Projects Begetting Projects

I’ve had the Central Park Hoodie pattern — and the yarn I’d planned to make it with — for something like eight years. I absolutely adore this sweater. But I felt seriously lacking in the confidence to actually make the sweater. I wasn’t sure about size, and then my gauge swatch was wonky, and I put it aside.

Recently, in the middle of a heat wave, I felt a weird compulsion to make this sweater. Possibly as a method of procrastination. When I need to get something done by a particular time (in this case my state fair entries) I nearly always develop an obsessive need to start a completely different project.

I dug out the pattern and the yarn and started a sleeve as a gauge swatch. It didn’t take me long to figure out that 1) I was not getting gauge or anything close to it in that yarn, though I hadn’t washed it to see if it changed after washing because 2) I was also making the wrong size and needed to go up a size in order to have enough ease in the finished sweater to wear it over anything heavier than a t-shirt. This revelation led to the sad but inexorable fact that 3) I did not have enough yarn to make the size I needed, and the color I had was discontinued. So. Bummer about that.

I regrouped and settled on a different yarn and started knitting. The gauge swatch was pretty close to being right on after washing — I got 17.5 stitches to four inches, and the pattern calls for 17. But since I’m making the bigger size, I think it’ll work out okay.

Russian Join

(In this photo, I was finding how just how many times in a row it’s possible to screw up a Russian join before finally getting it right. The long strand by itself in the photo? That was the one I got right but inadvertently joined the new yarn to a cut-off bit of the old yarn. I finally got it right just after the photo.)

The next thing I realized is that all the little zippered box bags I use for knitting projects are much too small for even a piece of a sweater plus a skein or two of yarn. I tend mostly to knit things like socks and hats, stuff that’s small and squishable.

So I needed to sew a bag. This was clearly the only sensible approach to the problem, right?

New knitting project bag

This is Betz White’s Stitch & Stash bag pattern, which is completely fabulous. You can snap in the top bits and cinch the bag closed to carry it/keep cats out of your yarn. And when you’re using it, you can fold the top down to make a little bucket to knit out of.

New knitting project bag

The large size has enough room for a sweater sleeve plus a couple skeins of yarn (and I’m pretty confident I can fit the back of the sweater in there if I don’t stash as much extra yarn in the bag) and there’s a pocket inside to stash my cable needle, a measuring tape and scissors:

New knitting project bag

I love this bag, both the design and the really fabulous Lizzy House whale print fabric. It feels pretty great when you make something, and then every time you use it you can feel little cartoon hearts of joy popping up over your head.