Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Zill Pouch

A dear, dear friend of mine celebrated her birthday on Monday. She happens to be the one who introduced me to bellydance. I thought, "Oh! I'll just knit up a quick little zill pouch for her!" I looked at a few pouch patterns and combined ideas from a few of them, then mostly improvised from there. My aunt recently gave me a book with charts for butterflies and flowers and numerous other designs. I thought a flower knit into the front of the pouch would be lovely. How hard can it be to use two colors when knitting?

I chugged right along, but half way through the flower, I noticed that it was becoming a separate piece from the rest of the pouch. Gah! I thought for a while, then remembered Keeping Myself In Stitches' Pi Vest. After reading through her notes, I realized that what I was trying to do (knit a block of one color inside a block of another color) was called "intarsia." I quickly found a video online demonstrating intarsia. Ah ha! Why did I think I could figure that out without instruction? I ripped out the several rows containing the flower to start over.

I knit several rows trying to follow the video's instruction, but it was not working! Then I realized that the woman in the video was knitting flat, and I was knitting in the round. I did a second internet search for "knitting intarsia in the round." The result? Pages and pages of explanations as to why you cannot knit intarsia in the round. Gah! (Actually, a couple people did have some fiddly ways of doing it, but I was through with experimenting at this point

The solution? Stranded knitting! If the pattern repeats around the circular object, then the two colors can be carried around behind the work. The plan for a single flower changed to a series of flowers around the pouch.

I lined the pouch with a soft fuchia micro-suede. I like it quite a bit. It is soft, and cute, and practical. I might need to make one for myself.

The best part is that I think my friend liked it to. As much trouble as it gave me, it was worth it! Now I know the difference between intarsia and stranded knitting, and when they should (and should not) be used.

1 comment:

  1. I meant to comment on this yesterday :)

    What a learning experience! But it turned out awesome... all soft and squidgey too!! I need to get me some of that yarn and make something :)

    She definitely loved it... you are a good friend :)