Sunday, June 17, 2007

Aran-style bag

I bought the yarn for this baby over a year ago.

Tahki Donegal Tweed, 100 % wool

I really love the color, the tweediness, and the slubiness of this yarn.

I really like to knit cables, and the more they look like old Celtic or Viking knotwork, the better. I love Aran sweaters, but I live in the Pacific Northwest, where sweaters are not really needed, and well, I don't feel ready to knit a sweater yet. So I decided I would make a bag in the Aran style, something big enough to carry a book and a wallet for when I wanted to take a walk or go read in a coffee shop for a little while.

I tried out many different cable patterns (see how handy that sampler blanket project is?) and settled on the patterns I would use. Swatching commenced. I first tried US size 7 needles, a little smaller than the recommended 8s because I want a tight fabric, but found the cabling too hard to work. I frogged the swatch and tried again in 8s.

I found the yarn a little hard to work with. It's fairly scratchy and the homespun style means it's one ply, without the sproinginess of plied yarn. The yarn itself tends to curl up in corkscrews as I pull it out of the wound ball, which is a bit annoying. The kicker, though, is that I can't get all the stitches I want in the pattern I've designed and keep it to the 16 inch circumference I'm headed for. The swatch pictured above is 17 inches, but I don't have quite all the elements I want in the piece.

I'm afraid this yarn may be destined to become something else. Any suggestions for 100 g of worsted weight 100% wool? It's 183 yards...

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