Tag Archives: Bag

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!

Quilting for a change!

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No yarn WIP photos this week. They are boring me, and are not progressing much. Instead, TA DA!

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I made a small quilt. I was given the choice of some Christmas panels at work and of course I chose the non-traditional one with my favourite colours in it. It comes with a range of coordinating fabrics which I love, so I kept it simple by cutting out the centre design and surrounding it with squares. I did have to trim some to make them fit. There is a thin line of pink around the centre, which is just a folded strip of fabric that’s incorporated into the seam.

I didn’t do any quilting on this, just tied the layers together using some pink yarn, and added a few snowflake buttons.

The back is two other sections of the panel plus another fabric from the same range.

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I then had two pieces of panel left, which went into a project bag along with some of the other fabrics left over from the quilt. The spotty buttons from my stash fit well with the colour scheme.

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And the second side…

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I sort of followed a video tutorial though I had to change the measurements a bit as my pre-printed squares were a little narrower than the instructions said to cut, and as they were also deeper than her patchwork section I shortened the top and bottom pieces. It would look better wider, but I had to go with what I had. I added batting in between the layers, so a bit of stitching and button sewing hold it in place. I managed to fit 6 hanks of yarn in there for the photo, so it’s quite roomy.

These items will have to go on display at the store, probably right up til Christmas.

I have been creating other small items as part of the Christmas cracker swap that I’m in. I think I have everything ready to pack up now. A few small crocheted things, some beading, tea, and of course a cheesy joke. The sooner I send it the better as my swap partner is in the UK. I have taken photos but probably shouldn’t show anything yet just in case.

Happy Hump Day! Hope your week is awesome.

More crochet and sewing fun

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It’s getting to the point that I can’t fit my Mimic Shawl into the shot. I am still enjoying this project, especially as I do love the pink section in this yarn, which will soon become another lime green one. Actually, very soon, as I don’t think there’s enough pink left to complete the next row, so I am going to do a little splicing, like I did the last time I hit this juncture.

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My evening project yesterday was to sew a book bag for my great-niece. I picked up a panel of quilting cotton from work a while back with The Very Hungry Caterpillar on it because when she was born two years ago I made her a Very Hungry Caterpillar blanket, cocoon and hat. I thought that maybe I’d make a quilt but then I had other ideas. Two parts of the panel became a bag, along with two contrast fabrics, one for the lining and one for the pocket. (The pocket is divided into sections for pencils and other stuff.)

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The widest section with the butterfly was made into a pillowcase. It’s not very big, but she’s only two! I won’t be filling it with stuffing ahead of time, because it has to go in the mail. The contrast fabrics were ones I had already.

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I’ll be seeing her in October, along with the rest of my family, when we drop in for a few days after Yorkshire and Yarndale (whoop whoop!) and so I am going to mail it to my mum ahead of time so that I don’t have to carry it in my luggage.

I’m itching to sew some more with my stash of quilting cottons but haven’t yet decided what to make.

We had a lovely weekend with Yin Yoga, weight training, shopping, and tea at our favourite tea shop (OK, Tai Chi Man probably would rather not have had to mow the lawn and today I cleaned bathrooms and vacuumed but, you know, these things have to be done). I couldn’t leave the cleaning ’til tomorrow as I’m working. Once it’s cooled down a bit, I want to have a walk around the neighbourhood and that will be the ideal end to the weekend.

 

Ever diminishing stash

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In the spirit of stashbusting, I have continued to make projects from stash yarn, inspired by some of the podcasters I’ve been watching, and groups on Ravelry.

The total number of FOs for February so far (and we do have four days left still) is 12, with an approximate OUTage of stash standing at 695 grams. Even better, I have not bought yarn this month. There has also been associated binge-watching of Netflix, with shows called Collateral and Travelers.

First up, dishcloths!

I’m sure I saw this idea floating around Ravelry before: scrubby type yarn in the middle with dishcloth cotton around the outside.  For each cloth, I made two circles from the scrubby and then worked around them, single crocheting them together with the cotton, and then added a few more rows of cotton to make a dual purpose cleaning cloth. I have to say, I love these. They are really useful.

This bag is sort of an FO, in that the knitting is finished and the lining is sewn in. It does need some kind of handle or strap, but I haven’t decided what yet. I started it Thursday at a new knitting group that my friend has organised. The pattern is here, though I didn’t keep track of the knit and purl rows so mine looks a little different. And I used medium weight yarn instead of bulky so I cast on extra stitches. Yarn is Bernat Pop in the colourway Foggy  Notion.

And finally, this hat pattern is called I’m Lichen This Hat! It uses about 100 grams of bulky weight yarn, so is quick, and it’s also quite easy, with just one cable running up the back of the head. If you look at the designer’s version, you can see the detail more clearly as she has used a solid colour. The cable scrunches up the back of the hat as some of the rows of the cable section are slipped rather than knitted. I made this in one evening, except for the grafting of the stitches at the crown (it’s been a while since I’ve done Kitchener stitch so I had to search for a tutorial). My grafting is not perfect! Yarn is Stylecraft Harlequin Chunky.

In other news, I did acquire a new cookbook this week. It’s this one…

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I follow Gaz on YouTube (avantgardevegan) and he cooks the most amazing recipes. So when I saw his cookbook in my local health food store, I decided to buy it.

I’ve had a bit of a rest week, skipping the gym on a couple of days when I could have found the time. My plantar fasciitis is still giving me a bit of trouble, despite the insoles, and I have a lot of tension in my left shoulder which doesn’t seem to want to let go. I’m in the middle of a course of acupuncture, so hopefully that will help.

Work was good today, though in a way I would rather not work Sundays. We had a lot more quilting fabric in with some really cute patterns. A lot of customers tell me they couldn’t work there as they’d spend their entire paycheque on tempting fabric! Luckily, I (mostly) maintain self-discipline around it.

Feeling thankful for my family who rallied around and communally made pizza for everyone tonight. It’s nice to have someone else do the cooking and cleanup.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

More February finishes

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It’s been another crafty week, in between work shifts. I worked Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but still managed to get some crochet and sewing done.

Tuesday was a nutso day for snow. I went in at 9 that day and my boss said she had taken 40 minutes to drive to work when it usually takes her 15. So she decided to postpone that night’s staff meeting and rearrange the shifts so that we could run the store with the minimum amount of people. What was supposed to be a four hour shift, followed by two more hours in the evening, turned into an 8 hour one (though it was cut slightly short because the store closed early due to the snow that had been falling all day).

Continuing on with the “Bash the Stash” theme (Ravelry group ‘British Banter’ has a Bash the Stash 2019 thread, The Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast has a Love your Stash CAL, Smells Like Yarn podcast has a Stash from the Past thing going on with his own yarn and others are welcome to join in) I used some Caron Big Cakes yarn to make the granny bag pictured above. This is a pattern/tutorial from the bobwilson123 YouTube channel. Clare suggests two sizes – a small bag with a 16″ starting square, or a large one with a 24″ square. I made mine 18″ as I wasn’t sure how much yarn the top borders and handles would take. It’s a fun bag and very roomy.

And as I had yarn left over, I crocheted up a zippered pouch to match….and I still have some of that yarn left!

I made a few fabric items this week. One was a no-sew vest (waistcoat) of which I’ve just realised I don’t have a picture. Basically you take a metre of a lightweight knit fabric and fold it and cut two slits for armholes, and that’s it! I’ve had a lot of compliments on my old ones when at the store, so this week I made two more. One is now on display at the store and I wrote up an instruction sheet for it. The other is for me!

The other items are made from something called sueded knit. It really is soft.

It’s a pyjama set. I bought two metres of fabric with the intention of just making pyjama bottoms by copying an old and worn out pair. I cut them along the seams, laid them out on paper, and made a pattern for the new ones. They fit beautifully. There was enough fabric left over to copy a summer top that I own, though I should have added a bit more width when cutting out. It fits, but only just.

And there was yet more fabric left behind from that, so I made a quick drawstring bag too.

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And today I used some old stash yarn to make this headband, though I should have gone with my gut and used a bigger hook. Pattern called for bulky yarn and a 4mm hook! Normally I would use a 6mm with this James C Brett Marble Chunky. I ended up using a 4.25mm but had to do extra repeats of the cable pattern to get the length I needed. (My Ravelry project page is here.)

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Thanks Sally, for looking after my steamed headband while it dries!

It may be Family Day tomorrow, and a statutory holiday, but I’ll be working. Our tradition in previous years has been to go to one of the nearby ski resorts on Family Day, but with me being scheduled to work, ds3 working, and Tai Chi Man going in to the office for some paperwork-catching-up time, it’s not going to be a family day for us. (It was on Family Day last year, February 12th, that I broke my wrist snowboarding, and I have felt no urge to go this year anyway.)

If you’re in Canada, have a lovely long weekend.

 

A new project

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OK, so the hat’s done (I am really hoping it’s going to be all right, it was quite deep when I tried it on Tai Chi Man) and as per usual I immediately moved on to the next project.

The idea for this project is to make two or three containers to hold cakes of yarn in a snug and secure way while pulling from the centre. This cornsilk-coloured Red Heart With Love appealed to my eye when I glanced through the stash, so that is what I am using along with a 6mm hook.

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This morning at the cafe, crocheting and drinking matcha chocolate

I started the above yarn-cake-holder a few days ago and have been designing it on the hook. It was easy – just crochet a circle, then do a round in the back loop to turn the “corner” and continue straight. When it was deep enough, I added a 4-stitch buttonhole-style slot and a simple 40-chain wrist strap. It was all done by the time we left the cafe.

After having our drinks, my friend and I had a bite of lunch then sat on her condo’s balcony for a while, and I started crocheting a second one in a bigger size.

This one measures 4.5″ wide and 6″ tall to fit a Lion Brand Mandala cake. The next one will be about an inch bigger both ways to accommodate a cake of Bernat Pop.

And then I may have to make a third…

…to fit this giant. This was an impulse buy at Michaels today because my friend wanted to go there and I had my iPad with me so could access the current 55% off coupon!

Well, no more crocheting for me tonight, I suspect. The wrist has taken a bit of a beating today, what with all the yarn action and then chopping up pizza toppings for dinner. I should probably rest it. I shall enjoy watching the new Bakery Bears podcast this evening. I recommend it if you have a couple of hours to spare. 🙂

Brightening up my life

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Wow, what a great day I’ve had so far. My dear friend Jeanette came and picked me up this morning and took me south to the little town on the lake which we love to visit. It’s only 15 minutes’ drive away but you always feel like you’re on vacation when you go there. We had lunch at the cafe there (well, it was actually coffee and cake but who’s counting) and then had a look around the small shops nearby.

I tend to favour cheap and cheerful stuff and balk at spending mega bucks on an item of clothing, or really even spending anything on myself at all. But the third store we went into, I came across a cute backpack-style bag that was just so “me” that I had to look closer. The turquoise colour and the floral embellishments drew me in, but the “we are vegan” tag sold me!

I had no idea that there was a company called ESPE (www.espe.ca) that makes all-vegan bags and wallets. A Canadian company! A vegan product! OMG!

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Can you see why I had to have it? Huh? It’s a bit smaller than my regular backpack-type Adidas bag, but SO much prettier.

Then of course I saw some wallets by the same company. Unfortunately there weren’t any in the turquoise but I like lime green too so…

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As if that wasn’t enough, I (ahem) saw another item that I fell in love with too, and my grabby little hands couldn’t leave this behind…

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The funny thing is that this is the first time I’ve ever seen these products, and yet on the drive home we stopped at a garden centre so I could prettify my dining room table with these…

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…and what should I see but more products by the same company (thankfully the wallet I looked at was a bit more expensive at the garden centre, or I might have been a bit miffed).

Now I’m home and on a sugar-retail-therapy-induced high. Gratitude to my lovely friend for taking me out today, to the weather for being sunny and bright, and to companies with a strong vegan ethic.

FO: VW Campervan bag

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This baby is DONE!

The pattern is my own design, though I relied heavily on cushion and bag pattern pictures on Ravelry and photos on Pinterest. The yarn is Loops & Threads Impeccable (except for the black) and I used a 5mm hook. It resulted in a fairly stiff fabric, which is fine for a bag, but if it was a wearable item I’d definitely use a 5.5mm.

The lining fabric is from the store where I work, and is a very appropriate peace sign print. I added a pocket in the lining, and a magnetic button for the top closure.

This was quite fun to design on the hook, and even the unravelling and redoing of the front windows (the stranded look was crappy so I changed it for intarsia) didn’t take long and wasn’t onerous. I’m glad I did it as I wouldn’t have been 100% happy with the finished object otherwise.

The project took about 16 days from start to finish and now the big question is, “What next?”

 

WIP: VW Camper Van bag

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I learned something new today. I can take reasonable photos with my phone (which is just an inexpensive Android) and upload them to my Windows laptop easily. Why has it taken me so long to actually use the phone for more than texting?

I was out with a girlfriend today, walking along the waterfront at a small town just south of my own, enjoying a London Fog and a large slice of vegan orange date walnut loaf, and sunbathing at the sheltered bay which is such a popular swimming spot in the summer. It was a comfortable temperature, mostly sunny, maybe around 25 Celsius. The lake is higher than it’s ever been in recorded history, thanks to a rainy spring and the melting of the snowpack at higher elevations, so flood barriers have been set up in many places to try to hold back the water from flooding backyards and basements.

Along one stretch of our walk, the road was closed to traffic and there were hoses stretched across the road where people were pumping excess water from their properties back into the lake. Or at least trying to. I’m not sure how successful that can be when it must surely cycle back in.

Ironically, the extra water has not resulted in more watery activities, as swimming and boating are not recommended because of the detritus in the water. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding seem to be the better options. The beaches have disappeared and the mosquitos are having a field day because of the increase in stagnant water.

This bag, which I probably shouldn’t claim to be a VW camper van for fear of trademark infractions, is for my niece. When I was on holiday visiting the family she nicely asked if I would make her one. There’s a couple of patterns on Ravelry that helped me come up my own plan for the bag, though I still don’t know what type of handles/strap it will have.

So far, I’ve made pretty good progress on the front. I’m not 100% happy with the edges of the colour blocks but I don’t think there’s a way to avoid the unevenness if you’re working back and forth. The edge stitches look different on the left and right of the V – the ones on the right are beautifully smooth. Also the two white stitches in between the windshield sections are a bit untidy. I used intarsia on the blue/white part and stranding on the grey/white, and I think it would have been better to have used intarsia throughout.

Ah well, it was a good day. Nice to be out in the sunshine instead of stuck inside, either at home cleaning or at work. Tai Chi Man has fixed the J brackets to my roof rack, so I am ready to load up a kayak or two at a moment’s notice. Hoping to actually get out on the lake for the first time in ages, sometime this week.

I hope your week is awesome!

 

 

FO: Classique Cotton bag, and other stuff

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I had a little play with some of my Stylecraft Classique Cotton colours. I thought this would make a nice bag – sometimes you just need room for a phone and a key, and maybe a driver’s licence and a credit card.

I used the plum colour to seam it and I’m not 100% happy with how it looks, so rather than go with my original plan, which was to give it to a co-worker, I may just keep it for myself.

See that magazine there? It’s not often that I find a magazine worth buying, but I happened to be in London Drugs today and as usual I browsed through the available knitting magazines (there weren’t any crochet ones). Vogue Knitting has had some, shall we say, Interesting designs in the past that maybe a stick-thin model can get away with but on me, an average height, average weight, rather plain middle-aged girl, they would have looked just plain dumb! However I saw interesting articles, Canadian content and patterns I would actually knit, including a Cowichan-style sweater. Even though I don’t knit with wool, being vegan, I have long wished to make such a garment. I’m sure the knitting police won’t arrest me for using acrylic!!!

I actually bought two magazines.

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Whilst I already have adopted the whole-food, plant-based lifestyle and am now pretty adept at cooking vegan meals without oil, I do like to experiment with new recipes. Not only that, but I am currently preparing an educational presentation on the diet which needs to be ready by  next weekend for its first airing, and having this magazine to hand will, I think, be useful.

If you haven’t yet watched the Forks Over Knives documentary or checked out their website, I heartily recommend them.

I will shortly be retiring to bed with my new magazines, and the only reason I can get away with that tonight is that Tai Chi Man is working out of town so is not here to object to me reading in bed. He always goes to bed earlier than I do, because he works full-time and wakes early and is pretty knackered by about 10pm. Whereas I tend to stay up late (Netflix has a lot to answer for) and get up later in the morning.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Happy crafting!