When my computer crashed, DH kept saying, “Why didn’t you buy a Mac the last time?” I could’ve slugged him over that one! The dead PC was purchased for several reasons: 1. I needed a new computer; 2. Due to work, I needed a PC rather than a Mac because I needed something that would be compatible when I have to exchange files with other people; and 3. Cost. You see, he purchased a Mac 2 years ago and ever since has said “Why didn’t you buy a Mac the last time?” knowing all the reasons I purchased a PC at least 2 years prior to his purchase of a Mac. Sometimes they just love to rub salt into those wounds, don’t they? But he lets me have fun with fiber and now only rolls his eyes when a new package arrives.
So now I think I am organized enough to get some blogging done.
Obviously, not a lot of knitting has gotten done. But I have managed to finish knitting and fulling/felting my Felted Entrelac Tote. It’s been lined and is in use.
Tara Addesa talked me into helping with the Felted Entrelac Tote knitalong. I agreed thinking I would just read along and give advice. Then I realized it had been so long since I had made mine, that I would need to knit along with the others in order to help. My original tote was the exact same as KP’s example. Same colors, same yarn, etc. I think I made it right after KP posted the pattern.
So, I didn’t want another replica, I wanted something different. I went culling through my stash to decide what to do. Hmmm…. I have a lot of City Tweed DK and the yarn content is conducive for felting [55% merino; 25% superfine alpaca; 20% Donegal tweed]. All those wanting to knit along had started. No time for swatching, so I can’t give you gauge before or after felting. I just jumped right in. I chose the following colors:
I also decided I wanted a small purse size rather than tote size. Since the recommended needle size for City Tweed is US 5 to 7, I used 7s. When felting anything you don’t want to start out with a tight knit or the fibers can’t open up easily and grab each other.
Here are some general directions for doing entrelac in the round:
1. Set up triangles: Set up triangles will be worked from right to left just as you are normally working in the round. You are creating the basis for knitting the individual rectangles. Entrelac is not short rows. It is not mitered squares. You are knitting a small rectangle one at a time. But instead of having to sew all these little rectangles together, you are actually attaching the rectangles to those already knit.
When you begin your triangle round, k2, turn work to WS, p2, turn work to RS, k3 [knit 2 sts just purled and knit next st from left-hand (LHN) needle], turn work to WS, p3, turn to RS, k4 [knit 3 sts just purled and knit next st from LHN]. Keep working until required number sts are worked. Repeat until you have completed rnd.
2. Rectangle round: Note often you will see these described as squares when doing entrelac. These are really rectangles because you will have twice as many rows as you have sts. Each time you p2tog on the WS, you are purling the last st of the rectangle you are knitting with a st from the set up triangle [or rectangle from the previous “round”] you are attaching it to. There are left-slanting rectangles and right-slanting rectangles. Typically the right-slanting rectangles are worked first. If you are doing entrelac in the round, you will find yourself going left to right around the cable when working right-slanting triangles. I know you will find this strange since normally you are knitting right to left when knitting in the round.
RIGHT SLANTING RECTANGLES:
With RS facing, pick up sts along RIGHT SIDE OF TRIANGLE. If using various colors for each rectangle, begin in BOTTOM right corner and pick up from RIGHT to LEFT. You will be picking up approximately ½ the number of sts on that right side of the triangle as the number of rows you knit for the triangle. You will be picking up one st approximately every other row. This is just a rule of thumb and does not have to be exact. It is sometimes difficult to see those sts. I like to pick up going through entire “V” of st. Some people prefer just going through the back part of st. Click here to see my blog where I talked about picking up sts.
With RS facing, pick up sts right to left just as if knitting a row. Once required number of sts are picked up, turn work to WS and purl to last st. There is one remaining picked-up st. Purl last st with one of live sts of adjacent triangle. Turn work to RS. Knit. Turn work to WS. Purl to last st. Purl last st with next st of triangle. Keep doing this until all the triangle sts are worked. If working different colors, break yarn and work next triangle. NOTE: you will be working the rectangles from left to right on the needles. This is not intuitive to how you normally work in the round. This only true for RIGHT SLANTING rectangles.
ALSO NOTE: IF YOU WERE CONTINUING WITH THE SAME YARN I would not have you pick up the sts from right to left but would have you pick them up left to right. This is typical in an entrelac when you are using the same yarn to do the next RIGHT SLANTING rectangle.
LEFT SLANTING RECTANGLES:
Working LEFT SLANTING rectangles is more intuitive. You work the rectangles right to left. And so when you finish a left slanting rectangle your working yarn is at a point to pick up sts right to left.
3. Bottom triangles: These will be started the same way you do the rectangle round. But you are decreasing the number of sts to create a triangle instead of knitting a rectangle.
HINTS FOR THE FELTED ENTRELAC TOTE:
Because of life getting in the way, I didn’t get to take pictures until I was ready to work the bottom. Here I’m ready to pick up sts to work the bottom of the tote.
1. Bottom of Bag: After you pick up the 130 sts and do your stripes, you purl 4 rnds. Then the directions say in the next rnd:
Pick up and knit together with the stitch on the left needle and the bar from the last rnd.
The errata sheet states:
Pick up and knit together with the stitch on the left needle and the bar from the last round worked.
Well, I was sure I knew what this meant but I didn’t think the directions very clear so I contacted customer service. They explained it further and told me exactly what I thought was to be done.
Here is KP’s response:
That should say to pick up the bar from the last KNIT round worked. You will be folding the four purled rounds in half, creating a lip or edge for the base of the bag. You do this by working the stitch on the left needle along with the corresponding stitch from the last KNIT round. You work them together, which creates the fold. I hope this makes sense. It is kind of hard to visualize and difficult to explain.
I suggested that the errata read as follows:
Pick up and knit together with the stitch on the left needle and the bar below from the last knit round worked. Repeat to end of round. This creates a fold to stabilize the bottom of the bag.
On WS you can clearly see the purl bumps on the last knit rnd.
I decided it best to take a DPN smaller than my circ and picked up the top purl bumps before I knit them together with the round being worked.
Slip your RHN as to knit through next st on LHN needle and through purl bump picked up below.
It creates an edge that looks similar to an I-cord.
2. Right-Slanting Rectangles: The right slanting rectangles in this project are done a little differently from the Yvette beret. This project has you pick up sts from right to left. Each rectangle is a different color so picking up right to left is no problem. When knitting the rectangles in the Yvette beret you aren’t changing colors so sts will be picked up left to right.
3. Handle: I strongly suggest you get a cotton cording and slip it through the i-cord BEFORE felting it. If you felt it without a cord in it, it could felt to itself and
become a flat strap. There is nothing wrong with a flat strap if that is what you prefer. I wanted mine round. I ended up doing a second strap and slipping the cotton cording in it prior to felting. I also made it longer. I wanted a strap long enough to use either over my shoulder or over my head [messenger bag style].
FELTING TIP: Placing the project in a zippered pillowcase is a MUST. I know from personal experience. I felted a mohair shawl recently and couldn’t find my pillowcase. So I just placed it in the machine. Boy, did I regret that! I had to do major drain surgery to get the fiber unclogged from the drain! It took me about a week and extremely heavy duty drain cleaner to clear all that fiber. My sweet DH just smiled through the whole experience. But I was determined to not call the plumber.
I’m so excited about how well City Tweed felted!
WIP pic: pre-felting.
Here it is about ½ way through felting. I thought it was ready but I could still see some light coming through the sts.
Now it’s felted! You can see how well these colors blend.
That edge on the bottom really helps create nice stability for the bottom.
Stuffing with plastic bags will make it hold its shape while drying.
Things are ready for assembly. I originally though I would use a print for the lining with pockets in a solid [very suede-like]. Then I thought the suede would be easier to manipulate into a “bowl” shape and I like that it is heavier. I purchase red hemp and crochet thread as possibles for attaching the handle and button. I plan to use the red leather strip for making a button loop.
I haven’t used my sewing machine in years. Four boys into everything made sewing impossible. So, before I could sew, I had to straighten out all my thread. Here’s just a portion of what I had to throw away.
Well, a circle for the bottom, a rectangle for the sides, some heavy duty cotton webbing and I’m ready to go. I tend to stuff my purses so the cotton webbing should keep it from stretching. The handles and button were attached using crochet thread and by going through the webbing to give it some strength.
I made some short darts on the bottom, long darts on the top and attached the bottom. I chose a fish from the print to make a pocket.
Neither the hemp nor the leather made a good closure, so I felted one. I also felted an I-cord closure for the pocket. I thought I would need some heavy duty thread to attach my bead for the pocket so I also took a strand of the Lemon Curd and felted it by hand.
Voilá! A new purse that DH says looks like I purchased from Neiman Marcup, oh, sorry, I mean Neiman Marcus.
On my iPod:As always: At Knit’s End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee; Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off; Mason Dixon, Knitting Outside the Lines by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne; The Secret Language of Knitters by Mary Beth Temple. As well as the following videos: Drafting: the Long and the Short of It and Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont; Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann and several Podcasts. I typically listen to several different Podcasts: Electric Sheep; Fiber Beat (sometimes this will include a video podcast); Fiddle Knits (please see Erica Jackofsky’s IDP patterns here on KP); It’s a Purl, Man; Knitmoregirls; Let’s Knit2gether (a video podcast); The Savvy Girls; and Sticks and String. Non Knitting Podcasts include: Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!; and Car Talk. Well, there have been several mystery books that have been on my iPod: Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry. Susan BLK recommended this book to me. It is well worth the listen; World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brook. This is a well done production. This is interviews of people who survived the Zombie War. Max Brook is the interviewer. Some of the interviewees are read by Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner and Mark Hamil. I’m currently reading the first book in Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series: The Godwulf Manuscript. The story is good but it’s a little difficult for me to listen to it because Michael Prichard reads it. Don’t get me wrong, I like the way Prichard reads but he also reads Rex Stout’s Nero Wolf series and I keep picturing Wolf instead of Spenser. My favorite reader for the Spenser series is Joe Mantegna. Funny how we want to hear certain readers for different characters.
Knitting Tips of the Week:
Picklesue always gives us great tips. This time she says: Oh, one more thing- I read a tip about keeping holes open for a drawstring when felting. String a shoelace (or 2) right through the knitting - not adding any yo’s is ok- and you’ll keep a hole open where the shoelace was going through. Wish I could remember where I read that!
She also gave us this hint: I’ve heard and liked the idea of using fabric paint on the bottom to get them non-slip. If you can keep it somewhere to dry where no little fingers or paws will get in it. :) I did that once on the underside of a slippery purse strap. Painted a 5 or 6 inch stripe- can’t remember if I painted one or 2- in the
center or close to the edge on each side. Anyway, it worked like a charm.
I have used scrap pieces of cotton yarn. If you are doing an I-cord handle that you want to remain round, be sure to put a cotton cord inside it. Other wise it will felt to itself and come out flat. Don’t ask me how I know!!!
Words of the Week: Seriously!
I am having so much fun with words. I can’t choose just one. WARNING: Complete definitions are not posted here. Only the definition as found in the context as the words encountered have been used during the week. [The lawyer (not the devil — so it must be worse, right?) in me made me post a disclaimer.]
1. Argot: Cello used this word when I used the word hinky as a word of the week. She asked what argot was for the word hinky. 1 : a special vocabulary and idiom used by a particular underworld group especially as a means of private communication. Example: what muggle would know what knitters mean by frogging. 2 : the special vocabulary and idiom (as slang) of a particular social group or class. Think of all the new words the younger generations are using: texting.
2.Faggoting: Cello used this one while talking about the lace pattern that Peggy Stuart used in her DGD2’s naming gown. 1 a : an embroidery produced by pulling threads in one direction and tying the exposed threads into groups of an hourglass shape b : a decorative openwork stitching forming a ladderlike or zigzag line that is used especially in seams of garments and table linens 2 : the act or operation of cutting up puddled iron into lengths and piling in a reheating furnace for subsequent heating and rolling or hammering into bars. [for a picture click http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/mw/art/fagoting.htm]
3. Diaphanous: Jo [KnitWhich?] used this to describe her sweater she made by carrying along two eyelash yarns – whatever she wears, it with picks up that color within the sweater. 1 :characterized by such fineness and delicacy of texture as to permit seeing through usually with a high degree of clarity 2 : composed or
arranged to permit ready perception or comprehension of an inner or veiled
essence or substance 3 : characterized by extreme delicacy of form
Knit for the soothing comfort it can give you.