Knit Flix

Saturday, July 11, 2009

They're in the judges' hands

This year's California State Fair entries are in Sacramento. Judging takes place on Wednesday.

The first entry is a doily called Pineapple Song.

Pineapple Song
Project details on Ravelry

Patricia Kristoffersen designs lovely doilies and this is no exception. I love the detail, the points, and all of the dimensional interest. Although, I don't think this one is that practical as a doily (if you think of doilies as things to put under other things) because of the bobbles and clusters.

The piece was finished in October, but wasn't starched. In fact, I never starched a doily before so this was my first attempt. After getting advice from friends and family, I soaked the piece and blocked it carefully on a towel. I used a ruler to make sure all points were straight and measured the same distance from the center, then I pinned like crazy.

Pineapple Song

This consumed an entire box of pins and then some. I don't know how long it took, but it wasn't a quick job that's for sure. I was a little worried that it might dry too much in the process, but it was still damp when the last pin was placed.

Pineapple Song

After pinning, I applied spray starch generously and waited for it to dry. That day was pretty warm, so when I checked it in the evening night and found that it was just a little sticky, I started to worry. I thought I applied too much starch (I put on *a lot*) and that the doily would always feel sticky. All I could think about was how long it would take for me to wash it and re-block it.

Calming down, I decided to back away slowly and check it in the morning. Thankfully it was fine when it was completely dry. The doily had a slightly stiff but not unpleasant feel.

It was too large for any of the boxes USPS had to offer, so I put it between tissue paper and rolled it onto the outside of a shortened shipping tube (that's where a hacksaw came in handy), and taped it securely. That tube fit inside a larger shipping tube and into the mail it went.

There are some very talented crocheters in California who submit amazing pieces, so I hope that my little doily captures the attention of the judges... in a good way.

The second entry is the Sipalu Bag.

Sipalu Bag
Project details on Ravelry

This is was a knitting kit from Knit Picks that showcased their Palette yarn. The kit is no longer available, but the pattern is for sale.

I started the bag back in November but it stalled a few times. The most significant delays were when I had to make a handle and when I had to line the bag.

The handles in the pattern are i-cord straps, but I wanted to do something different. So instead of i-cord, I cast on a ton of stitches and made a strap that has the same pattern as the sides and the bottom of the bag with reverse stockinette trim along the long edges of the strap.

Then came the lining. It was a challenge to find the right fabric, but my local fabric store had a pretty chocolate brown brocade home decor fabric on sale so I bought way more than I needed. I wanted enough to make at least 2 linings in case I royally messed up the first one.

I was fortunate in that Cynthia Null recently taught a workshop for the Knitspiration Knitting Guild of Silicon Valley called "Line That Bag". I brought the Sipalu bag to the workshop had a good game plan at the end of the evening. The story of sewing the lining is told in this post.

Sipalu Bag Lining

With the fair deadline approaching quickly, I put down the rest of my WIPs and concentrated on hand sewing lining into the bag and to the back of the strap. It turned out so well, I can't wait to get it back.

Sipalu Bag

I should know the results in a couple of weeks.

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