Thursday, May 05, 2011

Bicycle basket liner

I bought a front bike basket for my bike a few months ago. The main idea was to have a basket in which my little dog, a Chihuahua/Pug mix, could ride. The first one I bought had wires with significant room between them--but was nearly half the price of the Topeak basket that I've linked.

When I went to put it on, the directions were confusing... and I found it had to be permanently mounted. If I wanted to remove it, it would require screwdrivers and wrenches. No, thanks.

The Topeak basket was a b*tch to install, and required some creativity for how to attach a bike light in front, but it's been great. It's not too heavy, not awkward to bike with (I was afraid that it would prevent me from seeing road hazards), and removes easily. The one thing we learned quite quickly was that its mesh is nearly exactly the size of my Chug's nails--that was a painful, bloody lesson. :(

I went Googling, and found a series of bike-basket liners that folks had made. This was my favorite, but unlike others, it has no pattern. I mused and pondered, and today I made a paper pattern.

My son and I have been watching Project Runway, but we rarely saw people make patterns--the show is more likely to show people fitting, sewing, cutting. They mention pattern-making, but don't show much of the process.

I'm here to tell ya: It's hard! I was lucky to have some newsprint from a recent Campmor shipment, but holding it in place inside the basket and making a pattern was definitely a trial-and-error (and mostly error) process.

Then I went looking in my fabrics. I don't have a lot (thank God--I do, however, own 31 miles of yarn), and rediscovered some lovely flower-print fabric that I'm newly enthused about making into curtains. But I did have a good-sized piece of some lovely gold-patterned fabric. I don't know what I'd intended it for (and it now occurs to me that I'll have enough left for pillow covers--new look for the couch!), but I'm using it for this, now.

I have patterns for the base of the basket liner (to be stuffed with fiberfill or with batting, for comfort) and for the outside. I'll put the seam at the back of the basket, and add some sort of stiffener inside. I'm torn between stiff interfacing and plastic mesh. (Opinions welcome!) I do want to include a pocket or two for his leash and maybe my phone.

I can't wait to have a liner--my deadline is June 5, the next Family Ride (scroll down a bit and click on Family Ride). We did the May 1 one and had a blast, but my makeshift basket liner slipped and poor Chester did get his nail caught for a bit--I managed to free it before he injured himself, but it was tense for a moment there.

I'm not sure if it'll be fine as is, or if I should add ties or some sort of magnet-tie-that-sticks-to-itself thing.

Really am looking forward to my basket liner, though!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fun meme

A meme I spotted elsewhere (no one tagged me)--

Out of the top 50 yarns on Ravelry (by number of projects):
Bold the ones you’ve used and would use again,
Cross out the ones you’ve used and would not use again,
and italicize the ones you’ve never tried, but would like to.
Add comments as desired, and then pass the meme along to 5 knitters/crocheters.
Link back to this post and to the person who tagged you.

(Comparison to 2008: The only yarns that stayed in the same place were #1 Cascade 220 and #26 Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.)

Ready? Here’s my list:

1, Cascade 220 Wool, 69497 projects – I like it, great yardage, good colors, could be softer.
2, Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted, 61991 projects. Never used it, but I've felt Mmmmmalabrigo in the stores, and am a little afraid of loving it. Spendy!
3, Red Heart Ltd. Super Saver Solids, 56976 projects I wouldn't necessarily choose it, but sometimes it's a necessary evil.
4, Caron Simply Soft, 51663 projects One of the nicer acrylics, a friend introduced me. This one gets to stay.
5, Lily Sugar’n Cream Solid, 47378 projects I do like making dishcloths, even though this hurts my hands a bit.
6, Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Solids and Heathers, 40658 projects
7, Patons Classic Wool Merino, 40223 projects – Love the sweater I made with this. A little too many short fibers for my taste, but the price is right.
8, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solid, 38033 projects I have some of this in my stash, but haven't knit with it yet. Seems soft enough, and the price was right.
9, Noro Kureyon, 30153 projects I've used Kochoran, so I know how enchanting the colors can be. But I also know weird plasticky fibers will be mixed in! Bleah! Plus, spendy.
10, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, 27181 projects Ugh. The mohair makes me crazy.
11, Cascade 220 Heathers, 26893 projects Got some of this in my stash.
12, Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, 25755 projects
13, Noro Silk Garden, 25585 projects If I find it on sale...
14, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, 24959 projects Seems scratchy to me. My sister has some.
15, Lion Brand Homespun, 4296 projects Yuck.
16, Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co., Inc Peaches & Creme Solids, 22560 projects
17, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, 22225 projects
18, Lily Sugar’n Cream Ombres & Prints, 22139 projects I love my dishcloths out of this.
19, Cascade 220 Superwash, 21386 projects Seemed even softer than regular 220 to me. Plus, it has a soft spot in my heart, as it's the first yarn DS ever bought me!
20, Patons Classic Wool, 21006 projects Classic Wool Merino is up there at #7. Why are there two entries? Neither has much, if any, merino, IIRC.
21, Plymouth Encore Worsted, 3573 projects Affordable, washable, and soft enough; this one's a staple.
22, Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co., Inc Peaches & Creme Ombres, 18685 projects
23, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky , 17260 projects
24, Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM), 5094 projects Lovely stuff, but way too pricey.
25, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock – Lightweight, 3723 projects Too rich for my blood.
26, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 16850 projects Hate the low yardage in all the Debbie Bliss yarns.
27, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, 2286 projects Maybe some day, but maybe not.
28, Knit Picks Palette, 1765 projects Wish I could bold it twice. LOVE Palette. Pleasant to knit with, wonderful for stranded projects, lots of colors. My two small peeves: they keep discontinuing colors, and it felts.
29, Malabrigo Sock, 15036 projects
30, Red Heart Super Saver Multis/Ombres, 14548 projects
31, Rowan Kidsilk Haze, 3203 projects Yes,I know why it's called Cracksilk Haze.
32, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, 3751 projects
33, Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica, 14030 projects Some odd colorways. Not crazy about the price/yardage.
34, Malabrigo Lace, 13692 projects
35, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi, 13534 projects
36, Knit Picks Swish Worsted, 12397 projects
37, Dream in Color Classy, 1838 projects SO spendy!
38, Knit Picks Stroll Solids, Heathers & Tweeds, 11834 projects
39, Zitron Trekking (XXL), 3348 projects I have some in my stash. It's really fine. Knit on size 0s? Gad.
40, Berroco Comfort Solids & Heathers, 11771 projects
41, Noro Kureyon Sock, 11661 projects I have some in my stash. Super thin and sometimes uneven. But the colorways, oh the colorways.
42, Dream in Color Smooshy, 11601 projects
43, Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash, 11598 projects
44, Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, 11473 projects
45, Garnstudio DROPS Alpaca, 11351 projects
46, Bernat Satin Solids, 11148 projects
47, Cascade Ecological Wool (Eco-Wool), 11107 projects Not the softest stuff, but the yardage is great, and the new colors are amazing.
48, Colinette Jitterbug, 2090 projects Beautiful colorways, but absolutely crap yardage, especially for the price.
49, Red Heart Soft Yarn Solids, 10851 It is really soft. For my friends who would felt something made from Cascade 220.
50, Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn! Solids, 10741 projects. I might knit with this, but we have no Hobby Lobby.