Rosebud Book Bag

bud bag 1I actually finished a project! I’m so proud of me! Just in time, too, because I have two other projects waiting to get started.

I’ve been obsessed with interlocking crochet for maybe a year and a half, when I took a chance and bought a book on it. Probably the book on it, considering the title. The book is worth it if you like this style at all. It has pretty clear instructions for getting started and some nice project patterns in the back, but what I like best is picking a stitch pattern I like and then inventing something to do with it. Which is how I semi-invented the Rosebud Book Bag.

If you’re not familiar with interlocking crochet, you’re basically making two blocks of filet crochet (little open boxes) at the same time, one behind the other, and weaving them into a pattern row by row as you go. It makes a thick, reversible double layer that looks fancy as hell even though it’s pretty simple.

ic book
this is the book

I don’t have a specific pattern, but I can run through the basic process. I used Sweet Georgia superwash worsted wool (in cherry and peashoot, I think?) and a D hook.

  1. Make a nice, big rectangle of your favorite interlocking pattern. I eyeballed mine against a large-ish paperback novel. With this yarn and hook, mine was 26 boxes across and about 46 rows high.
  2. For the handle I made one long row of red filet boxes and threaded a nice, tight chain of the green through it. I made it long enough to run down the body of the bag, creating skinny little sides for it.
  3. I used slip stitch crochet to join strap and bag. I just like the structured effect it produces. I counted about 18 squares up the strap and started attaching from there, stitching those 18 squares to the front side of the bag. when I reached the strap end, I made three stitches across that, being sure to stitch through that green chain as well, then stitched up the other side until I reached that 18th square. At that point my skinny bag side was done.

    bud bag side
    Sorry I didn’t take process photos. Next time.
  4. Instead of cutting and doing the other side separately, I continued my slip stitches around just the top of my interlocking rectangle (how the top flap of the bag. This created a nice, continuous slip stitch line while also joining the red and green interlocking layers neatly.
  5. Once I got across to the other side, I carefully counted the joining stitches from step 3 to make sure I started joining at the same place on the second side. Making sure not to twist the strap in the process, I counted 18 squares from the free end and started joining.
  6. Once that was all joined up I continued the slip stitches across the front edge of the bag (joining the red and green layers again), ending in the corner where I started.
bud bag reverse
reverse pattern
bud bag 2
rosebud vines

Bone Records

Someday, when I have more money to spend, I would love to collect Roentgenizden, or bone records.

For quite a while after World War II, the Soviet Union had a black market record trade. A whole host of songs and musicians, even homegrown Soviet songs and musicians, were banned for various reasons, so people had to pass the music among themselves. Record players could be put together at home, but vinyl for pressing records was much harder to come by, so creative music lovers used x-ray plates instead. They called them bone records, or ribs, or Roentgenizden (after Wilhelm Roentgen, who discovered x-rays), and they’re beautiful. I love the haunting images x-rays produce, and I love the history and the dedication to music behind bone records.

Unfortunately, after all this time they’re also a bit rare and expensive. You can find them on eBay but they’ll cost you quite a bit. I doubt they’ll get any cheaper, since there’s now a book (available used) on bone records and a documentary going around the international film festivals as we speak.

 

I just got the book in the mail but I haven’t sat down to read it yet. It’s part coffee table book and part history of bone records. I’m excited to get into it.

How about all of you? Is there something you’d love to collect that you just can’t afford? Would you buy a bone record if you could? I have an x-ray of my kid’s broken arm but I think she’d be mad if I turned it into art. It’s not her fondest memory.

Bat and Butterfly: Keeping House with Non-Goths

I’ve been revamping our bathroom. It’s slow going because I’m fitting it around a bunch of other obligations, but it’s happening. Piece by piece, our bathroom plan is taking shape.

Mr. Robot is not goth. He loves and accepts me enough that if I really really needed to paint our walls black and perch gargoyles everywhere he would support me, but he wouldn’t really enjoy it. We compromise–some things are lighter than I’d like, some things are darker than he’d like, and on some things (taxidermy and fantasy/horror landscapes) we agree.

mysterious marshAs for the bathroom, we’ve agreed for ages that it looked boring and a bit shabby, and a few months ago I discovered that fantasy shower curtains exist and my plan began to take shape. I was tempted by the graveyard scenes and spooky woodland scenes, but that was too much for Robot and the kids, so we settled on a green “mysterious marsh.”

Putting that up inspired us to finally replace our faucet (very old and starting to fall apart) and finally buy a proper soap dispenser and a few other odds and ends. Mr. Robot and I usually agree when it comes to vintage looks, so I’m aiming for a cross between Plantation style (bright colors and dark accents) and “old farmhouse” style. Lucky for us, oiled bronze and antique touches seem popular right now so stuff we both liked was easy to find.

The next, and biggest, step was the painting. I finally found a Saturdafaucety to paint the walls “Simply Seafoam” green and one of these days I’ll get the doors painted “Churchill Hotel Vanilla.” We don’t have the time or money to replace the worn floor or ivory-and-blue countertop, so we picked the paint to work with those.

One of these days I’ll probably get a new light fixture and maybe some matching towel racks, and I already have a plan for decorating the walls. I want to put up some vintage black-and-white photos, with black frames and mattes to look like antique scrapbook pages. I was searching the internet for vintage photos to buy and then realized how silly it is to buy photos when I already have a bunch of antique photos of my actual ancestors I should use. I’m excited to get it done, but I won’t have time to start for at least a week. I’ll be sure to update with the final results.

The paint color changes with the light and my camera had a hard time deciding how to capture that shade. The bat was my touch–vynil sticker on the mirror–and the butterfly was Mr. Robot’s choice. I’m actually the one who bought it, years ago on a whim, and I didn’t know he even cared about it. As soon as the walls were dry, though, he was eager to get it back up where it’s always been. Now the butterfly and the bat are friends.