Saturday, September 30, 2006

Learning on the Fly

One of the reasons I knit, is to learn. So the majority of my projects have been progressive in difficulty.

  1. Garter St square
  2. the Ribbed for Her Pleasure scarf from S&B (purling)
  3. striped scarf (color work)
  4. hat (in the round)
  5. felting (in the round and Kitchener Stitch)
  6. socks (well just socks!)
  7. sweaters (following pattern and piecing)
  8. Norwegian sweaters (steeeeeeeking!)
Now I'm onto 'designing'. And let me tell you, it's scary. I have a vision, which makes me sound psychotic or something. Anyway, I saw a graphic pattern, loved it and wanted it to be a bag. Went to Stitches and found THE perfect handles for said bag and it started developing in my mind.( check them out! Their stuff is amazing!)
I wanted a messenger bag with plaid back and front, a grey solid piece under the flap and with a black gusset. But here was my 'inspiration', a short row fitted gusset. You know, you turn a heel and the knitting TURNS. So why not use 2 heel turns to make the gusset a 'U' shape and make it fit better and not give as much. Woohoo! Great idea. People were impressed. I charged forth.

And now I'm on the clever gusset. And I'm scared. Very rarely have I been 'scared' of knitting. But I've always been following a pattern, so if it actually completely belly-flopped I could point the finger of blame at someone else. No more net now. And well, I've done short row shaping in patterns before, but I hadn't completely wrapped my mind around it. You know, I didn't 'get' it all the way. But that didn't stop me, nope. I just grabbed a sock pattern and manipulated it to what I needed. Only it didn't work, imagine that.

It looked like a sock heel. Nice and deep, and cushy for a heel..but way too deep for a bag turn.

So I frogged. BUT I did begin to figure out the short row shaping. I'd just try again and not make it as deep, so don't do as many rows.

Sounds good.

And it seems ok. (second image) It's not as deep and looks like I wanted, but felting will tell.

I'm still debating felting the bag in pieces or sewn together. I'm leaning towards in pieces, since the bottom of the bag will be knit in a different direction than the front, so they will felt at different ratios..or so I'd imagine. And then I imagine nasty puckering. But if I felt separately, I can sew the whole thing together on my sewing machine, making it more durable? I do know I'm going to line it, well if it actually comes together right! But I'll hold off on that till I get there.

Lastly I learned a bit about needle felting, and I purchased rovings that match the bag (red, black, cream) , plus a felting needle. What am I going to do with them? I've no idea..again cross that bridge when/if I actually get there!

I did finally finish the massive expansive of boring st st. I ran out of gray, so I went ahead and did the last bit in black. I think it will help pull it together colorwise as well.

Now I just need to finish the gusset (am about 1/3 way done) and pick up a garter border on the edges of the plaid piece. Then I can felt. *eek* I'm also toying with the idea of external pockets and perhaps a 'roo pouch' attached with I-cord or maybe even a clasp of some sort.

We'll just have to see how inspired I am, and if it pulls together!!

Wish me luck!