Sunday, July 25, 2010

T-shirt tote bag

I finished another t-shirt bag - this one's much larger, made with all white t-shirt yarn.  It's about 15 inches wide, 12 inches tall, and the strap drop is 9 inches.  It's the perfect size for a farmer's market bag.  I would have taken it to the Union Square market yesterday, but it wasn't quite finished.  I usually bring a couple of grocery store re-usable bags, but the straps on those tend to be narrow and cut into my shoulder when it's full.  I specifically made the straps on my t-shirt bag wide and thick, so it should be pretty comfortable even when full of tasty veggies.

Here it is lying flat:

With half a dozen ears of corn, it's still less than half full:

It's much more comfortable than those grocery store bags:

I enjoyed the entire process of making this bag: finding the t-shirts, making the yarn, and crocheting the bag.  I'm definitely planning on using these myself, and listing them on Etsy.  I've already started working on a pattern so I can list t-shirt yarn tote bag kits on Etsy, too.  That will take a little work - I've never written a pattern for use by other people, I just scrawl some notes for my own purposes when I make something new.  I'll have to make a few more, and take pictures along the way.  The straps will be the hardest part to write.

I'll need pattern testers, so if any of my few readers know how to crochet, and are interested in making their very own t-shirt yarn tote bag, let me know!  I'll send you the yarn and the pattern (once I have it worked out, probably a few weeks), and all I ask in return is that you let me know if there are any errors/confusing sections in the pattern.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lots of new Etsy items

I just posted a bunch of new items to Etsy - nerdy baby slug hats, nerdy adult slug hats (finally finished two of them), and a crochet overlay scarf, which I'm very proud of.  I finished up the sun hat for a coworker, and have a few slug hat orders to fill.  Slowly the orders are coming in, but none from Etsy for a while.  I'm participating in the Etsy Christmas in July sale (25% off all sun hats and free shipping on most items), which will hopefully entice a few people to purchase some of my wares.  Head on over to my site and check it out:

I just got a TON of new yarn off Ebay, none of which fits in the bins I picked up recently from Target specifically to help organize my yarn.  Fortunately they're the stackable kind, so I'll just have to pick up a couple (or five) more of them.  Thanks to the organization fiend who happens to be my boyfriend, all of my yarn (except for the new stuff) is currently nicely stacked in the bins by color.  That's already lasted for about four days!  We'll see how much longer it all stays in order...

Friday, July 9, 2010

T-shirt bag!

Here's my very first t-shirt bag:
I tried the handles a couple of different ways, but I really liked how they came out in the end.  The straps are stretchy but strong.  I'm using this bag to carry my current crochet project to and from work.  I'm also working on a much larger white t-shirt bag, but I ran out of white t-shirts.  I have a bunch of other colors, and spent quite a while cutting the shirts into strips.  Now I just have to turn the strips into yarn...  It's best to start with shirts without side seams, but I didn't find too many of those.  The ones that do have side seams have to be cut into individual strips, instead of a spiral cut all the way up the shirt.  Joining all of the strips together takes some time, and the ends show when the yarn is crocheted.  I like it, though - I think it makes the bags look more interesting.
I made this today:

Custom order nerdy baby sun hat.  It's almost impossible to tell from the picture (this is exactly why I don't take my own Etsy photos) but the outer fabric is bright yellow and the edging is light green.  I also cut out fabric to make a couple more hats - I'm going to try to attach antennae to the next one.  We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crochet + sewing = not great

The crochet purse I was working on did not come out very well.  After many frustrating hours of trying to figure out how to put a small zipper pocket inside the purse, I gave up and left the zipper off the inner pocket.  Then I attached the lining to the outer (crochet) part of the bag, and realized after I was completely finished that the inner pocket was on the front side of the bag (the pocket should have been in the back, thus close to my body when I'm wearing the purse).  I hoped it would be OK.  It's not.  I tried putting my cellphone in the little inner pocket, but that made the front of the bag sag inwards and it was extremely awkward trying to get anything into or out of the bag.  It's also impossible to open the bag with one hand, which I need to do because for some reason I'm usually carrying things in the other hand (maybe if I had made a much BIGGER bag I wouldn't have any of these problems...).

So, I love the crochet part of the bag, the yarn is beautiful, but it's not meant to be.  It was too frustrating to try again.  Stupid zippers.

In other news, I've started making t-shirt yarn!  I love it - I already made a bag for my portable crochet project (usually take something to work on during lunch and on car rides) in blues and purples.  The yarn is pretty chunky so it works up fast, and the end result is a sturdy, stretchy, completely recycled and machine washable bag/purse.  I already started making a larger shopping bag with white yarn.  My plan is to make more and list them on Etsy, but also to make kits with a bag pattern, crochet hook, and home-made t-shirt yarn.  I'm in the process of making more yarn, but I also have to write the pattern down.  I usually work from memory, or make it up as I go along.  The bag pattern is very simply so hopefully it won't take very long to write.

I will post pictures of my t-shirt bag soon, I just have to take them first....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Late and tired

As the title says, it's late, and I'm tired, but I've recently posted some new items to my Etsy shop and you should CHECK THEM OUT.


I have a few more items to post, and will be doing so daily until I run out of stuff.  And then I'll just make more.  I'm currently working on another nerdy baby sun hat and a ginormous crocheted flower bag.  I also received a request to make a crochet overlay scarf, so I just ordered some yarn for that.  Along with a bunch of random yarn to play around with.  No, I do NOT have a yarn problem, I don't know what you're talking about.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sun hat...

I've made two sun hats so far, but I don't think I'm ready to post them on Etsy yet.  The first one was made with all new fabric, and the second was made with new muslin for the lining and upcycled fabric for the outer layer.  I can't find pictures of the first one (I could have sworn I had some) but here's the second one:
The first hat is destined for a friend, and I decided not to list the hat pictured above on Etsy because it's not quite up to par.  My sewing skills are a little rusty.  I'm also not sure what age to list for a hat this size - I made it a little large, so it's better for a toddler than a baby, but I don't have anyone to try it out on!  It's about 18 inches in diameter (when measured half-way between the inner edge of the brim and the crown) and 8 inches from the crown to the outer edge of the brim.

So I've decided I will send this hat FREE to the first person who contacts me about it.  That's right, free.  All I ask in return is that you let the world know that SquirrelProductions made this hat, and they should all buy one!  Or, you know, maybe not the whole world, but just anyone who asks.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

This ain't your cutesy sun hat

I did a quick search on Etsy for baby sun hats.  Almost all of them either had some sort of flower on them (in the fabric pattern or sewn on), and the ones that didn't were trying WAY too hard to be masculine (camo? really?).  And when I did a search for nerd baby sun hats absolutely nothing came up!  So I think I'll have a corner on the nerd baby sun hat market as soon as I actually start producing them.  Which will hopefully be this weekend.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nerd baby hats

I've finished two more hats, and took a few pictures myself (probably not a good idea, but I just couldn't wait for the professional photographer to get home from work).
The first one is another slug hat.  This one is a bit smaller than the last, and I used a different kind of yarn.  It's still 100% cotton, but it's up-cycled!  I bought it from a fellow Etsier ( who sells carefully re-purposed yarn from up-cycled sweaters.

Please excuse the sugar bowl I used as a prop for this picture...
 I've also branched out.  Here's my first Jaffa hat.  I made this one from soft acrylic worsted yarn and gold crochet thread.
If you don't know what a Jaffa is:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekend adventures and sewing

My weekend was supposed to involve going to the Boston Comic Con, but after waiting in line in the cold wind for about 30 minutes we realized that the line wasn't really moving (it was just getting fatter - I think people were huddling together for warmth).  Doktor Andy (best friend, visiting me for the weekend from Maryland) went inside to see what was what.  Turns out they had not planned for the crowd - they were at capacity and were only letting people in as others left.  So we left.  We hit up four comic book stores in the Cambridge/Somerville area throughout the rest of the weekend, so all was good.

I have come up with my next crafting idea!  It's getting pretty warm out, so it seems unlikely that people will be interested in getting crocheted hats for their babies no matter how awesomely nerdy they are.  So I will make nerdy sun hats!  Just took a trip to the fabric store today to pick up some supplies.  I will post in-progress pictures as soon as I have something in progress!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Slug hat take 2

I completely changed the pattern, and finally got my sewing machine out to make the padding for the eye.  I wanted to add padding so the slug looks bug-eyed.
Here are some in-process pictures:

I just need to add antennae and then it'll be finished!  Good thing, too, because this one is meant for Mr. X. in Maryland, whose father person is coming to Boston at the end of the week!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Slug hats!

So finally, here are my first attempts at a baby slug hat:

Not too pretty, I know.  I used acrylic yarn just to figure out a pattern, but the color looks much better in person than in this picture (which is why I do not take my own Etsy pictures - thank you wonderful boyfriend!).  The eye also needs some work.

Next I tried using Debbie Bliss 100% cotton, which is extremely soft (perfect for baby clothing).

The pattern is the same, but it worked up much nicer with the cotton.  Here is it with the beginnings of
the eye:
Next steps:
Add a pupil to the eye and attach the whole thing to the hat.  I'll add padding so the eye is slightly raised.  I'm also trying a different pattern for the hat.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Works in progress

I've started this blog to talk about the items I'm currently working on - jewelry, crochet, etc. Probably not pottery - not much to show while it's in progress, other than the large amount of clay that ends up on my clothes.

Right now I'm working on a few different necklaces. I'm also attacking an interesting idea a friend of mine had - nerdy baby hats! Currently working on a brain slug hat for a 5 month old. I tried making it with acrylic and didn't like the outcome - I just got some really soft cotton yarn, so we'll see how that goes. I never realized how difficult it would be to find yarn suitable for baby clothes in neon green.