Monday, July 30, 2007

Fire Piston Bags

Okay, I've been crafting -- just haven't been posting! I've been working at perfecting and making bags for the new Barnburner Fire Pistons over at Tangled Strands. Fire Pistons are a primitive method of starting fires. They are used by backpackers, Boy Scouts and other outdoors persons. More info is available at

I was charged with making the bags for them. These are made of nubuck -- it looks and feels like leather, but no animals were injured in the making of this product. Basically, I just cut 3"x18" strips of nubuck, folded down 1" at each end and stitched it down, and then sewed up the sides, right sides together and leaving about 1/2" open at the top. I just ran two lengths of cording through the casing, one in each direction, and then knotted the ends. I didn't bother to finish the edges of the casing. The nubuck won't fray and folding it over would make too much bulk.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Abi's Dress

I just finished this sun dress for my friend's daughter. Again, no pattern -- just some pre-shirred fabric and Abi's measurements. Sew it up the back, hem it and put on the straps.

A Skein Just for Me!

I got this fiber from Ebay in the form of dyed locks in various shades of blue. I was so anxious to play that I carded without picking. What I ended up with was some neppy yarn! But it's all good! I need a new felted bag!

Reconstructed Jeans -- Into a Skirt

Okay, I don't know why I even had these jeans in
my closet -- they were probably from the 80s -- they had tapered legs with zippers on the bottom! I know, right? EWWW! Anyway, I fixed them.

I cut them off below the zipper. I probably should have cut closer to the zipper but I can always go back and fix that. The fabric I used for the bottom was sort of a mesh with the pattern flocked on it -- (see the out-of-focus close-up) -- so I lined it with burgundy cotton broadcloth. I wish I had made the skirt fuller, too, but I didn't have enough fabric. I used the standard gathering technique -- baste and pull -- I pinned the skirt to the yoke, right sides together -- and pulled the stitches until it fit, and then I stitched it. Then I sewed up the back seam and hemmed it and voila!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Kool Aid Hats from Fiber Space Designs

Hats and bags are two of my favorite things to make with Kool-Aid dyed yarn.

This hat is a really simple, no-pattern thing I made up years ago. It's so easy to make and easily becomes as much a wardrobe staple as your favorite jeans. I've had strangers come up to me and ask where I got mine. It's an opp to hand out a business card!

Anyway, to make the hat, I CO 68 st on 10.5 circs and knit until I find a length I like by trying it on my own head. Then I k2tog once around, switch to dpns, and k2tog 2x until there are about 9 st left. Cut the yarn, leaving about a 6" tail and use a yarn needle to weave the end through the working stitches that are still on the needle. Tie off and weave in ends, and you have a rolled-brim slouchy hat that's nice and warm. There's no shaping on the crown and the fast decrease leaves an interesting star-shape on the top.

As with my yarns, you can find them at The Pen & Thread, local arts and craft shows, or directly from me.