Friday, May 2, 2008

Swatch to the rescue

I like to have knitting in my bag. I don't like it when my balls of yarn get caught on things in my bag and the loops on the outside of the ball all come off and tangle themselves. For socks, the solution is easy; knit toe up, and once the socks are long enough, stick the ball inside the sock. Balls don't get lost, yarn doesn't twist when you use the two circs, and balls stay intact in bag. Socks, therefore, are perfect travel knitting, in my opinion.

Lace, however, is not. First of all, I like to knit from an open skein whenever possible (no balling involved), and lace is one of the few projects where I tend to stay in just one spot and knit. It requires enough focus that it tends to be a project that stays in one place and only gets picked up when I have some time to devote to it. But sometimes I want to bring my lace with me.

This morning, I gave in and balled the end of the skein for the current lace. It was sad to have to do this, but the skein had been twisted from the beginning, and it was starting to tangle a little bit. Since I wanted to take it along anyway, I decided that a little pre-emptive balling was in order. But that left me with the ball unwinding in my bag problem.

It occurred to me that I should make some little drawstring bags for just such occasions. While the bag is probably a very good idea, whipping out the sewing machine when you're trying to go somewhere isn't really so brilliant. No, little sewn bags would require planning and foresight, which I appear to be lacking in this case. I sat back in my knitting chair to weigh the risks vs. benefits of carrying unprotected laceweight in a purse. And then my eyes fell on this:

Hmmm. 5 minutes, a couple of feet of yarn, and a crochet hook turned it into this:

It's a little bit hard to see, but my swatch is now a tiny little drawstring bag, just the right size to fit the ball of yarn and the lace. Perfect!

Maybe this will encourage me to make bigger swatches; each project could have its own little swatch bag. Maybe. (This is the part where the practical side of my brain needs a good elbow in the side for laughing so loud...)

Oh, I also wanted to say that I am reading your comments, though I haven't had time to respond as I usually do. I will try to get back on that. I don't know how Anne manages to answer each of her many, many comments (and usually in less than an hour, too!), but I am just not at that level of blogging sophistication yet. I do appreciate them, though.