Friday, August 16, 2013

Bag Lady

I've been itching for a weaving project but was held back by things like not knowing what to make (first) and not having supplies to make it. Do I buy more cotton, or silk, or wool? Where do I get it? I finally decided just to start and get on with it already. That was when I was in front of the crochet cotton at Joann's and they had some nice reds, black and white. (Well, I already had the white.)

I thought, those are some colours I can live with. So I bought one of each: black, "victory" red, and a darker red. Then I remembered my Red Purl bag was getting shabby and it could use some new handles. It was a white bag (now a little more dingy from much loving use) with a black and red design. I can match that.

And this Saturday (tomorrow) is another "Bag Lady" event. A deadline!!

First, what's a bag lady? It's Amy's affectionate nickname for the customers who have purchased a Red Purl bag and then are privileged with monthly discounts and the occasional special event. Not the sort of thing I usually pony up for, but this was a club I wanted in on (all the prestige, you know). I bought one of the bags the first year she did it. And you can kind of tell.

There's no washing it back to like-new condition any more, but the worn handles were something I could do something about!

Through the tablet weaving group on Ravelry, I discovered an incredible collection of patterns that are available from someone named Babette on a website. No matter that it's in German; one can figure it out. (Thanks to the hints posted on Ravelry, I did.)

I am fascinated by the warp threads
coming off of the weaving as if they
are streaming away...but in a very
orderly fashion.
I chose a pattern, threaded the cards, and tried it out. After about an inch, I could tell it was about half as wide as I needed. So I printed a second copy of the pattern, cut and pasted it next to the first copy so that they were mirror images, and threaded some more cards. I put them together and started weaving the pattern.

The first strap was a little rough with quite a bit of unweaving from not following the pattern closely enough. But I learned a lot. One night when I did make progress despite spending more time unweaving than weaving, I learned a couple of things repeatedly. I guess I'm a slow learner.

But ever I got better, and the second band went a lot smoother. I think I was also a little more diligent about keeping my place in the chart by moving the post-it note! :)

Once woven, I gave the bands a good soak and then pressed them with a hot iron. The second band came off the loom a little longer than the first, even though they had the same number of pattern repeats. I made sure to stretch them out to the same length while ironing, and then also pinned them in place as they dried:
Once dry, they were the same length. I cut the ends even with my rotary cutters. (I'll have to remember scissors really don't work well enough for it. Or if I don't, I'll learn that lesson again too!)

Then I cut off the original straps and sewed these ones in their place:
Just a simple outline of a square to hold everything in place.

When I initially measured the length I thought I was going to sew the woven band over the old strap so I didn't allow for the overlap with the bag. After being sewn on, they feel just a little short to wear over my shoulder:
They could use an inch or two more in length. But I don't look like I mind, do I!

Project Stats
: 11 Aug '13
Finished: 15 Aug '13
Pattern: Muster von Lira nur verkürzt (doubled--24 cards)
Materials: Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet 10--white, black, victory red
Tomorrow's event at Red Purl is the pre-sale of what she calls her Green Sale--The sale of "second hand" craft items (wool and other knitting tools/books, and this year she added fabric and quilting tools/books). You can hit the sale this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I'll be there at 8:30 tomorrow morning for the "Bag Lady" only pre-sale.
Hey, I just realized it's Friday, and this is like a "fix it" so we're going to file this under Fix It Friday and pretend I intended that all along!

Enjoy your weekend, all. And if I find any great stuff tomorrow, you know I'll tell you about it!

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