Friday, September 05, 2008

String Bag & Lots of News

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I decided to knit for the Mu Phi Fundraiser again this year. I skipped last year, and was surprised, but rather pleased too, that my things were missed. I'm making scarves again, which you can see at the bottom, but I also thought it would be fun to try knitting a string carrier bag. This is my second attempt, and I'm kind of pleased with it. It's a slight modification of a pattern I found somewhere on the web. I'm going to do the next one a little differently and I think it will be improved, although I'm happy with this one for myself.

Here it is flat.

And as worn over the shoulder.

One of the problems I have with the idea of making this type of bag as a replacement for throw-away bags is that so many of the patterns I see have you using very expensive yarn. That seems ridiculous, especially if I'm going to try to sell these at a bazaar. Wetspun linen would be ideal for these and they might last a hundred years, but who's going to pay over $20 for one, and that would only cover the cost of the yarn, with no profit for the group. So, I decided to use something cheap and available (I got it at the dime store). This is Aunt Lydia's Size 3 Fashion Crochet Thread in mercerized cotton. It should be quite durable, and has the right look for what I wanted. I'll see how it holds up, but I think it will be just fine. This bag took almost 2 balls, which was less than $4 worth of yarn, about right for something like this, I'd say.

Here are the scarves I'm making.

These are a fun pattern called the Potato Chip Scarf. The pattern is from KnitPicks, although I cast on 180 stitches, as per their original pattern, and it gives you a nice length. These are great for wrapping around the throat, and they stay in position wherever you put them.

I finished the Marfy #1234 jacket last night and I'm very pleased with it. I may wait a day or two to take photos. I've got a rotten cold right now, and I'm not looking too fashionable, to say the least. I will just tease you with a (semi-fuzzy) photo of one of the hand-embroidered buttonholes halfway done. You can see the double strand of thread I used to cord these. After they were done except for the bartack on the inner end, I pulled up the cording threads to shape them, tied the threads off and finished the bartack.

Photo Link
I worried about them and tested and tested and thought I'd made a big mistake in not doing bound buttonholes to start with, but as it turns out, I love them. I love the look, and I really loved doing them. They're really fairly fast too, which shocked me.

My other big news is that I'm getting a new sewing machine!!! It's a Pfaff 2144 which has been very gently used. In fact, my sister traded it in on the newest Pfaff CV, and she literally almost didn't use it at all, so I'm getting a wonderful, and basically brand new machine. Her dealer is checking and updating it, and shipping it to me, and I'm hoping it will get here by the end of next week. Much anticipation here, and a little anxiety that the learning curve I've heard about with these will be a problem. Naturally, I want it to do everything I want, right now, rather than after I figure it out. Patience is NOT my middle name. It's going to be fun though, and I'm ready for a new machine I think. I haven't worn out my Elna, but it's been going strong for 20 years now, and it's showing its age a bit here and there. I take care with it, but it will be fun to have all the new bells and whistles.

I will be interested to see if the embroidery bug bites. Somehow I doubt it, although I want to try buttonholes using the embroidery capability of the machine. I saw this on a Babylock TOL machine a couple years ago, and it was the first thing that really made me sit up and take notice of an embroidery-capable machine.


Marji said...

Liana, the knit string bag is fabulous! I want to know what changes you made, and which pattern you based this on. I've been thinking several of these patterns are written for Sugar/Cream by Lion Brand, and wondered if I could substitute the balls of dimestore crochet cotton I have around here.
And, your buttonholes are beautiful. Hope you're feeling well soon.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your wonderful new sewing machine! You have done the most amazing things with your Elna and I can't wait to see what you do with the new machine. I am considering the purchase of an embroidery-capable machine myself so I will be interested to hear your thoughts on that feature.

I'm so sorry you have a bad cold. I do hope you are feeling better very soon!

Summerset said...

Yay! A new machine! Your buttonhole looks beautiful - such a perfect and couture touch.

Melodye said...

Congrats on the new machine. Can't wait to see what you do with it. I'm beting you will be bitten by the embroidery bug.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Hi Liana, I have a 2144 and I love it. It wasn't difficult to learn to use at all. I don't do much embroidery, but I do use the embroidery option to make buttonholes and other embellishments. Have fun with your new machine!

Nancy K said...

Great a new machine! What kind of buttonholes can this machine do using the embroidery option?