Archive for the ‘Bags’ Category

Verde!

June 3, 2009

New pattern, available at PopknitsVerde is a green string bag knit out of recycled cotton.  This was my secret project for April, and it was a pretty relaxing knit, for the most part, save for the handle, which was reknit several times over.  I had a hard time settling on the perfect stitch pattern and needle size to create a really firm handle that wouldn’t stretch downward too much when worn and wouldn’t dig into the shoulder.  Many thanks to the Lady, who, during this period, looked at a proto-handle and suggested going down in needle size and using some kind of woven stitch.

When it came time to take the pictures for this project, I thought we might as well take them on an actual family outing, when we were putting the bag to use.  The photos were taken on our trip to Ardenwood Farm, which I mentioned previously.  Our picnic blanket and Nora’s Fleesa are shoved in there.  We’ve since used the bag for groceries and discovered that we can fit a whole heck of a lot of them in there!  The butterfly lace is super stretchy.

My husband has asked me to make a few more of these, so it’s a hit at our house!  I hope you can use it, too!

More soon, as I’m finally recovering!

Good things, disaster, and starteritis

October 12, 2007

The most beautiful green yarn, the very yarn I’ve been lusting after since the beginning of summer, showed up on my doorstep, courtesy of Blue Garter Sarah.  That’s a magnificent skein of Dream in Color Smooshy, in the Happy Forest colorway.  And it being as gorgeous as ever I imagined it, I couldn’t resist casting on right away and starting on the Clementine Shawlette from the Spring issue of Interweave Knits.

As you can see, it’s a super fast knit – this represents less than two days worth of knitting, and it’s an easy, mindless pattern in many respects once you get to the straight part, but interesting enough not to get boring.  Of course, the magnificent greens make it hard to get bored as well.  All the shaping is cleverly kept within the inner increases and decreases, which I personally have found a lot easier than shaping the outer edges.

It’s a rainy day, so the light here wasn’t the best, and my picture quality is limited.  I’m sure there will be more pictures as I progress, though.  Onward to disaster.

Willow is dead. Felted to death by her creator, she is no more.

I thought that perhaps if I cut off the button bands and collar and re-knit them, that she could be saved, but alas, there is no hope. I did cut off the button bands and the collar, as you can see, and it was then that it became obvious that the shrinking had not made the coat any less wide, though it made it shorter and placed the shoulders in a ridiculous and undignified position. They are puffy and set too far down my arms now. Even if I had mad seamstress-y skillz, I do not think I could rescue Willow.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk about this, but I’m trying to look on the bright side. I learned a lot, and I know I’d like to knit Willow again. It was a fast and fun project, and now I know all kinds of things about felting that I didn’t know before. Like, for example, don’t use it to shrink a too big sweater coat.

I have no real desire to dwell on such a sad demise, however, and wish only to say that while Willow will be missed and lamented, she is not the only knit out there.  I’ve had a spate of starteritis lately.  Besides the pink diamond wrap which you saw in a previous post, I’m still working on Nora’s Tomten, and I’ve been swatching the Cascade Luna for a scarf, and finding that it hasn’t the stitch definition for a DNA cable scarf.  I’ve tried a variety of stitch patterns, and so far nothing is jumping out at me, but I got some good advice on Ravelry and shall keep plugging away at it.

I also knit a Twitterpated purse, originally intended for self use, but now going to the growing pile of finished holiday knits.

Related challenge: finding the box in which all my fabrics are packed to make the lining.

The yarn used is a random wool acquired in a swap, and I laced just a little leftover Cotton Glace through the top, which actually enhanced the frills pretty well.  I’m a little sick of garter stitch, though, between this and the Tomten.  One can have too much of a good thing.

Here’s some more garter stitch, finished long ago, but just now photographed and ready to be sent out: the Mason Dixon baby kimono.

The bad light makes it unclear, but that’s a rich, dark red, and the buttons are a pale lime green.  I bought a ton of the lime green buttons in bulk about a year ago because I liked them so much, but this is the first time I’ve gotten to use them.  Baby is of unknown sex, so I went with colors I like rather than worrying about traditional gender roles.

Finally, I’m about ready to restart on Gabriel’s languishing sweater, but he’s picked a whole new direction for it.  After looking at pictures of various jackets online, he, with infinite taste, settled on the saddle shoulder cardigan from Wool Gathering, made net-famous by Brooklyn Tweed and Elliphantom.   I can’t say the boy lacks taste.  Since the sweater is sized for adults, and Gabriel is a tall, but not enormous eight year old boy, I decided to order a sport weight yarn rather than a worsted weight.  The yarn I had on hand for his sweater was worsted and not a pure wool, which struck me as a bad idea for steeks, so I ordered some Knitpicks Telemark in what turns out to be the exact same color as his previous choice.

Behold the Lazurite Heather.

Now I’m just waiting on the pattern, which I duly ordered from Schoolhouse Press, along with the Adult Surprise Jacket pattern.

My fingers are twitching in anticipation.

Gifts

March 24, 2007

Pattern: Clutch from One Skein by Leigh Radford
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay, Adobe colorway
Yardage: slightly less than one skein – about 100 yards or so
Needles: size 13 circulars
Modifications: The Manos is thinner than the Lamb’s Pride Bulky called for in the original pattern, so I added 5 repeats to the body of the clutch and 5 rounds to the handle as well.

Pattern: My own – let’s just call this the Earl Grey scarf
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Night, color Oberon
Yardage: about 150 yards, less than one skein
Needles: size 6 straights

My mother received her birthday gifts, so now I can show them to you! It was a great deal of fun to use new yarns that I’ve never worked with before. The Manos is a real pleasure. It’s not the softest of yarns, but the merino content made it softer than I expected. The Kidsilk Night is glorious. I found that the shiny bits, though, are the teeniest bit scratchy. In the future, I’d probably use Kidsilk Haze instead. Still, what a yarn! Now I know why people rave over it.

You presumably noticed that the clutch is felted. I’ve never felted anything before, and I have to tell you about my adventure in doing so. I live in an apartment building that has a grand total of one washing machine and dryer for all the tenants. I read up on felting, and discovered that sometimes when one felts, one can mess up the washing machine. This didn’t seem very fair to the people I share a washing machine with, so I looked up hand felting and found this useful tutorial. It certainly works. However, I am apparently a moron at felting. I wore gloves, but in rubbing the wool against itself, apparently I caught my fingers in it. Both of my index fingers had enormous blisters on them at the end of it. I still have ugly little knobs on my fingers, actually. I also got VERY worn out. It was a very intense exercise, and I was sweaty and messy and exhausted when I finished. I asked the ladies at Pick Up Sticks about this while I was at Stitches West, and they said, first of all, that they’d never seen someone mess up their hands like I did while felting, and secondly, that I could avoid that by using a stick to hit and rub the wool next time. I think I shall. Also, I feel special for being unique. Because unique makes you special. So those knobs on my fingers? Badges of honor.

I’ll still use a stick next time.

The scarf was just a simple vine lace pattern, and since I was trying to do it as fast as was humanly possible, there are mistakes, even with a simple pattern like that. Ah, well. I’m not a total perfectionist, and I still liked how it looked. Since you can’t see it too well in the picture, here’s what the yarn looks like:

It’s really a gorgeous grey, with just a hint of blue. It’s one of those colors that I fall hard for but can’t wear myself, so it’s nice to have a mother with coloring that differs from my own. I love greys very much, but they do not look good on a person with reddish hair and hazel eyes. The finished scarf is intentionally very short. I wanted just a little wispy bit of lace that could be tied around the neck – sort of a scarflette, really. Mom looks good in such things, and I liked the idea that it would be appropriate either for work or a night out.

So once again, happy birthday, Mom!
Oh, and did you guys notice the spanking new url? I’m stupid excited about it still.