I’ve had a nasty cold this past week and a half, one that didn’t want to go away. It wasn’t so bad that I could stand to spend days in bed (I have to be at death’s door for that) but was sufficiently bad that I couldn’t write new work. I’ve been doing administrivia – editing, proofreading, updating links etc. etc. – and got pretty much fed up with this particular cold virus.
Even worse, it also been affected my knitting. I couldn’t knit lace, or do any armhole shaping, or knit anything that required much thinking. I didn’t think I’d finish things well in this state – my stripey Noro cardigan is done, with the sleeves reknitted, but grafting those side seams has been beyond my abilities and energy level. I also wasn’t able to recalculate – I had started to seam together my Knit, Swirl cardigan, only to discover that the sleeves are too narrow. I need to re-plan, frog, and reknit the sleeves, but not while this virus was in residence. All my plans to finish everything before casting on something new were trashed by this cold.
Garter stitch has been suiting me pretty well. Knit, knit, knit. Easy, peasy. I didn’t have anything like that on my needles, so needed a plan.
Since my Noro cardigan is done, I have a lot of Noro Kureyon Sock left over in one colourway. (#289) It’s all bits and ends, though, because I needed to match the colour sequence and there were breaks in the yarn. I was going to put this in to my stash for the Sock Hexagon afghan, but it seemed like a lot of one colourway. I had a look in that stash and found even more Noro sock yarn….soooooooo, a plan was born. Altogether, I gathered over 500g of ends of Noro Kureyon Sock and Noro Silk Garden Sock.
A big chunk of it is becoming a stripey tote bag.
This pattern is for a felted bag, made of striped squares assembled in a clever way. Here’s the creator’s blog post about it – it’s in Japanese, but has lots of pictures. What a cute bag! There are some English instructions on Ravelry, right here. Essentially, you cast on an odd number of stitches and knit a square with the same number of ridges – 25 stitches knit to 25 ridges, for example. You make 22 squares and join them as indicated, add an I-cord handle and trim, and felt it. (If you’re on Ravelry, there’s a project by another knitter who used Kauni Effektgarn and the entrelac technique to create two gorgeous bags, right here.) It appealed to me to make a project not just from stash, but from leftovers. There will still be plenty of scraps for the Sock Hexagon afghan.
I started this project with alternating stripes of Noro – 2 rows of A, 2 rows of B, 2 rows of A, etc. – and even managed to mess that up a few times. That tells you all you need to know about my recent mental state. (It might have been the cold, or the cold medication. Either way, I cast on with birch Brittany needles, not really sharp pointy ones.)
So, I sorted out the Noro stash and chose a dark colourway of Silk Garden Sock leftover from my Inky Spider Shawl, to alternate with Kureyon Sock in #180. I have a lot of this, in bits and ends, and think it must have been from my infatuation with Kureyon Sock when the yarn was originally introduced. I knit a lot of socks for myself in it because I loved the colours – it looks like I bought a second ball in this colourway to make the socks match – but it really wasn’t good sock yarn for me. Those socks were like butterflies: beautiful, admired, and short-lived.
I started at the bottom of the bag, because it made most sense for it to be dark, and the central four squares there. I knit each one, then pick up the next one along the side to carry on. Seaming as I go. That works for me. Here it is so far:
The black and turquoise striped square was the first one and the bottom needle is pointing at the middle of the bag. Those are the four squares that will make the base. The dark Silk Garden Sock is gone, so I’ve moved into the #289 left over from my Noro cardi. There’s enough #180 to knit for a while. Things are getting brighter now. I’ll knit five on the top, then five on the bottom, just like the schematic.
What do you think? Does your knitting change with your health and welfare? Do you have “comfort knitting”, too?