18 May, 2014

Finished: Braid basket

Few days ago I talked with Inari about WIP projects and blogs. We agreed that more often than not, if you post an unfinished project to your blog, you will never finish it. I know that this rule is more thue in my case than I'd like to admit. How ever I'm happy to note that post is actually breaking that rule. This is one of the projects I posted about last week.

The finished basket.
Pattern: No pattern, just a shape from the top of my head.
Yarn: The blue and brown stripes of an old sheet.

Why I made this: I'd say it was a craft of opportunity. Few weeks back at Kierrätystehdas I ended up hanging around at one of the workshops for almost a half a day because my best friend was working there and our mutual friend who happens to live abroad was also there.

At this particular workshop they were making things from re-purposed fabrics by crocheting or braiding and sewing by hand. As I have crocheted a lot I decided to try out this other technique that was new to me. All I actually managed to do in the workshop was rip the material and braid it ready for sewing. Me not having a concept of how long a project will take - absolutely nothing new under the sun!

The braided sheet ready to be sewn to a shape.

What I liked in this project: It was exciting to try out a new technique for the first time. I also liked both parts of the process: braiding the fabric and sewing it together to make the basket. I also really liked the idea of making the change of color a gradual one by not changing all the parts of the braid at the same time.

What I didn't like in this project: The basket is bit uneven and I'm bit sad that I wasn't more diligent to braid the fabric to equal tension all the way through. Now the uneven tension shows a little bit in the unevenness of shape. I also had some problems with tying of the thread I used for sewing (and lazy to go back to fix the problems I had) so the thread shows on the outside in few spot even tough it shouldn't.

Another thing that didn't quite go as planned was the gradual color change I liked as an idea. As I didn't know what exactly I was doing, in the final product the change of color happened bit too fast for my liking. Next time I will make the length between the changes longer.

This is how you sew the rounds of braid together - you do not actually go through the fabric but under the loops in the braid. Quite brilliant actually, all tough I'd recommend you use a blunt needle. 

What I learned: A new technique to use when I want to make stuff like baskets or rugs or something like that.

Was I happy with the end result: Mostly yes. It's not the most elegant looking basket I could have made, but I love that I learned a new technique and it was so much fun to do a basket this way. And I think a small basket like this will turn to be handy around the apartment. At the moment I think I'll store my chargers in it so they are not a huge mess on my table.

The surface actually looks pretty cool, even with the little imperfections.
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Osallistuin Kierrätystehtaalla työpajaan, jossa tehtiin asioita kierrätyskankaista virkaten ja letitettyä kangasta muoton ommellen. Päätin kokeilla letitystekniikkaa, koska se oli minulle uusi tekniikka. Tuloksena oli hauska pieni kori, joka ei ehkä ole mitenkään täydellinen (letin muotoon ompeluun käytetty lanka näkyy päälipuolelle muutamassa kohtaa ja muotokin on vähän, noh, möykkyinen), mutta silti oikein kelpo esimerkiksi laturijohtojen säilytykseen. Tätä helppoa ja hauskaa metodia tulee varmasti tulevaisuudessakin käytettyä.

16 May, 2014

The best souvenirs - Parisian fabric haul

Few weeks back, over the May 1st and the following weekend I took a short holiday and went to Paris to visit my friend Anna. We originally met through our shared love of books, but as it happens we also share the love for handicrafts. We even both have crafty blogs and you can find Anna's blog here. Anna has lived abroad for few years and I've missed her a lot so it was so great to see her again and spend several days with her. I can't wait until her next visit to Finland during the summer - we already have some crafty pans for that!

Us two at the top of Montmartre, next to Sacré-Coeur with the roofs of Paris behind us.
Yes, this was a zoom fail, but I still really like it.
While we were planning my trip, Anna asked me if I would want to go to some fabric stores? Would I ever! So on the second day of my trip we headed to Montmartre to not only see the beautiful mountain known for its artist recidents but also to explore all the wonderful fabric stores you can find there.

The fabric stores we went to see and shop in were located in the southeast corner of Montmartre within just few blocks. I mean, it's basically just few blocks of nothing but all kinds of fabric stores. I'm not sure how many stores I saw just on Rue Briquet, Rue d'Orsel, Rue Seveste, and Rue Livingstone. And it was not all the same things in all the stores - there were stores specialized in clothing and in decorating, stores selling mainly things for theater and dance costumes, stores selling fabrics in three meter pieces in cheep prices, and selling all kinds of buttons and other extra materials you could need. I felt truly amazed, but then again I'm used to having very few stores to choose from. 

If you want to go to see them yourself, I recommend taking a metro to the station called Anvers. All the stores were within few blocks from that station.

Here are (almost) all the fabrics I got from Paris. For some reason one of the small ones is missing from this pic.
In all honesty, we didn't manage to visit more than four or five stores. There was so much to see and more dangerously much to buy! At some point I just had to say that my luggage (and possibly my wallet) wouldn't be able to handle more fabrics. More exactly this happened in the second floor of an huge and amazing fabric store called Marché Saint-Pierre - a store with five floors above the ground floor! If you visit no other fabric store in Paris, you'll have to go see this place. It was amazing - or at least the first three floors were and most of the fabrics I bought came from there.

The first fabrics I bought are the only things I didn't buy from  Marché Saint-Pierre. I got these 45 cm x 45 cm quilting fabrics from store called Au Bonheur Des Dames on Rue Livingstone. (They unfortunately have no website.) They had a lot of all kinds of other fabrics too, but I especially loved the somewhat big selection of quilting fabrics. There six were the ones I decided to get for my quilting project mentioned in my previous post.

Another store that had a great selection of quilting fabrics was Moline Mercerie just across Rue Livingstone. That store was very adorable and the only reason why I didn't buy anything from there was that I had just bought these fabrics from the other store.

If we move on to the fabrics I bought from Marché Saint-Pierre, the first fabric that caught my eye was this colorful dress fabric. It was very light polyester and will turn into a beautiful summer party dress. I actually have a party in mind to which I want to make the dress for. So now I just need to go pattern hunting!

The next fabrics - and the ones I got very excited about - were these absolutely adorable jerseys! I think there were about twenty different prints and beautiful colors available in that one table of which about half I could easily have chosen, but I ended up getting these two. The yellow dotted one will probably turn into a shirt for everyday use, but I'm still pondering on what the fox fabric will turn out to be.

(BTW, the shade of yellow is bit wonky in that separate photo. The shade in the group photo is much closer to the reality.)

The last fabrics I bought after I was almost sure I wouldn't get anything more were these two thin corduroy fabrics. The photos are repeating the colors horribly wrong, but the upper one is actually blue-turquoise and the lower one is black. I've been thinking I want to remake a old skirt I have but haven't had the right kind of corduroy for it. Now I have and I can actually make two of them at once!

These are the beautiful fabrics I've bought from Paris and I love them. Thank you so much to Anna for taking me fabric shopping. I got so excited about sewing again and can't wait to get behind sewing machine.

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Kävin lomalla Pariisissa tapaamassa ystävää. Samalla reissulla tuli käytyä myös ihanissa kangaskaupoissa ja ostettua montaa iki-ihanaa kangasta. Näistä kahdesta trikoosta, kahdesta vakosametista ja mekkokankaasta tulee tehtyä vaikka mitä ja niitä tuotoksia varmasti nähdään myös täällä blogissa aikanaan.

10 May, 2014

It's been a while...

So... apparently I took a 13 month long hiatus from writing a blog. If you asked me to tell why, I don't think I could. That's just sometimes the way things go in my life. But I'm back and I hope to write at least somewhat regularly in the future.

To kick things of again, here are five projects I'm working on at the moment.

 A pair of cable knit socks as a competition prize to a friend. The project is very true to me as I started with knitting one sock from the original pattern and then started to do heavy alteration in the second one. If the alterations end up working the way I think, I might turn this project into a pattern. But we'll have to see about that. In any case I've fount I'm particularly excited about this project.

I have adored this pattern from afar for ages so recently, when I got a particularly bad itch for fairisle knitting, I finally went for these socks. And for once they are not for someone else but me! How ever the project has been stagnant since I started the other socks.

The third project I want to give you a sneak peak of is a rather simple but time consuming embroidery project. How ever this project is a gift for a friend and as I want to keep it as a secret from her all you are going to see of it right now is just this little detail.

This ball of braided fabric got started at Kierrätystehdas few weeks ago. I wasn't particularly planning on joining any of the workshops, but one of my friends was working on one of them so I ended up doing a whole lot of braiding. I'm not sure what this'll turn into yet, but most likely I'll sew it into some kind of small basket.

The last project I'm showing you now is a huge one - a quilt made out of small hexagons! I got this crazy idea of a hexagon quilt in my head last autumn and have since then been working on and of to make enough tiny hexagons. Don't ask me how big it will end up being or how long it will take for me to finish it, but what I can say is that I'm still very excited about this project.

There we go. I'll be writing more about these and other projects in the future so stay tuned. :)

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Edellisestä blogimerkinnästä on päässyt vierähtämään reilu vuosi iman mitään erityisen hyvää syytä. Joskus vain tauko erinäisistä asioista tekee hyvää. Mutta nyt on tarkoitus palata blogin äärelle ja yrittää taas päivittää edes semisäännöllisesti.

Uudeksi aluksi ajattelin esitellä viisi keskeneräistä projektia. Kesken on tällä hetkellä yhdet kirjoneulesukat itselle sekä palmikkosukat ja salainen kirjontaprojekti, molemmat ystäville lahjaksi menossa. Lisäksi työn alla on iso projekti eli pienistä kuusikulmioista rakentuva tilkkupeitto sekä Kierrätystehtaalla aloitettu letitetystä kankaasta tehtävä kori. Näihin projekteihin varmasti palailen vielä, jahka ne myöhemmin valmistuvat.