Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Still Sewing


My puppet basket is almost empty, I need to fill it up again. I was aiming for Saturday's market, but I'm not going to get to the market because I must go to a funeral. Still, I need to get some puppets done. 

Monday, January 29, 2024



I'm working on an order for another 30 bags from a local jeweler. They're much easier and quicker than the velvet bags I've just finished. To start with, they're not lined. The fabric is also very easy to work with. It presses crisply, so I can do the casings without using pins or clips. I did 15 bags yesterday and will complete the other half of the order today. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024



I've just finished sewing 30 velvet bags, completed before the deadline. Phew. 22 of the bags are black, but there are three different linings. I don't have to thread the drawstrings in, which I'm happy about. That's a fiddly and time consuming task. I have to go over them now with a lint roller, the velvet has a tendency to collect fluff. 

Monday, January 22, 2024

More Velvet


A friend of mine kindly looked through her stash and found some velvet fabric for me.  The black I was using over the weekend is very soft and slippery. I did know from reading Sew So Easy that the term velvet refers to a kind of weave, not a fibre, so velvet can be made from anything. But I wasn't prepared for the difference between the two kinds of velvet! Eventually I realised that it was quicker to baste/tack the velvet to the lining rather that using pins and having to redo the seams. Onward, onward, I still have 17 bags to sew by the end of the week. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Change Of Tack


By mid-afternoon I was bored with making velvet bags. It's no good me persisting in such a frame of mind, I'm bound to make mistakes! Luckily, there's always something else I could be or should be doing. I decided to start preparing for Friday's meeting in the retirement home. A local animal shelter has asked for toys for the dogs to play with, so we're working on that. Last week we made plaited ropes in bright fabric:

I wanted different projects for this week. There are plenty of ideas and tutorials on Pinterest. I tend to browse and then combine ideas from different sites. The ball at the top may be too difficult for the group members, the other two are easier. The members often surprise me though, choosing projects I think they won't want to do. In any case, we'll have something to give to the animal shelter. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Black Velvet


I am now making progress on the bags, in spite of having cut a whole lot of lining pieces the wrong size. The problem with using a production line system is that if you make a mistake, you can make it many times over! 

Monday, January 15, 2024



A couple of weeks ago, I answered an advert from someone wanting bags sewn. I'm in bag-sewing mode, so it seemed a good idea. The brief was a little different from the bags I'm already doing because they need to be lined, and I must use my own fabric. I looked through my stash and found fabrics that Leonie liked and, armed with the diagram she gave me, I began. 

The first bag was a disaster. Because the bag was so narrow, I couldn't use the method I use to line shopping bags. I consulted Pinterest (hooray for Pinterest!) and found a very good tutorial here.  I didnt want to waste any more precious fabric, so I used scraps left over from making a skirt and embarked on a trial and error exercise.

Eventually I got it right and made a bag exactly according to Leonie's specifications. That's the one shown in the top photo. Luckily, she suggested I give her one bag to try. Luckily, because it turns out that the dimensions she'd given me were much too small! She called in yesterday with a pack of cards like the one that is going to go in the bags and I measured it this way and that. This morning I set off on a new trial and error exercise:

I'm still following the method I learnt in the tutorial, but doing the casing for the ribbon is easier now because the bag will fit on the sleeve arm of my sewing machine

Right, now to begin in earnest. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024



Last week I took my recent beadwork to the nearby gift shop. They'll sell it on commission (hopefully!) My beadwork cupboard is bare, so I thought I'd better make some more things. I started with key rings, which are quick and easy and fun. 

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Bamboo Socks


I've finished knitting the socks for Judy. The yarn is 75% bamboo and 25% nylon. It's not specifically a sock yarn and I'm not sure how well it'll wear, but the socks are pretty. The colours are more like the top picture than the bottom one. The pattern used an afterthought heel, which works well to preserve the stripe pattern.

I knitted half a round with waste yarn, where the heel was to be, finished the toes, then went back and undid the waste yarn, picking up the stitches on each side.

The heel is then knitted in the same way as the toes. 

The pair of socks weighs 52g and there is 46g of yarn left over. I could knit another pair of socks, but I'd have to make the tops shorter. 

Friday, January 5, 2024

Matching Socks


 I finished knitting the first sock. Now to get the patterns on the second sock to match the first one. I had to unravel nearly a full repeat's worth of yarn, but I think I did ok. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Yarn Barf

 I get a newsletter every day from a site called Knitting Paradise. That's where I learnt the term 'yarn barf'. It's when you pull the yarn from the centre of a ball and a tangled mess spews out. Like this:

I  met a lady called Judy at the last market, who asked me if I could knit the socks she gave up on. Sure, I said, I like knitting socks. So I'm using her yarn, pattern and needles to knit her a pair of socks. I would usually knit from the outside of the ball, but Judy had already started from the centre, unravelled her work and wound the yarn around the ball, so that wasn't an option. The thread on Knitting Paradise also offered some solutions. The one I took on board was to gently shake the tangle. I didn't sort it all out in one go. I'd free enough working yarn for a round or two, knit it, and then go back to the mess. Eventually, I got there:

Some writers on KP said that they enjoy sorting out yarn tangles! To me, it's a waste of sock knitting time. 



 I was given a ball of jute yarn. I thought I'd use it to try out a crochet waffle stitch that has been on my to-do list for some time. I used Chip Flory's pattern for a Waffle Crochet Dishcloth. It was very easy, and the jute shows the waffle pattern up well. But it is stiff and harsh to the touch, more a pot scourer than a dishcloth perhaps. I wonder what the person who gave me the jute originally intended to do with it? 

Tuesday, January 2, 2024



I started by crocheting a sample, following a pattern. I wasn't really sure about it, so I canvassed opinion. I got thumbs down, but my daughter said she liked the combination of colours. So I used the same colours in simple bias stripes to make a necklace:

It's long enough to go over my head, so I did an invisible join instead of using a press stud. It has a circumference of 7 beads. While I was working on it, I thought I could add another white bead between turquoise and gold to make it a circumference of 8.

It looks fine, so I made a bracelet :