A Guy Walks Into A Bar…

Or maybe a guy works at a bar. No, that’s not right. Hmmm. Let’s start looking at pictures and maybe I can work out the right saying.

Work Bar 1

Jay used to be a bit irritated if I brought work home, but look what he’s doing! This particular project is to help the guys set a casting on the table correctly.

It all started with some angles and a drill.

Work Bar 2

What do you get when you drill six holes into two pieces of metal?

A lot of metal shavings. I’m serious. You should see the floor…

Work Bar 3

Hey! There’s the bar I was discussing earlier in this post. I guess that a guy walked in with a bar and drilled a hole at one end.

Work Bar 4

Then he made his own pin. Not a broach like what your Aunt Esther would wear, but a pin. With a nubbin.

Work Bar 5

You put the pin in the bar and you turn it all about… you put the pin in the bar and you let it all hang out.

Work Bar 6

And finally, the “How NOT to Mount” your new bar picture. Nowadays you have to put these kinds of warnings in the instructions because you know that somebody will try it and hurt themselves.

Like I said, this bar is going to be mounted to a table where the heavy castings are placed, then the bar pivots and gives the guy a little more leverage to push it into place so that it can be de-sprued.

That’s it. Nothing fancy. Have a good day!

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When the Workshop and Sewing Room Collide…

Today would normally be a day when I would post something that Jay has made. Except, I think the only thing he’s been making are blank bullet molds in preparation for his coworker’s ammo requirements. It gives Jay a project and the guy gets cheaper ammo.

Bullet Mold 25

It’s a win-win all around.

There have been two projects, though, that Jay was asked to do that involved sewing rooms.

First, his mom asked if he could 3D print a larger spool cap cover for her machine. If you’re not familiar with sewing machines, the spool cap is what holds the spool onto the pool holder.

Babylock Spool Cap

She had a small one, but wanted a larger one that would help guide the thread around the rougher edges of the spools she was using. She hasn’t sewn in many years so she’s just practicing right now and using up thread that she has on hand. Jay made one for her and it worked great, but she wanted a second one.

Spool Holder 1

On the right is the original one he made for her. On the left is the hunk of UHMW plastic he cut for the second spool cap.

Spool Holder 2

He mounted it on the lathe using a bolt, I believe.

Spool Holder 3

Then turn-turn-turn, cut-cut-cut, and plastic spaghetti was flying all over the place.

Spool Holder 4

Using the little nubbin that had surrounded the bolt, he turned the piece around and remounted it so that he could drill the hole out a little larger to spec.

Spool Holder 5

Spool Holder 6

Within a few minutes he had it done. His mom was so happy!

Spool Holder 7

The next project was for my sewing room.

When I was making the lunch boxes I purchased zipper tape because that was the best way of getting the number and length of zippers I would need.

Zipper Tape and Pulls

If you’ve never heard of zipper tape, it’s a zipper in yardage form. You can cut it to whatever length you want and then install a zipper pull. And believe me, there are a TON of zipper pulls out there. The most common size seems to be #5 as that’s used in a lot of bag making, but you can also buy it in #3 (on the right in the picture above). Personally I have #5 plastic zipper tape (on the left), #5 Nylon zipper tape (in the middle) and #3 Nylon zipper tape. It works great, except it can be kind of a pain to get the pull onto the tape. If you don’t line it up just right then you’ll have a bulge in front of the pull and it will look bad.

I find that it’s tricky for me to try to both hold the little zipper pull in my hand while also trying to thread both sides of the tape into the pull. It took me 30 minutes one day to get a zipper pull onto the tape without it looking bad. You can buy a zipper jig that will hold the pull for you (search Zipper Jig on Etsy), but I’m sure that you probably already have some stuff laying around your house that you can use.


No, I was not eating while I was sewing. You can use a fork to hold the pull. How? Let me show you.

Fork and #5 Pull

Fork and Zipper Pull

It will even hold my smaller #3 zipper pull.

Fork and #3 Pull

The fork holds the pull so that you can use two hands to start it on the zipper tape.

If you don’t want to use a fork from your utensil drawer you can buy single pieces fairly cheap at Walmart or the dollar store.

Next determine where you will most likely want to mount the fork while you are trying to attach it to the tape. Make sure the surface has a deep enough “ledge” that will allow the wood to get a good hold on it (you might be tugging at it more than you think).

Fork Holder Base

Also, make sure it’s a snug fit. I literally just slide it onto the side of my sewing table and it doesn’t move.

Fork Holder Clamp

Use some screws to clamp the fork in place (you don’t want it wiggling around), pick up the empty spool that fell down under your feet when you were sewing this weekend, and you’re ready to start threading pulls onto zipper tape!

Fork Holder

It’s so simple! I would tell you where I keep this in my sewing room, but I don’t want Jay to know. He might use it (with the clamp) should we run out of clean forks in the kitchen. I’m not even kidding…

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Imperfect Crocheted Tops

The biggest problem I have with social media is that many people look at somebody’s account and feel like they aren’t as good/as pretty/as talented as this person appears to be. I honestly hope that nobody thinks that everything I do turns out perfectly, because it definitely does NOT.

That’s why today I want to share two of my more frustrating projects that I’ve worked on in the last six months. Both of these are tops that I looked forward to wearing. Neither one of them are wearable yet.

My first project is the Solari Poncho, found at Annie’s.

Solari Poncho

Picture courtesy of AnniesCatalog.com

Doesn’t it look comfy and warm? I thought this would be great to wear on the slightly chillier days that we have at the end of September. I purchased Premier Basix DK yarn in Fog Gray for my poncho. The yarn is great and I really love working with it. I enjoyed the pattern so much that I didn’t realize I had reached the end of it. The poncho seemed too short. I had a lot of yarn left, so I added a bit more at the hem for length. It didn’t work out so well.

Solari Poncho Front

Solari Poncho Side

Solari Poncho Back

Addie is obviously much smaller than me so it looks good on her. It doesn’t look so great on me. The hem, even with the added length, falls just past my elbows. Then there’s the weird way the back hangs. And it just wasn’t as loose and flowing as the picture in the magazine appeared. To be fair, I didn’t check my gauge. Why? Because it’s a poncho! I chose the largest size figuring that it couldn’t be too small. I was wrong. So, where did I make the mistake?

I honestly think my stitches are too tight. It was the first time I had attempted to crochet cables and I was nervous about them looking right. I think that going up a few hook sizes would help. And my hem didn’t really work. So what am I going to do? I’m going to rip it all out and start over. Not immediately, of course, but that’s the plan. I still like the look of the finished garment. I just have to figure out how to loosen my hold on the yarn.

My next project is a sweater that I’ve had for quite a few years. I actually bought the yarn kit from Craftsy shortly after I learned to crochet. In fact, I’d had the yarn boxed away for so long I thought that I’d purchased brown, not the gray that was actually in the box (apparently I’d forgotten about wanting a nice gray sweater).

Zoey Zig-Zag Box Cardigan by Nicole Wang

Zoey Zig Zag Cardigan

Picture courtesy of lovecrafts.com

This is a great cardigan pattern. It’s quick and easy to make. The problem I ran into involves the sleeves. For this pattern you crochet the whole thing flat, and then fold over and sew your shoulder seams so you don’t have hardly any piecing to worry about. After I had the shoulders sewn together I tried it on to see how it fit. It was a great fit! Jay asked me if it was supposed to be a vest, or was I going to put sleeves on it? You see, to make the sleeves you just crochet the edging on and you’re done. I didn’t think that would look too good so I added a little bit to it.

Zoey Cardi Ruffled Sleeve

I added five more rows of the pattern, this time in the round, and then doubled the rows for the edging to give it a little bit of a ruffle. Then I wore it to work to see how I liked it. I didn’t. I came home, ripped out the ruffled edging and redid it.

Zoey Cardi Modified Sleeve

I kept the extra bit of pattern in the round for the length, but I put the called-for edging on it. I think I like this much better. Just to give you an idea of how long the sleeve would have been without the extra length, the edging would have fallen about 4″ higher up on my arm in the middle of my bicep. That’s not really where I like my sleeves to sit.

Zoey Cardigan 01 2022

Once I fix the other sleeve the cardigan will be finished. I’m going to wear it a bit to make sure I like it, but I’m already planning one in brown and possibly white. This won’t be the only one I make.

As you can see, though, nobody is perfect. My best tip for making wearable garments is this: When you think you’re done with it, don’t fasten off right away. Put a stitch marker in the last stitch and then either wear it to work or wear it around the house. That will be the best way to determine what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully it will be something easy to fix. If it’s not, you might have to rip it out and start over. And that’s okay! Half of the fun is in the process of making the item.

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Jay’s Must-Have Machining Tools

Recently Jay obtained a different position at work. This new position will involve robot programming, robot troubleshooting, prototyping, and machining. Essentially, they are now going to pay Jay to do what he usually does in our basement. It would be similar to my employer paying me to sew and crochet all day. What could be better??

Since this is a new position in the company Jay has taken stock of what they have in the machining area and made a list of things he would like to have on hand. This made me wonder about what kinds of things would be on that list. Obviously, they have a much larger budget than we do, but I decided to ask Jay what machining tools he would consider to be absolutely necessary if he had to start all over again.



I told him that he couldn’t list the kegerator since he’s not allowed to have it at work. He claims it should be part of everybody’s basic tool kit regardless of what hobby you enjoy. I told him I would take that into consideration.

The following list consists of things Jay feels he must have in his machining shop. These are not the luxury items; those will be coming in a future post.

Drill Press

Drill Press

You should get one that is large enough to cover 15% more than your largest anticipated jobs. You don’t need the largest one that money can buy. Jay bought this one about 20 years ago and it’s still going strong. He said the only problem he’s had with it is that the quill is currently acting up because he was using it in a way that it wasn’t meant to be used. He can easily fix that by taking it apart and de-burring something. He told me what it was, but I’ve already forgotten.

Drill Bits

Drill Bits

Obviously, this is to go along with your drill press. Jay says that the 29 pc drill index is the bare minimum and that the 115pc set is ideal. Steer away from the gimmicky “5x longer lasting” propaganda. That’s just a good way to throw your money away. Plain carbon steel is fine for 95% of all work.

Tap and Die

Tap & Die set

When purchasing taps and dies you should get both metric and SAE. Get the largest set that you can afford in your budget. You don’t need anything fancy, but stay away from the bargain bin sets. Jay usually finds the Hanson or Irwin brands for a decent price. The biggest tip he can give for using taps and dies is to practice and use oil.



If you’re doing any kind of machining work you will need a file for various reasons. You use these for shaping, de-burring, chamfering, and other material-removal reasons. Get a good selection of teeth, shapes and sizes for your anticipated work. If you are going to be making smaller items then you won’t need a honking-big file. A nice turning/carving exercise is making file handles for your new collection.

DS Miter Gauge 12

Disc Sander

This might not have popped into your head when thinking about machining. Yet, Jay uses his all the time for wood, plastic, metal and composites. At minimum you would want a 10-12″, which is a good size for a home-based shop without being obtrusive. When I questioned him about this item on his list he said that if you just have a smidgen of material to remove in order to get down to your mark it’s much better to hog it off with this than to put the wear and tear on your precision tools (ie mill). He keeps a 60 grit disc on it, unless he’s making something with balsa wood. He likes to get his sanding discs at Harbor Freight because they are very reasonably priced.

Digital Calipers


Calipers come in both analog and digital. Depending on what type you were originally taught to use will usually determine as to which camp you fall into. A lot of your “pros” will only use analog. Jay prefers his digital calipers because when he’s machining a part he can re-zero the calipers, then as he measures it tells him how much more material he has to remove without having to do math. If you put your decimal in the wrong place it could be a very bad day for you. You definitely want to get a decent set, so figure out what you can afford on your budget and go from there. This isn’t the time to get a bargain set, but you also don’t have to mortgage your house for decent ones, either. Jay says that 6″ is plenty for most work (that’s NOT what she said…).



A small set of various-sized punches/drifts is great to have. An Auto Center Punch is a must.

Metal Rulers

Metal Rulers

These are in constant use on Jay’s bench. In fact, I was a bit surprised that they were all hanging in their spots. At the very least the 6″ is usually on the bench. Jay uses the 6″ and 18″ rulers the most. He says that these stainless steel rulers are not that expensive so get a couple.

Scribe and Marker

Metal Scribers & Sharpie Marker

At some point you will need to make a mark on your metal piece. A lot of people think you have to use the blue layout fluid, but you don’t. A blue sharpie marker works just as well and it dries quicker. Also, they are more widely available. As for the scribe, Jay says it needs to have extremely hard and sharp points. Unlike a pencil, you can’t sharpen it easily when it gets dull.

Combination Squares

Combination Squares

These are typically used in woodworking. You definitely don’t want to use these for squareness because they are not the right tolerances for machining. However, if you need to draw a straight line they are great. You probably could use your metal ruler (see above), but these you can square up on your piece of metal and draw a quick line.

Center Drills

Center Drills

I can’t remember exactly why Jay said to put these on this list. He said that they are multi-use (wood, plastic, metal, etc) and you can use them in the drill press. You should have a set of 4 or 5 to cover the most-used sizes.

That concludes the basics list that Jay put together. I hope it was interesting and that maybe you found something on the list that you wouldn’t have normally thought of using. Did we forget something? Remember, these are just the bare basics that Jay felt he would want in his shop. We will definitely be posting about some of the more luxury-types of items that are nice to have down the road.

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Project Linus Blankets #40 & 41

Project Linus Blanket #40

Project Linus Blanket #40 12-2021 - Minty Goodness

“Minty Goodness”

If you recall, I received the Projet Linus version of Annie’s Caring Crochet kits this past fall, but I wasn’t happy with the blanket pattern they included. It was much too holey for what my local director likes to see. Also, there was only enough yarn to make a baby blanket and I typically like to make them bigger for the older kids.

These were the yarns I had decided to use:

ACC - 09 2021 Yarn Plus

I didn’t have a pattern in mind so I decided to go to Creative Grandma’s website and find one of her Stitch of the Week stitches that I thought would work. I decided to use #210 Tulip Stitch Pattern. It was simple and I thought would work nicely.

Project Linus Blanket #40 Detail

The stitch is the same one that you use when making a corner-to-corner blanket, but instead this one you work in rows. I decided about how wide I wanted to make the blanket, and chained until I got to that approximate width. It ended up being 205 chains. Since this is baby yarn I used a G hook (4.5mm).

I started with the mint green and crocheted until I ran out of yarn. That determined how many rows I would get out of the other Bernat baby yarn skeins that I had on hand. Then I used one of the variegated skeins that been in the crochet kit, and I crocheted until I ran out of yarn.

Project Linus Blanket #40 Stripes

That told me the approximate number of rows I would be able to get out of those three skeins, plus the length that I could expect. Using math I calculated that I would need another skein of white to make sure the blanket was long enough without looking wonky. This was a great project to use up some baby yarn that I had in my stash.

Project Linus Blanket #40 Length

I really like how it turned out.

Project Linus Blanket #41

Project Linus Blanket #41 - 1-1-22 - Striated


I had a few days off of work right around Christmas, and that’s when I finished the last Project Linus blanket. With a few more days off looming ahead of me I decided to make another blanket. Remember a few years ago when I kitted up a bunch of blankets? I had two totes of kits. I decided that I needed to pull another kit out and get it worked up. I was a bit surprised when I pulled this kit out.

Project Linus Blanket #41 Detail

I had forgotten that I’d put together such a neutral-colored blanket. Looking at the colors, though, reminded me of the walls of striated rock that you pass when you travel through the mountains on the east coast. It also kind of reminded me of some of the pictures you see of the canyons out west.

This used Red Heart Super Saver and Michael’s brand CraftSmart. Not very soft yarns at all, at least, not compared to the baby yarn I had just been using. The bad thing about using so many stripes are the many ends you have to weave in. I decided to do that as I went along and it really helped. Usually I leave them all for the end, and then typically I end up having to sit with three or four blankets that need to have their ends woven in before I can wash them and drop them off.

Project Linus Blanket #41 - Length

This kit was the last one in the tote. Of course, I quickly filled the empty tote with other yarn that had been sitting out in the open. I have one more tote of kits to work through before I can start kitting up more. The ripple pattern is nice, but I like experimenting with the Stitches of the Week. I’ve been trying to write down the details as I work through the blankets so that if I want to make another one I will know just how much yarn will be required.

As an aside, I cancelled my membership to the Annie’s Caring Crochet club. Most of what I had received so far were just hats. If I loved making hats then it wouldn’t be a problem, but I don’t. They are a nice pallet cleanser now and again, but I didn’t feel like I was really getting the value out of them. I signed up for another crochet club, though. This time I went with Mary Maxim’s crocheted afghan club. You get a pattern and enough yarn every quarter to make an afghan. It was only about $10 more per kit as compared to the Annie’s kits. I hope the afghans are something that I can use for Project Linus. Even if I don’t like the pattern I might be able to try some yarn that I’ve never touched before. It should be interesting!

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A Miter Gauge for the Disc Sander

If you have a hobby, it doesn’t matter what it is, then you know there are times when you need to do something and a certain tool would come in VERY handy. The problem is that you don’t need it very often, but when you do need it you lament the absence of it in your life.

This is one of those projects. Jay has had a disc sander for ever. In fact, he might have taken it to Kindergarten as a Show and Tell item. (Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration)

Small Tools Bench

There are times when it would be very handy to have a miter gauge for the disc sander, I guess, so he decided to make one. Why purchase one when you have all kinds of material just laying around your workshop?

First, we need to take some measurements.

DS Miter Gauge 1

As you can see, there isn’t any measurement that we can’t take!

Next, take your metal stock and color a blue line on it.

DS Miter Gauge 2


Slide your colored piece of stock into the groove of the sanding table.

DS Miter Gauge 3

Next we need to make the stopping part of the gauge.This is the piece that your material-to-be-sanded will butt up against.

DS Miter Gauge 4

You should also color this blue so that it coordinates with your sliding bit.

Don’t forget to cut the vertical part of the Stopping Butt down so that it only extends to the edge of the sanding platform.

DS Miter Gauge 5

You have really worked hard so it’s time for a well deserved break. How about a game of Tic-Tac-Toe?

DS Miter Gauge 6

Okay, break’s over. We have to start drilling some holes.

DS Miter Gauge 7

In order to get them to stick you will need to use some kind of mechanical fastener. Probably bolts of some sort. It’s time to Tappity-Tap-Tap!

DS Miter Gauge 8

Hmmm… Kind of looks like a guy with creepy eyes.

Let’s make sure that Mr. Creeper is in the right spot on the sliding bit.

DS Miter Gauge 9

“I know what you did last sanding…”

Jay was getting ready to attach Mr. Creeper to the slide and I suggested that he use chewed bubble gum. It always sticks tightly to my show when I step in it. Apparently bubble gum is not the appropriate fastener in this situation. Fine!

DS Miter Gauge 10


At this point in the project I would have thrown it together and called it good enough. Not Jay. Nooo!! He has to get all professional and make sure that it’s actually square.

DS Miter Gauge 11

Now that it’s perfectly aligned and the ‘approved’ sticker has been placed on it, let’s see how it looks.

DS Miter Gauge 12

*Wolf whistles* That is one gorgeous piece of metal.

And now Jay’s life is a little less empty…

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Annie’s Caring Crochet Kits – End of 2021

I’ve had two of the Annie’s Caring Crochet Kits waiting for me to post about them, then my latest one showed up last week. So I’m mashing them all into one post.

Handmade Brigade

ACC Handmade Brigade 11 2021

Here is another charitable group doing their best to show our troops how much we support them. The entire point of the charity is to make winter hats and scarfs for our military members who are spread all over the globe.

The yarn was really nice to work with, but again Annie’s doesn’t tell you what brand it is. My guess is that it’s a Red Heart yarn because one of the caveats for this particular charity is that you HAVE to use Made in the USA materials. If you’ve looked at any yarn labels lately you’ll notice that a LOT of them are not made in the USA. My favorites (Premier and Ice Yarns) are both made in Turkey. I don’t really have a lot of yarn in my stash that I could use for these items.

As soon as I saw the pattern I knew I wasn’t going to make it. It was all I could do to get through the first scarf I crocheted for Annie’s Caring Crochet Kits. Instead, I made some hats.

ACC Handmade Brigade Hats 2021

I still have one full skein plus a partial leftover, so I can probably make two more hats. I just used a very simple beanie pattern that I got from Bag O Day Crochet.

Operation Shower

The next charity is another military charity. This one is to show support for the moms-to-be, whether they are married to a member of the military or are in the military themselves. It’s one way to help alleviate some of the stress of being separated at such a special time in their lives.

ACC Operation Shower 12 2021

Operation Shower accepts donations of handmade baby items for the 30-40 showers that they throw every year. I had never made baby booties or mittens so I decided to use the pattern that came with the kit.

ACC Operation Shower Baby Set 2021

I think they turned out okay. I was not a fan of the yarn, though.

ACC Operation Shower Yarn

It is soft and smooth, but it kept splitting on me when I was crocheting. It was also difficult to rip out when you made mistakes (because of how much it kept splitting on me). I’m used to crocheting with a tightly-wound yarn, so this almost-roving style was a bit frustrating.

ACC Operation Shower Yarn Strands

I’ve got a ton of baby patterns that I’ve never used so I might dive into those in order to use up the rest of the yarn.

ACC Operation Shower Model

Hope’s Door New Beginning Center

This charity is located in Texas. They offer intervention and prevention services for people who are being affected by domestic violence. They have shelters that are always in need of product, but it looks like they want the majority of their donations dropped off at one of their retail stores.

ACC Hope's Door 01 2022

When I opened this kit I had to laugh. Why? Do you remember what I made last month?

Dishcloths 12-2021

In fact, the patterns that came with the kit were in one of the Crochet World magazines last year. It’s my set of go-to washcloth patterns. I’m not sure that I’m going to make any of these washcloths soon. What I might do is make a wash cloth here and there, then when I have a big pile I’ll box them up and mail them to the retail store. Annie’s Kits always come with information on where to send your items, so I will do it that way.

I really like this kit club. It gives me a chance to try some different yarns, plus I get to learn about new charities that I didn’t even know existed. I hope you are enjoying this series of posts, too.

Posted in Charity, Crochet, Garment, Hats, Yarn | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Portable Band Saw Table

Next week I’ll go back to posting on Mondays, but I wanted to share one of Jay’s latest projects. You see, he was a very good boy during 2021 so he got some nice things for Christmas. One of these was a portable band saw.

Portable Band Saw

Jay had been using a grinder to cut metal that was mounted in such a way he could use it almost as a chop saw. Then he saw Adam Savage’s One Day Build where Adam built a table for a portable band saw. That was it. Jay vowed that he would eventually own a portable band saw so that he, too, could build a little table for it.

First he took it apart a bit so that he could figure out what size he would make the table.

Portable Band Saw Template

When he was satisfied with the template, he traced it onto a piece of aluminum that he had sitting around.

Portable Band Saw Table

Using leftover pieces of a cabinet that he had torn apart, he made a table frame.

Portable Band Saw Table Frame

It doesn’t look like much, but it does the job. Kind of like me.

He then mounted the table top on the frame and drilled holes so that he could screw the two pieces together.

Portable Band Saw Table Blade Relief

Then he had to determine where the blade would be so that he could cut the access slit.

Portable Band Saw Table Mounted

Let’s see how it looks with the blade installed.

Portable Band Saw Table Installed

It’s looking good!

The last thing to figure out was how to run it without cutting the cord and wiring it to a button (like Adam did). Jay came up with a pretty good solution.

Portable Band Saw Table 12 2021

The handle sticking up behind the table is the On/Off switch. When it’s pressed down the lever presses against the button on the band saw. To shut it off, just lift the handle. It uses a friction fit to make it work. The variable speed dial is easily accessed, too.

Do you like the idea of a portable band saw table, but lack the workbench space? Quinn (Blondihacks on YouTube) made one that mounts in her vise so that she can put it away when it’s not in use. Check it out!

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Christmas 2021 – Kerry’s Projects

Now that a new year is upon us I thought that perhaps I should close out the old one by showing you the gifts that I made for Christmas 2021.

But first, I want to actually show you the box that Jay made for my sewing machine (since I had forgotten to download it when I posted about his Christmas projects).

Sewing Machine Boxes

The top box is for my Merritt (shown in this picture), and the other is for my 403A.

Singer 403A Fitted in Box

I really love this machine. We’ve had our disagreements, but we’ve been able to work it out. If you have a vintage Singer sewing machine let me highly recommend AndyTube. This gentleman posts videos on YouTube and shows you how to do all sorts of maintenance, repair and refurbishing of these wonderful machines. I think he has helped me figure out why my stitches were skipping and why the thread would get hung up on the bobbin case.

So what have I sewn after working on those lunch boxes? Well, just a couple items.

I found a pattern on Etsy for a zippered pouch pattern in the shape of a cat’s head. At the time I didn’t know what I would do with it, but I had to have it. As Christmas was approaching I was trying to figure out what I wanted to make for my best friend’s little girl. She will be 2 at the end of February and she’s a little cutie. That’s when I thought of the cat pattern and decided that I would turn it into a little purse. What little girl doesn’t love carrying around a purse her size? I know that I had several when I was her age.

Indah's Cat Purse 12-2021

I chose some fun material with cats on it (of course) and added a second tab on the other side of the head. The pattern only has one tab for a wristlet, but I decided to give it a try. I think it turned out rather cute! My friend’s daughter loved it, at least she had a big smile on her face in the picture I was sent.

Indah's Purse 2021

It’s not very big since it’s meant to be a zippered pouch that is carried in another bag, but it’s about right for a 2 year old.

Indah's Purse Back

The other thing I worked on was a zippered bag that when it is unzipped it opens up into almost a bowl. It’s called The Luttel Bag by The Eli Monster. I thought this might make a good reusable snack bag. I had some special liner that is food safe and BPA free, so I made up a couple of these for one of my friends.

Reusable Snack Bag

Yes, more cat fabric. Look how cute it is! Wouldn’t you be happy opening a bag like that at snack time?

Reusable Snack Bag filled 12 2021

I believe I made the large size. See how it kind of opens into a bowl shape?

Reusable Snack Bag Interior

This is the inside. I was trying to sew the bottom onto it when Judy (my 403A) and I had our last disagreement, so the sewing doesn’t look very nice. But it works. I have to admit I didn’t follow this pattern exactly. You were supposed to cut out two circles for the bottom, fold them in half and sew each half onto the bottom so that when it was turned right-side-out you would then hand stitch the two circles together to close the opening. Well, I didn’t want to use that much of my liner fabric (it’s rather expensive) and also I didn’t want to do any hand sewing. Instead I sewed the circle onto the entire bottom and then just used some scrap pieces to bind the seam (similar to what is done on the lunch bags). I don’t think it looks too bad.

That’s it for the sewing portion of today’s blog. Now onto the crocheting.

I purchased a cute kitchen towel for the friend, who also received the resuable snack bags. I thought about crocheting a top to it so that she can hang it in her kitchen, but the towel wasn’t big enough to cut into two decent-sized towels. Instead I looked up the No Button, No Sew Towel Holder. Last year my sister was looking for a pattern like this and I found it for her, so I decided it was my turn to try it.

Towel Holders for Sarah 12 2021

They turned out okay. Nothing fancy. I think it took maybe 15 minutes each to make these. Very easy and they work great.

I really like crocheting things for my friend’s daughter (the one who also received the purse), but I never know what she’ll wear or what size she will fit since she’s growing like a weed! My friend’s family loves to be outside so I decided that I would make a poncho. It’s easy enough to put on the little darling and shouldn’t be too constrictive as she grows.

The first pattern I found was the Scalloped Edge Poncho by MSL Beanies. I know I purchased it off of Etsy, but I can’t seem to find it there any more. I’ve added the link to her ravelry store.

Scalloped Edge Poncho - Indah 2021

I used the mix lot yarn I’d purchased from Ice Yarns two years ago. I decided on this color because I thought it would pair well with jeans. The pattern was okay, but after I finished it I thought that it might be too small. To be fair, I haven’t seen the little one since she was about six months old, and I’m not very good at judging sizes in pictures. To be safe I decided to make a second poncho. This pattern was also purchased on Etsy and is the Queens Poncho by Bag O Day crochet.

The Queens Poncho - Indah 2021

I had leftover pink and green ombre yarn from the Tulip Afghan I made last summer, which would make an adorable little slice of watermelon. I think it turned out really cute. I’m hoping it fits by the time poncho weather comes back around.

Ponchos for Indah 12-2021

Last, but not least, I decided to crochet up a bunch of dishcloths in between all these projects.

Dishcloths 12-2021

I have a LOT of cotton on hand (and actually just found a box of Dishie that I’d completely forgotten about), so I just started cranking them out. They are nice projects to work on during my lunch break, or if I just have a few minutes in the morning. I always forget, though, that crocheting with cotton is harder on my wrist because it doesn’t slide like acrylic when you are crocheting.

That’s all I made to be given as Christmas gifts. During my time off of work I managed to make another Project Linus blanket (a future post will be coming) and I’ve started to make a few things from the recent Annie’s Caring Crochet packages I’ve received (those will also be in future posts). As for my sewing room, I’m going to finish off the last four lunch bags. I already have everything cut out and partially assembled, so I’m going to get those done and out of the sewing room. I have plans for a few birthday gifts, plus the possible gifts of back packs for the guys next Christmas. I can never say that I don’t have anything to work on!

I hope that everybody enjoyed a blessed Christmas and that you are looking forward to a promising New Year!

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Christmas 2021 – Jay’s Projects

Now that all the presents have been handed out, I can post the pictures. One of the first projects I want to share with you is something that Jay has actually been working on for a few months. His mom wanted a nice wine rack and gave him a picture to show him what she wanted.

Wine Rack Picture

“Save $201!”

I’m not sure if he used the dimensions on this paper or if he discussed with his mom how big she wanted it. He drew it up in SketchUp and used some oak pieces that we had brought home from his mom’s camp (before she sold it). After a few cuts, some gluing, and then finishing this is what he made:

Wine Rack 12-2021

I think this one is a bit deeper than the rack in the picture. It was also supposed to be as tall as his mom’s kitchen counter, but I made him add felt to the feet so they wouldn’t scratch up her newly finished floor. That raised it about 1/4″ above the counter. Oops.

Wine Rack 3 12-2021

He did a beautiful job on it.

We took it over to her house the other night when she was gone so that we could surprise her.

Wine Rack 2 12-2021

The next woodworking project Jay completed was a gift for me. I had asked for a box that would allow my 403A to sit in my main sewing table. I took pictures, but somehow I didn’t download them to the computer and I want to get this post published tonight. It looks very similar to this one:

Sewing Cabinet 6 4-17-20

But it fits my 403A, which I used to sew the lunch bags and really like using now.

Singer 403A

It is currently in its place and I’m so happy! I have a list of sewing projects a mile long and I can’t wait to get started on them.

Another Christmas gift Jay made for me were some little shelves.

3D Puzzle Shelves 2021

They are on my finishing table for staining and poly-ing.

You may be wondering why I asked for a bunch of little shelves. What could I possibly want to put on them?

3D Wooden Puzzles on Entertainment Center 2021

3D wooden puzzles!

I would like to reclaim the top of my entertainment center. They are neat to look at, and Jay spent a lot of time assembling them, so I told him we can put shelves up in the family room to display the collection. After all, this just scratches the surface. There are about a dozen in the basement.


One last set of items Jay worked on for Christmas gifts isn’t exactly woodworking, but they were made on a lathe (does that count?).

Turned Seam Ripper 12-2021

This was the one he made for me. The pictures do NOT do this justice. It’s gorgeous in person.

Have you guessed what it is?

Turned Seam Ripper

It’s a seam ripper (which will get a LOT of use in my sewing room!) with a small and large end. I also asked him to put a bit of a flat on one side so that when I set it down on my table it doesn’t roll away. He made one for his mom, my sister and my mom. I didn’t take pictures of those ones, though. Just imagine them as purple, pink and really shiny.

I guess that’s about it for Jay’s Christmas projects. He’s currently working on a project that involves something he received for Christmas, so I’ll post about that when he gives me the pictures.

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