Thursday, January 14, 2021


I am currently obssessed with making bags. Usually, I crochet them.  Faster, but uses more yarn.  I wanted to try knitting bags.

This isn't exactly a pattern, so it's not going to be written like one, but it's adapted from a knit market bag I found online.

And it's long, so grab a cup of coffee.

It's based on a simple lace stitch of K1, 2 YO, K 2 TOG, repeat, done on big needles.  My adaptation is also worked from the top down.

(The pattern was originally written to be worked in the round on circular needles, but wrangling circs drove me bats, so I changed the pattern for working in rows.)

Above are two of the bags I did.  The yellow/orange bag is worked in cotton thread (#10) on #10 1/2 needles, and the pink/green in DK weight cotton on #13 needles.  I didn't even work in the ends on the pink/green yet...

Cast on an uneven number of stitches.  I did 49 for these mini bags.  Too small for the DK weight bag.

Then I knit a couple, three of rows of garter stitch before starting the pattern, to make a neat top of the bag.  I found it best to work these bags from the top down, then, working again in garter stitch, decrease and cinch those stitches to form the bag bottom, and leave a long yarn tail to sew up the side of the bag.


Row 1:  K 1, YO 2x, K 2 tog, repeat.

Row 2: decide if you want to K or P.  Since I worked this in rows rather than rounds, I purled for a smoother look.  But K (or P) 1, drop the first YO, and just K (or P) the second YO.  Repeat the drop 1st YO, K through second, around.

When the bag is long enough for you, switch to garter stitch rows.  Work one or two rows without decreasing, then dec as needed until you have 6 st.  Bind off and cut yarn, leaving a long tail.  Weave the tail through the bound-off stitches and cinch them.   Use the tail to sew up the side seams.

Handles are worked separately in crochet, then sewn or crocheted on.  I used a SC foundation chain for mine.  I suppose you could knit the handles, too.

I'm now working a DK bag in only YO, K 2 tog.  Just to see how it comes out. 😜 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Guest Bloggage: In Which Dr. Inkenstein Hands It Over

Just putting in some links of note, for your enjoyment.

A New Blog:

About Silent Films.

A New eBook, Outsiders V. 1: Skeleton Key

A Buster Keaton-themed Tumblr

See you next time.  Have a good summer.

                                        ----Guest Blogger Nearly Nonchalant

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Not Quite Undead: In Which Count Sockula Has a Ball...

...Or maybe a cake. Muahahaaa. 

For some reason Count Sockula has gone self-striping yarn cake crazy and dragged out nearly all of them in my extensive collection. Then in a frantic burst of energy I crocheted four new shawls.

This one is done with Premiere Sweet Roll, in Cheesecake, Spearmint and Butterscotch.


The tumbled one in warm colors is a Caron Cake. 
Adapted from a knitting pattern, this shawl is meant to work up fast. It's worked back and forth as a square, from the center out, BUT with one open side, so it drapes like a cape. (Count Sockula and capes just go together.)

Count Sockula's Stitch of Choice for these shawls is the Extended Single Crochet (esc): start as if to make a regular SC: pull up loop, yo, pull through one lp on hk, yo, pull through both loops on hk.

This creates a soft airy stitch, almost like thick lace, especially if you're using BIG hooks, such as K/10. Or all the way up through P. You know...the higher 'alphabet' hooks. Haven't had the courage yet to try a Q.

But you could work the entire shawl in sc, esc, hdc, or really any stitch.

This pattern is a multiple of 4, plus 2 (counting the ch-1 turning stitch for sc or esc).

There are five increases (one at each 'point' of the square). Start on 17 stitches. With one increase at each open end of the square, there will be three stitches between increases.

Work one row of sc without increasing: 17 sts.

Now switch to Extended Single Crochet. The end increase is two esc, every OTHER row. The 'inside' increase is esc, ch 2, esc, all in the same stitch.

Each 'leg' of the square should be the same size/number of stitches between increase points.

This sounds far more complicated than it actually is, so just keep working and trying it on until it's as big as you want.  It will make a mini-shawl or an enormous drapey thing.  Your choice.

Some brands I have used:

Bernat Pop: 5 colors in each cake. Acrylic, thick, soft, and lofty. About 5 oz. Tends to run thick and thin where it shouldn’t.

Premier Sweet Roll: 3 colors. Tighter, sleeker. Bouncy. About 5 oz.

Caron Cakes: 5 colors. Hairy like a werewolf! Good loft, with some wool content. About 7 oz.

Lion Brand Mandala: 6 colors. Hairiest of all, but hard and thin, a #3 as opposed to the #4 of the others. A starving werewolf? Nice colors, though. About 5 oz.

This has been mentioned in many other places: Both the Bernat and Sweet Roll were riddled with KNOTS, tying one color to the next, or else really cheap-looking, badly-done Russian Joins (Good thing I learned how to do my own Russian joins), forcing Count Sockula to cut and join many times.

(Another approach is to work up three big granny squares of the same size, then stitch them together, one in the middle, one on opposite ends of the middle square, to form a giant triangle. It was a 70s thing.)

One of any above cakes will make a small shawl. If it's Caron it will make a larger size. Two cakes will make an enormous one. It's fun and fast. You might have time now. Carry on.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Night Vision: In Which We Post Another Fanfic

Disclaimer: Kenshin does not own the Yuu Yuu Hakusho characters (they are the property of Togashi Yoshihiro et al), and does not make any money from said characters. Don't sue.
What Kenshin does own, however, are all the original characters in this work. Any attempt to "borrow" these characters will be met with the katana, or worse.
The events in Idiot Beloved take place shortly after the Dark Tournament; Firebird Sweet directly follows that timeline. This story is set many, many years after that.
Title: Night Vision
Author: JaganshiKenshin
Genre: General
Rating: K
Summary: A foggy, lonely night, and someone is stalking Hiei.
A/N: Set many years after the Dark Tournament, this story's one of Hiei's shortest, and as close as Hiei will ever come to experiencing 'angst.'
Thanks for reading this, and Hiei appreciates your reviews!
"It's rude to hide your aura."
Night Vision
Night falls early in November.
The chill Tokyo air smelt of death, soaking into Hiei's bones. It was a place in which to hide, to forget every blessing ever bestowed, bleak as an endless desert.
Compact and muscled, with bristling black hair, and not exactly human, Hiei trudged a lesser downtown avenue.
A few stores were still open, throwing swaths of light onto the pavement, but no one was buying.
Luminous fog hung in curtains that kept passersby hidden, and though no one was in sight now, Hiei knew was being hunted. And I'm too tired for a fight, too down.
Yet when footsteps echoed behind him, he ducked down a cross street, sliding from self-pity to Yellow Alert in an eyeblink
Read The Rest:

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Mystery Ink 25: In Which We Desperately Play Catch-Up

Dr. Inkenstein has gone on a ledge and is using....

Clairefontaine paper without a net!


The paper towel flower shows bright turquoise as well as muted slate and bilberry. I like it.

This is a really, really nice ink. I didn't see sheen, though....maybe I'm looking at it wrong, or my nib isn't wide enough.

The sheen DID show up later, on Kokuyo Campus Notebook paper.  As the ink dried and concentrated in the little Dollar Demonstrator, the sheen thickened.

Turns out, this is Dr. Inkenstein's first-ever Robert Oster Ink: Carbon Fire.  It's really reallyreally nice. And many thanks to AZK for carrying on the Mysterious Inkage.

Mysteriously Exploded: In Which It Looks Like A Crime Scene

Dr. Inkenstein had a sad....for this edition of Mystery Ink arrived in a pitiful condition. Some had leaked, due to atmospheric pressures or some such.  Food gloves are my friend!

A nice burgundy-looking ink:


There was ink to mop up, so I did my usual paper towel 'flower.' Does there appear to be a sort of neon-pink halo here?

This was an ink Dr. I had never heard of, much less used before.  And I liked it so much I bought a bottle.

5280 Vineyard Burgundy.  Still to be found on Fleabay.  Under eight bucks.  Supply your own label.  It's part of the fun.

MI 22: In Which Agent Smith Appears

Over at FPG, the Mysteries continue.  (Thanks, Scooby, for letting me try 22.) It was late when I got the sample, the loaded pen didn't want to write, so I let it sit overnight in hopes that it would be an easier start the next day.


The paper-towel chroma went down flat, but when dry, it developed a fascinating, chalky, gun-blue center.


Test it on other papers and it appeared a much lighter gray when applied to Staples Bagasse.  Hmm.  And, the revelation.

Ink: Montblanc 90 Years Permanent Gray.  Now Unobtainium.   

What fun!