Tag Archives: facemasks

Back to work!

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Back to work!
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Coordinating mask and hair!

I was called back to work last week. Almost all of our staff came in for two solid days and we hung plastic barriers around the till and the cutting tables, taped arrows on the floor, cleaned, tidied and organised our buns off. Sunday was a day of rest and reopening day was Monday (yesterday).

We don’t have to wear masks but I made myself an extra-special one anyway!

The first day back went well, with customers happy to see us open, and OK with waiting if there was already the maximum allowed in the store.

Since my last blog post, I have making, yes you guessed it, more bags. I’m afraid there has been no crochet or knitting. I had a bit of a repetitive strain pain in the base of my left thumb which was irritated by the blanket knitting. Instead I upcycled a couple of jeans pockets and some extra bits and pieces I had lying around.

After I took the photos, I added some turquoise stitching around the seamline, though I don’t think my machine is meant to be embroidering on multiple layers of denim. It doesn’t look as good as it does on thinner fabric.

I am in love with this bag that I made today. I sized it based on what I had of the fabric, bearing in mind the floral and pink fabrics were both left over from sewing garments.

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I added extra features like the detachable wrist strap and the keyring on the side of the inner pocket. It’s a big bag – about 12.5″ tall.

So that’s two more bags for the #dodgybagmal2020 that Ali of Little Drops of Wonderful is running this month.

Playing with my new sewing machine

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Playing with my new sewing machine

I have to say, there are some really handy features on my new Janome 4120QDC. The thread cutter is awesome! The needle threader is good, though I’m still finding I have to squint to make sure that the thread is in the right place to be pulled through the needle, but I’m sure with practice it’ll get easier. I love that I can move the needle over when doing a straight stitch, which was useful yesterday when I made a couple more masks for my oldest son and wanted to topstitch a little closer to the wire. And I also love the zipper foot for its notches on BOTH sides – my old one only had one on one side which limited the way I could sew in zippers.

My first project was this one which was published by Fabricland. They are little pattern weights, and I filled mine with wheat berries because I had a huge bag from years ago. They aren’t very heavy though, so maybe something with a bit more density would have been better.

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I made ten – it felt like a good number!

And then I made this…

…which is an infinity scarf with zippered pocket. I had to go with stash fabric, and it turned out I had about a metre of this soft knit jersey. In order to get the length I needed, I had to cut it lengthwise and seam the two pieces together end to end. With hindsight, I should have made it a bit shorter because it isn’t as snug to the neck as I’d like. The pocket lining fabric is another knit that I made a top out of a couple of  years ago. The tutorial I linked to isn’t the only one online for something similar. I made mine by leaving the turning gap in the bottom of the pocket rather than in the seam at the end of the tube. It  makes for a neater finish.

As soon as I’d finished that, my son brought me an old bandanna that I’d made him about 5 years ago. I made two face masks out of it for him for work. The ones they’d provided him with were crap – thin fabric, useless wire, badly shaped, and elastic that was the wrong length. So now he has some better ones.

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This morning, I joined in with a Zoom meeting for Crafternoon Treats (podcast) Patreons, and I wanted something to do with my hands while I was doing that. So I pulled out a bag that has been sitting around for probably a year! I think I started making these pompoms out of Stylecraft Special DK some time around last Easter to make a garland or window hanging. I had made a bunch of them (they aren’t very plump, as the pompom maker I have is not great, but at least they were quick) and had started crocheting them together with chains. Today I finished joining them and decided to decorate my deck railing. I rather love that the yellow ones, which coincidentally seem to be mostly along the top of the railing, look like dandelions.

After a month of being off work, I could feel the pounds creeping on. No work, no gym, just an occasional bit of yoga or a walk, and not every day either. So on the day I did my tie-dye hair I made a plan. Each day I would do at least two out of four S’s. The S’s are Sun, Stretch (yoga), Stamina (walk) and Strength. I am checking them off on a piece of paper as I do them. Because self-discipline isn’t always easy! It’s surprising how just doing something makes you instantly feel better. It can just be a half hour of yoga, or a walk around the neighbourhood, or playing some loud music while you do some push ups, squats, and dumbbell lifts.

By going for a walk in the sunshine, I can check off two at a time!!

 

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!

 

 

Full moon, face masks and a finished object

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I don’t know whether it was the full moon or not, but I was wide awake at 4.30 this morning. So was Mr Fixit. He is frequently wide awake at odd hours but usually I sleep like a log. However this morning we were both up before the dawn.

I was in my sewing room by around 8am and back to sewing face masks. A friend had requests to supply some and she didn’t have time to make enough so she sub-contracted a couple of us to help out. These ones took me two days to finish. Yesterday I did all the cutting out and fusing of interfacing, which was made more enjoyable by the fact that five of us had a video chat while we were sewing in our respective homes. I went back after dinner to do more, but had the hardest time getting the construction right because, whilst it was the same pattern as the previous batch, I was including the wire for the nose shaping and it wasn’t going well. I was headachey and frustrated and gave up in disgust.

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I even dreamed I was sewing masks!

Today, thankfully, it all went a lot more smoothly. I found that my regular sewing machine foot worked best to zigzag over the wire to hold it in place, and to topstitch sufficiently close to the wire once everything was turned right side out.

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Someone’s coming over to my house (well, the front door step anyway) tomorrow to buy some of these. I have to say, I have no plans to make more. Whilst there are some people who are making hundreds of masks at the moment (and making hundreds of dollars too) I just don’t have the stamina.

I finished the beanie too…

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I’m really pleased with the fit of this, and wrote down how I made it in the notes on my Ravelry project page so I can recreate it later. Worked top down, it’s just double crochet with a 5.5mm hook, and then some rounds of front post/back post double crochet with a 4.5mm hook to make a snug brim. Hopefully my friend will like it.

Today was our warmest day of the year so far. I did manage to squeeze in a bit of sunshine toward the end of the afternoon and even ate my (home made) pizza sitting outside on the deck. I would have expected my neighbourhood to be pretty quiet but no, there were lots of vehicles around, motorbikes roaring up the main road, neighbours talking loudly, music, and honestly you wouldn’t have thought that this Easter weekend was any different from usual.

As Easter = chocolate to me, I shall have to walk up to the store for some essential supplies tomorrow!

 

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!