Yarn: Lily The Original Sugar'n Cream (100% cotton; worsted weight)
Color: Bright Navy and Early American Ombre
Needles: US 5 and 10 1/2 circulars; US 5 dpns
Stitches: 44 for base, 116 for body
Per my understanding of the Ravelympics rules, I needed to have this project finished by the time the closing ceremony came to a conclusion in Beijing if I wanted it to count. Considering the Chinese city is twelve hours ahead, that didn't leave much time for Sunday knitting. Wisely or not, I stayed up until 4 a.m. putting the last touches on this market bag. I definitely wouldn't have done so without a deadline, but all that matters is that I'm done.
Having finished my first Everlasting Bagstopper
a week ago, I knew that finishing (binding off, handle making, weaving in ends) was tedious, so it's a good thing that the Olympics were on to provide background accompaniment. Staying up through the late coverage even meant getting to see snippets of the javelin competition. Catching highlights of a classic but television-marginalized Olympic event was one bonus of burning the midnight oil.
As I plodded through the sewn bind off, I discovered what produced an extra stitch
last time I was finishing the edge. The circular needle not being used would sometimes find its way into a stitch or the long tail of the yarn being used to bind off. If I hadn't noticed it getting in the way, I might have had a couple unwanted extra stitches again. In my effort to guard against any additional or loose stitches, I probably bound off too tightly, but I expect that some flexibility around the bound off edge will come as the bag gets used.
I-cord wasn't hard, although it was hard on my wrists. Trying to make sure that the stitches, particularly the first one, were tight meant keeping a lot of tension in the yarn and my hands. The three I-cords I knit turned out fine and took about an hour each to make them twenty inches long. That amount of time is in line, if not less overall, with what it took to do the linen stitch handle on the previous bag. The progress felt faster at least.
Accidentally dropping just knit stitches on the cords, a problem that arose more frequently as night bled into morning, presented a dilemma of its own. The cotton's splitty nature could make it tough to tell what had been a stitch and what wasn't.
I only had two stitch holders, so I kept the live stitches at the end of the I-cords on dpns. It wasn't the most elegant or manageable solution but one that met my needs. When it came time for the braiding of the I-cords, including one still attached to its ball of yarn, I had quite a mess on my hands. Tails tangled. Dpns dangled and fell out. I didn't have a clue how to braid the three cords, so I stuck with what seemed to be producing a sufficient result. By the time I'd nearly run out of cord length to braid and wrangled the live stitches onto a holder, good enough was acceptable for the handle.
There is some space between the braids on each side where the handle is attached. It seems like it's probably "wrong", but I think it looks all right and will be OK from a support standpoint. I might have made each I-cord longer--this handle might be a little short--but in the dead of the night, the thought of knitting more was not one to be followed.
I tried the suggestion to weave in the ends and then splitt the plies and knot them to keep the ends from reappearing. The process was time-consuming but provided relief that the whole bag won't fall apart when carrying something with a little weight.
Overall, I'm satisfied with this project's final result. After adding the upper border in navy the preponderance of white in the variegated yarn bothered me less. The overall effect is pleasing to the eye. (For some reason it reminds me of a sweater.) Because it won't stretch as much, I prefer this handle to the one I made on the first market bag. My novice attempt at braiding isn't bad considering I didn't know what I was doing and was bleary-eyed. (Note to Karen
, per her comment: I don't have any nieces--or nephews, for that matter--so there are no cool uncle points to be earned.)
So, Ravelympics comes to an end and were quite successful on my end. I made two FOs and learned some new techniques that I can use. And, oh yeah, I'm ready to knit something that doesn't use cotton.
Labels: Everlasting Bagstopper, FOs, knitting, market bag, Ravelry