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Rice and fabric and yarn. December 31, 2007

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh-to-be, Etsy, knitting, sewing.
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I didn’t get a whole lot of crafting done this weekend – pretty pathetic, really. I’ve been feeling more tired and run-down as I close in on The Ninth Month. It’s almost hard to believe that likely within the next three to seven weeks our daughter will be born! She had a big growth weekend so I’ve been feeling it, just tight and huge and ugh. I vaguely remember this feeling with kidlet so it’s not unfamiliar, just uncomfortable.

All I accomplished was making a teensy bit of progress on beanbags…my only plan at the moment for all this vintage-y fabric is to make as many sets as I can just to see if I can do it, then plunk them into my Etsy shop and see if they actually sell. I timed the different parts of the process (ironing, sewing, filling, and soon to be seaming) so I can come up with a formula for how much to charge. I also played around to decide how much rice filler to put in a beanbag around 4-1/2″ square so it would be fun and not dangerous.

So, not terribly exciting, but here’s one batch of 1930s reproduction fabric I got from eBay that I ironed one night, then stitched up and filled this afternoon. All that remains is seaming them and them using some fat quarters I got from the same seller to make bags.

Beanbag Project (by jeninmaine)

I also discovered that my shiny new iPod Shuffle is quite awesome. I filled it with music when I was at work last week and I’ve been using it while working at home as it cancels out the noise of people talking, the radio playing, kidlet running around, the dog snoring, etc. It also makes sewing a breeze as I can groove along to the music instead of listening to the drone of my sewing machine. So far a big, big thumbs up, and of course the best part is I didn’t have to pay for it. I’m going to see how I like it for knitting, woo!

Speaking of filler, the last time we were at the grocery I bought a 20# bag of rice as it was pretty much the cheapest bulk grain I could find that wouldn’t turn a beanbag into a rock, or a bag of rocks. I was tempted to save a few bucks and get the 50# bag, but realized I should see if this beanbag thing has momentum before committing myself to that much rice.

Mmm, rice. (by jeninmaine)

After I finished filling, I took some more fabric I had already cut from my stash and ironed it in preparation for sewing. I had all these coordinating fat quarters I collected before my son was born with these bright ideas of making blankets with them – I think this will be a much more fun incarnation for them.

Beanbag Project (by jeninmaine)

Just so you don’t think I’m not knitting any more, here’s another Warm Heart Woolies plain diaper wrap I started recentish-ly and have been carrying around in my bag for a while. I just haven’t been all that jazzed to work on it as it’s kind of a boring pattern. I’m also kind of eh about the Cascade 220 Quattro I chose for it – stranded it looks really cool, but actually knit up it’s not all that exciting. I’ll admit I was disappointed.

I guess the baby’s just going to be peeing on it so it doesn’t make that much difference, but still.

Warm Heart Woolies Diaper Wrap (by jeninmaine)

I mentioned starting that baby sweater, so here’s what I have done so far – the back and about a quarter of the left front. So far I’m enjoying knitting with Crystal Palace Bamboozle yarn though it takes a little getting used to – it’s all separate strands so it comes apart easily at the ends but the bamboo/cotton/elastic nylon blend makes a really nice-feeling, slightly sproingy fabric. This sweater will be perfect for the early Autumn.

Bamboozle Layette Sweater (by jeninmaine)

I was surfing around looking at yarn, eliciting some comments from Teh Husband about being addicted to “yarn pr0n” (intentionally misspelled so as not to attract any wayward Googlers donchaknow). What can I say, I drool over particularly lovely skeins of yarn and bundles of roving. It doesn’t matter how many 90-gallon bins of yarn and shelved totes of fiber I already own, I can’t help fantasy shopping and wishing I had more time/money.

Anyway, I really love sock yarn though I don’t really love knitting socks. I’ve tried a few pairs and have just sort of pooped out on them – sort of like the one pair of mittens I’ve knitted, which incidentally is made up of two different mittens as I finished the first and said, “meh.” I’m a very short-attention-span kind of girl.

However, I found this Very Rad Pattern for Jack Sparrow’s Favorite Socks by Pamela Northrup (she also has a rad blog) that I have absolutely fallen in love with and it has re-energized my resolve to make a pair of socks, dammit!

Photos absolutely used with permission by the creator:

PirateSocksModeled (by trillian42.rm)

Aren’t they the coolest?!


SkullClose (by trillian42.rm)

It’s funny that Black Pearl happens to be one of my favorite Lorna’s Laces colorways, and when I bought it I immediately thought of Pirates of the Caribbean (it was one of the draws to get it, in fact). Of course the cake I have here at home is worsted weight, so now I am on the prowl for two sock weight skeins. I think I’ve located some on Ravelry, but I shall keep you posted.

All right, it’s late, I should be in beddy-bye.


Random acts of knitting December 11, 2007

Posted by jeninmaine in Etsy, knitting, sewing, spinning.
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I was trying to think of other gifts I can give the kids that either don’t cost much or are something I can make, and I came up with beanbags. Beanbags are to me one of those staples of childhood and I think kidlet will have a lot of fun with them as will Baby Katy. I don’t know if Kaitlynn will like them (she already has a TON of toys, it’s ridiculous) but at the very least between those and the Tinkertoys I’ll really confuse the heck out of my brother and SIL. “What, no plastic?” No cartoon characters?

I thought about the whole beanbag concept and the more I thought about it the more I liked it so I decided to work up a proof of concept. I have a bunch of coordinated fat quarters prewashed and stashed away for a rainy day that I ironed, cut into 5″ squares, and made some beanbags. OMG they are so cute! I didn’t have small enough beans so these ones are filled with basmati rice, which makes them smell good. They were a bit of work getting them cut and all that but very satisfying. I think I might try to see how much scrap fabric I can use up and perhaps offer them in my Etsy shop, too, sets of four or six with a coordinating drawstring bag.

Then of course I discovered that there are things out there called quilting “charms”, basically coordinated sets of pre-cut squares for quilting. And they make them 5″ x 5″. Being able to avoid the ironing/cutting step would be awesome. I especially love anything in a repro 30s print. Hmmmmmm.

The only other exciting news is that I made a hat. Not the most inspired hat, but it’s exciting as I actually made it for myself (well, the bebeh-to-be) rather than for someone else! Imagine that! It worked up really quickly using some clearance Crystal Palace Bamboozle yarn (55% Bamboo, 24% Cotton, 21% Elastic Nylon) I found a month or so back at the LYS and a free pattern from their website. It’s very cute. Bebeh-to-be won’t be able to wear it until next Autumn as it’s 6-9 month sized, but it’s wicked cute and I love the resulting knitted fabric.

I think the color distribution came out pretty cute:
Bamboozle Baby Hat (by jeninmaine)

I didn’t like the double decreases at the top at first, but now that I can see the end result I like this construction a lot better:
Bamboozle Baby Hat (by jeninmaine)

I stuffed a skein of yarn into the hat to give it a little more definition:
Bamboozle Baby Hat (by jeninmaine)

The hat worked up very quick and I’ve already started on the back of the sweater. Here’s the set in the Circus colorway, which is also very cute:

Let’s see, what else. The dyed roving I got from handpaintedyarn.com is finally fluffy enough for me to attempt spinning…truth be told I hung it up and forgot about it for a long time, but considering it was literally compacted into a plastic bag and then wrapped in packing tape until it was a capsule the size of two of my fists it’s really come a long way. Thankfully the roving is very soft with a decent staple and the colors, while not exactly like the photos on the website, are very nice.

Roving from handpaintedyarn.com (by jeninmaine)

I finished the last of the Old Lady Hair the other night so maybe it’s time to crack into these.

Or I could knit.

Or I could sew.

Of I could keep picking away at my craft room.