The Trellis Bag is begun.

DD1 is due back tonight, and I have at least made a start on her bag, as shown. DD2 deems it “cool”. That’s good enough for me.
It’s been a very gloomy afternoon here, but I still managed to take a half-decent photo in the poor light. The camera want’s to use the flash, but the photos always look better without, unless it’s dark dark. A pain in my left forearm is annoying, but I’m sure it’s not knitting induced, and doesn’t hurt while knitting, only in certain non-knitting positions.

This yarn still looks great, even though knitted much wider than the tension square. It’s exciting seeing it grow.

I’ve started using Microsoft Excel, in a very basic way, to help with calculations based on stitches per cm, weight and measurement of tension square, estimated finished size of pieces and weight and length of balls of yarn. I’ve learnt a lot from Marnie MacLean’s excellent tutorials on the subject in her blog. After doing the same calculations over and over in my notebook and trying to remember, “how did I do this last time?”, it makes sense to put those standard calculations into a spreadsheet, and just enter the relevant numbers. Voila!
The full sweater spreadsheets are a bit overwhelming for me at the moment, so I’m trying to just focus on what I need to do for this little bit I happen to be working on. Hopefully I’ll be able to expand from here. I don’t go too well with blindly following someone elses calculations. I need to do and understand each little bit at a time.

Tension squares reduce my tension

The Sirdar Escape duly arrived. I’ve been away on camp over the long weekend, and was able to use the time to knit up a few tension squares. Some of the Sirdar Escape, I’ve knitted up into a tension square in Trellis Stitch. It’s very cute, especially in this yarn. I’m knitting it on smaller needles to create a denser fabric, as it’s for a bag. The combination of the yarn, stitch pattern and smaller needles certainly makes for a fairly condensed piece of fabric. The colour repetition is very cute, but I know it’ll be more of a stripy look when knitted over the full width.

The next thing to consider is the construction of the bag. The stiff bamboo handles mean that extra fabric at the ends of the handles, or longish splits down into the sides of the bag, will be needed, so that the bag will open more than just a sliver. I’ve been googling to research bamboo handled bags and carpet bags, to see what I can do without making it too complicated. My current favourite is to just leave the side seams open maybe a third, to allow leeway for opening space. This means I’ll still be able to use a simple rectangle of fabric without fancy shaping. Just gathering the top of the bag to fit the handles, and splits down the sides, should do the job. Sounds good in theory at least!

DD1 is away on camp at the moment, and I was hoping to have more than a little done by the time she gets back, but it seems it’s not to be.

Vest Photo Taken at Last

Winter weather has definitely arrived here. It’s been cold, grey and rainy today and yesterday. Thankfully the full force of today’s rain held off until after the daughters’ netball matches. And both had wins. Yay!

Well I’ve finally got around to having a photo taken of the Sideways Vest. As you can see, I did end up putting ribbing around the armholes. I really like the vest, but I’m not convinced that anyone else would want to knit it. It seems to bulge a little just above the band, which may be off-putting. I let it rest as a “just for me” pattern, and great practice for designing a vest, and a sideways one at that. I’m writing up the pattern properly, just in case I change my mind.

I’m currently waiting impatiently for some Sirdar Escape, which I’ve put on order. It’s to be used for a bag requested by DD1. I’m glad to be making something for someone other than myself. She has chosen the yarn, a general idea of the stitch pattern, and some bamboo handles. I have precious little time for knitting or making calculations at the moment, but nevertheless I am missing the knitting. Those enforced times of waiting are perfect for a few stitches, but alas no knitting for now.