Bamboozled

Last night I got together with Jeanne for a bit of knitting. Since Jeanne and I have both recently started blogging, we discovered that there are new rituals we must learn – mainly, taking more pictures:

Before I tell you anything else about knitting with Jeanne, I have to provide some backstory. I’ve been working on Bamboozelle from knitty for a Christmas present. The pattern has been fighting me from the very beginning.

I’m not using the Alchemy Bamboo called for in the pattern. True, it’s completely gorgeous yarn, but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend $28 on 138 yards of yarn for a teeny-tiny basket. Instead, I’m using Southwest Trading Company Bamboo (Fiery Red), which has a lot more yardage, is $14 cheaper, and not nearly as spectacular as the Alchemy Bamboo. The weight of the two yarns is comparable.

After I cast on and started to knit the basketweave pattern, I could tell something wasn’t right. The stitches that slanted to the right looked great, but the stitches that slanted to the left were strangely twisted and not at all like the picture.

I have a fair number of stitch dictionaries, but could only find the “woven basket stitch” in my beloved Mon Tricot Knitting Dictionary (well worth the $0.69 I paid for it at the thrift store).

Bamboozelle has this for the right side row:
knit 1, [knit into back of second stitch on left needle, knit into back of first stitch on left needle, slide both stitches off the needle together] to last stitch, knit 1

Mon Tricot provided this for the right side row:
knit 1, [pass right needle behind first stitch on left needle, knit second stitch on the left needle (through the front of the stitch, as usual), knit first stitch on left needle (through the front of the stitch, as usual), slide both stitches off the needle together] to last stitch, knit 1

The Mon Tricot version looked pretty good on the dishcloth I started for testing stitch patterns because the bamboo yarn didn’t hold up well to being ripped out a few times (it started to get very fuzzy).

Back to the bamboo.

The stitch pattern was fun to knit once I got the hang of it, but I couldn’t read while I worked on it. Anyway, I brought Bamboozelle along last night. Jeanne had a scarf that she quickly decided wasn’t the right use for the yarn and so ripped out. Alas, it turned out she didn’t have another project with her, so she was a bit at loose ends (sorry, couldn’t resist the bad pun).

Meanwhile, I was hoping to get the best of Bamboozelle’s bottom shaping. I was completely stuck on the first row and couldn’t get the count even close to right:

K6, [(k1, k2tog) six times, k10] three times, [k1, k2tog] six times, k6. 90 sts rem.

Jeanne eventually took pity on me (I suspect it was just too painful to watch me knit and tink and knit and tink and knit and tink…) and took over Bamboozelle while I pulled a sock project out of my bag. Whew!

She was great! She knit bottom rows 1 – 8 (um, I think – Jeanne, can you please confirm that?!) with no trouble at all. Obviously, she is very gifted and you should all bring your knitting woes to Jeanne to solve.

Onward. I am completely weak when it comes to knitting bags. Sometime I’ll do an entire entry with nothing but pictures of my knitting bags. You will probably want to stage an intervention. Look at this cute little Red Tango bag (perfect for a small project!) that I picked up at Whole Foods a few weeks ago:

Since I only came home with this bag instead of this bag and the 6 others that I also liked, I think I did pretty well.

Here’s a gratuitous shot of Chaos taken with my new camera. Love my new camera! It’s an Olympus Stylus Digital 800 (and no, I didn’t pay anywhere near the suggested retail price).