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Old 11-25-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
KnitBeg
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Albem Bag (pattern + help)
I found this pattern and thought the bag in the picture looked (and still looks) adorable So, I gathered my courage and figured I should try making it...

Of course it did not went smoothly. This is partly my own fault, as I made some changes. I didn't like the colours of the 100grs yarns, so I went for 50grs (needle 2,5) and decided to use a double thread (needle 1,5*2,5 = 4). But when I had bought this and looked for a needle 4 I could only find a 4,5 so that's what I decided to use. And when I was all ready, I suddenly saw that the pattern is for 2 strands of yarn Great, so far for my mathematical solution I decided to just ignore it all and just knit a "wool test". I decided to go for 5 cables instead of the 4 in the pattern (so 10 sts more), but then I suddenly realise that the bag was supposed to be 10''. I know, it said so from the start, but I am used to cms and I just saw that picture of a cute bag and it never occured to me that 10'' would be that much more than 10cm... I could have sworn that 1 inch was 1.5 cm - turns out it is 2.5 Of course I had waited till now to get the inch/cm ruler - I should have started with it .
Any way, I'm well on my way with the front pattern which is about 8'' wide in my case. It's also almost 6'' high, so I figured I should start decreasing soon. The bag in the picture looks quite round at the edges, so I figured it would decrease over quite a few rows. Actually, I thought that, since the Finished Measurements mention a bag of 10''x10'', and the decrease starts at 8'', the bag wide would start to decrease 4/5 in height - do you follow? So I was quite surprised when I read the pattern thoroughly - and yes, I know, I should have done so before I started all this. But the bottom line is that they say to decrease over one row. Or at least I think that's what they're saying:
+ Front
"Bind off, decreasing 12 sts across"
+ Back
"Knit the next row, decreasing 8 sts across"

I don't quite know what to do Part of the charm of the bag is those round edges. I see that I should have caught up with the bottom edges not being round as the pattern just starts straight... But that didn't occure to me untill I was well past half of the height... And how on earth does one decrease while binding off ?!?

NB instead of the moss stitch on the sides of the pattern, I use two purled stitches as I find this easier when I put it all together. Hence the 56 stitches instead of a multiple of 10 sts + 4. So it is 5*10sts for the cables, 2sts for the extra straight knitted line, and 2*2sts for the purled lines on the outsides (instead of a moss stitch on either side).

WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW, is how to decrease the 44 sts (or in my case 56, but that's an other matter) by 12 or by 8. I tried 3 ways (on 3 cables, 36 stitches):
1) diminish evenly (by 6 stitches) on RS
k2tog on the right, ssk on left side
* stitch 3 and 4 and 33 and 34
* the outmost cables from 4 to 3 stitches
* the purled stitches next to the innermost cable from 2 to 1
PHOTO top - you barely see that there are 6 stitches less after the pattern goes to "normal" knitting. I like how you can hardly see the decreases in the cables and the purls next to the cable. However, I don't think this will give the bag its round corners.
2) diminish rapidly on the outside (by 10 stitches)
on WS, ssk 1+2, ssp 3+4, ssk 5+6 then normal pattern and k2tog for 30+31, 32+34, 35+36
on next row (RS) ss'k2tog' then normal pattern and in the end k3tog.
PHOTO middle - I quite like how the corner gets squashed together, but I think it might go to fast... The k2tog stitches also seem to be going to the right instead of the left but the ssk stitches also go to the right!
3) diminish on the outside over 3 rows (by 12 stitches)
on WS, ssk 1+2, ssp 3+4, ssk 5+6 then normal pattern and k2tog for 30+31, 32+34, 35+36
on RS row 3 from the pattern, but 1p, 1k, 1p on the outsides
on next WS row ss'k2tog', then 2 middle stitches in cable ssk, then normal pattern and in the last cable again 2 middle stitches together and the end k3tog.
PHOTO below - Here you do see (as oppose to the top try) that the 'normal' knitted part on the upside is smaller. The corners of the bag will be a bit rounded this way, so I am inclined to think this is how the pattern was supposed to be interpreted. But I'm not sure, not sure at all - for why not just say so instead of implying that it can be done per one row?!?



I would appreciate all the help I can get. I really start to think that the pattern might not fit the photo of the cute bag...
For example, it looks like the top of the bag has some moss stitch (as the strap/gusset is), but in the pattern this is 4 rows of stocking stitch, a row for cable-forming (row 3 in chart for flap) and then again 3 rows in stocking stitch....

It seems like I'm at my wits end, but that's not it. I can knit this to something I like (though it might take too long to be ready), I just wonder what I am supposed to do based on the pattern. It is just like my cooking - I never seem to get the recipe quite right. The result is quite unique and sometimes a disaster But that's cooking, I hope I can avoid disaster during knitting
And I'm on a deadline, as I would like to give this bag on the Dutch "pakjesavond" (= giftsnight) of 6 December. It's like Christmas, only with a different Santa Claus and a bit earlier. Christmas is just about eating together around here More like Thanksgiving I guess...

I'm quite proud of myself for figuring out the flap pattern for a start of 5 cables (56 stitches).

It's 46 stitches wide so I'll only have to decrease 10 stitches in the back pattern I do think I'll change the additional knitted stitch on the sides to a purl...
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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I think that since you're essentailly re-writing this pattern to suit your own yarn and dimensions, that you should decrease so that you get the shape that you want. If decreasing more at the edges over several rows gives you the rounded look that you want, then do it that way.
If you want to decrease as you bind off, you do that by k2tog (or ssk) and then lift the stitch on the right needle over the stitch just made. The next stitch can be a plain knit and then repeat lifting over and off the needle just as the usual bind off.
http://www.berroco.com/exclusives/albem/albem.html
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:29 AM   #3
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Thanks, that will help with the front.

And yes, I'll rewrite it to suit my needs. The only downside is that I can't really "redo" my knitting - so if I don't like what I see I have to do it ALL over again. That is why I use those trial knits (the rainbow ones).

I do wonder why the pattern just says "decreasing x sts across". Is it normal for a pattern to be this vague about what stitches to decrease, and how? Or is this referring to a certain "basic" way of decreasing which I should know about?
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:18 AM   #4
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This is very common in patterns. It means to space out the decreases approximately evenly.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:57 AM   #5
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Thanks a bunch. Maybe I will after all.

If I round of the edges too much I worry that this might negatively influence the "strength" of the bag. All the weight put in the bag will be put on the innermost connection of the shoulder handle instead of being evenly distributed over the whole connection...
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:31 AM   #6
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It sounds to me like you need a life line. I would probably put it on the last "normal" row before the decrease (just insert some smooth, contrasting colored yarn through all the stitches on your needle for that row). To be safe, I would recommend writing down which row has the life line (just in case you need to add more "normal" rows for some reason).

Then work your decreases until you're happy with them. If you find that your attempts aren't working out the way you want, simply rip back to your life line and start over.

Your cables and knitting are beautiful, and changing patterns is just as normal as apple pie (at least, it's that normal around here).
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Antares View Post
It sounds to me like you need a life line.
Great idea! I had heard of a life line before, but I never used it so I didn't think of it now - that would indeed be a way to "just try" on the real work. Thanks.
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