I went to the LYS intending to get the materials to start the Suki bag; they didn’t really have the colors Amy and I and I picked out at ThreadBear Fiber Arts, so I made a mental note to order there instead. I did, however, come away with yarn for the cute felted tote I had seen earlier (Cascade 220 and a skein of Noro Kureyon for some stripes – ooh!). Starting the bag has proved more difficult than I thought, between tangling the yarn as I was trying to wind it into a ball (excellent ball-winding directions here) and trying to master Emily Ocker’s circular cast-on (not as hard as it looks) and wrangle size 11 DPNs (pretty darn hard).
The advice from the knitlist was very helpful; I got confirmation that it was okay to try working with four DPNs instead of five, and an alternative method of starting using a waste-yarn crochet cast on thanks to Eileen from Oregon – her help made my day. Best of all, I ran into the woman who taught me how to knit so long ago in the local bookstore yesterday. When I mentioned the totebag, she said “buy me a cup of coffee, and I’d be happy to help you get it started.”
I also got a chance to make my own fancy beaded stitch markers, so I’m ready as ready can be to knit that tote bag in the round. The people at the bead store were amazed that I was able to restrain myself to such a small purchase – I explained I was just crossing over from another craft.
Finally, from the serendipity files, I got an e-mail from a knitlist member with a copy of Aran Knitting for sale at a reasonable price, just like I’d asked for. If Virtual Yarns does reprint the book (as noted in the comments for the last entry), it will be interesting to see if they make revisions to the patterns as they have on the website (offering more sizes, etc.). For now, I’m just amazed that my request to the world at large worked.