Friday, 29 February 2008

to reuse, or not to reuse?

yeah, it's not much of a question.

Two nights ago I found myself checking ravelry for a pattern for grocery bags. Mainly this came about because I had been sewing small reusable produce bags. The first batch was fine, small (I cut 6 out of one metre of fabric), but fine. They were made out of a sheer fabric. I winged it without a pattern, it is just one long rectangle and a drawstring.

Of course lacking in foresight I overlooked where the drawstring was going to actually come out of the bag. Silly me, I paid for it by handstitching in buttonholes through the french seam on one side and threading the ribbon through that.

It worked well.

The second batch I made out of tulle and they just cant stand up to the pressure. The problem was the material itself, the seams all held up fine, but the tulle just stretched to the point of breaking. I'm sad about this because I had actually remembered reading a tutorial but couldn't remember where it was. It took me a while to find but this is the excellent tutorial from this great blog. More will be made as soon as I score some more sheer fabric (no I won't start chopping up the curtains...yet).

But there's more! I did find a pattern on ravelry for a grocery bag. Here is a non-ravelry link to the designer's blog about the pattern.

Over the past couple of days I've made this and this:

Oh! And the last little bit of obvious news is my new camera. Horray for pics!

**edited to fix the bad link to the non-ravelry econo-mesh shopper bag pattern. Thank you, Wondermommy!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

A Hookin' We Will Go

I do things, I do a lot of crafty things and I do a lot of crazy things. I’m not one for taking classes. Written instructions are like a trapeze act for my brain without a safety net, things just make sense to me if I sit and examine a finished product. That is how I learned to knit a couple years ago, how I learned to do loom beadwork when I was 9, and how I learned to make dreamcatchers when I was 11. It’s the way I work. My parents used to say it was like a butterfly going through its metamorphosis. I would disappear for a time and reappear with a new skill, a new skill that I would be completely obsessed with and do nothing else until the novelty wore off. Hence the Horrible Skipping Incident of ’84 where I didn’t eat for a day (cuz you can’t eat and skip at the same time, duh) and woke up with what I assumed were (in my all-knowing 6 year old brain) broken legs the next morning. I’m all about going to extremes.

Yes this story is going somewhere…because I learned how to do something new – Crochet! So it’s been all about the hooking and very little about the knitting lately. Why did I learn to crochet, you ask?

Well, like most new knitters I had acquired a horrendous amount of the acrylic-y evilness of doom. I bought yarn anywhere and everywhere I could find it- you don’t want to know. (Images of me roaming the dark streets trying to score some plast-ick are making me giggle.) I didn’t know any better! Anyway, it had been sitting in my closet, taunting and berating me with its annoyingly squeaky voice every time I opened the door, which I had to do daily because, well, every day can’t be naked Ri day.

At first I tried to quell the noise coming from my closet by shoving the whole lot of it into a suitcase….a very big suitcase, the kind that fit bodies (yes plural). It was muffled, but I still knew it was there, egging me on. It became a challenge to me to get rid of this stuff and giving it away was not an option. Yeah, craziness, I give away tons of the stuff that I make, but just giving away the yarn in its raw form just seems like I am admitting defeat. I screamed at the closet and shook my fist, ‘I will be the master of my domain and no amount of processed plastic string is going to get the best of me!’ Hmm…maybe I had more than enough coffee that day…

Anyway, back to the crochet. I learned how to make granny squares, well not squares cuz I was feeling all superior and decided I could make two more corners to make granny hexes. I yanked open my closet door, ripped open that suitcase, pulled some acrylic out of it’s comfy quiet resting place, it shrieked in the sunlight and I laughed the evil maniacal laugh reserved for the criminally insane and I hunkered down to master the hex.

I have made 67 of these little buggers so far.

I hate them.

I love them.

My new baby

I got a new sewing machine. I love my new sewing machine. It was payment for some work I did for a friend. Maybe someday I will get pictures of that project and write a real post about it, but just for a little teaser: It was a mat, about 4’ by 3’ knit in entrelac out of hemp. And no it wasn’t that soft hemp either, it was the twine-like, less processed hemp. So yeah, that job was well worth the sewing machine. Oh and did I ever need a new one. My old one I got as a birthday present when I was 12 and after all these years it just wasn’t capable of much of anything useful, like sewing, for instance. It made an excellent paperweight though.

My new baby is the Janome DC3050. It purrs like a kitten. I will love it for a long time to come. It still needs a name, it hasn’t told me what it wants to be called yet. Maybe it just needs to be used more, I’m sure that’s the problem. One of my favourite things about the machine is the foot pedal, my old one was really thick so the front of my foot always felt like it was up on too much of an angle. This one is slim and feels like I have more control, I’m all about control. Oh and does it love the denim, just like it’s sewing through butter. I like that in a machine. Not that I’ve ever actually tried to sew butter. Great, I just got an image of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland messing around with my machine. *squish*

Monday, 25 February 2008

This is my blog

This is my blog. I have resisted the temptation to start one of these things because I am a genuine lurker at heart and also I know my level of obsession for new shiny is embarrassingly high which would lead to major time suckage on a laptop I already spend way too much time on already. There will be nothing to blog about if I can’t get off this thing to actually make something to blog about.

I am a nearly 30 (less than 2 months away, geez) self/under-employed gal who gets pleasure from making stuff for a living. Yes, I make stuff. I have a yen to create. It’s a very big yen. I am up to my ears in yen and all attempts made to control or limit the yenbeast have failed miserably. But it’s okay, the yenbeast is snuggly and comforting, although it does drool in it’s sleep (it certainly isn’t me drooling). I have no kids, though I have two cats one of which is completely enamoured with the cursor so she spends much of the time I’m at the computer staring intently at the screen. (I pretend that she’s reading all of your blogs along with me, cuz I’m a dork like that.)

Anyway, lots of typing and no pics for the first little while because (again, dork me) I have no camera. Which is the other reason I was putting off starting a blog, but I am trying to convince myself that if I actually had a blog I would feel compelled to finally get a camera so I would have pretty content for the aforementioned blog.

That’s enough for my first time, I wouldn’t want to get all long-winded and babble-y right off the bat. I’ll be back.