Thursday, February 21, 2013

Very sew motivated

I cannot say enough great things about the Craftsy bag-making mini-classes.  I am also very grateful that the classes are free.  If not, I would probably not enrolled, thinking I could learn like I learned to knit (reading books and patterns).  The videos have been enormously effective in getting me feel comfortable with these basic projects.

So I dived into the tote bag and zipper pouch mini-class last week.  Not really in need of another tote bag, I skipped that project and moved on to make a zipper pouch with fabrics matching my bucket bag:

I can't say I have mastered the whole process yet.  So it is a great thing that Kristin has posted dimensions for 3 more sizes on her blog.  I would probably make an iPad-size one as skill consolidating exercise.

While messing around with my fabrics stash, I discovered something I left lying around for quite some time.  I have some wonderful friends who know that I started learning to sew, and they would bought me fabrics and books when they went travelling in Japan.  So I had promised to make them book cover.  The said project was half finished when I went into hiatus.

Here it is ... a crazy quilted fabric book cover:

I must have followed a pattern somewhere, just that now I have no idea what it is.  But I am really happy with how it comes out.  Most book cover patterns are customized to fit a specific size.  But since I am making this for my friends, I aim to make it more flexible in size:

Instead of stitching both ends, I used a ribbon for one ... this way it can fit books of various widths.  By the way, don't you like that colorful psychedelia pattern?  Every time I look at it, I think of the 70s, flower power, San Francisco, LSD ...

A full view of the top:

Can you tell that I am much more comfortable with my sewing machine now?  I am, indeed.  So comfortable that I moved on to whip up another bag using this adorable linen/cotton fabric, also from my friends:

The pattern is from a book called Everyday Handmade (which carries a lot of lovely projects):

Perhaps it is the way I feel myself to be ... normal outside, crazy inside, I always like to use the louder print as the lining:

I know the zipper doesn't really match too well ... a bit too white and bright.  But I wanted to capitalized on my motivation instead of waiting to get the matching zipper.  The bag was made in an evening's time.

One great thing I learned from this pattern - how to conceal the raw edges:

Sewing is fun.  And I already have a long queue of projects lined up.  :-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First SKA of 2013 - Little Pumpkins Socks

Joining KAL is actually fun.  You get to work on the same project or a theme with other fellow knitters.  The problem is if you are not exercising proper self-control, it would become stressful too.  But since I would be constantly knitting socks, I was really excited to get back into the SKA (Sock Knitters Anonymous) KAL on Ravelry.

The January 2013 theme is Flora and Fauna ... anything to do with plants and animals.  When I saw the theme, I immediately knew what I wanted to make.  Through blogging, I came to know some wonderful knitters and their dogs and cats.  One kitty is particularly dear to me -

Don't you just love that face?  This is Pumpkin of FluffyKnitterDeb. Sadly, P-Man passed away in February 2012.  Both Debi and I had kind of drifted away from blogging for some time then, so the news was quite a shock to me.

So, what better time to make a pair of Little Pumpkins Socks using the yarn I bought because it reminded me of this beautiful boy in the first place?  Confused?  Never mind ... just look at this:

I love the little detail in the ribbing that makes it so interesting ... just a single row of purling and the ribbing feels so different.  And of course the little pumpkin patterns are really cute too.

The socks have been finished for a while (quite a while actually) ... and I only have time to show it now:

Really nice, don't you think?  The yarn is so so so soft.  The yarn is superwash but I think I would hand wash the socks ... they don't feel as hard wearing as Trekking or Opal.  A closer shot to show you the little pumpkins:

Pattern: Little Pumpkins Socks designed by Sabine Ruppert
Yarn: Liza Souza Hand Dyed Sock Merino Yarn (100% Superfine Superwash Merino) in Goldilock (I bought the yarn in Stitches West and didn't see this colorway on the website's color card.)
Needles: Grafton Fibers Darn Pretty dpn 2.5mm (leg) and 2.25mm  (foot)
Cast On: 01-01-2013
Cast Off: 01-28-2013

The SKA February challenge has started and I still have no idea what to make.  The themes are Unappreciated patterns (15 projects or less on Ravelry), Beverage themed, Wendy Johnson or Claire Ellen designs. Any suggestion?

Saturday, February 02, 2013

FO Alert!

This year I have adopted a different strategy.  Since it is during the weekends that I would have a larger chunk of time to work on my projects, I set myself bite-size targets for each weekend.  For example, the weekend 2 weeks ago my target was to make preemie hats, and the weekend before to finish the bag making class on Craftsy.  So far, it is working for me.  During the week, I pick up knitting projects whenever I have the time. Then during the weekend, I focus on my smaller goals and manage to have something done.

Last week, I finished watching the second part of the bag making class on Friday, and made a bucket bag during the weekend:

It was really a lot of fun making this bag ... from the selection of matching fabrics to searching for ways to customize the pattern to make a unique bag of my own.

Do you like the fabrics?  I bought the light blue one from Daiso.  It was originally a Japanese style fabric room divider.  The fabric itself was made in India.  The cotton is thicker than quilting cotton and has a finish like linen ... very lovely.  The darker fabric was something I picked up from Joanne's remnant bin (I love doing that ... it is like treasure hunt and there is always something surprising to discover).  It is some beautiful tie-dye in various shades of blue/purple.  How about some close-up?

To add some fun to the bag, I used 2 different stitches to sew the pocket divisions as well as the top stitching of the bag:

Really really proud of myself for this one ... :-)