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March, 2010:

Art Nouveau Fabric Design

I realize this isn’t knitting related, but perhaps there are some sewing enthusiasts in the house? Recently I’ve become addicted to Spoonflower, the website where you can upload your own fabric designs and have them printed on demand. Or buy other designers’ fabric.
They’re having a contest right now to design fabric with an Art Nouveau theme. So I thought, what the heck, I’m game. There’s a pre-set color palette but beyond that, we were free to interpret Art Nouveau however we wanted.
This is a swatch of the pattern I came up with, with a look at the palette I was working from:

The competition is stiff. There are 84 designs and many of them are incredible. Voting goes from now through March 24th. I don’t expect to win the contest, but it was fun to participate.
I’m working on some ideas for their Daffodils contest now, in addition to other non-contest-related fabric ideas I have brewing. This could get addictive!

You can thank Andrea for this little tip …

I showed Andrea a pair of socks I’ve been working on and she said, “There, you should blog about that,” pointing to the rubberband I use to hold my double-pointed needles together and keep the stitches from falling off when my project is getting tossed around in a project bag.
So, folks, here you go. Just take any ol’ rubber band, line up your dps (working needle and the ones with stitches on them), hook the rubberband over the tips on one end of your dps, give it a half-turn as you bring it over the stitches, and then stretch it over the tips of the other end.

rubberband - it works

It works, and the price is right!

Stow Away Shopping Bag

Recently a friend was “de-stashing” (we all know about that, right?). Among other things, she tossed a ball of her first attempt at Navajo plied handspun yarn on the table and blathered to the knitting group, “This is so seriously overspun, it’s awful, if someone doesn’t take it, it’s going to be tossed out … blah, blah, blah.” (I just love the word “blathered” and couldn’t resist using it … no offense intended, D.)
It was pretty seriously overspun, no doubt about it. But her control of color was good and there are lots of uses for tightly-twisted fibers, right?
My brain went immediately to the Stow Away Shopping Bag pattern by Oat Couture, which I bought at Double-Ewe Yarn. The plan from the get-go was to surreptitiously knit it up and then give it back to her.
I didn’t have quite enough of her handspun so I Navajo-plied a bobbin of emerald green I had already spun and used that. Still not enough, so I took a little leftover reddish-orangeish-pinkish-purplish-with-sparkly-bits handspun I used to finish of a little cap, called That Hat, pattern also from Double Ewe Yarns. And here’s the finished product.

Market bag

I have to say, this bag is such a great little project. I made one for my daughter before her trip to The Czech Republic. It folds up into a pack about the size of your two fists…

Pouch

… and tucks into its own built-in pocket. Toss it in the back seat or glove box, or in a suitcase, and hit the road … easy-peasy.
(If you’re interested, here’s a good short video on how to do Navajo plying.)