Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Hope On The Rocks Part I

Once upon a time there was an eBay auction to end all eBay auctions: 10 ball of Noro Kureyon in shade 196 for £20 (i.e. the price of 2 balls of Noro Kureyon).  Of course our intrepid hero had to snap them up before the seller knew what he had on his hands, and in due course said 10 balls of Noro Kureyon came to stay in a country far, far away.

nommy noro

But what to do with 10 balls of Noro Kureyon?  I have to admit that at first I thought I had MILES of the stuff, so substantial it seemed, but 1,000 metres of aran-weight wool doesn't actually get you that far in the whole scheme of making things.  Or at least clothing-wise when you have a frame like mine.  So, items of apparel were out.  Household thingies?  Maybe an afghan?  So I had a look around and found the log cabin basic design and thought that the wool and pattern were a match made in heaven.  

The basic log cabin design is very simple: cast on so many stitches (in my case, 12) on a 4mm (US 6) size circular needle and knit a square using stocking stitch, cast-off to the last stitch, then pick up and knit along the next edge.
After turning a few more corners (depending on how big you want the squares)  they end up looking like this:

I was so taken with the method that I had quite a few 7"x7" squares before I stopped knitting for the evening, and then decided that said squares were going to turn not into an afghan, but into a messenger-style bag.

I worked a total of eight 7"x7" squares (front and back), four 6"x6" squares (pockets on the inside and outside), twelve 3"x3" squares (sides and base), four 1"x7" strips (to house the zip on the top) and fourteen 2"x4" (the strap).  

nearly complete
After working all the pieces needed, I started joining it all up together, starting with the front and back, then adding the sides and base to the front of the bag, which laid flat, looked like this:

ready to create the 3D bag

I joined the squares up in two different ways - to create a flat join, I sewed edges together on the flat, on the wrong side, but to create the crisp angled edge I wanted for the corners and joints, I placed them wrong side together and sewed-up the edge on the right side:

angled join
flat join
The bag main, once joined together, does end up floppy and baggy (if you'll forgive the pun), but once felted, the fabric becomes stiffer, stronger, and if blocked correctly, holds its new shape very well.  

baggy... bag
I must add that the short edges of the top zip closure pieces need to remain unattached, so that the strap can be added after felting.

So, after joining all the pieces together (the main bag, plus the length of strap - not joined to the bag) it was time to start testing the felt-meter of the wool.

I tried one of the 6"x6" pockets first, in a hot wash with a couple of towels to add roughage, as suggested by online research.  After one wash it had shrunk a little bit, but there was still discernible stitch definition to be seen, so I tried another hot wash which pretty, but it still wasn't enough, so I figured another wash and all would be grand.

Then it was time for the bag and strap.  Which is when disaster struck. 3 washes (2 hot, one cooler) later it had shrunk by only 1" square and although the fabric was thicker there were still noticeable stitches to be seen.  Be prepared for a dulling-down of the colours, though.  It is one of the side-effects of hot-water felting, I'm guessing.  Sadly I lost most of the colours.  I guess that's a lesson to learn, but I'm really disappointed.
lacklustre lustre
But the show must go on, so to block, I found some hardback books (actually I used some vocal scores) about the size of the felted bag, put them in a plastic bag, then inserted the covered book inside the felted bag for drying.  

They dried.  The bag was 2 inches smaller than it was to begin with, but I was hoping for smaller.  The strap was the same length, though, which wasn't the plan.  The original test pocket?  2 of the edges turned in to lace, which I found bizarre.  I'm too sad about it all to piece it together just now, or try to figure out a way how to make it shrink a bit more without using the washing machine.  

Our intrepid hero will be back, though.  Perhaps armed with fabric paint.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Gold Envelope Time

Thank you for all your entries in the WIN ALL THE PATTERNS ravelblogoversary competition!  I was quite intrigued with some of your answers, and some of your reasons for some of your answers!  

But first, let's have a list of colours guessed, and who guessed them (if you guessed more than 1 colour, then I took your first offering):

RED: maryw1968, ammcoy, Karen, Kathryn, Patti, Carwoman76, LtdEdition, Ariasnow.

ORANGE: midnightaurora, DreamCatcher, Rachel, liber, madmoon.

PURPLE: zuzusunshine, dizzybea, Bluroux, faayth.

GREEN: txjewelrylady, Mpindstrup, landolista, MunchkinMama, pieheart, rwest81, PaperGirl, HeatherOutsideBOS.

PINK: Vero, knitz67

BLUE : Dodi143

It's true, red is prevalent in my avatar and some of my prototype socks, but I have to say it's more coincidence than anything else!  If my design calls for a certain colour, like the Strawberry Mojito, or the Bloody Mary, then I'll usually go for the most obvious colour choice!  And, like it says in my Ravelry 'about me' section, the red in RedScot is 'merely the colour of my hair'!  

As for orange.  I do apologise to the orange-lovers of the world, but I try to avoid it as much as possible.  It has just never been a colour that I feel particularly drawn-to.  Of course, I do find this amusing every time there's a national/international sports fixture going on here in The Netherlands.  They're not called the Oranje just for the sake of it.  (Hup Holland!)

No, I shall put you all out of your misery and add a screencap I took of my profile page just before I posted about the competition (you may need to click on the photo for an enlargement):

So, if you guessed purple, green or black, then WAHEY, you got through to the next stage!

The next stage involved giving all the correct entries a number between 1 and 12 (the number of winning entries):  I gave them in the order they were given - from the blog, then from the thread on Ravelry:  

1 - Heather (zuzusunshine); 2 - txjewelrylady; 3 - Mpindstrup; 4 - dizzybea; 5 - landolista; 6 - MunchkinMama; 7 - pieheart; 8 - Bluroux; 9 - rwest81; 10 - PaperGirl; 11 - faayth; 12 - flamingfish; 13 - HeatherOutsideBOS

Then for something random, I asked my Facebook friends to give me a number between 1 and 13!  (You may have seen it!)  My friend Esther (HAI!!) answered first and gave me number 9 as the winning choice!

And that person is: rwest81  :: throws confetti ::

Congratulations, my dear!  I'll get the patterns to you on Ravelry!  If you'd like to donate any of them to someone else, do let me know and I'll gift whichever to whomever you'd like!  

Thanks to everyone who took part, and helped me celebrate my ravelblogoversary!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

It's That Competition Time Of Year

Of course, the implication is that I do something at this time every year, but having missed the occasion for the past 2 years, I thought I'd commemorate both the occasions and the remembering of said occasions this year, at the same time.
wahey - she remembered!
The occasions?  Both my Ravelversary (31st Jan) and my Blogoversary (4th February).  Or, as I'm bang-slap in the middle of them at the moment, I shall call it my Ravelblogoversary.
I can see this catching on...
So, what's the deal, I hear you ask.  Or I do in my head, which is enough for me to write a sentence or two about it.

The deal is this, dear blogowers (that's 'blog followers' to those not aware of the entry in the RedScot Dictionary of Made-Up Words OUP 2018): I'm offering a complete set of my 'to buy' patterns to the winner of the competition.  That's 9 patterns to the worth of... quite a lot.  My arithmetic skills are currently off partying somewhere.  Probably with my calculator.
And don't worry if you're not a member of Ravelry!  Anyone can see them if you click on this LINK and all I need is an email address so I can send the winner the PDF collection.  If you ARE a member of Ravelry, however, I can send you the patterns there and you will be able to keep them in the online library!

pom star

bloody mary
honey socktails
strawberry mohito
irish ale
piña colada
irish coffee

But, HOW to win them, I hear you ask. Again. Because I've not been dithering with picture placement at all.  Oh no.  Well, it's simple really. All I need to know is what you think my favourite colour is.  And don't think checking on my Rav profile will help, as I've unhelpfully removed any mention of my preferred palette choice.  

But because I'm actually really a helpful person at heart, I'll give you a heads-up and let you know you have a choice of 3 favourite colours - so you have 3 times the chance of guessing one of them.  (And I should be clearer - give me one colour - if it's one of my 3 favourite colours, then you're in with a chance!)  You don't need to be specific - I'm not looking for a Crayola-perfect colour name, just the general colour umbrella will be sufficient!

All you need to do is write a comment here on the blog telling me what you think the answer is. The winning entries who mention any of the 3 colours will be put into a computer generator thingy (technical wordage notwithstanding) and the winner will be announced after the end of the competition.  

(If blogger is playing silly-bluggers, then hop over to THIS THREAD on Ravelry and let me know what you think the answer might be!  Not a member of Rav and blogger playing silly-bluggers?  Click on the contact me on the profile and send a message.  I'll have that open for the duration.)

The closing date?  February 14th at a minute to midnight CET.  I may as well have something to look forward to on Valentine's Day, eh?

Happy guessing!

Mair Bloag Weejits

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Footerin' Aboot
Heh! I'm so funny!

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