Tuesday, November 13, 2007


While I've never been a very good blogger, it seems as though I've gotten substantially worse these past few months. I'm just too overloaded with work and school to be able to keep up with this as well. Instead of feeling bad about it, I'm officially going on break, and will be back when things settle down more. I realize I don't have a great following or anything, but I don't want to disappoint those of you who do stop by. I'm still hanging around Ravelry - my name is cherry1123 - and trying to stay sort of up-to-date there.
I'll be back with more exciting things, and hopefully a Birthday Purse pattern (I haven't forgotten), as soon as I can.
Thanks so much and see you soon!


Monday, September 24, 2007

In Progress

I'm still working on a pattern for the Birthday Purse. I'm making the pattern version in Malabrigo - it was the closest I could find in terms of weight and ply to what I used in the original. Stick with me, school and work are kicking my ass - as is the Hemlock Blanket!

Here's baby Berkley to amuse you in the meantime...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Anatomy of a Purse Part I: The Knitting, Roughly

I posted this purse on Craftster, and got some great feedback and requests for a pattern. I'm going to write a general description here of how I went about making it, and then will (eventually) put together a comprehensive tutorial. The tutorial requires me to start over from the beginning and document the whole process, as well as streamline it a bit. What follows is just a description of what I did - some of which I would(will) do differently the second time around. If you're an inexperienced or unadventurous knitter, I would recommend waiting for the full-blown tutorial. Otherwise, feel free to use this as a guideline, and have fun!
  • I spun my own yarn. The fiber is a merino/tencel blend from Chameleon Colorworks, in the Indian Wedding colorway. I'm not going to tell you how to go about spinning, because there are far more experienced people than I who can do a much better job. I think the resulting yarn was approximately worsted weight.
  • Gauge is not terribly important for this project. Make a swatch in whatever yarn/needle size you'd like to figure out stitches and rows per inch. The purse is started as sort of a tube. To determine how many stitches to cast on and how many rows to work, figure out what you'd like your dimensions to be (or just wing it), and figure out the perimeter measurement (if you want a 3x9 bag, it would be 2(3)+2(9) = 24"). Multiply this measurement by the stitches/inch, this is how many stitches you'll cast on.
  • I used a provisional cast-on for this purse. Next time I will do it differently, but I'm not going to discuss that now. I think there are better ways to do it, but the provisional cast-on is what I used in this case.
  • Cast the number of stitches you want onto circular needles. They should be approximately the same length as you want the perimeter of your purse to be, so you're not pulling or trying to cram on too many. Join to begin knitting in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.
  • To get the basket weave effect, I did *k5/p5* for I think 8 rows, and then switched to *p5/k5* for another 8 rows. For me, the 5st/8rows yielded approximately 1" square. If you want the squared look, be sure to pick stitch and row counts that result in a square, otherwise you'll have a more rectangular look (which is perfectly fine too).
  • Repeat in the pattern until your purse is the desired height. Bind off.
  • The bottom is where the tricky part is, and where I made it more difficult than it needed to be. Take the stitches from the provisional cast-on, and place the number of stitches you want for one long side on your needles. It helps to put the stitches from the short sides onto another set of needles of the same gauge. Continue knitting in the same basket weave pattern as the sides. As you go, knit the first and last stitches of the row together with the stitches on the short sides. This can be tricky as there may be a different number of side stitches than you have rows. The point is to try and join the bottom to the sides evenly, so the squares line up and you end up with a solid fabric. When you've knit to the end of the bottom, seam two long sides together using your preferred hidden seaming method.
  • Break the yarn, and you're done with the knitted portion!

I'm going to post directions for how to construct it in a little bit. And again, this isn't a very good or complete tutorial. I am planning on putting together a comprehensive set of directions with pictures/diagrams/etc., so if this is too confusing (which it probably is, this is my first attempt at creating a pattern) hold on, there will be better instructions as soon as I can write them.
Thanks so much!

Friday, July 20, 2007


I spent most of June in and out of the hospital. I'm just fine, but, as turns out, my dad was not. What seemed as though was going to be a routine cardiac catheterization (with the possibility of angioplasty) ended up resulting in major bypass surgery.
This was a shock, as my father seems to be a fit and active man. Apparently he's been having (and ignoring) chest pains for at least a year. He's also been only occasionally checking his blood sugar and taking his diabetes meds. And he decided that an herbal alternative to his cholesterol medications would be a fine substitute, though didn't have his blood levels re-checked to make sure it was working.

Anyway, this was all shocking for me, who thought he was taking care of himself.
His arteries were 95-99% blocked in five places. The surgeon said he shouldn't have been alive, let alone mobile.

He came through the surgery well, I took him home a week later and spent another week settling him in and arranging his care before returning home myself.
All this would have been bad enough, but was made exponentially worse by the behavior of some of his close friends. It's not worth going into here, but let's just say it's very frustrating when educated adults act like jealous, petty children. I expected more.

While sitting in hospital waiting rooms, I had time to work on and finish the Clapotis. It's a blend of reds and pinks, fitting for a cardiac unit. I'm happy with it - the color and size are perfect. The yarn was a little hard to work with, as the 100% wool didn't like to be dropped, and I had to pick at each stitch to get them to unravel.

I had time a couple of weeks ago to block both the Clapotis and the Print O' the Wave Stole, which has been finished for months. The Stole is my favorite thing I've made up to now. I look at it and realize how much time and work went into this one thing. I didn't really notice while I was making it, but in hindsight, it was an extremely time and labor intensive project. But so beautiful!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Berkley's Fish

No, I'm not at all obsessive...