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Monday, December 31, 2018

Sew Together Bags And A Recap of 2018

Sew Together bags 
I've been sewing.  I made six Sew Together Bags this month, some for gifts, some for me.  I heard about this pattern a few years ago, thought it was an amazing idea, bought it, downloaded it, and haven't done anything about it since then.  Periodically I would sort through fabrics and try to decide what to put where, but I never really got anywhere.
Sew Together bags 
This year, I decided to make some for gifts and figured I'd make myself a couple as well, for a total of six.  I sat down with my piles of fabrics and some post-it notes and figured out (and marked) what was what.  I had the pattern, the link to the sewalong, and an insane number of zippers (the company at that link sells a set of the long zipper and the three short zippers you need for this bag in your choice of colors - NAYY).
Sew Together bags
I separated the fabrics and zippers for each bag into their own ziplock bags so I wouldn't get confused.  I realized I could sew three of the bags with white thread and three with hot pink thread.  This meant I could use assembly line techniques and not have to change thread too often.
Sew Together bags
Some of the bags have the same fabric in each pocket lining, some only have one fabric.  Some of the bags use different fabrics for the interior and exterior side panels while some bags just used one.  Cutting out took an entire afternoon, but I stayed organized and kept each of the bag parts together.
See Together bags
I quilted all of the exteriors with a 1cm grid (my sewing machine is a Pfaff - metric markings), and after trimming them down once they were quilted (quilting can make a piece of fabric draw in, so for projects like this, you cut your pieces bigger than necessary, quilt, and then trim down to the correct size as listed in the pattern), I was ready to go.  I was also 12 hours into the project and hadn't even started the actual construction yet.
Sew Together bags
I used a combination of the pattern directions and the sewalong directions to put the bags together.  I also used this tutorial for zipper tabs on the interior pockets.  I think it makes the zippers look neater and it reduces bulk as you sew it.
Sew Together bags
When I did the binding, I sewed them on by machine first and then turned them over and stitched them down by hand to finish them.  For the long, top zipper bindings, I only did hand stitching along the bag.  I machine stitched both sides for the ends of the zippers where they make little handle loops.  I felt like this would make them more secure.
See Together bags
While this is definitely not a beginner pattern, I didn't think it was difficult either.  There are some fiddly bits and being comfortable with your sewing machine makes it easier to get through these.
Sew Together bags
This was not a fast project, but I enjoyed it and I think the fact that all six of the bags are different kept it from getting monotonous.  Everyone who got one of the bags seemed really happy with it and I hope they get lots of use!  (By the way, I just have to add that in the bag in the photo above, the zipper at the bottom is a color called Monster Snot Green.  I can't tell you how happy it made me to be able to use this and also how weird it is that this color really works well with so many of the Kaffe Fassett prints.  Best zipper color name ever!)

On a completely unrelated note, since today is the last day of the year, I went through my Ravelry notebook and took a look at everything I've knitted or crocheted in 2018.  I only counted finished projects, but here's the count:
  • 4 pullovers
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 4 pairs of footie socks
  • 2 shawls
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 cowl
  • 1 blanket (the Meditative Blanket was finally finished this year)
  • 3 tentacles
  • 5 hearts
  • 11 stars
  • 4 leaves
  • 2 narwhals
  • 1 Cthulhu

I didn't knit a single cardigan last year, but I did make a lot of weird little things.  I currently have another crochet blanket in progress (Granny Goes Large) and two pullovers on the needles (Relax and Sipila).  Those won't be finished until after the new year.  I'm hoping for fewer injuries next year and I'm guessing I won't knit as many weird things, but there's no promises (seriously, who makes three tentacles and a Cthulhu?)

Hope your New Year is amazing and I'll see you there!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sipila Pullover

Sipila pullover 
I finally finished the body of my Sipila pullover!  Even in its unblocked state, you can see how oversized it is on Fifi (it's designed to be oversized, but that means a lot more knitting).  After I took this photo, I actually started the first sleeve, and then I discovered that knitting stranded colorwork on the nine inch circulars that I usually use for sleeves isn't a good idea - I can't keep my floats long enough.  I'll be doing a bit of frogging today and then I'll knit the sleeves on double points like a civilized person.

Live and learn, right?

I'm trying to get this and my other current projects wrapped up by the end of the year.  I don't know if I'll be able to or not, but that's my goal.  I like to start a year with fresh projects!

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Monday, December 03, 2018

A Sock And A Change

Mermaid footie socks 
I've finished my first Mermaid footie sock.  I used some Sweet Georgia Yarn Tough Love Sock leftovers for the toe, heel, and cuff in Lollipop and Sea Spray because I'm pretty sure I don't have quite enough Mermaid to knit both footies.  Hopefully I can use up more than one little bit of leftover scrap yarn!

I also need to let you know about some changes I'll be making with the blog.  Previously, my goal has been to post four or five times a week and barring vacations and sickness, I've stuck to that pretty well for almost 14 years.  There are times that I don't really have anything to post; whatever I'm working on looks virtually the same, no matter how much knitting I put into it; and sometimes it's a gift and I can't blog it.  I also really want to get back to designing, and I have found that it's hard to commit to designing and testing while also blogging with any regularity.  I was thinking about changing things after the first of the year, but I think I need to go ahead and change now.  I will continue blogging but I'm only going to blog when I have something to actually share.  I won't worry about showing up four or five times a week, and some weeks I might not blog at all.  December is as good a time as any to start this because I'm working on some gift projects that can't be blogged anyway.  Hopefully this will free up some of my creative energy. 

I'll see you soon!