Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ad-Libs and Free-Forms

So I finally finished my clothes pin bag and I think its quite lovely--if I do say so myself.

Finished Bag

The wee clothing is my contribution to the wonderful world of free-form crochet.  For some reason, I lost the pattern for the clothes (but rest assured I did find it again).  Since I was in a hurry at the time, I only grabbed my yarn and hook.  So when I had the time, I  "ad-libbed" my wee clothing, crocheting shapes that vaguely resembled a dress, a pair of pants, a t-shirt and a skirt.  If it didn't look right, I'd rip it out and start again.  Not bad, eh?
Dress and Pants

T-shirt and Skirt
My other modification was the trim along the edges.  When I joined the sides and top, I used single crochet in a contrasting colour.  Then I worked reverse crochet to add a little decorative touch to the edge.  I think its a nice finishing touch.
Bag Filled with Clothes Pins
After I filled my new bag with my clothes pins, I realized two things:
  • I'm so glad I lined the bag 'cuz there's a fair amount of stretching (probably 'cuz I used double-crochet instead of just single-crochet);
  • I own a lot of clothes pins
I can finally say "good-bye and farewell' to the  ol' plastic bag.  May you find renewed peace and purpose in the recycling pile.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

About The Clothes Pins . . .

Sadly my clothes pins are still in a plastic bag, but not for long.  

My clothes pin bag didn't take long to grow.  I modified the original pattern by chaining 41 instead of 51 (the original was too wide or maybe I am a loose crocheter--in the same way I am a loose knitter).  I also varied the stitch pattern: instead of single crochet each row, I alternated between sc and dc.  Because of the resulting "holey" fabric, the finished item was gonna need some lining.
Girly Colours

In a little over a week, I completed the 20" long bag--minus the finishing of course.  I used three different colours because I didn't think I'd have enough of one colour for the entire bag.  On the plus side, I used leftovers from another project. 
"Finished" Bag
Originally the Bernat Cottontots was used to make a poncho and matching hat for my niece.  I blogged about that at the Bernat Blog back in March and April, although I don't think I ever posted a photo of her wearing it.
My Niece in Her New Poncho
With the bag finished, I searched for matching scrap fabric--something green or pink.  I had none (I know you're probably wondering how a gal who doesn't sew end up with scrap fabric, but I have made curtains in the past and I do make patches for "holey" jeans--'cuz honestly who wants to give up a pair of comfy jeans even if they do have holes).  Then I remembered I had saved my old fitted sheets (my old sheets didn't quite fit my new mattress, but I kept them 'cuz . . . well, I'm a bit of a pack-rat although I do fight those urges with the occasional purge). 

After cutting out a large rectangle, I hemmed the edges and then machine-stitched it to the inside of the bag.  Not bad, eh?  It doesn't have to be super pretty, only functional.  After all, no one is gonna see the inside of the bag (I know what you're thinking: why have the liner match if no one will see it?  Well, I have a problem with colours that don't match . . . and it's probably best to just move on 'cuz ya don't really wanna know how cuckoo I am truly am).
Liner Machine-Stitched to Bag
I guess this project is all about recycling and re-using, LOL.

Next on the docket,  crocheting the cute little clothes that decorate the bag.  I'm hoping to use white and pale yellow for that.   Those colours should match nicely with the green and dark pink.  Here's hoping I can start them soon . . . but I make no promises.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sleeve Number Two

Now Showing Two Sleeves
Yeah, I kinda forgot to mention this (okay, I got busy playing games on Facebook, in particular Restaurant City--mia culpa, mia culpa), but I finished that pesky second sleeve on my beloved Blue Sprout. 
Feelin' the Sprout Love
I'd love to say the button bands are gonna get done soon, but I've committed myself to a few extra projects (perhaps I should qualify that and say that I've over-committed myself--so says the knitter who usually works one or two projects at a time).  While I continue to work on my Bernat projects, I'm also finishing up my clothes pin bag (just some finishing to get done on that). 

My husband also requested slippers--and he never asks me to knit anything.  So I'm not gonna say "no" to that.  He also admitted he wouldn't mind a warm, snuggly cardigan--oh joy!  Yes honey, I will make you a cardigan too!  But first I gotta get my hands on some Phentex 'cuz those are the only slippers he likes.

I also joined the Bernat Mystery Crochet-Along . . . ahem, there's a wee bit much on the plate right now, but I'll get through it--right? :O

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sewing Stuff

Well, sort of sewing.  I'm hemming pants for my boys.  My heavens the children grow quickly!  Often the sizes needed are too long in the leg, necessitating a few cuts and **gasp** some sewing . . .
Vroom, Vroom Goes the Sewing Machine
Have I mentioned how much I dislike sewing?  I dislike it so much that I often forgo any ironing-- just to get the job done quickly.  And often I don't even pin down the hem (I know it's crazy, but its true).  I just eyeball it 'cuz I wanna be done with the whole affair (although I will  mark off measurements on the wrong side so I know where to fold the fabric--and yes, I did just use permanent marker).  Its rather surprising how often my hems end up straight (must be in the genes as my mom worked as a seamstress for many, many years).

Another Completed Hem
Two pairs of pants hemmed.  Four more to go.  Maybe I'll save those for next weekend . . . my nerves are feeling a wee bit frayed.  Perhaps some nice crocheting or knitting can soothe away the tension . . . . 

Hope your weekend was full of crafting goodness. ;)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Laundry Love

I know: who truly loves laundry?  But its a necessary evil.  However, there is one thing 'bout laundry that I do love: hanging my clothes outside in the sunshine.  There's nothing like putting on a clean shirt that's dried outdoors: smells like sunshine and fresh air.
My Lovely Clothesline
Once the nice weather arrives, I use my clothesline as much as possible (and nice weather is notoriously short-lived in Nova Scotia).  The weather is not always cooperative, but this has been a good year thus far. 

Sadly there is one item that seriously impedes my joy: the ubiquitious grocery bag.
The Grocery Bag
The grocery bag holds my clothes pins.  I use the wooden ones (memories of childhood).  I never leave the bag outside.  Why?  One word: earwigs (ewww and double ewwww.  If you've never met an earwig, then consider yourself lucky).  Despite leaving my bag indoors, it eventually falls apart.  So I decided to make a clothes pin bag. 

Thank heavens for Ravelry where one can easily search for free patterns (there's a link some where on my sidebar).  Seriously, you can find everything from nice to naughty and everything in-between.

Check out this pretty bag from Sukigirl (who kindly gave permission for the use of her photo).  You can check out her blog for more crochet stuff.
Sukigirl's Lovely Clothes Pin Bag
(photo used with permission)
Isn't it pretty?  And ingenious: a bag with a hole that hangs from a sewn-in clothes hanger.  You can find the pattern for the clothesline bag here

Sukigirl also includes the patterns for the cute wee clothes on her bag. You can find the patterns for the wee clothes here.  My only other problem is whether to use Bernat's Cottontots or Handicrafter Cotton (as I've got both in my stash).

Decisions, decisions . . .

Monday, September 6, 2010

Not Giving Up

So the kids are finally back to school (along with homework, packed lunches and rushed mornings).  I've had new toddlers adjusting to new routines at daycare.  To add to the mix, on the last long weekend of summer, Mother Nature decided to throw us a curve ball: wicked heat followed by a lovely hurricane--oh the joys!

But I found my knitting mojo somewhere in the confusion:  semi-finished my Bernat project only to cast on for the next one--also for Bernat (so I can't share it with you, but you can probably read about them over at Ravelry). 

AND--most importantly--I finally started working on that second sleeve for my Blue Sprout
Last Sleeve on the Needles
Yes, August came and went.  By rights, Blue Sprout should be finished.  It isn't--not yet.  I promised myself I would finish it.  It will be done.  Honest.  Cross my heart. ;)
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