Canvas Bag… Literally.

I finally had half an afternoon spare yesterday to tackle a project, so I picked a small one. Unfortunately it was a very dark, stormy afternoon, so I had to photograph under electric lights.

I’ve been using the cardboard carrier for my rigid heddle loom since I first got it. While it’s held up really well, the handles were getting a bit worn and a few modifications I’d made to the loom meant it didn’t fit so well any more. I’d been meaning to make myself a carry bag.

After cutting a few canvasses off their frames and thinking about how they’d be great sewn up into tote bags, I couldn’t help reminding myself that I have more than enough tote bags already. Then I noticed the loom and bells went off in my head. There was one kind of bag I did need.

The canvas was wide enough to go around the carrier plus some, but was a little long, so I tore off strips from the bottom for the handles.

The canvas was rigid enough to retain folds, which really helped to establish the squareness of the bag.

I sewed the top hem down, then stuck the handles down with masking tape and sewed them down. The down side to the rigidity of the canvas was that it made the sewing awkward.

The handles were positioned them so they hid certain ‘details’.

Then I sewed the side seam and across the bottom, just up from the ends of the handles. Turning it right side out took quite a bit of wresting, including using my feet to push the base flat.

I pinched the corners into a square fold, leaving these little triangles at the bottom. So far the bag is rigid enough to keep this shape, but I’ll reinforce the bottom with a square of plastic or heavy card if I find something suitable.

I’m pretty happy with how it came out. Here’s the front:

And the back:

The loom fits perfectly and it seems robust enough to carry it and some tools and extra reeds.

I’ve also confirmed that there’s no way I want to sew a jacket out of a canvas. But I might make another bag. I have a couple more canvasses to play with, when I come up with a good use for it.

Busy!

Is it already more than a week since my last post? How did that happen? Well, I guess because the only projects I’ve finished I can’t blog about, and I’m working hard to meet my writing deadline.

Last night I finally finished the sleeves of River Tweed and started on the collar. It’s a pretty big collar, so there’s a long way to go yet. I’ve also started another pair of socks. I sold another painting. Otherwise… no weaving, the canvas hasn’t arrived yet, I haven’t stated my Sketchbook Project sketchbook, no progress on the Big Project, and the Garage Project is in Paul’s hands.

But I did buy a jacket from the op shop that I’m going to alter, then paint. It’s my way of getting around the fact that I love the idea of sewing a jacket out of an old canvas, but don’t want to do the sewing part.

There have been other distractions. A big branch fell from our neighbour’s tree at 3:30am last Friday morning. This is a pic after we’d removed about 1/3 of it:

Yes, that’s a new fence, built last April. It stood up pretty well, considering. I’m glad I hadn’t got around to painting it yet! The branch came down half a metre from Paul’s car. so we’re pretty lucky.

And I keep finding Paul browsing cat shelter adoption pages. It appears to be rubbing off on me, too. I lost the entire morning today, looking at cat profiles. Something tells me we aren’t going to be cat-less for very long.

That & This

Knitting: Well, you saw the socks. I’ve started another pair. Can’t show these, either. River Tweed is chugging along slowly. By the time it’s done it’ll be too warm to wear it.

Weaving: Looms still empty.

The Big Project: The sewing is done but for hand stitching the hems of a pair of pants. You can find more details here at my author blog. The pants I made to test the pattern turned out nicer than I expected, so I’ve been wearing them around the house:

The Sketchbook Project: I haven’t touched it. I keep waiting for some genius idea to pop into my head. Trouble is, my head has been full of Paul’s birthday, writing, selling paintings, the Big Project, the Garage Project and my nearly 19 old cat reaching the end of his days.

Canvas Re-stretching: I got the two smallest ones done when I remembered that I had a few scraps that might be big enough. Still waiting for the canvas blanket to arrive so I can stretch the rest.

Selling Paintings: So far I’ve sold three and have a home for two more. I got three more framed including this one:

And re-stretched this one to a better shape:

Go to my Painting Gallery for prices.

The Garage Project: We like looking at house pron. That is, r*al estat* sites. (It’s amazing the amount of spam you attract if you spell that out properly.) Mostly it’s an interesting exercise in ways we’d alter a place to suit us. It got me thinking about how we don’t need more living space, we need more working space. And that I don’t need it, Paul does, because when we renovated his employment situation was different. So we wrote a wish list and did some brainstorming, and came up with a rather brilliant solution (if I do say so myself): replace the car port with a slightly larger garage and turn the existing garage into Paul’s studio. Which would be like adding a room without adding a room, and fixes lots of little problems like dust getting into the house under the garage door.

Birthday Socks/TARDIS Socks

Paul’s birthday has passed so I can now safely post pics of his birthday socks. First there was a plain pair:

Yarn: Wolle Rodel Sport & Strumpfwolle Extrastark. Pattern: My own toe-up version.

Then TARDIS SOCKS!

Yarn: Heirloom Jigsaw. Pattern: My own toe-up version with this chart (modified at the top).

I didn’t bother hiding the first pair, and knit the TARDIS socks up to the leg openly. Paul is used to me always knitting some sock or other. But I knit the legs of the TARDIS socks whenever he was out, which wasn’t as often as I needed, so I wound up giving them to him with the duplicate stitching on the second sock not finished yet. But he’s kind of used to occasionally receiving unfinished knitted presents, too. My back is too stuffed for deadline knitting.

I don’t think he minds, though. I had them finished by the end of his birthday day:

Ton of Wool

I found the Ton of Wool project a few days ago and managed to get a pledge in just before it reached it’s goal. Well, it seems people can still pledge, so there was no rush.

The issues of local/vs overseas yarn processing have been of interest to me for some years now. I try to buy locally produced yarn, only making an exception when I want something I can’t find a good local substitute for (or when I’m on holidays – actually, mostly on holiday; I hardly ever mail order yarn).

The goal was a third of the cost of getting the wool processed. Though they’ve reached it, you could make a pledge as a way to pre-order the yarn. I’m assuming the final amount will be used as a deposit toward a loan for the rest to be paid back as the yarn sells, or some such similar arrangement. So I’m guessing there’s a way to go before the yarn is made. There’s a Ravelry and Facebook group where updates on the project will be posted.

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This & That

I’ve got a whole lotta stuff going on but nothing specific to post about, so instead I’ll blog a little bit about everything…

There’s been no weaving. The looms are empty. It’s sad, but I’ve been distracted by other things. There has been knitting, however. There’s always knitting because it’s easy to do while watching tv. I’m up to here on the River Tweed pattern:

Normally I’d be thinking ‘just sleeves and last fiddly bits to go’, but this pattern has a big, complicated collar. There’s a way to go yet.

There’s also been sock knitting, but those socks are gifts so I can’t show them yet.

I’ve started a much bigger project. Stage one involved digging up a sewing pattern formula I made years ago and finishing it, then testing it on a friend’s husband. I’m in the middle of stage two – sewing it up:

I held a Craft Day last Saturday, and managed to get a whole lot of the sewing done. This weekend I’m hoping to finish it, or at least a large part of it.

Stage three will involve taking reference photos of friends wearing the pattern and other costumes, ready for Stage four, which will involve a lot of drawing. I’m expecting to be working on this project into next year.

As if that wasn’t enough, I also signed up to participate in The Sketchbook Project when I found out it’ll be coming to Melbourne. My sketchbook arrived a few days ago.

I chose the theme ‘stitches and folds’, because there seemed to be a lot of scope in that. It could relate to sewing, knitting and bookbinding. I have a couple of ideas for it, just need to make a decision. Something I can do while relaxing in front of the tv or listening to a podcast would be good.

I’m also making progress tackling my unframed, unsold art. I got a batch of paintings back from the framer last week and put a few more in. I also took another canvas off the frame. This time I’m going to re-stretch it. The framer also remounted some of my canvasses and gave me back the stretchers, so I have a lot of re-canvassing to do:

I’ve ordered some canvas ‘blankets’ from an online store. There are no art stores selling canvas close to me, so this seemed the easier option. But it turned out the online store didn’t have any in stock and I’ll have to wait at least a month. Still, no hurry. I have plenty of blank canvasses because I swapped a good quality easel that was too heavy for me for a pile of them last year.

And Another One

Made from white, cream, grey and black leftover yarn. I really love this method of weaving. Great for using up leftover and thick yarns including handspun. It’s very fast, too.

But while I do have suitable yarns to make more of these, it’s slated for other projects. I have different types of yarn lined up for the small loom next. Well… those that haven’t suddenly become huck lace projects for the table loom!