Meet me at Chicago Zinefest

It’s here! Chicago Zinefest is here! And you know what? Craft Leftovers Volume 5, Issue 1 will be here too! I’ll be putting it up for sale in my etsy shop when I get back from the zinefest and I’ll do an official zine summary post then to show you some sneak peeks and the table of contents.

Exhibition Day will be held on Saturday, May 18 from 11:00am  – 6:00pm at Plumbers Union Hall (1340 W Washington Blvd) in the West Loop. You can find me in the kid friendly zone at table K6. All events during CZF weekend are always FREE and open to the public.

I’m bring a huge backcatalog of zines – both from Craft Leftovers and Little Woods. While I’ll be selling everything, of course, I’m also 100% open to trade. Bring a zine to swap with me! I love adding new authors and artists to my collection.

To learn all about the THREE days, visit the Chicago Zinefest website.

See you in Chicago!

Kristin M Roach

Free Sewing Pattern: Shop ‘n’ Ride Tote

Love this tote and re-reading this post had me thinking… where did that bag go! It would be excellent to pack my lunch in. This fun little tote was originally made to fit in the basket of my bike in college, then used to carry my lunch once I was in Ames. Now… unsure. This post is a combo of two posts. The original and a follow up about using it as a lunch tote. Thanks to Jill L. on Facebook for requesting this one next. Originally posted pre May 2008, I was still in DeKalb for sure.

I’m going to be riding my bike all over kingdom come in the purest of spring delights. The breeze will be in my hair as I enjoy the excuse of grocery shopping to take a bike ride after class and/or work.

Which brings me to the point of today’s (this evening’s/morning’s) pattern. I have a basket on my bike, which can be taken off, but with a lot of pain and suffering on the part of all parties involved, so how to know when the right amount is to ride back with, without pain and suffering.

A grocery tote to fit my basket is in order! I say, make your bag out of whatever you please, out of what will make your heart delight while filling it with books, groceries, flowers, or maybe even an abandoned kitten, well that’s just a bad idea, nix the kitten in the basket tote idea, I could just see hitting a bump and… well, I’m not going there…

Flowers, flowers are nice in a basket tote. But on the hitting of bumps topic, I really despise outside pockets on a basket tote because well, hit a bump and there goes your keys/cell phone/wallet/kitten. No good. So this little guy has inside pockets… with buttons for keeping things in!

Download the free Shop n Ride bicycle bag pattern by clicking here (pdf).

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Last week I told you about my search for a new lunch box. It ended with Jason bring up the point: “What’s wrong with our tupperware?” Indeed! So I took a look around with *cough* what’s on hand before I ran to the store to purchase new fancy lunch box supplies. It turns out that when I really hunted around, dug things from the freezer, and made a point to wash it out everyday, we have plenty.

I was going to just get the lunch bag, but then realized what I usually do, “Hey, I can make that.” So that was a plan. A lunch tote that would be the perfect size just for me and my food dishes.

A funny thing happened in the last week though. While master minding my new glorious lunch tote, I started using my Shop n’ Ride bag to hold my dishes. And my coffee mug. And my water bottle. It’s the perfect size!

So while perfect for riding around town with, it’s also turned out to be the perfect bag to bring my lunch in.

Download the free Shop n Ride bicycle bag pattern by clicking here (pdf).

Free Crochet Pattern: Tribble Trivet

A reader request from @FA3RYL on Twitter bumped this to the top of the list to add next. Still love this crochet pattern, so I was only too happy to oblidge. I may just hook it up myself. The original is long since missing and I am in need of a new trivet. I wonder if I could mod a mini version as some coasters too… hmm. Originally posted July 2009.

One of the things I like the most with crochet is that it works up to be a nice thick fabric. Unfortunately it can be a little holey if it’s not worked tightly enough, so what would ideally be a nice pot holder is better served as a trivet. And really, what do you need more than 2 pot holders for – trivet though are what you really need a ton of – one for each dish you put out on the table actually. And since they are part of the dinner spread, why not fancy them up a bit? Plus, but using two colors instead of just one, this pattern works nicely for using up those last 10g of kitchen cotton.

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Click here to download the Free Tribble Trivet pattern.

If you are on ravelry, add it to your notebook and your pattern library by visiting the Tribble Trivet pattern page.

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I have this pile of kitchen cotton mini balls, have been wanting to practice some crochet motif work, and I also wanted to play around with making crochet charts. Practice makes perfect and using up my leftovers is such an added bonus to this project. So make sure to let me know if you have issues with this chart – it is a little tricky because of the way you have to sl st to the middle of the ch space, but I think you can handle it. It’s written out as well as charted.

Oh and this motif pattern is a variation on a motif from 300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects by Linda P Schapper (affiliate link). I checked it out from the library on Monday. It is really good and has many interesting blocks to try out. I’ve been kind of frankensteining them with my own ideas or a few together with good results.

See you all on Monday! Happy Crocheting!
Kristin

Morning Sketch Book

Lucy is on the cusp of starting her first year of school. So. I did something different. Even though we pay for childcare so I can work 9-5 at the shop Monday – Friday, I opted to leave work early or go in late and grab her out of day care and go have adventures. We’ve caught toads, played in the garden, gone on walks, crafted, drawn, done makeup, shopping, painting, played video games like just dance and mario cart. It’s been fun.

And I know this isn’t the way you expected a post about sketch books to go… but here we are.

A surprising thing happened. I started getting up early, going outside, and drawing. Because we weren’t in a rush. I was just enjoying time at home. After the first time it happened, I became a bit greedy for it.

Lucy and I started having these casual drawing mornings even on days I had to be to work right at 8:30. Sometimes she draws with me.

Sometimes she doesn’t and wants to color in coloring books inside while watching cartoons before school time.

It’s been bliss either way. I’ve begun identifying all the plants in my backyard. And after the last two year’s neglect, there are many interesting volunteers.

Before this year for instance I’ve never see Joe Pye Weed growing — which grows over 6 feet tall.

And while it’s existed in the yard since we moved in, I never knew it was named buckthorn.

Sometimes it’s just 10 minutes. Others it’s hours. I’ve found sitting in the backyard among my plant friends, sipping a hot brew, focusing my attention on a single mark at a time has been more beneficial to my mental health than any supplement or practice I’ve attempted.

This past week, I went even further, packed a sack lunch, rode my bike to the woods, and drew plants and painted in water colors. Something I used to do when I was younger. I feel like I’m reconnecting with my inner person.

This has become such a calming de-stressing practice for me that I’m a little concerned for the winter months. I’m starting to nest a cozy spot with bird feeders outside the window so I can snuggle up with a brew and draw the birds as a winter past time.

For those of you who use outdoor time as sanity time, what do you do during the winter months in the north when it’s too cold to go play outside?

Until Next Time

Knit Pattern: Cat Hoodie

The Making me Purr Cat Hoodie. It’s one of those patterns that was so much of a joke between Jason and I that I almost didn’t write it down. I almost didn’t share it. It’s become a classic. Knit from stash yarn and lots of laughs it’s the most popular pattern I’ve ever written to date. Originally published in December 2009. Available for purchase on Ravelry

I made Molly a cat hoodie quite some time ago. Jason and I thought RapCat (checkers’ commercials) was just too ridiculous and therefore, pretty funny. We invented a scenario where RapCat was Molly’s secret lover and it was a long standing, pretty bizarre, joke. We even joked about Molly wearing RapCat’s hoodie, you know, the blue and blue one. We laughed so hard about it…. and then I made one for her and we laughed some more. And the really funny thing is she doesn’t mind wearing it at all!

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Here she is for her fitting before I picked up stitches and knit the legs.

Now I know that a lot of cats would have serious objections with any kind of hoodie being put on them, even if knit with the most love. So some other ideas for the hoodie – Big Panda Plushies, A willing stout puppy dog (a little pug maybe?), you get the idea.

I think Miss Molly will enjoy it this win- ter for running outside (we walk with her outside in the morning, it’s too cold in the winter and she gets all stir crazy). Maybe some kitty booties will be in the near future too!

Want to knit a cat hoodie? Purchase it on Ravelry.

Knit Top Notch Simple Socks

As I’m turning the heel of the second sock using this pattern, I thought it was a good time bring it back to life here on Craft Leftovers. It’s my go to pattern for making a classic sock that fits my foot every time. No fancy needle work here. Just socks. Originally posted 

At any given time I have a brainless knitting project going, something to work on while I’m watching Lucy play, or chatting with a friend, or just taking a brain break. Knitting that is not easy to mess up AND easy to fix if I do.top_notch_socks-01

This is my favorite brainless knitting sock pattern. They are top down socks in a 3×1 rib for the cuff and top of the foot. It’s such a lazy sock I even use a 3 needle bind off for the toe instead of kitchener stitch, which is usually my preferred method. (hello bee, wasp, oh you are dead from the frost we had last night, I will draw you later).

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I cast these socks on when I found out I was pregnant. Almost two years ago. By the time this summer rolled around I hadn’t even finished the first sock. I started getting that crafting itch and away I went. Knit knit knit purl… And in pretty short order or at least comparatively to the two years it took me to get three-quarters of the way done with the first one, I am the happy owner of a new pair of socks.

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The yarn? I don’t remember. I think I bought it a few years back from a shop in San Francisco. It was nice to work with, a good bounce and it wasn’t too split prone. I used size 1 US needles, bamboo thank you. I think crystal palace, though possibly clover.

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It feels good. And they feel great on my feet. Just in time for the cold snap fall headed our way. Which is happily not here today. Instead it was the PERFECT fall day. Warm, but not hot, breezy, but not windy. Sunny, but only partly. Ahh, if only we could have a months of this weather instead of days.

If you want to try out some Top Notch Socks, you can get the pattern over on ravelry.

Until next time…

Kristin

ps – My hands are covered in paint because I was finishing the new to me cabinets for my studio. Pictures of the redress and install soon. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Grandma Mini Sewing Box

I’m still in love with this little box, but can’t find it anywhere. Maybe it’s time I make a new one. I brought two posts together to tell the whole story with a few edits for ease of reading. Originally published 09/07/2009.

This weekend I started the daunting task of digging through the remaining few shelves of stuff at my folks house. I am resolved to go through at least a few boxes every time I visit. This weekend I made it through 3 shelves of “stuff”. You know how you move out of your folks for college, but in your new place (dorm or small apartment) there is never enough room to store all the stuff from your childhood? Then you finally graduate and get a “place of your own” and you will be there in a more permanent way. Time to clear the clutter from my parents’ home. I don’t want to be in my 40′s and still have a box of teenage angst under my teenage bed at my parents. Anyway, this weekend I started in the garage, which used to my studio when I lived there. I have one bookcase of boxes in there.

I was delighted to find not teenage angst paintings (yeah, there were some of those in there too), but these great sewing kits made by my Great-grandma Alida.

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And this great scissor holder made by my grandma – I think this one (with the original scissors) was the one she kept in her side table by the couch where she did most of her reading, smoking, and crocheting.

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I just love the pin cushions, they are actually little bits of garter stitch folded over, and then tucked into each other to make the pin cushion. I think I want to write up the pattern for this, it’s such a great way to use up little bits of leftover yarn. The scissor holders too.

I actually did go on to write it up into a pattern. I’ll post that next I think. It’s pretty stinking cute.

Did you see that pretty crocheted piece in that last picture? My grandma was working on it and I found that in her “works in progress” bin when she passed away. I think I’m going to add it to my works in progress basket and finish it up.

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In tribute to my grandma and my great grandma, I’ve added a third generation to this plastic canvas collection. Something to put in my mending basket. You can make this mini sew box and pin cushion in just a few evenings of crafting.

Click here for pattern and charts (pdf) of Grandma Sew Box

Material List
10 Count plastic canvas:
Cut 4 – 20 X 15
Cut 4 – 21 X 4
Cut 1 – 20 X 20
Cut 1 – 21 X 21
Worsted Weight Yarn, 20 yards Color A
Worsted Weight Yarn, 10 yards Color B
1 yard embroidery floss color A
1 yard embroidery floss color B
Embroidery Needle

Click here for pattern and charts (pdf) of Grandma Sew Box

Until next time!

Kristin M Roach