FO: Japanese Rice Bag

I made up my Japanese rice bag the weekend before last, using the kit I bought at the quilt show. I love it, although I don’t know what I’ll use it for 🙂

japanese-rice-bag

Some quick sewing projects

I thought I would share a couple of small sewing projects that I have completed this past week.

First of all was this Lil Red doll made from a Moda Fabrics panel. Lil Red is a new collection of fabrics featuring Little Red Riding Hood.

The panel includes the doll, her shirt and cape, quilt, pillow and Mr Wolf. 
She was very quick to make and I enjoyed myself!

The second thing I made this week was a tote shopping bag which folds into a pouch.

This was a pattern my Mum devised a few years ago and I thought I would make a new bag using some of the new Aria fabric by Kate Spain. I love this fabric range and was dying to make something with it.

FO: Felted Tote Bag

For Christmas I was given a big hank of Fleece Artist Bluefaced Aran yarn which came with a pattern for a felted tote bag called Toto.

It was a really quick knit – just a few evenings.  I wish I’d taken a “before” photo, but I forgot.  I was just too keen to get in the washing machine to felt it!  I had it in the machine for half an hour on 40 degrees and was very happy with the amount of felting.  I didn’t want to over do it and as a result it is still quite soft to the touch.  Sometimes felted items can get a bit too stiff for my liking.

In doing this bag, I learnt how to do provisional cast-on and an interesting technique for joining on the handles.  You keep the stitches on the ends of the handles and the spots where they’ll be attached live on a stitch holder.  Then to attach them you slip the stitches alternately onto a single needle.  Then you simply slip two, and pass the first stitch over the second, slip another one, and pass the first stitch over again – a bit like casting off.  It was a really neat join and I’ll definitely try and remember this technique for the future.

FO: Magenta bag

The sock continues… I turned the heel ok I think and now am working on the gusset shaping.

But here’s a recent finished project.

magenta felted bag

This was my second felting project and it was a lot easier than last time.  The pattern was from a recent issue of Let’s Knit magazine and the felting wool was from Knitting4fun.com

Knit on 10mm needles, it was quick to knit and turned out huge.  I wasn’t sure how much it would shrink when felted, but it shrank to just the right size.  I felted it by simply sticking it in the washing machine at 40 deg C.  I might line it with some pink fabric when I get time.  It was supposed to have a flap to do it up, but  I didn’t have enough fushia pink wool left to do it – the only draw back of the pattern and its yarn requirements.

Back on track and feeling brave

I have been feeling pretty sorry for myself the past few days as I started to come down with a cold on Thursday. I wasn’t desperately ill but you know what it’s like when you feel congested and headachy and generally a bit yuck. So I didn’t venture out of the house at all on Saturday or Sunday, except to go up the garden to the greenhouse to water my seeds.

Saturday I spent most of the day in front of the computer doing some family tree research (whilst drinking lemsips). I haven’t done any for months probably and it was so good to get back into it.

And yesterday I finally got my patchwork bag finished (whilst drinking more lemsips). I started this a little while ago after going to the Quilting exhibition with Mum and I’ve not found it easy, hence it was going quite slowly. However I woke up yesterday with the determination to get it finished. It was just taking so long to do (because of my lack of sewing skills) I was getting fed up with it. It took most of the day, needed a little advice from Mum but I got it done… and I’m quite pleased with it. Yay!!

And last night I got back to the cropped cardigan (whilst drink a hot toddy!), which I was putting off because the sleeves were looking odd and I couldn’t face ripping it out.What I learnt though this weekend is that you’ve got to be brave and not worry about going wrong. With the cardigan I needed take it back quite a few rows, so I make the sleeves narrower. I wanted to thread a lifeline through the row that I wanted to go back to and then unravel safely. But because of the shapings and the fact that it is a very wide piece I was sure that I would go wrong and not thread it correctly.

So do you know what I did? I just unravelled. The scary moment with a pile of nearly 200 live stitches in my lap, without a needle or thread running through them, wasn’t actually as scary as I thought it was going to be. The yarn is chunky yarn and doesn’t slip around, so the stitches maintained their form and I was able to put the whole lot back on the needle easily.I had to be brave to do that, but I figured that even if it did go pearshaped – what’s the worse that could happen? I’d lose the lot and have to start again. Not a massive problem in the grand scheme of things.

So I’m now back on course with the cropped cardigan which looks like it is going to fit better now and should hopefully progress quite quickly.

FO: Moss Stitch Bag

Yay! I’ve finally finished something. The bag is done and it didn’t turn out too bad. In fact I’ve been using it for the past couple of days.

moss stitch bag

I guess it took me so long because I was putting off the sewing side. I had to line it and also put in some stiffening around the gusset. I’m not very confident on a sewing machine, but fortunately my Mum is amazing and guided me through it.

I’ve now started my brother’s jacket and enjoying it so far.