Monday, January 21, 2013

More bags

Churning out one per day. It takes approximately just over 2 hours to complete one.
At the moment it is a nice diversion from things and I am taking my time making them. I have even been making up some zipper pulls from my bead box. My signature is the dragonfly charm on the zipper pulls, although I find I can be talked into mushrooms, giraffes and turtles :P

They almost equal my knitting WIPs.

Some things I have learnt part 2:
  •  The handles are better with the heavier Shapewell (finally found out what it's called) it's a devil to turn in the right way but has a much better finish.
  • Zipper pulls are fun :)
  • After sewing the lining and the outer, before you cut the corners, sew through all layers just over the zip and pull tabs, this gives a neater finish for the interior right near the zip:
Before: Messy.
Now it looks way better!

My favourites, the big one is for jumpers.
Zipper pull for smaller bag.
Large bag's zipper pull.
Latest bag from this morning, the silver in this one is metallic.

It's fun finding beads that compliment the bags.
Miss A's mushroom bag,
She even found a button that matches.

Find the cat...

Where is Andy??

Andy loves cat caves, he will either make one himself or meow for us to help him.  It is better if we help because he literally digs himself into one. Nothing is safe, blankets, quilts, dressing gowns. He will stay in them for hours!

I will call it a day now and go knit on my honey cowl.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Obsession

Uh Oh
I feel another obsession coming on.
Haven't dragged the sewing machine out for years, but it still works :)

I made a Boxy Bag :)

I used the tutorials from :  I like how she sews all the fabric together at once, not sew the outer to the zip, then sew the lining to the zip. All at once, one seam to sew.

and here:
This tutorial has no raw edges inside and looks really good.

2 fat flats from spotties at $2.50 each - bargain. Cut the shorter side down to 40cm. $5.00

40cm zipper to match            $1.80

45cm of grosgrain ribbon for pull tabs and handles.  $1.35

Thread to complement the fabric (very important not everything can be sewn with black thread lol)  Plenty of thread left for another bag.  $2.68 for 100m  $1.35 for one bag.

40 cm of  heavy interfacing called Shapeform it is like a woven lining material that irons onto the fabric, for the outer fabric. This was the most expensive thing but I have left overs for another bag ( I bought 1.5m of it at $12.95 per metre)  $2.60

40cm of lighter Shapeform for the lining.  Again, I bought 1.5m at $9.95 so heaps left. $2.00

Costings: All up it cost me $14.25 based on the materials needed for one bag. Materials for 6 bags for under $90.

DISCLAIMER: Just in case I step on anyone's toes though I doubt that I would.....

This costing was for my interest only, I like to know how much I spend and whether it was worth it to keep persisting. (it is they are fab!)
This is by no means meant to diminish any one else's work, I have used really cheap materials for mine.
What others are charging is totally worth it, they have the skills to make their bags look very professional with top notch finishings, mine are just wacked together at the moment.

I hunted for someone in Australia and couldn't find anyone that made them so I thought I'd have a try, and so glad I did ....awesome tutorial!

A 52x40cm piece of fabric will make a  25x5x5cm bag (inches: 10x5x5).

I love our new house!
Our kitchen table is ideal for spreading out sewing stuffs. The amount of light is amazing.

Fabric all squared up lined and ready for tomorrow.

Oooh creepy bug boxy bag.
This bag is for Miss A who didn't mind that the first one was a bit wonky.
(I didn't quite centre the pull tag). But it's my baby and I don't wanna give it to her.
Very happy with results for a first time go and I know where and how to improve future bags.

No raw edges inside!
Some things they don't tell you:
  • Do not sew so close to the zipper.
 Next time I will:
  • Not sew so close to the zipper. It is not a competition to see who can get closest to the teeth, your fabric will end up jamming the zipper and you will have to unpick ALL the seams to fix it. (This is why sewing once is good here).
  • Make sure all pull tabs and handles are centred - don't be lazy they don't centre themselves and they move - check them.
  • Securely backstitch all tabs and handles when sewing across them. Don't be lazy, backstitch, securely.
  • Cut 2 inch squares for the corners (Yes, I work in both metric and imperial measurements).
  • Hmm maybe top-stitch along the zip to ensure rogue fabric does not get caught in zipper.
  • Make sure all seams are consistent, I think this is why the lining got a bit skewed. I was all gung ho about sewing those suckers down. Half inch seams are cool - consistency is the key.
  • 45cms is good for the handles (33cm) and pull tabs 2 at 6cms.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Where Are My Pictures Blogger?!?

Well it seems that by plugging in your smartphone and signing into Google Accounts that some setting on something totally wipes the  Picassa Web Albums where Blogger hosts all the photos.
The auto sync thingy on your phone/Google Account wants to sync everything - I didn't have any blog pics on my new phone so Picassa goes oh no photos hey? well I'll just remove all your web albums and blogger pics then!

So now the last few years of my life are not documented for all eternity.
The only way to get them back is to find what pictures where in the particular post, find them on your computer, and add them back to the post manually, then delete the place holder wher your missing picture is. I did not want to spend the six weeks holidays that I have re-uploading my life's pictures to my blog!

What a complete stuff up Picasa/Blogger/Google!!!!!!!!!!!

I am not the only person this has happened to so beware!

So sorry everyone (one) the job is just soo huge I don't think I will be able to reload all the pics.
And what if it happens again? I think I would cry.

Merry Christmas

ETA Posts beyond Jan 2007 seem to have photos still so it's just 2007 to present that need re-uploading.
I have decided to go to Photobucket and host my images there, that way if it happens again Blogger is not part of the link to my pictures and therefore cannot remove them. Fingers crossed.

Monday, October 01, 2012

New Projects - inside and out

I have finally gotten around to having a go with Wollmeise.

First I swatched (but not with the colour I was going to use):
To me it feels like cotton to knit with but it came out much softer after washing and blocking.

Deciding on a project was hardest, in the end Raiun won. My project or  Rav Link

3.25mm needles
Wollmeise twin in Petit Poison Dark
gauge 6sts/ 8 rows per inch

Things I have learnt:
Provisional Cast On.  A simple figure 8 cast on. You can just see the wonky stitches where the marker is denoting the Cast on row. It took me an hour to get this right, I nearly gave up.Looks ok though, I will try to snug the stitches up later.

 M1P = Make one purl, yep I have never done this before either. Some are a little wonky until I got it right. I bit the bullet and looked it up rather than trying to work it out myself. I couldn't decide whether to pick up the bar from front to back or back to front.

There are a few mistakes right up near the beginning of the sleeve increases. A purl that should have been a knit etc.  This is where I second guessed the designer's plan and changed a knit to a purl because I thought the pattern ribbing would not be correct. So I have learnt to trust the designer in future and just go with the pattern. I will not try to fix it by dropping it down and picking back up because I know what will happen if I drop down 7 rows and can't get back up sounds easy but it's near another lifted increase and I just know i could stuff it up really well so I will live with it. Yes, I can do that, I can live with imperfection, just watch me.
It is actually bugging me a lot but it's such a tiny thing that no-one will see because my hair will be covering it up. So shhh, no-one will know it's there but me.

Outside of the house we have been developing our veggie garden this long weekend.
So far we have planted corn, tomatoes, coloured silverbeet, lettuce, leeks, capsicum, zucchini, carrots and basil.
We also have most of our dwarf fruit trees in. We have 2 apples, 2 nectarines, peach and an orange, we are still looking for a dwarf mandarin. Most trees are full of blossoms.

Here's the resident gardener planting out the ornamentals. The veggie patch is the part covered in pea straw at the back. This is where our big double shed used to be.

We also have the formal ornamental part complete with pot:
I reckon the pot will get blown over in a strong wind gust but we will see. It looks crooked but I keep telling myself that is part of the optical illusion of the pot's design.  Either its that or already on its way over.

Must include a pic of our water feature now that we have pots next to it:

Finally the obligatory kitteh pictures.
They are sneaky, I opened the craft room door to hang up some laundry indoors (didn't want pea straw on the freshly laundered clothes) Kitty snuck in, ignored my stern NO, jumped up on the sofa and immediately snuggled in as if she had been asleep for ages.  Andy soon followed her.

They had swapped places from where they first were, my guess is that Andy went to bite snuggle Kitty so she got up and moved away from him and he took her spot - this happens a lot.

The best part is no more uni until January next year, well one more assignment to submit but it is DONE, just hanging on to it because I always think of other things to add after submitting, yay. I'm taking Summer Semester off this year before I burn out. That leaves just 4 units to go then I will be finished. Two each year as two units are full on practicums, one music which should be easy and an Entreprenurial Professional something or other.

So the next few months will be focusing on making resources for my current class- still working as a School Services Officer in Special Ed, unpacking the many boxes still in the shed, putting my craft room in order (no pictures because it is too messy at the moment) and knitting -can't wait to try out my new garnrollenhalter that came today:
It spins so quietly and effortlessly releases your yarn as you knit. A combined bulk order with a Ravelry group. I had been using this:

from here:
This one is noisy as the lazy susan is very rattly. However it did work quite well and the noise was ok after a while. I simply Blu-Tacked a small lazy susan spinner onto the bottom of a CD spindle, nowhere near as complicated as the linked project. It needed the whole spindle to spin and not have the yarn rotating around the stick part causing friction.

So...I have Raiun to complete then on to a Featherweight Cardi in Wollmeise lace (Im Jahr Der Ratte), Ardelise in Bendy (Red Tweed) oh and I must make a Vanadium Bendy Classic 5 ply (Cranberry) and I must make Elfe too though not necessarily in that order. What's on your To Do list?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

FO Dark and Stormy

My first finished jumper for 2012 - Dark and Stormy
4mm needle
Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 12ply in Midnight Tweed.
Buttons from the Button Bar.

I'm happy with this although there is a bit of pooching at the top of the fronts, but hopefully blocking will help improve the look.
The buttons are just gorgeous, the photo does not do them justice, they have a shimmer that matches the colour of the midnight tweed. The lady in the Button Bar was very helpful and was able to find just the right buttons in a matter of minutes. Definitely well worth the cost in the end they are lovely.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Dark and Stormy progress

This is coming along well. Although I got a little keen last night and kept knitting when I really should have stopped and tried it on to measure sleeve length. I had knitted past the point where I should have started the ribbing. Only had to rip out 15 rows - luckily.
I've given the blog a revamp. Blogger is much more user friendly than it used to be, so easy to customise the widths of the sidebars, change fonts etc, I remember years ago when I just started this blog staying up late at night trying to understand HTML. It was interesting to go back and re-read it and see how things have changed over the years. Maybe I will endeavour to update it more often (even if noone reads it :) )

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Long Time No See

Wow, it has been ages since I posted.

A quick update:
Still at uni - 4 units to go = 2years. Doing it really slowly now, motivation has dwindled some after starting about 6 yrs ago. Plus no guarantee of a job after giving up the hours that I have now.

Much has happened in my personal life in short....found the man of my dreams, demolished my old home, built a new one, got engaged and now we all live happily together.

Started knitting again about 3 months ago and currently knitting Dark and Stormy  (Rav Link) have 1.5 sleeves and part of body to go. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's finished and it fits!!

I just finished sewing a zipper in my Viking Cabled Central Park Hoody and I looove it!!
Finally something that fits.
I mucked up the zipper 3 times and had to unpick it luckily I only had to unpick one side but gah! so much unpicking.

I am now an expert (self-proclaimed of course) at installing zipp
Here is what I have learnt:
  • Baste it in with two strands of sewing thread with small stitches. Make sure you are lining up the rib on both sides.
  • Use a sewing machine to secure it in place permanently - use a medium/long stitch - I didn’t realise my sewing machine, although set to medium, was sewing tiny stitches.
  • Remove and tidy up threads.
  • Dance around and show the cat, be amazed at your skills.
Anyway it is done, drumroll please...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I blame Ikea

This room has always been a junkroom and the door is kept closed. I have wanted to improve the room by adding some bookshelves but never really had the time. Miss A and I went to Ikea, they had a great bookshelf system on display that might just work in that room. That afternoon, after a few calculations I roped Miss A into helping me clear out the room, it was just going to get a tidy up at that stage. Then maybe we could put the bookshelves in bit by bit over the next few months. It was so cluttered we could take 3 steps inside the door and that was it.

Over 4 days we fixed it up:

Day 1: We cleared it out. After clearing out the room we could see that it was pointless putting in new bookshelves when the carpet was so awful - split and tearing and worn in places, so...we started ripping out the carpet.

Day 2: Now it was almost bare it looked better We got some carpet tiles from Bunnings and over the next day they were laid. Then we went back to Ikea to order the bookshelves and came back home to finish laying the tiles. After dumping everything in 3 other rooms it looked so messy that we had to get the back room in order fairly quickly as I couldn't stand having it so messy.

Day 3: We finished the carpeting the night before delivery so we just had to wait for the bookshelves to arrive. We assembled them (that was fun) and put them in the room. The first one took an hour ( and a few melt downs) to put together, the second one took 45 mins and by the third one we had the steps down pat so the rest took 30 mins or less to assemble.

They fit along the long wall round the corner and almost along the length of the short wall.

Day 4: Now we just had to put back in everything we had taken out. Would it all fit? Would it look messy? Would we have more space?

The room looks fantastic, there is room for the rocking chair so Miss A can have a quiet place (so can I ;) )

It all fits, with room to spare! There is heaps of space on top too. I even attached the bookshelves to the walls for stability. Although now I think I need to readjust them as the shelves are together at the tops, but have a half a centimetre gap at the bottom and I fear they are angled toward each other rather than straight. Which means unscrewing them and I know how much fun I had getting those screws in the first time!

Here's the view from the doorway:

Clearly more than 3 steps.

This was a long overdue home improvement, we worked from the time we woke up to the time we collapsed into bed for almost 4 days. My back hurts, my feet are dirty and my hand is numb from the screwing in of many screws and my bank balance has dropped. Like I said...I blame Ikea, but the room now has a nice, fresh feel to it.