Monday, July 3, 2017

Plarn project

Plarn Project- 2 large tote bags. 
Plastic bags used: approximately 80 bags. 
Finished dimensions of bag: 19" by 19" with a bottom approximately 4.5 inches wide.


[Image description: Large tote bag filled with items sitting on cement. Bag is folded slightly over and handles are sticking out to the side.]


I had 90 ends total in the heddle, within the reed it was 21.5 inches wide and at the weaving surface with draw in was 20 inches. I got approximately 13 picks per inch which gave me about nine inches of weaving per five plastic bags. I feel like it takes me about 15-20 minutes to create 5 bags worth of plarn. I created small amounts of plarn as I wove because I was not exactly sure how much plarn I was going to need. I don't want to make too much because of  how easily it tangles, and I worried that it would be unusable in future. So I made the plarn as I went, which extended the length of time it took me to complete the project as I was stopping regularly to create more plarn. 

I worked this project on my 32" Kromski Harp Forte rigid heddle loom. I mostly beat with the heddle, however if the yarn was gaping too much I was making sure that I would go through every 4 to 6 rows and push the yard down. I used a crochet hook to do this it worked pretty well. For the most part as long as the strips were cut in the same width then they would not need to be pushed down. Once I figure this out I have made sure to be more precise when cutting my plarn. It also worked better if I didn't advance the fabric as much as I typically would. I would only advance four to five inches instead of the full seven to nine inches. If I was having to beat harder than it would be more likely to have to be pushed down. Also for some reason the tension worked better when I was weaving slightly closer to the heddle.








[Image description: bag with seams sewn shown inside out on a wood floor.]

[Image description: close up of seam being sewn. White thread is used to sew the seams together using blanket stitch.]

[Image description: woven fabric freshly off the loom laid on a hallway floor. There is a tape measure along the fabric, and the header of the weaving is in the foreground.]


[Image description: binding being sewn onto woven fabric. Picture shows the sewing needle in the down position and fabric being fed through sewing machine.]

After the plastic fabric was sewn and cut into two pieces.  
[Image Description: closeup of woven fabric turned on its side. There are two lines of sewing in light thread going down the fabric.]




I had 90 ends total in the heddle, within the reed it was 21.5 inches wide and at the weaving surface with draw in was 20 inches. I got approximately 13 picks per inch which gave me about nine inches of weaving per five plastic bags. I feel like it takes me about 15-20 minutes to create 5 bags worth of plarn. I created small amounts of plarn as I wove because I was not exactly sure how much plarn I was going to need. I don't want to make too much because of  how easily it tangles, and I worried that it would be unusable in future. So I made the plarn as I went, which extended the length of time it took me to complete the project as I was stopping regularly to create more plarn.

I used knitting cotton that I used for dishcloths as the warp. It is worsted weight and I threaded my reed every other slot, which is what gave me my 90 ends. I've been using mostly white bags; Safeway, Target, some Dollar Tree bags- there might be random takeout bags in there as well. The Safeway bag are my favorite. I like the color variations from them as you get the white, the red, and the black. I used the white bags because of what my choice of warp was. I used the Bernat Holiday pound of yarn. 

It looks like they recently changed Safeway bags to be a grayish Brown background instead of white so I won't be using those anymore. I only use the plastic bags when I forget my reusable shopping totes. 

I wrapped the bags on my shuttle in a figure 8 as I would wrap any other yarn. The plan is much wider than typical yarn so it's more like wrapping a rag around than a strand of yarn. I cut my bag pieces approximately three-quarters of an inch to 1 inch. If I cut them three quarters of an inch then I get about 16 wraps around my stick shuttle in the figure eight pattern. Any more than 5 bags or trying to double wrap the stick shuttle is going to cause problems because it's so wide it's going to snag on your weaving. You can't weave too close to the heddle because it can cause snagging. 

I tied the bags together in an overhand knot to join them. You cannot pull on the plan or you risk snapping it, but if that happens all you have to do is just tie the bags back together. It looks a little different than if you were weaving typically where you didn't tie the yarn together and you just overlap. I didn't trust that process with plastic yarn because I was worried that it would slip and cause holes in the fabric once I was using the bags. I plan on using them for shopping and I do a lot of bulk shopping so my bags can get pretty heavy.

Weaving with plarn is an interesting process. It takes a lot more bags than you think it would but it is nice to repurpose something that would otherwise probably not be reused. I don't know a lot of people that take the time to recycle their bags properly. I feel like this way they're getting a second life and not contributing as much to environmental issues. I am hoping that the bags hold up well to repeated use, and I may try a different type of handle on the second bag to see which one wears better. 

I made the handles out of fused plastic bags. I did the bags 8 layers deep. I also made a binding for the top of the bags out of fused plastic, that was 4 layers deep so it would be easier to sew. I had absolutely no problem sewing the bags on my machine, which surprised me. I have a Singer  Stylist 7258 for reference. 

I'm not sure if I would do this project again, but I do really like how it turned out and I look forward to using my bags to carry stuff around this summer. Once I see how they hold up I may make a couple more with slightly smaller dimensions. I think a 12" wide bag would be nice. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

#BLM hat walk-through

Please do not sell this pattern or items made from this pattern. You are welcome to make items for donation and to share with others.
If you enjoyed this free pattern and walk-through, please donate to Black Lives Matter

[Monotone picture of a black beanie on wood veneer background. Hat says "#BLM"]

NOTE: this pattern is still being test knit, so if you notice an issue please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NaNoWriMo Winner!

I did it! I actually wrote 50,000 words this year. I've had my nanowrimo.org account for 5 years now. This is the first year I even attempted to start.

So what made this year a success? I think that it was the fact that I was able to write non-linearly by using the Scrivener software. Getting the discount on the software was another big motivation. I like that I can do all of my planning in the program and that it makes it super easy to compile all of your work into an easily readable and shareable format.

I'm really proud of myself for finishing. I can't wait to start working on making it more readable in December.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My First NaNoWriMo

I'm really excited to attempt to do NaNoWriMo this year. I've thought about it before, but never really had the motivation to do it. This year I have been thinking about it, but didn't do any planning leading up to it. Well today I actually met the word goal. I'm going to attempt to tack a few more onto it so I can be a bit ahead and have a cushion just in case I have some rough days. This is especially important to me since I have a demanding 3 year old to keep entertained while I am writing.

1700 words so far today. Fingers crossed I can keep it up.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Juicy Ann Mesh Onbuhimo


My wearee is currently 36" tall, in 3T pants and weighs about 35 pounds. This is the toddler sized Juicy Ann Buckle Onbuhimo, which you have the option of fully customizing. They have three sizes, Standard, Toddler, and Pre-K. They also have a SSC now but I've not tried one. They also do Wrap Conversion Onbuhimos

Reasons I really like it:
  • Lightweight.
  • Perfect for keeping in the car or in a bag for quick ups or unexpected trips/emergencies.
  • Well made, strong seams, sewing looks great.
  • Nice and cool.
  • Padding is very comfortable yet still flexible.


I absolutely loved the padding on this onbuhimo. It is so incredibly comfortable I couldn't believe it. It seems to have a bit more "give" than the Tula padding, and more structure than my Lenny SSC padding. There is a fantastic amount of legs out padding, making for a comfortable ride. S loved how comfortable it was and asked specifically for that carrier when he was going to be worn.


The mesh makes the carrier super breathable, and very comfortable to wear if you run hot like we do. It didn't get above 80 while I had the carrier here, but it did keep us from getting sweat marks or feeling overheated when wearing for longer periods. I definitely get hot really easily, and I didn't have to worry about the sweat marks I usually get after wearing him for any length of time. The straps didn't dig into my armpits. 

I like that the chest clip is completely adjustable. I could move it wherever I wanted it without worrying, and didn't have to worry about choking myself. The strap length worked well for me even though I'm on the larger side. They would have been even better if I could have gotten a higher seat, but I didn't want to aggravate my wearee too much when trying a new carrier. He always needs an adjustment period before he'll let me work on getting the sweet spot. The nice thing about this onbu is that it seemed comfortable without having to fiddle with it too much. Even if he didn't have a perfect seat it didn't cause me a bunch of pain or cause the numbness in my arm I get if I don't properly adjust my SSCs. 

Overall I really liked the Onbuhimo and plan on purchasing one for my stash, though I haven't decided what size I want to invest in. It was easy to adjust, and it was very comfortable. I could see this becoming our favorite carrier.
[Image Description: Picture shows the Onbuhimo hanging on a black hanger against a white interior door. The focus is the "right" side of the onbuhimo, showing mostly the mesh panel and a bit of webbing. Carrier is teal colored and roughly a rounded rectangle in shape.]

[Image Description: Picture shows the Onbuhimo hanging on a black hanger against a white interior door. The focus is the "wrong" side of the onbuhimo, showing the straps and the mesh panel. There is a white warning label in the middle bottom of the carrier.]

[Image Description: Picture from the back of a person with their hair in a bun wearing a toddler. Both are wearing pyjama bottoms. Toddler is looking back towards the camera. Image shows the seat of the carrier well. Toddlers pelvis is in the "M" position.]

[Image Description: Selfie shot in a mirror, attempting to show the seat of the carrier. Foreground of picture has a shoulder and toddler hand.]

[Image Description: Selfie of adult and child from a side angle. Picture shows the thickness of the onbus straps and placement of the chest clip.]

[Image Description: Hand holding part of the webbing is in the foreground. Elastic is folded over the excess webbing.]
 Elastic for holding excess webbing.
[Image Description: Hand grabbing the legs out padding, showing thickness. Padding looks to be about one inch thick.]
 Legs out padding is nice and thick while still being moldable for added comfort.
[Image Description: Selfie of adult and child from a side angle. Picture shows the thickness of the onbus straps and placement of the chest clip.]
 Pretty easy to get the hang of, though I am an experienced back wearer with SSCs.
[Image Description:  Selfie of smiling adult and child. Child is being worn on the back in an onbuhimo carrier.]
Comfortable and happy wearee! 

Edit 19 January 2107 to replace "Onbu" with the proper term, Onbuhimo. For reasons why post was edited, please read this blog post

Monday, July 18, 2016

Gluten Free Veggiemac

8 oz gluten free elbow macaroni
8 oz frozen vegetable mix of choice

Sauce:
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese
1/3 cup tapioca starch
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt/salt to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
pepper to taste


This is a very filling but pretty fast and easy meal. You could always substitute a vegan cheese sauce if you're dairy free. Unfortunately I haven't found a vegan cheese sauce that I'm a big fan of, so when I am avoiding dairy I tend to avoid "cheese" sauces. This has 3-4 servings, but you could probably add a couple more ounces of either macaroni or vegetables and still have enough sauce as I tend to like LOTS of sauce.

I got my tapioca starch and rice pasta from the bulk section at WinCo.

Prepare the macaroni in boiling water per the instructions on the box, adding the frozen vegetables to the water when there is 5 minutes left for them to cook.

While the macaroni is cooking, mix together the items for the sauce in a medium bowl. When macaroni and veggies are cooked, drain and set aside. In the now empty pot pour the sauce and adjust to medium heat. Stir until sauce is thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Once thickened turn off the burner and add in the macaroni and vegetables. Stir well and serve.