Tag Archives: drawstring bag

WIP: Cakes shawl

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I am loving the way these two cakes of Lion Brand Mandala are playing off against each other.

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I have a teeny regret that in the first part I used three small balls of yarn that were separated from the original cake and I feel I should have put them in a different order, starting with lighter pink then going darker (at the top there, against the green). I prefer the stripes that visibly segue into the next colour rather than a hard colour change. But I can see myself making another of these.

I am almost finished with the cakes, but have to remember to leave enough for a picot edging.

I have also made another bag, what I call my Quadrant bag. This is the third one, and it’s 3″ taller than the first two. Did I say how much I really dislike sewing circles and cylinders together? Oh yes, multiple times!!

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And I wasn’t going to make any more masks, but the people at my favourite tea shop think that they may only be able to stay open if they wear masks to work, and commissioned me to make them some. They paid me in tea!

This bamboo flannelette print is just perfect for them.

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It’s been an absolutely beautiful day. Sunny but still with a hint of coolness. Mr Fixit and I went on a totally essential trip to a plant nursery to buy new plants for the garden!

It was nice to get out of the house and a little further afield than I have been in weeks.

And we had a wonderfully simple but tasty dinner of bannock, vegan cheese (Daiya Smoked Gouda, mmmmm), olive tapenade and a huge salad. Feeling blessed and replete!

 

 

Sewing with a purpose

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Sewing with a purpose

As you know, recently I have been sewing up a storm because, well, you know, the disease-that-shall-not-be-named has created a temporary cessation of my day job. And I’ve never been so grateful for a stash in all my years of knitting, crocheting and sewing!

So what have I been doing since we last met? I made a second one of these:

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While I constructed this I took progress photos, optimistic that I had the math worked out and I could quickly get to the job of publishing the tutorial. Well….no. At least, not yet. I was about to sally forth and make Mark III but was sidetracked by a request from a friend. One of our mutual friends has recently had major surgery and so a group quilt is underway, as is a crocheted beanie and some face masks for the times that said friend has to go into the hospital for follow-up visits.

My contribution to the quilt (with materials partly my own and partly my friend’s) is this:

The beanie, after false starts with different yarn, different hooks, pattern or no pattern, is in progress:

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This is one of my souvenir balls of yarn from Yarndale – Louisa Harding Giardino in the colourway Lily del Valle. It’s a DK weight cotton/acrylic blend. It doesn’t need a fancy stitch.

And then my thoughts turned to masks and synchronistically a link on my Facebook feed provided the perfect pattern. I started making them and then suddenly I was getting requests. So far I have made 13 – I am saving one of the snowboard ones for Mr Fixit, but the other 12 have been claimed by a friend who works in the hospital (admin, not front line). I now need to make a few more,

though once my bias binding and elastic run out I shall have to be inventive about ties. I am also using a medium weight fusible interfacing on the outer layer for more structure and filtration properties.

This period of extended home time will be remembered for the hours of sewing and pounds of bread baked!

 

Ups and downs

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Yesterday was a lazy day – yes, even lazier than most during this time of social distancing. I didn’t really get much done. I sat outside for a while but, even though the sun was out, the wind was cold, so I had a knitted blanket wrapped around me. Mr Fixit was busy tidying in the garden, and making a noise with the wood chipper for part of the time. I didn’t feel like joining in!

I did finish this crochet cowl over the weekend though.

And another small SockSack, this time with some sew-in fleece incorporated for extra squishiness. I do prefer the softer result, compared to the crispness of the fusible interfacing.

Today, I was much more motivated. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Mr Fixit was at work, and I tend to get more done around the house on a weekday. I made a list. Vacuumed, cleaned bathrooms, watered plants, made bread, did laundry. That felt good. I do love crossing things off my To Do list!

This evening I went downstairs and made a simple drawstring bag. I used a tutorial from sewingtimes’ YouTube channel which was really easy and a slightly different construction from ones I’ve seen before. I like it!

I had to adapt it slightly as my fabrics were both one-way prints. It would have been even quicker to make otherwise.

And this little bucket/box/container whatchamacallit is cute! It’s from a Lizzy Curtis tutorial – she calls it a gift box and suggests filling it with edible treats.

I had to unpick the first attempt at topstitching but the second time seemed to go well…until I looked at the bobbin thread side and realised it had gone all loose and horrible. Pro – the loose stitches are on the denim side which can’t be seen if I fold it as above. Cons – if I want to have the butterflies on the outside and the denim on the inside you’ll see the crappy stitches, and it’s not good enough for gift-giving. Darnit!

What creative things are you doing to save your sanity right now?

Projects and productivity

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Despite the fact that I had only a crappy few hours of “airplane sleep” Saturday night, I felt OK on Sunday and was even motivated to clean my house. I didn’t have anywhere I needed to be, and I couldn’t face just spending the whole day on the couch, so I vacuumed, cleaned bathrooms, watered plants, and did three loads of laundry.

I also started sewing another drawstring bag. (See above)

After a very refreshing 11 hour sleep, I was ready to tackle the grocery shopping today. The meal plan was made, the shopping lists prepared, and after a cup of tea at our favourite tea shop (to settle back into our home groove) we hit four different stores to stock up on food. Bulk foods, health food store, Costco and the supermarket. All have their strengths and we did ’em all today. It took all afternoon, and it was dark by the time we made our way home with a car full of food, but it felt good to restock the fridge and pantry.

After a simple dinner of soup and biscuits (scones to you Brits) I went back to the sewing room and finished sewing the bag, just in time to go to the gym with Tai Chi Man.

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This is the same tutorial by Erica Arndt that I’ve made three times before. This time, I used three coordinating quilt cottons from the store where I work. This range is called Knit Happy and came in two years ago and has been on clearance for some time. It still wasn’t cheap but I decided to go for it anyway. I had a Christmas gift certificate to spend.

The strap is made using the selvedge, because it was too nice to throw out. It has little sheep in all the colours that were used to print the fabric. The lining is a yarn ball print that I’ve had for some time and, while it isn’t designed to coordinate with the outer fabric, the theme is the same.

Of course I took yarn and hooks on holiday with me, and I completed this market bag while I was there.

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Of course I had to pose it on some lava rock and sand! This is made from a hand-dyed cotton. I didn’t use a pattern though I was inspired by someone’s design on Ravelry. I started out with a circle for the base, then just did a mesh for the body of the bag, and some solid rounds for the top.

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After I finished the bag, I started crocheting this shawl. I’m using some stash yarn – Cascade Sunseeker – one of which is a pink/grey multi, and the other a solid grey, both with some sparkle. I took this photo at Kahului (Maui) airport the night we were leaving, including my Skechers in the picture because they went well with the yarn! Both have pink and sparkly bits!!

I wanted to keep it simple, so I started with 3 stitches and am increasing on one side every other row. It’s all half double crochets. The idea is to start incorporating the grey in stripes once I’ve used about three-quarters of the multi. And then keep going with just the grey for the last bit.

Well, I see it’s 10pm and I have work tomorrow, so I’d better be going. Hope you have a great week.

 

 

Warm fuzzy weekend

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A whole weekend off – what fun! Saturday evening we had a potluck at a friend’s house with a group of lovely people. SO much food, we were nearly bursting! And of course we played our traditional Mexican Train Dominoes. Awesome!

My contribution to the food was apple pie and cashew-based vanilla ice cream (the big pie in foreground was the one I took with me, the smaller one and the jam tart made from the leftover pastry were left at home for the boys to eat). I rarely make pastry these days because of the fat content but OMG it came out so well – I used Melt Buttery Sticks for the first time.

This morning there was a vegan market downtown so we splurged on vegan baked treats, which we shared with the boys because they were far too rich for just two people to eat. We also bought some cool hand-made soaps again, and I also finally bought myself a vegan T shirt. Guess I need to get a photo of that sometime.

Afterwards it was tea at our favourite tea shop and a bit of crochet. I have made three of these gnomes (Gnomes of the Gnorth) now. Two of them were made following the pattern pretty closely, one wasn’t, and I shouldn’t have gone ‘off piste’ because I don’t like my version as much (the one with the white beard).

The pattern is on a blog, Mr Micawber’s Recipe for Happiness, and the designer is Sue Perez whose Ravelry name is MrsMicawber.

I have two new dishcloths made from a random ball of dishcloth cotton that I acquired recently. It never went into stash – I just used it up quickly, making up different stitch patterns as I went.

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And there has been sewing. Between tea in town and going to the gym, I spent a couple of hours making this bag.

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It was made with scraps left over from the snowman quilt/bag I made recently, with a lining from some other stash cotton. I think I need to buy a new walking foot – the one I have keeps slipping, the screw holding it on the machine is loosening so it moves as I sew (and I break needles as a result) and the whole thing is either too loose or too tight.

I am pretty happy with the bag, except for a little uneven quilting across the front. This is the same video tutorial as the other bag, and I pieced a patchwork section just like the original in the video. It’s a good way to use up small pieces.

After the gym I went out for a meal with friends, so all in all it was a very calorific weekend and I should probably not eat anything for the next five days! Yeah, right!!

 

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.

 

FOs of the knit, crochet and sewing kind

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Oooh, I do feel productive. A finished hat from the cake of Lion Brand Mandala (the third from that cake, and there’s still some left). Cast on 94 sts with US#4, worked some K2P2 ribbing, changed to #5 tips and increased to 100 sts. When hat was 4.75″ deep, I did the same crown decreasing as in the Vanilla hat, but with hindsight reducing the straight part by a whole inch may have been a little too much as I find it a bit small now. It fits Sally perfectly (see below).

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A finished cosy from a German crochet book that I found at my local library. I learned some new words in German!

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And some finished project/notions bags. First, an unlined drawstring bag with a boxed bottom to which I added a special pocket with a slanted zipper opening. I messed up a little there as I was going to make the bag quite a bit bigger, but then my rotary cutter had other ideas and it ended up being the same size as the last one I made. The pocket dwarfs it a bit, but you get the idea.

This little guy is a tiny version of the triangle bag I made first (as talked about here) with the yarn ball print. I made it to go with the other bag as a gift for a podcaster I listen to a lot. They are now both in the mail. (Tutorial Crafty Gemini)

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And lastly this one from a McCall’s pattern (# M6256) which I bought on sale this week at work.

Oh man, this presented some challenges. Sewing a circle to a tube for the base – eeek! Handsewing the lining inside – grrr! Heat ‘n Bond that didn’t stick when it was supposed to – aaagh! Glad it’s done, and it does do the job – there’s a partial cake of yarn in there and the end is threaded through the top of the “lid” – though it wouldn’t hold a full cake. Maybe it’d work best for a commercial skein of acrylic set inside on its end.

This morning was productive in its own way too. An appointment with a new dentist, in which I had my teeth scaled and polished, and numerous other things they wanted to do as I am a new patient there. No cavities, thank goodness. Dropped bags of stuff at the recycling depot. Mailed a small package to the aforementioned podcaster in Wisconsin. And spent rather a lot of money on a new pair of spectacles. I hope to have them before I go on holiday in August as the ones I’ve been wearing are badly scratched.

What are you making this week?

 

 

Stash enhancement Sunday!

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G’day all. Another week has whizzed by and now we are enjoying (!) a somewhat cool weekend. The max for today is forecast to be 15 degrees. It’s windy and a mix of sun and cloud right now, but yesterday morning we had torrential rain at about 7am which coincided with time that Tai Chi Man and all three man-boys were headed out to work on the same job (Tai Chi Man works at an office furniture supply/installation place, as does ds1, and sometimes ds2 and ds3 go to help with big projects). I was also working yesterday, but managed to wangle leaving half an hour early because we had a house guest.

The son of some friends of ours from over the pond came to visit. He flew to Calgary so that he could visit the national parks in Banff and Jasper but drove all the way¬† to see us for just one night. The drive was nine hours, no doubt with rest stops, but I’m pleased he made the effort. It was lovely to see him. We’ve known him since he was a baby and he’s 32 now.

So yes, stash! This time, fabric, not yarn.

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When I’m working at the fabric store, we aren’t supposed to shop for ourselves, and usually we don’t have time anyway. So I dropped ds3 there today, because he had an extra shift, and became a customer. It’s nice to be able to browse all the clearance quilt cottons without worrying about being interrupted, and I went through them all and picked out 15 of them for (probably) making more bags. I also invested in some heavy duty thread because when I was making the bags with the vinyl panels I had some major thread breakages happening.

I took a look back at my last few blog posts and realised I hadn’t shown you this one…

I am in love with this fabric. I actually have two co-ordinating fabrics in this line. It’s printed with fun camper vans and scooters and for the drawstring casing I used a lime green floral fabric that I’ve had for ages. I can’t remember which video tutorial I used for this but it was a clear one that was easy to follow. The one thing I would do differently next time would be to place the casing higher, as there’s a lot of wasted space at the top.

Next week there’s a 50% off sale at work and I intend to pick up more interfacing and zippers so I can sew more bags!

The Maui Ocean Cowl has grown a little – it’s now 5.5 inches deep and the pattern says to go to 8″. (Pattern: Pool Party Cowl from Balls to the Walls Knits)

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The colours I’m using are very similar to the designer’s, and are very calming.

That’s it for now. Have a great week!

Edited to add link to drawstring bag video tutorial

 

Thursday’s threads, therapy and thankfulness

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Hello, lovely people. How are you today? I had a very pleasant day. My appointment with my hand therapist went well. I was only with her for 15 minutes so she could check how my wrist is coming along. She measured my flexibility (with her angle measurer thingy) and my grip strength and it’s all improving. She said to keep doing what I’m doing, and to be honest I haven’t been too diligent on the hand stretches but I’ve been knitting and crocheting like mad, and even sewing too. It all helps, I think.

So I’m thankful that my wrist is getting better, with only the occasional ache and twinge, and I’m determined that by the time my holiday comes around in August that I will be 100%.

After my appointment, I had tea with Tai Chi Man. Today I had Assam TGFOP. I know the OP stands for orange pekoe, in other words good old black tea, but the rest I have forgotten. I have it with a little plain soymilk, no sweetener. Tai Chi Man had his usual Extreme Green. And after a sit and a knit and a chat with him, he went back to work and I took a tea to my friend at her office and we sat outside on a sunny bench for half an hour.

This is my knitting project…

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It’s the yarn I bought at my LYS last year and took to Maui in December. I started crocheting a ripple scarf but didn’t like all the cut ends and couldn’t see myself finishing it. So after a long rest in its bag for five months I took it out, unravelled it, and found a new project for it. This is the Pool Party Cowl and I found it, of course, through Ravelry. It starts out with a kind of broken seed stitch in colour A, in my case the variegated, and then starts on the woven pattern, where you knit two rows with A and then weave two rows with B, the green solid. (Edited to add that this yarn is Cascade Sunseeker, a cotton acrylic blend with a touch of metallic.)

I can’t tell you how happy I am with this cowl. I definitely did the right thing unravelling the scarf.

So, now to the threads mentioned in the title. I had an idea fermenting in the back of my mind after watching the Smells Like Yarn podcast. Ross keeps showing off a WIP in the Rocko bag made by his friend, DarnYarnMN. It is a zippered pouch with a clear vinyl window at the front. I wanted to try making one (or three) and I have lots of pieces of cotton fabric in my stash. I bought some iron-on interfacing, zippers and clear vinyl from work the other day and dove in.

Whilst I did watch a basic bag tutorial on You Tube, it didn’t include the clear window, so I basically made it up. I’m mostly happy with this bag, except for the fact that the raw ends of the zipper aren’t enclosed within the lining, and neither are my seam allowances, because I couldn’t figure out how to do that with the window in the front of the bag. Anyway, this was just my first effort, and there will be more versions in the future, I’m sure. (The size of this is about 10″ square.)

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The second bag I made is a drawstring bag, and the instructions come from a book I own, Weekend Sewing. I’ve made this bag before in a smaller size. The cut size of the back piece was 15 x 12″, so that’ll give you an idea of the finished size. The front is made from two panels of fabric and one of vinyl. I’m learning some new things, what with having to use a special machine needle to sew vinyl, and how to feed it through so that the stitches stay even. I did cut the ribbon too short because I forgot that each piece has to go all around the top of the bag, not just across one side.

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I’m not sure whether there is a way to avoid the vinyl crunching up and getting little dings in it when turning the bag right side out, or if there’s a way to smooth it out once you’ve done that. I bought the medium weight one. Maybe others use the thinnest kind.

We’ve had some hot days already and it feels like summer has arrived. The thermometer has exceeded 30 degrees a couple of times. I have to say I prefer mid-twenties for comfort. We don’t have (and don’t want) air conditioning at home, though I do have it in my car and I’m very thankful for it. This evening, we have all the windows open and there’s quite a wind blowing through, the wind chimes are clanging, and it feels very comfortable.

Enough waffling, I think. Have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious day!