8/31/08

Knit Felt Purses, with Computer Sleeves


This is the collection so far. Gotta get back to knitting. The next bag will be knit evenings, while I'm traveling. I'll be riding my motorcycle every day going 5,500 miles between now and late September.

I hope to record some of the knitting from my tent camping sites.

The middle front bag is spoken for.

Knit Felt Purses a SMALL COLLECTION

Double Click on this picture to see a better view of the phone in the pocket, the handmade trinket (polymer clay) and the crocheted and macrame handbag handles (cord).


This is the drawing I used to plan this "Cell Phone" and "Key" Pocket purse (see the phone in the pocket on the left?) See my grandaughter's hand print on the right?




I didn't do the i-cord method on these straps, instead I crocheted a chain triple the finished length of the strap size I need in the end, using two strands of yarn held together. Then I pinned the center of the "crocheted chain" strap to a cork board. I did the ole macrame' technique of knotting each strand, to the other, making a lumpy knotted cord. Then I felted the piece. To macrame' I basically place the right chain length under the left, and take the end back through the loop made when I took the right length under the left, then I pull the knot snug and repeat the step only with the left chain length.



Check out the June blog where I posted this drawing.

http://3knittingsisters.blogspot.com/2008/03/she-got-it.html


I'm about ready to open for business.



What is holding me up is computer time. I'm wanting to design the patterns for each of the current items I've made, have a .pdf file print out for each, record myself literally step-by-step making a purse or computer sleeve, then open my etsy store to sell the items, patterns and/or kits.



This is exciting, and coming together well. In the meantime be sure to subscribe to my blog as I hope to keep posting the step-by-step process and the results over time...this is all good timing with Christmas just around the corner.

8/29/08

Computer Sleeve



This computer sleeve is much smaller, it holds a notebook. The handles are knit as a part of the bag. For instructionson this please comment ... I'm in the process of writing up each of these patterns.

refer to the video: http://3knittingsisters.blogspot.com/2008/08/knit-felt-purses-i-cord-handles.html#links

This one was knit on circular needles and seamed at the bottom. In stockinknit stitch the height usually felts about 1/3 and the width usually felts about 1/4, so you can really be creative and plan the size of your bag. This one has shorter handles, so it can be carried high as shoulder straps, or by hand, along with other bags. It does not have a closure.

Knit Felt Computer Sleeve


This one holds a Gateway 16" screen laptop, I knit a flat handle and sewed it down the sides to reinforce the bag. It has an i-cord trim around the opening, and a flat button closure flap on either side, to carry front or back opens.
I made a miniature of the bag for the fastener. This bag also has my signature paisley hanging from the strap on a beaded chain. It is not completed. the i-cord handles will be attached with grommets like the small purses in the video in a former post:
Comments, questions are welcome.

8/28/08

KNIT WITH DOG HAIR



Yep, I had heard of this, but with some research I found a little info. on the topic.

http://dogs.suite101.com/article.cfm/cheingora_the_humane_fur

NOPE, I don't have a dog, and I'm not sure I'd have the patience or desire to do this, but kind of an interesting mind bender, anyway.

Honey, we need to brush the dogs tonight, because these socks need about 6 more yards of "Spots-hair" to finish up the project.

Wonder if the animal rights police object to using doggie hair, maybe if you make doggie sweaters out of it that would be acceptable. Just never thought of all that fluffy stuff in the hair brush as anything usable. Can someone make a business out of this?

Yep, it's been done:

http://www.spinningstrawintogold.com/

What else do we throw away that could be our retirement??? I need a hairy dog, a big one.

Another Computer Sleeve




This one has turned out to be my favorite, but the pics don't do it justice.
The light color is tan, and there is more brown and black than shows in these pics. I'll get better pictures when the hubby does his magic with the camera.

MORE ON NUNO FELT





This is not my work, I found this at http://www.bkdd.com/purses.htm#



I found this web page that has some finished projects in Nuno Felt. I'm still researching and reading. This means a trip to the library, Borders or Barnes and Noble is coming up ... I'm doing what I usually do, get all the information I can find before I start a new project.

One More Purse




This is Krispy's purse. She had no idea I was making purses, when she was describing a purse to me that a friend had bought recently. the purse was probably nothing like this, but in the conversation, I deducted she would like this purse. It is a chunky brown, black, burgandy and off-white, done in stripes changing colors up the walls of the bag, but the base is burgandy and brown only and knit in a real tight weave, after felting it has a very sturdy base. It has an i-cord trim around the top of the bag, and grommets for the straps
Note the bead and pendant hanging from the side strap. This is a chunky i-cord, I think I used 3 strands of yarn together to get that heavy duty strap. This was the simple easy pattern called the coco bag, a free pattern I found on-line. see this link.
Super detailed step-by-step instructions.

Learn to Felt

This is a great .pdf instruction sheet you can print. Felting is really pretty simple. check it out.

http://www.patonsyarns.com/images/learn/Patons_Felting.pdf

Knit Felt Purses - I-cord Handles - Computer Sleeves

video

The video is my first, so bear with me.

I've taken pictures of finished projects and a few in process. The first is a computer sleeve with a front pocket and embellished with polymer Clay. I love the Soutwest blue brown black tan computer sleeve, but the colors aren't the greatest in these pictures, the denim and mauve bag has a notebook (tiny) in it. The purses are small, but functional. enjoy

8/26/08

MORE About Nuno Felt - Hand Felting

This is a great instruction page for felting a small quantity of wool. Even give the background of how this craft was discovered ... hmmm!

See instructions and pictures at: http://www.woolcrafting.com/making-wool-felt.html

Gotta try it this winter!

Crazy Easy - Felt Beads


Yep, in the last 15 minutes I made several of these from my wool yarn remnants. I kinda estimated about a yard of two colors and walla!!

My method, (these are not mine - stock photo, only)

I cut the lengths of yarn, ran them under very hot tap water, added a little DAWN dishwashing liquid, rolled it in the palm of my hand for a few minutes, rinsing out the soap with hot water till a ball formed, several felted beads in minutes. To get all of them the same size I would measure my scrap yarn.

See how to at: http://www.woolcrafting.com/wool-felt-beads.html

8/25/08

If You Live Near Taos, NM

Check out this Nuno Felt Workshop, WOW awesome finished product. This would be a great getaway and a neat way to learn this craft...I already have a committment for that week this year, but I'm going to follow this web page!

http://www.tlddesigns.com/nuno.htm

8/23/08

Nuno Felt and Knitting Combined

This link is a Nuno Felt demo, the designer does nuno felt first then hand sews a purse. My thinking is, scraps of nuno felt on top of knit felted items would be rich and very attractive.

Check out Nuno Felt - looks a little complicated, but I'll be reading up on it quite awhile before I try it, since I have a lot of organizing and knitting to do before I'll allow myself a new craft.

You Tube has a Nuno Felt Video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBtpamYG0Lo

Refer to my recent blog - Losing focus.

http://3knittingsisters.blogspot.com/2008/08/losing-focus.html

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING - MAMAW?" PUZZLED GRANDSON


I get that puzzled look occasionally from my grandsons. The oldest was about 5 years old when he saw me filling ice cube trays with water and putting them in the freezer...he was stunned that our refridgerator didn't make ice automatically.

I didn't go into detail about how this fridge is capable of that, but one time when we were out of town it developed a tiny pin hole leak in the hose that comes from the water filter and flooded our upstairs, warping the wooden floor in the kitchen and forcing us to replace the tiles in the bathroom...he wouldn't care at that point. Besides, I don't mind making ice cubes.

So last night, he's 11 now, I got the same question and the same confused look when he saw me washing dishes in the sink full of soapy water. He proceeded to show me where the dishwasher gel was kept. under the sink, at his house. He was certain I didn't know about dishwashers, using the sink that way, then he told me that if anyone does dishes in the sink they use the other sink, not that one, wow I'm so sheltered.

I said all that to say this, today all 4 grandsons saw me knitting for the first time. Each one asked, "What are you doing, Mamaw?"


They've seen my work, but I usually don't carry it along to their house, because I want to spend the time with them, but last night was an overnighter, and I was in the middle of a computer sleeve (my 3rd) and was anxious to see how the pattern was going to shape up, Patons 100% wool RETRO RETRO is starting to look VERY Southwest Inspired.



Anyway, each grandson plopped down beside me, and talked about various items I've made for family members through the years, one even wondered where his blanky ended up, and the 11 year old asked me to sew up his "stuffy" that was his gift on his "gotcha" day when he was adopted from Russia (this toy had stuffing leaking out, so I'm getting out the needle thread and fabric to get this one back in shape). I was honored that they would each show interest in this art, which is really coming back and growing. They watched me knit and purl, checked out the progress of the project and liked the colors and the pattern, it's really striking the way it is turning out.

The yarn is a self patterning, short striping, in Brown, Black, Navy Blue, Turquoise, and Tan. Guy colors, shaping up to a nice computer bag and/or tote.








8/19/08

Losing Focus

Now I'm really losing focus.


I have a plan. I had a plan. One, make several styles of Knit and Felt handbags, computer sleeves, totes and clutches, to sell on etsy. Two write the pattern in simple format and sell it as a download item, in several venues, including etsy. Three make a step-by-step video or maybe just a power point slide show with sound track instructions for making a computer sleeve, but add free patterns and several web-page referrals for how-to tips. Four, keeping my craft as pure as possible, make my own pendants and closures...making them truly homemade.

HERE'S MY DILEMMA


Today I discovered NUNO FELT - oh my goodness, it is so awesome, and I'm not sure I want to make another bag without it. Here's the details of the dilemma. I've made a promise to myself that I will not start any new crafts until I have this etsy store up and running, noble. I've also limited myself to a few shelves in the office at our house to these crafts because I'm still running an eBay business anytime we're home for more than 3 weeks at a time, clearing house - simplify - simplify. It's either that or stick a note in every drawer and on every shelf in the house that says, "Sorry, kids, I always meant to clean off this shelf, or clean out this drawer." (morbid i know, I'm just remembering the trinkets and collection of meaningful items in drawers and on shelves when we lost a parent recently. Although going through those things provided great insight into what my m-i-l treasured. The list included several Angels, butterflies, glass slippers and bells, made of may media, pottery, ceramic, porcelain, wood carvings, etc. Oh, did I mention YARN and unfinished projects?)


Anyway, Nuno felt requires raw wool, 3 bags full and a huge preparation space, so it is in my future, but I'm also trying to do all this on a budget ... I've pigeon holed the money for Christmas money, so I gotta get busy.


I'm in the middle of a great Computer Sleeve, gotta go KNIT!!

8/18/08

Step-by-Step Knitting Video

LAPTOP COMPUTER SLEEVE

I'm putting together a step-by-step video of my knitting. I'm hoping to encourage people to knit, and to answer some basic knitting questions. I will include, selecting and substituting yarns, needle preferences, start-up tools, knitting techniques including casting on, knit, purl, and casting off, with photos and action video. In addition I'll complete at least one project beginning to end, including felting. I plan to make a large tote bag, that can double as a computer sleeve that is TSA approved, heard about the new requirements established for leaving your laptop computer in it's bag when you go through airport security???

http://www.tsa.gov/press/happenings/simplifying_laptop_bag_procedures.shtm

Anyway, I'm thinking a nice felted sleeve that can be removed and placed into a bin, then all the other contents go through in the bag ... the NICE FELTED SLEEVE for the laptop becomes a part of the existing computer bag, is easy to remove and replace and keep your existing bag!! Lets see which is quicker? Pulling out a laptop, placing it in a bin, placing the laptop bag in a bin, walking through the security radar - beep beep forgot about my belt. Picking up laptop and bag(s) and shoes, etc. OR, Open Laptop bag section exposing laptop in your pre-approved TSA endorsed laptop bag, discussing this apparatus with the clueless TSA employee, who is still in the "remove the computer from the bag," mode, remove the computer, place it is a bin, run new bag with extras through radar. Hmmm!!

I think this new requirement will take a long time to implement, in the meantime, those who travel, watch the trends, and hope to shorten the waiting lines, will fall for the new bag theory while others will think of ways to get their computer out of the bag, protect it through the conveyor experience, take laptop out of sleeve and place it on top of sleeve through the exray, and get it back in place much like TSA guidelines have taught us all to wear CROCS and/or slip on shoes when we fly ... cannot get re-dressed and re-packed quick enough after these inspections. Always leave something behind!!









So, with that in mind, the video will be a great let's get started making TSA inspired laptop sleeves that can be given for Christmas gifts to our favorite traveller. Put the laptop only into the sleeve, pull the laptop out with the sleeve, let the laptop have a pillow through the conveyor, place computer bag in other tub, return computer and sleeve after inspection, (and after multiple compliments) fly away!!

I know I'm dreamin' but I like to do my part.

8/13/08

Knitting and Grey Hair


I guess I had that image, too!!


An elderly lady in her rocking chair knitting baby booties.


Now I'm there, no rocking chair, more like a Lazy Boy when we're in the camper and my Love Seat (matching my couch or davenport, whichever)at home. No baby booties for me, I dove right in once I challenged myself to make detailed items about 1 1/2 years ago. Besides, the grandkids were all boys (the first 4) and the first girl was almost a year old when she was adopted, so booties weren't in order.


But, grey hair, yep. This year I stopped coloring (actually last October) and let my natural color grow out. It is a dishwater blonde with silver hairs highlighting and with the natural curl, I'm genuinly looking OLD!! The wrinkles add to the look, the aligator shape textures on the skin on my hands need care daily. Along with the grey hair comes wrinkles, low energy and some pretty achy joints. So I've moved into a stage of live where I may only have 25 to 35 years left, WHAT? That's a lifetime, I'm not quitting, I'm not slowing down, and I'm not giving in ... I'll defy age as long as I'm drawing breath!!


Wrist Warmers Continued, The Knitting Hobby, and my New Business and/or Have I Gotten Away From the Purpose of this Blog?




They are done, they are cute, I made them "slender," so I cannot try them on. Either they will be chosen, they'll be awfully cute with a short sleeve jacket this fall or winter, or they will sell on etsy.


I'm pushing myself to make several items to start a business on etsy just my way of coming up with Christmas money, and/or more money for my hobby.

I find myself questioning why I blog. I feel like I'm documenting my knitting progress, but...




This was another attempt at connecting during our busy lives.


All these years, 3 sisters, living so far apart ... we have 7 adult children, combined 18 grandchildren, and we still hardly ever see each other. Life gets in the way.


When my sisters and I started this, I was documenting our knitting progress, Big Sis wanted to start knitting and improve her skills, her hubby got sick, very sick, even sicker, and now is improving, so her time with him is much more important than knitting, although she last reported she is doing a lot of crocheting (she already knew how to do that and is more comfortable right now with the familiar - this I understand). Lil Sis wanted to learn to knit, so I started with lots of simple lessons, she got overwhelmed with life, her hubby had some health issues, she had some job issues, etc., hmmm.


What was I looking for?



Why does life have to get in the way?
We'll catch up with each other some day ... compare notes, look back, tell stories ...

8/12/08

Wrist Warmers and Bumpy Highways

Well the wrist warmers are probably a 1/2 day project, I'm knitting both at the same time on circular needles, and they are turning out really classy. But, rolling through Iowa and Illinois, whoever put down this highway did it in little bitty sections, this makes for a very bumpy ride, at 55 mph in a truck each stitch must be planned between bumps. Car sickness doesn't help, so the 1/2 day project had to be delayed to more like 1 1/2 day.

I've revised this free pattern from Bernat called "Super Value Wrist Warmers" Instead of size 8 needles I'm using 11 and I only cast on 30 instead of 45 because I'm using "4" Classic Wool Yarn, I'm also making size XS for Andrea's arms which are long, but slender. I've used the same stripe pattern as the last bag I made with the tweed yarn, it's really sharp. I'll have to write this one up when they are done. Pictures to follow.

8/11/08

wildflowers


This must be a good year for them. We see them along the highway, and just about everywhere we travel.
I really don't know where I got my love for wildflowers.
They must remind me of my hippie days, my independent spirit, my open minded (so open minded sometimes, my brains leaked out) attitude.
But I'm so thankful that I live in a country, a nation where I have the freedom to change my mind, change my lifestyle ... it was a process, and it was an incident, and it was a turning point ... but it was just in time.
Wildflowers also remind me of my Creator, who does ALL THINGS well.

Knit along for a cause.


A friend and I were talking, she's a new grandma, and her twin grandson and granddaughter were 1 lb 9 oz and 1 lb 6 oz when they were born. last summer. Elijhah is 18 lbs now, they are one year old, Emery is 12 lbs, she's very tiny.
She was telling me about the sweet baby clothes that were hand made for preemies while they were hospitalized. She said the hospital was always running low on little hats. I found this web page:




a Pattern for preemies, and


Touching Little Lives which challenges people to make items for the tiny ones. Hmmm.


8/8/08

More photos of wrist warmers. Would sell on etsy.com


My biggest hurdle with making these is knowing there are two and wanting them to be identical. I really like the longer ones. They are all cute. A great idea for an etsy business.


Wrist Warmers. Probably the most poplular item to knit for fall.


I keep seeing wrist warmers. Fingerless gloves. I'd love to have a collection of Free Patterns to post on my blog, I'm going to start collecting them and linking them from here. So be sure to check back and subscribe (upper right corner of this blog) if you're interested in the free patterns. Here are a few pictures.



8/7/08

Fair Isle



I would love to learn to do this, I get nervous when the yarn is hanging out in the back of my work, but I can see where it ends up being a part of the piece in the end.

http://www.knittingtipsbyjudy.com/

This is not my web page by the way.

http://www.knittingtipsbyjudy.com/fair%20isle3%20video.html

She does some beautiful work.

So much to learn and so little time.

8/6/08

Knitting Daily TV on PBS

I discovered Knitting Daily, haven't been able to catch a show yet, because it is on at 4:30 AM in this area on a Saturday morning, but I noticed that next weekend where I'll be it is on at 11:00 AM. This is a must see. Knitting is making a comeback and I'm pushing myself to learn as much as I can, I want to turn out professional looking items.

Their web page has patterns and a newsletter and a forum, etc. Lookin' good.

www.knittingdaily.com

8/5/08

Another how to knit an i-cord instruction






Here are some pictures.

Knitting History








Doing a little research I discovered these interesting facts about the history of knitting.

The Oxford Unabridged English Dictionary states that the term "to Knit" was added to English in the 1400's.

"Knit" to make (a garment, fabric, etc.) by interlocking loops of one or more yarns either by hand with knitting needles or by machine.

Knitting for Soldiers WWII http://knitting.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=knitting&cdn=hobbies&tm=34&gps=303_331_583_420&f=10&tt=14&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm%3Ffile_id%3D5722



Another definition of knit:



...to join closely and firmly, as members or parts (often fol. by together): The tragedy knitted the family closer together.



hmmm.

8/3/08

How to Knit an I-Cord

I can probably talk someone through this. Basically you want it to be big and bulky for your felt project. and if you plan to felt the i-cord you'll want to make it about 1/4 longer than the finished piece.

You start by casting on 3 or 4 or 5 stitches, depending on whether you want it to be thin, big, or bulky. If you used two strands of yarn throughout your felted piece then use 3 strands of yarn to make the i-cord (holding 3 strands together) this gives it thicker fullness when felted.

I'll use 5 for an example. Cast on 5, (if you use double pointed needles) move the 5 stitches to the opposite end of the needle they are on, so that your working yarn is on the last (left) cast on, then knit the five cast on stitches, bringing your working yarn that is actually on your last cast on, over to the first stitch. The first row doesn't reveal the i-cord, but after a few rows you begin to see the cord form, pull the stitches relatively tight as you go.

2nd row and each following row slide the stitches to the other end of the needle, and use the empty needle to knit again in the same fashion. It sounds a little complicated, but once you do these steps you'll see an i-cord forming.

If you don't have double pointed needles, or some broken circular needles, use two knitting needles but after the cast on slip all 5 stitches to the left needle, knit a row and slip all 5 stitches to the left needle, repeat till the cord is the length you desire,

KNIT AWAY!!

8/2/08

On-line Hand Felting Instructions










Before picture is first, after is next ... (double click on the pics to see the detail.) The only discerning difference is the loose knit of the piece before felting.



I was searching for on-line instructions for felting, and finally found one page that had this topic, but the instructor said she had friends that had done that, but hadn't done it herself, so she only had a few tips.


I'm in a camper, no top-loading washing machine is available, and it'll be several days before I can felt this awesome bag I just finished so ...


I figure the washing machine has hot water only as hot as the water heater, and the agitator in the washer just keeps the piece moving 5 - 12 minutes, I've felted several pieces in the washer now.


Oh my goodness, I did not know that when you put your fine knit piece in the hot water IT STRETCHES FIRST, I mean it gets huge and misshapen.


Anyway, I got the sink full of the hottest water from the water heater, then kept a pot of boiling water going behind me, to add to keep this water hot, added a little liquid detergent, and started agitating.

A couple of hints, I started using a wooden spoon to stir to keep the knit piece moving, it didn't start shrinking and felting at first, I was uneasy about this, but knew I could rinse in cold water, dry it out and felt it in a top-loader whenever I was near one, some day.



The wooden spoon had some splintery places, where the wood had split, and the first snag to the wool, I started scrounging for a different stirring tool. This ended up being a plastic pancake flipper. Worked perfect, just keeping the piece moving in the water was the goal. Each time the water cooled down enough to put my hands in the water, I squeezed the piece several times from every direction, turned it inside out and did the same, it started felting in about 20 minutes. Now the hubby comes in and some friends are here wanting to go to dinner. I rinsed in cold water, laid the bag out on a towel and walked away...reluctantly.


The next morning I got back at it, hot soapy water, teapot full of boiling water, pancake flipper and walla!! It started felting in about 10 more minutes, I did a lot of handling of the item towards the end, and it is amazing (IIMSSM*).



Now this ended up being more like 1 1/2 hour project to felt rather than the 5-12 minutes in a top-loader, but I'm glad I did this, I felt more like a pioneer woman, closer to the earth - whew be prepared for the odor, also. Wet wool, and some yarn, I think it's the dye and the fact that fibers lay around and absorb odors, but the initial odor was really strong, kinda like the dirty lamb walked into the kitchen from the rain ... imagine.


*IIMSSM If I might say so myself!


Not an expert yet, but still trying!!

You can buy this poster.