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ANOTHER SHOPPING BAG with pattern

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I promise I don’t post every single one of these! I do enjoy making them though. Bags like these are super easy to make, especially while doing something else. Because gauge doesn’t matter, I can switch between whatever needles or yarns strike my fancy. And they are useful gifts!green knit shopping bag, made by Julianne

This bag uses more chunky acrylic yarn for the bottom, and leftover worsted acrylic for the body. I’m slowly making my way through my stash!

green knit shopping bag, made by Julianne

I wanted to use a concentric garter stitch for the bottom of the bag, and this is basically how I did it:

CO 6 stitches, placing a marker between each stitch, with a special marker for the beginning of round

row 1: *slip marker, increase 1 stitch, repeat from * (I used kfb, but I think this would look neat with a YO)

row 2: purl all stitches

row 3: *slip marker, work 1 increase, knit to marker, repeat from *

And then you work rounds 2 & 3 until the base is as big as you want.

I continued until I had 12 stitches between each marker, then worked a couple rounds alternating between all purls and all knit stitches without increasing. To conserve yarn when I switched to my worsted, I knit 2 rounds in the contrast color, then worked the third round as k1, k2tog. Round 4 and up was all knit.

Next time I make a bag, I will skip the k1, k2tog row, and just knit all the stitches for the body of the bag (or make the base smaller).

During my last bag, I got burned out on YO, k2tog mesh. Though I like the look, I can never get into a rhythm with that pattern. This time, I knit my worsted weight on size 10.5 (6.5 mm) needles to get an open fabric, and this project was finished in a flash!

The light green top is 4 rounds of garter stitch, and the handles are i-cord.

If anyone uses this pattern for their own bag, I’d love to see the results!

 

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SPARKLEPUSSY Mardi Gras 2014

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The idea to dress up as a glittery purple cat hit me like a bolt of lightning, and before I knew it five of us were roving the French Quarter as a herd of cats.

sparklepussy cat costume, made by Julianne

This was the most Mardi Gras house in the Quarter.

sparklepussy cat costume, made by Julianne sparklepussy cat costume, made by Julianne

We meowed, and scratched with our claws, and drank a ton of whiskey.sparklepussy cat costume, made by Julianne

I designed, drafted, and basted the suit before we left for our epic roadtrip, and then did the final serging, pink components, and fur accents on Lundi Gras in New Orleans.

sparklepussy cat costume, made by Julianne

Originally the costume was going to be sleeveless (and therefore a little more roller disco), but I had to make several last-minute concessions to the weather.

sparklepussy cat costume, made by Julianne

As it happened, Fat Tuesday was about 40º and raining: unusually miserable weather, especially for March! So I added the mesh sleeves, and arm warmers, and had to wear layers underneath my sleek catsuit. Some of those bulges are a wool sweater that I managed to stuff in, and I was wearing a jacket for most of the day. So apparently I didn’t need to lay off the french fries.

sparklepussy cat costume, made by Julianne

The mask is puff paint and rhinestones on tulle. I need to add a clear plastic backing so that it stands up, since I wore the mask over my glasses. I really enjoyed this technique, and will play with it more (word to the wise: this took about 3 days to fully dry).

sparklepussy cat costume, made by Julianne

Can you believe the adorable pet tag?! Maria and Patrick made one for everybody, and mine is being stamped with “Sparklepussy.”

sparklepussy cat costume, made by Julianne

I really like this costume, but having to bundle up and still try to stay inside made it a challenge to have fun. I did catch a golden coconut at Zulu, and good friends + whiskey will get you pretty far in life.

I’ll have plenty of other opportunities to wear it, like Burning Man, and Halloween, and maybe the next party.

 

 

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NEW TURBANS

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SELF STRIPING SOCKS

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Hand-made socks were a major motivator in learning to knit, and I really love making them (which is a relief; I was afraid that it might be too tedious). It’s a simple and compact project that I can carry everywhere I go.IMG_8260

Although my first pair of socks took about 3 months to complete, this second pair was finished in 4 weeks. And they are much longer! I did a basic calculation, and estimate that each sock contains about 12,000 stitches. Sock knitters, does that number seem correct? It makes me dizzy.

I used 47″ #3 Addi Turbo Lace needles, and followed Liat Gatt’s pattern for toe-up socks on magic loop. The self-striping yarn was donated to and from the Boys & Girls Club (I used to volunteer as a sewing teacher, and still pop in when I have the chance. The coordinator of the sewing program is an amazing lady. Thank you to Donna for supporting my growth as a maker, and for fostering that love of craft in so many children.).

self-striping socks, made by Julianne

As a designer, I usually want control over colors and stripes. This was my first time working with self-striping, and I am definitely a convert. It was exciting to see the colors and stripes emerge, and the pattern helped me track my progress as well as hide any flaws.

I have several balls of donated self-striping to get through, and then I can’t wait to select new yarns for myself! I keep window-shopping (or more accurately, browser-tab shopping), but I think I will refrain from online shopping and instead pick up future pairs of socks on trips. The idea of seeking out a local yarn shop, in foreign localities, and creating my own souvenir is so… romantic! This is not a word I use regularly.

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I love the contrast cuff, and will integrate contrast toes and heels in future socks. This aquamarine yarn is a bamboo-nylon blend. It’s definitely thicker than the fingering-weight, and so I did the ribbing on #1 needles. I was concerned about the weight discrepancy, but I think it totally works for the cuff.

I live in LA, but luckily I have icy feet, so handmade wool socks will actually get worn this winter. But future sock yarns may be more of the bamboo persuasion.

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RECOVERED CHAIR

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I’ve been using this chair since 2009, and had this fabric in my stash since 2010. In 2013 I decided to put the two together, but I only got around to it in January 2014. It took about 90 minutes.

recovered chair, made by Juliannerecovered chair, made by JulianneThe fabric is organic cotton canvas, and I used almost all of it for this project. The remaining pieces went to my mom, so this was a very successful stash-busting project.

Here is the chair before:

recovered chair, made by Julianne

It was so much easier to just do this project than to procrastinate it any longer.

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MATMOS DRESS

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Finally able to start unclogging the backlog of posts. Mardi Gras costume will be coming soon!

It’s a simple dress, which means it’s versatile and comfortable and fun to wear.

tie-dye matmos dress, made by Julianne

 I used a vintage pattern that I borrowed from Caroline; I traced the pattern and forgot to copy the name or number! Luckily I haven’t seen her since then, so I actually still have the pattern in a very safe place, so eventually I can find out the relevant information.

tie-dye matmos dress, made by Julianne

Now I’m wearing it with a silk charmeuse slip, and I stay pretty warm. Without the slip, it’s been perfect for warmer days in Los Angeles on the bicycle. The short hem will be fun in the summer!

tie-dye matmos dress, made by Julianne

It’s made from a silky, slinky rayon. I also used the fabric for a dress shirt for my husband (which I will iron and photograph in New Orleans). The print reminds me of the Matmos from one of my favorite movies, Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy.

tie-dye matmos dress, made by Julianne

matmos 2

I finished the seams in the serger. There’s a black invisible zip, which should be 6″ longer, but I had this size in my stash and I can easily get the dress over my shoulders (but the hips are another story).

tie-dye matmos dress, made by Julianne

I’m not sure about the neckline. Maybe I want to do something bold, like an appliqué or contrasting collar? Maybe I want it lower? For now, it’s bound in matching bias tape. I’d love any suggestions!

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