I'm Laura. I am a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, a seamstress, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic. She/her.
The Boronia Bowler, Two Different Ways
Posted at 26 Jun 2020 08:03:31 PM
The Boronia Bowler Bag by Blue Calla Patterns
is quickly becoming one of my go-to bags to sew. It looks great, and is roomy enough to fit your keys, phone, wallet, book, current knitting project, Nintendo Switch, and the half-eaten granola bar your almost-seven-year-old inexplicably handed you yesterday. ...Hypothetically, that is.
It zips all the way open -- and with gussets on both sides, I do mean all the way
. No more losing your keys in the bottom of your purse!
But rather than just extolling the virtues of what's quickly becoming my favourite handbag, today I'd like to look at the differences that fabric choices can make in a bag.
Take, for example, my original:
This version features a striking purple and red floral pattern in front of a black geometric background. Complimenting the background are black vinyl accents running from base to strap, finished with bright silver accents. It looks modern, professional and eye-catching.
And here's that same bag, but this time in a stunning gothic & floral-themed print with gold vinyl accents and straps:
Gone are the base-to-zipper strap connectors: this time I chose to cover up as little of the pattern as possible and instead used rivets to attach the minimalist straps.
Keeping things consistent, I finished it with antique gold hardware and custom zipper pulls that continue the floral theme.
So... much... room!!
Y'all: I love this bag. And I hope its new owner loves it even more!
New items in the Etsy shop!
Posted at 20 Jun 2020 05:53:42 PM
Yesterday I uploaded the last couple of weeks of makes to my Etsy shop
! These mini backpacks are a lot of fun to sew - expect more in the future :)
And this one ... gosh, I love this bag. It was my first time sewing the Boronia Bowler pattern, and I did not do an adequate job at all
on the inner boxed corner. In this pattern, that's not just for looks, it's for structural stability - so "unfortunately" this one is not for sale. I'll just have to keep it! ;-) But I am looking forward to perfecting this and making more of them!
A couple more
Posted at 20 May 2020 08:38:19 PM
Two posts in a month. Seems almost unbelievable, eh?
Thought I'd follow up with a couple more totes that I've made as gifts lately. The Seuss is a gift for kiddo's kindergarten teacher, who has really given her all to stay in touch with the kids in this weird Coronavirus world. I appreciate her so much!
The Minecraft tote was REALLY fun to sew. It's a graduation gift for a special young lady, and I hope she loves it. It's big enough that it broke my photo "lightbox" - sorry about that.
I love these zipper pulls!
Posted at 14 May 2020 11:31:50 PM
Of late, some of the custom clothes and handbags that I've made have been making the rounds of the internet. If that's what's sent you here, welcome!
I love to craft, and I love to share it. As I said .. about a year ago now .. most of my sharing is now on websites dedicated to that purpose, and ye olde blog has mostly gone the way of the dodo. But it does make for a good landing page, and I'm glad that you're here.
I'll share below some of the things I've made recently. If you are interested in having one for your very own, please reach out to me!
Here's the obligatory caveat: crafting is not my job. Hell, it's not even my first part-time job. It's maybe somewhere around third or fourth, if you count Covid-19 homeschool teacher now. I do not - let me say this again in italics - I do not do deadlines.
And here's the other Very Important Notice: my cats are allowed in my craft room. If you or someone close to you is allergic and will be adversely affected by cat hair or dander, please
do not order from me!
Here's how this works:
How to contact me:
- We'll have a conversation about what you'd like, and I will share the fabrics I have on hand. We can do this via text, video call, or email.
- Once you approve a design, I'll get a mockup together. This may take anything between a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on availability of materials and whether or not I needed to order anything. I will send you a photo of the mockup, and ask for your approval.
- Once you approve the mockup, I'll invoice you for the price + approximate shipping cost (usually around $8 USD for domestic shipping).
- When payment is received, I'll get to work! Again, depending on availability of both materials and my 'free' time, this may take from days to weeks.
- When it's done, off it goes in the post, and I hope that you are delighted!
laura @ cybermenology.com
I sew a LOT of my own and kiddo's clothes, but let's leave those unedited selfies over on ig, shall we?
Instead, here are some pretty handbag examples:
5 years later...
Posted at 13 May 2020 10:59:12 PM
Time moves on, the internet moves on, and twitter and instagram are more my blog these days, I suppose. Do the kids still say "blog" these days?
But I still think of this website as my home base on the internet, and perhaps now that kiddo is nearly 6 I'll dig up my SSH password and give the code a good spring cleaning.
In the meantime, all of my knitting patterns are available for purchase and/or download on Ravelry, and I'd love for you to come find me there!
My Etsy link is active, and from time to time (as time allows) ready-made products like spindles, custom clothing and custom handbags can be found there!
For the rest of the inane daily chatter, I'm always @wint3rhart on insta and twitter.
Pattern Release: Lebanon
Posted at 22 Mar 2015 02:17:05 PM
It's been a long journey to get here, but today I'm happy to announce that my newest pattern, Lebanon
, is available from my Ravelry store!
A triangular shawl knit in a handspun fine laceweight singles yarn, with a consistent mesh lace stitch pattern and relatively large needles, this shawl is an introduction to knitting with a fine yarn. It features a knitted edging which allows you to make the most of a small amount of fiber, and begins at the longest edge, so the rows get shorter
as you go!
I'm proud to have incorporated spinning techniques learned over the years at Stringtopia in Lebanon, Ohio into the yarn that made this shawl possible. I hope that you too will be inspired to learn new skills and join me on a journey to a beautiful shawl!
Pattern Link @ Ravelry:
I'll have hard copies listed in my Etsy shop shortly.
Thanks for bearing with me over this last year, and I hope that you like it!
It's a secret to everybody
Posted at 13 Jul 2014 01:08:45 PM
I wish I could show you what I'm knitting these days. Rest assured, in my (increasingly spare) spare moments I am working away on a secret project.
Right now I am knitting a lace edging in a glorious green silk singles yarn, and I so wish that I could show it to you.
Even worse? There are two completed shawls in my sewing room - and neither are blocked.
To make it up to you, here is an adorable almost one (!!) year old boy. The culprit behind the dearth of content 'round here.
Changing topics to food, I want to share this with you. I was slightly overzealous at the garden center this spring, and as a result am inundated with cherry tomatoes -- my favorite kind, but believe it or not there really is a limit to how many we can use up in a day. I looked here and there online, and came up with a plan.
Aren't they pretty?
Sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil, and into a 200*F oven for 3-4 hours. The flavor was sweet and concentrated.
Packed in oil, to be stored in the fridge 'til eaten on salads, couscous, pasta, you name it. I love sundried tomatoes, and this was a low-cost and low-effort way to preserve my garden's bounty.
Posted at 07 Sep 2013 01:10:42 PM
08/26/2013 8lbs 9oz 21"
Posted at 16 Feb 2013 03:57:54 PM
Hello, blog. We're back.
I'm grateful for the previously mentioned bit of time off from this blog and other crafty pursuits. It truly was necessary due to personal issues in September and October, and shortly thereafter we discovered that a new family member will be arriving in mid-2013. I didn't quite realize what exhaustion felt like before enduring the last few months -- and other moms tell me that what I think I know about exhaustion now
is laughable compared to what life is like with a newborn. I, er ... think I'm excited? Heh.
Regardless, as long as energy allows, I'll be getting back in the craft saddle shortly. A new section of spindles should be available soon in my Etsy shop soon, and lo - Stringtopia 2013 approaches! I'm not missing that come hell, high water or sleep deprivation.
And speaking of Stringtopia, Abby
has been kind enough to link to this site in this year's Stringtopia post. Given that, let's talk about knitting.
I've started a long-anticipated project: Windsbraut - Sommerwind
. Over two years ago -- seriously -- I spun the yarn for this project. It was before I had ever taken a Longwools class with Beth Smith
, before a Stringtopia, before any real videos from Interweave or any sort of formal training. I think I may have read some forum posts on Wensleydale.
My Ravelry notes on the original 2011 stash entry aren't encouraging, but as I wound the yarn this morning I can't find fault with it. Maybe it's due to the passage of time, and that two years later I'm less intimately connected with the yarn than I was immediately after I'd spun it. My honest opinion is that I could have plied it harder but it's Good Yarn. It handled being wound and rewound like a champ. As I've started knitting with it on US5's my only impression is that I really ought to go up a needle size. Wensleydale is, after all, hairy and as one would do with Mohair, one should do with Wensleydale.
Click to embiggen
The goal is to finish it for Stringtopia this year.
For completed FOs, there isn't been much of interest. I started a Tweezle
for a friend's baby, but discovered (again!) that I am completely incapable of weaving in ends competently with acrylic yarn. The problem is compounded when the pattern in question involves stripes -- even more ends. Ultimately I started at the finished pieces for a couple of weeks and then decided the stress wasn't worth it; I threw them in the bin and went shopping from her registry.
Remind me of this episode next time I contemplate knitting for a non-knitter, please. Acrylic is a lovely thing these days and I have nothing against it - but top-down unstriped raglans only.
I did finish this tatted doily, but appear to have sent it off to live with its new owner before taking a proper photo of it:
Whoops. It's finished, really!
It took A Long Time, but I was pleased with the final doily. All shuttle tatted using my favorite shuttle: a Victorian gersilver one piece shuttle which has a spot on it for the owner's name to be engraved, but was left blank. It may have been surplus stock which was never sold, or perhaps the engraving was an extra cost which the original owner couldn't afford. I like it that way because I don't feel as though I'm using someone else's toys without permission.
I knitted a sweater for Rhinebeck - by which I mean I finished it in mid-October, flew to New York, and wore it while driving past Rhinebeck en route to the King Arthur Flour Baking Center in Vermont. The pattern is Paper Dolls by Kate Davies
, and it is above reproach.
My mom and I spent the weekend nearby and took several classes, learned quite a lot, explored the surrounding area, ate in hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and as expected had a fabulous time. Dan has commented on the improvement in my sandwich white bread, and I hope to try for bread bowls soon.
Stay tuned - shawl progress coming soon! Keep me honest, readers.
Posted at 16 Oct 2012 02:13:32 PM
Life has risen up to bite us lately here in Casa Cybermenology, and there hasn't been much knitting, spinning or crafting. Even the tatting project which I showed you last is only a few inches larger. Any brainpower which still remains with me at the end of the work day is being put toward recovering and maintaining our emotional health. And laundry. Laundry never ends.
I keep up with all of your blogs, of course, and please be assured that even if my output is low, I am still inspired by all of your lovely projects!
In August I did a Habitat for Humanity with my team through my job. It was a really great experience, and I'm looking forward to doing another one next year. And hey, I know how to hang drywall now! It was approximately 105* F that day, and rather than working everyone until we dropped, the supervisor told us after lunch that we were done for the day. We went and had a couple of beers in a (cold! air-conditioned!) bar on Main Street in St Charles -- and that left me conveniently down the street from Knit and Caboodle.
They had a packet of dyed magenta mohair locks from Pagewood Farm. Sometime back I bought an ounce or so of dyed purple mohair locks from Mandy of The Cloistered Lamb
. It seemed like a sign!
I combed the two together and pulled the result into top and spun it tight and worsted. I plied it with bleached tussah and the result, I think, is pretty. The magenta gives the purple some depth without being variegated. I could have plied it harder, but if that's my only complaint..
370 yards, mohair/silk laceweight.
During the last weekend of September I threw off my apathy long enough to pick up a squooshy braid of Frabjous Fibers - Merino Sparkle top (also procured, if memory serves, from that same trip to Knit & Caboodle). Merino isn't my favorite fiber to spin, but when combined with silk and some firestar it can make my heart sing :) This was a little bit compacted (very unusual for Frabjous, believe me) but that added to my overall goal. I couldn't
spin it thin, and didn't want
to be spinning it for long, so I stripped it lengthwise and spun 250 yards of a worsted to bulky 2ply.
Squishableness. It's good for the soul.
I tell myself that I'm not a fan of multicoloured yarns, but find my stash lacking in interesting things from which to knit hats or cowls. I think that I'm inconsistent. :-)
D and I took a trip to Taos, NM for the Taos Sheep and Wool Festival. I took a class with Galina Khmeleva
on Russian supported spindle spinning. I am still pretty bad at it! Amazed at how much of a new skill it was... once you think that you're pretty good at something, it's interesting to be thrown into the deep end again to learn something entirely new. It was nice to be around fiber people again.
You can't fault the scenery of Colorado and New Mexico. Everywhere you looked was breathaking -- literally, we were at 8,000 feet!
We flew into Denver but stayed in Red River. It was a beautiful area, and was less than an hour to Taos. We only had a few days there and I would love to have more time. Next year, I hope.
It was Octoberfest that weekend. Bonus!
Baldy Mountain and Touch-Me-Not
A few months back I picked up a Fleegle Beader
and have not yet put it to use. A big grand Shipwreck-sized project is beyond me right now. Nevertheless, I will persist.
Mandy had made me a lavender batt some time ago in exchange for a couple of spindles. I don't seem to have taken any pictures of it - and it was so pretty, with a matching ribbon! - but this weekend I decided that since it was small and colourful, it wouldn't demand much of me and I could probably spin it in a day or two.
I was right. It became 350 yards of slightly textured laceweight yarn, and in order to get some usable yardage (and also because spinning up something to ply with it required more forethought than I'd had), I left it as singles. They're overspun for "ideal" singles, but I'm not bothered. I think that it will make a lovely small shawl.
Welcome to my bathroom counter.
I have my eye on Graciella
(Ravelry link). To get the best out of my yardage and to use my shiny new Fleege Beader, I will use beads, instead of nupps.
This Thursday I will be taking a trip to New York, and from thence with my Mom to Vermont to the King Arthur Baking mothership. We will be taking classes on bread baking on Saturday and Sunday. I'm very out of practice with bread, but expect that I will get some good experience from the classes. And can you imagine a whole weekend in a place that smells like rising bread? YUM.
My snowflake sweater is coming along. Only a few inches of sleeve are left, and I'm hoping to have it finished by the time I leave for New York. I am on vacation from work this week so in theory, that's totally doable. In reality I am distracted by things like playoff baseball and finishing yarn.
Paper Snowflakes and Ouiser the Dog
This may be one of the last pictures with our dog, Ouiser. He is fine (I hope) but we have had to give him to a new home in order to get things more simple around here. He is still on a "three day trial" to make sure that he gets along with their existing dog. However, this was day two and I haven't had any warning phone calls, so probably this is how things will stay. I am very sad, but hope that he will be well loved in his new home.