Monday, January 5, 2009

Sipalu Bag

Jim had already gotten me, for my birthday, the dupes of the Harmony needles and cords I asked for so I was not expecting even more knitting goodies.  AND since he lives with me he is somewhat aware of my stash and certainly cognizant of the yarn and fiber in my shop at my disposal.
Much to my surprise this was wrapped for me to open on Christmas Day.  He's definitely a keeper.

There are 17 balls of soft Peruvian Highland fingering weight yarn. 17!  More than enough for 2 bags, maybe even three. Look at all those shades!  I wanted to drop everything, forget the rest of the holiday, and start the bag immediately.  

We were imagining my using the bag some day, once it was completed (this is not a fast project). Realization set in that, what with my profession and the potential beauty/attraction of this bag,  something of mine, at least some of the bag, should be knit with my dyed and/or hand spun fibers.  Good idea, so I reached into a couple of handy baskets and rearranged the pallette.

I just switched out a few balls for some of my own.  top row:  hand spun smokeyblue, palette, hand spun angora/merino; next row: hand spun merino/silk, palette,  hand spun blueberry bfl; then all the rest are palette except for the ball of hand dyed blueberry angora/merino yarn
(and since this was taken have switched even more).

The instructions leave a bit to be desired so I would not rec'd this pattern for a beginner. It incorporates lots of knitting methods: following a fair isle chart - both knit and purl plus in the round; picking up teeny stitches and knitting them together with those on another #2 needle; casting on in the midst of the project; increasing and decreasing plus more.

Once I got this far, a simple 12 stitch repeat,  I realized that the main chart would need to be either recolored or redone in Knit Visualizer.  Colored pencils are my specialty but overcoloring the oranges turned the lighter purples an odd shade. So I spent a couple of delightful hours with the software recreating the original chart into this.Much better now. This is an 80 stitch by 40 row chart for the main part of the bag that is repeated 3 more times as you knit around.  The entire chart will be done twice, once for each side.

Once I got the 240 side panel stitches picked up and incorporated into the tube section that separates the parts I was ready to begin the fun stuff.
Many many thank you's to Audible and Apple (iPod and iBook) for my entertainment while knitting this fantastic project and also for helping me pleasantly through all the holiday knitting.
Have you noticed the little stitch markers? Myveryownsister gave me those for Christmas. We exchange chinese themed items often as they are happy symbols from our childhood. Our father always brought home chinese food when one of us was sick.  He also played cards once a week with his cronies while their spouses played mah jongg. I remember being allowed to stab the marachino cherries with a toothpick and place them on the pineapple slices for snack time. As I got older my mother let me decorate even more, eventually culminating in the dangerous job of peeling and slicing the fresh pineapple. Those stitch markers are miniature mah jongg tiles. This particular one is called 3 dot.

The bag is calling to me.  See ya later.


Kim said...

what a wonderful gift - drop dead gorgeous colors!


What a neat looking pattern! Looks like heaven.

kristie said...

I just finsished mine in the tranquil color way be careful this is very addciting i did not put it down once i got going.

enjoy and show pics whn you are done.