Thursday, February 21, 2008

Plastic Bag tote - completed!!!

Saturday, Feb 9, 2008

I went to join Marybeth and Gail at the Prayer Shawl Knitting ministry, and completed my very first plastic bag bag!!!

It originally was going to be taller and with handles in the same material, but I bought some gorgeous plastic handles at Knit-a-Bit's Superbowl Weekend sale, and wanted to use them on a shorter height, instead.

I'm so pleased with it. I had to crazy-glue the screws of the handles into place, and I'd like to try some future bags with completely recycled material, but this is nice:

Here is the recipe:
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Plastic Bag Tote

This is my very first tote bag made with plastic bags as the yarn. I used four bags of Krogers, imported from Garland, Texas, and I don’t know how many Pathmark bags from Jersey City and the Bronx.

With four Krogers’ bags (a nice brown), chain at least 25 stitches. Then single crochet (sc) around both sides. When you get to about the third row, single crochet 3 scs in each of the “corners”. You’ll need to eyeball this as it is not an exact science. I ran out of brown after using four Krogers’ bags. Then I switched to the Pathmark bags, stopped increasing in the corners, and worked “up”. When it get high enough to cover my Bible plus an inch, I stopped. Then I made the handle connectors, which are three rows of 14 scs, with a tail to sew them onto the bags and handles.

Note: I thought the handle “connecters” would make an attractive design element, but upon sewing plastic bag thread to plastic bag crochet, it kind of melted visually into each other like modeling clay. Next time I’ll try a contrasting color.

See also the start and how to and what else you can do with plastic bags...

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

12 Step Program / My Yarn Overfloweth

Oh my God, do I have yarn...

I probably now have MORE yarn than I could possibly use in two lifetimes...

And bags.

On my way to knitting tonight, I stopped at Deals, a $1 plus store in Bayonne, to pick up crazy glue, to secure the screws on the handles of my plastic bag bag. And sure enough, they had some yarn. I had spotted some in there last December '07, when I went in to buy Christmas gift bags. Being that it was a dollar (plus) store, I was taken completely by surprise to see they had YARN. And being that it was still 2007, I had to gasp and really control myself, since I had resolved not to buy yarn that year. It's one thing to go to AC Moore, knowing that there is yarn and mentally preparing oneself before entering. But to come upon it unexpectedly, at the price of only $1.00, was extremely difficult to deal with, so close to the end of the year's resolution.

Flash back to the present. This time they had Lionbrand Ribbon yarn, and Lionbrand Boucle. The boucle was bright orange and bright green, but the ribbon had two different multi-colors. I bought three skeins of one mixture for myself, and four skeins of another color that included orange, for my colleague Carin, at work. (See, I only got three for myself, and four for her.) So I get to Thursday night knitting, and I'm showing off my new purchases, when Linda B. told me she had bought in bags of yarn that her daughter was throwing out, and did I want any? Of course I did. I picked out a few skeins, trying really hard to control myself. Twenty minutes later she tells me that the rest will be thrown out, which killed me, so of course I took the remaining lot, which filled half a garbage bag! For Carin, of course! Not just for myself.

My yarn overfloweth...

And the bags! Not to get Linda in trouble, but she brought in 32 bags of a certain color, from a certain company, that are both grey and PINK! Add that to the sample one she brought me last week, and boy will I have a really cool plastic bag bag!!! She saved 32 for herself, and next Wednesday I hope to work with her and get us both started on new plastic bag bags. And someone else brought me in a SLEW of Stop and Shop bags.

And two Sundays ago, I stopped at my friend Beth's house in the Heights, to pick up the bags she had been saving. I accidentally called the landline on my way home from church, and when I asked her husband Michael if I could stop by for the bags, he cautiously said, "I don't know. You'll have to check with Beth. She's very particular about her bags." Way to go, Beth! So I called her mobile and she said, "Yes, please pick them up." And they filled my trunk.

Then this past Sunday, Andrea at church gave me a whole garbage bag full of bags that were sitting between her refrigerator and her cabinet. She was overjoyed to find a useful way to get rid of them. I was overjoyed to take them. But let me tell you, this garbage bag was chock full of bags. Solid. Unlike Beth's two bags, this one didn't move it was so FULL of bags.

I need to take a day or two off from work just to sort the colors and get it all straightened out.

Thankfully, my son is just 17, and knows not how deeply overboard his mother is into the knitting and crocheting ... or does he?

Which brings me to Carin's advice from 2006 that I need a six step program, based on AA's twelve step program, defined below:

Wikipedia defines the twelve-step program as follows:

A twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles for recovery from addictive, compulsive, or other behavioral problems, originally developed by the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for recovery from alcoholism.[1] The Twelve Steps were initially published in the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous ("The Big Book") in 1939; since then more than 25 million copies have been printed in many languages.[2] This method has been adapted as the foundation of other twelve-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Co-Dependents Anonymous and Emotions Anonymous and Knitting. As summarized by the American Psychological Association, working the Twelve Steps involves the following.[1]

  • admitting that one cannot control one's addiction or compulsion; Yes
  • recognizing a greater power that can give strength; of course
  • examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experienced member / experienced knitter);
  • making amends for these errors; ripping
  • learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior; translated: buying new yarn or trying new patterns
  • helping others that suffer from the same addictions or compulsions yarn groups or conventions, (i.e., Stitches, Knit-Out & Crochet, etc.)
I think I can copy this text if I add the following:

Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity.

Now, knitters and crocheters, does this fit us to a T
or what!?!?!?

All kidding aside, my heart and prayers go out to those killed today, and the families/friends/fellow students at Northern Illinois University:
Feb 14, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Knit-a-Bit: Superbowl Weekend Sale!

Saturday, Feb 2, 2008

I'd never been to Knit-a-Bit before, and understandably when I walked into their showroom in Westfield, NJ, I was just a wee bit overwhelmed with the assortment of yarn, needles, buttons, kits, etc. (flowing into three rooms), and books in a fourth room. We were on a knitting field trip with Maggie, hitting the big two day sale.

I came only to buy needles...

But then I saw the bag. And after having shown off my incomplete plastic-bag bag to Pam and Pam, I decided I had to have a Knit-a-Bit bag. To show off my yarn, of course! But which size?

Decisions, decisions. Pam suggested I get BOTH! After all, they were on sale, as was almost everything in the store.

And it just went on from there. I was too pulled in by all that gorgeous yarn on sale (prices ranging from 20 - 50% off marked price) that I went a little Superbowl crazy. Mary Ann did her level best to be my financial conscience, but it was to no avail. And I wound up coming home with the following yummy yarns and colors:

Lang Mille Colori #88 and 06

. . .

Rowan Cocoon #805, 803 and 804

. . .

Boise #67 Wedgewood Blue and #64 Rose
(the colors on these two are way off ... oh well)

And I did get the set of Addi Turbo needles I came in for, and a book, "Knitting from the Top Down for Toddlers", a button, and cool handles for my plastic bag. But I beat Maggie and Marybeth's totals.

Didn't I realize I needed to pay my oil company!?!?!?

Ah, but look at how nice it looks in my two new bags, with newly purchased wool in the smaller package, and baby Michael's completed Homespun afghan in the larger package!

Who says only sports enthusiasts can have fun on Superbowl Weekend!

Julio's Blanket

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008

I finished the blanket for Julio's son, Michael. The room is blue with white trim, and I used Homespun Sky Blue and Hepplewhite. 10 rows of each, seven rows total...