Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One bag, two bags...

Well - it's one of two bags! I've been working on two WONDERFUL bags from She-Knits but the second one will have to be for another posting. There's some finishing to be done and then the magical felting...

I was able to complete the Melly Bag before I left town for a work conference and I absolutely love it. I'm as happy with it as I was when Sharon first published the pattern in her Etsy shop. And it's an addictively quick-knit - made primarily with Brown Sheep's Burly Spun on size 13 & 15 needles. Addictively quick!! The yarn seemed a bit pricey, but it's worth it for the bulk and such a comfortable yarn to use.

Here's the finished bag (there's also an interior pocket).

It's slightly over-felted (I got distracted when I put it in for the second cycle) & the pocket got slightly 'wonky' during felting so it's not exactly straight anymore (I was able to stretch it back 'mostly' to proper shape).

I was disappointed that I didn't get them both done, but now I have something to look forward to when I get home.

Happy Knitting!

- JavaNut

Monday, October 15, 2007

It was calling my name...

Despite numerous projects on my needles, I needed to cast-on something that didn't require focused attention (how did I end up working on 3 lace shawls at the same time????)! I had a kit for a bag I've loved since I first saw it from She-Knits and although I intended to save my 'knitting-for-me' until later... yeah, right. who am I fooling?

I knew it would be a fun and relatively easy knit, but who knew it would be so addictive? All that's left is the panel for an inner pocket, a little seaming and some hot water! Sadly it will probably be the weekend before I'll be knitting again. I hate it when the day job creeps into the evenings.
Happy Knitting!
- JavaNut

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Miters are Bagged!

Whoo hoo! Finally finished the Mitered Bag from Bags, A Knitters Dozen... As I feared, despite 3x thru the wash (and a wonderful felted fabric resulted!), it's still much larger than I'd planned/hoped. But I still like it and perhaps it will be a bag for larger projects instead of the intended purse!
I modified the pattern a bit. I hate seaming & weaving in ends so this was much better and I liked the changes... the only design changes are that the stripes on the gusset blend into the stripes of the mitered squares which I like A LOT better than random striping up the side. I also made a single shoulder strap instead of two side handles.

Therefore instead of eleven pieces (and tons of ends), I had only FOUR pieces.

Pattern: eight squares, gusset, two handles

Mine: two 'upper' pairs of squares with gusset between them, 2 bottom corner pair of squares with side/bottom gusset and I knit the shoulder strap from live gusset stiches.

I love the way the gusset continues the stripes around the sides and bottom of the bag!

Also, I used Lion Brand wool - took significantly more yardage than the pattern called for (duh!). I had to get a second ball of the dark brown and light blue (although didn't use too much of them). Some leftovers of the light brown and white and I used the dark blue until it was gone.

Now that the bag is behind me I've started the Secret of the Stole. The 2nd chart was released today, but I still have about 15 rows of the first one. Not too far behind, but we'll see how well I can keep up! I love the Zephyr yarn and the beads are a perfect complement, but I wish they were bigger. I thought the dainty beads would be nice, but they get lost. Oh well - next time I'll select better! (as all lace - so ugly before it's blocked!)

TGIF & Happy Knitting!

- JavaNut

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Miters without end

Still working on the Mitered Bag... it seems to be without end! My hope for this weekend's knitting was to finish the bag and another project in order to clear the decks for the Secret of the Stole and another lace scarf I want to make.

BUT... this bag is HUGE! I didn't check the gauge when I bought the yarn. It was all about the colors (of course), and it's not like a bag has a fitted shape. When the yardage was off and I had to buy more yarn I should have clued in... but honestly, it wasn't until I sewed the four pieces together that I realized just how big this thing is.

I wish I'd made the top border wider, but hopefully that will become a compact edge once its felted. The whole bag is in garter
stitch - I haven't felted garter stitch before so this will be an experiment. I REALLY hope it shrinks up as much... both for the texture of the bag and to make the size more appropriate. Right now it's 24" wide when it's flat!
But I love the colors and the miters, so if it's too big for the intended recipient, I'll certainly enjoy it. There's no such thing as too many bags!
Hard to believe the weekend is over and getting ready for another full week at work...
But for the moms out there - here's a great laugh with Anita Renfroe!
Happy Knitting
- JavaNut

Monday, October 1, 2007

Monday Morning Progress...

Sadly I was waiting for some 11th hour work from a contractor and which became 24th hour delivery... so was up until 12:30 last night. I try to limit the amount of work and work related email time I spend over the weekend, but this was unavoidable.

The silver lining was that I made some good progress on a bag while I was waiting (and caught up on some TiVo watching, too!). The Bag is the Mitered Squares bag from Bag Style.

And last week I also finished the booties for the "Green Fizz" baby set. They're done with Cashsoft DK and are super soft and very stretchy. A baby will be able to wear that hat for LONG time!

These were done with the Grape Fizz pattern from babyknits Hats & Booties: 15 Sets for Noggins & Tootsies.

And for non-knitting, I'm starting the re-decorating process for my guest bedroom. It's a completely empty room now and I have my plan-for-the-plan. Now I just need the time!!
I am going to make the duvet cover with the swirly print as a center panel and the chocolate brown on the sides/back. The other print fabric will be for a valance and possibly a pillow or two. The next crucial step is paint... (and those are only some of the color samples). One wall will be chocolate brown (matched to the brown fabric), and the other 3 will be blue. That's the hard one... I was hoping for something to match the blue in the fabric, but was going to get only half the pigment in the paint to keep it lighter. But I'm having a hard time getting it right, so I will probably just get the blue paint matched to the fabric as well. If it's too dark/bright, I'll just put a white glaze over it or something.

I can't wait to get the painting done - hopefully this weekend. And since the room is empty, I'm going to go ahead and replace the base board and add crown moulding.
This weekend I also got my pal for the Christmas Around the World Swap. This is my first so I've been slow to get into creative planning for the swap, but now that I know my recipient I can't wait to plan a fun package!
Happy Knitting!