Monthly Archives: June 2013

Fruit and Veggies

I’m having so much fun designing produce bags. I get half way through one, and think something like, “the next one will have <insert overly hyped attribute here> .”  So it’s been (ahem), a fruitful process.

I also think about naming them. Which may come in handy when I post to my Etsy store!  I have one now, but nothing is listed yet.  If you are interested in listing items on Etsy I can tell you it’s probably the easiest thing you have ever done. The hard part is taking the pictures, and simultaneously making whatever item you crafted up look desirable. I read an article about how the most popular pictures on Pinterest were dissected to better understand correlations about what it is that people find so appealing about these photographs. The listed attributes included things like depth of field and preferred subject matter. I might try applying this research, or I might just do the best I can and hope the produce bag needing people will still buy my creations.

I am, of course, greatly inspired from the 2 patterns I had been working from, but I have changed all of the tote construction to suit my taste. Both of the bags I am working on for etsy are still in progress. The yellow netted produce tote still needs i-cord handles, and the natural cotton tote still has the leather ends to be tied in.  This yellow bag is entirely netted, without a reinforced bottom.  I took the picture before winding the yarn through the last stitches and closing it up. I call this yellow Seventies Counter Top.

YellowBag

The natural cotton tote has a soft leather  strip that I sewed around the handles. It secures the handles in a round shape while making the handles that much sturdier. If you have ever lugged a large sack of potatoes home from the market you walked to you know why this heftier handle is so important.  The handles are sewn down with additional yarn, so that if the leather was ever removed the handles would still be held in a folded design. The bottom of the tote is knitted closed for greater strength as well.

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You can see the leather ends yet to be secured, but I would say this bag is 99% complete!

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The madness has ended

My latest project was less a labour of love and more a sick obsession. I think I only put my knitting needles down so I could sleep this weekend. I knitted ’til my hands cramped, and I got a killer headache from the neck and arm tension.  What is up with that?

On the phone my Grandmother said I, “run hot with the knitting.”  I think she’s right. I try to divert my interest to other things, but then some idea will grab me, and I have to start working on it immediately.

On friday this Noro yarn from my stash caught my eye, and there I went. The colour variegation is gorgeous, and I think it was my curiosity about what it would look like in the end made it impossible to stop.

The pattern is called Tortuga. It was very easy to knit. I had the repeating pattern memorized 4 rows in, so progress wasn’t hampered by pattern checks, and laborious counting.

As a by product of this madness I finished watching all the Call the Midwife episodes. So charming!  They wear beautiful 50’s style sweaters I can’t help but dissect for pattern ideas. Plus, the characters themselves are knitting, so it was like a knitting feedback loop.

The shawl was blocked yesterday, and I  pulled out the pins early this morning. It’s done, and I’m free.

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Social animals, and produce bags

The produce bags are in full swing. The pattern modifications that I was mulling over seemed to be resolved by this pattern, Bag! You’re It! (free on Ravelry). I modified the handle a tad to create more of a roll, as well as a rolled edge to the bag itself. I also prefer the look and feel of the heftier handle in my hand. I’m going to keep churning versions of these out as soon as I pick up some new cotton.

The smaller size bag is intentional. I imagine using a series of these to not only buy produce from the market, but also to store my fruits and veggies in the fridge, or from hooks we have in our kitchen.   Frees up counter space, but also helps prevent bruising both in transport and at home.  I also think they would be great if you are lucky enough to have your own garden. You can hose off your carrots right in the bag if you want.

These bags are both prototypes and gifts. The citrus bag is going to be a gift for a friend who is visiting me this summer.

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And in non-knitting news…

I finished reading the The Social Animal, The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks this week. It’s an interesting read. I found myself reading twenty pages at a time, and then having to contemplate the implications of what I had learned.  The premiss of the story, which follows a couple from infancy to old age, was secondary to me. It really was just framework to convey new research in psychology and science about insights into behavior, how the brain works and particularly the unconscious mind.   The importance of culture seems tantamount, and the story seems to be told to remind us of the emotional, intuitive self, and that our minds exist in the context of the social animals we are.  I liked this book for it’s ability to allow me to marvel at new information, and entertain ideas of what could be. I seem somehow comforted by stories told from the perspective that we have so much to learn- that the world is not mapped out completely, and that new findings can turn the reality we know into something else entirely. I like that there is still mystery and unknowable things.

I don’t want my two readers to get too excited, but if you are interested in reading this book I am happy to pass it along. Post a comment if you are interested and I will chose randomly (I guess with two readers I could even flip a coin!) and mail the book to you. It’s hard cover, if that helps entice you. 

Have a wonderful day!