Maine Dish Mini Satchel

This months edition of the Spunky Fiber Club was an exciting adventure.

Four ounces of Swaledale in the Eating Maine colorway from Spunky Eclectic

One thing that I really enjoy about being a part of the Spunky Fiber Club is the variety of wools that are offered. This month was no exception. A rough, hairy wool that I would never have picked out for myself offered me an opportunity to broaden my fibery worldview and I even learned a few things along the way.

Another thing that I really like about the club is the people who are in it. They are cheerful, helpful, playful, and very talkative. After I spun my Swaledale (using a long draw for the first time – woohoo!), I had a severely thick and thin, very itchy, and hairy skien of singles. I decided to ply it with something, asked for some help on the Ravelry forum thread related to this months club, and Whamo! I had all the info, opinions, and input that I needed to make my yarn.

The colors are excellent, the feel, not so much. A bag it is.

After much searching, I landed on this one as inspiration and started knitting something that sort of turned out somewhat similar. Only better. In a handspun sort of way.

Call me crazy, but I love it. In a handspun sort of way.

It fits me perfectly. It will hold my wallet, keys and a spare diaper, which is about all that I carry these days.

But, knowing me, it will probably spend most of it’s life as a knitting project bag. Because that is how I roll.

Oh, and I might line it. But I might not. For now, I just want to look at it…

… as I anxiously await the September edition of Spunky fun to arrive.

A Red Hoodie for My Boy

I have a love/hate relationship with Debbie Bliss Patterns. On the one hand, I buy her books and magazines every chance that I get. I love them – they are perfect eye candy for the knitter. The designs are all so lovely, and the photography is always gorgeous. I thumb through her publications and admire the clean lines, the attention to detail. I am always inspired. I want to knit about 75% of the Debbie Bliss patterns that I own – and have knit four of them so far. This is the fourth:

It is Hoodie, from Essential Knits for kids, knit in Paton’s Classic Wool Bright Red. My Ravelry project page is here.

And it is a perfect example of all that bothers me about Bliss Patterns.

First. I got gauge. I swear that I did. I checked it and rechecked it and then I checked it again. I got gauge spot on. And yet, this sweater, that claims to be a size 5-6, knit up to be an oversized sweater on my eight year old. I had to add 3″ to the body and a whopping 7″ to the sleeves, just to make it proportional! And, do you see that hood? That is the hood for the smaller, size 3-4 sweater! What enormously fat five year old was this pattern written for, anyway? This is not the first time I have run into grossly disproportionate kid patterns in this book, or some of her others.

Second. The pattern was written to be knit in peices and seamed, as most of Bliss patterns are. Now, I know that there are those who prefer this method, and that is fine. A little brain work on my part, and I easily turned it into a knit-in-the-round pattern. But, it blew my mind, that even the collar goes out of it’s way to be knit back and forth on straights – adding a bulky seam up the side of the neck and an extra three lines of instruction to accomplish this ugly thing. Weird.

Third. How hard is it to throw a chart in there, really? I am a visual girl. Please, show me the pattern.

Fourth. This one is a minor point, but some out there may agree with me. When I have cables and ribs, I like them to blend in to the ribbed collar – like this does in the front:

Nice, right? But, look at the back:

At least the hood covers it.

Okay, end of rant.

In the end, I had about 5 yards of yarn left, and that was because I seriously cut down the hood size (which, as stated before, I am glad that I did). The generosity of my fellow knitters never ceases to amaze me – thank you for all your offers to bail me out of that potentially fatal yarn shortage!

At last, the boy has a new sweater and he knows that I love him. My maternal guilt is (temporarily) assuaged. I can knit what I want for a little while.

So, in the words of the Man, “What’s next?”

Does he know me, or what?