Tuesday, May 29, 2007

FO: My Chinese Charm Bag

There is a cute purse in Stitch & Bitch called the "Chinese Charm Bag" that is made out of super yummy yarn with cute bamboo handles and a little charm. So this is my version of it. I gave it away as a gift in a craft swap, so these pictures are all I have to remember my lovely creation by....

The yarn I used is by no means as extravagant as the recommended yarn, but I still found it yummy to work with. I was lucky to find this cool coin charm at Roberts. I attached it with a hanging cord rather than sewing it on - I just liked that better because it utilized the hole in the coin and made the bag a little more interesting. The lining fabric is a really pretty yellow satin brocade, but it was such a pain to work with because it kept fraying, which I expected, but the real problem is it would literally fray around the places the needle went in the fabric! I machine sewed the lining (added a pocket!) and then I hand stitched the lining into the purse "blind hem style." Took FOREVER, but I like the results.
yarn details
Moda Dea Cache in color 2347 Wink (lot# 784)

Bulky Weight
75% wool, 22% acrylic, 3% polyester
hand wash cold, dry flat
cost: $2.00/ 50 gram ball (on clearance)


"bamboo" purse handles, purchased at Joann's for $4.99
pendant purchased at Roberts, came with two small charms @ $3.00
lining fabric: yellow satin brocade @ $6.99/yard (purchased 3/4 yard)

project details
pattern: "Chinese Charm Bag" by Sylvia Mahoney on pg 169 in Stitch & Bitch, Debbie Stoller
gauge: apprx. 15x18 over 4" (recommended gauge: 12x18)
needles: 10.5 (?) circs.
hours: maybe 4? (2 hours knitting time, 2 hours finishing time)
total cost: $13

- added pocket to inside bag
- tied charm to handle with extra yarn instead of sewing it to the bag
- yarn sub & looser gauge (although gauge doesn't play much of a role here)

- lining measurements: 11.25'' x 16.5'', with 1/4'' seam allowances (pressed before sewing)
- pocket measurement: 11'' x 7''; I folded the fabric in half wrong sides out and sewed it "pillow style" leaving just an inch unsewn, then I turned it right side out and hand-sewed the last inch shut. Then I machine sewed the pocket into the lining. I had to do the pocket this way because the fabric frayed so badly that I didn't want any edges exposed anywhere on the pocket.

thoughts for the future...
- If I make this bag again I should leave room for bigger seam allowances - the small allowances were hard with this fabric (have I complained enough about the fabric yet??)
- I would also look into making the pocket snap shut - since this is an open top purse it would be good to have a place for private or valuable stuff.
- Finally, since the big charm came in a three pack with two small charms I should have made a matching sunglasses cases or change purse or something. There was tons of extra lining fabric and yarn... and what else am I going to do with those little charms??

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

FO: mouse cat toy

I knitted this cute kitty toy for my swap partner's kitty cat, Rudy. It's a simple little pattern from Stitch & Bitch Nation, I used Red Heart Sport yarn. No catnip in this fella, though he's begging for it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

FO: Mrs. Darcy Cardigan

Last week I finished up my Mrs. Darcy cardigan, designed by the lovely and talented indieknitter. I knitted this project in a knit-a-long on Craftster and it was really fun! We were all knitting this project at the same time so we got to share tips and keep each other moving along. It's 100% wool and very warm. I'm not exactly sure what I was thinking making a wool sweater in Spring, but it sure was a fun project!
yarn details
Paton's Classic Wool in color 238 Paprika
100% merino wool
worsted weight
handwash and dry flat
100 grams/223 yds @ $4.00 each (on sale: 2 for $8!!)

"antiqued" flower buttons; $1.99 at Joann's

pattern details
pattern: "Mrs. Darcy Cardigan" by indieknitter; free pattern available here: http://indieknits.wordpress.com/patterns-2/patterns/
gauge: 16 stitched and 21 rows over 4''
needles: size 9 straights (plastic needles!)
yarn used: just over 3 skeins (maybe 700 yds... this includes the yarn I wasted to re-knit a lot of the goofy short sleeve)
time: oh, maybe 30-40 hours, including the hours and hours of seaming, and then reseaming to fix my goof
total cost: $13-ish

- my gauge was a little smaller than the pattern called for, but it all turned out okay; to get the recommended gauge I would have had to go up to about 10.5 needles and that made the fabric a lot more airy than I wanted it; I probably should have substituted a thicker yarn - I think the Paton's wool is on the lighter side of worsted weight.
- the first time I made it I goofed on the sleeve, ha ha.
- my twisted rib on the front doesn't quite match up to the back - if I knit it again I need to double check the pattern/my counting to make sure they are the same; or even better - tweak it all to knit in the round!
- first time I've used this yarn - it turned out really soft and was nice to work with; my new #1 favorite thing about working with wool: spit splicing! Yay!

Friday, May 11, 2007

One Armed Mrs. Darcy...

I thought I had my Mrs. Darcy cardigan finished until I tried it on and realized that one arm is shorter than the other... d'oh!