WIP Wednesday.

Back in 2005 when I got back into knitting big-time, I bought a pattern for a felted purse. It was the Oregon Tote by Janet Scanlon (scroll down to the second purse, the peach and yellow one). On the advice of the LYS clerk I bought bulky weight Lamb's Pride, which I chose in black, brownish-red, and heathery brownish-red. I chose the second and third because they would match my winter coat. Back in 2005 I had little or no designing experience and there was no Ravelry (oh, the horror!), so it took me a lot of knitting and frogging and reknitting to come up with a stripe pattern I found to be acceptable. 

Here is what I finally settled on, using bits of other feltable yarns in my then-stash.

Purse stripes

Looking at it now, after having checked out the 132 other Oregon Totes on Ravelry, I see it as woefully simplistic. Whatever. No way am I going to frog and reknit it, especially since that particular winter coat met the trash last winter. (Too many rips and tears to donate, darn. It was eight years old and had been worn to death.)

Why did it sit, unfinished, for five years? Because the top edge was to be finished off with three rounds of I-cord bind-off, and I couldn't understand the instructions. I had done I-cord, but this bind-off was just too difficult. So it sat, occupying a knitting bag and cable from my old Boye interchangeable needle set, for a long, long, long time.

Recently I finished my Dimorphous Mittens (coming soon to a blog near you), which have an I-cord bind-off on the outer mitts. I sucked it up and visualized how such a bind-off might work and walked through it in my head and did it. I still don't know if my version is *correct* because I haven't taken the time to look it up on YouTube or elsewhere, but it worked and it looks exactly like an I-cord bind-off should.

Whilst doing the mittens the thought in the back of my head was that once I had finished them I would be ready to tackle this aged UFO.

Behold a fuzzy photo!

 Purse icord

Three rounds of I-cord bind-off (well, two completed and one ready to go) with the requisite slots through which to thread the I-cord straps.

Reading the I-cord instructions now, after five years of intensive knitting, I still find them incomprehensible. They are, in fact, the worst knitting directions I have ever read. Besides the aforementioned I-cord nonsense, I cannot find where it says where to put the slots for the straps. It is clear that one should make them when doing the first round of I-cord, but placement within that round is imprecise, if "imprecise" is taken to mean "not specified at all". The comments on Ravelry suggest that the pattern has since been rewritten to be clearer. That is particularly good, since this is fundamentally an easy knit and an excellent first project for a new knitter.

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0 Responses to WIP Wednesday.

  1. Cookie says:

    Yay!
    One less project stinking up the place and soon to be a new bag. Talk about a win-win.

  2. Erika says:

    Look at you go! That’s so awesome!
    I like Judy’s videos, as a rule. I kind of get what she’s doing in this one, but I’d have to walk through it myself to really figure it out:


  3. Angie says:

    Hurray for a soon-to-be new bag. I love this time of year. I often finish “stuff” that has been hanging around. I see I’m not the only one. 😀 Love the colors.

  4. Bullwinkle says:

    Wow. It is quite an accomplishment to pull something out of dry dock after so long.
    And I don’t think it’s simplistic – I think the Felting Fairies will transform it into “awesome”. (And you may need to buy a new winter coat.)

  5. Chris says:

    D’oh – you shoulda asked me! I love i-cord bind offs and applied i-cord… AND I have the Elizabeth Zimmerman videos where she and Meg demo the techniques. 🙂

  6. I salute you! I would probably have never gone back to something that frustrated me like that. Of course, any time you might get a new bag out of the deal, it’s probably worth trying!

  7. gayle says:

    I’ve read about i-cord bind-offs, but never actually done one.
    Enjoy the new bag!

  8. Carrie K says:

    That seems like a reasonable definition of imprecise. Maddening. It looks good! Felting will just make it look even better.
    Isn’t I-cord bind off odd? I did it on a vest. The icord cast on is the one that eludes me. I can do it but the first row of stitches is really gappy.

  9. Cathy-Cate says:

    I learned I-cord bind-offs from EZ’s books. How irritating to have a project languish that long for lack of clear directions! Looking forward to the felted pics!

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