PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Archive for July, 2006

enlightened crochet hook

Okay, I’m not sure if this is a gimmick or a really cool idea, but I would be so tempted to try the Needle Lite crochet hook if I could find one for the right price.

It’s a crochet hook! And it lights up! What more can I say…

(Found via MAKE: Blog)

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validation

The whiplash bag competition results are have finally been announced and, although I didn’t win, my crochet and satin evening bag got a special mention in the ‘Skill’ category! I really didn’t expect to win, especially after seeing the quality of some of the other entries, so this is a real confidence booster for me.

Here’s my almost-winning design:

Congrats to the winners and thanks to the Whip up panel for noticing me.

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box cushion

I haven’t done any crafting this week, as we’ve been on vacation.

Before we left, Dave asked me to make him a detachable cushion for the observing chair he’s made to use with his telescope. Previously, he had stretched black vinyl over the foam padding and tacked it to the base of the seat, but it looked a bit messy and stopped the seat from folding away properly.

I reused the old foam, and we had still some black vinyl after making the previous cushion, so the project didn’t cost anything. I found online instructions for how to make a box cushion and used them (modified as I didn’t need a zip) to figure out the size of fabric pieces I would need to cut. That was the hardest part – after the cutting, it took about 10 minutes to run the whole thing up on the sewing machine. I didn’t even pin the pieces – the vinyl surface is a sort of mock-leather look, so it wasn’t slippery. I just held the 2 pieces right-sides together and fed them through the sewing machine to make each seam.

 

I left one seam open to turn the cushion right-side out and insert the foam, then I hand-stitched the final seam. I bought a curved upholstery needle for the task, but the holes it left in the fabric were too large and I didn’t want the cushion to lose its water-resistance, so I used a regular needle and had to push it through the vinyl with a thimble, which was hard work! There’s probably a better way to do it, but this worked fine as a one-off.

Finally, we attached self-adhesive velcro to the seat of the chair and the underside of the cushion, so the cushion will stay in place when in use, but is easily removed so the chair can be folded away.

 

I’m pleased with how it turned out, especially as it was so quick to make. It’s already been field-tested (literally – in a field!) and rained on while we were on vacation, and Dave seems happy too. I think I need to find more ‘quick’ projects like this. I like the instant gratification.

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crochet and satin evening bag

I’ve been thinking of crocheting a bag for a while, since I saw a bag pattern on the Bernat site. I didn’t like how thin the strap was in the pattern, or that the bag had no way to close, so I knew I’d have to make up my own pattern. The July whiplash challenge to make a bag came along at just the right time to get me started.

I wanted a small bag to hold essentials (purse, keys, phone, etc) that wouldn’t be too bulky for when I go out in the evening, but that wouldn’t look too ‘dressy’ for everyday use. 15x15cm seemed about the right size.

black crocheted bag with blue satin lining

I crocheted the bag with black size 10 crochet cotton and a 1.5mm hook, using a modified cross treble stitch. I wanted an open crochet pattern so that the lining could show through, and the gaps around the ‘X’ stitches worked out well for that. I made up the pattern as I went along – decreasing the Xs to make the flap of the bag was an interesting challenge.

bag flap and button

I used a small piece of gorgeous periwinkle blue satin for the lining, and covered the button with the same fabric to tie everything together. The strap is 350 rows of single crochet stitches, crocheted tightly for strength.

open bag showing blue satin lining

The materials for this bag only cost $5, but crocheting all those Xs took a long time! I think it was worth it though – I’m really pleased with how well it turned out and I’m looking forward to using it.

open bag showing contents

I’m entering this bag into the whiplash contest in the skill category.

the bag on my shoulder

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