Reusable bag for produce

I made a reusable bag for produce!

produce-bag-1produce-bag-2produce-bag-3

I follow Celia’s blog (Fig Jam and Lime Cordial) and she often offers interesting ideas to save the environment.

One of these is to make reusable bags for produce to avoid using plastic bags (VERY BAD for the environment) or paper bags (much better, but still why use unnecessary resources and cut down trees).

She used net fabric but I didm’t have any at hand. I didn’t want to use man-made fibre (= nylon = plastic = oil = BAD for nature)

The idea stayed in the back of my mind for a while, then one day it came to my mind that I had some vintage cotton (a charity shop from while ago) in my collection.

vintage-cotton-yarn

While cotton is a natural fibre, it is not necessarily good for our Earth: it uses a lot of water to produce the raw material and then process it. A LOT, like in

20,000 LITERS
The amount of water needed to produce one kilogram of cotton; equivalent to a single t-shirt and pair of jeans.

(source: WWF https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton). So I was happy to use some unwanted vintage one.

Pattern:
I went freestyle –  just did some filet crochet alternating sections of standard filet with parts of double-chain ((I think – whatever it is that it results in a “full square” rather than the “empty square” of filet).

Project notes with instructions:

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/ItWasJudith/reusable-produce-bag

produce-bag-4

produce-bag-5

produce-bag-6 The first side

The only thing to improve is possibly making it with a finer yarn to obtain a lighter weight; this one is about 20-25g for a small size (finished bag is approximately 19×24 cm).

The bag is now finished and is being carried in my rucksack for when I go food shopping.

It’s perfect for the small vegetables (mushrooms, beans, carrots..), nuts or fruits (kiwi, mandarines), etc.

It can store the items as long as needed and then reused. When dirty it can be easily washed.

I’m so happy to have made it!

 

Repair : patching a pj (short tutorial)

This pj is made of a light knit jersey fabric, which recently was starting to develop some wear and tear… but I was keen to rescue it from demise.

I patched it with some iron-on material that is perfect for such thin and soft fabric: Kleiber repair patch for fine textiles (Oeko-Tex material)

I wrote this short step-by-step repair tutorial for anyone who wants to make-do and mend (and save the environment):

  1. Repair the damaged spots – I mended it by hand using fine thread
  2. Iron the mend to flatten the fabric. Raised parts may cause the patch to adhere unevenly and develop weak spots.
  3.  Cut a bit from the patch kit, larger than the size of the damaged area, allowing at least 1 to 1.5 cm (around 1/2 inch) extra. This would prevent strain points on the damaged area.
  4. Place the patch on the damaged area, laying a thin cloth on it before proceeding with the next step.
  5. Iron the patch, applying as much pressure as you can and hold the iron on it for around 1 minute (check instructions on your mending kit, they usually state how long you should hold the iron on it for).

    Let it cool and settle before moving it, to prevent any weakening to the repair.

  6. If you don’t mind the visible mending, apply a repair patch on the outside as well as on the inside of your clothing. This will make the mending even stronger and more durable.

  7. Mend any small weak spots before they develop into full holes
  8. That’s it.. Well done for rescuing your clothing from landfill!
  9. Now wear again & enjoy!!

Don’t forget to feel prod for having given a new lease of life to your item 🙂

 

 

The kindness of strangers

That’s a lofty title for a simple blogpost, I admit.

There isn’t a philosophical commentary on kindness and people to come, sorry…. I don’t think my boring style of writing would be up for the task.

Anyway, what I’m meaning to talk about today is natural dyes. And incidentally mention Freecycle.

The natural dyes have been kindly donated by a sweet elder lady through Freecycle (a site where one can offer or ask for free things). Freecycle is “a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. […] Membership is free”. Isn’t Freecycle a wonderful thing? And there are local groups across the world, I believe. I’ve used it to give and get items countless times – it’s fabulous. Go check it out, maybe there’s a local group near you?

The lady was offering quite a few of colours, dyes and art supplies. I hope she didn’t have to relocate or downsize, but she was just tidying up her home. I didn’t want to be nosey and ask…

Back to the main topic, I’ve long been curious about natural dyes. The only experience with them was in my teens when I used some walnut powder to dye the dark squares of a chess board I was making.

I’d love to try them again. Two things hold me back though: lack of space and the desire to avoid any harsh chemicals. So I’ll need to do a bit of reading on the best way for me to fast the colours. And then I may need to wait to have space somewhere at some point to do the process.

This is what I was kindly given:

  • madder
  • quebracho red
  • pomegranate
  • logwood purple
  • teal
  • indigo? (unlabelled blue powder)
  • woad
  • Brazil wood chips
  • cutch
  • sorghum
  • old fustic
  • cochineal
  • some unused packets of tannic acid and cream of tartar

If you have advice on easy and gentle dyeing, please do let me know 🙂

PS I’ve just learnt that off Freecycle (wikipedia link), a new non-profit organisation was born in the UK: Freegle (wikipedia link). I think I’ll join them too!

My first socks!

I’m wearing my first pair of own made socks and I love them!

Here a few quick shots just as I was walking out of the door…

I’ll post details and better photos later

I’m now working on a long-paused WIP – the Old Shale Shawl free pattern. I had stopped it long ago when I discovered a blatant mistake in the stitch alignment, but have since unraveled back and restarted knitting. Some old pictures of the shawl, which is pretty much as it looks now:

All is good! Have a lovely day!

Vintage sock… gorgeous yarn and much more (a long update)

A finished vintage sock!

Fear not, it’s not an old sock!

This is going to be a lengthy update, since I haven’t been around in a while. Grab a tea or coffee and read on..

SOCKS

In one of my usual charity shop stops I found some lovely vintage wool yarn, just a tiny quantity. The colours were lovely – you know, the kind of 50/60s shades – so I got it anyway.

Now, I’ve been wanting to make socks for a long while, but actually never gave it a go. Until, while reading my usual blog posts, a fabulous tutorial on sock making came up – just what I needed to motivate me to attempt the task!

Winwick Mum’s Sockalong is truly well done, illustrative and clear, with step-by-step instructions and tons of pictures. Just what a new maker needs! She has done a great job with this tutorial – if you plan to try sock knitting out, that’s an outstanding resource and I can warmly recommend it. Did I mention it’s free (including the pattern)?

After long – my spare moments are pretty limited – last night (wee hours) the first sock was ready… and fitted perfectly! I’m so happy with the results (thanks to WM’s tutorial). They’re not perfect but I think they’re pretty good – anyway, judge for yourself!

A finished vintage sock!

A finished vintage sock! (Ok, it’s not fully finished here… I forgot to take a pic after grafting the toe and the rib)

Sock-in-progress.. just the toe left

Sock-in-progress.. just the toe left. See the pretty vintage yarn?

Sock-in-progress, the heel is turned

Sock-in-progress, the heel is turned

Sock-in-progress, the heel

Sock-in-progress, the heel

Sock-in-progress

Sock-in-progress, with notions and notes!

Sock-in-progress, the heel flap

Sock-in-progress, the heel flap

My first sock, the beginnings

My first sock, the beginnings

YARN PORN

After the recent fire, I allowed myself to do some yarn shopping.. naughty of me, as I have neither space to store it nor budget, but sometimes, you know, one just needs to treats oneself to lift spirits… I think I deserved it.

So let me show you some gorgeous yarn…

Wensleydale and Shetland 4 ply by The Knitting Goddess, one skein each of Slate and Green (picture from TKG’s shop as I still haven’t the wool with me):

Wensleydale & Shetland 4 ply yarn by the Knitting Goddess in Slate

Wensleydale & Shetland 4 ply yarn by the Knitting Goddess in Green

The yarn, a blend of 85% Wensleydale and 15% Shetland, is grown, processed, spun and dyed in the UK, and has a high twist for extra strength. If I could, I would buy all of it (ok, maybe not literally ALL – there’s not enough room in the flat). Here you can see all of the available colourways.

One Farm Yarn, also by The Knitting Goddess, in Flower Power (of course, with such a name I couldn’t pass it):

One Farm Yarn 4 ply by The Knitting Goddess in Flower Power

One Farm is a genuinely Yorkshire yarn!

Here you can see the many pretty shades (variegated, solid or semi-solid) and the interesting story of the yarn and its (local) production: a journey of 72 miles in Yorkshire from sheep to dye pot. What’s not to love?

As you can see, I’m a sucker for blues and greens, although lately I’ve been lovingly looking at natural shades and tones of browns too. But budget is limited, so that was it for now.

NEW FIREPLACE

In other news, this week a new fireplace was delivered and now we need to get workers to remove the old and put the new one in. It’s limestone in Deco style. It was quite a (costly) adventure to get it from the curb side into the flat: we had to get helpers to lift and carry the dead heavy but very fragile limestone pieces. They were amazing, but it came to over £100 for less than half an hour work. There was no way we could do it ourselves, at about 100 kilos each side piece… at least, we got it cheaper because it was ex-showroom. Here you can see a showroom image of The Faulkner fireplace.

The Faulkner fireplace by Chesney’s

LAMP SHADE

Another charity shop find was a Laura Ashley lamp shade at a steal price tag, in just the perfect shade to match the curtains in the living room. The colour is actually more green than it appears in the photos.. it’s a sort of grey/dusty silver green (faded teal? a pale Jade? Persian Green? I’m sure there’s a more accurate name). Such a stroke of luck… What do you think of it?

Laura Ashley lampshade

Laura Ashley lampshade

Laura Ashley lampshade in the sofa corner

Laura Ashley lampshade in the sofa corner

Laura Ashley lampshade by night

Laura Ashley lampshade by night

BAKING

While ago there were over-ripe bananas laying around. Normally, I would eat them as my other half doesn’t like them ripe, but I’m on a low-sugar, GF diet. In order not to waste them, I thought to make some gluten-free loaves replacing sugar with some ripe fruit (there were bananas, self-picked blackberries, ginger and pears involved). The texture was not too bad for GF, but a hint more sugar would have been in order 😉 Hence the spoon of jam.

Enjoying a slice of GF, low-sugar loaf

Enjoying a slice of GF, low-sugar loaf

Gluten-free, low-sugar loaves

Gluten-free, low-sugar loaves

Well, that was it. Well done if you reached the end of this post! Thanks for joining.

How was your weekend?

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