Canvas log carrier
My latest project is a canvas bag for carrying logs, which I’m rather pleased with. I didn’t know such things existed until I saw one at someone’s house recently and thought, “That’s just what we need for bringing firewood in!” Until now we’ve used one of those big, squashy, plastic builder’s buckets with handles. It has the advantage that nothing drops out of it, but it looks pretty awful in the house and it’s too big to carry easily, for me at least. So I set about looking at what is available to buy or make in the way of canvas carriers.
The ones I found were of three basic designs: a simple rectangle with a handle at each side, but nothing to stop bits of bark and beetles from falling out; the same but with fixed ends; and a square with a handle on each side, like a gardener’s tarpaulin. I wanted something that would not trail debris through the house and would sit alongside the woodburning stove looking reasonably neat when filled with logs, which ruled out the rectangle and the square version as that just collapses when you aren’t carrying it by all four handles. The kind with sewn-in ends looks smarter, although there are advantages to having a bag that can be laid flat on the ground to be filled with logs. I experimented with designs based on a French breadbasket (a flat piece of cloth that ties at each corner) and native-American birch bark buckets (made from a rectangle of bark with folds at each end), but neither seemed appropriate for a heavy-duty tote. I went back to the type with sewn-in ends.
The whole thing cost nothing because I used canvas and webbing left over from another project, a hanging chair. In case you’re wondering about the diagonal flat-felled seam, it’s not a design feature, it’s just that I needed to join the fabric to give me a big enough piece to work with. The carrier now has pride of place next to the wood-burning stove I made from a gas cylinder a few years ago.
The second bag is completely different. I wish I could say that I’d made it, but it was bought while I was in Germany a couple of weeks ago. I fell in love with the fabric which is an exquisitely detailed woven tapestry of cupcakes. There were other bags in equally desirable designs, like the cute dog below.
The bags are made by a German firm and a bit of Googling led me to the fabric manufacturer, a Flemish (of course!) company near Lille called Art de Lys. Unfortunately, it appears from their website that they don’t generally sell fabric, just cushions and other accessories. The bag manufacturer must have the fabric made specially for them. The cupcake bag is a present for a niece and I will keep my eyes peeled in furnishing fabric shops for a modern tapestry fabric that I can use to make a similar one for myself.
Knitting project update
The Wingspan scarf/shawl I started knitting as light relief from the gansey is finished and blocked. The jagged edge around my neck gives me a slightly jester-ish look, but what the heck, I like it anyway. Two balls of King Cole’s inexpensive Riot yarn were enough for both a larger-than-specified Wingspan and a little brioche stitch scarf, It Takes Two. I even have some left over – maybe enough for a pair of fingerless hand-warmers?
One of my favourite local yarn shops, the Skep in Farsley (between Leeds and Bradford), has got a new website and now sells online. I’ve always found them very helpful and friendly, well worth calling in if you are in the area. There is an extensive range of patchwork and quilting materials as well as yarns from several quality brands.
I am knitting Nanook, with its lacy collar and open fronts. The collar is done but I’m a little worried about the amount of yarn it has taken, I just hope I have enough.