We're especially thrilled to see all the delurkers - hi! Welcome!
To answer a few of the more pertinent questions - we haven't had a sit-down with the cats to explain the Wee Sock Knitter coming along, because we are not so sure the cats understand the facts of life. None of them have the parts necessary to make that talk personally relevant. But Lorna, in my knitting group, believes the cats "know" somehow, which is why, for example, Angus has been downright insistent that I pet him every morning before I get out of bed, paying particular attention to the sweet spot behind his ears until he wraps his paws around my wrist, bites my arm and ends the love-fest. He knows the good times are only going to last so long before I have someone else to pay attention to upon waking up.
I've considered alternative yarn/ needle storage methods, as well as alternative CD storage methods, book storage methods and, heck, household item storage methods.
For now, I'm trying to knit all the yarn up before the kid is old enough to make a mess of the stash.
With that in mind, I present a string shopping bag that is going to be a belated birthday present for my friend Janice. I started this an embarassingly long time ago.
It's made of about 1 2/3 skeins of Peaches and Creme dishcloth cotton. It's not my favorite yarn, but I fell for the colorway and concluded that a string bag would be a good thing to use it for.
This is the Everlasting Bagstopper from Knitty. I knit one of these out of hemp yarn which I liked quite a bit. It's a good pattern, but I wasn't happy with the handles. The original pattern calls for sewing ribbon on to make handles.
I know what my handsewing is like, and I wasn't confident that hand sewn ribbon handles would hold up to several pounds of farmers' market produce, so I came up with a way to knit I-cord handles onto the bag, which I think holds better.
The bag has a garter stitch edge, so the first thing I did was pick up and knit five stitches through adjacent garter stitch bumps.
Once I had the stitches picked up, I turned the piece and knitted the five stitches back. On the third row, I knitted each stitch together with another garter stitch bump picked up from the edge of the bag. I knitted back again, and on the third row, knit each stitch together with a bump picked up from the edge of the bag. Depending on how far down you start this, it might take more rows to get to the edge.
Then it was a matter of knitting i-cord until it was the desired length. I knit the handles a little shorter than I thought because I think the handles will stretch.
Once the handle is long enough, loop it over to the desired position and knit each of the five stitches together with an edge stitch. Knit the next row, knit each stitch of the third row together with a garter stitch bump, knit the fourth row, knit each stitch of the fifth row together with a garter stitch bump and bind off. Weave in all ends. Here's what it looks like from the wrong side. Maybe not the most beautiful piece of knitting in the world, but it's sturdy. From the outside, you really can't tell anything has happened at all.
Finally, here's the whole thing.
Now, go forth, knit net bags and save trees and oil wells.