Diabetic Crafts

Carrying around two separate pouches/cases for insulin pens and a glucometer, all of which can be difficult to handle because they’re kept in place by elastic rings, has become very tiring for me. I sometimes forget one of the two, it can be a hassle to open two cases that can be clumsy in use, and in public places it tends to be awkward.

I’ve looked at diabetes clutches online, but they only provide room for 1 insulin pen. This baffles me, when I’m out and about I want both my basal and bolus insulin on hand in case I get stranded somewhere, or my plans run late etc. And what if I’m visiting family and staying around in the late evenings? I take my basal at 8pm every day, so that doesn’t work out.

Then there’s the question for this summer: how am I going to manage this with my Frio case? It’s not designed to fit in any clutch, and I’m not interested in carrying three separate bags in hot clammy weather.

So my solution was to make my own bag, big enough to toss everything in there without those awkward straps, with pockets on the inside for my needles and lancets, bandaids and alcohol wipes, and disposed needles and lancets. Best of all, big enough to easily hold my Frio case and flexible enough to stuff into another bag if necessary!

My only problem was that I had zero experience sewing bags and zippers, and I needed to step it up a notch by including inside pockets too. I sewed a little experimental bag with leftover denim from old jeans I no longer wore and was very successful! No lining in this one because it was unnecessary.

The sewing machine and sewing case I have are my mom’s cause she no longer sews, and she’d collected quite a few zippers. So naturally my first zipper bag was destined to become… a zipper bag!

On to the actual project, it was a moderate success. 🙂 Of course I made mistakes. I sewed the zipper on the wrong way the first time around, and had to undo all the seaming I did while cursing and being fed up. Second time around I noticed way too late that the zipper had been sewed on slightly askew, so it looks a little off now. Most importantly, it’s functional, fits everything I need and has room for then some, and it closes and opens properly without issues. I value functionality above looks at all times, so I don’t mind!

Fabrics used were more denim from old worn jeans, and the leftover cuts from my curtains that I had to trim. Zippers were picked from the assortment in my case based on length, not color.

One inside pocket is to hold my needles and lancets. The other is meant for the disposed needles and lancets, but also carries some alcohol wipes and band-aids for those pesky glucose checks that keep bleeding. The main pocket holds both my insulin pens, my glucometer, lancet device, testing strips and has room for glucose supplies, like little bags of Skittles. 🙂 Also featured it an activated Frio case with both insulin pens fitted nicely inside.

The case is pretty big at 18x25cms (7×10 inches) but I like it this way. The fabric is flexible enough that it will fit into most hand and shoulder bags easily. The opening is wide which means it’s easy to fish out the exact item I need. And I don’t have to deal with shoving everything back into an elastic band to keep it in place!

All in all, for my second attempt at a bag I’m very, very pleased. I’m happy I managed to recycle fabric as well. I’m looking for an iron-on design to put on the front to break the monotonous denim look now!

Knitting and bolus

Things have been going well in the past couple of weeks. I’m nearing a 3 week mark on the bolus and basal regime for my diabetes and my values are definitely doing better. I’ve got a good control on how to use the insulin, I track it really well and I keep in mind that I have insulin on board when I correct my values. I had to up my basal by 2 units but it seems to be doing its thing well now. I’ll have to figure out a good way to rotate injection sites; right now I just look for any red marks and try to inject a cm or two away from that on whichever side of my belly I’m on. I think I’ll divide my abdomen into 4 regions and rotate them clockwise every 2-3 days. (Is this where I’m thankful for a big belly because it means more space?)

have been dealing with a bad depression low. I isolated myself for a week or two and spent all of my time almost exclusively with one person who always helps me feel better. I’m slowly getting back on track now after that episode, so let’s hope things will look up shortly.

During these two weeks I focused on my ten stitch blanket for a while.

tenstitchblanket

I made more progress on it since taking this pic but it’s coming along super well. I finished all the yarn in this colorway and moved on to more scrap yarn. It’s 2×2 feet right about now, and I hope to knit it up to 6.5×6.5 feet at the end.

The Friendliest place on the Internet?

I honestly think that would be the RP Repository! You may have stumbled on a link to it around my blog, but today is its 6th birthday celebration and I want to let everyone know about it!

I joined this community a few months short of 6 years ago, and it has literally changed my life for the better. The community is one of the friendliest I have ever come across. The site owner honestly cares about her members and works hard to keep the site in tip-top shape with new features all the time to meet the members’ needs.

I had the pleasure of being a contributing member, and I remain one to this day! If you’re into roleplaying, character creation or similar topics, be sure to check us out!

http://www.rprepository.com

You’re still in time to come celebrate with us, too. 😉 Everyone is welcome!

A warm thank you to all the craft bloggers out there

Thank you for contributing your magnificent creations to the world.

Thank you for sharing your happy thoughts with us.

Thank you for sharing your frustrations with us.

Thank you for being so kind when helping others out.

Thank you for encouraging other crafters.

Thank you for being so generous with your time and creations.

When I first started blogging about knitting, I had no idea just how much I would find here on WordPress. There are so many lovely knitters and other crafters out there who make my days better by sharing their creations, and so many kind likes and comments on my own that make me warm and fuzzy on the inside.

It’s easy to feel like insignificant sources of noise on the world wide web, but then the connections happen. Wonderful, lasting connections with people from all around the world who each have something unique and delightful to contribute.

Please keep going, keep doing your thing! You’re making a difference in someone’s world.

Sewing the seeds of progress

On the menu is a knitted glucometer purse. As with most knitted containers, it will need a fabric lining to avoid overstretching, as well as a fancy zipper to keep things inside. This basically means that sewing is now, officially, on the menu.

And it’s terrifying.

I used to hand sew when I was a little kid, but besides some basic stitching and messing around, I never did anything. Nothing I made ever held up and I abandoned it fairly soon. I never was interested in learning how to machine sew either, so when I realized I had to figure out hand or machine sewing if I wanted to make this project work out, I panicked just a little.

I searched YouTube for videos on hand sewing and thought to myself “I can do this!”. But I didn’t really look forward to sewing the zipper into the purse by hand and so I started to think. I turned to my mom and asked her if she could show me how to use the sewing machine so I could practice and then sew the purse, and out of nowhere she told me I could just have it. A few days later I’m the proud new owner of a 30 year old sewing machine that still works really well.

My friend showed me how to use it as she does a lot of sewing very regularly, and we ran into some issues with tension and the bobbin screwing up so I took it to a shop for some maintenance. This afternoon I picked it up (the man in the store was very kind and carried it to my car for me so I wouldn’t stress my back!) and my mom invited me over to pick up some extra fabric and supplies she still had (including extra bobbins!). I sat down at the machine and gave it a whirl.

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For someone who never used a sewing machine before, I really want to say ‘not bad’. I couldn’t practice for very long due to my back issues, so I took a break, had some food and then came back a while later to try again.

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Hurray! (I don’t know what that mystery stain is, but I’m going to guess it’s some diet coke I must have spilled on my desk.) At this point I’m just messing around to try out different settings and become familiar with the machine’s little quirks and ways. Next up I’ll have to sew a mock purse and see how that works out. My main focus has to be starting and ending my sewing properly though, to ensure it’ll hold up!