Knitting stuff and going on and on.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Happy Blogiversary to me!

Today it has been a year since I've been blogging fairly regularly. I've been on Blogger a bit longer, but I'm not counting that since I was just there. I didn't know what to do with a blog at first. I never kept journals or diaries. I didn't write regularly and since I didn't go anywhere or do anything other than look after children and I only just started to knit, I didn't know what I would have to talk about. I mean really, who wants to read about my knitting right? I knew so little.

Since then, I have "met" people all over the world, joined a swap or three, participated in dishcloth KAL's and learned that journaling is a great way to stop and really think about your day. You've done more than you think when you put it all into writing. I take more pictures than I used to and I look at everything differently thanks to all of you. You remind me that there are grown up people out there and that is a very big thing to someone who is housebound with two or three small children all week.

Life is so much nicer when you can share the good, the bad and the boring of your day and know that people are "listening" to what you have say about it all. It matters that you are out there even if you never say a word. I appreciate all of you. So that is why I have posted recipes all last week. I know there are a few non-knitters who read my blog so those were my thanks for listening and pretending that my knitting matters. Today's gifts are for the knitters though. The people who share and understand my fibre obsessions. I hope you like them.

The first pattern was the one I had submitted to Debbie Stoller for consideration for her new book. It didn't make the cut. It is still my favourite design by me though and I am really proud of it. Not so proud of the wonky sewing. One of these days I'll get that right too.

Just an note about my gifts to you, Alafoss Lopi is a bulky weight yarn. It's label recommends using 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 needles so any yarn that has the same label and knits up into a fabric that holds it's shape fairly well should work for both of these patterns. Although they are both bags so the drape and sheen is entirely up to you.

Mini Messenger Bag


2 balls - Alafoss Lopi - 100% Wool - 100 m / 109 yds - Main Colour
1 ball - Alafoss Lopi - 100% Wool - 100 m / 109 yds - Contrast Colour
1 pair - 4.5 mm (US 7) - straight knitting needles - or size needed to obtain gauge.
1 - 4.0 mm (US G - 6) crochet hook - try use a size close to your needle size.
Tapestry Needle
Stitch markers

Gauge - 5 sts and 7 rows = 1”

Bag Body and Flap: Worked in St st for entire project.
Cast on 40 sts in MC.
K/P - 7 rows (I counted the stitches on the needles as one row throughout the entire pattern).
Next row: * K/P 5 with MC, place marker, K/P 30 with Contrast, place marker, K/P 5 with MC *. Repeat from * to * for 36 rows.
K/P 12 rows with MC, removing stitch markers as you come to them.
K/P 12 rows with CC.
** K/P 5 with CC, place markers, K/P 30 with MC, place markers, K/P 5 with CC **. Repeat from ** to ** for 36 rows.
K/P 12 rows with CC, removing stitch markers as you come to them.
K/P 12 rows with MC.
K/P 5 sts with MC, place markers, K/P 30 stitches with CC, place markers, K/P 5 sts. That’s the first row of the chart! Continue remainder of chart.
K/P 7 rows with MC, removing markers as you come to them.
Weave in ends.

Toggle Loop:
With MC yarn, at row 18 of flap, insert crochet hook into stitch front to back, leave a long tail. Chain 1 making sure to pull through stitch of purse. Chain 13. At row 22 of flap, insert crochet hook back to front, bring yarn to front, chain 1, making sure to pull through stitch of purse. Cut yarn and weave in ends to secure.

Sides and Strap (all one piece):

Cast on 10 with MC.
St st 61 rows. Switch to CC, St st 218 rows. Switch to MC, St st 61 rows.

Sew together by centering base of strap on first set of K/P 12’s and other end on the last set K/P 12’s. Sew up sides and add a toggle on the front to match your toggle loop. Should wind up just below CC on the front of the body. Embellish if you like or leave alone if you don’t like.

The Chart is as follows.

You can line the purse if you like, but I didn't and my sister says she hasn't lost anything from hers yet. Using such small needles with a bulky yarn makes for a very dense fabric.

I haven't managed to felt this next pattern as yet, so I don't have the finished dimensions. That would be the not so good thing about having a front load washing machine.

Striped Shopping Bag


 3 balls Alafoss Lopi - main colour
 2 balls Alafoss Lopi - contrast colour
 6mm - 73.5cm circular needles (US 10 - 29”)
 6mm DPN’s (US 10)
 5mm (Can/UK 6 - US H/8) crochet hook
 Tapestry needle
 One stitch marker

2 balls Alafoss Lopi MC
1 ball Alafoss Lopi CC
(I had about 4" left of the MC and not much of the CC after everything was done, you may want to get another ball of each if you knit fairly loosely. You could always knit a striped rectangle with the extra then fold and sew it so that it makes a little wallet.)


Cast on 70 sts. (I used a circular, but worked back and forth for the body.)

Work in Stockinette Stitch throughout. (I counted the stitches on the needle as a row in this pattern too.)

K/P 12 rows MC
K/P 5 rows CC
* K/P 15 rows MC
K/P 5 rows CC *
Repeat * to * 6 times.
K/P 3 rows MC

Cast off

Weave in ends.

Fold and Kitchener or crochet together. To make a tube.


Using your circular, pick up stitches along bottom and join to work in the round.
For the bottom you will be working 5 rows MC and 2 rows CC to the last stitches.
Knit 2 rows MC without decreasing. Begin decreasing every second row. K5, K2tog for every decrease round until there aren't enough stitches left. K1, K2tog until every stitch is a K2tog. Break yarn and thread onto tapestry needle. Drop into inside of bag and pull tight.

Weave in ends.


Using crochet hook and MC, chain 80 sts. Turn and insert hook into bump on bottom of second stitch. Wrap yarn once, pull through bump, wrap yarn again, pull through loop on hook. Repeat on every second bump to last bump of foundation chain (you should now have forty stitches made). Turn and insert hook under both loops of first stitch, wrap yarn once around hook, pull through entire stitch, wrap yarn again and pull through loop on hook. Leave a long tail of MC and switch to CC and repeat second row. Switch back to MC and repeat second row twice then pull yarn through last stitch leaving a long tail, but don't weave in. Repeat for second handle and anchor to bag by weaving tails through so that ends are anchored and woven in.

Line or felt, then line.

Note: If you don't want to crochet, simply cast on 80 sts, then K2tog every stitch for first row the Knit 3 rows MC, 2 rows CC, Knit 4 rows MC, Cast off. It won't be as fancy, but after felting who's going to notice.

Here's to another year together!


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