Trellis Bag constructed

The Trellis Bag is complete. My theories on it’s construction were all proved as it went along. I’ve taken photos of varying quality during the various construction stages and a couple of completion photos. When there’s more light and more time I’ll take some, hopefully better, photos. Sewing in the lining, sewing the pockets for the rods of the handles and putting it onto the handles all happened at Edendale Farm in Eltham during a Home Education meet up. So I’ve decided to officially name it the Edendale Bag. A quick search of Ravelry tells me that no-one has used this name so far. I have to try and get pattern writing for this piece, in amongst too many commitments for the preservation of sanity. Here is a photo of the bag during construction.

The summer pullover (working title, “Shells’n’Bells”) is progressing well. A couple of days ago I rediscovered the advisability of a life line. Don’t ask me how. This slippy bamboo yarn seems to make it more necessary than usual. A dropped stitch gets away Pretty Damn Quick. I do find life lines a bit awkward, and would rather not use them, but I must reluctantly admit, they are worth doing. I use sewing thread for my life line, as I have found thicker thread/yarn leaving a slight mark where it has displaced the knitting. So, anyway, I would say I have half of the first piece done.

A new project

Such is our family schedule, like most others, that it hasn’t been possible to even make a date to go shopping for some lining fabric for the trellis bag. So I’ll move on to another project that’s been on the back burner. Way back in June, I knitted these tension squares. The yarn is Sirdar Juicy DK, 80% Bamboo and 20% Cotton. It’s beautiful and soft and has a lovely drape to it.

My idea is to make a summer pullover in two different lace patterns. One will be for the sleeves and top half of the body, the other for the lower half of the body. The “squares” were laundered, dried and then hung overnight to determine any drop. I didn’t weight the squares as they hung, as the garment is intended to be close fitting, and therefore will be supported more by the wearers body than the rest of the fabric.

The above was written 12 days ago. In the intervening time I’ve had a crisis of confidence about my tension squares. After hanging, they dropped a little, as expected. However, after being put away for a couple of months, they seem to have retracted to their original size. Aaaaargh! What does it all mean? Does this mean that all my calculations based on the hung squares will be wrong? After much worrying, I decided to hang them again, out of curiosity to see what would happen. They dropped again, but not as much as the first time. I’m wondering if I was hallucinating when I took the first batch of measurements. After seeking advice from fellow fledgling designers on Ravelry, I’ve decided to go for a “split the difference” approach, somewhere between the two measurements, which isn’t huge anyway.

In the mean time, I’ve finished all my calculations, written up the pattern, bought yarn and actually begun knitting. It’s my first attempt at designing something with sleeves. To me, working out body and neckline measurements seems pretty much common sense, but armholes and sleeve caps are what have mystified me. In the absence of a convenient class to teach me these things, I have resorted to scouring knitting design books. Some of the instructions for working out shapings have seemed a little on the vague side to me. My most recent book purchase, though, has shed a lot more light on the subject. “Knitwear Design Workshop” by Shirley Paden has clear specifics which I’ve been able to comprehend. It remains to be seen whether I can convert this into a successfully designed garment. I remain hopeful.

Also, since I began writing this post, I have managed to drag DD1 to Spotlight to choose some lining material for her bag. In the next week, I plan to make up the bag and lining and get the pattern close to ready for publication. Exciting!