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The One I Forgot to Title

February 3, 2010
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Laura’s Blog Entry

In response to the VAST number of emails I’ve gotten asking for a knitting update, here it is! [In the spirit of full disclosure, I respectfully admit that I did not receive any *actual* emails asking about my knitting. I know you meant to send it. You just got busy.]

First up, the Sipalu Bag by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence, which I purchased as a kit from Knit Picks. This was the hardest thing I have every knit. Hard, technique wise. The pattern and charts were very clear. The knitting just called for some advanced skills.

I thought that the color work was going to be the hard part. But actually, it was pretty fun. The first 25% was slow going, but I got the hang of the technique pretty quickly. It made it quite simple that only two colors were used on any given row. So I was only wrangling two balls of yarn at a time. The color changes are very subtle and blend very well.

The hard part for me was the welting. Which looks kind of not great. I should note that the bag has not yet been blocked. Blocking is a process in which you wash or dampen the knit item and coax it into the final shape. As the wool dries the stitches even out and everything becomes more smooth and locks into position.

But back to the welting. It involved picking up hundreds of stitches and knitting that row together with another row. The yarn is fairly fine and the needles on the smaller size. Even though I don’t knit that tightly this was very difficult. I finally got better at it by the last welt, which is the one across the top. It doesn’t look any better than the others, but it was easier to do. I ended up picking up a few (10-20) stitches at a time on smaller size double-pointed needle and doing the knit together step, then picking up more stitches, and so forth. That was much easier and went much faster.

I have decided that rather than add a knitted I-cord strap or sewing on wooden handles I am going to knit a tub using the patterning on the side bands to create a shoulder strap. I think that will be prettier and more sturdy. And more work, but I don’t mind that. I will not be putting the welting on the strap. I know my limits! I just need to sit down on a weekend and figure out the construction. Pretty sure I am going to knit it separately and then sew it on.

The bag needs to be lined with fabric to cover all the floats on the backside from doing the colorwork. Looking forward to shopping at the fabric store to find something.

The next item that is clicking along is another pair of socks. I am using the Fred and George pattern by Rosemary Waits. I am not taking full advantage of the Fred and Georgeness of the pattern – the original uses two colors, reversing the contrast color on the cuff and toe on each sock so they are opposite of each other. This is a really cute idea and I do plan to make a pair like this, probably for Mari.

What I was looking for was a basic toe-up sock pattern that could become my go-to. This one seems to fit the bill. The fit of the sock is perfect. I have added a few stitches on the center back of the leg as I went up the calf because I made them longer than the pattern.  I wanted to knit until I ran out of yarn. No wasting. It’s ended up between an ankle sock and a knee sock.

On a future pair I really want to try a heel flap on a toe up, for a change. I found one that looks good in the book Teach Yourself Visually: Sock Knitting by Laura Chau.

Knitting Tip: The little ball of yarn with the needle through it in the photo is the amount I’ve set aside for the ribbing at the cuff. I went to the end of the ball and measured out what I think I need for one inch of 1/1 ribbing. I marked the yarn by tying a contrasting color yarn to the strand. Now I know how far to knit the body before I need to start the final ribbing. I felt smart that day.

Then there is another sweater, the Weekend Retreat Cardi pattern I got from Lionbrand.com. I wanted to try a top down sweater. I love that there will be no sewing together of pieces. I love it a lot. I tried it on with the needles still in it and it seems to fit. I should put it on waste yarn and try it on for real, but I really dislike putting the needles back in that many stitches. Bleh. Can’t face that task right now. Perhaps over the weekend.

The green color is kinda crazy for me. Hoping that wearing a black shirt will tone it down. It is pretty, just very bright for a gothy girl.

You may have noticed that there are no pictures of the Flirty Sweater. It is finished and I have worn it a few times. I just can’t photograph myself wearing it. And whenever Neil is home it is either cloudy or night. We need daylight if there is any hope of getting a nice enough shot. Again, perhaps on the weekend. Or perhaps I will nap. Hmmmm. Something to ponder.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2010 12:59 pm

    Your Sipalu bag looks stunning! I’ve wanted to try it for quite a while and just might do it.

    Thanks for posting the Fred and George sock. I can’t wait to start a pair!

    • February 3, 2010 1:16 pm

      Thanks! I am really pretty happy with the way the bag turned out. The key for me was to work on it in spurts. It was never a travel project. I only picked it up when I had a good hour to devote to it. I also love that the kit comes with tons of yarn. I don’t want to make a second bag so now I can make lots of other stuff with all the yarn.

      I really like how the toe of the socks turned out. Haven’t worn it in shoes yet, but I like the rounded shape I got with the magic cast on. Will post my thoughts as soon as I get both socks done and give them a wear test!

  2. Erin Campbell permalink
    February 3, 2010 11:02 pm

    Oh how I wish that my knitting skills were that great!! My husband would love a pair of knitted socks but that is way to advanced for me. Great job!! Love the bag!

    • February 4, 2010 7:28 am

      Thank you! You should see the first thing I made, though. It had so many holes I went back with needle and thread and fixed them all! Just keep knitting and you’ll get better! I just try things that are a little bit harder each time.

  3. Katie permalink
    March 17, 2010 10:19 pm

    I came across this post while searching for tips on how to pick up stitches for the welt. Will you explain how you picked up the stitches? I bought the kit in the same color. I’m considering buying the yarn to make this in the other colors.

    • March 18, 2010 9:21 am

      Sure thing. Check back later and I’ll try to write it out for you later today…

    • March 18, 2010 12:52 pm

      Here’s the scoop. I should have consulted some videos before trying this myself. That’s probably why my welts look kinda bad.

      Here is a helpful video that shows how to pick up stitches. I think you may need to make another ball of the color you are using when you pick up for the welt if the yarn is still attached to the fabric at another location. (I’m a little foggy on this as I am rereading the instructions.)

      Here’s a tutorial I found that shows pretty clearly how to knit the edge of the welt down once you’ve knitted it. This gave me fits! I am not a tight knitter, but this was very tight to manage the two rows of stitches when knitting them together. You can go down to an even smaller needles to knit them together if you have this problem.

      http://charisa-martin.livejournal.com/24489.html

      I hope that helps! This was definitely the hardest part of this pattern. I also recommend you do it in small sections if you find you are getting frustrated. Good luck and let me know how yours turns out! I’m on Ravelry if you share your stuff there: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/lostandlovely

      If I did it over again I would change the welt color. I’m not loving that pink. But overall it works. I do like the earthy colorway as well.

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