Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sock Bag

As foretold, my new sock bag.

Of course it has to have shoulder length straps, preferably ones that can be knotted to make the straps shorter just in case I ever want to carry it like a handbag.

It also has to be small cuz it will never be the only bag I'm carrying, and prob'ly not the only knitting bag! It also has to have a no hassle access to the project so a quick stuff and the knitting is put away.

See? That's the jaywalker on the needles from the last post. A simple slip of the cord around the big button and the top opens to reveal the sock I'm working on.

Now turn the bag to the side and you can see the zipper.

Open the zipper and reveal the interior.

Plenty of room for extra yarn, there are 3 balls of yarn in there, enough for 3 pairs of baby socks, or perhaps the equivalent of one adult size pair of socks. Also inside is my set of short dpns with a few other needed tools for sock knitting, all my circular needles for sock knitting, plus a little pattern book. You can see the circular needles in their pocket that is the side of the bag just unzipped and folded back. See them sticking out of above the fold on the top?

This is the tiny pattern book and the dpn case.

The tiny pattern book has a suede cover with the same paisley fabric in the inside. It's the size of an 8x10 sheet of paper folded into 8 rectangles. The leaves (or groups of pages) can easily be added or removed at anytime. Short pithy directions are all you really need for most sock patterns so it's plenty big enough.

And here is my new dpn case. It too is covered with suede inside and out. It is kept securely closed with the elastic cord that crosses inside to help keep the dpns and other tools a little bit more orderly. I haven't decided how I'm going to finish the ends of the elastic yet. So for now they are just laying there loose within the case.

Just in case you might want a bag, dpn case and tiny book, I'll give some thoughts on making your own.

The bag itself began it's life as a six-pack cooler. I removed the original lining, and insulation foam on all sides of the bag except the original "top" of the bag (the side that has the zipper around three sides.) Leaving the original lining on that portion of bag makes the pocket for the circular needles.

The original "back" of the six-pack cooler is now the top of the bag. I simply made a rectangular "pouch" out of the paisley fabric, cut out the center of the original six-pack back and sewed the pouch in place allowing it to fall into the inside.

Because the six-pack fabric itself is a little stiff, plus the added exterior fabric, simply pleating/folding the sides of the bag to make the overall triangular shape of the bag is enough and there is no need to secure the pleat. The placement of the eyelets and the length of the cord does help the pleats/folds to behave though.

Remember all those AOL cds they use to send out? That is what the dpn case is made of. Most of the time they were just plastic cases about the size of a paperback novel, this one was more like a fiber board box and little smaller. Rubber cement affixes the suede to the box really well and a tiny drill bit is all you need to drill the holes for the elastic cord.

As for the pattern book, obviously I'm not going into the whole book making thing but I do want to share with you how the pages are made. I wish I could remember where I found this little gem, but it was eons ago and I honestly don't remember it was many years ago. I think you can find the same thing on the Instructables website but I know I didn't find it there first.

Isn't origami the boom? An eight page "book" out of a single sheet of paper. You can squeeze a couple more pages out of this by making a few more cuts after all the folding is complete, but you also lose some of the integrity. I like using graph paper to make these, no worries regarding the orientation of the lines plus when used as above in a tiny little pattern book, it eliminates the need for a tape measure (4 squares to the inch!).

I'm sure you can find several applications for this little "book". Of course the grandkids love having their own "books" and they are fab for organizing a long list of to do's and errands that need to be ran, ie groceries on one page, pharmacy on another, home improvement store on another, outside chores, inside chores, etc.

Almost FO's

Nope none of these are finished. Some need buttons, some need blocking, some need ends worked in and some need seams.


At least for now it is ick. I don't mind the blocking bit, and buttons? eh, if I find/have buttons I like. But the other finishing tasks.....?.....let's just say I have a hate/love relationship with them. Notice the hate part of that equation comes first, and to be quite frank is the typical sum total of my feelings on the matter. Usually. Maybe it's just me, but I can and will let a so-close-you-can-almost-wear FO sit idle for days, weeks, months, and if the whole true be told, occasionally years!

I can't explain it other than to say, as much as I detest the chore of finishing, I do have days (rarely, but they do occur) that all I want to do are finishing tasks. I figure since this baby is still several months away from making his/her debut the chances one of those extremely rare finishing days will come, hopefully. :o)

I've thrown caution to the wind and have just been knitting willy-nilly. Note the various sizes of the above pictured sweaters and socks. It is an undeniable fact that the child will grow, so as long as it is not too small to begin with, it will fit at some point. Another reason for my hit and miss approach to this knitting is believe it or not, massive stash notwithstanding, I have a very small amount of baby appropriate yarn. Darn the luck, I have to do some yarn shopping, sigh. ;o)

There's not much new under the sun up there in that photo. Of course there is an EZ Surprise (red), and an EZ Surplice Surprise (yellow). The center blue/brown sweater is the Seamless Yoke Baby Sweater (Ravelry link) [non-Rav link here] This is a really nice sweater. The sweater in the upper left of the photo is a vintage pattern that is eh, the tiny grey sweater is also a vintage pattern but has a very intriguing construction. This sweater will prob'ly never be worn by the baby to be, but certainly a cousin of this design will be. The grey sweater was worked at a gauge of 12 stitches to the inch, to me that's a just a tad bit ridiculous. The huge "sweater" in the lower right isn't going to be a sweater at all, it's just a bodice for a little jumper I have in mind. I have some purple wool to make the skirt but that will be toddler size.

As for the socks, the pink, red, and green socks are just plain old ribbed socks. The yellow socks are The Sweetest Little Baby Socks (rav link) and the blue socks are the Lacy Rib Baby Socks (rav link) [non rav pdf here] Not sure which one of these I like the best, the stitch pattern is very similar. On the needles are baby Jaywalkers, and up next are baby No-Purl Monkeys. (rav link) [non rav link here]

Oooo how do you like my needles??? Yeah I know you really can't see them but I love them! I re-fashioned them myself. I had to, I've been totally obsessed with knitting these little socks. Each pair has been made differently and I don't mean the stitch patterns. I've been playing with different toes and heels, top down and toe up, dpns, 2 circs, and magic loop and having a marvelous time. The only thing that was really bugging me was the length of my dpns. When you've only got 30ish stitches on your needles 7 inch dpns is a little over kill wouldn't you say? So I dove into my stash of needles, yes Virginia, I do have an enormous stash of needles too. A few snips with some wire cutters a little bit of filing and ta da. Now I have 4 sets of 5 dpns, 4.5" long, in sizes zero, one, and two. (I have two sets of size two cuz I made a set out of some vintage casein dpns too.) I know you can buy such things, but making them seemed just as simple, a whole lot cheaper, and besides, all those needles were just languishing in boxes have no idea have many needles I have, sigh, and I've even given away more complete sets of needles than I can count, but I digress....

So now that I have all these sock specific shorter needles, plus the fact that a baby sock can be whipped out in an hour or two I needed a bag devoted to tiny baby socks.....doesn't everyone? Tune in soon and I'll show you my new baby sock bag.

Annie/Baby update:
All is quiet and progressing well. No emergencies and aside from a few weepy days (don't we all remember those well?) everything is fine and dandy. Tomorrow we just might learn if this little one is a boy or a girl.