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!

 

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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!

An end, a begin… and a mistake

The Old Shale Shawl is finished and awaiting to be blocked. I promise it will happen some day!

The pattern by Amanda Clark is free and really easy to follow. I’m very happy with the finished object and it took me only 4 years… yep.

Short after the Nurmilintu Shawl was cast on, because I just couldn’t wait to try that pretty yarn. It’s Natural Dye Studio’s Dazzle, a British wool, 100% Bluefaced Leicester, in delicate shades of blues, greens and purples – very soft.

The first section before the lace is done

but obviously not everything could go well…

Sigh

See what happened?

That’s about 3/5 from the start. Mep

Whatever. It’ll get a lifeline (because this yarn is very slippery and would unravel to the next rows before I could blink) and hopefully I can recover from there. Not tonight though.

By the way, yes, I love blue and green, if you were wondering.

The weekend was overall quite productive and some tidy up was done, which leaves one with such a good feeling!

Some vintage yarn purchase also happened, because really, I need to build back some of my “collection”. And some antique silver – my new interest since I read some blog posts on silver items! Contagious. But expensive, so only done in wee bits. The best buy was a spoon with my initial engraved (well not mine originally but we share that letter), so now I feel very decadent to enjoy yoghurt with an antique silver spoon (1853) – that is when it arrives!

How was your weekend?

What next

I’m about to complete the Old Shale Shawl, after a long time in the making (and hibernating).

I cannot yet officially start projects for the Summer of Basics 2018 (aka Make your Own Basics), so this morning I’ve been perusing my Ravelry queue and picked up a couple of projects (this may be a wildly optimistic plan…).

The first is the famous Nurmilintu shawl, because it looks pretty and easy, and it’s also free. Plus I have a weak spot for Finnish (Nurmilintu means “sleep, sleep, little bird” from an old Finnish lullaby). I plan to make it with Natural Dye Studio Sock yarn in Dragonfly:

The other project is the Pixel Stitch Socks, a beautiful free pattern by Putl Soho, to be made in Natural Dye Studio’s Dazzle HT Sock in Whitby Pool and Lynmouth – high twist yarn for longer durability.

I’m sure I won’t get much done with them until the end of the month, but it’ll be fun anyway!

What are you up to?

Have a lovely weekend!

It’s growing!

Just past row 132 out of 145, which is about 90% done.. I really look forward now to seeing it completed!

Not sure how I’ll manage blocking such a large piece as I have neither space nor specific tools. I’m sure I’ll get creative in the end – I think it won’t be a stylish solution but as long as it’s effective, I’m fine with it.

The colours are a bit hard to capture but the closest is the first picture.

I’m planning for the Super Birthday Sweater I mentioned in my last post, but won’t probably start until June for the Fringe Association’s Summer of Making – I’m thinking of joining in, but haven’t decided yet, I might take part even if I won’t be able to finish 4 projects in 3 months. So far I’ve short listed two jumpers, one summer top, a folk shirt I’ve been wanting to make for ages and a pair of simple cable socks (because never done cables, so that’ll be easy!). A bit too ambitious? I won’t stress wanting to finish it all.

Have you planned projects for your summer (or winter if you live on the other side of the globe)? Or will you just decide as time goes on?

Not a flowey sweater…

I’ve been looking at candidates for this beautiful vintage yarn that I got recently….

(About 1000 grams of bulky yarn)

I thought of something with cables but the yarn is too thick and I’ve never done cables. Plus the fabric would be too stiff.

Then I was eyeing In Stillness by Alicia Plummer, but that would require a more fluid wool.

I think I finally found a good candidate, though. The Super Birthday Sweater, done with some mods in the bottom part introducing some texture (gathered simple cables from a stitch pattern I found).

(The modified version as done by zialaura)

(The original pattern – sorry I haven’t got the link to ravelry at hand)

Here are some late night, awful light, unblocked swatches:

What do you think?