Thursday, July 02, 2015

Good Stuff & a Shoplouleigh Giveaway!

Hi, Knitters,
I am blocking the beautiful Solja sweater by Anna Maltz. It is taking quite awhile to dry on these warm summer days. I am happy to say it fits great and I will admit to trying it on repeatedly while it's still damp. I can't resist. I kitchener stitched the underarms together and wove in all of the ends while I was working so all that's left to do is finish duplicate stitching the flower centers on the first and second rows of flowers. I think I will use pink centers on the middle row of flowers and honey centers on the top row of flowers. That should be good.

I'll do an entire blog post about Solja when it is truly done and maybe even a podcast so many more details will come on this one. I did do quite a bit of modifying along the way and I'll let you know about that soon. Anyway, I loved knitting Solja to no end and I think I will love wearing it as well.

I have a wonderful giveaway opportunity for you today. The generous Leigh from Driffield, England, is offering one lucky winner their bag of choice from her Etsy Shop called Shoplouleigh!

I have purchased two of Leigh's bags and can highly recommend them. They have quickly become some of my favorite project bags. Leigh uses a heavy cotton canvas or linen fabric that is sturdy and high quality. I love the natural overtones and the simple prints she selects. The drawstring bag construction is top-notch with an eye for details. The bag sits up nicely and the top can be rolled down to create a nice opening while working. 

Leigh adds a wristband on the side in a pretty contrasting print and I like the simple white lining. But best of all....

There are three pockets on the inside! I miss pockets in my project bags and most of the smaller bags I have don't include pockets. Leigh uses a contrast linen fabric for the three-part pocket. I love this so much.

Leigh of Shoplouleigh on Etsy has offered the opportunity for one winner to receive a bag of choice from her shop! I see she only has a few bags up on her shop right now but I am sure she will work with you to select the bag of your choice. Check out the sold section of her shop to see some of her other bags.

To enter to win please leave a comment on this blog post. Please only leave one comment, be patient for your comment to appear and only click on Publish one time. Please include your Ravelry username or your email address so Leigh can get in touch with you if you win!

Another quick thing I am working on is switching out any worn out, fraying grosgrain ribbon or cord drawstrings on some of my all-time favorite and heavily used project bags. I am hard on my project bags, they travel with me and are thrown in cars, larger bags and crammed in all sorts of corners around the house. Some of them need a little freshening up. I am switching out the frayed ribbon and cording with twill printed measuring tape. I am turning both of the ends down about a 1/4 inch and sewing them down on my sewing machine so they won't fray.

I can't take credit for this super clever idea. A little less than a year ago I was really impressed by a beautiful little project bag that Helen of Curious Handmade had sewn. She used a natural and wide woven measuring tape as a drawstring and I never forgot what a charming touch this was to her project bag.

Click here to see Helen's project bag with a measuring tape drawstring! You can even see that I left a comment on Helen's bag at that time. I loved it then and I love it now. I don't believe Helen sells her bags, I think this was a gift for someone. 

I love the wider natural woven measuring tape more than the one I used. I wonder where she got hers? If you know of a good source please let me know!

My absolute favorite drawstrings are made of fabric like the ones Knit Spin Farm does on all of her bags and Lowland Originals does on some of her bags, for example. I know this takes extra work but it is a really nice finishing touch.

I know that Dianne of Suburban Stitcher on Etsy (and I love her podcast) actually sells bags with the measuring tape drawstrings. Check out Dianne's Etsy shop right here!

One last thing, I cast on for the Louise cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I am using Quince & Co. Osprey in the Belize, Kumlien's Gull and Honey colorways. I am using size 9 and 10 US needles. Those are Signature needles in the photo. I think this is going to be a very quick knit with the aran weight yarn on bigger needles. It's kind of exciting to start a new sweater. It never gets old.

Well, don't forget to leave a comment for a Shoplouleigh project bag of your choice! Good luck if you enter. I'll randomly select a winner and I will announce it in a few short days.

It is my 26th wedding anniversary this week. Time flies when you're having fun, as they say. It's also my daughter's 19th birthday this weekend and of course, it's the Fourth of July! So much to celebrate in so little time. I'm sure we'll find a way to have fun together. That never seems to be a problem.

Let the comments begin!
xo ~ susan
p.s. I put a new header on my blog that is a photo of my new shawl design that will be released right after the SSK Retreat that ends on July 18th. It is a fun knit and I can't wait to share it with you.