Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Miss Moneypenny

Ok, I must be motivationally challenged. I didn't work on my Christmas gifts yet again because I couldn't help but make an old fashioned moneybag to go with my Buttonhole Bag. Mostly, I think it's because I can't figure out how to knit a full blown wallet with credit card slots and a change purse, so I just gave up on that. Instead, taking my cue from Karen, I decided that a simple drawstring top pouch would work just fine.

Pattern: my first foray into non-pattern land!
Materials: Cascade Pastaza (50% llama, 50% wool, 132 yards) leftovers in color 1001. Size US10 29" circular needles.
Gauge: 17 sts to 4" in stockinette, 23 sts to 4" in cable pattern.
Finished size: 6.5" tall and 4.5" wide.

Started: September 5, 2005
Finished: September 6, 2005

CO 36 sts. Using Magic Loop method, pm and join sts being careful not to twist. Knit 6 rounds. On next round (eyelet row), *ssk, yo* to end of round. Knit 3 rounds. On next round, increase 12 sts evenly around (48 sts). Knit 3 rounds. On next round (cable round), *cable 6 right, cable 6 left* repeat to end. Knit 7 rounds. Repeat last 8 rounds 3x. Work a cable round. Knit 3 rounds. On next round, decrease 12 sts evenly around (36 sts). Break yarn leaving long tail to graft stitches together by Kitchener stitch. Work 3 st I-cord to desired length and feed through eyelet row. Weave in all ends and block.

I discovered a few things about knitting on the fly. Again, I discovered that thinking a bit before you knit saves a lot of extra work. I do wish I were as creative as Grumperina about fixing my knits. She just posted a step by step on grafting in a new piece to fix a mistake she made at the very bottom of her project that prevented her from having to frog the entire side. Oh I wish to be that technical and inventive of a knitter someday!

Anyway, things I learned:

  • Cable rows should be spaced at least a few rows away from any other rows with texture in them. The texture can be obscured by the puckering of the cables if placed too close to that row. I made the mistake of knitting only one row after the eyelet row and working the cable row immediately after. Yeah. The eyelets disappeared into the cables rendering them non-functional. Out it went.
  • All-over cables significantly decrease the width of your piece. If you're combining cables with any other stitch pattern, make sure you swatch in both patterns. You'll have to increase and decrease accordingly for sections with different stitch patterns. I didn't swatch. I was just merrily knitting along assuming the gauge on the label would be somewhere close to what I'd get. Then I spied this cable pattern in Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and decided to give it a go. My pouch ended up able to hold little more than a roll of quarters. Out it went.
  • Magic Loop is da bomb! Okay, I sound really dumb saying that, kinda like I sound when using the word "a'ight" but whatever. Magic loop takes a little bit of getting used to, and it's probably not as fast as circular knitting where your stitches actually make it all the way around your cable since you're constantly adjusting stitches for Magic Loop. But it's a whole lot better than DPNs any day of the week and twice on Tuesdays. That's my magic loop in action.
  • If you increase a lot, you should probably decrease them back out if you want to start and end with a similar width. I forgot about that and just grafted my pouch closed. After inspecting my beautifully seamless bottom, I discovered that said bottom was about 2 inches wider than the opening of the pouch. Not terrible, but I was hoping for a more rectangular shape. Out it went. Let me tell you undoing kitchener is a bitch. I don't recommend it.

Bottom line: I love seamless projects. I've probably already mentioned how much I don't seam. I'm definitely using Magic Loop when I have to do sleeves and baby hats and socks from now on!