geekin' on yarn, parenting, & whatever else comes up.



February 2008



Ice, Ice, Baby

Written by , Posted in Knitting, New Projects, Noni Medallion Travel Bag, stash enhancement

Choose the musical version wisely, lest your earworm become an 80’s has-been rather than a 70’s rock deity. 🙂 (ETA: Evidently Wendy and I shared the same sentiments towards weather. :))

Outside, the trees, bushes, roads and walkways are encased in a fairly icky ice storm. I discovered that it was perhaps a bit more than slush when I stepped outside our front door yesterday, took one step, and promptly fell on my arse.

Oh. Perhaps we’ll add salt then, aye? ~sheepish~ Also, I have a bruise on my forearm that should look pretty spectacular ’round about tomorrow.

A box of Morton’s kosher salt later, and our walkway and steps are once again navigable without having to bring crampons and stout rope along, but the storm has also brought with it very grey skies, making photography for my planned duvet tutorial a touch difficult. That may be pushed off to next week if the weather continues this way, or I might be able to pull it off over the weekend. I won’t leave it off, though.

Instead, today I give you: A new project. (Because one can never have too many projects on the needles at one time, I say.)

I might have gotten a bit carried away with the grey winter when I decided on color for this bag — although I prefer to believe I am influenced by the colors of belly dance costumes and rajasthani dancers. 🙂

I substituted Ella Rae Classic wool in lieu of the suggested Cascade 220, because that’s what Knit Happens carries and I wanted brighter colors for slightly less cost. The Ella Rae I know is lovely because I’m using it for Tom’s skully scarf, it’s at least a dollar less per skein than the Cascade, and it has 219 yards to a ball, making it close enough to equal to be a score in my book. (By the way, I don’t always feel that cheaper is better, but sometimes it just makes sense, all other items being equal, to save as much as you can, wherever you can.) ETA: Thanks, Rosemary, for pointing out that the Ella Rae in fact IS equal to Cascade 220 in all things except price and name. 🙂 Score!

Thus far I have about six rows of the bottom of the bag completed. Twice, in fact — the first iteration had to be ripped out because I forget that my concentration really can’t be interrupted in the middle of a row, because whenever it is, I WILL persist in effing it up.

This is one of the first patterns I’ve worked with for which I have a bit of a negative preliminary review, although my complaints are really minor in the grand scheme of things:

My biggest complaint so far with this pattern is that the chart is really tiny and difficult to read, and I would like very much to have an enlarged copy of the chart made so I can read it more easily. But the copyright is laid out VERY explicitly in the pattern booklet that there can be NO reproduction of ANY kind for ANY reason — which I take to mean very clearly that you cannot make enlargements for personal purposes. I’m actually pretty frustrated that there’s not an allowance for that in the pattern booklet, but I know designers are very concerned about unauthorized reproductions of their patterns, and rightly so, as it’s a commonplace practice that does take money from their pockets that most can ill afford. But it still bothers me and is causing me difficulty in enjoying the knitting of the pattern. I really really want the finished product, though, so I imagine I will figure out a way to slog through it.

Another bit to this piece is that the bag handles used in the example are way more than I’m willing to spend, after spending as much as it takes for the yarn to make the bag to begin with. $50 for the handles alone seems pretty darned excessive to me, so I won’t be using those handles. I’m aware of course that you needn’t make any given pattern as it is made in the sample, and that in fact shop owners bemoan the fact that people seldom wish to deviate from what’s in the photograph. It’s an easy fix as well in terms of not using the suggested finishing item, but I think it’s still a legitimate personal annoyance to mention.

What will I use for handles instead? I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet. I think I may actually go the route of heavy duty webbed strapping going all the way under the bag, to give additional support to the bottom of the bag and a bit of added structure to the bag itself. I may improvise using leather belting instead of webbing, I don’t know, the ideas are still sort of tumbling around in my head. But there you have my wee bit of brightness for the grey winter. 🙂


  1. Debbie
  2. Rachelle

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