Muslin Bags

MuslinBags

A handful of muslin bags for holding bulk food items. It should be more sturdy than those thin plastic bags as well as more environmentally friendly. You only need a bag full of flour fail once to be convinced that there has got to be a better way.

Unbleached muslin and seine twine.

Project Bags

When I was at Green Planet Yarn back in June, I came home with this cute little shopping bag.

GP_Bag

They had a selection of fabrics and I picked the these cats because I was in the midst of Carla Sonheim‘s Cats! class. I used the shopping bag as my project bag. It really is a perfect size. It is just the right size for a small project and project notes without fear of everything tumbling out if you aren’t careful.

I took some measurements. I may have even bought some fabric. But then nothing.

I didn’t do anything with it for months.

Then this weekend happened. I started a new small portable knitting project but didn’t have an empty project bag handy. Instead of looking in the stash for empty project bags that I know I have around, I dug out some stashed fabric and got to work.

A few hours later, I had these 2 new project bags to play with. My new knitting project is already in the bicycle themed bag because I’m knitting a head/neck warmer to wear for my bike commute. Now, I have 2 cat themed project bags. And yes, they both are already adorned with cat hair.

ProjectBags

Why a couple of hours? This was the first time I made these and I was measuring and planning as I went. Next go around will definitely be faster (if I can find my notes or decipher them). I also made this batch with French seams because I was too lazy to pull the overlock machine out but I also didn’t want raw edges. Besides, the overlock would seem counter intuitive since I was using my old school Singer Featherweight. The Featherweight doesn’t do zigzag so I was stuck. But overlock would definitely have made this much faster.

Lastly, I used the sew the box corner technique (#3). It was a little finicky with the French seams and the small size. I think I would go with cut the corner method next time (#2 of the same link above).

General Notes:

  • 2 – 14″ x 14″ squares : I cut them separately instead of in a single long vertical strip (14″ x 28″) because my fabric pattern had up/down direction. I could have cut a long horizontal strip (28″ x 14″) but that would require buying a full yard of fabric. If you are making them in bulk for gifts, that is definitely an option.
  • 2 – 14″ x 2″ strips : If I were to do this again, I would cut 3″ strips. Press the 2 edges toward the center, then fold again. Press.
  • 1″ fold over edge at the top of the bag (with additional 1/4″ fold under so there are no raw edges).

Oh, and part of the time was spent cleaning and troubleshooting my Featherweight. When I pulled it out the other day to do a “quick” project, it was skipping stitches. I didn’t want to take the time to figure out what was wrong so I switched to my Bernina*. (The Needle was inserted incorrectly after I replaced it last time.)

* Does’t everyone have more than one sewing machine? I assume if you are here, you have more than one spinning wheel or loom (or more than one of both). Sewing machines are in the same category. So stop judging.

Tasty Morsels

Every once in a while, you get a craving for a little something tasty. You don’t want that entire box of chocolates but you don’t have the will power to open the box and just take one. After all, once the box is open, who will notice just another one? Next thing you know, you didn’t stop until the entire box of chocolates is gone.

No, I don’t speak from personal experience. This is just what I’ve heard from others. Why do you ask?

Sea Glass Skein

Sometimes it’s like that with spinning as well. You just want a small little something to carry along with you. But spinning a 4-8 oz braid of fiber is anything but instant gratification.

PigTailsBosworthEnter Greenwood Fiberworks‘ Pigtails — approximately half ounce (label says 0.4-0.6 oz) of wool, beautifully dyed.

Just enough to take to a meeting and spin and ply the entire amount on a single spindle.

I don’t think these are part of her regular stock. I picked these up at CNCH a few years ago. CNCH 2014, perhaps? She had a small rack of these tasty little morsels. It was just too tempting.

For the first one, I split it in half and spun each half separately. I wound them off onto individual weaving bobbins before winding them together onto a 3rd bobbin for plying. I think because of how fresh the singles were, I had a difficult time plying them from their own bobbins directly. Too many pigtails.

PigTailsNiddyI think for the next one, I will spin it as a continuous strand and wind it into a center pull ball before plying. I will still split it in half, but reverse the direction on the second half so the colors will still mostly line up.

I pulled out my Bosworth Mini for this little project. It’s strange. I’ve always remembered these as fast little spindles with long spin, but that wasn’t my experience this time around. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been mostly spinning silk on my Goldings. There is nothing like those little Goldings for speed!

TravelPouch

Speaking of on the go spinning, I’ve upgraded my little quart sized zip lock bag to this pouch. It’s a plastic (no more spilled water, tea, wine!) expandable zippered pouch that I picked up at Daiso. I use a similar one to carry my travel watercolor kit.

Hippo Face

LittleHippos

This sweater was finished back in early July but sat around waiting for me to sew on the buttons. Yeah. It’s been that crazy around here.

I adapted the Little Hearts baby sweater with my own chart of little red hippo faces *. Why? This is for the baby of my teammate who named our work project RedHyppo (internal acryonym variant) so I thought it would be appropriate to have a red hippo theme baby item. (Partial red hippo is also in progress — still needs stuffing.)

Project finally “launched” last week, hence the frenzy of blog posts and FOs around here. But we are knee deep in the mop up so things here might slow again.

LittleHipposDetail

* Hippo face chart is available on my Ravelry project page for this sweater.

Baby Surprise Jacket!

BSJ

Don’t you just love those stripes???? The stripes were in the dyed into the fiber. All I did was split it in half lengthwise and spun the yarn as a 2 ply. You can see the yarn in progress in my previous post, Miracle Fabric. Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn about one color repeat short. I had to finish it off with some Cascade 220 Superwash. It’s slightly denser than my handspun but it worked. Now, I just need to add buttons.

This was such a quick and fun knit. Much more fun than the first time around. Why? Minimal ends to weave in. Unfortunately, I didn’t take notes the first time around either. I zipped along on the sweater before I realized that I forgot to increase for the cuff fullness. Riiiiip.

To ensure I don’t make this mistake again, I decided to write out line by line instructions for myself. After a bit, I wanted stitch counts. So, I stopped once again and built a spreadsheet that calculated my line by line and my ending stitch count by row. Yes, I’m a geek. Anyway, I think it took me longer to build the spreadsheet than it did for me to knit the darn thing. It helped that I took the train into the city to have a tea and chat session with Penny.

Stats:

  • Yarn: Handspun and Cascade 220
  • Needles: US #4 (3.5 mm) 32″ or 40″ circulars; these were perfect length to work all the way around with enough room to leave the side stitches on the needle while working the center back panel

A few knitting notes on this BSJ (so I don’t lose my notes and have to start all over again next time!):

  • I used double decrease around a center knit stitch so the decreases match the increases.
  • I used a 2 stitch I-Cord all around.
  • I made 3 – 2 stitch buttonhole in the I-Cord edge. (3-2-8-2-8-2)
  • At the bottom corners, I added a single (unattached) I-Cord stitch before and after the centered/corner stitch to make it a clean turn.
  • At the neck corners, I added 2 (unattached) I-Cord stitch to ease the corner.
  • I grafted the end of the I-Cord to the 2 cast on stitches at the beginning.