So, remember a while back when I said I was starting a secret new project? It is KILLING me that I can't post more about it - photos, stories, the challenges and pleasures of working on this, um, thing. I can't wait to tell you more about it, Internet.
But in the meantime, I'll share a couple pieces from the past. The first is one of my first projects, completed almost exactly two years ago. It's the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook. I knitted it in orange and blue superwash merino wool for my dear friend Levi, who was expecting a baby at the time.
Baby Amelia is a happy toddler now, and it was a joy to make my first big project for her. I may well revisit that pattern in the future - it made a great, heirloom-quality blanket, and it was fun to knit the seed stitch border and stockinette panels.
The only things I've made since arriving in Japan (other than a whole lot of SECRET) are two mesh grocery bags, which I use all the time. The pattern is Everlasting Bagstopper from www.knitty.com, and it is GREAT.
There's a funny story about this one. I had a knitting pattern-a-day calendar last year (thanks Scott, Amanda, and Ben!) and there was a mesh bag pattern that caught my eye. I started it back in Newport in June, intending to finish the bag in transit to Japan.
Well, that was not meant to be.
First, I left the needles on the bed when Josh and I lived in a B&B in Newport for two weeks. We got to wrasslin' (it's ok, we're married) and I put my knee into my beautiful wooden needles, and snapped them both. Crap. I had new needles expressed to Mom and Dad's house, and kept working on the bag from there. But I have to tell you, that pattern had to be one of the worst ever written. It was convoluted and confusing, and required a DOZEN stitch holders at one point.
I worked on that damn thing for two months, and got all the way to the last inch of the last strap before I ripped it the hell out. Then I found Bagstopper, and promptly slapped myself in the face. Figuratively. That pattern is simple, effective, and gorgeous - here it is!
It's brilliantly written, and includes a drawstring around the middle - you can fold the top half of the bag into itself, pull the drawstring, and toss the bag into your purse, just in case you need it.
I use them mostly for library books and produce. Love them.
I've taught a few knitting lessons here in Yokosuka, and I'm hoping to do more. So many people are afraid to knit - I love sharing my enthusiasm and watching them get the bug.
As for the secret project, well, time marches on.