Charming Handbag

28 02 2008

After an unsuccessful attempt* at sewing myself a yoga mat tote bag** I decided to sew something else, namely, the Charming Handbag from “Bend-the-rules Sewing” by Amy Karol.

Charming Handbag from

First, I cut up all the pieces

Fabrics all cut up

The outside fabric is from the Echino collection by Etsuko Furuya and the lining is by Amy Butler.

Then I pinned it all together to get an idea of how the finished product would look

Other view

Amy Butler lining

I sewed up everything in 2 times. It was a pain because my machine isn’t working very well, either through machine trouble or user error. I’m really thinking I need to get it checked! You can’t imagine how much thread I wasted due to having to restart all the time. And, to add insult to injury, on my last seam I ran out of the lower bobbin thread and had to stop and fill that up before I could totally finish…

But it is now done. My stitches are all crooked and my seams are crooked but overall it looks ok. Now don’t go and look at close ups of the seams!

Just finished!
Sitting pretty in the sun
You can see the lining - I added 2 pockets

Here you can see one of the two pockets I added in the lining

Sitting pretty

I just love this fabric!

New knitting bag

I’ll be using this bag as a knitting bag. It fits perfectly a sock project but it is big enough for a bigger project, not that I knit anything else than socks anyways…


* I cut up my main piece of fabric and decided to try it for fit around my new yoga mat (I’m guessing someone smart would have tried before cutting). I then realized that the material of the yoga mat (terry cloth-ish) was sticking like velcro to my fabric and that I could never use the two together. Every other fabric I tried acted the same way.

** I started going to a yoga class with a friend. I’ve been three times already and I quite enjoy it. I went once to Pilates and enjoyed it too. Sadly I won’t be able to go back for another 6 weeks because I am starting a quilting class next week that falls at the same time as the Pilates class. But I’ll be back to class at the end of April!

Belated FO post – subject: Firestarter socks

26 02 2008

Way back in September, I joined the Firestarter KAL with the goal to knit a pair of Firestarter socks, a beautiful pattern by Yarnissima. With the beginning of the KAL, the first sock was done fairly quickly in less than 2 weeks. Time passed and other socks were knit. A few months passed before the second Firestarter sock made its way into the rotation but soon after that, I had a completed mate and another pair of socks.

Firestarter socks

Sock #1 was knit between September 21 and October 1 2007. Sock #2 was knit between February 2 and February 14 2008.
Yarn: Phoenix Fiberworks colorway Nymph
Pattern: Firestarter socks by Yarnissima
Mods: one less repeat of the twisted stitches on the foot because of my row gauge. Also I didn’t knit them quite as long in the leg and I didn’t change needle sizes on the leg, although I think that would have been a good idea.

Firestarter socks

I enjoyed knitting these socks a lot. Figuring out the twisted stitches was a bit daunting at first but I figured it out quickly enough. Knitting my second Snicket sock after that was a walk in the park, no more need to use a cable needle! It was also my first time doing a toe-up with gusset sock so that was a learning experience too. I wont be afraid of doing more twisted stitches pattern and actually look forward to it. There are quite a few out there that are very pretty…

I haven’t worn these socks yet except for a few hours after finishing them. I’ve noticed that they slouch a bit but I think that wont be too much of a problem.

Firestarter socks

The color of the yarn is really fun and bright, I’m really looking forward to wearing them this spring with my pink crocs! : )

Spinning Monday

25 02 2008

I haven’t worked much on last week’s fiber, although I think I’ve spun about half of it now. So instead of showing you the same bobbin again with just a bit more yarn I’ll show you what I could possibly be spinning next month.

Grafton Fibers Batt

This is a Grafton Fibers Corriedale batt that I bought last year at some Sheep & Wool festival. (Yay! Sheep & Wool season is coming up soon!) I’ve never spun out of a batt yet and am unsure as to the preparation. I’m guessing that since the colors are pretty much all blended up together I could just tear it in strips and spin those up one after the other. Do let me know if I should be doing something else!

I’m not officially participating in this year’s Project Spectrum but I notice that between my Sangria socks and this batt I’m well into this month’s theme (FEBRUARY / MARCH – FIRE – orange, red, pink).

I will keep spinning  the Lavender roving until all of it is on bobbins. But I might wait until I can have someone show me the Navajo plying until I do anything else with it. But I look forward to starting spinning the Grafton Fibers batt.


I must post about my latest FO, my Firestarter socks… they’ve been done for a few weeks now but there’s always something else to post about. Hopefully next time!

May Day Sock Swap

21 02 2008

After 2 fairly successful sock swaps (Sockapalooza and Monkey Sock) I’ve decided to join my 3rd sock swap. This one is organized by Lynne and Emily (who just had a baby!) and is named May Day Sock Swap.

May Day Swap

This swap is a fairly small swap and is a secret swap so I wont tell you much about my pal’s preferences in case she comes and visits!

I’ve already chosen the yarn for her socks but am still debating on the pattern. The yarn I picked is Schaefer Lola in this gorgeous purple/burgundy colorway.

Schaefer Lola

The pattern I’m thinking of knitting is the Red Dwarf socks by Turtlegirl. I think they’ll go together well.

I’ve cast on for a practice pair of Red Dwarf socks for myself with this gorgeous yarn that is Hand Maiden Casbah in Sangria.

Hand Maiden Casbah Sangria

I’m loving how it looks so far and the pattern is super fast and easy. In no time I had 2 repeats done.

Red Dwarf Sock - the beginning

The Casbah is a gorgeous yarn to knit with and I’m loving the fact that I can knit it up on 3.25mm. It makes a big difference when you’re used to knitting everything on 2.5mm!

For those wanting some of their own Lola or Casbah, both of them will be available at yarn4socks  on the next update on Sunday 24 at 9pm est.

Spinning Monday

18 02 2008

Here are a couple pictures of what I am currently spinning. I started it about a couple weeks ago but haven’t touched it much since. I’m hoping to get a bit more spinning on it this week.

This roving is a total mystery to me. I have no idea what the fiber is and where it came from. I think someone gave it to me when I had just started spinning and there was no information with it. So I’ll just call it “The Lavender roving of unknown provenance” or L-RUP for short.

Lavender roving

You can’t really tell in this picture but the roving is not only lavender but also light blue and pink. I think you can see it a bit better here. The darker purple to the left of the bobbin is what I used as a lead (I think that is what it is called).

On the wheel

I’m trying to spin a uniformly (or more uniformly) thick single here. The fiber spins very easily so I’m not having too much of a hard time doing so.

I forgot to weight the whole pile of roving before starting with it but I probably have something like 4 oz. When I’m done with the single I’m debating whether to leave it as a single or try figuring out navajo plying with it.

On a side note. Last week I finally managed to go for the first time to The Fiber Loft in Harvard. I was in the general area and made a special detour to go there. I really wanted to buy a niddy noddy and I even had made sure to check their schedule to see if they were open… Guess what, they were closed… Bummer.

Anyone know of another spinning store in the Boston area?

ETA: I found Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge

If you had to choose for Valentine’s day…

12 02 2008

What would you pick?

These are questions DH was asking me this morning while on our way to the train station. This whole discussion was triggered by a commercial on the radio:

DH: Between a puppy and candy?
Me: Candy

DH: Between yarn and a niddy-noddy?
Me: A niddy-noddy (I need a full size one in a bad way)

DH: Between a travel spinning wheel and a subscription to a sock club?
Me: ??????????

How can you possibly decide!

And just because it’s always prettier with a picture.

The little sock that fit

Spinning Monday

11 02 2008

Before my move I told you about this roving I had spun up from a Perchance to Knit roving.

Perchance to Knit roving

I bought this off of a destash sale she did about a year ago. It was 2.8oz of Corriedale in an unknown colorway which I’ll name “Retro”. It’s a mix of silver, yellow, orange and brown.
I started spinning it in June 2007 and finished spinning it this January.

Perchance to Knit all spun up

I got about 220 yards of yarn with it and I’m pretty sure that if I’d had a full 4oz of the roving I would have enough for a pair of socks. Although I’m not sure I’d knit socks out of my handspun quite yet.

I think that it would have been a great candidate for Navajo plying but I don’t know the technique yet so I just plied the 2 strands together. This is what it looks like now.


It’s not my typical colors but I like the fun and retro-ness of it.

I can’t for the life of me manage to make the nice little piles like  Alyson does, even after she explained to me how she did it…

I’ve already started spinning my February fiber but I’ll keep it to show you next Monday!