Monday, March 23, 2009

i'm not sure about this...

i like the bag. i like how it turned out -- it's a hobo bag, which is a great shape for carrying stuff around. i just don't think i can write this up as a pattern and teach it. not with the stripes, anyway. i think you'll see what i mean as you read the directions. will you do me a favor and leave a comment about the possibility of doing this as a class?

i've never done entrelac before, and had thought to set up this pattern as just a simple "knit 22 of these squares, sew 'em together like this, and add an icord handle". but samantha (of abuelita's) told me that seaming would be an issue for a class, and that a more successful class would involve a pattern without much sewing. so i had to try the entrelac.

i loved it. entrelac is totally fun, and i will definitely be making another one of these bags.

so here's how i did it:
  1. needle: size 15 US circular (this is important); yarn: 2 skeins each, lamb's pride bulky, teal and turquoise; gauge, unnecessary (why i love knitting bags in a nutshell ;-), yarn doubled throughout
  2. with teal, cast on 8 stitches, knit one row. with turquoise, p across, knit across. (different from my inspiration). knit stockinette stripes for 16 rows (counting cast-on as a row) (8 of each). by the way, you'll be much happier if you always change yarn in the same way (new color over old). it's much easier to pick up stitches from there.
  3. don't cut the yarn, just cast on 8 more stitches with the teal, but this time you have to purl the first row. then, with the aqua, purl across, then knit across.
  4. here comes the tricky part: in order to make the yarn end up on the lefthand side of the square, you have to knit stockinette stripes for 12 rows. then the 4th set of teal is actually just one row knit across. teal yarn is on the lefthand side of the square. now how do you get the turquoise across? slip those stitches that you just knit back onto the lefthand needle, and knit the turquoise across. you have 14 rows instead of 16, but you're felting this! it'll all come out in the wash ;-).

  5. now cast on 8 stitches with the teal, purl 7 stitches, then p2tog with the last turquoise stitch on the righthand needle. k across with turquoise, purl back 7 stitches and p2tog with next stitch on the righthand needle. continue with this until you have your 16 rows (including the cast-on).

  6. using teal, pick up 8 stitches evenly across the side on the next square, marked 2 on this picture. at the end of this square, you have to do the 14 row technique in order to get the yarn back over there by square 1. pick up the stitches along the side and knit up another square. bind off your last row of turquoise.
  7. pick up 8 stitches from the side of square 5, knitting 2 together at the end of every other row from square 4. you'll be happier with how it looks if, instead of k2tog, you slip a stitch k-wise, slip a stitch p-wise, then knit them together that way. if you look closely inside the big white circle up there, you'll note that it took me a few squares to figure that out. k2tog leaves big gaps.
  8. so keep going like this until you have 22 squares in the above pattern.
  9. now stitch squares together per the diagram -- side A to side A, side B to side B, then pull that whole side together at E's and F's (one long seam). same thing on the other side.
  10. now i got out a big crochet hook and single crocheted around the whole top, crocheting 3 stitches in the corners where i was going to add handles.
  11. for the handles, i used 1 strand of each color held together (i was afraid i'd run out of the teal), picked up 3 stitches from the corner, cast on 1 more and knit 25 rows of icord. i then grafted the handles together at the middle.

it's pretty big before you felt.

but then a lovely size after:
with room for all your pocketbook stuff.
the next one i do i think i will use noro kureyon, 2 strands held together (matching colors as best i can), size 10.5 needles, and cast on 15 or so stitches, so 30 rows per square. i think the color evolution will be really pretty, and i won't have to deal with the stripe issue (harder to keep track of rows, though!). then i'll probably just do garter stitch.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

what's next???

so i have a new project going on that i hope will be my teaching project. i'll document it soon -- i've had wonderful advice from my felting teacher angela, so pictures and (i hope) a yummy final product are in the offing. she's a fascinating person with an incredible sense of style -- i urge you to check out her projects. it was fun to learn felting from her. she's another fear-free knitter ;-)
she did abandon us to move to perfect portland, but she keeps up with our abuelita's ravelry group.
pictures are forthcoming.