Sunday, February 01, 2009

What, It's February?

February ALREADY??? I would like a rebate on January. I hardly felt it come and go. Speaking of hardly feeling it, I knit two short row hats in just a couple days. They knit up so fast they did not even make it to my WIP list. I started a 4x4 ribbed scarf to go with my hat.

I watched my Fair Isle Without Fear video by Alice Starmore a couple of times. Then I cast on the Knit Picks Sampler pattern, the Sipalu Bag Kit 40060. The bag is a supersized swatch. I am not concerned with a great bag, I am making it for practice and pitfalls.

PITFALL #1 My provisional casting on with yarn is pitiful. I will go back to using an options cable for provisional cast ons.
PITFALL #2 The Palette yarn is splitty and I have to be careful with the yarn I hold in my right hand.
PITFALL #3 Once the yarn ball band is removed it's easy to mix up the colors. I taped a piece of each yarn to it's yarn ball band for reference, and stuck them in the bag with the original copies of the pattern charts.

PRACTICE #1 I discovered I like the purl rows better than the knit side rows.
PRACTICE # 2 I figured out I would need a little snippet of each yarn color to go along with the color charts. Some of the colors are very close and just eyeballing the chart and balls is not going to work.

I started to just make a color stranded swatch with some of my leftover Palette yarns. But this is better. There is enough yarn in each kit to make a couple of bags so I can get in some good practice on this first one, then make the second third and fourth ones with much more skill. I bought two sampler kits, the blues and the autumn color palettes. I love the colors, and the bags that turn out nicely will be great gifts. Once I feel really comfortable with my tension and technique I will cast on the Glenesk sweater.

In reading the instructions it emphasizes blocking the bag over some books and lining the bags so the stranded yarns don't get snagged. I am going to go a step further, I am going to insert plastic canvas frames in each bag. I used to do a lot of plastic canvas needlework and I have many sheets left. I have made several plastic canvas tote bags and they are sturdy and last forever. A plastic canvas frame inside each bag will not only serve as a great blocking tool, but it will also make the bags sturdy and protect the stranded yarns.

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