Sunday, August 12, 2007

Small is Good Too

As you can see, Knit One knits 49 bags while I’m still casting on for one. Knit is very kind about this and points out that she has been playing with two sticks and a string for many more years than I have. I do wish I could keep up. In an effort to even the odds, I came up with a neat idea. I make them smaller! In my defense, I have to say that it’s not purely to finish them more quickly, I like small. Anyway, I use the same size needles and the same yarn but then the changes begin.

Step 1: I use the shoulder strap. When I cast on the three stitches I work in stockinet for 3 rows. This makes a nice tab to sew on to the other end when I am finished. I know that making a shoulder strap seems to lengthen the process instead of shortening it but I like shoulder straps. I do make them shorter than Knit One’s but I am a shorter person and like the feeling of the bag right under my arm so it works for me

Step 2: I only cast on 47 stitches so I have 50 stitches in the row. 10 stitches less doesn’t seem like much but it means 10 less stitches every row and it adds up. I haven’t added it up but I’m sure it must be less. I mark the beginning of the round and I also use a marker for the center of the round so I have 25 plus 25. I garter stitch for the eight rows just like the original pattern.

Step 3: I add the third strand of yarn and work for about 7 inches. At this point I start to decrease. After the starting marker, I knit one then knit two together. Two stitches before the middle marker I knit two together, slip marker, knit one and then knit two together. Knit to the two stitches before the first marker and knit two together. Next row I knit.

Step 4: I continue this manner of decreasing until I have 14 stitches left, 7 between each marker. I turn the bag inside out, and work a three needle bind off. Since I’m using circular needles, I don’t slip any stitches off to another needle, I just hold them together and use a third needle to do the knitting. I’m not sure this saves time but it saves me dropping stitches which I frequently do when transferring from one needle to another. Picking up stitches really adds to my knitting time. Then I stitch the end of the I cord to the bag at the other side. Since it has a little flat tab, it is easier to sew on than the tube the I cord makes. I’m also into simpler. Anything that makes it easier is good.

The rest is the same. Maybe one day I’ll figure out a way to shorten the felting method.

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