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Putting down the needles..and a new CONTEST!

July 21, 2007 @ 8:53 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: contest

My new project bags

The lining of the Sushi bag

So, I’m really weird that when I have too much to do of one thing (ie knitting projects), I just put it down altogether. That’s why I don’t like to cast on too many projects at a time. But what do I do? I cast on. Geezus! I know that I’m really competitive with myself and when I stalk too many blogs and see all the great things that people are producing, it makes me get all crazy and want to knit 24hrs. I feel like everyone is one collective person and they are kicking my ass as far as knitting is concerned. Weird, right?

So the last couple of days, I haven’t knitted at all. None whatsoever. I still read blogs and drooled on some flickr pics, but that’s about it. What have I been doing, you may ask? Well, I am spending more quality time with my boys, I got caught up on some stuff at home that have been falling by the wayside, late night hilarious skype chatting with Stephanie of the SSK podcast where we did an impromptu swap because I felt so bad that she didn’t have any Wollmeise yet, reading Harry Potter (YAY!) and believe it or not SEWING! You heard that right. I saw these little project bags and it didn’t look too hard to make. I haven’t taken out the machine in quite awhile. I forgot what a sweet machine I have. I really should start sewing again, but I just don’t have the space for it.

Anyways, I had some babysitting time and went to lunch with Michael. He lost his wallet so we went to look for a new one. It has to be small. He hates when it’s really big, and 75% of wallets are really big. In the process of looking for one, we pass the handbags section where I found the perfect handbag. I am very particular about the shape of my bags. It was kind of expensive but not overly expensive (99 euros). Then I also had to get another wallet myself and then we found one for Michael. After finding the wallets, we went to the fabric section of the store (department stores here normally have a fabric and craft section) and I bought a bunch of zippers for the bags.

When I came home, I was so excited to start, that I put the boys down for their nap and then started cutting and sewing. I forgot how to do stuff on my machine! How do I thread the machine to fill a bobbin? How do I do the reverse stitch? Why are the stitches all weird and crazy (tension was off)? So I had to relearn how to use it. I made so many mistakes, but finally got it down. In the picture of the pattern instructions, the bag looked really long. So I thought I could cut off some of the length. WRONG. It ended up to be this little tiny thing that I don’t know what to do with. So, then I did another one as is, and it came out perfect. Well, not PERFECT, but you know what I mean. I am extremely satisfied with my work, crooked sewing and all. The only thing I wish I could do was have the liner separate, so you don’t see the seams. If anyone knows of a free pattern like that, let me know.

And let me tell you – fabric here is RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE. Like 20 euros a meter. 20 freaking euros!!! And that’s for the “nice” normal fabrics. Others are like 14 euros, I saw some crappy ones for like 6.50, but that was rare. No wonder no one sews here, except for Tini. Thank god I’m a fabric hoarder.

Anyways, since I haven’t had a contest in awhile, I thought I’d give away two sets of a sushi bag + one skein of sock yarn (haven’t decided which ones yet, but it will be from a German indie dyer). I will choose one person from Europe, and one person from the rest of the world. So, leave a comment complimenting me on how fabulous my bags are (HA!) and I’ll have a drawing on July 28th at midnight Central European (or is it Daylight) time. Don’t forget to put where you are in the world!

Comments (50)


Comment by Nadine

Made on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 8:58 pm

Wow- these are absolutely gorgeous! I sew too and yes- those prices for fabric over here are mean. Good thing I stashed years ago and ordered a lot overseas too. Seeing these bags makes me want to sew again but with the renovations………no chance. Love the sushi fabric…….. One day I’ll finish the chili quilt I’m working on- only fabrics with chili peppers. All I need is a black lattice between the blocks and mum could finally quilt it- maybe fall break…..

Comment by trek

Made on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

They ARE very lovely bags! The contrast between inside and outside is great.

Comment by KelInCal

Made on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 9:10 pm

Your bags are fabulous, dahling. Nice work – I can’t believe you made those yourself!

Comment by Cathi

Made on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

OK. Knitting designer, podcaster and now I find you do sewing fabulously as well. How do you find enough time in the day??

They are fabulous! I know I was lucky enough to win your first Knitters Uncensored contest for Europe, but can I please please please win one of your bags and some more sock yarn, lol?


Cathi in Ireland

Comment by Erica

Made on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 9:38 pm

I know what you mean! I looked at fabric downtown once and ran away scared. I don’t want to sew that badly!

I love the bags, they’re very cute.

Comment by knittingphilistine

Made on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 9:39 pm

DUDE. You are multi-talented… the bags are fabulous. Feel free to, you know, pick me and send one to me. It will be well loved!! But what I really wanted to say was that I completely relate to the “ACK! The Collective Knitting World has produced fifty-bazillion FOs to my single sock!!” Completely understand… that just might be why I knit so many single socks. Just to keep people interested in what I’m doing. Otherwise, I’d be posting once a month, to which the collective response would be “YAWN.”

Glad to hear the kiddos are receiving some mom action, too! ;)

Comment by Eva

Made on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

Hello from Norway! Wonderful bags! Fabric is expensive here too so I hear you. I don´t sew too much tho, too busy knitting :)

Thank you for getting me hooked on Wollmeise I saw it on your blog and then googled it. I then placed a “small” (cough) order Claudia filled. And I have never looked back. I even love it more than Socks that Rock (which I still love and is a close second). Sorry, this should be about your beautiful bags, just got carried away :)

Comment by Dave

Made on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 9:57 pm

They are, indeed fabulous! I like the colours you’ve chosen, despite the price. :-)

Comment by Rachel

Made on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 10:42 pm

Well, I was going to comment (for the first time!) to tell you how awesome those bags were before I even got to the bottom for the giveaway…bonus!
I need some sewing inspiration these days, my poor sewing machine just sits on the dining table, with ne’r a fabric scrap in sight…

Comment by Ingrid

Made on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

Absolutely fabulous darling! I have a fabric stash tucked away and would be happy to send you a little something if you like – what colours do you fancy? Give me some hints!

Comment by Allison

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 12:33 am

Hello from the States. Those bags are really cool and I imagine really useful.

Comment by Shannon

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 1:36 am

I can’t wait to get it–oh by the way…I’m Shannon LOL!!

Comment by Jennie

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 2:28 am

You are so funny. And all I can say is freaking wow. Your bags turned out awesome. :)

Comment by Christine

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 4:14 am

I hear you with freezing knitting when you have too many projects going on. Love the bags, any time I sew it’s a complete disaster, so those look awesome.

Comment by Schrodinger

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 6:07 am

Love the bags, I’ve been making a few myself (different fabrics) love the sushi-stylin’!! Shocking how much the fabric is though – yikes!

Comment by Brenda

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 7:06 am

Greetings from Canada! LOVE the bags, one can never have too many project bags. You make it sound so easy, just pull out the sewing machine etc. Wish I could but I have a fear of those contraptions!

Comment by Rebekka

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 8:09 am

Hi – new listener and fellow Sock It To Me Swap participant here :)

Those bags are really inspiring – and I do have an old sewing machine in the corner. Hmmm …

The danger of reading blogs – getting attacked by project ideas that just won’t let go of you.

They’re lovely though.

I’m in Denmark, in case my name gets pulled out of the hat.

Comment by SP10

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 8:19 am

Oh dear, now I feel guilty about sending you such plain project bags and mine didn’t have zippers either!! I would love to win one of the sushi bags – the fabric is so cute – well done and I don’t know how you find the time either!!

Comment by tini

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 10:11 am

Hi Kris,

btw. there are TONS of sewers out there but I won’t tempt you and show you all the lovely onlineshops I know around here with tons of cute but not overly cute fabric & stuff (I just wrote stoff) for little boys :) Did I mention that my friend does own with the greatest patterns ever?

O.k. and now to my praise (from a sewers point of view)
Great choice of fabric and perfect matching the fabric to the project and above all, great workmenship!

Comment by alala

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 10:41 am

Agh, the sewing machine. Mine’s doing some wonky thing with winding the thread around and around the bobbin case until the whole thing jams and the needle breaks, and it’s probably something wrong with the tension but I don’t know so I don’t sew. My sons have outgrown the trousers that are still in the sewing basket, waiting to be fixed. I really should fix that, because I miss sewing. I suck at it, but I miss it.

Bags = awesome, really great. I’m not angling to win the contest, though I may be interested in buying one, but you still deserve praise and adulation.

Comment by Sheknits

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

Hello form America and a fellow podcaster. I honestly do think the bags are fab, especially the one with the bigger more artsy sushi design. I can knit like the wind however I am a total sweing machine SPAZZ. I really would love to master sewing zippers in my bags however I have a machine from the 40’s which I purposely bought as it was so heavy duty, any who I can’t even reember how to thread the dumb thing each time i use it …its my nightmare!

Comment by Eva

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

The bags are gorgeous :) I couldn’t make them for sure… and to think that I own 3 sewing machines (1 my own, 2 from my mom) and used to sew my own clothes as a teenager… Somehow I find sewing too finicky and you can’t just have something a bit bigger or smaller than the exact measurements :) So no more sewing for me hehehe… I’d rather be knitting… using German indie yarn hehehe.

Eva – in Luxembourg

Comment by omly

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 5:18 pm

These are so great! I have so much respect for people with sewing prowess. A drawstring bag is about the limit of my ability. Does that stop me from stashing fabric? Not really.

Comment by Nicole

Made on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 @ 5:26 pm

The bags look great, and the sushi fabric is lovely – it’s too bad fabric is so expensive there. I’d love to enter my name in your contest (I’m in Canada).

Comment by pamela wynne

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 2:19 am

Eep! The sushi bags ARE cute! And those box bags are the perfect size for sock projects.

Comment by shadkitty

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 5:49 am

Those would make perfect little make-up or sock bags. They look like the kind of thing you would buy in a deparment store here! I am impressed by (and jealous of) your zippers! Every time I sew a pattern with a zipper I always f*** it up beyond all reason. lol

Oh, and I completely get you on the knitting competition with yourself. Ravelry makes it oh so much worse too!! You sit there and look at all of these gorgeous and wonderful projects and go…I can knit that! :D

–in NC…still

Comment by knitlady

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 12:15 pm

Those bags are gorgeous! I have to make some by myself. I sew a lot, just feel free to look at the projects on my homepage. Fabrics are really expensive here, when I visit my parents in the north I usually buy a lot of fabric, because it’s a lot cheaper over there. The weaving mills are based in northern Germany and the Netherlands ;)

Comment by stacey

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

how could a sushi box bag NOT be fabulous!!!!! :) Funny how a sewing machine is kind of like a bicycle…you have to re-learn when you get back on after a while, but soon, you remember everything!

Comment by Auntlyh H

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 1:41 pm

Those are fabulous. I almost missed the contest part of your post because I was scrolling down to tell you so. I have been in a sewing mood, too (maybe because I spent 5 months without access to a machine?). Needle roll, messenger bag, skirt(s)…. Problem is: I have to take over the dining room table to cut and sew; kinda cramps my style to clear everything away when inspiration strikes and again after. Someday I will have a huge craft room. :)

Comment by Bobbi

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 2:01 pm

Those are cool! Thanks for linking the tutorial. I have a ton of fabric left from my “quilting era”. I think I may even still have some of the white sushi fabric here. Great minds.

Comment by Jenn

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

Those bags are awesome. Seriously, I saw the picture and started drooling. The fabric is great too–may I be the lucky one! ;-)

Good work on the sewing…I should do that more often too.

Comment by Phoebe

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 2:30 pm

So impressed with the project bags! I’ve tried to sew bags all around with disaster written all over them until I knit the bottoms so I’m so envious. You go girl!

Comment by Sara

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 2:40 pm

i’m internally squeeing. i love sushi! where did you get the fabric?

i will exclude myself from your contest b/c i’ve already won yarn from you. :-)

Comment by Elemmaciltur

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

You totally should sell them. ;-)

And of course, I’m NOT in for the contest. ;-p

Comment by Rachael

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 5:15 pm

(North Carolina!)

So your bags are adorable – in case nobody else already answered this, to get rid of the seams I would do this: Sew both the inside and the outside individually as you would sew the exterior of the bag, now put the lining of the bag inside the bag with the seams facing the seams of the outside of the bag – confused yet? NOW tack down the corners by hand and put the zipper inbetween the two pieces of fabric, inside and outside – and the sew the zipper in & TADA you’re done.

oh, also I would recommend top stitching both bags about 1/8 inch from the edge before you put them together, it will help prevent the zipper from catching.

I hope that made some sense, it’s one of those things that is complicated to explain but makes so much sense when you actually go to do it.

Comment by Panda

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 6:34 pm

Those really are great bags.

Comment by Deb

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

I like how you’ve incorporated a lighter print for the lining in the bags. –nice touch.

Your sewing skills are quite good, but your knitting talent is stellar! Your twisted stiches/Wollmeise socks are my favorites thus far.

Where in the world: Minnesota — USA.

Comment by Deirdre

Made on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 @ 11:14 pm

I am so jealous of your bags……..I am really enjoying your blog and podcast!

Comment by Oblivia

Made on Wednesday, July 25th, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

Lovely sushi bags, K. Those sushi bags would have been perfect to hold all the leftover sushi my friends and I had a few weeks ago.


Comment by Lou

Made on Wednesday, July 25th, 2007 @ 5:30 pm

Oh wow, those are fabulous! I’m completely in awe of your sewing skills. :-)

Lou from the UK (aka soulstar on Ravelry – hi!)

Comment by Stephen

Made on Thursday, July 26th, 2007 @ 6:10 am

The sushi lining is what makes the bag!

Not that I’m bribing you, should you ever come to San Francisco, there’s a sushi place I’d love to take you to. One chef at the bar makes a dish called Barnaby’s Oyster… oyster shell holding an oyster, some uni, a raw quail egg, roe, and (I think) shisho. Heavenly.

And we could bring our sock knitting to the restaurant ( with us.

Comment by adrienne

Made on Thursday, July 26th, 2007 @ 9:17 pm

hi from the bellybutton of california. your bags are so cute. who wouldn’t want to win one of those. besides, i LOVE sushi!

Comment by Liz G.

Made on Friday, July 27th, 2007 @ 4:22 am

love Love LOVE the bags!! Sooo cute! Just found and love the podcast!!

Comment by Nadine

Made on Friday, July 27th, 2007 @ 6:09 pm

Yes- I most definitely meant my comment as a contest entry! :) I do sew but right now my two rooms are a mess and I could no even find the machine under the rubble. :)

Comment by Mia

Made on Friday, July 27th, 2007 @ 8:33 pm

First of all, thank you for the link. My trick is putting in zippers. I don;t like to put in zippers. And please enter me in your contest.

Comment by Stacey

Made on Sunday, July 29th, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

The bags are fabulous – I hope to figure the pattern out, those darn zippers can be so pesky:) I am also in love with your wollmeise collection, I am in the wollmeise-holics group over at ravelry too – I am about to go off the deep end and buy more skeins just to squeeze. It’s an illness! I hope I haven’t missed the contest – I have been on my back with an injury and gosh, I don’t even know the date?

Comment by Stacey

Made on Sunday, July 29th, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

doh! I guess it’s the 29th?! Sorry, it’s the meds!:)

Comment by yvonnep

Made on Tuesday, July 31st, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

sigh… too late… and this is just perfect.
Really p e r f e c t.
Well, may be one day I can order one.

Comment by Bob

Made on Tuesday, July 31st, 2007 @ 6:20 pm

Those are really cool Kris.

Comment by Tanya

Made on Friday, August 3rd, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

Those are the cutest bags I’ve ever seen!


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.

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