Two years ago I put Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops: A Bend-the-Rules Primer on my wishlist for Christmas ideas. Husband bought it for me for this past Christmas. It sat for a bit while I thought about colours then I picked up 100 skeins of embroidery thread in random colours as a pack on Amazon which gave me plenty of options to do it in a rainbow of colours. I started with blue running stitches and have since moved on to green back stitches. I didn’t have a good place to store it so it ended up sitting on my desk and being shuffled around as I needed space so I started looking for bag ideas. I found this pattern on Craftsy which seemed like the perfect style but needed sizing up to fit a 6″ hoop in the top section. Slight modification to the pattern piece later and I had two bags cut out. They were fast to put together and the clear vinyl only stuck a little bit to the machine as I stitched it (mostly I could have the fabric pieces down). I made two inverted versions from a pair of fat quarters. I could have squeezed the binding for the top pocket out of the fat quarters too but chose to use bias binding scraps instead. I managed to have perfectly coloured zips, thread and snaps to match in my sewing drawer which was super handy. It fits really well and means it’s a bit more portable as I can tuck a few bobbins or skeins in the zip pocket along with a thread cutter and take it about.
Pattern: Peek-a-Boo Pouch by SewCanShe free on Craftsy
Materials: Two fat quarters (half a fat quarter for each side), clear vinyl, 10″ plus zippers, thread, one snap per pouch – I used Kam Snaps and snap setter.
Modifications: Added an inch to each side of the pattern piece and re-drew the top curve to match, added two inches to the bottom. Clear vinyl pieces became 7″ by 10″. Used bais tape for the binding piece – need 10″.
I mentioned previously that my next sewing project was a messenger bag. This is the Organised Office Bag from The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam. This is the 4th bag I’ve made from this book and it’s a very good book for all aspects of bag making.
I like making bags and keep finding different reasons for why I need a different one. This one doesn’t really have a reason though the cross-body strap is more useful for carrying whilst also carrying a baby. I purchased the fabric from Minerva Crafts. The outer grey is a printed canvas and the inside a quilting poplin. I love the butterflies in all their rainbow glory. I purchased a metre of each fabric and had enough leftover to make a clutch (Noodle-head again), a card wallet, a project bag and a dpn holder. I had one hiccup in making the bag. The flap pieces and the body pieces are very similar and I attached the pockets to the flap instead of the body. I was able to unpick and move the bottle pocket and the pen holders but the zip pocket requires cutting the fabric to insert it so that one is still in the flap rather than the bag body. It’s only a small pocket and I suspect I’ll use it infrequently so probably not a disaster. There is lots of interfacing in the bag – you can see that it stands on it’s own, which has made it nice and sturdy and it’s big enough to put my laptop in as well should that be needed.
Next up (depending on incoming baby’s timing) is sewing some summer clothes for the Hobbit as she doesn’t have much that fits from last year. As she’s in uniform most days until the end of June I hope I’ll be able to get somethings done in time.
It’s fish themed swap time of the year again. This is the third year I’ve participated and amongst various foodstuffs and knick-knacks I’ve crafted three things for my swapee this year. She indicated that she’d rather have a handknit than yarn so I knitted up a Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret. Knitted in aran weight yarn on 8mm needles it doesn’t take long at all despite the cable rows. I made myself one earlier this year out of Old Maiden Aunt. This one was knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners Jacob Aran in Ecru purchased from Wee County Yarns who have recently become a stockist. I had the perfect amount of yarn with just a teeny bit leftover.
I also made a fishy themed project bag, it’s big enough for around 200g of yarn so good for smaller projects. The outer fabric is linen and the inside a red quilting cotton to match the red zip. I didn’t interface the fabric this time as the linen is quite substantial and you can see in the photo that it is standing on it’s own anyway. It has a fishy tag on the zip but I decided against fishy stitch markers this year and have used some millefiori beads instead.
There are three projects on my needles at the moment.
On the left is yarn I received in a swap which is becoming a pair of socks. In the middles is navy heavy lace-weight (and a ball of grey yarn to be waste yarn) which is becoming Hitofude Cardigan. And on the right is blue heavy lace-weight linen which is becoming a Camellia TeeCamellia Tee.
I have a bit of a weakness for fun fat quarters and tend to turn most of them into project bags. In this case however I fell so in love with the butterfly fabric that I purchased half a metre and made a giant bag. I suspect it will come into play for giant sweaters or blanket projects.
These two project bags are both the same style as I usually make (two boxed corners and a zip top) but I added a loop to one side and a zip pull / hanging strap to the zips which I haven’t done before. The hedgehog one is now in service for my Featherweight cardigan which is almost to the armholes on the back.
I’d originally planned on making a Windswept sweater (by TinCanKnits) for Hobbit for this winter, decided she needed a cardigan instead, thought about doing a cardigan version and then decided on a completely different pattern instead. The Olearia Cardigan by Georgie Hallam has several versions. They all start with a gathered bodice which can be continued through out a whole long cardigan, stopped just after the armholes to make a shrug, or (as I am knitting) continued in stockinette to a long length. There are also options for short or long sleeves with gathers or without. The pattern comes in sizes from 1 to 8 and is incredibly detailed with lots of stitch counts for various sections. This does lead to a long pattern but she has used multiple colours to highlight the different sizes and it is easy to follow.
Thus far I have reach the end of the bodice and am now working in plain stockinette down the body. The yarn I am using was a gift from my mother-in-law last Christmas and is pure wool in a beige colour. There should be plenty for this pattern. I’ve just started the third ball as the bodice gathers use quite a lot more yarn than would be expected.
I realised on going through my blog posts to add them to Pinterest that I’d not actually blogged about most of my project bags or the stitch markers I’ve been using lately so I thought I’d try and include those in WiP posts for a while. All my project bags are sewn by me and are various sizes based on noodlehead’s Open Wide Zippered Pouch tutorial. This particular bag is knitting themed fabric (from Frumble Fabrics) with a grey base and lining (fabric leftover from my Tote Bag) and grey zip. The width is approximately the same as the medium pouch in the tutorial but I have lengthened the bag quite a lot to make room for bigger projects. There is a removable zipper pull made from beads from my stash.
The stitch markers I’ve been using for this project are unintentionally matchy (though I frequently try and match on purpose). They are made from ‘antique copper’ head-pins with wire wrapped loops. The stones I no longer remember what they are. There are four with a single stone, one with a plastic pearl as well and one with a lobster clasp. This works out as a good set as you have a different one to mark the end of round or in this case the beginning of a right side row and the lobster clasp is a removable one for crochet use or for marking progress.
Hobbit’s quilt is quilted and the binding is attached, I’m slowly hand-stitching the binding down at about a foot a day. Give it a couple of weeks and I might be finished. I am pleased with how it’s looking though so glad I’m making the effort.
I’m working on the violet socks of my rainbow now. They have a little eyelet flower motif scattered over the sock, I’m working cuff down for once and have just begun the heel flap (hoping I’ll get that turned tonight).
I’ve started working on a crescent shawl with the purple, green and white Sweet Georgia Yarn I bought a Edinburgh Yarn Festival. It’s not making much progress as it’s an in between socks project and I’m currently sock enthused.
I sewed one of two project bags I have cut out today. Inside it is some lovely sunrise coloured sock yarn sent to me as part of a swap package. I’m not sure whether it’ll be socks or a shawl at this point but look forward to working with it later in the year.
I failed to photograph my spinning this afternoon but as I just posted about that you’ll probably forgive me. The rainbow perendale hogget I was spinning is all spun to singles and is just resting a bit before I have a go at plying it. I started the little 20g rainbow pack but found a lot of felted bits, didn’t like spinning it and didn’t think I’d like the yarn I was getting either so have disposed of that. I started instead the batt I purchased at Edinburgh Yarn Festival. It’s made up of teal, grey, black and sparkle and is spinning beautifully. The yarn is darker than I suspected from the batt which is good as I wasn’t too sure about the teal when I purchased it. Hopefully I’ll remember to take photos for the next time.