Here she is. My lumpy little dumpling bag. All ready to be...um, stuffed with....uh... hmm. I have to admit that it is more fun to make a felted bag than it is to own one. I have several of the cute little things in all shapes and sizes but rarely use them. They are, after all, just a wad of fuzzy wool with a handle. Knitting in 3D is awfully clever but I have never been able to just throw my wallet in one and head out to the mall. They just are not real bags. Real bags have zippers and pockets and are made of stuff that can be thrown on the car floor even when it is raining. Felted bags are more like pets. Having said that, Knit Picks has a gorgeous new Fair Isle Sipalu bag that is just calling my name. I have been lurking in the Community Room reading all the posts from the bag's knit along group trying to talk myself out of spending the big bucks for the kit. At $35 this is no impulse buy. I don't even have a real bag that costs that much.
There is only one thing more interesting than knitting in my little world. The sad thing is, if my family were ever stranded on an island with this guy, I know I would have to fight my little sister to the death for him. Since this is your day little sis, here he is. He's all yours. At least for today.
One day I am complaining about getting this thing going and the next day it is done. Talk about instant gratification! I have been using my little faux go-knit bags to knit while I walk the dogs after work and tonight I am actually sorry to see it all over so soon. I am happy to report that my ratty old handspun is not looking so terrible. The colors are really nice and the lumps and the bumps will probably felt up decently leaving me with some cute little stripes. I hope. You never actually know just how handspun will felt up so I better not get too overly excited. The tricky part is still to come. I suppose I may be revealing too much to say that I have been known to felt up bags in the tub while I am enjoying a long, hot, bubble bath. Saturday night me and my little dumpling have a date. I'm bringing the wine.
I did it. I sat down in the peace and quiet of a rare Saturday all to myself and took the scissors to my Palette Cardigan that has been many months in the making. Eunny's Steeking Chronicles kept me company as I crocheted up the edges and then carefully snipped away at the tiny threads that held my precious project together. Miraculously, the edging held and I was able to pick up the sleeve stitches without a problem except of course my all too familiar issue with counting. I needed 157 stitches so of course I ended up with 136. The only other concern I have at the moment is, now that I have the thing off the needles, I can actually see how big it is. It is HUGE. When I have it on I look like the "after" poster for a weight loss product. I got so carried away with the fun of working with all the pretty colors that I never even considered checking the gauge. Too late now.
This was a bag of chips for dinner kind of work week so my progress on the little dumpling bag has been slow going. First, I could not figure out what yarn to use and ended up spinning my own. Then I realized I did not have the right size of needles so they had to be ordered. Finally those little plastic rings that make the whole project so cute are apparently NOT in any craft store in Maryland. I am close to losing interest in the whole damn thing but I don't want to be the only person on Ravelry that doesn't have one of these adorable little bags so I am going to have to force myself to get this thing started today. Maybe. I still have my Palette cardigan sitting here waiting for me to (gasp) cut the arm steeks. I admit that I am totally terrified of the idea of cutting holes in something I have been knitting on for months but it's either cut it or turn it into a giant stuffed pillow.
I knitted (ate) my way through the Maryland Renaissance Festival yesterday. Those poor socks that I planned to be my lunchtime knit were my companions whenever I found myself sitting. I turned the heel watching the jousting. I completed the gusset decreases watching a couple of nuns tell dirty jokes and made my way to the toe during beer breaks on this hot Saturday afternoon. Every year I always regret not making the effort to dress up. I don't have the boobies for a corset but this year I did bring that little Shale Shawl thinking that would make me look like a 15th century knitting granny but it was just too frickin' hot so the poor little thing stayed in the car. It was so warm that I was very close to dumping my felted wool bag in the nearest trash can rather than to continue having it itch and scratch my sweaty shoulder all day. It wasn't too hot however to cram my belly full of steaming hot goodies. Anything fried on a stick is my idea of a good time unless it's a frozen piece of cheesecake covered in dark chocolate on a stick. Now we are talking ecstasy.
When you begin a project you usually have some idea as to what you are getting yourself into. Some projects are simple while others take on epic proportions. This was intended as a quick knit, something to practice making lace weight yarn for but it quickly got out of hand. I should have started with a simple scarf but instead decided to try my hand at spinning enough for a lace shawl. This Old Shale Shawl (aka Old Raggedy on Ravelry) and I have had quite a love/hate relationship. I loved spinning the yarn. I hated the pattern. The simplicity of the whole thing lulled me into a false sense of security which resulted in many stupid mistakes. And even worse, half way through, the colors started changing from subtle rainbow shades to neon brights although I swear I was spinning it from the same hunk of roving. Most upsetting. Then, tonight, as if by magic, that ugly duckling of a raggedy ass mess, turned into a lovely swan after being soaked and then blocked across my dining room table. Now that I can finally see her, the poor little thing is not so ugly after all.
As tropical storm Hanna raced up the coast and dropped buckets of rain on our little beach town by the Chesapeake Bay this morning, I looked out the window to see our brave little mail lady struggling down our long driveway with a very large box in her arms. I knew it could only be one thing since my back to school paycheck is so pitiful that I am back on a strict yarn diet. Over the summer, when I still had some fun money left after each payday, I pre-ordered the new Harmony straight needle sets in both the 10 and 14 inch sizes. Like everything else at Knit Picks the demand always exceeds their stock so I had a very long wait. I thought. They came on a perfect day and at a perfect time as I am struggling with the extremely boring task of knitting up a simple slip stitch belt for my big red cardigan. These gorgeous needles have a lovely slick feel to them and those fantastic long shiny tips and brilliant colors make even a dull project entertaining. Hanna can do what she wants now. I've got plenty to keep me busy indoors today!