Wednesday 28 May 2014

New bag and some new "rags"

Last night I finished my new Summer bag. The pattern is Caity Did by Loft Creations. I made it mine with some alterations to the original.
First, I need to wear the strap across my body because I have a rotten shoulder, and lifting it to keep the bag in place makes it much worse. Instead of two handle straps I made one long and adjustable shoulder strap.

On the inside, I prefer to keep my wallet and keys in a zippered pocket, so I made one. If you don't know how to make it, go and look at my tutorial here.

On the other side I added a small pocket for my phone. There is a piece of elastic band coming from the lining to the pocket front, to make sure the phone doesn't glide out if the bag is not upright.

Back side of my new bag. The fabric is a treasure from the 1960's. It used to be a sleeveless top my mother made for me, with matching shorts. It was hardly worn at all, the fabric is like new, and I was wondering why because I know I really liked this fabric even back them. When I was ripping the seams open I remembered: The fabric is not only by a famous designer, Marjatta Metsovaara, but it was designed for curtains or tablecloths, and my top was not only stiff and uncomfortable but also too hot.

As I was going wild with the customizing changes on the pattern, I decided to make the bag perfect for my needs with a very little change: Instead of a 1½" box pleat I made a 2" box pleat. I don't need a slim flat bag to carry papers and a magazine, I need a roomy bag that can take my book and my camera, sometimes my knitting project (balls of yarn are never flat!),  maybe a cardigan or a hat, and not look too stuffed. Clever solution, wasn't it?
If you are planning to make a new bag for the Summer, I have a great hint: Stephanie will be selling her 9 $ Loft Creations PDF patterns for 4 $ each from the 1st of June, permanently. Look here, and you will see how the original Caity Did bag looks.
I promised you rags as well:
Dish cloths used to be old rags before they were replaced by pretty knitted or crocheted cloths. Now these are popular again, and I have knitted and crocheted many, many of them. From top, a bamboo/cotton blend, multi-coloured Cream and Sugar cotton, and a microfiber acrylic yarn, to test if it is any good. After a few times in the washing machine the quality of these cloths is even better than before. We have been watching the Giro d'Italia, and a nice dishcloth knitting is just the perfect project for it.

Friday 16 May 2014

New quilt top, socks and a pheasant story

The strings in the wind have grown into a quilt top. I took your advice and kept the other colours to a minimum. Next step is to find a free floor space to make the layers, and quilt it. Luckily this is not a very large quilt.

A new pair of Train socks, this time for the Red Cross. I have knitted at least one pair per month for the Järvenpää babies as well, but I often forget to take a picture before giving them away. Anyway, they all look the same, just different yarns. Here I used two little rest balls of baby sock wool. One pair only takes 38 g  of yarn.

One day I happened to look at the little rock just outside our yard, and I noticed someone had brought a mossy stone on top of the rock.

I looked closer (through the camera lens) and saw that it was a pheasant cock fast asleep!

He must have heard me or felt that I was watching, because he opened his eyes...

... and stood up, looking around as if to see if anyone noticed ...

... and then he stretched his neck and let everyone hear his "song", flapping his wings.

"What, no applause?"

Some days later I caught him hammering our cellar window, where his rival and enemy is lurking every time he comes to check. He also fights back, every time!

We were just 15 inches apart, only separated by a dirty window. I think I need to tape a newspaper on the glass to make the mirror image disappear.


Monday 5 May 2014

New Children's Hospital 2017 campaign at Villa Cooper

Look, we are in the local newspaper!

The first of May was the official beginning of our craft club's bird themed sales campaign to raise money for the New Children's Hospital 2017 project.

Here are the first products, and there will be more.

Felted owl brooches, decoupage eggs and my bird appliqué mug rugs.

Beautiful aquarelles of our winter birds.

Felted rooster potholders and owl softies.

Knitted hats, a tea cosy, a ceramic bird on the wall, little bag with bird fabric, and felted owls on the shelf. On the bottom shelf the eggs and brooches again, and on the left there are some pretty pillowcases with hand printed birds.
I hope the publicity we had in the newspaper will bring new buyers. Mother's Day is on the coming Sunday, and the school year ends at the end of May so little gifts are in great demand. And if the bird gifts are not quite what they are looking for, the house is full of our normal crafty things from rag rugs to linen table runners, from candles to wreaths, from hand knitted wool socks to beaded earrings and necklaces. And of course the big quilt with stitcheries and wool appliqué! That one is for the fundraising, and with the Easter chicks and eggs it goes well under the bird theme too.