Friday, May 2, 2008

Show and Tell!

On my last post I promised some finished projects, and here they are! I've been quite busy! First, I have the "Pleated Beauty" bag I made for my swap partner. I hope that she likes it. Even though I made a test Pleated Beauty bag, I still made some pretty stupid mistakes this time around. I know that I should view each mistake as a learning experience, but really, I don't think I'll ever make this "Pleated Beast" (as another swap member called it) again! It is a cute design, but the instructions are a little difficult to follow, especially for a beginner like me (no offense, Amy Karol!). I wanted to throw in a little something extra for my swap partner, so I decided on this knitted washcloth along with a bar of juniper-scented soap I picked up at a craft fair a while back. The washcloth pattern is from Weekend Knitting (a book I highly recommend as much for the commentary and pictures as the patterns), and I used Knit Picks Crayon. I really enjoyed the yarn--a very economical, yet soft and natural, alternative to the suggested yarn.

I also used some stash yarn to quickly knit up a flower to felt and pin on the swap bag. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the right shade of red. I'll save it to embellish something else down the road...

A couple of weeks ago I picked up Simple Crochet from the library. The projects are all, well, very simple, so I probably wouldn't buy the book. The fibers suggested, however, are unusual and surprising. I love Ericka Knight's ideas of using cloth strips, kitchen string from the hardware store, raffia, and leather. I made the following remote-control holder (now being used for keys instead) using one ball of kitchen string. Pretty good for 5 bucks!

Finally, my obsession with cloth diapers continues. It's been a long journey, so I won't go through it all again, but basically Matthew does best in pocket diapers as they wick the moisture away from his skin. Unfortunately, most pocket diapers cost at least $18 each! I would really like to cloth diaper him full time again, but our budget just doesn't allow for the upfront purchase right now. So, for the past week I've been searching the internet for pocket diaper patterns and doing some research about fabric. I ended up placing an order of PUL, microfiber and Aplix from Very Baby, which I received today. The PUL feels just like that of my name-brand diaper, and the microfiber is very soft. I decided to do a test run first on some fleece I had lying around. The pattern I used is for Rita's Rump Cover, but I did my own thing for the elastic casing. I'm glad I did a test run on some less-expensive fabric first, as there are definitely some things I'll do differently next time! Hopefully this will all work out with the PUL and microfleece. I'm just so excited about cloth diapers, especially the prospect of making my own, that I think my husband thinks I'm nuts. Hey, he won't think so when I save us hundreds of dollars, right? Riiiiight.


bkd said...

Wow, Katie, I'm so impressed! And here I thought you were sick last week... (;-0). Your Pleated Beauty is wonderful- bright and summery! I love the idea of kitchen string and other materials for crocheting, too- what a great project with the basket! And, I'm humbled by you actually making diaper covers. We've slowly transitioned to full time disposables, in part because of the upfront cash outlay to purchase new covers (Rhys outgrew his last set a month ago). You are an amazing mother!

elliebelle said...

Hi Katie,
I just wanted to leave a comment on here saying again how much I love my bag! Oh, and to let you know my mom really loved it too after seeing it on my blog. heehee... I think I'll have to make her one. Also, don't feel bad about having a hard time with the instructions, I think they were hard to understand. The sequence in which she had you do things isn't the traditional way - which there is a traditional way for a reason! I would say try using commercial sewing patterns (McCall's, Simplicity) for better luck - I think you will have less frustrations. :) But again, you did a GREAT job and I really like it!