Saturday, September 29, 2007

Progress on the net shawl

I worked on the shawl a bit longer than the baseball game and finished round 13. By the time I got to the middle of round 14 I decided it was too late to finish it, so I quit and went to bed.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Starting a new sweater and a net shawl

I really want to make a net antimacassar to go with my newly re-upholstered couch. The problem is that the yarn I want to use was originally purchased to make a sweater. There should be plenty of yarn for both, but I need to make the sweater first. I had requested the instructions from a knitting friend and want to show her I can follow through and complete the sweater. So this week I began.

I spent much of a two hour meeting I needed to attend with my daughter getting started. This is what it looked like at the end of the meeting.

I started at the very beginning with a gauge swatch using size 8 needles (size called for in the pattern). That swatch was way too big.

So I tried size 6. Still too large.

I thought surely size 5 needles would bring the swatch to the proper size, but no. It was not to be.

Eventually I was able to get the correct gauge on size 4 needles.

And that is why I hate trying to figure out my gauge for knitting. Of course I have to do it. Can you imagine how the sweater would have fit if I had not gone through all that. I don't even want to think about it.

I decided to knit all the sections (back, fronts, and sleeves) at the same time. I just finished the ribbing today and began the first few rows of the cable pattern.

I also began working on the circular net shawl. I'm in the middle of round 10 and hope to finish that round and maybe two more during the last of the Red Sox ballgame. Maybe I will have a picture of that tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Net Shawl - Circular

I think I have decided which doily pattern I will use to try to make a shawl. I called the doily Luminescence.

We'll see where this experiment goes. My thought is to at least double the size of each mesh stick and see how it looks. That should bring the diameter of of the shawl from 20 inches to about 40 inches. I may have to add a few more rows. I think I'll use the yarn I had left over from Mystery Stole 3. Hope I have enough.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Two more bags - top down

I came down with my annual fall cold the end of last week. Unfortunately it affected my thought processes as I started the handles for my new bag. I wanted to try to work a bag from handles down. I'm sure I thought hard about it - 2 handles with 12 loops in each handle should equal 24 loops around the bag - right?

I did not notice my mistake until I had both handles done and connected, and had done 3 rounds.

It suddenly dawned on me that I was going around on more than 24 loops.

I blame it on my cold. What I had was 2 handles with 12 loops (on each end of the handle) equal to 48 loops. What I had wanted was 6 loops on each handle.

Oh, well, I didn't want to waste the time I had already put into the bag (not to mention the time I would take to undo all the knots and make the bag the way I thought I was), so I just figured I'd make a large string bag.

It is nice and roomy. I decided though that 12 loops for handles is too many. It is hard to find the handles from the rest of the bag.

Since I had 48 loops instead of the 24 I had wanted, I decreased the number of loops to 24 in the next to last round.

For the final round I used a hard plastic ring as the mesh stick. I wrapped the string through the loop, then net 1 knot in the next loop and repeated the process around all 24 loops. This formed a grommet at the bottom of the bag.

I decided to try again for a 24 loop bag. This time I got the numbers of the handles correct -- 2 handles, 6 loops at each end of the handle equals 24 loops.

I tried to do a grommet without the plastic ring, but that did not work. So I decided to join the loops in the final round to each other without using a mesh stick. This actually formed two corners at the bottom of the bag. If you look carefully you can see the two points where the corners form.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Net Bag with circle of netting for the bottom

I've decided that netting bags can be addictive. I finish one and have the idea for more pop into my head.

After I had finished the two net bags with net handles I wondered about the bottom of the bag being a net circle instead of a grommet. I decided to make this bag also an experiment in mesh size.

So I used a #8 knitting needle (1/4" mesh stick) and size #10 crochet threat and created my circle.

After making the circle I began netting around the edges of the circle until I had the bag the size I wanted.
(This photo shows the bag after 3 rounds of netting.)

If you look very carefully you can see the tiny white thread that goes around the center of the circle. I used if for a foundation loop once I started going around the circle. It is removed after the bag is done.

I also decided to make this with spiral netting. Spiral netting is where you just net around and around as opposed to stopping at the end of each row and finishing it off completely.

After I had the bag the size I wanted, I net back and forth on half of the loops until I had a strip of netting twice as long as I wanted the handle to be.

Then I joined the last row of the handle to the loops that were still available on the last row of the bag and I had a bag to hold the stamps I use in teaching piano lessons.

One added advantage is that the handle will slip through a belt or waist-pack strap. That means I can wear the bag and not leave it when I travel from lesson to lesson (like I did last week).

Like I said at the beginning, string bags are addictive. I have already started the next bag -- top down with handles being done first.

Monday, September 10, 2007

More net circles

Well, actually one more circle. I had a few minutes this afternoon and decided to make the 440 knot circle. I used a 1/4" mesh (aka a dowel equivalent to a US #8 knitting needle) instead of a 3/8" mesh stick. This time the circle, well, more of a square with rounded edges, was small enough to fit on my scanner.

The diameter is about 6 inches. Amazing what will happen to the size when I change the mesh stick by 1/8". The diameter went from about 10 inches to 6 inches over the 31 rows.

Now I can get started on the small bag I want to make to hold the stamps I use when teaching piano lessons. I think I will use spiral netting this time. Spiral netting is where I go around and around and have no clue or need to know where each round ends. When the bag is long enough, I will start the handles. This is different from the usual circular netting I do where each round is finished with a CK (connecting or collecting knot) that brings each round to a definite end.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Circles with Diamond Mesh Netting

Another project gets completed!!! Today I finished 3 couch cushion covers and was able to stuff the cushions into the covers. They fit!! Under the supervision of the mother of one of my piano students, my youngest daughter has been re-upholstering our couch as a Young Women Personal Progress Project. I told my daughter that I would help her by doing the cushion covers. Now she needs to finish a bit of hand sewing and the couch will be done. It looks great and I am so proud of my daughter and the skills she has learned.

I have also been looking at net circles trying to decide which to use as the bottom of the next string bag I am planning to make.

This one has 1,228 knots with 64 loops around the edge of the circle.

This one has 634 knots with 48 loops around the edge of the circle.

This one has only 123 knots and has 24 loops around the edge of the circle. Because of the small number of knots this one looks the least like a circle, but put it at the bottom of a net bag, use a 1" instead of a 3/8" mesh, and no one will know what it looked like before the bag sides were added.

I also made a circle with 440 knots that had 46 loops around the edge of the circle. But, because I made it with a 3/8" mesh stick, it was too large to scan. Actually, I think that this is the circle I will probably make, although I will most likely use a #8 double pointed knitting needle as the mesh stick and some size 10 crochet thread. I need a small bag to hold the stamps I use when teaching piano lessons. However, due to the lateness of the hour and commitments already made, I will have to wait until Monday or Tuesday afternoon to try making the circle and the bag.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Net Bags with Netted Handles

The kids are all back in school. That should mean more time to do what I want to do. Well . . . I did find some time to make a couple of new net bags. I saw some examples of net bags with net handles, and decided to try it myself. Thanks to suggestions from Lily, Barry, and Tony, I succeeded. I think I have a new favorite bag.

You might say I started backward since the first bag I tried had two handles. It had a grommet at the base of the bag and was worked from the base of the bag up. The handles were done last. I used a 1" mesh stick.

After I got the two handles bag finished, I decided to make a bag with a single handle. Here I also used a grommet at the base of the bag and worked upward. I did change the mesh stick to a 3/4" mesh stick.

This one can be used several ways, such as on the shoulder,

across the back, or wrapped around one hand to keep it from dragging on the ground.

If I were going to wear it across my back, I would probably want to make the handle about 4 to 6 inches longer.

I was surprised at how easy the handle was on my hand. It did not cut into my hand and I could not feel the knots.

Now I can't stop thinking of different variations on these bags. I want to try one with a flat circle as the base and one with a square for the base. I also want to make one top down starting with the handles. I might also try using crochet thread instead of string.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

finished stole and revised oval bookmark

I took a dive today and followed the general directions I had been given about how to block knitted lace. It worked! Now I have a beautiful stole to wear. Thanks to Melanie for the pattern and to the helpful fellow knitters at Creative Fibers for support and blocking instructions.

I had to take a few minutes and do some netting. I needed to check the directions for my Ballerina bookmark. It was good I did, since I found a few instructions that needed to be changed.

I really wanted to devote some time to making a couple of string bags with net handles. However, since I ran out of time today, I guess I will try to do it next week.