Archive for July, 2008


I have been very busy this past week.  Trouble is, I’m trying to be good about not spoiling surprises.  I suck at it.

Sooooooooooooooooo, will only show some snippets of my week’s activities 😉

First of all, I did some sewing.

And then I did a whole heap of dyeing.

And I’ve done some knitting too.

So stay tuned 😀


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My Take-Along WIP bag

It’s finally done!

I started this bag back in mid-June.  I blogged about it too.  I had bought 3 balls of Noro Kureyon to do this bag, and though I looked high and low, in and out, over and under, the third ball was not to be found until I cleaned the craft room and it made its appearance.

So I set about deciding how to do the strap for this bag.  I really didn’t want a knitted strap anyway, and thought an old used belt would look cool.  So I searched the Sally’s and various Op Shops to no avail.  I thought a plain buckle could be had from somewhere and I could add the leather myself.  No.  Not at Spotlight.  Not at Nancy’s.  No.

The Bag Fairiess were conspiring against me!

I was to the point of using bought handles, which of course all seem to be made out of plastic.  No.  Not the look I was hoping for. Not to mention that with a pair of handles, how would i even get anything into and out of the bag, since the mouth of the bag is so narrow. But I found nothing that jumped out at me.  Nothing.  So my bag has sat for over a month, unloved.

Then, I went to Thimbles and Threads when I dropped off a swapsie in Upper Hutt, and the Bag Fairies were there!!  They lightened my wallet by a lot and I got the perfect bag handle!  Not only is it made of wooden beads and leather, but it’s a single strap.

*Does a little jig*

So, I set out today to finish the bag. I knit up some small tabs in garter stitch and used then to secured the strap rings to the bag, using a three needle cast off.  A bit of a mission, but it looks good in the end.

My friend Beck had given me a great idea about putting in a pouch on the inside of the bag to hold a ball of yarn.  That way, when I put my WIP (Work-In-Progress for those non-knitters) in the bag, the needles and yarn don’t get tangled together.  BRILLIANT!

So this is the bag lining, pulled out so you can see the the little yarn pouch. I did it as a drawstring with a spring toggle.  And I sewed in a little tab into the main lining where the pouch snaps into the bag.

It’s just perfect.  My yarn can stay untangled and out of the way, and I can look like a normal person walking around with a bag. Until I pull out my knitting in a cafe, Muahahahahahahahaha.

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With a title like that, you might be thinking that I’ve been doing science experiments with the kids, but you’d be wrong.  I’ve been knitting, of course!

Calorimetry is a quick knit from Knitty that a few friends of mine have raved about.  I don’t have long hair anymore, but when I saw this yarn, Sirdar Juniper in Mulberry , I knew I had to knit Calorimetry with it anyway.  Afterall, there are three little girls here, keen to try it out on their heads too.

The pattern called for aran weight wool on 5mm needles, but the Juniper is 12-ply, so I used 4.5mm needles instead.  The length isn’t too bad, but the width is quite big.  The girls don’t care though, thankfully 😀

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The Manly Lunch Bag

I organised a Bag Swap on TNN a little while ago.  I am WAY slack.  But as I mentioned in my last post, I was almost done.  It just required two things: getting the pattern out of my head AND cleaning the craft room.  Well, I’ve done both, and found my sewing machine in the process!

The person I am gifting to is the husband of the TNN Member, and he was looking for a lunch bag. So I sat down and sketched out my design and came up with measurements to fit around the drink bottle and plastic container I bought.  Because I wanted to do a lunch bag in a messenger bag style instead of a traditional fold-over lunch bag, I wanted to make it as gender neutral as I could.  That way, if the DH doesn’t think it’s manly enough for him, at least the TNNer can use it, right?

After a few muck ups like:

  • remember to measure twice and cut once.
  • Mark your cut pieces so you sew the correct pieces to each other.
  • Some fabrics just HAVE to be overlocked if you are going to make anything durable out of them.

This is what the bag turned out like.

This is a slightly closer view.  Thanks to my crappy a$$ camera and the type of thick cotton woven fabric, the pictures look a bit psychodelic.

Once you open the flap, there are two snappable pockets that can be used for utensils or napkins, or even a cell phone or ipod.

And a little peek inside.  You can see how the lunch box and drink bottle fit in nicely, with a little room to spare.

I completely munted the lining, so had to do a second take on that, which grumble grumble grumle means that I had to use a different fabric than what I had on the flap lining, but that’s ok as I think it looks heaps better.  And I would make the shoulder strap less wide as well, but for a manly man, with big shoulders, big is good, right?

The best part of this bag?  It is made COMPLETELY from stash.

*Waits for reader to pick themselves up off the floor*

That’s right folks!  I didn’t have to buy one. single. thing. to make this bag!  That feels good.

Will be posted off tomorrow, and here’s hoping the recipient will think it’s manly cool too.

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Almost there

Have had these cute yarn dolls done for a few days.  They have been sitting on the back of the couch waiting for me to give them faces and clothes.  But I couldn’t wait until they were done to take a pic, so thought I would share.

The basic pattern for the doll body is simple.  I used not quite two balls 100 gm balls of acrylic yarn for the two bodies and one 100gm ball of acrylic for the hair on both dolls combined.  I didn’t followed the pattern when I attached the hair as I didn’t  like how it looked.  I wanted the hair to be *functional* so that pony-tails and plaits could be done by little fingers if so wished. So I looped the hair through the head, two strands at a time.  The fringe is looped and sewn at the front.  Now, time to decide on eyes colour.  As for the mouths, they will of course be smiling.  And then, will figure out how to cloth them, but now that I can get to the sewing machine, I can whip up something quick.

Which brings me to my very, unbelieveably late late late handbag swap on TNN.  I was the organiser — how shameful.  I have two giftees, one of which was sent off already.  The second one required the sewing machine.  Well, now it will finally get done.  As a way of saying sorry, I knit up this bag kit I bought at The Warehouse a year ago, to send along as a bonus.  I will do this pattern again, as it knits up quick and looks very cool, if I do say so myself.

So, now to finish up getting the pattern for the sewn bag out of my head and onto paper.  And then, finally, my swap will be done. Yay!

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Have been uber busy this week.  Kids are on school holidays, so we’ve been crafting and cooking and cleaning in addition to lounging around with icky winter colds.  Kiri made her first cookies this week — Snickerdoodles!



  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3/4 cups standard flour
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400F/205C. Mix flour, cream of tartar, basking soda and salt in a separate bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar and add vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Stir in dry ingredients. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, and roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes.


Kids have been doing crafts and making bags.  Will take more pics when the bags are finished.  Kali decided after 15 minutes of stitching that she was tired, so it might be awhile.

Kids Crafting

I’ve been working hard to get my craft room into some sort of order.  it’s always the last room in the house to be on the receiving end of the tidying energy.  That would be because it is the most cluttered, over stuffed, pack-rat room EVER!  The man saves miscellaneous screws and washers.  I save fabric, yarn, buttons and paper.  At least the room is finally in usable condition.

Craft Room 1Craft Room 2

Yes, it’s still cluttered, but it’s a start.  At least the floor is clear for the first time since we moved in!

And in the middle of tidying, my friend Jayce surprised me with what she called sustenance.  Indeed!!!!


OK OK, there were nine cupcakes, but one didn’t make it into the picture.  Can you blame me?

The book, Swings and Roundabouts, is a collection of poems about parenthood.  Jayce said she thought of me as soon as she saw it.  What a lovely thought!  Thanks Jayce for making my night!

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Drawstring Bag

So I needed to come up with a quick gift.  I pulled out all my knitting books for inspiration.  Even the one skein books weren’t doing it for me today.  I looked at hat patterns, scarf patterns, mitten patterns, but knew a wee bag would be perfect.  Yet I couldn’t find anything that suited.  So, I took a risk and winged it.  Yes, me! I cast on with NO pattern.  Of course, I had something easy in my mind, but wasn’t sure what it would turn out like.  But here it is!

Bag for SS xtra

Isn’t it just too cute!  The wool was hand dyed and spun by my friend Lou and has been sitting in my stash for months just WAITING for a small project like this.  Lou strung beads onto the wool as well, so I used that part for the cast on edge at the top of the bag.  There is even metalic thread spun in there too.

So the pattern I did:

Chunky wool, 7 mm 40cm circ needle.

CO 116 stitches.

Round 1 and 2: k1, k2tog (87 and 66 stitches)

Round 3: k2, k2tog (44)

If you don’t have 44, it’s no big deal.  A couple stitches one way or the other won’t matter.

Knit in stocking stitch for 6 inches.

Round 1: K20, k2tog, k20, k2tog (42 stitches) (If you don’t have 44 when you start this round, add in a new more k2tog to get you to 42 stitches)

Round 2: *K6, k2tog* Repeat to end of round

Round 3: *K5, k2tog* Reapeat to end of round

Round 4: *K4, k2tog* Repeat to end of round.

Change to DPNs at this point.  I used 5mm, but it won’t make too much difference.

Round 5: *K3, k2tog* Repeat to end of round.

Round 6: *K2, k2tog* Repeat to end of round.

Round 7: *k1, k2tog* Repeat to end of round.

Round 8: k2tog to end of round

Thread yarn through all loops and weave in the end.

Then thread two pieces of ribbon, icord, or twisted yarn at the base of the decrease rounds at the top of the bag. Tie off ribbon and you’re done!  Voila.  A simple, quick and very practical gift.

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