Wednesday, April 01, 2009

As Much Fun as Knitting? I Think So.

***NOTE In response to queries all over the place today I am making the following announcement: This is NOT, repeat NOT an April Fool prank! When I posted this I didn't even know it was April first. I really WILL give away book and fabric, and Lexie really IS opening her retail shop this weekend! YAY!!!!****

This morning over breakfast I got to spend some quality time with something new. And I was so excited about the contents that I came right here to share. My coffee isn't even gone yet, AND I forgot my vitamins.

It's not a big secret on this blog that I am a bit of a lexie barnes freak. If you don't believe me, google "melissaknits lexie" and the first hits that come up are me blogging about, tweeting, commenting on other blogs, or just generally lusting over Lexie bags. I most recently succumbed to a new Lady B (since I only had one) and a backpack in two of my favorite fabrics, Diablo and Pacifica. I cherish my laptop bag. I adore my Darling. I prize my Lady B's. I dote on the minis. It is true to say I love them all. When my husband hears me "squee" about new Lexie fabrics, he cringes a little. And for the record, I don't squee much. They're that cool.

It's also not a big secret, although maybe a bit of one here, that I sew. Not as much now as in my old life since there's less time and my focus has changed. But I sew. I've sewn commercially, professionally, privately and personally. My kids wore things I made for them, my friends kids wore things I made for them, strangers paid me and they got stuff I sewed too. It's safe to say that if knitting had not come along when it did, I would still be easiest found parked in front of my sewing machine or serger or cutting table, surrounded by pieces on their way to becoming things. From garments to toys to costumes to (my favorite project of all time) the plastic windows of my father's old snowblower cover, I've just about sewn it all. The fabric stash in this house is topped only by the yarn stash.

It's also not a secret at ALL that I rarely read directions, and refer to patterns as "guidelines". When I do actually read something I modify, change, alter and build or rebuild to suit. So if you brought together Lexie, sewing, and free thinking all together in one place, it'd probably be a lot like happiness, right?

Guess what?
It's not just a book with basic patterns for how to make bags, although that would be awesome.
It's also not just a bunch of loose ideas that you get to muddle through.
It's not even just another sewing book.
It's way more.

You could be a total novice, a complete non-sewer, and this book would teach you enough skills and terminology to last a lifetime.If you're new to sewing, begin at the beginning. Read and learn. If you're an experienced home sewer, jump in and pick a pattern. If you're like me, be inspired. Design your own. Grab your Pekingese dog pull out the fabric you bought last year and start measuring.For those of you who are local and familiar (or unfamiliar, in fact especially if you're unfamiliar!) with lexie barnes bags, there is a VERY special event this weekend marking the opening of her new shop in South Deerfield. Promised are giveaways, discounted bags (!!!), and snacks from my favorite cafe, Woodstar in Northampton (home of the infamous gluten free lemon cupcake, and the most yummy mocha!). Stop by, say hi to Lexie for me (I will be teaching a class on home food preservation in Holyoke and may not make it back up the valley in time to attend, although my fingers are crossed!), buy a bag (or six.), have a snack, and celebrate the talented Ms. Barnes and all of her accomplishments; mother, bag and fabric designer extraordinaire, and published author all in one package.

Now, here's one last wee thing. I've decided to give away a copy of the book (maybe even signed if I can track down the author, which shouldn't prove too difficult) and enough fabric from my stash to make the Tool Tote on page 87. In order to enter, you need to comment below (you MUST enter your email address or Ravelry name in order for me to find you!) by midnight on Saturday April 11th. What are you waiting for?

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perfect timing. I sew too, my Grandmother started teaching me when I was 9 years old. I used to make 80% of my own clothes and sewed for my sons and the public too. I took up weaving and knitting in recent years, yet I still find myself in front of my trusty Pfaff rather often.

Right not I have two pieces of handwoven fabric that I will be making into knitting tote bags. I'm sure the book would provide some wonderful inspiration.

Deborah aka COAlpine on Rav

deborahcrane@yahoo.com

booksNyarn said...

Ooh! Ooh! Give me a reason to dust off my sewing machine. My email is on my Facebook - you know where to find me! :)

Lexie is opening a store in S. Deerfield? You are doing food preservation in Holyoke? Why didn't I know this? Where have I been? Oh yes, Indiana...baby...oh well...

Kristi

Melissa said...

I do a little sewing, not a lot. The last to sewn items were two different little bags for holding my sock knitting.

From the small preview of a couple of the patterns you gave in your post. The book looks more promising than other bag sewing books a flipped through at the bookstore.

Katy said...

Shhhh! Please stop telling people about the store opening. Or at least tell them it starts at 12:30 so I can get there first?

Suzanne said...

I am a bag glutton, so another chance to make bags out of some of the yards and yards of fabric I have would be fun and useful.

I really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for sharing your world.

-Suzanne

soozaknitter on Rav

Sarah Beth said...

This sounds exciting! I will have to visit her site. It sounds like you are blessed to be friends with some very creative people. Lucky You!
Thanks for offering the give-away.

LesboKnitter on Ravelry

Thanks,
Sarahbeth

Shel said...

My daughter-in-law and I busted out my sewing machine last weekend and spent Sunday brushing up on our sewing skills. We're planning "Project Sunday" each week and this book would keep us busy for many a Sunday..we might just have the whole family's Christmas gifts done before summer hits. Who doesn't love a new bag?

shel704 at aol dot com

AmIAKnitterYet said...

you know, my renewed interest in knitting has landed me thinking of spreading out a bit. This sounds like the kind of book that would hook a beginner like me and get me started...of course, I might be sewing knitting accessories but that's ok.

AmIAKnitterYet on ravelry.

SusanSW said...

Oooh--I didn't know about this book...and it looks like a good one too!!! I was just about to try and make up a tote (Step 1: become reacquainted with my sewing machine...take it slowly) or purse so this would be perfect for me. I guess if I don't win, I'll just have to go buy the book! Thanks Melissa.

beadmomsw@gmail.com

Beth said...

Wow, that book looks really cool! I haven't used my sewing machine lately, but have been thinking about it. This would be just the right inspiration. Need more bags.

Beth
motherhenb3@yahoo.com

ME215 said...

Funny, I learned to sew in 4-H all those years ago but haven't done much of anything since knitting took over my spare time. This book looks VERY cool. Sure wish I was still in CT, I'd definitely be there. so.....pick me....pick me..... :)

Oh and thanks for the reminder, I never took my vitamins either. In fact, haven't had any coffee yet either. I think it's time for both.

Mary Ellen (ME215)

BarbaraME said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ahisma said...

What a wonderful book, and very timely since I've been bemoaning my need for yet more project bags...seems someone's book got me hooked on socks. ;)

Samantha (ahisma on Rav)

sam (at) tomandsam (dot) com

Julia Grace said...

Looks like an awesome book! I totally want to make my own bag. Enter me into the contest/give away thingy. You can definitely find me too. =D

Are you making a bag to fit Dazee so you can walk around with her in a bag now???

pamM said...

Oh this looks so interesting...Of course I need another hobby like I need a hole in my head!!

Pam (aka Gorillakeeper on Rav)

lisaknits said...

Wow!! Would love a chance to win a copy!! I have been stashing fabric for tote bags..made myself one (no pattern) have similar sewing philosophy...patterns are guide for me..not because I am advanced LOL but the opposite. I once made Plynouth Plantation costumes for my son's entire class using common sense and sheer grit...never took any sewing classes and was spawned by a non-domestic mother..don't know where I got bitten by the "crafty" bug. hehe If I don't win..will still check the book out!! Best wishes ! lisarn9

Clari said...

What a fantastic prize! I have a sewing machine that I've used about 4 times since I bought it 8 years ago. I don't really know how to sew but have lofty aspirations to learn. Right now, knitting socks is my passion but that could easily become an obsession with sewing if I find the right instructions. If Lexie's book is anything like your 2 at a time socks knitting book, I'll be sewing like there's no tomorrow. BTW, my Rav name: claribel

Noelle said...

Ohhhh, this would be a perfect way to get me to 1) actually learn to use the sewing machine my mother gifted me and 2) use all the vintage fabric she gave me too! Imagine the cool bags I could make!!

noeller67 on Rav

saracan said...

That book looks awesome. My previous attempts at bags have yielded giant, and very tiny, results.

I still, however, hold onto my dream of being a domestic goddess...instead of a domestic disaster.

saracan on Rav

Deborah said...

You have such a dry sense of humor and I get a real kick out of you when you post! I always forget you are here in Mass, I would love to win the book, I am definitely a beginner sewer, let's leave it at that! I hope this isn't an April Fool's.

Tricia said...

That book looks amazing!

Gerry said...

I LOVE making bags of all types !!!! second only to knitting 2aat sox with the help of your book. ;-D

Gerry in Jefferson City
aka known on Rav as GerryH

noallatin said...

I would like to win the book. It looks like fun.

I'm noallatin on ravelry.

coffeechris said...

I am sew sew so so ready for a new Spring Bag...this sounds like the perfect inspiration to make it!
creativechris@msn.com

Work said...

This is the perfect opportunity to finally use the sewing machine my mom gave me for Christmas (which is still in the box!).

Tracy (phoenixfire@ravelry)

Melodie, rav id melthomas said...

The book looks awesome! I would love to go to the store but don't live nearby. Thanks for doing the giveaway.

Diane said...

I am on a bag kick as well. I've done a few including an amy butler bag. Glad to hear I'm not the only knitter who's also a quilter/sewing enthusiast.

dianeloehr@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Sewing was my first love. I took up knitting because I needed something portable when my son started sports. I love making bags, and your "patterns are guidelines" comment is SOOO true for me too.

Lyndy, Rav id lyndystitches

Anonymous said...

I love bags and sewing. When my girls were younger I would smock and sew all of their Easter Dresses until my oldest (I think 12 then) said she wanted a real dress, haha. How cool of you to share!

Cheryl aka cottongirl on Rav.

Paulette said...

I AM SUCH A BAG LADY!! I too, sewed most every day of life (for one of my 6 kids usually) a few years ago, and have since been pulled away to the world of crochet. But, sewing bags is one area of sewing that I left untapped and it calls me back every time I see a bag I like. This book sounds perfect!

Love your book. My next pair of socks will be to try to figure out toe up. Paulette

fuzzy-slipper@rogers.com or
fuzzy-slipper on Ravelry

Anonymous said...

I too start my crafty endeavors with sewing. Around age 7, I was making clothes from patterns and my first 2 years in college I worked in a fabric store. As I've gotten older, other crafts have come and gone.

Knitting is the one that has stuck, although I recently started sewing again. Lexie Barnes' bags are lovely and I'm sure her book is gorgeous.

Diane in Northern CA
Ravelry: NorthsideKnitter

ikkinlala said...

This looks like a wonderful book!

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

Ruth said...

Found your blog through Ravelry--I'm going to attempt knitting 2 socks at once. I love to knit, but my first love is sewing. Thanks for the chance at this great giveaway.
ravelry name: sewchic

Anonymous said...

The book looks cool, thanks for the chance to win it. Though the book I'm most excited about is your book number 2 coming out . . . not soon enough!
Barbara
Barbula on Ravelry

marecolt said...

Have fun at the event. BTW - I want the book!!

Mary Barker
mbarker615@yahoo.com

marecolt said...

I want the book!!! Have fun at the event!

Mary Barker
mbarker615@yahoo.com

Lisa (JeepGirl) said...

I got a sewing machine for christmas two years ago and haven't used it at all... I don't know how to sew and am very scared to try. I know - what is the worst that can happen?!

I'm going to have check out some more info after reading how much you enjoy it!!

JeepGirl on Ravelry

Tara said...

I'm a bit of a beginner on the sewing machine, but this book looks fabulous! I'm a little sad that I have plans in Boston this weekend, otherwise I'd head out to the store.
Taralyn1104@gmail.com

Clarice said...

I just finished having a conversation with my aunt about how sewing intimidates me a bit but that I still want to learn one day. If I mastered crochet, I can sew too! I found your post on Ravelry in the 2-at-a-time sock group. I'm CraftyBrazilian on Ravelry.

PS: Your dog is sooo cute!

Randy said...

I'm a beginner and think this would be way cool.

Randy
crmartin on Ravelry

Anonymous said...

Count me in!!! I sew on rare occasions....used to quilt.

I can't remember my password for Google....I'm swknits on Rav.

Anonymous said...

Oooh! I recently ordered some beautiful fabrics with the intent of sewing up some project bags! Thanks for sharing info about the book.


Patti

fuzzyslippers on Ravelry

Jen said...

Me! Me! Ooh! Ooh! I am yarnhoardinmama on Ravelry.

marcy said...

would love the chance to own the book! thanks for entering me.
Camp is amazing! you'll will have an equally wonderful time at sock summit!
learned to spindle spin today after trying to be a faster knitter. group scavenger hunt tonight. Tina ans steph came up with quite a list of items!!! lol
knittinggolfer on rav and you have my email :-)

Cathie said...

I love Lexie Barnes bags and think it is cool she wrote a book!
cathiek@roadrunner.com

Minh said...

I will dust off my sewing machine if I get a cute helping dog like yours!!

Seema said...

Wow! This is so exciting. I am in desperate need of improving my sewing skills so this would be great. I can be found on Ravelry as 'seema'.

:)

Parenting Boys said...

Oh wow, I could sooooo do with this book!!! :)

By the way, I learnt to knit socks with your book and I won't knit them any other way, to the dismay of my local knitting group ;)

My Ravelry name: TricotinTricota

Cheers,
Corinne

MandieLeeS said...

I am a 22 year old college student who picked up knitting to relive the stress of taking 6 courses every semester. This semester I have to do a 400 hour unpaid internship, plus a class, plus work nights to make a living. Needless to say I've been knitting a lot. I would love to learn how to sew, I have a sewing machine but I haven't used it much so I feel, from your discription of the book, it would be perfect to learn from. Plus, when I saw that it was a book on how to sew bags the first thing I thought of was sewing little back to hold my 2 at time socks in progress haha. This would really cheer me up. My blogger name is MandieLees, that is also my name on Ravelry. My e-mail is amandaleestevens@gmail.com. Thanks! :-)

Amy Jackson said...

Awesome! This gives me perfect incentive to use up all of my stashed fabric. WEEE :)

P.S. My name is Amy (hoppingdeer on Rav)

bluekaeru said...

Please enter me. I am all about a good functional bag.

Robin said...

I wish I lived there so I could go to the store opening, I love her bags! I've been planning to take a sewing class simply because I want a custom made knitting bag and this book would be a great start.

rmsknits on Ravelry

Stephanie said...

I'd love to sew more. I'm pretty much a beginner with the machine but I do love bags and that looks like an amazing book!

stephanie.sae@gmail.com
rav - saes

Sinéad said...

I'm just learning to sew, I acquired a 100 year old manual machine from my Mom to practice on!
My ravelry name is Sinead

Kristen said...

That looks like a really great book! And your pekingese is pretty cute. He/she looks like my friend's Peke, Sparrow.

I'm globalite on Rav.

tina said...

Did you say LEXIE?????

I think it is probably a good thing that I can't pop in and spend some moolah. Since for the moment my discretionary $$ is buying new furniture for the loft.

But that doesn't mean later.........

Karen said...

I'd love to get my sewing machine running and make oodles of bags--- so count me in! Love your sock book, it helps get the two of them done..

Karen

kwonset on ravelry

Yvonne in Southwest Virginia said...

Awesome book---and how cruel of you to bring it to my attention. lol If I give up an hour of sleep every night---people can get along very well on 4 hours of sleep a day, right?

Marvel said...

I love bags - all types of bags! Knit, sewn or store bought - it doesn't matter. Thanks for this contest/giveaway.

My ravelry name is Flamingo.
My email is tomnofziger@wavecable.com
My real name is Marvel

Anonymous said...

Ravelry Name: Wildfire
Email: rekkanotara@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I had a chance to preview Lexie's book at the Hand Across the Valley Quilt Shop last month--wonderful book for beginners and experienced sewers. Cyndi

cynshepATcomcastDOTnet

Anonymous said...

Good morning,
I would love to go to the Lexie Barnes open house. However, it is a bit far from IL.
I sew some. I need to get going on a t-shirt quilt for my already graduated from high school daughter.
Thanks for a chance in your contest. Lynn
cbruff8624@aol.com

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! Thank you for introducing me to Lexie Barnes! wouldn't this make the most perfect spring bag? I think Lexie now has a new follower!

P.S. I love your blog AND your book!

Vanessa
pineneedles4@yahoo.com
ravelry id: pineneedles4

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your dog!! What a great idea, I have a daughter that just got her first sewing macine from her grandma and she is a sewing machine herself. She has made clothes for her 4 small kids without using patterns?? I am so proud of her.
AND, thank you myself for the Sock Book....could never have knit two at a time if if wasn't for you!!

Llamanator on Ravelry

robinadair26@yahoo.com

jen said...

cool stuff! love the bags and i've really enjoyed your book. i look forward to adding it to my library.

i'm DeltaKnitChick on ravelry

Kitten_lion said...

Oh I secretly love her stuff! It is a little out of my girly quota but I fondle her fabric everytime I see it.
KittenLion @ ravelry

Ellen said...

Just got my first Lady B and I love it.
Thanks for the opportunity to win the book. Looks like a great resource and lots of inspiration.
Cheers,
Ellen

ellenronnie on ravelry

AmyL said...

Hi, too cool. I sew a little, but am determined to start more this summer. I also love to knit, so this would be awesome for me. My email is amyleistiko@yahoo.com. Thanks so much!
BTW, adorable puppy. Mine help me create new things too. :)

ewewho said...

This is too cool.I didn't realize when I joined the group that the moderator was famous! So if I win...great...if not, c'est la vie. I can't believe my good fortune to be learning from an expert.

basikblk@yahoo.ca
Ravelry name = 1Happy Granny

Sarah said...

i sew also - i switch between knitting and sewing bags/clothes/quilts.

on rav, i'm sewsarah

pat said...

I was a quilter/sewer before being taken over by the knitting bug....it would be good to dust off the Bernina and Pfaff and Singer Featherweight...and do some sewing again! The bags look wonderful!

d33wcb on rav

Gina Wolf said...

Oh I love to sew and I love bags! That book is so drool worthy and i would have so much fun with it. I can picture many skeins of yarn poking out the top of a bag sewn by me... hmmmmm....

wolf.gina@gmail.com
ravelry name glwolf

KSee said...

I too made some of my kids clothes when they were very young. My son would wear out his knees (before it was fashionable) I know the book would help me finish up some felted bags and dust off the sewing machine.

Dee said...

So many projects, so little ... Oh, well. This book looks tempting - can't wait to see it up close!

highflydee at yahoo dot com

Yarnhog said...

Okay. So there's just a chance that something like this could finally force me to figure out how to use the incredibly cool 1930's sewing machine I inherited from my great-grandmother and great-aunt, which both they and my mother used to make all their own clothes for decades. I'm terrified of sewing machines. I'm convinced that slashing needle is going to grab my hand and yank it in and stab it repeatedly while I scream and yank futilely at it. Or that I'm going to have to thread it. One of the two.

Anonymous said...

Yo mama,
Thanks to my dad, I wrote to you, you replied, and I visited your site - AND, see a most neat new bag book - I LOVE bags, and bag books - and I'll do everything I can to fuel your raison d'etre! Foithermore, you've saved me from another Saturday "plan" of cleaning because I'll be visiting Lexie's new store. I just got some vintage coated cotton (fruits, of course) to make a big bag to hold my other bags...pup tent size.
Will miss seeing you - and your little dog, too!
Heshi heshi@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

forthebirds

remeber me??? Help, I'm lost at work!! And there is no translation!!!

busyHSmom said...

As a knitter and a sewer I am drooling! Pick me! Pick me!! Please!

busyHSmom said...

On closer inspection, I realize that I have another book in this series titled "Sew What! Skirts!" I LOVE that book! Just wanted to recommend it highly to you and your readers.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! I love Lexie's bags, too.

sparkle302 on Ravelry