Project updates

This post will be lacking pictures, but in brief, here are the updates for the projects currently underway:

  1. The 10th anniversary wrap was ended a bit prematurely. I was supremely bored with the pattern (or lack thereof) and very disappointed in myself for giving up on the lace. So, I cast off shortly before our trip and wound up with a nice shoulder-wrap that needs a button or a lap blanket. I’m chalking it all up to being an overly ambitious beginner and taking on too much for the artificial deadline.
  2. Steve’s scarf is into its fourth skein of yarn, and I think this is probably its last. It’s a really impressive several feet of 3×3 rib. I think it’s really striking in the self-striping yarn, too. With any luck, Steve will have it in hand for Winter 2014-2015.
  3. I have cast on a shawl with just a little bit of lace technique going on. (I think my first attempt was much too advanced for my meager skills, so I took a step back.) It’s the textured zigzag shawl by Lois Young (found here on Ravelry), so there’s a nice blend of knits and purls, garter stitch and stockinette stitch, and just a little bit of lace action. I like that I’m actually seeing holes in my knitting where there are supposed to be holes! I’m working this in a gold-beige acrylic yarn (Caron Simply Soft Solids in the delightfully named “Bone”), which is just right for me.
  4. I also wanted to try making a cowl. I found a pattern booklet from Leisure Arts that looked approachable but challenging at the same time, and I’m now into my second repeat of the pattern for their Lace with a Twist Cowl. I’m working this one in Knit One Crochet Too’s Ty-Dy, an all-cotton yarn, in the color 248 Watermelon. After 26 rows, it’s a much more open knit than I’ve done so far, which is another stretch for me, but I really like it.

And, naturally, like any good knitter, I have my eyes on what’s next, too. But I’m going to keep those off the blog (and off the needles) until I finish at least one of the started projects!

Thinking about knitting

In other news, I have a (as in “one”) extra-large L.L.Bean boat and tote bag dedicated to my current knitting queue. It’s amazingly roomy–currently holding upwards of a dozen skeins of yarn, four pattern books, my zipper pouch of interchangeable circular needles, and a bunch of little accessories (pouches of stitch markers and the like)–but everything is just in there in a jumble and it’s starting to make me a little crazy.

I’ve looked around online for knitting bags and project bags, and let me tell you, I must be the cheapest knitter there ever was! For the prices of some these bags, I could make 3 or more myself.

That aside, I’m feeling like the general dimensions of a L.L.Bean boat and tote bag are about right for me (and I do have several–I have a bit of a bag problem), and I cannot complain at all about the quality/durability of those bags. I think I might start with a Bean tote and create a bag insert for knitting supplies. I know I’ve seen patterns for “purse inserts” for normal purse stuff (and I might have a few in with my quilting patterns), but I’m thinking of designing something that’s more knitting oriented.

I don’t desire to haul my entire stash around when I’m out, nor do I want to take all my needles and stuff with me every time I travel. I kind of feel like I’m sort of minimalist when it comes to taking knitting with me, generally–just the yarn and needles I’m working with, the pattern (whether in a book or pamphlet or on a tablet), and maybe stitch markers and a darning needle. At the same time, though, I want some modularity for all the supplies (including for multiple projects at once) so I can just pick up a pouch or two and transfer to a different travel bag.

I like to think that these ideas of mine are practical solutions to these issues I seem to have, but just in case, have any of you seen anything for sale like what I’ve described? I don’t want to reinvent something that’s already out there.