Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Bag that nearly was'nt

So, it's my sister's birthday today. I decided that this year I'd make her a gift, something I usually avoid because she's really particular.

For my birthday, my sister bought me 'No Sheep for You by Amy Singer', an otherwise unimpeachable book that concentrates on non-wool knitting. I'm allergic/sensitive to lots of yarns, and she is very allergic to most, so it was a really nice gift and opened up lots of new things I could knit for her. I picked a lovely bag made in linen and cotton, really practical and pretty, with a lovely reflected zig-zag design. I'm a sucker for symmetry, so I knew I'd enjoy knitting it.

But I did'nt.

Hmm. It started out with a cast-on that I could get inside. That's not an exaggeration. I tried it. I understand that slip-sticth patterns make things a bit smaller but this beast kept getting BIGGER!

And then there was the slip stitch pattern itself.

Imagine, if you will, a really sadistic maths teacher who would like you to count to 180, in increments of three twelve times, then increments of five twice, then three increments of twelve, etc. Then imagine that your hands hurt and they want you to tapdance at the same time. That's what this felt like. I had so many markers my knitting looked like some sort of big baggy temple dancer.

After one more rage-filled marker-moving nightmare I flung the thing from me and raced to my computer, where I spent about two minutes figuring out a better way of doing this damn pattern. 4 x 38 stitch panels, one repeat of two stitches (two!) over four rows. Four marker. The end.

My mind cleared, the burst blood vessels in my eyes healed, and it worked out beautifully.

I lined it in calico and a fabric I got on sale from John Lewis, a very pale green, and gave it one of those magnetic bag snaps - I was so pleased I nearly kept it. I love the long colour repeats and the heaviness it had - it felt really strong and sturdy.

Isn't it good? But I beg you please, don't look up the pattern. Never. Just do it yourself, your doctor will thank you.

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