Knit Meter

Monday, September 30, 2013

I Made Another Bag

But this time it was because I needed a new bag. I have an old drawstring bag that gets used for outings when I need to carry water, sun screen etc but don't need the usual stuff that I carry in a handbag. It is at least 18 years old, the draw string is frayed, support wires are coming out and it is grubby and smelly despite laundering. But it is useful so I decided to make a new one. I couldn't find a pattern on the internet and as it seemed like a bunch of rectangles, I made my own pattern by measuring the original bag. A couple of changes I made are that I lined the bag so that there were not exposed seams, the seams in the original bag were finished with plastic, and I added a pocket. The one thing I don't like is not being able to find keys which have disappeared inside the bag somewhere.

I wasn't sure how to make the pocket. I knew I wanted it zipped and I wanted all four sides attached to the inside of the bag because I do not like bags where the inside pocket is just attached to the top, and I didn't want exposed seams. I cut fabric the width of the pocket and twice the depth plus seam allowance, turned under 1/4 inch on all sides, folded in half width wise and stitched around the three open edges. I made another piece the same width with a final finished depth of about one inch. The zipper was place between the folded edges and then the pocket was sewn onto the lining.

I wasn't sure what to use to give support to the base of the bag, but I found some binding which is rope inside fabric with a seam allowance, I have no idea what it is called but the rope gives the bag stability and being already encased in tape made it (relatively) easy to sew with the base of the bag. I was not sure how to join the ends as I sewed them into a circle so had to guess. I unpicked the stitching on the tape, this wasn't hard as the stitches were big, and cut the rope at the right length to abut the start, folded the cut end of tape to cover the raw edge and then overlapped the start. This covers the start and finish without there being a double width of rope.

I am really pleased with the end result.

Here is a picture of the original bag.

And here is a picture of the new bag.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

An Update

Or is this a pointless post?

So things have improved a bit since my last post. The baby jacket has had its ends sewn in and buttons sewn on. Now just needs to be mailed off before the baby is bigger than the jacket.

I bought an "Easy Attacher" (their quotation marks) Kit to attach the snap fasteners and it worked. Just one little problem. After much deliberation as to where the fasteners were to be placed, I decided I didn't like the result. This meant the fasteners had to be removed from the knitted item without damaging it. I managed to remove one and DH removed the other without bending the snap - I squished the one I removed. Attaching new ones to the knitted object did not go so well as the first time the prongs did not all go into the socket and this stopped the snap from snapping so it had to be removed and a new one added which took two attempts as nothing attached to anything at first.

An easy project was started that is suitable for knit meets and sub-titled films.

And a sewing project was finished.

Much better outlook than yesterday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

So Close and Yet........

It feels like I have so many projects on the needles that cannot be finished for various reasons.

I have two shawls that are at bead stage except I don't have any beads. One of them is the shawl mentioned in this post. I have looked at beads. OK it was only one shop but at least they are ruled out for having the right type.

And then there's the project being lovingly protected it is so close to ready and I thought yesterday was the day. It needed ribbon and snap fasteners. Do you think I can get the @@$$!! snap fasteners to attach to the ribbon? No. I tried on scrap fabric and no success apart from bending the pointy things. Argh. (Because it was talk like a pirate day yesterday.) So no project to show off.

Finally, last night I finished a baby jacket and that just needs the ends sewn in and buttons sewn on. And knowing my luck all the buttons I have in my stash will be the wrong size or wrong colour.

Anyway what this all boils down to is that not only do I have stalled projects but I have nothing to take to knitting group today. Yes I do have projects on the needles but I have nothing suitable. It has to be something where I can carry on a conversation and when I get home I don't have to undo everything I did. A shawl with lace on every row just isn't going to cut it.

The criteria for this morning's (hurried) pattern search:-

it had to be easy all the way through so no future knitting stalling
I had to have the yarn
it had to be something I wanted to make, in other words not knitting for the sake of knitting.

I found a pattern for a baby jacket where I can use the yarn left over from this baby blanket. I hope it works out as it will be nice for this yarn not to be in the stash for ever as happens with most of my left over yarn.

But at least I have something to take to knitting.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Feeding a Vegetarian

I am a vegetarian. There are probably many people who do not know this about me as I do not make a big fuss. it is a choice I have made and it is up to each individual to make their own food choices. If I’m at someone’s house I do not expect them to cater to my needs, after all I will not become sick if I miss a meal or eat meat. But when I am paying for my meal I expect to be able to eat an enjoyable meal.

I do all the cooking at home and find it no problem to provide a variety of meals with no meat so why is it so hard for some restaurants to come up with one meal. We go out to eat once or twice a week and although we both have input into where we eat, a return trip to a restaurant will depend on MY experience.

I have found that Italian and Mexican restaurants are reliable choices as they have plenty of non-meat options on their regular menu. A number of times we have been to a new restaurant and my husband will ask me if there is anything I can eat, which is a good indicator that he hasn’t spotted anything without meat. Sometimes this isn’t a problem because the options are in a different section but quite often there isn’t a choice. Why is this? To me it indicates lack of imagination by the chef. So in those places my husband better stick to a burger as that is about the level of the kitchen.

I was pleasantly surprised when I went to a pub further inland expecting the only option to be a veggie burger – as an aside I hate veggie burger offerings at restaurants, they are usually dry and cold because they haven’t been heated properly – yes I'm paying for something you can't be bothered to cook properly - anyway at this particular pub there were two vegetarian options and a vegan option, not one of them a veggie burger. I asked the wait staff to pass on to the chef how impressed I was that there were choices.

I have had a couple of bad experiences. At one local restaurant I asked if they had anything without meat because there was nothing on the menu, their option – a grilled cheese sandwich – I do not go out to dinner to eat grilled cheese. Interestingly this place was quite empty, I believe it caters to the early crowd and they have not considered changing their menu to draw in patrons in the middle of the evening. This is a nice restaurant but I’d rather eat at the dive bar which has good food that does not contain meat.

In conclusion, my message to chefs, if you wish to attract customers by your menu include vegetarian options, not only will you attract the non-meat eaters but you are showing that you have imagination in the kitchen.