20 May 2007

Bags, Bend, Whistles and okay so maybe gauge matters

With all the swirling star projects on and off various needles, I decided that it might be time to do a geometric or two. This particular beauty is still part of that knitted square self challenge.

It isn't a hugely successful part of that challenge and there are more geometric pentagon come-stars not currently in evidence and on needles but there will more on all of that in another post.

In a photo you're not seeing, I came back in with navy yarn and "long rowed" between the white points. That constrained the fabric up which wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Yes, even I, queen of short rows, don't always know what's going to happen when I play with short rows.

This gave me an interesting idea for yet another project to pursue. I know I don't need another project but the whole Trader Joe's thing, the breaking glass thumb story and some long languishing rather ugly hemp got me thinking about some sort of knitted shopping bag with a little extra pizazz.

All of this is how, on the Saturday, I came to be walking down the street knitting on a prototype pentagon shopping bag composed of hemp twine and the near day-glo nylon twine that created Senor Frog , the positively painful pink pig purse, mitred garter stitch luggage tags and other long ago and far away projects.

If I was a smarter knitter I would have done the original centre out geometric pentagon as a double knit project. I am not that smart so I ended up doing a rather involved knit/increase with two different yarns and then placing stitches on holders while working the perimeter in pentagon.

I believe that's what I was up to when I met the lads visiting from Bend. Bend Oregon that is. One of them, Grant, is a knitter and the other just a very supportive sort (we knitters like our supportive sorts). So we chatted, I directed them to Trader Joe's, handed off a card and info about Whistlestop knitting on the next day.

Grant ended up coming to Whistlestop knitting, grazing at The Grove (can you say Jitterbug?) and I hope having a very good knitterly memory of San Diego to recall, report, recount. I certainly enjoyed the time spent chattering and knitting -- sorry that all the chatter made the turning of the heel harder than it needed to be.

Onto the so maybe gauge bit. One of the things I like about this whole centre out polygon knitting thing is that for the most part since the direction of the knitting constrains the created fabric in all direction gauge (row & stitch) seem to be equalised and less of a factor. Five years later and I finally got a so maybe gauge does matter story. So Nancie, maybe you had a point, but I just hadn't seen it yet.

The salmon swirl pentagon may have been a precursor to the problem but the yellow day-glo nylon twine was the icing on the if the stitches can't spread out (read death grip choked to death tight knitting) cake.

By all rights this perimeter in swirl pentagon with a single decrease at the start of each side every round should have produced flat fabric but it didn't. You can see the spiral onto itself unwelcome result.

I've moved on to the long row bit with other nylon twine that has a similar gauge to the orange nylon twine (the yellow is slightly thicker) but not yet decided what/how to deal with the bottom of the bag.


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