Last night I finished the 24-row insertion -- while watching Lindsey, Shani and Shaun all bring home the gold -- phew! I don't know for whom I am more relieved: myself, or the athletes who managed to live up to the hype.
As you can see from this picture the band is shaped with short rows to allow the bottom of the bag to widen gracefully from the handle. It's a very nice construction, and I do like the finished product, but ugh!, stranded colorwork knitted flat just isn't any fun. There's a reason that steeks exist, and I have to say that I am very, VERY happy that the body of the bag is knit in the round and steeked rather than knit in two pieces. But I'm done with that portion now, and it's knitting in the round for the forseeable future (I'm thinking after all that stranded purling, the intarsia of the flap is gonna be nothing).
That picture also gives a hint at one of the "joys" of this kind of colorwork: ends, ends, ends. Is now that proper time to confess that I actually enjoy most of the finishing process, INCLUDING weaving in ends?
Pink Thing #2
Yarn is Kollage Yarns Luscious, a luscious blend of 63% cotton/37% nylon elastic, that is a joy to work with, a little heavier in the knitting than other sock yarns, and oh-so-soft in the wearing. Have I mentioned that I love this yarn? The pattern is Jennifer Appleby's Breeze from Knitty a couple years back.
Because the rules of the challenge specify a complete sock, and to make them more wearable (I wear footies to work out, and that's about it), I'm making these as short socks. I cast on 60 stitches and knit 5 rounds to get the rolled cuff. For the leg, I did two of the cable/lace panel without the garter stitches at the edge (one for the front and one for the back), and since I needed to add 4 more stitches, I added a mock cable at either side (which then splits at the gusset with one stitch going to the front and on becoming part of the heel). Make sense? I also used a simple slip stitch heel rather than the cabled one in the pattern.
Pink Thing #3
So, the bag is for knitting in front of the TV (21 balls of yarn and a whole book for the pattern doesn't make for portability); the Breeze socks are for knitting when the Olympics get too interesting to follow a chart; the Traveling Woman Shawl (pink thing #4) is resting for right now; but Sandy had nothing to knit while sitting in class or a workshop or while watching a movie, so: