Come, Mommy

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crafty Stuff Going On

I haven't been posting much the last couple of weeks. It's not due so much to inertia or a lack of blog fodder. Rather, I have been off indulging my inner crafty person. A while back, Chichimama wrote a post looking for folks who might be interested in doing an online knit-along, and I signed up. We all agreed on a felted bag as our first project. I'm not so much of a handbag person, but I've never done felting of a woolen article, and since this looked straightforward, I went for it.

I actually love to knit, but it's been several years since I attempted a project as I felt I had no time to focus on knitting what with chasing children all day long. It turned out that I have no time to attempt a complicated cable-knit pullover - I have one, 90% done, that I started before Liam was born. It's not a viable project at the moment as each time I work on it I have to sit down in complete silence, reorient myself to the pattern, and I can't stop in the middle of a row lest I lose count completely. This is what it would look like if I ever finished it.

Now, a smallish project that can be easily picked up for five or ten minutes and put down without worry fit the bill exactly. And it felt good to make something by hand again:

The Fibonacci Bag

I mucked around with the original pattern a bit. The pattern was written using chunky yarn, but I found some inexpensive worsted-weight wool on sale at a craft store, so I bought twice as much yardage as called for and knitted the whole bag with two strands of yarn to mimic a chunky weight. The felting process was interesting since the hot cycle on our machine isn't terribly hot, but I set it on "heavy-duty" to get as much mechanical action as possible and then ran it through the wash cycle twice. There's still a bit more stitch definition than I'd like in the finished product, but it's great for a first try. Now I know if I want to felt another knitted item I need to up the temperature on our hot water wash. Finally, instead of two straps (one on each long side of the bag), I knitted one extra-long one and attached it to the short side of the bag. It runs lengthwise along the bag. I may sew some ribbon just inside the top of the bag in order to be able to securely tie shut the bag, I don't want to have to replace my wallet anytime soon!

All in all it was a fun project, and now I'm pleased to have rediscovered one of my favorite pastimes. I've got a scarf that's almost finished that I started a couple of weeks ago. I should be able to finish that up over the weekend, and then I am planning to knit Kiri one of these Sunny-Side Up Hoodies. I have some gorgeous royal blue cotton yarn in my stash that would be perfect for a Spring sweater, and I have just enough to make a baby-size garment from that yarn. The Lemur has asked for one of these sweaters as well, and he would like his in a bright red, so that's my next next project. I think I've got enough planned for now!

I've been having fun the last couple of weeks being creative and practical all at the same time. Knitting truly is one of those activities that helps ease stress as it involves repetitive, soothing action, but doesn't occupy so much of my brain that I can't carry on a conversation or watch a good TV show at the same time. It really is a great hobby.

Thank you, Chichimama, for suggesting the knit-along. If you hadn't, I would still be sitting around thinking, "One day I'll have enough time to knit again!" Turns out I do have the time. It just has to be the right project.



  • It looks amazing!! Good job :) I am particularly impressed that you improvised with yarn, and it still looks fantastic.

    Liesl, I love stopping by your site, loads SO SLOWLY. It's painful, really! (OK, not really painful...just slow:)). Any idea why?

    Have a lovely weekend,


    By Blogger Family Adventure, at Friday, February 15, 2008 1:11:00 AM  

  • I'm impressed! I've never gotten into knitting... maybe some day! Can't wait to see the boys' sweaters!

    By Blogger Laura, at Friday, February 15, 2008 7:41:00 AM  

  • That bag is so nice! I really want to learn how to knit. The cable-knit sweater looks super-impressive. I hope you get to finish it one day. And those watermelon mittens on that same site? I wish I could make those for Zen! The fact that you can still talk and watch TV while relaxing and doing something creative is great...because I usually do cross-stitch and everytime I look up at the TV, I lose my place on the pattern! I have a huge Christmas cross-stitch going that I've been doing for almost four years.

    By Blogger Camille, at Friday, February 15, 2008 11:05:00 AM  

  • Great job! Every time I see someone post about knitting, I think that it's a hobby that I'd like to pick up, but I'm too lazy to learn how :) Maybe one day...

    By Blogger Steph, at Friday, February 15, 2008 2:40:00 PM  

  • The bag looks great! Now you just need to come over to the darkside...

    By Blogger Lisa, at Friday, February 15, 2008 6:49:00 PM  

  • Thank you, everyone, you guys are so sweet :)

    Steph, Camille,and Laura - You should give knitting a try if you're even remotely interested in learning. It's only hard if you want it to be - there are only two basic stitches in all of knitting. Everything else is built on those stitches. Therefore you can learn the basics in under an hour, and that's enough knowledge to make a scarf or a pillow. Then you just work up from there using your interest to determine projects. Most craft shops and local yarn shops offer knitting classes for a low price - definitely check into it if you're at all inclined.

    Heidi - I have no idea why this page loads slowly, but you're definitely not the only person to tell me this. I've tried some basic fixes but gotten nowhere. I just switched hosts, though, so hopefully things will improve. Let me know if it's working better for you, OK?

    By Blogger Liesl, at Sunday, February 17, 2008 9:15:00 PM  

  • ooo gosh but your map stats are impressive lol.
    and far out girl, you are so blimmin' talented, LOVE the fibonacci bag, and you'll be impressed that i even know what the fibonacci sequence is lol X

    By Blogger kate5kiwis, at Friday, February 22, 2008 2:47:00 AM  

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