Eco bags

I’m not much of a seamstress. sewing a straight line is nearly impossible for me.   I’m trying to improve my sewing skills and save a bit of money with eco bags. I made several the other day,  but forgot to take pictures.

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The top is a double sided snack pouch, for something like crackers and cheese.   I enjoyed playing around with them. The bottom bag is a vinyl lined experimental. It was a p.i.t.a. to sew. I’m not sure if I will make more of those.

Summer cold

It might be 90°+ here in Alabama, but the pollen and summer cold seems to have hit my house rather well. I’ve had no real concentration, and have been doing small, sit down, mindless, menial tasks.

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Working on eco friendly snack bags (because I woke up at 4 am in a sneezing fit and decided to start the day off productive)
On and off all day I’ve been playing with shapes and sizes for the snack bags. Both kids will be in school in less than 2 weeks (?!), and sandwich bags create a ton of refuse. I figured I’d save them a headache and make cute ones for the kids. Of course I’ve forgotten to take pictures in my summer cold/ear infection induced stupor.
I’ve not had the chance to get to my lys for another set of fixed 3mm circs. The socks on dpns are blah. Pretty colorway, simple pattern, just dpns (ugh!)
I did get to take out my new project bag at the docs office the other day. I felt so silly but it was easy to take out and put away without much fumbling.

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I would love to find more of the fabric, but the manufacturer (A.E. Nathan)
seems to have ended it’s mermaid line. It’s a whimsical print that brings out the bubbly side of me. I love mermaids, some people have owl obsessions, I have a mermaid one. I’m babbling.  Time to sleep.

Chained cast on tutorial

The method I used on the Super Waves Market bag is a type of chained cast on. It is made with a typical crochet foundation chain, picking up stitches on both sides of the chain.

First, chain the number of stitches the pattern requires. It should look like a braid.

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With the loop from last chain still on hook, pull up a loop in the next and each stitch down one side of the chain (make sure they are all on the same side of the chain)

 

 

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Your stitches should look like this:

 

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Turning your work, pull your needle up and out of the stitches, leaving them on the cable, and pulling a loop up through the other side of the same stitch, making two stitches in the same loop but on opposing sides. (If you look at the picture above you can see where the loops are on the bottom underneath the needle. Those loops are where you  pick up your live yarn.)

 

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Your stitches, as they are being picked up will look like this, if done correctly.

 

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When all stitches are picked up, your work should have half of your stitches on the resting cable of the needle, and the others on the needle. To work in a round, place a marker at the end of the second row of picked up stitches, and you are now ready to work the next row.

 

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If you have any questions let me know, and I will do my best to clarify things!

Sewing, neglected knitting

There was a time when I was pregnant with my son, where I started sewing. I had been given a sewing machine, and didn’t know much about it, nor did I know anyone, and of course it was missing the instructions.  My husband and I fiddled with it to a point where it worked. I made a few things but never really caught the sewing bug.
Now that I’m in the thick of everything fiber, I figured why not?  I dragged it out for a weaving project,  and now the idea of putting it away is laughable.

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I’ve made a few bags, learned a thing or two about keeping sewing machines from eating thread and needles. I tried my first sewing pattern from actual instructions tonight. Craftsy has a free pattern for an origami lotus project bag. It was super easy and quick, next time I will definitely use a larger size fabric to make it.

Summer canning, mantra?, crafty and useful.

I’m not sure about you, but this year we’ve planted a decent sized garden. (I know this isn’t quite fiber arts) We’ve had all sorts of issues, as this is the first year we’ve done a garden on this scale.

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We are growing organic Boom Chica Pop! corn, which is popcorn corn. The silk on it is a beautiful magenta color, that I wish I could bottle up and dye a ton of wool with. We’ve had quite a few cucumbers pop up and we’ve already started canning pickles.

The garden is to me, the same sort of patience you have to have when doing any fiber art. You have to be slow and keep with the pace of your project rather than attempt to speed it up and end up with a disaster. We’ve had blight, storms, 90+ degree (f) weather.  It’s been as trying as figuring out how to warp the loom, or even finishing the last 12 inches on my son’s shirt.  The hard work is worth the effort.

I’ve been figuring out how to use the loom and how well different warps and wefts go together. That has been quite difficult to adjust to, as I’m rather impatient starting projects (and the prep work takes forever! My better half has been helping me to warp the loom, although it seems more like a 3 person job when its 32 inches wide. I’ve finished a few projects and started even more. Even the old sewing machine has been getting a workout.

I made a Nebraska colored kitchen towel on my harp, along with a rag rug using Darn Good Yarn recycled cotton yarn.

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(for those that are curious about the rug, it isn’t quite what I was expecting, but I warped every other slot and did 20 in from each edge, I ended up using 2 balls of the recycled cotton yarn and a tiny bit of crochet cotton for the warp)

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After all the weaving, and working on a slow moving pair of socks for husband dearest, I decided to work on project bags. I’ve had sooooo many projects on the go, that I was literally piled up with yarn and needles everywhere. It was a tangled mess that was beginning to drive me crazy. I was searching for a coffee table to put my monstrous loom on and ended up picking up fabric while I was out. Every last bit of it became a project bag. They aren’t perfect (this seems to be my recurring theme/mantra) but they work well, and make the mess oh so much more bearable. IMG_20140720_223640

Finished

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After what felt like months working on the shirt, I finished yesterday afternoon.
My son was super happy and wouldn’t take it off.
After the shirt finale, I kept thinking of the fabric I wove for the tote I wanted to make. I pulled out my sewing machine (which hasn’t seen the light of day in nearly 5 years) and decided to see what shape it was in after 3 moves. I had one needle left and was on a mission. I pinned out the fabric.

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I managed to get half way through a side before the needle hit a t pin and got caught and snapped. I felt royally stupid. My better half was sweet, and went to pick up needles for it so I could finish it and make some progress on his socks.

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Getting it out was a nightmare. Self noted, round pins only from here on out.
When I was pregnant with my son, I did a bit of sewing. Not anything special, just random stuff. I could barely manage a straight line. Still can’t. (I’m sitting here laughing about it. Defeated by a sewing machine!) There was a messenger bag I used as a diaper bag and eventually got to a point where I was going to throw it out, but salvaged some of the components that were useful. The strap was the perfect size for the tote, and I honestly forgot it was in the sewing kit until I went on a bobbin hunt.

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It’s not perfect, the sewing lines make me cringe, but I’m happy that I managed to make it happen without manually sewing it up.  It will make a nice, sturdy project/shopping bag.