First, let me thank everyone for the nice things you've been saying about my socks. It is too bad that they don't fit, but they're going to a great home. Remind me to tell you how cool my mother-in-law is. Seriously.
Lucia, The Knitting Fiend, revealed the other day that she and her husband recently drove from Chicago (I think that's where she's from) to Florida. Florida! She managed about 36 hours of solid knitting in the car!
It never occurred to me to knit in the car. I was just going to lug B's sweater down to Normandy to knit at the house. I mentioned to Lucia that I was going to give car knitting a try, and she passed along some wise advice. "I recommend trying something easy and in a larger gauge... I didn't drop stitches often, but the few times I did, picking up was heck!"
I'm knitting B's sweater on US 5 needles with DK weight yarn. It's a tight knit because the yarn has a tendency to bloom when I wash it, and I'm already having trouble keeping the stitches on the needle. B's sweater is not car knitting.
So, I sniffed out a felted bag pattern for that Malabrigo Merino Worsted that I picked up in Germany. I don't think it gets much easer than stockinette and big needles. I selected the ever popular Booga Bag for several of key reasons: no seaming, no sewing of handles, no knitting holes for the handles, and no swatching. The pattern doesn't even specify a gauge. The Malabrigo (on paper) is very similar in weight and such to the Noro Kureyon that was used in the pattern. This should all work(ish).
One problem: I don't have the recommended size US 10 1/2 (6.5mm) circular needles, and I couldn't track any down today. I went to the strange, little no-named shop up the street, and the old guy even looked at me funny when I asked for 6.5mm needles. So, I picked up this 6mm circular (I already have 7mm) to see how the fabric turned out.
The next time you are at your luxe LYS lamenting their lack of indie sock yarn, consider the high quality items sold in my back yard. It's online or no line here, man. These puppies are ancient. They look slightly tarnished, and the package smells like they've been in someone's basement for years. These could seriously be some of the first circulars ever produced.
First thing's first: wind the skeins.
Some things about knitting aren't fun or about the process. They're just what you have to do, especially if you're a swiftless and ball winderless person like me. Luckily, I tripped over a gem of a "how-to" article today while I was looking for a video on making i-chords. KnittingHelp.com has videos of just about everything, so why not "How to Wind a Center Pull Ball?" Becky, this one might help you tackle your tangle woes.
I think my balls turned out pretty well, eh?
They're not mouth-watering cakes, but they're not bad for old school. That silver thing is my new scale, by the way, and check out what it told me about one of my skeins.
Yes, that's 8 whole grams short of the labeled 100 grams it should be. Uhm. Uh... 8 grams, yo! Not sure what to do about that. These were the only two skeins in this color.
Seems the stars are aligning against this project. So, instead of justing going gung ho on slightly smaller needles, I decided to make some half-hearted swatchy things.
Sorry for the bad photo. My camera is terrible without natural light.
The tension is obviously really different between the two bits of knitting, and I have no clue which one to go with. I don't know if you want an overall loose bit of fabric before you felt, of if snugger is better (and more of it). I know the piece will shrink a lot, but, but... I dunno. I just dunno.
The top swatchy thing was knit with 6mm needles and the bottom with 7mm needles. The first swatch is knit to the specs of the bottom of the bag (34sts and 34 rows) and measures about 8"x4". The second swatches is about 10" wide already. The bag bottom's post-felting dimensions (in Noro, btw) are 4 1/2" x 7 1/2". I'm thinking the 6mm swatch is going to be too small.
What do you think?