Just A Few Good WIPs

Since my post about living a monogamous knitting life I’ve tried extremely hard to concentrate on only a few projects at a time. I’m doing okay…ish…

Minus my two blanket projects that I haven’t touched in monnnnnnths, I only have three projects on the needles/hook:

Solid Granny

Solidan (pattern > Solid Bottom Bag Crochet Tutorial): This is going to be a project bag – hopefully a knit night type bag. You know, something that can hold a couple of project bags and a small notions bag and be thrown over the shoulder. I’m working it up in a fairly tight gauge because as we all know, cotton S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-S something fierce and I want this to be a large bag but not a LARGE bag. The combination of a US F hook and a shit ton of Peaches & Creme cotton yarn seems to be producing a nice and tight stitch – so far, so good.


Pascal (pattern > Arrowhead Socks): After multiple (soooo many) sock patterns were bought and downloaded, I finally found a pair of socks to make for the 2013-2014 EpicKALCAL. This pattern hit all of my requirements for this project DK weight yarn, easy lace pattern and top-down construction. I busted out my MarigoldJen DK yarn for this project and magic! I love the way it’s working up! Please note that this is like the 3rd freakin’ project I’ve tried with this yarn…so glad I found a good pattern for it…freakin’ finally.

I also used this project to try out the ever so popular Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I don’t really like a heel and gusset because it doesn’t fit my foot well. It makes my socks bunch up in the back of my shoes and spill out. Not a good look. I like this method much, much better. Not only does it fit better than the usually heel, it works up like gangbusters! No counting stitches, holes or picking up stitches down the side. ANNNNND the stitch count never changes and you can use it on any stitch count. LOVE IT.


Kittyhawk (pattern > Yellow Dwarf Shawl): This project is kind of a thing. Okay, soooooo at first this was the Metallurgy Shawl. But that pattern made me its bitch and I didn’t like working on it. There was just too much back loop this and don’t back loop that and the lack of true rest rows took its toll on me…about 10 rows in. Which is sad because it was reallllly pretty. But one day I was cruising around Very Busy Monkey’s pattern pages and noticed that she’d started another shawl series called ??? that included a pretty shawl called Yellow Dwarf Shawl. I was like “Oh that’s cute! I should make thaaaaaaaaaaa…OMG! That has the same body as the Metallurgy Shawl!!! Maybe I could turn the Metallurgy into this shawl!!!”

*buys pattern and notes that bodies are the same and I can easily switch from one pattern to another…gives self high-five*

So after a lot of stitch counting, frogging due to dropped stitches, additional dropped stitches being fixed by a friend while watching football, my Metallurgy Shawl is now officially the Yellow Dwarf Shawl! Progress is being made! PROGRESS DAMNIT!!!

My plan is to wrap up my bag first because I have lots of free time this week and I have the Superbowl on Sunday. PRIME CROCHET TIME.

I want to start the Washington Square Cardigan and Steven West’s Garter Squish NOW NOW NOW but I will show some self control…maybe. Don’t judge me.

Must knit all the projects!!!

Bagapalooza

Hmmmmm, fabric stash enhancements have been made…


Yummy, right? I swear, fabric is a sweet, sweet drug.

But unlike my yarn stash (which is slowly getting out. of. control.), I actually can use up my fabric fairly quick.

See! Already making a dent!


So first I whipped up some adorable boxy project bags for both Eve and I (mine on the left and Eve’s on the right). I combined two patterns together to make these little boxy numbers: Boxie Pouch Tutorial and Cosmetic Bag Tutorial. I like the no guts of the first pattern but I like the corner construction of the second pattern. I also made them nice and roomy – these guys are roughly 10.5″ long, 9″ wide and 4.5″ tall. So rooooomy.

I also made some of these too!


I originally made both of these for me because I was just testing out the pattern for future gifts and contest prizes, but Eve really fell for the red floral pouch. So hers it will be!

I have to say, I reallllllly like this pattern – DIY Pouch Sewing Tutorials – and its results. It was recommended to me by Amy Beth from The Fat Squirrel Speaks and its perfect – not a modification needed. I used home decor fabric (bird and vine) and outside decor fabric (red floral) for the outsides and twill for the lining without any interfacing. They whipped up super fast, which is good because I’m not the fastest seamstress in the world. But you can easily knock one of these out in an evening with the most basic sewing experience. (Do it!)

I used the measurements for the large version and they came out 13″ long on the top, 7.5″ long on the bottom, 5.5″ wide on the top and 7.5″ tall. A great size for a number of different knitting/crochet projects and any other trinkets you may want to stash into it. I so see myself making a ton of these in the future. TONS. TOOOOONS.

Must make all the bags!

Tote Lovin’


Whaaaaaaa!!! Final bag of the Put it in the Bag Challenge is in the books!!!

So love this bag. So Love! It’s sturdy and roomy and I love the colors!

Look at the inside!!!


Both the exterior and lining for this bag are cut from upholstery fabric. Very expensive, even with a coupon, expensive upholstery fabric.  But I have to admit that I have a fair amount left of both pieces of fabric (because upholstery fabric is very wide) and this stuff makes for a great bag.

I got this pattern from Brett Bara’s Sewing in a Straight Line.  The pattern was very clear and easy to follow (I know that I say that a lot, but I only like to working from well written patterns – I don’t like wasting time trying to figure out what a author/designer meant to say).  The only modification I made was to the straps.  I didn’t like the way the interior material looked as straps so I just continued to use the exterior material without any trim as straps and I think it came out great.


Although I think the bag is pretty classy and done really well, Bailey isn’t impressed.  That’s okay though, I’m really happy with this bag and the other bags I made for this challenge (here and here). 

I hope everyone enjoyed this challenge and has some great bags to show for it!

Two of Three

Bag #2 – my drawstring bag with a lining – is in the house for the Put it in the Bag Challenge!!!

I love this little bag! I was initially nervous about bringing together three different fabrics to make this per the tutorial – two for the exterior and one for the interior – because it’s simply not my strong suit. Two, yes. Three, no. But, I remember reading somewhere that if you buy fat quarters in bundles they will always work well together (it’s simply the way bundled fat quarters are suppose to work). And sure enough, I used three fabrics from a five pack fat quarter bundle and I love the combination.

So darn cute and more than enough room to hold a knitting project of the sock, shawl, fingerless mitt kind.


As for the tutorial, I really liked it. The instructions were very clear and concise and the accompanying photos were nice, clear and helpful. The only modification I made came when making the bottom of the bag square. Although it’s scarier than hell, I like to cut my corners out like in this tutorial over sewing the corners up first and then cutting them.


I just like working with less fabric and I find this method way less bulky and easier to work with when matching up seams/creases. Just a personal preference.

Yeah! Two bags done (here’s the first one) and one more to go to complete the challenge! As far as my next bag, I’m looking to make the tote from Brett Bara’s book Sewing in a Straight Line. When I thought up this challenge, this was the first pattern I decided on and I haven’t wavered. My only issue is picking the perfect fabric for it…granted I’ve purchased fabric for it, I’m just not completely sold on what I’ve bought so far. Of course. Fickle.

All Zipped Up

Hey there adorable little cosmetic bag. Aren’t you just super cute!


Yup! Bag #1 for the Put it in the Bag Sewing Challenge is in the bag (ughhhh, horrible horrible pun)! I found the tutorial for this bag on Pinterest (of course) and it took just a few hours to make.


Don’t you just love that colorful pop of rainbow awesomeness on the inside?

Its a nice size too – room for lots of stuffage!


Unlike the tutorial, I put tabs on both sides of the zipper for ease of use and I didn’t cover the lining fabric with vinyl (used medium weight fusible interfacing instead). I also used a 22 inch zipper and sized it down during the construction of the bag to avoid having to sew around the zipper head (you can move the head around so you don’t have to sew near it…you just have to make sure not to cut the zipper head off with your excess zipper tape when you trim it down – which I almost did, just sayin’…).

By the way, there was also a prototype bag…booyahhh!


Looks cute and I totally love it, but if you get toooooo close you can see where I had a few issues (i.e. seams not lining up) and I made a couple of questionable decisions too (i.e. black thread against orange and white butterfly fabric…really? REALLY? really.)

I so plan to make this bag a million more times. The tutorial was great and it makes a great gift!

It’s On!

Are you ready?

Thread?

Zippers?

Scissors?

Patterns?

And most important – FABRIC???




It’s time for the PUT IT IN THE BAG CHALLENGE PEOPLE!

Just in case you forgot…here are the details:

  • Challenge Dates: September 1 – 30, 2012
  • This will be a three bag challenge.
  • This is a sewing challenge. The bodies of the bags have to be sewn – not knitted or crocheted.
  • Categories:
    • Tote Bag – This bag should be able to hold at least three skeins of Red Heart Super Saver yarn easily and have at least one handle (the handles can be handmade or store bought). Having a closure is optional for this bag.
    • Drawstring – This bag should have a drawstring closure and be able to hold at least one ball of sock yarn and a set of 6 inch dpns easily.
    • Zippered – This bag should have a zipper as its main closure. It can be any size – coin purse to beach tote.
  • At least one bag has to be fully lined.
  • This is a three bag challenge. Any one bag can overlap any of the three categories but it can only count for one category. For example, a bag can be a tote bag and have a zipper closure but it can only fulfill one challenge category – tote or zippered – but not both.

You didn’t forget did you?

Tell me I wasn’t the only one that stalked bag tutorials on Pinterest like a crazy person!!! Orrrrr, that I wasn’t the only one that dropped a small fortune on more fabric, notions and whatnot than I needed to complete this challenge?????

A Slap in the Face – A Challenge

Takes off a dueling glove and slaps you in the face with it…

*smack smack*

I guess I should tell you about this challenge before I start slapping you around.

*smack smack smack*

Sorry, I can’t help myself! Virtual dueling gloves!

Anyway, my friend Eve and I are very competitive. We once tried to out-Catholic each other and I’m not even Catholic! (She totally won – not only is she actually Catholic, she’s been to the Vatican…I seriously thought that my set of rosary beads from Ireland were pretty Catholic but you really can’t out-Catholic Vatican City). We’d been talking about making our own project bags and pinning various tote/cosmetic/drawstring bags on our Pinterest boards for a while now, but not actually doing anything about it. So while sitting around procrastinating one day I came up with the Put it in the Bag Sewing Challenge and put it to Eve:

  • Challenge Dates: September 1 – 30, 2012
  • This will be a three bag challenge.
  • This is a sewing challenge. The body of the bags have to be sewn – not knitted or crocheted.
  • Categories:
    • Tote Bag – This bag should be able to hold at least three skeins of Red Heart Super Saver yarn easily and have at least one handle (the handles can be handmade or store bought). Having a closure is optional for this bag.
    • Drawstring – This bag should have a drawstring closure and be able to hold at least one ball of sock yarn and a set of 6 inch dpns easily.
    • Zippered – This bag should have a zipper as its main closure. It can be any size – coin purse to beach tote.
  • At least one bag has to be fully lined.
  • This is a three bag challenge. Any one bag can overlap any of the three categories but it can only count for one category. For example, a bag can be a tote bag and have a zipper closure but it can only fulfill one challenge category – tote or zippered – but not both.

I knew Eve wouldn’t be able to resist a good challenge and she couldn’t. She swore at me, accepted the challenge and then virtually slapped me in the face with her dueling glove.

Do you sew? Do you want to join us? You should! J Eve and I would love to have you!

Please drop me a line letting me know you want to play along!

???

What is that you say? Will there be prizes? Hells yeah! The best prize of all: Bragging Rights. An opportunity to respond with “Oh, I made this!” and a coy smile when someone tells you how cute your bag is! Or, if you’re like me, you can say “BOOOOYAHHHH!  In yo’ face!  I maaaaade this! WHAT UP NOW?!” while doing the running man and holding the bag inches from their face.

Klassie.