Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Bag of Bags

Surely everyone, the world over, has "the Bag of Bags". It's that plastic carrier bag that contains all the other carrier bags that seem to breed as soon as two of them are left alone together. We decided we were going to do something about this and my mother-in-law set about knitting a bag from strips of plastic:

She put the handles all the way around the bag to give it more strength:

It's been test driven by my sister-in-law and pronounced a success. It doesn't cut the circulation off in your fingers, either. (Always a bonus.)

I'm slightly concerned that the whole thing will disintegrated in a couple of years but then I suppose we'll just knit another one. In fact, MIL has already almost completed her second one - she modified the pattern because the addition of the gussets was "fiddly" (her technical term) and unnecessary.

I have finally reached the right height on the Kauni jumper to start the front neck shaping. I am loosely basing the shaping on a sweatshirt belonging to 'im indoors, which he claims is very comfortable and of a suitable shape and size. I measured the width of the neck on the sweatshirt and discovered the shoulders were eight inches and the neck opening was also eight inches. My gauge is eight stitches per inch, so I'm going to have the shoulders be 64 stitches wide and the neck opening 65 stitches wide (which adds up to 193, which is how many stitches I have on the front.) I left the centre 45 stitches on a piece of thread and cast on ten steek stitches over this area.

I'm going to decrease one stitch at both the front neck edges on every round five times and then decrease one stitch each side on every other round another five times. This should take me fifteen rounds. Then I'm going to do a little bit of back neck shaping (but I haven't done the sums for that yet), knit a few rounds straight and graft the shoulders together (or possibly do a three needle bind off, depending on how I'm feeling). It is my aim that the shoulders should fall just at the end of the pattern repeat. I'm hoping that all my sums will come together.

The Mermaid is only very slightly bigger. I'm hoping to get some pictures to show how I'm fixing the beads on. At first I threaded all the beads onto the yarn but got myself into a fearful tangle and, though I know silk is strong, I was a bit concerned about the beads wearing the yarn because of the constant pushing up and down. Another method needed to be found in order to preserve what little sanity I still retain. This involves a beading needle, a length of sewing cotton and a steady hand - pictures later (when I've had time to grow a third hand to hold the camera.)


allisonmariecat said...

Oh, the bag of bags is a great idea. I finally bought a reusable shopping bag after the plastic ones took over the undersink cupboard completely. The employees at the grocery store hate it. They usually try to put in one or two things and then move on to their beloved plastic bags, but I catch them at it and say VERY politely, "Please fit everything you can in the bag. Really! It doesn't even need to be zipped up." They sort of glare and reluctantly chuck things in my bag, making sure to put fragile purchases on the bottom, where they can be crushed to death under a pile of canned goods. But I'm really tempted to ask if they're paid by the plastic bag, as they tend to put two or three items in each, so that even a small shopping trip results in a half dozen bags.

Well, that was a long story, and not particularly interesting. In sum, I think the bag of bags is great!

Kauni is stunning, and I'm looking forward to seeing Mermaid again.

Probably Jane said...

How very clever and green - I can see a bag ofbags in my life some time soon!