Ah, Spring….. balmy weather, nature bursts forth, I am renewed (once I adjust to the time change anyway) and there’s the possibility of true love…….
No, there is no new man. No, it’s not a man whose put the spring in my step. I have a new exciting project in my life. A new designed by me project which makes it just a little dangerous and all the more attractive.
Only, funny, it seems to be working out just about the same as my romantic entanglements usually do.
First I clear my schedule in order to give my undivided attention to romance. Then I make myself available socialize more in the hopes of meeting someone new.
Accordingly, I finished my hat in an evening- immediately after the needles arrived. Last week I finished a jacket ufo I started sewing last Fall. I’ve mentally put my sweater and the Habu in time out even though they are still on the sofa with the other wips. My diagonal scarf is half done and I’m saving it to work on at Knitch on Friday- like the girlfriend who goes along so if you don’t meet anyone there’s still someone to hang out with.
I spent the weekend checking patterns on Ravelry and adding things to my queue. Then I pulled fabrics and sewing patterns out of my other stash (The Bigger Sewing One) and fondled ideas. If my fingers were racing as fast as my mind I’d have finished my 2009 Christmas knitting by now and have a complete new summer wardrobe.
Now, I am soooo ready it’s just a matter of time before someone picks up on it.
Ah, here it is: a brainstorm. I perk up, shoulders back, I’m prepared to flirt with possibilities.
What if I cast on for a circular project, a bag perhaps, by putting every other stitch on one dpn and the other stitches on a second dpn and knitted in the round from there? No seaming, no Kitchner Stitch? Worth a try, doncha think? Ok, all you toe up sock knitters, you can stop laughing and pointing. I don’t knit socks and I knew I couldn’t have invented this I just thought it was clever of me to have figured it out on my own.
I love bags. I can always use a new bag. I made sketches. I could knit up a small bag with maybe some eyelets at the top for a drawstring just to see if it worked. Out of what? Ah Ha! Organic cotton- I have a whole ball left from Christmas knitting! It did work, although the first round was a little tough.
Because I wanted a shape to the bag and not just a tube, I began increasing at the sides. One side looked fine, one side was weird and it had a places where it looked like the yarn was carried up several rows. I tried to fix it. No matter what I did- it looked the same- screwed up. I threw it into the pile of ufos in a discouraged huff set it aside.
I want to like it, but no matter how hard I try, it just doesn’t work out.
But really, it’s OK. It was just a warm up for the real thing.
Because I learned that the cast on technique works and that means I could use it for a bigger bag, a felted one, and oh look, right there in my stash some Lion’s Brand Wool, one teal, one brown. Why, I always intended that to be a felted bag! Better yet, it could be the bag in this sketch! Enthralled, I cast good sense aside I just went for it. I did some very quick (and flawed) math and cast on.
My new love is perfect. Fantasies of moonlit beaches, cuddling by the fireplace, and our beautiful children, sigh… It just needs a little tweak…
I looked at the design again. It reminded me of some Arts and Crafts style motifs I had seen somewhere. I could possibly improve it. I pulled all the books I have on Arts and Crafts era design off the shelves. I didn’t find the exact design but I was inspired to make some changes. I was inspired to design a couple of other bags too- offspring of the first. Visions of sage green, burnt orange, sienna danced a rumba in my brain along with olive and aubergine …..
Time to take it one step further. Dinner at my place. I spend money on this. Wine, Duck, no, Lamb? how about Dover Sole? or off season rasberries? new undies and sexy shoes? I throw myself into the preparations. I will it to be perfect. I am frantic it won’t be.
Back in the brown and teal world, I knitted up about 4 inches. Then I thought; do I have enough yarn for a decent size bag? I checked on Ravelry. Most felted bags take 600 yards. I have 158 yards of brown to make the body of the bag and 158 yards of teal for the colorwork part. So unless I want to make either a very small bag or a striped bag without any cool Arts and Crafts inspired motifs- I need more brown yarn. I knitted some more anyway. It will work out, I know it will. I’ve invested too much in this; I need it to work. I’ll just get more brown yarn. Obssessed, I went on a yarn hunt. I found that every Michael’s in town is sold out of that color, I checked Ravelry and discovered that YES! someone had 2 skeins for sale. I am waiting not patiently for it to arrive. I am NOT going to worry about the dye lot. I will use my old yarn for the part below the color work and the new yarn for above. NOT WORRYING, no, not me.
I discover my new love is not exactly what I envisioned but it’s OK because I can fix it.
Then it occurred to me that perhaps, just perhaps, the square motifs which I had planned to knit 3 stitches wide by 3 rows tall, might felt more lengthwise than width wise and then they wouldn’t be square, now would they? I tried to ignore this for a bit not wanting to accept that it could be true. I thought, OK, I’ll just make them 3 stitches by 5 rows that should fix it. Then…. what if the whole bag needs to be bigger? Based on past experience, what I have right now…. it would end up…. 10 inches wide by 4 inches tall. Who cares if he’s short, I’ll just wear flats! A felted swatch suddenly seemed like a really wise thing. Not wanting to use any of the precious brown, I pulled out the Christmas Red wool, produced this and felted it at work on Monday.
I have now with some assistance from a calculator figured out the correct cast on and the correct row to stitch ratio for the motifs. If in fact the swatch is a faithful guide to the behavior of the finished object. What makes you think you can really trust this?
Now I need to frog and cast on again. Which it, just so happens, is a good idea anyway because… well… my clever 2 needle cast on gives the bag a flat envelope style bottom and it won’t make the nice square one I want it to have no matter how hard I try to force it…
Which means I have adjusted my fantasy to better reflect reality that is my beloved. Yes, it’s ok, I’ll watch the game with you instead of Masterpiece Theatre.
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