from the numerous wildfires around the province but I am grateful that we are only breathing smoke and not having to deal directly with fires in my neighbourhood.

Take care, everyone.

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.

Crocheted frame purse

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Have you ever made one of those purses that have a metal frame with holes for sewing it to the fabric? I showed you my first ever frame bag on January 26th – I used cotton fabric, lined and padded and found it very tricky to sew together. However I decided not to let it put me off, and bought another frame with the intention of crocheting a bag this time.

I started it this morning and finished it this evening, on a work day, so it’s a quick project. I don’t think it took even half a ball of Knit Picks Dishie (colour: Begonia). I’ll show you the step-by-step method I used. I didn’t follow a pattern but I did watch a minute or two of a YouTube video where the lightbulb went on when I saw the shape that was made to fit the frame.

essential supplies – yarn and hook

I used this cotton worsted (medium) weight yarn and a 4.5mm hook. It’s a good idea to go down a hook size from that recommended on the ball band.

essential supplies – purse frame

The frame I used was about 10cm by 4cm when closed. It does come with some basic instructions but they aren’t that helpful, in my opinion.

A square frame is probably the easiest shape to use. When you open it out it’s easy to make a crocheted bag base to fit.

Foundation single crochet enough stitches to go across the width of the frame

With my hook and yarn, I needed 14 scs to make a piece wide enough. Then I worked 15 rows of single crochet.

crochet a piece for your base that’s the same size as your frame

Once you have the base made, you don’t turn your work to go back across for another row. You start working down the side edge, across the foundation stitches, and up the other side. You can just keep on doing scs or change to a fancy stitch pattern for the sides. If you’re doing single crochets, it’s simple to work 1sc into each row end and each stitch around the base. I chose to do a stitch pattern where I increased into every other stitch. In other words (2sc into next stitch, skip 1) around. On the next round I’d work the 2sc into the first sc of each pair from the previous round. But any dense stitch pattern would do. (Don’t increase at the corners because you want the sides of the bag to start forming straight upwards, not outwards.) I did joined rounds, but it did create a diagonal “seam” effect which I could have avoided by just working in a spiral.

When my bag was about 3.5″ tall, I fastened off then squished it to find the outer central points to match them up with the hinges on the frame. I used a couple of stitch markers to mark the spots.

I then used a doubled strand of sewing thread and a sewing needle to attach the edge of the crochet to the frame, pushing it up inside the hollow part as I stitched. This went a LOT better than the fabric one I made before. No swearing, no unpicking and redoing. Positively a breeze.

the three Among Us characters fit inside perfectly!

A lining would make it look even prettier but that would add bulk so I’m not sure I want to try that. I hope this helps if you decide to make one of your own. Since I took my fabric one to work, people have been a lot more interested in buying them.

FO: River bag

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FO: River bag

I named this bag for the River Washed XL yarn from Scheepjes. Yet another project from the kit of minis, this scrappy bag was easy peasy. Just a foundation chain, around which I crocheted a small oval, and then straight up to the top, and then some rows worked flat on one side for the flap. A few decreases shaped the outer edge of the flap and then I single-crocheted around the top edge.

I still had some bits and pieces left, so added a little embroidery and a leaf-shaped applique to cover the ugly back of the magnetic snap. The cotton fabric for the strap and D rings was in my stash. It’s not lined, but that’s ok. (Hmmm, I did just have a bright idea – make a small bag that will fit inside out of the same fabric as the strap…if I have enough.)

Summer has truly hit here in BC. It felt like we had a cooler wetter start to the summer than usual, which was a blessing, but now the days are getting hot and, without AC, we often have to pull the blinds and close the windows during the day to try and keep the house cooler.

My geraniums are looking lovely.

Difficult to get a good photo with it being so bright behind

Mr Fixit and I both have a love for geraniums. His mum was Swiss and there’s nothing so beautiful as a traditional Swiss chalet smothered in red geraniums. Also my grandparents, who lived in England, had a verandah full of geraniums every summer from which they took cuttings every fall.

I am feeling very thankful that inventory time is over for another year at work. And having yesterday and today off was a bit like a “weekend” for me after the crazy time, so I have really appreciated it.

I hope your week is going well. Talk soon!

What am I making/reading?

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My current reading is this. As a white woman, I figured that I had a lot to learn about systemic racism, so here I am, getting some education. I have other books on hold at the library but I am in longer queues for those.

And this is what I’m making. This is going to use up almost all of what I have left of the Scheepjes Stonewashed and Riverwashed XL mini skeins. It’s just a really simple bag that’s going to end up about 9″ square, in single crochet, and I’ve just switched from in-the-round to working flat for the flap. Not far to go now.

I will be adding a strap, which may well be fabric with swivel hooks attached, and the bits that hold the D rings on may also be the same fabric. This has been a great mindless project for this week, where I can just crochet around and around and enjoy the colours, because I’ve been tired out from all the extra hours at work. Three of my workdays have been 11 hours or more, thanks to inventory time. I have Saturday off, and then Sunday is another major day where we count all the packaged notions and estimate the yardage (meterage?) on the cut notions – basically anything that we haven’t already weighed on bolts this week gets logged on Sunday.

I’m thankful this only happens once a year. We even got audited this year but after a few hours at the store the auditor left happy, our supervisor left happy, and we now have the fun job of putting all the fabric upright and draped again, so customers can actually see it properly.

What are you making/reading at the moment?

What’s new?

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What’s new?

Well, since I tidied my sewing room, I have tested out the new arrangement. It works great. I decided to make a Car Diddy Bag from SewCanShe.com. It’s a medium-sized bag with a long strap that can loop over the gear stick, it has a main compartment, front pockets and a hidden zippered pocket.

 

I do love these Patrick Lose fabrics. As you can see, it does what it’s supposed to do…sits in my passenger seat footwell, looking pretty. It even has a strip of hook tape on the bottom to stop it from slipping around.

That made, I also went on to cobble together this drawstring bag. It’s a dodgy bag! The rayon fabric was left over from a skirt I made a year or two ago. It doesn’t behave itself at all. But I had this rectangle which was just the right size for the outer and lining, and I used some sew-in fleece in between the layers. It probably would have worked better with a fusible, but never mind.

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That was one afternoon’s sewing.

As you’ll see, the backdrop to that photo is my pack of Scheepjes Stonewashed and Riverwashed XL minis. Big news! I finally decided to crack them open and actually make something with them.

It’s been over a year of wondering what to make, wanting it to be wearable rather than another blanket or something, and I finally found a sweater pattern which seemed like it might be compatible. The Ocean Breeze Sweater is an easy project. Mostly double crochet, simple shaping, and a clear pattern. I have 250g of the yarn in Moonstone (the cream colour) and a total of 750g in the pack of minis so the plan evolved on the hook.

I started the front and worked 14 rows, and then started the back and worked 14 rows, and joined the shoulders.

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Then I played around with the minis in the hope I could get a pleasing gradation from light to dark for both the body and sleeves.

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I have added a few rows of the lighter colours now:

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As I said on my FB post yesterday – this will either be a huge mistake and get frogged, or it will be my most favourite sweater ever. The jury is still out! Fifty colours is a lot for one sweater, after all!

Whilst the body panels are worked flat and seamed, the designer says to crochet the sleeves from the cuff up in turned rounds. But because of my intended stripes, I would rather crochet them right on to the side of the body and work down. Wish me luck!

Today was the first day that I’ve had to wear a mask for my whole shift – well, except for breaks. After the first hour, it actually wasn’t so bad. But I’ve been up since 6.30, because I woke early, and now it’s only 9pm and I’m fried.

Hope you’re staying well and enjoying some crafty moments.

FO update for the past week

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Well, hello! I’m back with some finished objects, both yarn and fabric.

After I made the last headband/earwarmer, I had half of the cake left, so I did the same cable pattern but with one strand of yarn and a smaller hook. I used up most of the yarn, but the stripes got to be a bit skinny by the end. I’m not sure where this one will end up; I just wanted to make it!

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Another bit of stash used up!

I was inspired by a fabric at work to make an apron. It’s coming up for Valentine’s Day (not something I usually pay any attention to, but when you work in retail it’s hard to ignore). I saw this fabric that had lots of fun puns on it and made this apron as a display project. Once it’s been hanging up in the store for a month, I’ll be able to bring it home.

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I don’t know if you can read the words – I love you berry much, I’ve taken a Viking to you, Hugs and Kisses, I donut know how I lived without you, that sort of cheesy stuff! It came out huuuuuuge and I wish I’d just made the smallest size. I mean, it’s not really for me, but it would have been nice if it had fit me without having to cross the ties at back and bring them to the front! Whilst I felt it needed to be ruffly to fit the girly theme, I really dislike gathering fabric to fit a smaller piece of fabric. And this was a LOT of gathers.

Another sewing project I just completed today was this bag – it’s a Burda Young pattern number 8235. It’s a pretty straightforward bag with a flap and strap, no fastenings to mess about with. I interfaced all of the external pieces, not just the flap as per the pattern, because I felt it would be too floppy otherwise. Both snowboard fabrics are from the stash, bought when I was still keen on snowboarding (y’know, before I broke my wrist two years ago).

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I used scissors to cut out the pattern pieces but it’s way less accurate than using a rotary cutter and ruler, which is how I usually cut fabric for bags. I had to take in the lining a little to make it fit smoothly inside the outer bag. I love how colourful this fabric is.

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It’s lined with this blue fabric in the same theme.

Again, this isn’t really for me, I just wanted to make it (hmmm, sensing a theme here) and I showed it to two of my sons and neither said, “Ooh, can I have that!” Maybe they would have ten years ago! Anyway, I’ll hang on to it for now as I know it will find its true home some time.

I have started making the first of the project bags that I intend to sell to help a local farm sanctuary. I’m about halfway through the first bag, and really looking forward to seeing it done. Depending on Mr Fixit’s plans for tonight (he may mention the gym and I may go) I may or may not get more sewing done this evening. There’s still a pile of dishes in the kitchen sink to deal with once I’ve finished my coffee, though. Sigh!

 

A giveaway!

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I promised you a giveaway a week or so ago, and here it is!

(Edited to add: make sure to leave me a way to contact you, like a Ravelry or Instagram name, or link it to some other online profile. And check back on the 21st for the winner announcement.)

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I sewed this Alpaca Lunchbag a few months ago. I have not used it, so it’s still new. It would be a great size for a crochet or knitting project. No one is going to arrest you for not packing your lunch in it!

It is lined with the same fabric inside. The fleece applique is fused on with Heat n Bond, and the facial features are embroidered. The pompom trim is sewn on either side of the neck. I wouldn’t toss this in the machine – rather, a handwash would be more appropriate. It’s about 12.5 x 11 inches, and also (thanks to my experimenting with a continuous zipper pouch tutorial) comes with a matching little bag for notions or dry snacks or whatever.

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This giveaway will be open worldwide and I will give you all a couple of weeks to comment on this post to enter. Closing date will be January 21st 2020.

What I’d like you to tell me is

(a) what do you think that the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day should be called? You know, that time when no one knows what day it is, nobody wants to go to work, and a lot of businesses are closed.

and (b) what fun thing would you do in 2020 if money were no object?

Good luck!

 

Snow, sewing and soup

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Today turned out to be a snow day. The flakes were flying horizontally and I was very grateful to have zero outside commitments so that I didn’t even have to change out of my PJs!

I spent most of the morning and afternoon in my sewing room, with just a couple of breaks to fetch lunch and hot drinks. I made another of these drawstring bags (tutorial from Erica Arndt on YouTube), using up more of the snowman fabric that I made the quilt with. This is a very easy bag to make and I could just go on and on making more and more! (And my new walking foot works beautifully!)

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I managed to get daylight photos of the bag around lunchtime, but the two projects I finished this afternoon were completed after dark, so indoor shots in artificial light only.

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Both this easy zippered pouch above and the drawstring bag below are from video tutorials by WhitneySews. (That’s my ironing board with the cute cup and mug print.) I added a turtle charm to the zipper.

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This bag coordinates with the zippered pouch, as I used the same spool fabric for the main part of this bag, and also lined the zippered pouch with it. The fabric on the outside of the zippered pouch is the lining of the drawstring bag. It’s a pretty big bag, though when I boxed the bottoms I took quite a chunk out, so it is probably a bit smaller than it could have been.

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Once again, the ribbons used for the drawstrings were from stash, ones that I bought when I was doing the farmers and crafters market about 5 years ago. The skinny teal and orange ribbons were a bit thin to use on their own, but as they both coordinated perfectly with the spool fabrics I used them together.

I’m hoping to convince Tai Chi Man to go out for a walk after we’ve eaten our root vegetable and lentil soup (good warming comfort food) and then if I have time I might just have to do more sewing.

So many tutorials, so little time!