Friday, September 28, 2012

Sew What?

WIPBagTotally unimpressive to anyone else, massively impressive to me.  Yep, I sewed a little project bag.  I suppose that the bag itself is not much, but I am quite pleased that I was able to take an idea and turn it into what I wanted it to be.  

Years ago, I bought some little bags at a dollar store.  I really liked them because they are great for knitting on the go, but there were things I did not love.  The fabric is not so great, the strap is pretty bad, and the pictures on the front are ugly.  Anyway, I cut apart one of the bags and used it for a pattern, and after much more time and effort than it should have taken, I had a new bag.

There are a few other details about the bag that I love.  First, I made the double-fold bias tape myself.  As I am quite the beginner at sewing, I still get to have these moments where I try something new and it thrills me more than it probably should.  If I were five, I would want to hang my bias tape on the refrigerator.  The battle was hard-fought, but I won.  I made mistakes and when I rushed I had troubles, but I learned so much.  I also had a reminder to trust myself even though I am a beginner, because some of the problem was a defective bias tape tip that I have now exchanged, but that is neither here nor there.  Anyway, I used this great tutorial, and now have yards and yards of the stuff and will never hesitate to make my own whenever I need it.  

The other little handmade detail I love is the strap.  I wove it on my inkle loom, and it might please me even more than the bias tape.  I used some rayon crochet thread that I bought ages ago from a clearance pile at a craft store and have been trying to find a use for ever since.  It was one of those times where the "Oooh, Shiny!" and "Yay, Bargain!" collided and I could not stop myself.  Anyway, it is great for these straps, and I already have the loom set up to weave another.  I have also sewn another of these bags and it is just waiting for its strap.  Overall, I feel like I have done pretty well with 2012's National Sewing Month.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Done and Just Begun

FinishedSeaMineralMitts SeaMineralObligatoryFloatPhoto

I finally finished my mittens, and then the hot returned.  It really is not so bad.  Perhaps the only reason I think that is because I have these wonderful new mittens.  I do love them, and it has only been a bit over a year since I started them.  The pattern is Sea Mineral Mittens by SpillyJane.  I changed the thumb because I think they are more comfortable this way.  While the way they are done in the pattern (peasant thumb) is just so very matchy-matchy, I think I did well enough with the gusseted thumb.  Now I just have to wait until I can wear them.  

With the mittens done, it was time to dive into the stash.  I was looking for yarn for some future knits, but more about that another day.  At one point, I was going through the lace bin, and removed the handspun yarn so it could live with its own kind.  Side note:  I have a good bit of handspun at this point, and I am considering a NoMillSpunNovember.  Anyway, I found some more lace in other bins, and the next thing I knew, I had trouble getting the lid on the lace bin.  If that is not a sign to cast on for new lace, please don't tell me.  

Augh!  The Color is Totally Off!
I decided to knit Bauble from Knitty (First Fall 2012).  It is a pattern that I liked when I first saw it, but it was not a good time for me to knit it.  I think it is an ideal pattern for me right now.  I have the full bin situation, I have been knitting (almost finished)AlmostChaletSocks socks with twisted and traveling stitches and so does this shawl, this Malabrigo lace yarn is so pretty and soft, and it has been too long since I have had lace on the needles.  I have already made it through the foundation charts and am on to the main ones, and am quite enjoying the knit.                   

Friday, September 21, 2012

Using Up the Little Bits

There is so much that I do not know, but I am learning.  I learned that if you do an outstretched arm, self-portrait, cowl photo shoot, you will end up with a lot of pictures that prominently feature your nostrils.  Also, sometimes a side profile shot will give the illusion that you have stray cats hanging from your chin.  Anyway, recently, I was at a bit of a loss of what to knit next, so I grabbed a small skein of handspun, wound it into a ball, and checked patterns on Ravelry to see what I could do with those 93 yards.  It took a while, but then I came across a pattern for Estonian Lace Wrist Warmers from Evelyn A. Clark.  I thought about turning them into fingerless mitts, but then decided against it because it meant knitting two things, and if it did not work out, I might have 1 1/2 things, and therefore, not really anything.  EstonianLaceNotWristWarmersCowlCloseUpSo, I took the lace patterns from the wristlets and used the stitch multiples from the chart and cast on enough to make what I hoped would become a cowl.  With the dark yarn and it being lace, I wasn't sure if it was going to work out well, but it did.  The fiber was a sample of mystery fluff from Fiber Art Work (lys), and I am so glad to have been able to turn it into something useful.  

Friday, September 07, 2012

Best Laid Plans and All That

So, I thought for sure that if I planned things just right, all would go according to plan. I wrote my posts, scheduled them to publish, and thought that I would keep up with it. That last part was the unreasonable expectation because last week was crazy busy--some days crazier, and some busier. We had family visiting from out-of-town. It is too bad that the whole thing was set up the way it was because it just meant a lot of busyness and not near enough good visiting time. It was what it was and will be what it will be.

I coped with some of it by sewing. Happy National Sewing Month! I made a bag for my Schacht Cricket loom. It is something I have wanted to do for a while, and then I saw a contest and that inspired me to get out the duck cloth and see what I could make. It is by no means an award-winning piece, but I like it and it is a great way to carry my little loom.

Speaking of the loom, I forgot to show you the rainbow scarf I made on it. This was what I had put on the loom for the weaving demo earlier this year. I like this cute little scarf and love its drape and bright colors.