Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bags and Sleeves

First, an update on the progress of the Dulaan sweater. I picked up the front loops of the first column of steek stitches, which makes the steek flaps fold back nice and neatly against the body of the sweater. I am inordinately pleased with how easily this is coming together, despite being my first attempt at steeking. Assuming I have not called down calamity upon my head with that uncharacteristic display of hubris, I think I might try writing out and posting the pattern once I've finished. (Not that I have many readers, being new to blogging, but if I can work out how to put the link in the sidebar, someone may eventually find it useful). It lends itself well to using up leftover yarn or experimenting with two color patterns; in essence, it could be a sort of large swatch to play with. The two stranded format is a particularly good choice for the Dulaan project because of the warmth factor; I also expect it would be more wind resistant than a single strand bulky knit of comparable thickness because of the layers created by the inside strands. (Having been marooned on the prairies for six years now, I am painfully aware of the effects of a howling wind at -30 C).

Now, the bags. I've been looking for a knitting bag that would hold a small project (socks, or a baby sweater, or a little lace scarf), have pockets for the scissors and other bits, sling comfortably and unobtrusively over the shoulder while chasing the kids or going for long walks, and be dirt, water and weather resistant enough to drag around anywhere (pubs, playgrounds, mountain tops) while keeping its contents safe and pristine. Also, be inexpensive enough that I could have more than one and still afford to buy yarn to put in it. Drum roll...... my favorite gear store....... Mountain Equipment Co-op had the answer. These were $15 each, exactly the right size with a long adjustable shoulder strap and loads of useful pockets. MEC products are always top quality, I have the satisfaction of knowing that the materials and labor were responsibly sourced, and it's a Canadian company. (No I don't work for them, I've just spend the equivalent of
the GNP of a small country there on backcountry camping / hiking / running gear over the years.)