Friday, October 7, 2011

Day of the Dead Bag: Done and Done!

Finally, it's finished! I've been hoarding these Day of the Dead prints for awhile, wanting to make something special for myself. I'm a huge fan of this kind of imagery, especially when it focuses on La Calavera Catrina, "the elegant skull."

I knew I wanted a bag, and tried out a couple of patterns ... with mixed results. I finally went with this one, Serendipity Studio's Rita Reversible Bag. It's a tad bit smaller than I'd have liked, so if I make it again, I will change that. I have some other changes in mind, too -- particularly the strap. But basically? Great bag!! Pretty time-consuming, but of course I did the most complicated version, with front and back pockets, and contrast edgings, both inside and out.

One of the things I played with on this project was deconstructing the red fabric, and then putting it back together as it originally been ... "the same, but different." I've always been a collagist at heart - bringing things together (in art as in life) is second nature to me. Usually, I am combining different prints/colors/whatever. This time, I decided to just stay with the same piece of yard goods, and see what resulted.

Okay, no more words, just some pix of La Bolsa de Catrina: 

And, perhaps most fun of all, the bag is reversible. I'm totally crushing on this retro lamps print!

I do have some more Day of the Dead fabrics, including an amazing toile print featuring skeletons instead of humans, and some fun skull prints, so some new things may pop up at the Etsy Shop in weeks to come.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Letting the Cuttlefish Out of the Bag!

It's not a "sekrit" anymore, so finally I can disclose my recent stealth project.

On Ravelry, there is a very active board called "Yarn Hoars." No, it's not just a mispelling of "whores!" It's a loving reference to stalking and hoarding exceptional indie yarns. Our mods (who are marvelous and multitudinous) are quite indulgent of our antics, our obsessions, and our quirks and eccentricities. They "rule" by benign neglect -- we are a fairly irreverent lot, and when we title a thread "Random Chatter," you'd better believe that's what we mean!

It's a hilarious, supportive group of gals of all ages, all means, all walks of life, all political and religious circumstances, all 'round the world. Most of us have never met each other -- and yet, I tell ya, some of those hoars know me better than my own best friends!

From time to time, as a group or individually, we undertake some fundraising. For instance, we had a very successful raffle, and an auction, to benefit relief efforts related to the tragic Japanese earthquake.

Recently, one of our Texas hoars let us know about the destruction there, in the wake of massive forest fires. Some Austin-area LYSs (translation for non-knitters: "local yarn stores") banded together in a project called "Phoenix Rising." Fiber artists from all over made personal donations of yarns, project bags, patterns, etc. which were distributed to Texas textile artists who had lost so much.

Long story short: after hearing about the devastation in Texas, another DC area hoar (who shall remain nameless in this blog, tho the Hoars know who I mean) had the idea to do a fundraiser around this disaster. And so our scheming began!

We put together a package consisting of a pattern, the yarn to knit it, and a coordinating project bag. We chose a wonderful colorwork pattern, Emily Peters's Octopus Mittens, and Emily very kindly donated a copy of the pattern.

Two skeins of glorious Sanguine Gryphon yarns were purchased (Casco Bay in Traveller and Gimmizah in Free Range), and the fine folks at SG were kind enough to announce the raffle on their own Ravelry board. 

And then I made a OOAK piecework project bag, using mostly Spoonflower "custom printed on demand" fabrics. In addition to some wonderful cyanotype cuttlefish fabric by Trollop (wonderful name!), and "Inky cephalopods" by Leighr, we also chose Fireflies by Kelly "WeavingMajor",  and Donna Kallner's"Face Off,"

So there you are for now, I just wanted to show you some pics. The raffle is running now, and we're off to a good start, so that feels terrific.

And I've moved on to the next project ... more deets on that another time!