Thursday, May 27, 2010

Knitting for winos

I've been working on a super-secret knitting project for the past two weeks or so. The only reason it's been classified as 'super-secret' is that I wasn't entirely sure I was going to be able to pull it off. Nobody wants to puff themselves up only to be deflated later like so many euros. However, I think that I've progressed far enough that success is imminent, so I'm downgrading it's status to 'not-so-secret'. What is this mystery project? Three words: wine bottle carrier.

I can't take credit for the Grapes on the Vine idea: that's courtesy of The Knitter's Bible's stitch library. But, I will claim credit for incorporating two colors (however poorly executed). This was another one of those ideas I had while trying to fall asleep, which tend to be pretty hit or miss. I started out working in the round, because hey, wine bottles are round. That meant that I had to carry along both strands of yarn the whole time. Two colors of yarn, and cabling? I wanted to shoot myself in the face. No one is interested in that kind of a pattern, aside from total masochists. I turned to intarsia, which I had previously never tried.

The Knitter's Bible informed me that intarsia wasn't suitable for working in the round. It took a shamefully long time for me to realize out why. Ohhhhhh, right, each time you come around the color you want it's on the wrong side. Oops. Flat knitting it is. I've made a little circle for the bottom, which is at home. The bottom and the first two inches of the tote used both strands for each stitch, in the hopes that it will beef up the strength. No one wants their wine bottle to end up on the ground after it's ripped through the handknits. Intarsia isn't hard persay, but I think I need to invest in some real bobbins. My jerry-rigged version seemed to unravel a lot and then the strands would get tangled and the work would get mysteriously drop-kicked every now and then.

I'm experimenting with a couple of ways to use color in the grapes. First design:

Second design, more green stems:

What do you think? I'm not sure it's a fair comparison yet, since the second design doesn't have it's main stem yet. I may have to ask for your assessment a second time!


  1. I like it! I'm not a knitter nor am I crafty, but I do enjoy wine. I think you can count my opinion based solely on my enjoyment of wine and the results of consuming too much.

  2. So far I like the first bunch of grapes. As a whole the project looks great!!! Perfect for wine toting!

  3. I like the first one but as a whole the project looks great

  4. AH. Great Idea! Love the grapes and the colors!

  5. You sound just like me- I've been adament that I could make instarsia work in the round before (I did but it was a bit rubbish) and I've been really longing to try some two colour cables for a while now.

    I think you're doing an awesome job with those two colour cables (I prefer the first one btw) :D

  6. Awesome! I can taste the wine . . . Love the grapes.