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Monday, September 22, 2008

"On The Go Knit Kit" Tutorial: Part 2

Yesterday I posted Part 1: Making the Needles of the 2-part Tutorial "On The Go Knit Kit" (I know, hardcore)

Here, today is Part 2: Rockin' the Knit Kit. Enjoy!

Rockin' the Knit Kit:
Not only is this kit meant for travel on busses, planes and autos- I also like to think it's a bit green. That is, when possible I always try to use items thrifted from my local Sally Ann's rather than purchased new. In that vein, I began to gather materials.
I found two old sippy containers (sans straws) with convenient holes in the lid for 50 cents apiece. (these will make sense later)
I gathered together some other items: scraps of fabric from my collection and the needles I had already made. I also sprayed the bottle white after washing it. But honestly, it doesn't need to be painted, because the fabric will cover all it's markings anyway.
First I measured the circumference of the bottle (yeah math!). It was about 10.25". I also measured the height.
Then I took those measurements, added an inch (for seam allowances on both sides) and cut two rectangles of that size.
They were a bit wrinkly so I attacked them with an iron. There are a lot of shortcuts that I take in sewing that I KNOW I shouldn't, but ironing is one I never skimp on! Everything comes out neat, clean and pretty with ironing. So, iron iron iron! I swear you will love it more!
Here I found a scrap of elastic and measured two lengths a couple of inches shorter than the width of the fabric. These will hold the handy needles we made in Part 1.
Of course, plain elastic is a bit dull so we need to make a little sleeve to cover the ugliness. So, here I measure a piece of fabric a bit wider than the elastic, and about twice as long.
I used the elastic as a guide to know where exactly I want to sew my elastic tube up.
I want to flip the tube inside-out so I pin one end . . .
stick the pin in, and push/pull it through to the other side. (then iron of course!)
Use the same pin to guide your elastic through (which should be much shorter than your fabric tube)
Oh yeah, make two. Then pin the two onto your original fabric on one end, and sew it down.
Scrunch the tube fabric up and evenly distribute so that the tube end meets with the other end of the elastic. Then lay the two scrunched tubes across your fabric and pin at regular intervals (I used 1.5". If you want to transport smaller needles, make your intervals smaller! Then sew your elastic tube to fabric at these regular intervals.
Put the two sides (one blank and one with elastic scrunchies) right sides together, pin, and sew three sides.
Insert elastic loops periodically (more scraps I had around- black was nice but white would have been better I think) and sew the fourth side shut by folding in the seam, ironing and securing the elastics along the way.
Sew buttons in matching positions on the opposite side of the rectangle (look below, I swear it will make sense!)
Look at your work and pat yourself on the back.
Now shimmy that bottle into it's new hotsy totsy outfit. Wowsa.

Now, insert the needles and yarn into your new "On-The-Go-Knit-Kit". The yarn should come out the hole in the top of the bottle that way it remains in your bag, not running away down the aisles. And the whole kit is super-light and portable for whatever life throws at you!

Stay tuned for a pattern specifically designed for the Knit Kit!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

The "On the Go Knit Kit" Tutorial- Part 1

I've been riding the bus lately (to save on gas and spend some relaxing time riding instead of driving). Well, often I want to knit a few stitches but feel uncomfortable with the length of my needles, and then the yarn decides to leap out of my bag and roll down the aisle. Oh, such a mess!

So, I decided to make the "On-the-Go-Knit-Kit". Below is Part One of the tutorial: Making the Needles. Hope this helps other bussers!

Making the Needles: My needles were too long so I decided to make my own. Here is how.
Start with some wooden dowels from your local craft store. I also found some wooden balls to cap the ends (not necessary if you want to make double-pointed needles). I chose a couple widths of dowel because they are cheap and I might want to switch. Lately I've been using some heavyweight yarn so I chose a larger dowel to start with.

I attached the ball to one end and secured it with some wood glue. Okay, actually, I lied. I didn't use any glue because it just fit so snugly- but it could come off so I am telling you YOU should use glue. Yes. well. Then I very scientifically decided I didn't want the needle longer than my fingertips, because past that it would def. run into my bus neighbors. So, that is how I measured.

I cut it by rotating around with Cap'ns multi-tool. A small hack saw would be better, but I'm cheap. Oh, and then I just broke it when it got close.
Then, I whittled it with my mini-multi tool. Oh yes, very cheap.
I got it whittled alright and then just used some sandpaper to make it nice and smooth for knitting. You don't want your yarn to get caught on a stray edge.This stuff is really handy- tack cloth. It is basically cheesecloth covered in some sort of stickem. If you rub over the surface of your sanded needle it will make all the dust stick to the cloth and your surface will be prepped for painting.I then spray-painted the two needles I made with white glossy spray (I tried to use pink, but the bottle busted- harumph). Make sure it's glossy so you can easily slide the needles and nothing gets too sticky.

Okay, go make those and then get yourself a cup of tea and take a relax before Part 2 comes your way!


Awhile back I decided to get into making jewelry. I made a beaded ring- tried for a bracelet and then gave up.

So, in desperate need of new earrings I decided to take a fresh crack at the whole thing. With the assistance of my lovely crafty sister (who was on a visit), we did some fun beading.

Okay, so I just used the pattern from the booklet that came with the "how to make jewelry" kit my Aunt gave me- but they look pretty good!

Then I got a little ambitious and decided to make a pair for a friend with an upcoming birthday.
And on a whim even went for a necklace! I caught inspiration from Anthropologie (oh, I die for Anthropologie, but who can afford to die?) and whipped up a little triple-strand thing in yummy chocolate and caramel colors. Then the whole set sat in my apt for a week while I didn't deliver it! Shame on me.

Random Juneau

I was walking down the hill to my apartment from my sweet little red Neon (yes, the cheapest and apparently most purchased car in this town) I had some hilarious musings about our little town.

It feels like mid-October (in mid Sept) with a bite in the air. Everyone is wearing the obligatory beanie and heavy coat (already!). I walk by a girl taking her ferret for a walk and an old roommate of Cap'n's puttering by on a near-dead motorcycle, I look down and notice I am wearing flip-flops.

The last day of summer is a bit funny round here. I guess I hold to a bit too hard. Oh well, bring it on Autumn- I'm ready!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Limepop bookshelf

When the cap'n and I moved in , the first thing we needed to address were the books. Cap'n loves to read and I love magazines. We decided to do a DIY project where we comboed two smaller bookshelves on an asym, incorporated a reading lamp (from a set of two crystal lamps we won at a charity auction), limepop the back, and paint the whole thing white.

Instead of painting the back (because these bookshelves had def. seen better days) we decided to purchase limepop fabric and wrap the backs in batting and cover them with fabric. That way it gave the back a little dimension and a cleaner look.

Then the fun stuff came when we decorated it! The cap'n is NOT a fan of the whole- organize your books by color, or wrap all your books in one color so the whole shelf is pretty-thing. He believes books should be individually cherished for the personality of color and size that they bring. I know, deep.

So, our compromise was this- The limepop shelf was pretty, and we would put all the other "real" books on another shelf. Works for me! (besides I totally made the other shelf pretty too- please)