Sep 16, 2010

Summer reflections, and the one-stripe bag lives!

It's almost the end of the summer. How was yours? Mine was full of far more trial and tribulation than I'd hoped for (of course, who hopes for trouble? ;)), with golden moments fewer than I'd wish (but that's frequently true, too, isn't it?) ... and yet I still haven't fallen off the Craft or Bust wagon, which is a pretty darn notable achievement. Crafting despite crazy times and negative experiences isn't something I've been able to accomplish in recent years — until this year. So yay. That's my big positive accomplishment for the summer.

There's a smaller positive thing happening here at the end of the season, too. Summer's end is apparently inspiring me to dig out old UFOs (Unfinished Objects, in case anybody's going "What?") and work on them. One of them is the "one-stripe bag" I started last November — and hey, picking it up again before its anniversary is an accomplishment, too! ;)

Here it is on the loom, with various blue stripes of warp and sparkly silver and white crochet cotton as weft:

One-stripe bag in progress

One of the things that took me forever was weaving the warp ends back into the fabric, which I did because I didn't want fringe, and at the time when I started this, I was still afraid of zigzag-stitching my handwovens.

Weaving in the ends
Weaving in all those ends by hand got pretty tedious, but it does make a nice, clean, sturdy finished edge.

Even after I finished weaving in the ends, I was vaguely afraid to trim them off — as if the handwoven fabric would suddenly unravel if I did. (I know, it won't ... but the first time doing a thing is often a time of uncertainty. ;)) I wasn't entirely sure how I wanted to to sew the stripe together to magically turn it into a bag shape, either; the proportion between the handle and the bag depends on how you arrange the strip. (It sort of "spirals," with the two ends of the strip becoming the sides of the bag, and the center of the strip becoming the front and back of the bag and the shoulder strap.)

But with the Florida Fiber-In looming on the horizon, I kept thinking thoughts of bringing a handmade bag to show off. And so I got off my butt and just loosely whipstitched the thing together, telling myself, "I can always take out the stitching if I don't like the way it turns out!" So here's the result.

One-stripe bag

It looks a bit better on a person than on a door handle, but you get the idea. It's a little smaller than I wanted it to be, in my head, but that's okay, too. It's a good size for a casual walk — it'd fit a book, a small notebook, and maybe a small knitting project, which ain't bad.

More UFOs coming to a blog near you soon, maybe. And then maybe, in the newness of the new season, I'll feel inspired to start some new projects. :D
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