Mintlatte's Crafty Space

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Green…. June 27, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — mintlatte @ 1:18 pm

So my family pretty much sneers at green.  The environmental green that is.  The kids and DH think I am just a nonsense hippie child.  (Strangely, the older I get the closer to the stereotype I become) Anyhoo, y’all know I couldn’t leave you just like that didn’t you??

So here is an actual real for true finished object:

   This would be a reusable grocery bag folks.  And don’t let the picture mislead you, just this weekend I tested this baby with two gallons of milk.  I am in love, and plan on churning out LOTS, but the real kicker is the pocket on the front because it folds into this:

 

Can you say bag heaven?  I do LOVE a good bag.  While I wish I could tell you this was my brainchild, I was inspired by the crafty goodness of ye olde Craftster again.  Here are the instructions for this lovely bag. let me tell you, I do better work with better directions, and these are just my style, more action less conversation 🙂 Anyhoo, to get back to the intro, these are almost cool enough to get my family to reuse something.

So, since I was out and about for lunch today, I observed the following while hopping into my car. Normally I keep my more bizarre photo moments to myself*, but seriously, this is too much for me too keep to myself….at first I thought they drove through a tack field, then the truth hit me.  It is June people, It is like 90 something degrees outside, it has been 90 something for over a month! Why oh why would someone be driving around with their snow tires still on??

And since in a prior post I maligned my dear children, might I point out that little glimpses of this, make the fighting that much more unbearable.

 

 

* I take pictures of things.  I do not think I could survive without a digital camera, and if you ever saw my memory card……

 

Hello Wednesday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mintlatte @ 9:24 am

Can y’all believe it is already Wednesday???  This week is flying by, and I need at least another day added on NOW!

Frankly, I am ready for a vacation, and just when I am ready, opportunity knocks 🙂 I am spending all next week in the state of Kansas, on a farm 🙂  Grandma still lives out in the boonies, in a cute farmhouse in probably the only hills of Kansas.  For me it is ideally beautiful, quiet and quaint. Except for the fact I have to drag two kids across a state and a half to get there.  

I am plugging away on a few things, but plugging may be the operative word.  I knit the heel of a blue sock, then tore it out again cause I didn’t like it.  Plus after putting it on what seemed like considerable length seems short?  Perhaps a couple more rounds may satisfy that, but then I think I might like them short, I just can’t make up my mind.  So it is on the hold pile.  I am still plugging on the shrug, but wishing I had knit the sleeves in the round, if I had it would probably already be done.  Started a new bag, although WHY I need a bag is beyond me, I have TONS, but yet here I go making another bag.  The charity hats are on hold to give my poor hands time to recover from the sandpaper yarn, plus I want to find a feasible lining plan before I go about mad hat knitting.  I also frogged a cotton lace type project, I had made about a bazillion mistakes in it, but what really decided me is I wanted the cord for my options to start the bag.  Anybody got any brilliant ideas for two skeins of chocolate colored butterfly cotton? I am officially now at a loss, but I lurve this yarn 🙂

Alright, ready for a blent?? (blog vent, yeah, yeah, I know….)

MY KIDS ARE GOING TO MAKE ME *****ing NUTS!* What could there possible be between a twelve year old and a four year old that would make them fight like cats and dogs??  REALLY…. what on EARTH could there be to fight about?  They are lucky Monday was a nerve wracking day, had every nerve I had not been pulverized at work, they would have been all over my nerves as it was, I took the bad mom route, fed them junk food for dinner and tv’d them.  She is twelve and apparently has nothing better to do than start fights with people, and he is four and apparently has nothing better to do than act overly sensitive to every move she makes.   AND since I am apparently about as bright as a fruitbat, I am putting both of them in the back set of a car and driving for 11 hours.  So I am making her read TWO of the title from the summer reading list instead of the requisite one, I think that might at least keep her somewhat occupied.

if y’all are religious at all, you may want to pray for us….. I think we could use all the help we could get. 

Anyhoo, not sure how much keeping up I will do, you may not see me till Saturday or Sunday next week, but hopefully by then I will have some pics for your viewing pleasure, I really should go about finishing SOMETHING after all…..

 

* Sorry for yelling, but it is truly necessary. Fruitbat I tell ya, fruitbat.

 

Hat, hatter, hattiest….. June 19, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — mintlatte @ 2:35 pm

I been cranking out the hats 🙂 As you all well know, I decided to make this charity yarn into a bit of a lesson.  After all, in the end the recipients will be happy to have a nice, warm functional hat, and a couple of loopy stitches will matter not to them.  So while in practice territory, I figured it was time to buck up and use more than one color.  As far as I can tell, I am using fair isle techniques, floating the yarn along the back, but I plan on playing with intarsia too…..

And while I am hatting away, I figure these are good prototypes for a hubby hat.

1. Hubby has a larger than normal head.

2. He hates tight hats.

3. He thinks the star pattern that spirals into the center of hats looks, well…."girly"

4. He likes hats with stripes and random geometric stuff.

The purple kool-aid hat of days ago and these have a small thing in common, as they are all from my Knitting Workshop book, EZ definitely knew her stuff, and she rocked it. 

First up is a simple fair isle straight from the tell me what to do oh knitting sage section of the book….  

Except for the row of twisted stitches, and the little bloop in the graph on the top design, I was exceptionally thrilled with this….Yes I have heard of ripping back, no I did not choose to do so, thank you very much.  Anyhoo I found the hard way that when they say carry the colors in different hands, they did not mean you should ever knit through the back loop of the stitch.  I am not even sure why I thought I was meant to. As luck would have it I was consistent in this mistake, and it is now a "design feature"

Next up is my new pride and joy, I LURVE this hat people, it is kind of stupid how happy this hat makes me.   It has a properly executed design, in more than one color, I didn’t master the float tension, but I did OK, and I did the appropriate knitting math in my very own noggin to create a hat crown that was NOT a "girly" spiral.  I know it isn’t new, and tons of hats have this kind of crown but it was new to me and I did it without a pattern!  The leaves are again from Knitting Workshop, only being terribly lazy, I neglected putting them on a sweater and placed them on the hat instead. 

See how the leaves are green then brown then green?? That is another reason…that is my first ever dyed yarn from yesterday. 

So, that’s what’s happening here…. more knitting as the hands see fit 🙂

 

Opportunity Knocking….. June 18, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — mintlatte @ 8:37 am

So a while back, my mom got some handspun from a friend of a friend.  The yarn was handspun for the express purpose of having it knit up for charity.  Mom, being the kind soul and excellent knitter that she is, offered to knit some of it up.  Some being 700 yards.

Now, there was no specific charity or any specific item to be made, just the stipulation by the spinner that it go to charity. 

People, I admire this spinner deeply.  This yarn looks AMAZING, it is evenly spun, and plied to perfection.  It is also not at all splitty.

It is, however, like knitting with sandpaper. Mom thought it might felt up well, but it didn’t felt up at all.  My ears perked up when I hear this….it didn’t felt up at all…. I would have begged her for some, but any knitter in their right mind would pass this off at the first opportunity, so I just had to hint. 

Why on earth did I want it?  I had dye thoughts running through my brain. And where else was I going to find a 100% wool product that was not chemically treated and wouldn’t felt?

First I decided to make a plain old hat…..  

I was still nervous about dyeing yarn, so I figured dye a finished hat……Well, it worked….

This is dyed solid grape kool-aid, 2 packets… and turned out quite well.

I still had loftier goals though….. and no yarn swift or ball winder…. which I think I must procure eventually as it would have made this whole process much faster.  I used two kitchen chairs as a swift, my own hands provided wonky ball winding services 🙂

So yarn…. pre bath:

The bath:

I later decided this was too green and added some strawberry….. now check this:

This color is better than I could have hoped for!! It is a lovely olive green with copper highlights and some deep brown in the odd place…..I am so in love.

For the record this wool is tearing up my hands, but I am determined to knit it up….plus I am learning fair isle techniques! But, more on that later 🙂

 

The big bag June 17, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — mintlatte @ 5:39 pm

Back in January, I bought some fabric for a bag I planned to make.  McCalls #4851.

I finally made my bag. Before I set out on my little sewing adventure, I did my background work, I checked to see if anyone else had made the same bag, luckily, a few had.  Every one of them said it was so huge they would not use it.  That is when the light went on for me…so huge? BAH, that bag will be perfect for me!!!!!!!!

Before I go on, let me tell you it is huge, hubby is worried I have crafted a means to dispose of his body 🙂

BUT I love it. 

I hate the people who wrote the instructions though. See, the tote bag was the easy part, I also made the removable organizer. 

Unless you have an industrial machine, do not attempt this with corduroy. It is absolute heaven to have a bag with 11 pockets inside and 6 outside, this bag is a bag lovers DREAM….. but making these organizer pockets was pure frustration.  I ended up hand finishing parts of it because there was no way my machine would sew through all involved layers, and if it COULD sew through them I would not know because they were not accessible. That organizer at its thickest part (along the bottom of the pockets) is 2 layers of timtex, two layers of corduroy, 2 layers of lining fabric, two layers of applique fusing, and the bias tape layers. They are all officially and formally cursed now, and you would be very smart to stay at such a distance where any sewing anomalies could be easily overlooked.  If that did not scare you off, that is only one side. Now you get to do the same thing on the other side with and inch and a half separating the two so that you must do sewing machine yoga poses to get the damn thing anywhere near a needle. Top it off with some pretty wack directions in a few places, and this baby is lucky to be in existence.

It does however load up WONDERFULLY, and carries much lighter than its load due to straps of accurate length.  This will finally meet my needs for a work tote as it will tote everything, even a lunch on a daily basis.   

And a final action shot to show you just how absolutely huge this awesome bag is…..

Happy sewing, knitting or whatever you are doing, I am playing with kool-aid….. but more on that lucky turn of events later 🙂

 

Ms. Brick House Models June 15, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — mintlatte @ 1:52 pm

Ms. Brick house is non other than my DTD.  Recently (as some of you may be aware) I got suckered was asked to make some ren faire skirts.  Miss. Thang they were made for is far smaller than Ms. Brick House or myself, but since these are drawstring waist full skirts, Ms. Brick House was able to model for us.  They do for the record look FAR better on Miss. Thang than on Ms. Brick House.

I REALLY am dying to show off my awesome bag that I am almost done with the organizer for……but the bag is dying everything I wear it with!! The material for this bag must have enough dye in it to well….be way too dyed.  So I am going to make one more attempt to set the dye before photos. 

Oh and since the rest of the blog world regards today as eye candy Friday… here is why I love my camera 🙂 Caught both kids in a dead run race through the sprinklers!

 

Slacker. June 8, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — mintlatte @ 4:27 pm

Yup y’all I am a slacker, sewing away, not posting and all.  But in the past week I have made 3 skirts, (soon to be 4) commissioned by a local renaissance fest employee, and my extra huge super cool tote bag… (more on that later though).

I have determined that I dislike sewing for others.  Sure it was all fine and dandy when she asked me to make the skirts, but people who do not sew have no idea.  She said she would buy the material and she did, but she bought stretch knit jersey and georgette.  I have successfully turned out two jersey floor length drawstring waist skirts, and one of the georgette.  I hate the materials. I think what the difference between crafting I enjoy is and crafting I do is my love of the materials.  The hat I made for mom I love, the materials were perfect for that hat!  Before you think I am a material snob, let me just say I am making the simply soft shrug, and it is wonderful too….the stripes just rock and it is so nice and toasty… Alos when people say they will buy material, I am beginning o ralize it is important to let them know they need to buy thread, elastic, and all other notions, as well as the pattern I use. Lord knows I can’t use this poattern for me, it is only about 10 sizes too small.  ( I did however get a nice perk up from explaining that she was a size 12 in pattern measurements, and definatle not a size 6 🙂

Anyhoo, when I was sewing with stuff I disliked, I found that my sewing skills suffered.  The skirts were not nearly as nice as I would have liked to make.  I know part of it was that the material was not meant to be floor length skirts, but the other part is I kept thinking about how nice they would be in a nice crisp cotton weave, how full and pretty they would be, even a rougher weave would have been beautiful….given them some body they sorely needed.  As it is, they are just not all that great.  I will post pics when they are done, just because, but am less than satisfied with my work.  Basically I just want them out the door and gone so that I can continue a project I have been enjoying with deeply satisfying results.