Friday, June 08, 2007

A Productive Week

I finally found the mistake that I made last weekend on my FLAK sweater. Isn't it amazing how something just pops out at you when you haven't looked at it in awhile? I frogged back to before the mistake, picked up the stitches and began knitting again. Much to my surprise, that process actually worked!

Until a day or so ago, I did not know any local knitters. I drove down to our hardware store one afternoon to look for an open bottle of Gorilla Glue to stick my well-used KnitPicks classic circs back together. I was showing the needle to my husband when a customer there begin telling me that his wife was taking a knitting class, but she was just knitting knitting--she hadn't started a project yet. I did not know that she was sitting in the car. When he told her that I was in there with knitting needles, she came in and started asking questions about purling. I gave her a demo on a broken needle, a size 1 at that. She asked me about yarn suggestions for a baby blanket, and I made some. She also wanted to know if it would be ok just to use the knit stitch for a blanket. I said yes. She has a physical condition that limits her use of her left hand somewhat, so that will be easier for her to work with I think. She left happy, and I am excited to know another local knitter. She also gave me names of two more.

I needed a sweater-size knitting bag. Thanks to textbook adoption freebies, I have plenty of really big bags for afghans or blankets, and I love my sock bag, which is an old Walkman bag, but I didn't have anything middle sized. I decided on a quick whim to make my own. Here is my prototype. I used McCalls M5283 because I had never made a purse or bag before. (I made a hang-type suitcase once, but that was from a kit.) Using very inexpensive materials from JoAnns making do with the purse handles they had, the total bag cost came to about $30, but the pattern cost was a big part of that.

Here is a picture of the outside of the bag. As you can see, the fabric is vintage-looking and the handles are not. The gathered fabric also wants to ooze up the ends of the handles. I am already looking for a different handle design for the next bag. I will also use better upholstery fabric that does not need an iron-on interfacing.

I said starting out that I was not going to make any changes, but instead make the bag just the way the pattern said. Well, that resolution did not survive. Why did I think it would? Obviously, the pattern designer was only knowledgable about straight needles, and I almost never use a straight, so I adapted those skinny needle pockets for circulars. My zipper installation following their directions is unsatisfactory--I will do something differently next time. I added a loop for my keychain tape measure and a yarn guide. I will also put a nice ribbon binding over the edge of the handle turn back instead of just serging it. I will probably also use some ribbon with velcro to hold the extra balls of yarn in place at the end of the bag.

Now, for the TOTAL cost of the project. You will notice that there is no fastener. I have a really cool button and was going to attach a fabric loop closure. I was tired, having done the whole bag in one sitting, and I attempted to zigzag with my zipper foot still on the machine. The machine goes to the shop tomorrow. I also have a couple of tucks on the end where the topstitching caught the lining--I'll fix those when I get the machine back as well.

OTN--FLAK sweater
Mountain Colors Bearfoot socks--one finished, one to go


Knittinreed said...

It looks great! I love the design and tapestry fabric you found.

Your spinning also looks lovely - Teyani has wonderful rovings, doesn't she?

Mags said...

Your knitting bag is lovely and looks so roomy. You know I'm just like you I vow not to change a thing and end up putting my own spin on every pattern, sort of makes stuff interesting. Your Flak sweater (is that right?) is truly beautiful (I love all cables)..and you spin too! Wow. Glad I came to visit.
I will be back.
Happy knitting,
P.S. Thanks for your nice are so kind.

Enid said...

H Jane...

I wish I remember you in our way to Nashville.. I'am glad you are finding more people to knit with!!