Monday, December 21, 2009

ItShe Love

Someone who has been there to support and love me unconditionally is worthy of handknits. And it's just another perk that she's a knitter. One of the things about my Best B (aka ItShe) is that she has a knack for giving gifts, and it's an attribute I've tried to pick up on. So I'm always on the lookout for something to show how important she is to me. When I decided to make this felted knitting bag in March, I picked out colors that she would like, and got started knitting. It was exactly what I wanted to give her for her birthday in November, and I needed a head-start if I was going to figure out how to finish it.

Name of Project: Knitting Basket by Lucia Tedesco
Yarn: 3 hanks of Manos Del Uruguay
Needles: Size US 10 (6.0 mm)
Pattern Notes: I think that the bottom could be knit in the round instead of back and forth, then you wouldn't have to sew up the seam. I also worked a couple of purl rounds to make the turn after the base a little more pronounced. For the handles, I cast on double the amount of stitches to make them longer. It will easily be carried on the shoulder and keep your hands free.

The bag before felting:
Green Felted Bag (1)
The bag after felting: I turned it over on a stockpot and let it dry for a couple of days.
Green Felted Bag (4)
And here it is completely finished.
I found a thin flexible plastic at Jo-Ann's that is commonly used for a quilting template. I used two of them for the bag. I sewed a tube out of the lining fabric to slip the plastic through, then sewed it to the dimensions of the bag. Then I sewed the tube containing the plastic inside the bag, and cut a round circular piece of plastic to fit the bottom. The result is a totally sturdy inside, that holds the bag to its desired shape. This was my first experience making something like this and am so please with the results, I already have the yarn to make another. I need one too!

The next gift giving opportunity was Christmas. This one actually had it's start in February, kind of. When I was at Stitches West in Santa Clara, I found the Abstract Fiber booth and they had the most beautiful blend of Cashmere and Silk fiber. I've never knitted anything with my hanspun before but decided this was the perfect reason to try it.
Beckeys Handwarmers (1)
This is my own top-down fingerless glove pattern. I made a little gauge swatch, determined the amount of stitches to cast-on and got started. My handspun only got me as far as the wrist so I added a little Blackstone Tweed from Berroco to finish the length.
Beckeys Handwarmers (2)
They did turn out like I wanted which I consider a victory! The handspun was a little thicker than I had envisioned because I did a 3-ply, but in the end it still looked great. I pictured ItShe wearing them while walking her energetic Chloe dog. Who wouldn't want to have a pair of Cashmere/Silk gloves to walk the dog?

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