I started these socks back in April after seeing a friend make them a few times. I was looking for an ankle sock pattern so I thought I would give it a try. The pattern is Rose City Rollers and is free on Ravelry.
The pattern has 3 sizes to choose from. I first cast on the largest size then decided it was too big so I took it off my needles and tried again. The second time I did them I messed up a row in the heel pattern and didn’t pick up enough stitches when I did the heel turn leaving a gap which I wasn’t happy with. I thought third time lucky and cast them on again. That was back in May and to be honest I haven’t touched them since. I think the reason is that I am not really liking the style. I have been analysing my socks over the last few months (yes I do random stuff like that) and I have come to realise with my store brought ankle socks the ones I was wearing the most were the ones that were fitted around the ankle with a cuff. In this pattern there is no cuff it is just stockinette stitch that rolls over on itself, it is very lose around the ankle. My sneakers eat all my older socks where the cuff is stretched out and not snug around the ankle.
I’m going away later this week and I am looking at what craft projects to take as I am going to have a lot of time on my hands including a 6hr train ride home. I was going to take these socks but the more I think about it the more I know I am not going to like the finished product so I have decided to take these off my needles and know the pattern isn’t for me. The reason I wanted to make ankle socks is last year I did a 14 kilometre fun run/walk and I got really bad blisters on toes from the toe seam in my sock. With knitted socks I won’t have that toe seam but I need socks that are fitted around the ankle so they don’t move down into my sneakers causing me to keep pulling them back up.
I’m glad that I at least tried to knit these socks. They weren’t a waste of time as it made me think more about my feet and what my needs are. I want to make things I am actually going to wear so its ok to try thing and find out they are not for you.
Last week I blogged about the first item I made with the dragonfly fabric I had in my stash, this is the is the second item I made with it.
Once again I used my old favourite Essentials Wristlet pattern by DUMD which I enlarged to 150%. This larger size really makes a practical size zipper pouch that you can fit lots in. I cut out all my pieces for this before I cut out my Dragon Fly Tote as this was the main item I had in mind for this fabric, anything else I could make with the fabric was a bonus.
I have used the same fabric on the inside of this tote as well on the outside, it really is a pretty fabric. I did use some woven interfacing on the inside of this pouch but only placed it so it is sitting against the outer fabric. I wanted this pouch to have some structure but not too much structure. This will be given as a gift and I am not sure what the person will use it for so I didn’t want it too stiff and rigid. Just the one layer of interfacing gives it enough structure to be free standing but you can also squish it down if you wish too.
I really enjoyed making the 2 pieces from the dragon fly fabric. It was a bit of challenge to think what to make with only 1m of fabric but it was a good learning experience. I know now that for clothing unless it some cotton knit 1m of fabric is not enough to make anything entirely. I can get away with making an elastic waisted pull on skirt from 1m cotton knit but for anything else I need more fabric. I liked that I could make 2 practical items with just the 1m, I am not really a person who makes decorative items, I like practical things particularly for when making gifts for adults. I am really glad that I was able to free this fabric from my stash and use it in a gift that someone can enjoy. Fabric should be brought to be used and not just sit in your stash.
Sorting through my stash I found a piece of “good” fabric that I brought a couple of years ago. It was a 1m piece of dragonfly printed cotton from Japan, I don’t have issues about fabric prices but it wasn’t cheap. To be honest I think I only brought it because it was blue as I am not a dragonfly kind of person. Being only 1m it wasn’t really enough to make clothing with unless I added it without something else. I decided to free it from my stash and use it in a gift. Better to be used then just sitting around doing nothing. This is the first of two items I made from it.
This is a basic tote bag, nothing fancy about it. I based it around the same size a my denim tote bag. I am using my denim one a lot and it folds down really small. This one is just a tad bit smaller due to the amount of fabric I had. This tote bag is different to my denim one in 2 ways. The first way is that the handles on this one are pieced together. Once I cut out the bag portion I realised that I wouldn’t have enough to cut the handles the width of the fabric like I normally do. I had some leftover pieces from when I cut down the bag from the width of the fabric so I used those for the handles. Each handle is made from 2 pieces joined as one strip. I was worried that the join section on each handle would be at the stress point on top of where the bag sits on the shoulder so after doing my initial straight line of stitching to join each piece I did a zig zag stitch along the seam allowance just to reinforce that seam. Each handle was folded into quarters and top stitched down along the edge so they are pretty strong.
The second different thing about this tote bag is that is lined with the same dragonfly fabric. This makes the bag a little bit thicker and little bit sturdier than my denim bag. Even with the extra layer it still folds down small. When constructing this I left my turning gap on one of the sides of the inner bag. I hand slip stitched the turning gap to close it up. It isn’t very noticeable so really there is no right or wrong side of this bag.
I am really happy with this bag for several reasons
- It is a practical item
- I can give it as a gift
- I used fabric from my stash that would be otherwise just be sitting there
Sometimes simple things are the best
Last week I finished a tote bag which according to Ravelry I started in December last year. The pattern is based on the bag Lucy (Attic 24) has on her blog. I say based as me being me did things slightly different in some areas. That is the great thing about making your own things you can improvise and make things as you wish.
The yarn I used was 2 Lincraft cakes. Lincraft, if you are not familiar with it is a chain craft store in Australia. When Caron cakes became really popular a few years ago Lincraft brought out there own generic version. The yarn is dyed to allow colour changes within your project without the need for you to physically cut yarn and change colours. Fibre content is an acrylic / wool mix. I was given a Lincraft gift voucher by a friend so I purchased 2 cakes of Clear Sky and they sat in my stash for ages before I finally decided to crochet this bag. I love the colours, it looks great.
The bag holds a lot. This size bag would make a great beach bag, project bag, shopping bag. It doesn’t look big when it is hanging but it is kind of like the TARDIS, much bigger on the inside. The pattern was really easy to follow and didn’t require a lot of thinking. I made my handles different to the pattern Lucy has. My handles are directly part of the bag and not joined on afterwards like Lucy has done. Also I haven’t done any flowers. The majority of the bag is done in UK trebles and from the part where I started making the handles upwards I have done in UK double crochet. Once the bag was the height I wanted I started doing a row of double crochet until I reached the area I wanted my handles to start then I chained a length of the stitches I wanted for the handles then joined them to the bag with a slip stitch. I then kept doing double crochet until I reached the other side of the bag and then repeated the set up for the other handle. Once I joined it to the bag I just double crocheted backwards and forward over the handle until it was the width I wanted. I then double crocheted back around until I got back the other handle and repeated the same steps. Once I was happy with the width I just kept doing row after row of double crochet going up and over the handles as if they were part of the regular row, The bit underneath the handles you never go over again. You can see it better in the picture below. I just kept doing row after row of double crochet until I rang out of yarn.
Ok confession as much as I love this bag I am probably never going to use it. I just don’t like the feel of the yarn, I am really sensitive to yarn and for me the wool in this is too scratchy. I am glad I used it in a bag pattern and not a poncho like I first considered. I could use it as a project bag but to be honest I already have enough large ones. This will most likely be used as one of my charity bags next year. I’m not upset by that, I have so many memories of this bag making it. I started it the day I attended a medical appointment with Mr StitchNSew. I worked on it Christmas day whilst spending time with my nieces. In January I did a 4 day work training course where I had to stay in a hotel and this was one of the projects I took with me to work on in my downtime. When Mr StitchNSew had a medical procedure done and I had to sit in a hospital for 8 hours I worked on this, his nurse actually gave me the idea of how to do the handles. As crocheters do she came up to see what I was working on and told me how she does her handles. There are a lot of memories in the making of this bag but I don’t need to actually have the bag itself to keep those memories. For me it wasn’t a waste of time making this bag – I tried out a new yarn, I made a pattern that I had been wanting to make for along time, working on this calmed me in stressful situations because I was doing something I was comfortable with and could focus on. If I can pass on this bag on to someone who needs it then it was worth every stitch.
When I started my sewing frenzy in August / September the first item I made was this top as I had it cut and ready to go. I don’t wear woven tops so this was stepping out of my comfort zone. The fabric I used was a cotton I found at my small local fabric shop. I fell in love with this fabric straight away and thought it was perfect to play around with this top pattern for the first time.
I made a combination of View A and View B of the pattern. View A has a bottom band piece at the front and a plain back. View B has a plain front and pieced back. I made plain back and plain front. I was wanting to make it as simple as possible and let the fabric be the star.
I have a couple of fitting issues with this top. As mentioned in the Concord post I have the rounded shoulder issue. There is a lot of gapping at the back of this top. I started to make a draft version of this top at the Cashmerette retreat and due to me having a hollow chest we adjusted the pattern to take out some of the front neckline but we never did anything to the back. I dare say my rounded shoulders have gotten worse since the start of this year. I haven’t yet done the research on how to make the adjustment to correct patterns for it but it is something that when I get time I am going to learn. As you will see from the next photo there is a lot of fabric at the back!
This photo makes me laugh cause it looks so wrong. I can laugh at myself its ok. It looks like I am wearing one of those shoulder guards motor cyclists wear! Clearly too much excess fabric there. Stitching wise I stuffed up my darts. I’ve made them too pointy. Due to this print I can probably get away with it but next time I finish my darts I need to do them better, I think the trick is that you stitch back into the excess fabric you have just folded out.
The shape of the neckline I am happy with, it isn’t too wide although it doesn’t easily sit on any of my coat hangers when I hang it up. It isn’t too low cut either. I tried not stretch out the neckline when I stitched it but maybe I have a bit. I haven’t worn this yet so I will see how it sits when I do
This top has its faults (purely mine not the pattern) but it is still a wearable top. Once again I will wear a jacket or buttoned shirt over it and it will hide the mountain of fabric I have at the back and flatten my darts. As mentioned I haven’t worn it yet, I’m not sure why I think it cause I’m am so used to grabbing a knit t-shirt when I’m planning out my wardrobe and I forget that I now have this. I will try and remember to wear it over summer. Under my work jumper it will be nice due to it being sleeveless.
Back to my things to consider when making patterns
- Comfort √
- Classic √
- Creative / Quirky √
- Natural Fibres √
It is ticking all the points. I have used a cotton fabric in a classic style. Even though it is a woven top it is comfortable, I can move my arms easily and I don’t feel restricted. The print is certainly quirky. I will make this again. I have brought some lovely liberty fabric to make this top in but before I use that I might try another version first after I learn the rounded shoulder adjustment and learn how to do darts properly.
This is a project that I finished this morning and since I am in a blogging mood I thought I would share it straight away.
Earlier this year the 2 major supermarkets in Australia phased out single use plastic bags. Luckily I get the majority of my groceries home delivered each week but once a month I do visit a supermarket to purchase a few things and then travel home in a taxi so I looked at shopping bags that I could make that has some sort of closure on them so my groceries wouldn’t go everywhere in the boot of the taxi. I came across McCall’s 6338 pattern and decided view D or E would be good as it has a drawstring closure.
I raided my stash for fabric and found some thicker fabric which I thought I might make a skirt with but it has embroidery on it and I know it would just make me itch but for the outer part of the bag it is perfect. I found some cotton leftover from making Hipster teddies last year for the top and handles. To be honest I got the front of this bag made then I just started to not like it. I put it aside and didn’t look at it for months. I don’t know if it is the combination of fabric or what but I just didn’t like it. I decided I would still complete the bag at some point but it would be a bag that I gave away with a purpose in mind.
Yesterday I decided to set myself the challenge of finishing this bag this weekend. I am very competitive and I like a challenge so it was my motivation to finish bag. I had all the rest of the pieces cut it was just a matter of sewing it. One issue I had was I cut the top drawstring casing fabric too big. I was too lazy and instead of cutting it to size I just made it fit so there are lots of puckers or gathers but I am not bothered by them.
On the inside I used some leftover fabric from my Granville skirt. It is a linen mix so I thought it would be nice and strong in a bag. Maybe the colours don’t go exactly together but it was a functional piece of fabric to use from my stash. As it is only seen on the inside I think it is ok. I don’t like using dark colours on the inside of large bags as I like to be able to find things so the white colour was practical.
After I finished sewing this bag it came to inserting the drawstring. I am pretty sure I have white cording in my stash somewhere but do you think I could find it yesterday once I finished this bag. No worries I thought I will go buy some at the shops over the coming weeks (any excuse to go fabric shopping) but this morning I had a brainwave I have reels of ribbon in my stash so decided to use some of that. I am trying to get out of the habit of buying new things such as supplies when I have so much in my stash. This was perfect as the for drawstring. The colours kind of match in with the bag. It is about 1cm wide and the ribbon is embroided so it is thicker and more sturdy, I cut the ribbon with pinking shears and knotted the ends.
Now that is finished I do actually like this bag. I made view D from the pattern which is like a medium size bag. I did extend the handles so that you can wear it over your shoulder. Even though this pattern is designed to be a picnic or shopping type bag both view D and E would make excellent totebags for general use. View E is huge and would make a great beach bag or overnight bag. I am going to fill this bag with items I have collected throughout the year and donate it to this years It’s In The Bag campaign. If I have to make bags for the campaign next year I am going to use this as my pattern. I had to read the pattern a few times to get my head around the construction but it is actually fairly simple. You don’t have turn this bag out and sew the turning gap closed like you do regular lined bags you, you basically attach the top drawstring section to the inner bag then place them it inside the outer bag and join them from the outside. That is very simple to do.
Reviewing my shopping habits I have decided at this point I don’t actually need to make a bag like this for my grocery shopping. I use the insulated freezer bags that they sell at the supermarket which zip up, I always take extra of those bags shopping with me so I can use those for my groceries plus I take a backpack so the few things I pickup at the supermarket I can carry that way. I am happy that I at least attempted this pattern. If I do ever need a drawstring tote I know this will be my go to pattern.
The day after my double knitting class with Sockmatician I pulled out my needles and some cotton yarn from my stash and started to play. This is what I come up with.
I find it hard to just knit unless I am making an actual project. My mindset is that if I am spending time doing something I want it to be useful otherwise my mind thinks this is just a waste of time. Dishcloths are something that are very practical and are a good way to practice knitting or crochet skills or to test out a new pattern. If you have never used a handmade dishcloth I urge you to try them out they are magic.
To make this one I never followed a pattern as such. This is kind based on the swatch we made within the class with Sockmatician but with a twist. I have never written a knitting pattern but below is how I did it. I just made it up in my head. I did make 2 small errors in this one but fortunately they were both on the same side.
Cast on 25
Rows 1-5 – Double knit plain colour
Rows 6-10- Double knit 5 plain, switch colour for 15, switch colour for last 5
Rows 11-15 – Double knit 5 plain, switch colour for 5, switch colour for 5, switch colour for 5, switch colour for 5
Rows 16-20 – Double knit 5 plain, switch colour for 15, switch colour for last 5
Rows 20-25 – Double knit plain colour
I used 10ply cotton so doubled up it is like 20ply and almost feels like a thin sponge. I didn’t weave in my ends on this one. To be honest I am lazy and if it is a dishcloth for home I mostly don’t weave in my ends I just knot them a few times. This was really fun to make and I easily finished it within a couple of days of knitting it only after work. I am still struggling with moving my yarns from the front to the back each time. I need to work on carrying yarn in both hands so that I can then increase my speed when double knitting. Think I may need to make a few more dishcloths to practice.