Posted in Blog Week, Knitting, Miscellaneous

4KCBWDay6 — A Tool to Covet

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Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers. Is it an item that you would recommend to others, and if so for which applications/tasks do you think it is most suited. Conversely, do you have a tool/accessory that you regret buying? Why does it not work for you?
I started writing this blog post this morning, before spouse and I set out for the day to attend a street fair in one of Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods. My intention was to wax rhapsodic about the three sets of Addi Clicks I bought a couple of years ago at Stitches South: Addi Turbo, Addi Lace, and Addi Natura.

The Doctor Bag
The Doctor Bag
But then we left the house and went to the Inman Park Festival. So what you get now about the Addis is this: I love them. I use them every day. And while over on the Addi site to get the links, I discovered there’s a new set of long Addi Lace Clicks with lifelines that will now have to become part of my toolkit.

So why did the object of my adoration suddenly change? See that photo over to the right? Yeah. Because I Found That.

A messenger bag. With a TARDIS. And little pins with caricatures of all eleven Doctor incarnations. *swoon*

The Doctors!  On buttons!
The Doctors! On buttons!
Nerd heaven. Made of heavy-duty canvas and industrial-strength webbing and hardware, with a pocket on each end, two pockets under the flap, a zippered pocket on the inside, and more room than should be allowed by law in the main compartment, this is the project bag to end all project bags. Not to mention it will make a great commute bag, with space for a wallet, makeup bag, Kindle, cell phone, lunch bag, water bottle, dress shoes, and book on those days I decide to read on paper instead of on a screen. Or if I’m leaving the reading at home, a portable knitting project, instead.

My mother gave me a commute bag for Christmas, which I really like and have used a lot since she gave it to me, but it’s not quite big enough for all the stuff I carry, so I usually ended up carrying the commute bag AND a handbag AND sometimes my lunch bag, which can be a bit much to juggle on a crowded train. This bag, I believe, will be the sturdy all-in-one bag I didn’t know I wanted.

Should you covet a Doctor Who messenger bag of your own, you can contact Third Half Studios in Atlanta. They don’t have the bags on their website, but I bet they have a couple somewhere. Plus they have all kinds of other nerdy cool stuff too.

To read other posts from those taking part in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, simply perform a Google search for the tag 4KCBWDAY6, or click here.

Posted in Crochet, Finished object

Houndstooth Check Bag

Houndstooth Bag 5

Pattern:  Houndstooth Purse by Mary Jane Hall, from Crochet Today! May/June 2009
Yarn:  Plymouth Encore in #678 Gray and #217 Black, less than 1 skein each
Hook:  H
Skill level:  Easy
Satisfaction with end result: Not too shabby!  This is the first purse I've made that is tailored, after a fashion: in other words, not a tote or market bag of some sort.  Spouse's first thought was "How fast can you make those?  I can sell them on eBay!"  Sorry, dear, that would be a violation of copyright.  I haven't tried carrying it, yet, so I don't know how practical it is, but it sure is cute.

Houndstooth Bag 4

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Posted in Finished object, Knitting

A couple of finished projects to display…

First, I'll show you the pretty one:

Blue Petunia Bag, complete

Pattern:  Petunia Tote by Katie Himmelberg, from Interweave Knits Spring 2007
Yarn:  Bernat Gloucester Sport (I'd link to it, but it's discontinued) in French Blue, 660 yards
Satisfaction with end result:  I really like it.  It's the perfect spring/summer casual running around town bag. The lining really sets it off, as you can see in the picture below.

Blue Petunia Bag with lining

In fact, here's the entire bag turned inside out, so everyone can see the fabulous lining fabric.

Blue Petunia Bag, inside out

The fabric is half a yard of a 60" rayon challis purchased from JoAnn.  Other than that, I can't tell you a thing about it.

The only modification to the pattern was making the strap somewhat shorter than the pattern dictated.  I'm not tall, you see, and didn't want the bag to hang down to my knees when worn slung across my shoulder.  Additionally, I'm thinking about adding a magnetic closure at the top.  I'll carry the bag around for a while before making a final decision.

Now, the not-so-pretty one.  I finally finished spouse's Treads socks from Son of Stitch and Bitch.  The cuffs turned out beautifully:

Treads cuffs

The rest of the socks, not so much:

Treads socks
Yarn:  Cascade's Heritage in #5601 Black, approximately 656 yards (approx. 1.5 skeins)

The foot is so wide you'd think I made them for a hobbit.  My fault totally.  I didn't pay attention to gauge.  If I had, I'd have realized I was using the wrong size needle (a 2 instead of a 0).  Even then I probably could have saved them if I had decreased across the instep when I turned the heel.  Instead, spouse ended up with a baggy, saggy, shapeless pair of socks.  I told him it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he never wore them outside the house.  Note to self: not all sock patterns are created equal.  One must pay attention to the damn pattern while knitting the foot!

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Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Work in progress

Confession is good for the soul

In a previous blog entry, I mentioned something about having too many unfinished objects (UFOs).  Here they are, in order from earliest start date…..

One should always have a spare baby blanket on hand; at least, that's my belief.  One never knows when someone in one's circle of acquaintances/friends/family members is going to procreate.  Although I'm getting to the age where it's now the children of my acquaintances/friends/family members who are doing the procreating.  But I digress. 

I started this blankie on August 17, 2008.  Thus far, I have finished the three squares seen below:
Spare Baby Blanket #4
At least they're blocked.  And only 9 more to go…

On August 23, 2008, I had the bright (?) idea to lead a crochet-along for this adorable crocheted Pomeranian.  Didn't have too many followers, so my leadership skills are questionable.  Especially since my version of this project stalled right at its assembly stage.  Yes, I finished all the pieces by September 6, and then it sat there.  And sat there.  And sat there some more.  Today I officially put it into hibernation on Ravelry, and offer you this photo of a dead project:
After all this time, the poor Pom is still in pieces, and I seem to have lost not only one of its legs, but also my interest in finishing the thing. I still have plenty of the yarn left over, though, and I may re-make the leg and actually assemble the poor benighted misshapen creature, or just start the project all over again.  Someday.  Maybe.  But don't count on it.

And then there's the Petunia Tote from Interweave Knits Spring 2007 issue.  I cast on for this sweet shoulder bag October 16, 2008, with the intention of giving it to one of my sisters-in-law for Christmas.  Obviously, that didn't happen.
Petunia Bag, awaiting lining
The knitting bit is done; the bag is blocked; the lining is almost finished…All I need to do to is add a pie-shaped wedge to the lining to make it fit correctly inside the bag, and sew it in.  By hand.  Now, I am no stranger to a whip stitch, but I don't like handsewing anything, unless it's decorative, like embroidery for embellishment.  And so the bag sits there on the project table.  Waiting patiently.  *sigh*

Spouse's Treads socks were begun on December 17, 2008.  They were also supposed to be a Christmas present, but weren't anywhere near finished on Christmas Day.  I wrapped up the two balls of yarn along with the two or three inches of cuff then accomplished and presented that to him instead, with the promise that I would get them done as quickly as possible.  The project went along smoothly enough: I finished the looooong cuffs, knitted the heel flaps, turned the heels, and then the damn socks misbehaved.
Treads Socks #2
Spouse asked me about them the other day.  I told him they were in timeout.  "Because they were bad?" he asked, incredulously.  "Yes, they were bad and I'm mad at them.  Although I'm much less so than I was, and they may be allowed out of timeout very soon."  He shook his head in that way of his which indicates:  "It's a good thing I love you, because you're certifiable and no one else would put up with this sort of nonsense."

On December 30, I was so sick of knitting knitting knitting all those blasted Christmas presents that I desperately craved a crochet hook.  Did I pick up that baby blanket again, or finish the Pom?  Nooooo.  I started the Cable Rerun blanket from Crochet Today!'s Sept/Oct 2008 issue, using my beloved Bernat Berella 4.
Cable Rerun Afghan #2
I've actually made decent progress:  three of the five strips required are finished and the fourth strip is well on its way.  I have high hopes this will be finished in the not too distant future.

On January 20, 2009, I was ready to pick up knitting needles again and cast on the Duo Cardigan, so named after the yarn (from Jarbo Garn).  The pattern is improvised from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, with a seed stitch border and plain stockinette stitch for the body and sleeves, the better to show off the self-striping colorway.
Duo Cardigan #2
The bottom half of the body is done, and one sleeve is partially done.  So we're making reasonable progress.  This is the project I've been spending the most time on recently.  Easy mindless stockinette stitch: no thinking required.

And finally, on February 3, I added one more project to the list:  A shawl.  No, not for me.  I'm not a shawl person, remember?  For a friend.
I'm sort of winging this one without a pattern, and I think I might have made it too wide.  If I run out of yarn, I'll know I made it too wide and have to frog it and start over.  Let's hope I don't run out of yarn.

Seven.  Unfinished.  Objects.  I've told myself I have to finish four of them (the shawl, the cardigan, the socks, and the afghan) before I start anything new.

I don't know if I can do that.  That stashed Mirasol Cotanani has been calling my name for quite a while now, and it's getting louder…

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