Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Presents

My business partner loves stripes. Can you tell by the back of our business cards?

For Christmas, I knitted her a striped purse using the colors of our company. The pattern is similar to the one used for Mah Jongg bag, with just minor changes to the handles and the button.

I'll post more Christmas presents in the next couple of days. I was in such a rush to get my Dad's mittens out by UPS, I forgot to take a picture. He's promised to send me one, but he tends to be a bit slow. I stayed up till 4AM on Christmas Eve to finish Rob's sweater, but still haven't succeeded in snapping a decent picture. Hopefully tomorrow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pattern for Mah Jongg Bag

As promised, here is the pattern for the bag I made for the Mah Jongg Mavens for Christmas. It's a quick knit, so you still have time to make one as a last minute present.

Cascade 220 [220 yd per 100g]; Color: 8400, Charcoal Grey, 1 skein
Lamb’s Pride Worsted [190 yd per 113g]; Color: M-83, Raspberry, 1 skein
This is enough wool to make two bags, one of each color.

Size 10½ (6.5mm) DPNs
Size 10½ (6.5mm) 16-inch circular needle
4 Stitch Markers

Tapestry Needle

Safety Pins

With MC, cast 35 stitches onto circular needles. DO NOT join for knitting in the round. Knit 60 rows in garter stitch.

Fold the cast on edge under the work, lining up the cast on edge with the last knitted row before the one on the needle. Safety pin it to hold in place. (See picture.)

Pick up and knit 14 stitches along the left edge of the work. Be sure to go through both layers of the work – you are joining them to form a pocket that will later hold a piece of cardboard. Pick up and knit 35 stitches along the folded edge. Pick up and knit 14 stitches along remaining side, again being sure to go through both layers of the work. [98 stitches total] The work should have now formed a pocket that is open on one side.

Place marker and join to begin working in the round. Knit 34 stitches and place marker. (Including stitch that joined round, you should have 35 stitches between the markers.) Knit 14 stitches and place marker. Knit 35 stitches and place marker.

Knit 36 rows in stockinette stitch, decreasing before and after each marker on every eighth row. [66 stitches remain] It will greatly help with the placement of the handles if you mark each pair of decreases with a safety pin.
Removing markers as they are encountered, knit 27 stitches and BO all remaining stitches.

Using the 27 stitches on the needles, work 13 rows in seed stitch. Attach CC and work 1 row in garter stitch. Continuing in seed stitch, bind off 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 2 rows, then 2 stitches at the beginning of the following 2 rows. [21 stitches remain]
Staying in pattern, bind off 7 stitches, work 3 stitches, bind off 1 stitch, work 3 stitches, bind off 7 stitches. Break yarn.

Slip last 3 stitches knit onto DPN. Work 5 inches of icord. Using 3 needle bind off, attach the end of the icord to the 3 stitches remaining on the circular needle. Be sure bound off stitches face the interior of the bag.

Using MC cast 3 stitches onto a DPN. Knit 15 inches of icord. Bind off and set aside.

With the front of the bag facing you, use a DPN to pick up 3 stitches in the lower left hand corner of the bag. Using these stitches as the beginning of an icord, knit an attached icord that goes from the bottom of the bag to the top of the bag. Use the safety pins that mark the decreases that shaped the bag’s sides as a guide for placing the icord, removing the safety pins as you encounter them. Once you have attached the icord to the top of the bag, knit 3 more rows of icord. Slip stitches to a safety pin and break yarn.

With the side of the bag facing you -- so that the icord you just knit is to your right -- again use a DPN to pick up 3 stitches at the lower left hand corner of the bag and knit an icord to the top corner of the bag. Once you have attached the icord to the top of the bag, knit 3 more rows of icord. Slip the 3 stitches that are on the safety pin onto the DPN. Knit 20 inches in garter stitch.

Slip 3 stitches from the DPN onto a safety pin. With the stitches that remain on the DPN, knit 3 rows of icord. Attach the icord to the opposite side of the bag, taking care that the handle is not twisted. Apply the icord from the top corner of the bag to the bottom corner of the bag, again using the safety pins that mark the decreases as a guide for placement.

Bind off the icord at the bottom of the bag in this manner: Knit 1 stitch from the DPN. Pick up and knit one stitch from the corner of the bag. Slip first stitch over picked up stitch. Knit one stitch from the DPN. Slip picked up stitch over stitch knit from DPN. Pick up and knit one stitch from the corner of the bag. Slip stitch knit from DPN over stitch picked up from corner of the bag. Knit last stitch from DPN. Slip picked up stitch over stitch knit from DPN. Break yarn and draw through loop to close.

Slip the remaining 3 stitches off the safety pin. Knit 3 rows in icord. Attach to bag, apply icord and bind off in the same manner as for previous applied icord.

Weave in all ends. Felt the bag and the 15 inch icord.
Push and pull on the bag while it is still damp from felting to get it to the desired shape. Stuff with plastic bags to maintain that shape and hang by the handle to dry.

Tie the 15 inch icord into a Chinese button knot. There are many websites that show how to do this. This is one I like.

Remove plastic bags when purse is thoroughly dry. Attach button knot in the desired location. Cut a piece of sturdy cardboard to the size of the bottom of your bag and slip into the pocket at the bottom of the bag.


LEGAL NOTE: This pattern is for personal use only. This pattern, or works made using this pattern, may not be sold. Ms. Nidoog retains the copyright for all patterns posted on this blog.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mah Jongg Bag

I've been playing Mah Jongg with the same three women for almost seven years. We try to get together once a month, but schedules being what they are, it's a good year if we see each other four or five times.

Yesterday, we had our Christmas lunch and exchanged presents. I made each of the "Mah Jongg Mavens" a felted purse from my own design. Having greatly over-estimated how much knitting I could do before Christmas, it was a rush to get these done; an hour before the lunch, my husband Rob was drying the just felted bags with a hair dryer!

The bags are designed with a pocket at the bottom that holds a piece of cardboard securely in place so the bag maintains its shape. Applied i-cords edge the bags, then join together and are knit in garter stitch to create the wide shoulder strap. Because Mah Jongg originated in China, I chose Chinese button knots for the closure.

I'll post a pattern soon so you can make your own Mah Jongg bag. They're actually a pretty quick knit, so you still have time to make one for a last minute Christmas gift.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Presents

I was a bit overambitious about how much I could knit for Christmas. My needles have been clicking away like little fiends over the last couple of weeks and I have yet to complete a single present. Instead, I have five presents in various stages of completion and I'm about to start a sixth.

I'll try to post some photos of the works in progress in the next few days, but I just don't know if there will be time to break out the camera. My Mah Jongg group meets on Sunday and I need to have three of these presents done by then. Yikes!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

And so it begins...

I just had my first knitting pattern accepted by MagKnits, an online magazine.

The editor suggests that once a pattern has been accepted, the designer should go tell the world, perhaps post an annoucement on her blog.

Uh, what blog?