Sunday, June 14, 2009

HOW TO: Make a child's t-shirt into a peg bag

There are a very few things more satisfying than hanging all your laundry out on the line on a warm summer's day...Your clothes smell fresh, and you save the environment (just a bit!) by not running five loads through the tumble dryer!

Uh, however, if you're like me, you need about a million clothes pegs, hence the "peg bag". You're welcome to buy one from Cath Kidston for a tenner, if you so desire, but an easier and more fun thing to do is to convert an old child's tee (one of your children's own, or a neighbour's!)...It costs next to nothing and can be sorted in about an hour.
What you'll need:
  1. A child's t-shirt. Any size from about 2 to 4 will be right.
  2. A small hanger. This may have come with the t-shirt, or something else...I find that the ones that come with adult swimsuit tops are quite good!
  3. Some stuff you have lying around the house.
I have to be intentionally vague on the third one, because there are a number of different ways to accomplish the same thing!

There are two parts to creating a peg bag from a t-shirt:
  1. You have to close up the bottom of the tee.
  2. You have to create a hole to put the pegs in.
That's really it...And how you get there is up to you.

The first time I made one, all I did was to run the bottom of the shirt through the sewing machine and make a slice across the chest.

The peg bag you see in the picture is crocheted shut with a very small-gauge hook and some crochet thread, and detailed with a picot stitch! I did the same on the hole for the pegs, partially to match the bottom, and partially to prevent the opening from fraying.

The final part is to hang the t-shirt up on the hanger, et voila! You've got a nifty, cheap peg bag, and you also find a use for those old t-shirts you love, can't throw away, but just can't justify keeping around :)

What I've been up to...For the last couple months!

Oooooh, I'm a baaad blogger. I hope I haven't let any of you down by not posting in so long!

The truth is, I've gone a little ADHD, craftily speaking. Over the last several months, I've crocheted a jumper, learned to knit (well, learned to stocking stitch!) and, most recently, made a peg bag out of one of my son's old t-shirts!

Unfortunately, I've been having camera, uh, issues. Ones that culminated in my hubby finally getting fed up and going out to buy a new one, which will arrive this week. And then it'll be piccies galore, you just wait :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sorry, I've been cheating :)

I have something to tell you all.

I've been seeing someone else.

His name is "crafting". No, not just crochet, but OTHER stuff too.

I'm so ashamed.


But look at the cool stuff I made!!!

The first one is a teddy bear that I made for my son, to help him scare away the mean monsters under his bed. Well, actually, in the time I've taken to make it, we've managed to convince him that there are nice monsters too. The nice monsters come and have a party with him after we've put him to bed, and the bonus is that the nice monsters scare away all the mean monsters. So he doesn't really need a teddy anymore, but he still loves it! Here he is:

I started out hand-stitching everything, but eventually gave up and turned to my old Singer 99k for help. It took a while to get it right because the tension discs were messed up for some reason...Anyway, turns out that the manual that came with the thing (keep in mind it's like 50 years old) is AMAZING! It gives really good step-by-step instructions on how to take apart absolutely everything, so I was able to fix it myself. Eventually I got it working with this fabric, which is really just an old Gap jumper that shrunk in the wash.

Probably the hardest bit of this project was doing the blanket stitch around the edge; it took nearly all of an 8m pack of embroidery floss, which I had to pull through every stitch. If anyone knows a better way of doing this, I would appreciate the advice!

Long story short (too late!), Jim loves his teddy :)

And here's an older shot of my sewing machine. It's an oldie, but goodie! In this shot, I was sewing a purple crinoline into a dress.

Happy crafting!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Quick progress report

I have been seriously caning through these granny squares...Okay, "caning through" them for me is a snail's pace for most of y'all, I'm sure...

Just thought I'd give you an update. Here's a big stack of 'em, complete with a few of the little Irish rings that I'm also making to use up some yarn. I got them from the pattern in Textured Crochet (see my Amazon store).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why Corporate Meetings Are, Yes Kids, A GOOD Thing

I would like to tell you kids a story.

I woke up this morning at the proverbial butt-crack of dawn, half past five, to arrive at work at half past six and drive three hours to an all-day training course that was completely irrelevant to my job.

But guess what? I got two new designs for plushies out of it!

Now, if only I could figure out a way to actually generate and store TIME while I'm sitting in these meetings, that would be great.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Customised Amazon Store

Hi y'all! Don't know if you've noticed, but I have a new banner at the top of the page here...I hope that it hasn't ruined your enjoyment of my little corner of t'Internet, but I couldn't manage to find a widget that looked right in the sidebar and blah-de-blah, I'll stop boring you with the geeky stuff. Anyway, Amazon offers a service where I can create my own little mini-store with all the books I recommend, so I've done that. I've included some books on amigurumi, some crochet technique books, and some other books with different kinds of patterns, mostly garments. I've completed at least one pattern in most of them, or had them highly recommended to me. So have a quick browse if you like, and I hope it helps you sort the wheat from the chaff, as it were, since there are so many crochet books out there to choose from!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Even the Experienced Ones Screw It Up Sometimes, Don't They?

I would just like to confess that I've been diligently crocheting granny squares for a few days now...I have five lovely, identical (except for the yarn) pieces. As I said below, they were all in the standard double crochet open pattern...


I have just, right this second, realised that I've actually been doing an extended double crochet. So now that I've realised, I have to do the rest of them the same, AND, it's going to continually bug me that I've screwed it up from the beginning.

From now till I'm finished, you can picture me crocheting granny squares, with a quiet snarl under my breath. Grr.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Crochet Ain't Just For Yarn, Ya Know!

I spent the Christmas break this year with my husband's family, in Warwickshire. As per usual, we spent Christmas Day at my in-laws' house, and on Boxing Day we made the hour-or-so long journey to Northamptonshire to visit Auntie Val and Uncle Trevor's house and see the extended fam. Amongst the revelers was my cousin-in-law Julia, with whom I proceeded to TOTALLY GEEK OUT over crochet! Julia does a lot of her crochet in natural alpaca, which she gets sent from Stick Chick's Etsy site in America. However, the most interesting of her crocheting endeavours is what she does with various types of wire.

"What's that you say? WIRE?!?! Why, I've never heard of such a thing!"

You better believe it, buddy. Actually, I have seen wire crochet around several places, but I've never met anyone who does it. Until now, obviously. Anyway, she does lovely jewellery pieces that are unique and stylish, for example, the bronze wire and satin ribbon cuff below:

Ooh, or this butterfly hair clip:

Have a look at her other creations in her Etsy shop,

I know what you're going to say next: okay, NP, so when are you going to start crocheting crazy metal stuffed robot things?! Uh, probably not soon, especially as I'm still grannying. But I will definitely have to keep it in mind...Hm...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ooh, Aah! First Look Granny Squares

Since I KNOW y'all have been DYING for this...Have a look at my first granny squares!

I'm totally geeking out over these babies! They're so fun! Okay, sorry about that...Moving on.

I gave into my OCD self and decided to make all the squares exactly the same, in the "basic" granny square pattern, e.g. three dc in each cluster, one ch between clusters, two ch to turn a corner...You get my drift.

Till next time...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

...And the Clearout Begins!

Well, okay, so it's a little early for Spring Cleaning, but I figure it's about time for my yarn collection to have a little "detox". In other words, it's time to get rid of all the crap lying around that I haven't ever used! I still find myself wanting to go out and buy new wool, but I literally have NO space in my house for more yarn...

So, a detox it is.

I have spent rather a long time trying to figure out how on EARTH I was going to manage to get rid of all my yarn, given that it's all different gauges, colours, lengths...GRR. I have finally settled on making a patchwork granny square quilt, with monochrome granny squares in all different colours. I will make each square as big as I can/need to with the amount of whatever yarn I have, and then work on stitching them together. No pics yet, as I haven't started, but if y'all have any suggestions as to where I can get some interesting granny square motifs, lemme know. I'd like to NOT do them all exactly the same!

Wish me luck, and keep your fingers crossed it doesn't look like complete crap.