Monday, 29 June 2015

Making: A Million Rope Bowls

Maybe not a million rope bowls, but I have definitely made 20 of these things! It might have been pinterest or a google search that revealed the rope bowl to me, but after I found the tutorial on Pair & A Spare DIY blog, I stored it away on a pinboard as a maybe project. I'm not sure about you, but I like sewing the most... and then I don't mind craft but would probably prefer knitting or crochet over learning a new craft or fiddling around with dinky craft things.

I am definitely not a Martha Stewart type, and perhaps not a huge interior decorator even... and it's actually been a great break from our 'things' being here in China... as I'm learning what I do and don't like in a home... I totally like a few personal touches and photographs and plants... I love these indoor plants we have here in Shanghai. But looking around our apartment, it's not really that decorated. Maybe I'll get the urge when we move back home again... but I'm enjoying the minimalist approach for now.


When you find a quick tutorial like the Rope Bowl one, and then a few weeks later when you're looking for something to make a 'fishing rod' for your two year old at the fabric/haberdashery markets of Shanghai... you stumble upon rope supply HEAVEN. YOU HAVE TO BUY THE ROPE. You just have to!

They are the most relaxing things to make as once you start the zig zag stitching bit (the hardest bit is forming the coil to begin with, I've tried different ways, and the centre cross - as you can see in the messy black one - is the most secure for me, but you can hand stitch maybe?) ... as once you get on a bit of a roll, it's just the whirl of the machine and then when you lift the base to form the walls of the bowl, you actually feel like you're making a pottery bowl... around and around... whirrrrrr. Oh, so calming!

I'll write up a blog post soon about the market's back streets (because there are even more bargains behind the actual market!) but there was just all kinds of cords and ropes to buy and really cheap! I would love to try dying (maybe Shibori!) and finding more different looks. These ones here I sent home with Mum as presents for her and my sister in law, so I won't show you all of them but these are the larger ones. I've since experimented with coloured threads and with flecks of threads through the white stitching.


At the moment, I'm storing toys in the larger ones, little coins & things on my desk and elastics on my sewing desk for the smaller ones. Of course they'll look gorgeous with all your knitting yarn in them, because they do look cute with lots of colourful toys! I want to work out how to sew handles with the rope, because when I tried a handle (like a basket) it all kind of went floppy. Anyways, I really enjoy these as a lovely sewing project between garment sewing!

OH and I clicked through the Pair & a Spare tutorial, and the concept is by Melbourne maker Gemma Patford (she also runs workshops!)! Hi Gemma, and thanks! (And I won't link to the rope bowl tutorial on the Martha Stewart website, because it's all glued together. Which could be fine too... but sewing feels like the calming pottery wheel... ahhhhh.)

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