Knit Meter

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Forgotten Bags

In my last post I said that I had made a bag which I had not posted about, well, actually, there are two bags which I have not shown.

The first one I made way back in February last year. I took a number of photos as my intention was to show the process from pattern drafting to finished bag but that never happened and I didn’t post the finished bag either. Here it is.

I was given the cat fabric and the lining was fabric I had purchased to back a quilt – and then changed my mind. I used this tutorial. I like the bag but I would have used an interfacing as well as iron on fleece. In my patchwork bag I showed you last time, I used iron on interfacing on the main fabric and iron on fleece on the lining. This combination gives a nice body to the bag.

The other forgotten bag was this one.

It’s not that old as I made it in July this year. I was asked to make a bag for my grandson to carry his cars. He was using one of the bags I had made ages ago that his mother had chosen and they wanted something that was just his. I went to Jo-Ann to purchase fabric with cars on it; they didn’t have any but they did have Shopkins fabric and it was massively on sale so I purchased some to make a bag for his sister. Yes, I used the pattern I always use for drawstring bags. I didn’t use a contrast fabric for the top for two reasons – 1) so I wouldn’t have to worry about what to use and potentially purchase more fabric; 2) so I could use as much of the Shopkins fabric as possible. The lining is a light blue that was in my stash. Jo-Ann also had Shopkins on sale so some were purchased so that it could all be a birthday present.

This didn’t actually solve the request of a bag for cars. On another trip to Jo-Ann I found some fabric with the cars from the movie Cars. Perfect. Just needed the time to sew it. I cannot sew and look after children at the same time. My injured foot actually helped. I had seen a private video which showed drawstrings being added to the top of a bag so I decided to do that for a change. Again, I used as much of the Cars fabric as possible and used left over fabric for the lining and casing. It is the backing fabric I used in this quilt.. Remember in my last post I said I wished I had remembered to top stitch after sewing the side seams? That is because for this bag which I made first I did top stitch after sewing the side seams.

Having made a bag a new way I had to make another, of course. I used the small amount of fabric I had left over from the first bag I showed today. (I love the fabric but couldn’t decide what it should become.)

The casing is a small piece of left over fabric and you will recognize the draw strings (and lining). I did not add any interfacing to this bag. The person who had made the private video said she did not add any interfacing to her bags so I thought I would see what it was like. As it is a small bag I don’t think it matters but I would want something in a bigger bag to help it keep its shape. This is a small bag, maybe I should put the mittens in here and the bag the mittens are in can be used for the shawl.

So that’s it for bags – for now.

The problem is that there are many different styles/patterns out there and I enjoy making them but I don’t need so many bags. I need to start making them with other people or gifts in mind so that they are easier to give away.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sew Many Bags

I mentioned that I had been laid up with an injured foot and had been doing quite a bit of sewing as well as knitting. Today I am going to show you all the bags as well as one I had made a little while ago but forgot to show.

On Ravelry there is a thread titled show me your homemade project bags, please! which was started way back in 2014 and now has over 6500 posts, although many of those are love that and variations. I am slowly working my way through this thread and making note of/bookmarking any patterns that I think I would like to make.

Which brought me to this tutorial. One of the things I liked about it was I could use many leftovers. I liked the end result so much that I am going to keep it for myself. I also liked the style so much that I made two more that will be gifts. All three bags were made with leftover fabric; the only purchase was the cord for the drawstring as I did not want to use fabric.

This is the first one. I used ribbon yarn for the drawstrings to see how that would work but did not like it. The black fabric was left over from the binding for this quilt; the rim was in the pack of strips I used to make this quilt; the handles were from this quilt and the cover was left over from the backing from this quilt. The lining, which you cannot see, was fabric I had originally purchased as the backing for that quilt.

Having made one, I had to make another.

The black fabric and the yellow fabric are the same as for my bag; one of the orange for the handles was left over from my Jelly Roll Quilt and the other orange was from the same quilt as the handles for my bag; the cover and lining which you cannot see were from a fat quarter which I had in my stash for some other bag which didn't get made!

And having made two, I had to make another. This one out of canvas fabric I had left over.

The main blue flowery fabric and the lining, which you cannot see, are left overs from this bag; the rim, handles and cover are remnants from this bag.

The changes I made to this tutorial: add interfacing before sewing bottom seams; add interfacing to both sides of the rim (I did this by mistake to the first one); do not stitch any of the top edges/rim edge before joining rim, outer, lining. Also, as suggested, I cut the cover fabric wider to make enclosed seams and top stitched to enclose all raw edges.

Having made three of these bags, and I'm sure there will be more, I went on to another design. A bag made with a metal ruler at the top to make a snap bag. I had made one a while ago to make a glasses bag for my husband. I remember it being really fiddly and I searched for different tutorials but ended up with the one I had originally adapted as it had no enclosed seams. This time I decided to follow the instructions as written. i.e. use the same size fabric pieces.

First, of course, was to make one for myself. The one on the left in this photo. (The photo I took of it on its own is blurry, I could take another one but by the time I take one I am relatively happy with and upload it, months will have passed.)

As you can see the outer colours match my bag. The one on the right was made from bag scraps. I made another two out of bag scraps. These bags are quick to make until it comes to sewing down the casing for the ruler. On the last one I made I sewed the casing by hand and added the ruler after I had sewed about two-thirds around.

And there's still more. I have already mentioned my Jelly Roll Race quilt. I have some of the diagonal parts left over and I decided one was big enough for one side of a bag.

As this side was patchwork I decided to make the other side patchwork with left over fabric.

I sewed scraps together and then cut out the same size as the piece I already had. I did not want to lose the patchwork effect on the bottom of the bag so I added the plain beige from a fat quarter purchased and never used for its original intent. (See above.) I also decided to add a small piece at the top. I also added the strip on the lining so that the zipper is joined to the same fabric inside and out. I am pleased that as well as a handle, I sewed a little tab at the other end. I also like the fabric pieces I sewed at each end of the zipper but wish I had remembered to top stitch after sewing the side seams. This is a nice size bag maybe I should use it for the mystery shawl.

And I am going to take a break there as this post is already long. Next time I will post photos of two other bags I made. As well as the one I forgot to post,

Saturday, August 19, 2017

All The Projects

(Except One.)

I just may have mentioned that I have been casting on new projects even though there have been others on the needles. And it really hasn't bothered me which, considering older posts, is quite a surprise.

Here is a photo of all my project bags containing WIPs.

To save you counting there are seven and I forgot the never ending shawl.

The blue bag at the back contains this shawl.

This is a pattern that requires concentration so I do not get to work on it every day. There are now over 500 stitches but I am only 6 rows from the bind off. I am playing yarn chicken as I want to use all the yarn as it is a gradient but I certainly do not want to have to undo any rows.

From left to right the projects are as follows.

A hat for charity that I started on the way home from vacation. The pattern is Better Late Than Never Beanies and will be the second one I have made. The project is in a plastic bag as I just grabbed the bag of yarn and crochet hook before going away and have not put the project in a different bag.

Next in the bag shown here is this project which I started on vacation and seems to be only-on-vacation project. Although when I finish some of the other projects then I'm sure I'll pick it up again. I'm not quite half-way through.

This is nearly finished; 6 rows before bind off. This is the other project where I am playing yarn chicken although I will not mind too much if I have to undo any rows if I run out of yarn too soon as I have already undone over 50 rows when I found a mistake.

The butterfly bag has this project.

They are some mittens for a Christmas present. I started them so that I can slowly work on gift knitting this year plus I needed something simple to work on and the rib fit the bill. I am loving how this yarn is knitting up and feel a little sad that it is a gift and not for me.

The bag that says fiber space contains, funnily enough, the yarn I bought at that store. I had purchased two skeins of a DK weight to make a two-coloured shawl but I did not have a pattern in mind. On 4 August a new shawl pattern was released and I decided the yarn would work and as the designer was holding a KAL, I cast on.

The brown paper bag contains the yarn and project for the mystery shawl. Originally they were going to go into the butterfly bag but I took that when I needed a bag to take the mitten out of the house. Just have to make a decision which bag I want to use.

Apart from the never ending shawl, there is one other project missing from this line up; a sock I cast on at the beginning of the year. I decided fairly early on that the yarn and pattern were not a good mix but as I do not have any plans for the yarn and have plenty of other knitting, I have not rushed to frog them.

In the past I would have felt a bit antsy that I had so many projects on the go but I am actually quite happy with this number. Three seemed to have been set aside for working on at a specific time/location and one is a mystery so cannot be worked on all the time and two are very close to being finished.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

So many things to show and no time to show them.

I have been doing quite a bit of knitting and sewing just lately as I hurt my foot and was ordered to keep all weight off it. Hubby very nicely set up half of the dining room table for me as my computer/knitting/reading/sewing spot. I have a lot of sewing to show you but in this post I will show two hats that I made for charity. One for Operation Gratitude and the other for Click for Babies.

This is the hat I made for Operation Gratitude. It is crocheted that I started on the drive to vacation and was completed at the end of another vacation. Although it is a fun design it isn’t a mindless project but I thought it would be good for using up scraps of yarn.

The pattern is Brain Waves Beanie – a free pattern on Ravelry.

A friend was encouraging us to make hats for Click for Babies, a charity that raises awareness to new parents that babies do cry – some cry a lot. Surprisingly I did not have any purple yarn in stash so I bought some when I was out on my recent yarn buying trip so that a friend and I could both make hats. I considered this pattern Little Knight Purple Hat as it was specially designed for awareness but as I have made it twice already I decided to find another pattern. Although it is so much quicker to knit a pattern I have made before as there is not all the searching through patterns and trying to make a decision. Anyway I came up with this. Hello Baby Hat and was able to knit it in one evening.

(That's fluff from some other yarn that is showing up very nicely in that close up.)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Another Mystery.

I rather enjoy mystery knit alongs (MKAL) for shawls. A knit along is where a group of people all knit the same pattern at the same time and blog/post on Ravelry/Instagram about their experiences; enjoyment or frustration and ask questions. I have had friendly knit alongs with IRL knitting friends. The Shipwreck shawl started that way and Arlequin ended up being that way as three of us made it.

Some KALs on Ravelry can get very big. For example the recent mystery by designer Joji Locatelli produced nearly 5000 projects, with just under 1500 being finished. And any MKAL by Stephen West garners great attention.

And, of course, there are groups on Ravelry devoted to listing all make alongs, mystery or otherwise. This was how I found the last mystery I made – Notre Dame shawl. That was in spring 2016 so I was really in the mood for another mystery. Although why this was the case I do not know as I really did not need another project on the needles especially as all my projects except the charity project are shawls. Anyway, I checked out the designer and not only had she had a number of mystery knit alongs but her designs were beautiful. I was in! Problem number one: no lace yarn in stash. Problem number two: broken foot limits my ability to get around and thus purchase yarn. These problems were solved by a dear friend who offered to take me yarn shopping. I think it was a chance for her to enable me for a change.

We went last Monday so I had yarn ready for the start on Tuesday. The down side about this was that few yarn stores in our area are open on Monday; although this meant there were just two stores to visit. I did purchase yarn which I am very happy with and both shops were friendly and helpful but they both made the same assumption when we walked (hobbled) in. I was on crutches and the assumption was that I wanted something to do while I was incapacitated and my friend was just there as the driver. We have been in these stores before and usually they are much more interested in our projects. As I said the people in both places were very welcoming and friendly but their lack of interest in what either of us wanted to make was surprising and my friend was not considered as a potential yarn buyer at all.

I bought some purple yarn for a different friend and myself to make new born hats for charity - Click For Babies.

And I bought two skeins of lace weight – Gleem Lace by fyberspates in a lovely tonal grey. I purchased two skeins at Black Sheep and one of the great things about this store is that they wind the yarn for you. So I was ready to go on 1 August when the first clue was released.