Wednesday, April 30, 2008

just in the nic of time

FINISHED!! I also wanted to have a few done by the end of April but only managed to get one done. Oh well it was still fun and I LOVE the finished product. Very roomy and stretchy. Thanks to my friend for helping me and encouraging me to finish!

keep em' coming!

That's right, keep em' coming! I'm going to be checking for late night entries in the morning, so finish up those bags and tomorrow or maybe a day later I'll draw names... I know how deadlines are, so if you even finish them up tomorrow post anyways and I'll count it towards the drawing:O) The more the merrier, right?!

Currently I'm trying to finish up a pair of socks for the SAM5 KAL... Must go finish....

Its been so much fun to watch everyone and the different color and yarn choices all the totes are beautiful! I hope you all had fun and or learned something... The next time I post there will be a winner! Good luck~

My Final Answer

This was such great fun and I loved watching everyones projects fly by. Great work Jessica!! I don't think I updated the last ones so here they are.

I'm going to take them all to the grocery store for a test run this weekend (if the rain stops!).

Elisa's Nest Backpack

I knit the bag in the round, & therefore the opening at the top was quite small. Reading through everyone's tips it's now clear why knitting flat & then seaming most of the way up the sides would work better...

I made my bag into a little backpack for my daughter to take to the beach. It's not really Elisa's Tote bag at this point!

Next time I'll allow more than eight days for a project but I have really enjoyed my first KAL :)

In the bag

My second tote is finished and someone seems to have made it their own! I worked this in Rowan Denim cotton. It’s much firmer than the Rowan Cotton 4-ply and I prefer it. This is quite a short, fat bag as I ran out of yarn (one ball of each colour).

I was hoping to have a third finished for today using the remaining Rowan Cotton 4-ply, but the I had to rip it out as I’d fallen into the final YO trap and had lost some stitches along the way. Watching TV and this project don’t seem to have worked for me!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finished Three

I finished 3 bags and have another one on the needles, but I don't think I'll finish it before the end of the day tomorrow.

The first one I made used Louet Euroflax Linen (green bag). It was not a fun yarn to knit but I love the finished result. I followed the pattern and knit it flat but when I seamed the sides I left about 2-3 inches at the top unseamed. I like the opening at the top done this way.

The second one I used Peaches 'n Cream cotton (blue bag). It was okay to knit with, nothing special. I knit a garter stitch bottom, picked up stitches and knit it in the round. Then I attached the handles but left the sides so that the handle did not include those stitches. It's nice, a little shorter than the other and a little wider. It will probably be good for some heavier things.

The third one used DMC Senso Crochet Cotton/Arcrylic blend (pink and orange). It was actually nice to knit with and has a very nice feel to the bag (not as sturdy feeling as the linen). I knit this one in the round bottom to top and I just stitched up the bottom when I finished. The opening at the top is not as large as I would like so the one that I am working on now I will stop a few inches from the top, split the stitches onto two needles and knit back and forth creating a section that is not knit in the round. I much prefer knitting this pattern in the round so I will do most of it that way. This has been a fun project and I will probably knit some more to give away to friends/family.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm finally finished too!

I started this KAL seriously believing I would make at least two bags.

Then I remembered that it was April, and my brothers' birthdays were at the end of the month. With the bag a little more than half done, I set it aside to crank out a hat for each of them, then returned to the bag.

It's amazing how much this thing stretches! I didn't think I'd be able to sling it over my shoulder, but it hangs quite nicely.
I learned yesterday that the neighborhood I work in will be getting a Farmer's Market soon, so this bag will be put to good use!

Falling Leaves Nest Tote

Bag is complete. Yarn, Reynolds Saucy, called for size 7 needles. I experimented and decided on using 10’s.

I used circular size 9 to make the bottom, I altered the pattern a bit by putting a circular bottom using the K2Tog, next row K1, alternating until I only had approx. 20 stitches on needles. By doing this, I am hoping it will make a stronger bottom. This was the first bag I made and got frustrated with the I-Cord so I made a separate I-Cord, wove it through the holes made by the pattern, and POOF!

This bag is filled with 3 queen size sheets and there is still room for more! And as always, I added some "jewelry" to the bag. I had made some felted leaves for my felt stash and this bag just called for them.

This certainly was a lot of fun and have plans to make several others.

I really enjoyed this was my first but will not be my last.

Topsail Beach Bag

This started out as the “PIA” bag. Changed the name after I completed it. I LOVE it!

The top of the bag was done in blue, representing the Mighty Atlantic. Then I knitted the blue of the ocean with the natural color representing where the water and land meet, aka sea foam. Finally, the lower part of the bag is tan for the sandy beach and dunes of North Topsail Island and Topsail Island, NC. I then sewed on the “Shell Jewelry” from my North Topsail Island shell stash because, everything needs jewelry of some sort.

The bag was done in 3 colors of Reynolds Saucy. I, like others, strayed a bit from the original pattern. The blue was done in K1P1 rib for several rows then K2Tog. The rest of the bag is a random mix of K2tog and SSK.

Learned several new techniques including that applied I-Cord that seemed to throw me for a loop! Once I got the hang of it, it was a piece of cake!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's finished!

I finished my bag tonight at the Bahr Creek knit night! I made the straps 12 inches. I used size 9 needles for the body and size 3 needles for the strap and I used Sugar N Cream yarn in Lavender Ice. :) I really like it.

Finally Finished!!

Well, there it is! I finished my Elisa Nest Tote, and in doing so, I finished my very first KAL. Thanks to Jessica, who helped me a little. I really liked this pattern, made a few mistakes, but only the most experienced knitter would know, and it is still a very useable product. Did learn a lot too. Think I will surely be making more of these. I'm addicted! Thanks for letting me KAL!! Suzanne

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Last Minute KAL

This is my first knit along, & I've added to the excitement by joining very late in April. I've already begun twice - this time in the round. There's one little group of stitches at the end/beginning of the round that aren't exactly correct, but I can live with that.

Dawn's Nest Tote - Finished!

I finally worked on the applied I-cord last night and found it was easy! LOL! I should have started it a long time ago! I got across the front and a couple of inches into the handle last evening.

My yarn is thick and thin, so working with that has been a little more challenging, than working with plain cotton yarn. It's Patagonia Nature Cotton by Araucania. I like the colors, though, since blue is my favorite color.

11:00 4-23-08: Finished the first handle tonight! Will work on the second handle at knitting on Thursday night!

4-29-08: Finished the second handle and wove in all the ends on Sunday, the 27th. Today, I got a picture! This KAL was just the incentive I needed, to get those handles finished! I used US9 for the body of the bag and US3 for the handles.

Yesterday, I needed to go to the laundromat with one of my big quilts. My bag easily held the latest Debbie Macomber book and my bottle of detergent. Later on, we took it to the store and it held a loaf of bread, a box of cereal and a box of granola bars. I'm all set for the farmer's market season now!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fancy Schmancy

So, the good thing about this is that the yarn (Filati FF Must) came from stash. It previously had no future, as I had purchased it completely on a whim and without any idea what I would do with it.

It turns out that I think this yarn is just lovely in this pattern, and I may use the other two skeins of a different color to do the same thing. Turning stash into useful, environmentally conscious gifts--now that's just brilliant!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First one finished

After a rocky start and much swearing, I'm pleased I persevered with this project and finished it. My first tote is now complete and was passed a test run to the shops this morning. I've learnt new techniques with this project, I-cord and Kitchener stitch. The latter I need to practice on.

I'm now on my second tote. Having learnt from the first, I'm using a different yarn this time, Rowan Cotton Denim. I've also added four rows of garter stitch at the beginning (and will repeat at the end) and two garter stitches at the beginning and end of each row. I'm hoping both this modifications will make the next bag a little less wonky. I'll also make the handles shorter.

This could become habit forming. . .

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Grandma's Got a Brand New Bag

They are like potato chips, you can't stop with just one! Or maybe it's because of my goal to do a real grocery shopping trip with them at the end of the month? Either way, I'm enjoying the learning curve!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm done!

Knit with Lily Cotton Sugar 'n Cream, in the round with decreases at the bottom to avoid sewing any seams (such a wuss I am) and short handles. Can't wait to try it out at the farmers' market!

Still Need A Picture...

If I take my camera out my knitting will NEVER get finished...

I'm not the greatest knitter, I really love crochet more, however I read somewhere "slip as if to purl" and well my ssk is instead a k2tog tbl, however I think it looks fine, and I wish I'd done this in the round but I ripped it out three times before it finally worked, row 4 kept messing me up.

I'm using Lily Sugar'n Cream Solid, a nice off white, I'll definately make some more. PM me on Ravelry if you have any yarn suggestions for Xmas/Holiday gifts in this (sitdevil).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I couldn't help myself

I just kept knitting... and it was done last night! I love this one, mainly because it is pinkish. I'm going to use it as my purse/bag this spring and summer! Love it! I just clip my keys on by the top (can you see the blue part?!) and throw the rest of my things inside!

I knit this one in the round, by using Judy's magic cast on and then knitting it form the bottom up. I think I co 83 sts and placed a marker at the beginning of my round. Seriously, it went super fast that way, and no seaming!!! I also only wanted one handle(with double the strength) so I twisted the second one around the first before I kitchenered it. I really like this bag and I'm happy it turned out!

I used Omega Sinfonia, a mercerized cotton. I like how it has a bit of a sheen to it too! US# 8, for the body and US#5 for the handles.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Its done, but

I started another one... I just had to buy some pink mercerized cotton to make myself a bag to use as a purse this summer.... I just had to!

So here is the one I finished. I did the flat bottomed version, giving myself 20 extra sts. I also didn't make the handles touch each other. It opens up quite big. I've also learned (through knitting a few of these) that if you use larger needles when making the handles it isn't such a small opening.

I easily fit these boxes of cereal inside, why are they all Quaker?! I don't know that's just what came out of the cupboard with me. Strange though, they all are, and they all have that silly guy staring at me. I didn't notice it until I uploaded the pictures onto my computer.

Anyways, the boxes fit in nicely, and I probably could have fit one or two more in it too... Its a really big bag!

The only issue I have with it is that Its two different colors, and the blue on the bottom really doesn't even match the multi colored one. But I got over that pretty quick.

Also I ended up using almost 3 whole balls of Peaches & Creme, one of the solid and two of the multi colored. I knit it on US#9 and used US#5 for the handles. Oh and I really liked knitting it in the round because I didn't have to seam up the sides!


I'm feeling ever so pleased with myself, as I managed to finish my bag yesterday. Ok, so sometimes I forgot which set of decreases I was meant to be doing, and the handles aren't quite as neat as they could be, but I don't care. After last weekend's post, I wasn't even sure if I'd ever get round to picking it up again, let alone finishing it. But one day this week I was in need of something simple to knit, and I got drawn back to the bag, and very quickly I was making good progress. I had the day off work yesterday as I have a cold, and the bag was the perfect thing to work on while tucked up in a quilt watching old films.

It took me a while to get the hang of the crocheted seams, but the i-cord handles weren't too much trouble. I should have concentrated more when I was grafting the ends, and darning in the ends, but I think I tidied them up well enough.
I haven't had a chance to use it yet, as I've hardly been out these past couple of days. The opening is quite small, so it's not going to be an all purpose shopping bag. I decided to go for the shorter handles as I don't like too many bags on my shoulder at once. The cotton I chose is quite soft, so hopefully it won't hurt my hands if it gets heavy.

Will I make another one? Possibly. Maybe in red or purple, if I can find some nice cotton in those colours. It might be a nice project to make for friends. I'll have to test this one for a while first I think.

Thanks to Naturallyknitty for organising this knitalong. It's been a fun way to make something that's been in my queue for a while, and nice to know that there were people I could call on if I needed help.

Friday, April 11, 2008

My Shades of Green and Key Lime Nest Tote

Apr 11: 2-tone nest tote
In my haste to get this started I grabbed the only ball of Sugar n Cream yarn of which I had only one color. Can you believe that? Luckily I also had a ball in another green, so it looks like my tote will be Shades of Green on one side and Key Lime Pie on the other. Maybe I should get some solid green to use for the handles...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

One Down, Two to Finish

OK, I've got the Blue Bottom done and really liked the results. I read several comments on Ravelry about the top being too small so I ended my handles before the side sections (those that came from the squared off base). This one is knit with the smaller handles also, because I envisioned it being more of a carry bay for my knitting during the summer. The yarn was Sinfonia by Omega and was stranded (like embroidery floss). It was listed as sport weight calling for size US 4, but I knit it on size US 9 circulars with size US 4 DPN'S for the handles. I totally LOVE the bottom! It acts just as I hoped it would. This is also a Mercerized Cotton, so it has a slight sheen.

I took the other yarns with me during this weekend's car trip and actually got two other bodies done.

The pink is a yarn from Patons called Grace and is also a Mercerized Cotton. This I knit in the round and did a three needle bind off on the inside. I ripped back the first bind off I did on the outside because I thought it looked a bit rough with this dainty yarn. I knit this until the end of the first skein (136 yards)on size US 8 and I needed to use magic loop, because the stitches didn't move across the cable smoothly. I thought I'd knit it a bit longer, but found the small yarn knit with a large needle actually stretched out to over 12 inches. This one is now awaiting its handles.

This is the Sugar N' Cream yarn and I have one handle on so far. This is by far my least favorite yarn. It's so heavy to work with after the two finer yarns and without the polish is feels a bit dull. It does do a great job of showing the stitch detail though. I did the same inside three needle bind off on this one and knit it on US 9. I also held off the side stitches to make the opening easier to enter. This is shown by the stitch markers in the photo. I just saved four stitches on each side from the side seams. Oh, on this one too, I did two iCord stitches in each open yarn over space to keep the front a bit bigger. I noticed on the blue bottom bag that the iCord really pulled the edge in tight.


I finished this last night. I knit in the round with a 3 needle bind off.

I did do one before this one, but I didn't like the way it came out so I'm not going to show it to anyone. I think it was the ancient decrepit yarn from the bottom of my stash that caused the problem.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

No talking!

Generally I've been doing ok with the bag. I've got to about 6 or 7 inches now, and I like the way it's turning out. However, I have noticed that I have a tenancy to lose my concentration a little, and maybe make mistakes such as doing a row of the wrong kind of decrease, and this generally coincides with when my housemate is talking to me ;o)

I've decided though just to go with whatever mistakes I make, unless I start to lose stitches. It's only a bag, and it doesn't look that bad after all.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Moving right along...

... finally. It took three tries, but I think I've finally got it! I'm knitting this in the round with Lily's Sugar 'n Cream cotton. Fun, fun, fun!!

If at first you don't succeed. . .

After ripping out and casting on over six times I was ready to admit defeat on this one. However, this afternoon I sat down and tried again. My problem had been the magical disappearance of stitches. I just couldn't understand why I was one stitch down every four or so rows. Then Deep Sea Knitter (Ravatar Taliesin) came to my rescue. I wasn't doing a YO on before the final knit stitch of the fourth row.

I'm now 19 cm (approx 7 1/2") in. I've never knit with cotton or with a 4 ply yarn on such large needles (5.5mm, US 9). If I'd known what I know now I'd probably go down a size, but having started and ripped so much I'll stick with it now. As a result I think my bag will be

quite light and open. The whole weekend awaits, no chores, just knitting and my camera - bliss!


I don't like the colors together so I frogged it last night and started over. I think if I play around some more with the colors and different amounts I may like it more. Oh well. And the white and the brown are the same "thickness" (what's the knitting term? Ply?) but the variegated (I know that means different colors on one yarn) is thinner. One must be one of the "creams" (either peaches or sugar) and the other kind must be the other "cream". Does anyone know, is there really a big difference between the two or am I just weird? Hope you are all having fun with your totes!! :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Do you know which row you are on?

If you do, cool! If not, read on and see if this helps you! This is simply called reading your knitting, once you figure that out its smooth sailing from here!

OK first things first. When you get done with a K1 *yo, K2tog* row or a *SSK, yo* K1 row it will look something like this: notice the slanted yarn overs

Then you will need to purl the next row.

(that was easy, I know, but just in case we have some real newbies) I want you all to feel comfortable knitting this tote!

When you see (in the circle) the stitches slanting to the left, you will need to do the K1*yo, K2tog* row

the reason they are slanting to the left is because when you SSK, that creates a left slanting decrease. Then you need to do the opposite, the K2tog.

When you see (in the circle) the stitches slanting to the right, you will need to do the *SSK, yo* K1 row.

the reason they are slanting to the right is because when you K2tog, that creates a right slanting decrease. Then you need to do the opposite, the SSK.

One other trick, was that I used 2 different colors (like the bag on the sidebar, with the apples in it) and did the different rows with each color. For example, with the brown yarn I did the SSK and a purl row, and with the green yarn I did the K2tog and a purl row.

OK so that was it, my tricks. I know they really aren't tricks, but I hope it will help you. Please feel free to ask any other questions, or if this doesn't make sense... Ask away! You also can always count your rows, but that never works for me because I forget to do it and then that messes me up.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Third time lucky

I decided last night, at way past my normal knitting hour, that I really ought to at least cast on for the tote, so that I could say that I started on April 1st. So off I trotted to find to cotton, and some needles, and I got myself cozy and cast on. I knitted two or three rows, and to be honest, it was hell. I've mainly been knitting socks recently, so the 14" long, 6mm needles seemed like tree trunks compared to my nice little 2.25mm dpns. And the cotton has no give, so the ssk stitches were such an effort. Never mind, I tried, that's good enough for me.

Fast forward to this morning, and instead of getting myself ready for work, I decided to undo last night's efforts, and try again with smaller needles. This seemed to work much better, and I got a few rows done before I really had to leave the house. All well and good, or so I thought.

So, fast forward again ( why doesn't real life have fast forward? ) to this evening, home from work and ready to knit some more. I'd been thinking about the technical side of the pattern during the day - the way that the different decreases should slant, how it might be better to think of the purl rows as the finishing of the pattern, rather than the start. I knitted a couple more rows, but when I got to the end of a k2tog row, I realised that I had a spare stitch. And in fact, after counting, I had 3 less stitches than I started with. After some scratching of the head, and counting the row several times over, I realised that I'd not been doing the yo between the last ssk and the single knit stitch on the ssk row, so I was in fact losing a stitch every 4th row. Rather than undoing back to my last 'safe' row, I decided to undo it all, and start again.

So start again I did. And I knitted. And I purled. And I knitted and purled some more. And finally, I came up with this:

elisa tote 1

elisa tote 2

elisa tote 3

By jove, I think she's got it! Now, only 20 inches more to knit, and then I can have the fun of the crochet joining, and the knitted on handle. I can only imagine what fun that's going to be.

stash yarn

Yep that's what I'm using. Using my stash, following in the footsteps of Heather! I haven't started yet but i probably will tonight. I also think i want to knit a flat bottom, like Diane! I've made 3 of them the way the pattern is written and think its time for a change of pace!

Don't mind the animals, they are "yarn friendly"!

Once I get going I'll post again, also my tricks for knowing which row your on... I'll do pictures and everything!

I hope you all have fun with this, and thanks for joining!

Diane~ I hope you don't mind, but I've copied your links & instructions for the flat bottomed bag and put them on the sidebar, for easy access!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Started Today!

This afternoon I cast on for my bag. I got 2 repeats done but then I had to go eat supper. Here's my progress so far. It is really easy and I like how my yarn is in 3 sections of color (blue, purple, green). It's so pretty!

Blue Bottomed Bag

Oh, I’m so excited about this project. I have visions of finishing several of these useful bags. I bought two colors last week, got them photographed, read all the post on Ravelry and printed out the pattern (in duplicate – so I would have no excuses about it being at the other place!). Yup, I was P-r-e-p-a-r-e-d with a capital “P”. Until I got to work this morning and realized, as I pulled the calendar page off, that it was TODAY!!! Oh, man!! Everything was left at home except my camera (of course) and my extra copy of the pattern. After my lunch meeting I finally got around to looking through my office for an appropriate skein of cotton, hoping that I had something here that would work. Yup, she shoots and scores – Ultra marine blue cotton by Omega called Sinfonia bought before Christmas from the bargain bin. Four balls each with 218 yards gave me way more than I needed. A quick call to my daughter even brought me the loan of her needles for the day. So here is this afternoon’s work on my first bag, which you can see is a bit different. I decided to make the bottomed version I found on Ravelry and finished the base off before it was time to pack up and head home. I’m going to start the sides this evening with the regular pattern stitch and hope all will go well. I didn’t make a swatch of this piece because size didn’t seem to be an issue so I hope it continues going well.

One comment I saw often in the Ravelry comments and blogs was about knowing what row you are working on when you lay the piece down and return. I wondered how others marked rows and tracked their pattern. With only four pattern row repeats I’m wondering if it’s that hard? How is everyone else doing? I saw that 18 had signed up!

EDIT: The Ravelry project for the bottomed bag is here, and here is her blog post for the project. She used the direction for the bottom of this bag. For my bag I cast on 41 stitches and knit in garter stitch for 3 1/2" before picking up stitches around the edge and working in stockinette stitch for 8 rows. I'm sorry not to have included this yesterday and didn't mean to make you search for it.

1st Knit Along!

This is my first knit along as well, hopefully I'll get to start the bag this week. I have some extra "sugar n cream" that I had wanted to use for dish towels, but that can wait.

Good luck all!

Let's Get Started!

This is my first KAL and I'm nervous and excited at the same time. I am a fan of this tote and have wanted to make one for awhile. I don't really have any projects going right now except for some washcloths and a blanket I'm making for my son. I've run out of yarn and can't buy any more right now so the blanket is on hold. Speaking of not being able to buy yarn for the blanket, I also can't buy yarn for this tote. My husband and I are trying really hard this month to stick to our budget and only buy necessities. For some reason he doesn't think yarn is a necessity and I guess if I think about it really hard... I agree with him. I thought I had quite a bit of an off-white/cream cone of cotton left from a wrap around sweater thing I made for my daughter but after searching and searching I couldn't find it. But I did find these partial balls of peaches or sugar & cream.
So that's what I'm gonna use. My husband should be proud that I'm using up yarn from my stash and not buying more to add to it! That just means that when my stash is gone I'll have to buy more to fill it up again, right?!
I hope you all have fun knitting your totes and I can't wait to see everyone's progress. Have a GREAT day!!