Saturday, August 18, 2007

Still No Sock Knitting

I started knitting the Via Diagonale bag by Wendy Wonnacott from Knitty's Spring 2005 issue last week and I'm at the binding off point. I could not stop knitting on this project! Everything else got put on hold. I'm using two stash yarns: a Chinese red Pingouin mercerized cotton from Elann left over from a sweater I made my Dad 5 years ago and some cabled cotton, also from Elann, that I helped a friend dye a nice soft teal blue and she gave me the leftovers after finishing her sweater. I saw the bag in someone's project pages when I was browsing for ways to use a certain yarn on Ravelry and was reminded of how much I liked it originally.

I love using slip stitch/mosaic patterns and this one was no exception. Once I got the rhythm going I didn't even need to look at the directions. It helped that I'd made some socks using the same pattern a few years back. The double stranding helps give the bag structure even in cotton yarn, although I will have to line it and put something in the bottom to help the bag keep its shape. Since I had more yardage than the pattern called for, and I like bigger bags, I'm making it taller. I plan to insert plastic aquarium tubing into the handles, or maybe use purchased handles. The colors are a bit brighter in real life, as you can see from the frogged red bag's picture, and there are very subtle variations in the hand dyed blue yarn.

Using Ravelry's interactive features, I was able to click on the yarn info page for the pattern and see what weight yarn the designer used, something that's not always obvious with patterns. Then I could just go to my stash page and figure out if I had enough yardage to make the bag. This is only one of the reasons why I love Ravelry! If you haven't put your name on the waiting list I'd encourage you to do so. It took six weeks for me to get an invite but it was worth the wait. Once they are out of the Beta stage the site will be free and open to all.

I plan to make the bag again in Kureyon and a solid colored wool, using larger needles, and felt it. Slip stitch designs really work well in felted bags. I've also been working on my mitered garter stitch vest and a modular sweater using a big bag of miscellaneous purple and blue green yarns. Pictures pending

In order to make the Via Diagonale bag I had to frog this bag project, which had been on hold since I didn't think I had enough yarn to finish. I'm much happier with this new project. I have a golf ball sized amount left of the red yarn and one skein left from the teal, enough to bind off and make the handles.

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