Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fishing for Compliments

I don't care for felting and have a healthy horror of large needles, but I overcame both aversions recently after falling in love with this sweet little confection:



It sort of came as a kit at my LYS, but I ended up changing the yarn color from orange to black, so I did not walk out with the pretty bag that held the original package.

Because the pattern was fraught with errors and omissions, I won't mention the designer's name here. (I am beginning to think that every time I pick up a pattern, it immediately shifts to Errata Mode). Here's a sample from the purse pattern:

Knit 4 stitches; bring yarn forward between needle tips (BYF).
Knit 15 stitches, BYF.

Wait! The yarn is already in the front! Rip.

I finally worked the purse thusly:

Toss pattern in the trash and *make up the pattern so it looks like the store sample.*
Repeat from * to *.

Knitted with doubled Malabrigo worsted on size 13 needles, the purse was agony to finish. Needles that large should be illegal, or at least should have a Carpal Tunnel/Knitter's Elbow warning prominently stamped on the shaft. There was a lot of i-cord, too, but I refused to purchase a set of #13 dpns that I would never use again, so I used my Boye NeedleMasters with 16" cables. They weigh a ton. Never again.

A Side Note: A few weeks ago I watched a 13-year-old struggle with size 15 needles. She was clearly hating every stitch. It should also be illegal to give children needles larger than, say, a size 6. You are never too young to wreak havoc on your tendons, carpals, and other delicate body parts.

Where was I? Oh yes. Fish purse. The handle was made with 84 interminable inches of i-cord. I discovered that, instead of dropping the yarn, sliding the stitches to the other end of the needle, and picking up the yarn again, it was easier to just slip the three stitches back to the left-hand needle after knitting them. I started picking up speed at that point, but it seemed like I would never finish.

I bought the fish and yarn from Twisted Skeins. The shop doesn't have an Internet store yet, but you can probably call her and order fish-by-the-yard over the phone. I don't recommend purchasing the pattern--just find your own felted bag directions and go fishing!

23 comments:

Stacey said...

Wow, that is lovely! I am of your mind in regards to felting & big needles so you are my hero for finishing that purse! :D

Janice in GA said...

I'm with you re felting and big needles. I made a scarf for Xmas on big needles (size 13, I think) and hated every second of it. Felt isn't good around my house because it picks up all the dog hair that's EVERYwhere. :( Plus, I just don't care for felted bags.

I'd never heard of that shop. I'll add it to my list!

domesticshorthair said...

You reeled in a fun bag, despite the errors.

I feel the same way about patterns. I come across errors pretty often.

crafteeladee said...

Great Bag!!! When I made the My Constant Companion and did "miles" of i-cord, I use my Boye Needlemaster tips (no cord) they were long enough. This is from someone who has had carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists.

Susan (and SmokeyBlue in spirit) said...

Ah yes interminable I-cord. EZ named it aptly.

Good job on the bag. By now you could probably publish the pattern under your own name or at the very least become a test knitter. I also hate patterns that have not been test knit and edited.

Beverly said...

Thank you! I completely agree about big needles. People always complain about how painful knitting is with small needles, but I have the opposite problem - big needles make my hands ache after a couple of rows. I can knit on size 1s for hours.

yarnlot said...

Very nice how the coloured beads resemble air bubbles.
This bag is just the splash of colour one needs in these dark winter times!
Keep fishing...

Batty said...

Too bad the pattern had problems because the purse is awesome! I'm usually not a fan of felted bags, but this one... just looking at the fish makes me happy. So worth overcoming your fear of large needles.
It's odd... I remember thinking small needles were fiddly. Then, I picked up some US #10.5 to make some Fuzzy Feet for my sister, and those needles felt like tree trunks in my hands!

2trees said...

I don't usually like knitted purses, but yours is really cute.
**I think you should write up that pattern on your blog**.
Did all the fish and beads come in the kit?

Maria said...

Very cute! I'm with you. Give me a size 4 needle any day.

Dorothy said...

I could not agree with you more about the large needles. Who ever thought up the idea of teaching people to knit with scarves on humongous needles? That's more like torture!!

Opal said...

i love the purse! so whimsical. it sounds like a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it though!

happy new year!

EGunn said...

Very cute! I am a huge fan of your modified pattern, too. And what's with little hands and big needles?

Soo said...

Great bag!!

And you are (as usual!) correct about bigger needles. They are much harder on your hands, and particularly hard on little hands.

Suna said...

I did some proofreading for a felted bag maker once, and the patterns were quite a mess. Don't know who is doing them now.

And as someone who has taught a lot of little kids to knit, I could not agree with you more about the large needles. They need something their hands can manage. I will sometimes use a slightly thicker yarn, but tend to use size 8 or so for kids, like I would adults.

Carol said...

That looks lovely. Hmm, I have felted purses before.Maybe I could modify one. Interesting.

GailR said...

Have another compliment - I love that bag! The colored fish with their colored bubbles against that black - ya gotta smile!

Jane said...

I love the bag but those honker needles are out of the question. Pattern mistakes are evil, pure evil.

LittleBerry said...

You don't need to fish it's great :o) I complete agree with you on using big needles to reach children... in fact anything over 6.5mm should be banned!

Monika said...

Bravo! This is a wonderful bag! I love it!

knitalot3 said...

That is just the coolest!!! Love the fishies. It wouldn't be nearly as good in orange. Good call.

Sorry about the pattern and the broom stick needles.

LisaK

Denise said...

Pretty purse, but no way would I knit with size 13's. The smaller the better for me, needles that is.

BadCatDesigns said...

The older I get, the smaller get my needles. I was working with a US 5 recently and my hands and wrists were not happy. Zeros for everyone! You should teach kids on US 4 needles. That seems about right to me. I don't really know anything, but I can go ask my daughter what she thinks...and I love the fish very much. I don't think I would love them in orange, but they rock in black.