Tag Archives: Bag

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!

WIP: Feelin’ Groovy and feelin’ fine

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I was at this stage, evening before last, when I had to stop. Base done, looking a bit wavy in places because it needs blocking. (I have a large glass jar which is the perfect size for blocking the bag over.)

At the end of yesterday, this is where I left it. (Those sc2tog rounds were a b*tch to work into.)

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I have designated this as the front, and have my drawstring coming out front and centre. Haven’t added the wooden beads yet as I don’t want them to get wet.

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And this is the back. Just the strap to make now. The original strap is a long chain worked into with a row of dcs, I think. I may just use Tunisian instead, then I don’t have that whole fiddly ‘working into lots of chains thing’ going on. I made the drawstring simpler too – it’s just a chain, rather than making a whole row of sc – yuck!

My main colour (ie the colour I used for the last round, the drawstring, and the strap) is the teal, purely because I have three balls of that and only one of each of the other colours. Wouldn’t want to run out part way through the strap.

After three cotton projects, I can’t wait to get back to good old acrylic! SO much easier on the hands.

 

 

 

 

Bag FO

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Zee bag eez done!

Thanks to some crocheting in the car this morning while dh drove, I finished the strap and sewed it on. The lining was sewn in this afternoon, while I enjoyed the warmth out on the deck (though I mostly stayed in the shade).

And then I frittered away the rest of the afternoon, browsing around Ravelry patterns and Tunisian crochet tutorials. Pretty darn awesome way to spend time, especially as I was scheduled to work today, but received a phone call about a  hour before I was due to leave, asking if I wanted the day off. Duh! Of course I said Yes!

I still haven’t decided whether to make another blanket and, if so, whether it will be a CAL or something else; or whether to make something wearable, maybe a poncho or sweater. I don’t want to start using one of my colour packs and then regret using it to make something I’m not happy with.

Decisions, decisions!

 

Bag WIP

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What gorgeous weather we are having this week! I’m not sure how warm it got, officially, but it’s been in the twenties Celsius, which is 70s Fahrenheit.

Yesterday, after a visit with a friend, I had a bit of time to spare before going to work at 4pm. I wanted to get some exercise in, but also some sunshine, so I multi-tasked by putting on my swimsuit and taking my yoga mat out to the deck along with my resistance bands. Hopefully I didn’t scare any of the neighbours with my flab and downward facing dog! It was hot, as the back deck faces south, and I probably was out there for less than half an hour.

My shift at the store was 4-9pm, and it was really quiet. I wore my favourite turquoise maxi skirt which meant I had to break out the summer shoes…except I should have worn some knee high stockings with them, because in a very short time I had nasty blisters and it was really painful to walk.

This morning was all about errands and this afternoon another frying (sunbathing) session.  Dinner was a rather tasty purple yam/eggplant/broccoli curry, which sounds like an odd combination but it worked well.  And finally a walk with Tai Chi Man to round off all the things on my mental To Do list.

So, to the bag (finally, you say)! I found a fabric remnant at work last night, 0.3 of a metre for $1.35, which has the perfect colours for lining the Autumn bag. I have sewn the lining and pinned it in around the top of the crocheted bag, and started making a strap with Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss). This is the only Tunisian crochet that I know how to do! One of the things I like about it is that there’s no turning the work every row, which is good when the rows are only 8 stitches long.

Do you join in on CALs or KALs (Crochet- or Knit-alongs)? I have mixed feelings about them. I see some wonderful designs but start to wonder whether I’ll stick with them for the duration. There’s the Frida’s flowers blanket, the Last Dance on the Beach one, the Everything is Cool and Groovyghan one. If you want to know more about these, check out the Colourful CALs/KALs group on Ravelry, as they are talking about these three and many others. The Groovyghan one is most appealing to me right now, as I love granny squares, but it started back in January and runs until September. I could catch up, I’m sure, I just need to make a decision (that’s the hard part).

Ah well, back to the hooking. Ttfn

(edited to add link to Ravelry group)