Dark clouds overhanging

Aargh!!!!!!

I had a post more than half written and it vanished into thin air. How is that possible???

Anyway. I was talking about something that happens to me very frequently. Especially since I lack perseverance (despite my school’s motto, perseverentia omnia vincit). I start a project and get about halfway, then run into a problem or a hurdle. Then I find I don’t like what I’m doing, or what I need to do next. So screech. I stop. Half-made, half-baked, half-done. No more progress. Then the thing hangs over me like a gloomy portentous cloud that never rains but always threatens.

Currently I have a few dark clouds, and I’m showing you one today.  A friend asked me to make a caddy to carry two 1-litre bottles of water for her husband (=dark, sober fabric). It sounds simple, and I went looking for a pattern. I decided on one with a double-ended zipper. I had to upsize it to fit my requirements, got my friend to approve the fabric, and ended up with this:

 

Looks OK, right? Only, when I ironed some of the pieces, I managed to transfer some gunk from my iron to the fabric, which unfortunately shows every blemish clearly. I tried everything I could to try and get it off, but couldn’t. Then I tried cutting different pieces and sewed them together, but I still didn’t like the result. Project = Fail.

So then I went looking for a different pattern, since I couldn’t face this one any more. I chose one that looked simpler (Bento Lunch Bag) and after a few hiccups (including having to use a close ended zipper rather than an open ended one) and made this:

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That doesn’t look too bad, so I sent it off to my friend, by now long overdue. The clouds were already formed. Its a bit floppy (in more than one sense).😦

Now I’m on the third iteration. Using denim this time, and my own concept. My friend wants a divider between the bottles, and plastic lining inside (as the second one had). This time I took very precise numbers so I don’t end up overestimating as I usually seem to do. I can show you this, not very clear result for the inner lining. That’s a Netflix series on “Deadly Women” (sic) in the background.

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It involved sewing the centre divider by hand to the sides. I’m about halfway through finishing, but wasn’t liking the result, so I gave up last night and went to bed. I had an idea what I could do to improve things, so I might do that next.

The dark clouds aren’t dispersed yet.

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Phases not fazes

I know I said I’d be a good blogger, but good intentions never got me anywhere.

I’m still in the sewing madly phase, especially since someone wanted a bus load of neck pillows. While the pillow itself is very quick to sew, I had to stop for my stock of fibrefill to be replenished. And I’m never convinced that the stuffing I did was done correctly or sufficiently. How much is too much? It doesn’t help that the original pattern talks in terms of weight of an entirely unknown (to me) brand and type of the filling. Which makes ordering reinforcements somewhat of a gamble. Will I have enough? Will I be smothered by a mountain of white fluff?

My friend is fond of the blues. And what you’re seeing is actually a sort of miracle, because I never thought I’d ever be able to bring myself to cut into the fabric I bought in March. (My precioussssss…) The yellow in the first picture was a fat quarter from The Square Inch, while the rest of the batiks were a thrilling find in Chennai’s Cotton Street in Egmore. “Give me one of each!”


Now that lot of fabric was from different sources. I rather like the checks myself. I feel the need to go forth and buy a metre in every colour. I’ve been surprising myself with how successfully I’ve combined colours and patterns. You’d think I had good taste and colour and design sense😉

While the original pillow takes less than one bottle of the stuffing, my friend wanted modifications done, with a centre higher than the ends, and an overall increase in size. I’ve now consumed twice my body volume in fibrefill.

More like a comet

I thought about titling this post “Waxing and waning” to show the periodicity of my blogging, but then realised that would be misrepresentative. The moon finishes its cycles in a month, whereas WordPress tells me I haven’t blogged in well over a year. Hence the reference to another periodic celestial object. 
My last post but one showed a knit lace project, but sadly I haven’t knit a stitch since then. Crochet has got a look in, thanks to the giant granny blanket (not a blanket meant for or composed of an oversized female ancestress, but one large blanket composed of many small granny squares).


I have developed a theory about the use of colour in projects. Throw in enough of different hues and the eye can no longer be bothered to look for harmony. Hence most of these will look good.

Although I acquired a couple more looms (a Japanese rigid heddle loom and an American computerised 24-shaft loom), the very steep learning curve on the latter has bought out my cowardly side and I have been paralysed into not weaving much.

I have been sewing a lot, though, which is the reason for my attempt to revive the blog, since there is no Ravelry for sewing where I can neatly enter all the details for future reference. I hope to use this blog for that purpose.

See you all soon!

Dry spell

The whole of June was dry. In terms of rains in Mumbai as well as words from me on this blog. The rains have finally arrived here with a vengeance and I decided to come back and talk.

My stash is in a garage, corrugated cardboard wrapped and clingfilmed. I spent one month working on the little I’d packed for that chimeric granny square bedspread, then I was one month haunting the Weavers’ Centre in Hyderabad and learning about floor looms. After returning to Mumbai and limbo-land, my fingers got itchy. So off I went to the LYS (there is actually one, more a Local Craft Store, and very near by this city’s standards) and picked up some thread to knit a doily. I forgot my half-formed resolution to use thicker fibre for lace, and got the usual #20 equivalent.

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Got a few rounds into it and then decided my daughter and I needed head gear for the sunny walk to and wait at the bus stop. So off I went and got some acrylic yarn and matching thread. That turned into this:

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But I realised my gauge is much looser than the LYS owner thinks, and I ought really to have bought a hook a couple of sizes smaller. So I quickly went off the second hat, but miraculously, perhaps because I was making sun hats, the monsoon settled in. Now I don’t need a hat anyway.

Then I forget how, but I got itchy to crochet a doily. This time I made sure to get a thinner hook, and double the thread. I’m happy now and have got about 33 rounds done of a Japanese pattern, despite having to undo several rounds and redo them. I’m thinking this might turn into another parasol, which would be about as much use as a doily in my house. Not that I have a house at this point.

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10 m in 30 days

…is how much I wove during my training at the Weavers’ Service Centre.

And this is how it looks.

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I haven’t decided yet what I will do with it.

My greatest learning was the tie-up and actual weaving on a floor loom. In the middle, I thought for sure I’d been cured of any desire to get a floor loom of my own. Now, however, I’m not sure. The one I want will not have a fly shuttle mechanism, but then that would be noisy, not good in a flat. Also, it is a jack loom, so fewer connections to make for tying up. Which is also good.

I am also taking away some connections for future yarn and accessory supplies. In addition, I got a warping frame made, and ordered a bobbin winder and some fly shuttles to be modified into plain end feed shuttles.

Most of which might be gobbledygook to my regular readers… But you will not need any words for the following photo.

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