About Me:

About Me: I've been knitting since I got bored one summer in college and made a raglan sleeved rag-wool sweater that still almost fits. My favorite things to knit are Scandanavian colorwork and lace. I don't like to knit socks or sleeves. Some years ago, I completed the Level 1 Master Course with The Knitting Guild of America. That's as far as I got, but I did learn a lot and I recommend it highly.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A New Old Project - Beaded Knit Bag That is Taking 100 years to finish!

So part of my 3D creative life is working with things I inherited from my Aunt Jose:  her featherweight Singer, her WWII Red Cross patterns for knitting mittens with a trigger finger, scraps of fabric pinned with hand-written notes ("new tuxedo"), her fabulous lace wedding dress that I wore, and this awesome amazing box with a half-made beaded bag inside.

For years I would just open the box occasionally and touch the contents.  Everything in the box is from not later than 1920 or so.  I have no idea why she never finished it.  And since there were no marks on the pattern it was beyond me to figure out which row she stopped on.

A smart bag of ample size!
That was sometime around 1980.  I kept the box and kept the idea that one day I would finish the bag and have this awesome piece.  And then it was 1990, and I'd moved from Chicago to Seattle.  And then it was 2000, and I was in Montana.

Using the box lid for a bridge score
And then it was 2006 or 2007, and I was prepping to leave for law school.  I wanted to leave with as many loose ends tied up as possible, so I took the time I had to work on two full-size quilt tops, a few sweaters, a cake decorating course, and a woodworking class.  I took out the box and studied it.  I counted rows.  I took it to my knitting group and showed it off.  I knit one row.  Satisfied that I could do it when I did do it, I put it back.  (Did I make notes on where I left off?  Of course not, because I always like a challenge).  This is pretty much the only pre-law school project I never completed.

So now, here I am again.  Check out the hinged metal top.  Check out the needle container, and the thread spool, and the box the beads are in.  It used to be fastened with a red rubber band, but that disintegrated.

Copyright 1924
Yesterday I took out the box when I realized I had a whole day in which to do nothing, and that I would do nothing if I didn't at least give it a try.  It took an hour to figure out where I'd left off four years ago, and another half hour to figure out that Aunt Jose had not followed the pattern because she didn't like beaded fringe.  And then another bit to correlate the row numbers in the pattern with the pattern rows in the half-finished piece, minus the twenty beginning rows that she skipped, to figure out approximately how many rows I had left.  Really, Aunt Jose.  Were you going to pick up and knit the fringe later?  Did you want to make a smaller bag?  Where am I supposed to put in the turning row for the bottom?

Cue the cliffhanger music. . .