Sunday, July 29, 2007
And... here's the swatch after only 5 minutes of felting. Not quite there yet...
After 5 more minutes, the stitches had really melted into each other and the cabled area was taller than the plain StSt section. Here it is, after rolling water out but before "blocking" (i.e. pulling at the StSt section to make it more even with the cable)
After "blocking", still retaining at least 10 g of water (it's fun to weigh your swatch!)
These were all last night. This morning, I took the now-dry swatch out into the cloudy morning for some "glamour pictures"
And now, for the measurements, post-felting:
(reminder, this was 30 stitches wide by 33 rows tall on size 10 needles...)
~6.5" wide by ~4.75" tall (it's not quite a rectangle...)
The St St section (18 stitches) is about 4.25" wide.
The cable section is about 1.75" wide. The purls to the left of the cable are wider than those to the right! I'm a new cabler, and the ones on my tank top turned out somewhat asymmetrical as well.
Lookswise, I'm not sure I'm loving the cable. It's very subtle post felting, though more obvious now that the swatch is dry (when it was wet, it just looked fuzzy). Also, the stripes moving across it kinda hide it. But on the other hand, it adds a bit more visual interest, as I'd hoped, and you can still see the crossings if you look. I don't know. Maybe a couple of cables on the flap would be good (perhaps a cable both thinner and "higher" if that's possible?), but it's probably not worth the wool to cable the whole thing.
It's a nice firm fabric that still retains the softness of the yarn. It's not stiff, though - very flexible. And the color is still somewhat camo-y, but I'm OK with that. It actually reminds me more of produce - I'm having to fight off the sudden urge to knit up a felted watermelon!w
Final notes: I'm liking this little swatch more and more as I blog it. Folded "the short way" it would make a great little coin purse for inside the bag. Folded the long way, it might make a good pencil case. Oh, and when I was in Japan I picked up a couple of .75" wood buttons that I'd like to use on the bag if possible. Pictures later :)
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Here's the swatch before felting. Both pics are in afternoon sun - first on our lattice iron table out front of the house, and then with the rosebushes for comparison.
Cast on: 30 stitches
Knit pattern (RS): K2, P2, 6-stitch cable (NB I think) every 6th row, P2, K to end (18 sts)
WS: K the Ks, P the Ps
33 rows, not counting CO or BO
Total width: 7.25"
Total height: 6.5" (guess I didn't get it quite square!)
total width of (left side) StSt section: a hair under 5"
StSt gauge: ~3.5 st/inch
Total width of P2, 6-stitch cable, P2: ~2 1/8"
Weight (on cheap kitchen scale scale): ~15 grams. Not too accurate, since the scale is designed for more.
Remaining yarn's weight: ~76 grams. Yikes! It's always surprising how light yarn is! I'm open to doing the strap from another yarn if we run out of this one...
Observations on colors - it came out a bit "camo", which isn't surprising for variegated greens, I guess. It might be interesting to knit it in the round to spread out the colors a little more. I do like the colors - they are significantly richer in person than it looks on the screen.
I just felted it and it's drying now - second installment tonight or tomorrow morning! A preview - it felted down a lot, and is much less tall now! And the cable is almost gone :(
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Here's my attempt at an artsy photograph; there's Andy in the hot tub (luckily, not decorated in antlers!) in the background...
Friday, July 20, 2007
We got back yesterday from 3 nights in Sunriver, OR, a resort community near Bend, and a great gateway to some of the wonders of the high desert (caves! volcanoes! horseback riding!). We stayed in a cute rental house which was practical, cozy, and economical as these things go, but had a few quirks of decor. I decided to wind my Malabrigo yarn (for the KT tote collaboration) while we were there in preparation for the requested swatching.
In process of winding: the dining room chairs are kinda charming, in a rustic knotty way (hopefully no knots in the yarn, though!)...
Now, where to place the wound ball to show off it's lovely wooliness? Perhaps near some other animal parts?
Yes, that is part of an antler set sticking out of a lamp, with a cow skin on the wall behind, why do you ask? Here's a shot of the entire lamp and table set. Even the turner-on-er thingy (er, the lamp switch) had an antler bit attached, which impeded its functionality a bit...
I thought the fireplace-tool-holder (yes, I am making up random-hyphenated-words tonight) was particularly amusing in an antlery way...
Also present, but not photographed, were: A deer skull mounted above the fireplace decorated with random polka-dots; a wire lasso hung within reach of the stairway; a couple of "ceremonial staves" on the wall; skies and snowshoes nailed to the wall (in case of emergency?) and a rabbit pelt randomly placed on the bookshelf. The owners sure have, er, interesting taste! Or they are in fact, Gaston from Disney's Beauty and the Beast: "I use antlers in all of my decorating!"
It was cast on in a tent on the slopes of Mt. St. Helens in the rain (pardon the wonky picture, 2 nights camping in the rain and one's hair is not at its best...). The back was straight stockinette and knit up reasonably fast:
And, then, as mentioned before, I learned to cable for the front on a flight to AZ. I didn't have the camera on the flight, but here's a shot of a finished strap:
It languished as two straps connected by a couple of rows for a while...
And then I packed it up and took it to Japan on a business trip! Let me say, a 10-hour plane ride each way is a great incentive to for getting knitting done!
Here we are near the beginning of the flight over...
And after the flight, in the hotel in Japan. See the progress! I wasn't sure whether it was sizing out OK, so I overlaid it on a tank top I had brought with me...
I have more Japan (and Japan knitting!) stories, but on the tank top, the end of the story is... finished on the plane ride back! I don't have a picture, but I had to break into a 4th skein of yarn for about the last 2 inches, and I hadn't wound that one into a ball. Since I was jammed in the window seat next to an old-ish Japanese gentleman who only got up twice (on a 9-hour-flight!), I didn't really have space to wind it, so just tried to unravel from the hank as I went. Of course, I ended up with a huge tangle, and the last two inches of tank top involved sotto voce swearing, yanking out about 2 feet at a time, and probably confusing the heck out of my seatmate. In total, I watched something like 9 movies and knit a whole bunch (including on the trains to and from Tokyo) - knitting is definitely a great travelling hobby! And I was quite amused that part of the instructions was, indeed, "begin travelling cable pattern" :)
PS - if anyone has any idea why the cable on the right (actually a cable-needle-to-front cable, as the tank is knit from the top down) seems to have a lot more dimpling than the one on the left (needle-to-back), let me know. I'm sure my tension is off in some way. I like the look of the needle-to-back one better...
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Here are my answers to KT's tote questions to aid in design of a bag from my skein on Malabrigo. Please ignore the weird fonts - Blogger decided halfway through my composition to take away the little "change font" option!
The general picture I have of this bag/tote is something simple with clean lines, taller than it is wide, maybe some stitchwork or cabling that would show through after felting, hopefully that shows off the variegated colorway.
Do you like flaps or no flaps?
I think I would like a flap on this one
Do you want a button (or similar) closure?
Sure - I like the idea of finding a cute button.
Do you like knitting in the round, or do you prefer flat (knowing that it will involve seams)?
Normally I prefer in the round, since I am a bit afeared of seams looking wonky, but since felting hides a lot of mistakes, I'd be OK with either.
Shoulder strap or handle? Knit or non-knit? Two straps or one?
I'm usually all about long shoulder strap(s) that let me sling a bag and leave my hands free. But I recently had to spend time in airport security lines with a backpack on both shoulders while also carrying a small yarn-shop bag with small handles in my hand or on my forearm. And it was quite convenient, since a strap would have slid off the backpack straps.
I wonder if we could design something to serve as both - maybe a long strap that you can loop back on itself (attached to a button/toggle on the back?) to make a shorter handle?
I'm thinking knit , and I'm thinking one strap/handle. If we can't do both, then I guess a long strap - I don't spend too much time in airports, after all!
Do you want it felted or lined (or both)?
Felted! Probably not lined - I have no sewing skills. I do have a small sewing machine, but I broke it after making a cat cushion a year ago, and haven't tried to get it working again. Of course, if you can convince me that it will not be painful to line it (heh), I might give it a try, as I'm sure it will help the sturdiness.
Maybe one - it should be discrete, too, but not so small as to be useless. But I don't have to have a pocket
Should the bag be flat or have depth?
I'm thinking a bit of depth (1-2")
How big are we talking here? (clutch, purse, tote, bag)
Big enough to carry a small project like socks, plus wallet and cell phone. I'm thinking about 9" tall, and something smaller than that for width - 7"? Of course, this may not be compatible with the small depth and wanting to carry a project - I could be convinced to make it bigger, but I don't want a huge bag! (and with only one skein, that's not so much an option.
What do you think of ripples, welting, or other stitch patterns?
I like your wavy days clutch, but I think I'm envisioning something less complicated for the overall shape for this bag. It might be cool if the flap could be rounded. Maybe a simple stitch pattern like a cable or two up the back and down the flap? Any non-fussy stitching is fine - again, I'm thinking clean lines, simple, etc. But some reinforcement for sturdiness might be good, since I would like to be able to hold keys, needles, etc in it.
Can we mix crochet with the knitting (for finishing, button loops, etc.)
I've never crocheted (boy, that word looks weird!), but am willing to try simple stuff.