I thought I would start on that pile of FOs, with the one I'm probably most proud of.
I have long been fascinated by entrelac, and wanted to give it a go. I am also very fond of the felted bag, and when I spotted the Felted Entrelac Clutch on Ravelry some time back, I just had to give it a go.
The impetus to get it on the needles came from the inclusion of a new class in the knitting section of the Canberra Show craft schedule: item of fulled knitting. Done deal.
Pattern: Felted Entrelac Clutch by Meg White. Lets hear it for Ravelry; comments on another knitter's project page helped me navigate an error in the first stages of the pattern that would have driven me insane with frustration otherwise.
Yarn: Patons Jet in three colours. Instead of using a varigated yarn, I joined the colours at the end of each row. I used nearly 3 balls of the dark brown, nearly 2 of the mid-brown, and 1 of the cream.Sticks: Knitpicks options 6.5 mm circ
Felting: A good soak, and then several hours in the dryer, in a pillowcase. It took quite some time to get it to felt down to a nice tight fabric, but it's lovely and solid and firm.
For all you felting/fulling nerds, here are the before (left) and after (right) shots, with pencil for scale:
Mods: none. I was really hesitant about following the section in the pattern between the body and the handles, when you unpick the crochet cast-on to do the top triangles, where you have far fewer stitches than I felt were needed, but I resisted the urge to pick up more stitches and went with the flow. It was, of course, the point where you get that lovely nip in at the top of the body once it felts down - clever designer!
Time taken: mid-November to end December 2008. Yes, it has taken me months to blog it!
What I learned: heaps! Entrelac was not very intuitive to begin with, but once I got the concept and read a couple of tutorials, it was very easy (if you're looking, this one was very helpful). Entrelac generally begins by constructing triangles, but this pattern begins with squares, so it was a leap of faith for me.
Also - my first crochet cast on. A b$tch to unpick, but a very useful technique.
I am totally in love with this bag, and can't wait to start using it as soon as I collect it after the Show next week! I'll let you know how it goes!
p.s. sorry about the crap-o-rama photos; the bag is of course in lockdown at Show Headquarters, and I didnt realise how awful my picks were until too late!