Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'll Never Be a Hand Model

I love these gauntlets! I'll probably make another pair or two for Christmas gifts, but this pair is MINE!

I used this pattern and Fabel Superwash, Color 677, by the fabulous Garnstudio and Drops Design.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Where the Wild Things Are: My Apartment

One cat, three ducks, 19 slugs

First Kate conquers the Netherlands.

Then these three ducks take over the garden.

This one is particularly sassy.
And the slugs are everywhere -- I just looked out the window and counted 19. But no, I didn't take a picture.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Scotland Trip, Episode 4: Arthur's Seat

On the last day of our trip, Simon and I went to Edinburgh to hike up Arthur's Seat. (As the actor said to the bishop. Har-dee-har-har.) Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano pretty much smack in the middle of Edinburgh. Actually, it and the Salisbury Crags are part of Holyrood Park.

Simon at the beginning of the hike

View of Arthur's Seat

Another view of Arthur's Seat. Note the trail's switchbacks.

View of the Salisbury Crags


The Recycled-Bag Bag

Simon and I watch BBC Breakfast (basically the British version of Good Morning, America) every morning, so we know lots more about what's going on in Britain than in the Netherlands. The BBC covers environmental issues pretty well and has lately run several pieces on excessive packaging, including the overuse of the plastic shopping bag. Here in the Netherlands, I haven't found any place that recycles plastic bags, and though I use my own bags for groceries, I still have a stockpile of plastic bags that I just can't throw in the garbage.

I had seen several patterns for knitting shopping bags into a reusable bag, so I decided to come up with a design of my own.

The bag with a kilo of apples in it


  • “Yarn” made from loops of plastic shopping bags*
  • Circular needles, size 15 U.S.**
  • Long DPNs, size 13 U.S.** (I’m guessing here. I used 10s because that’s what I had on hand. The decreases were very tight and quite uncomfortable to knit. In future, I’ll use 13s.)
  • Large-eye needle

Gauge: Doesn’t really matter


With circulars, cast on 60 stitches. Join, being careful not to twist your stitches.

Rows 1-3: Knit

Row 4: *K1, Slip1 (yib)* around

Row 5: K11, BO8, K22, BO8, K11

Row 6: K11, CO8, K22, CO8, K11

Rows 7+: Knit until your bag measures 14 or so inches from cast on.

Prepare to decrease by dividing stitches evenly over DPNs.

Row 1: *K4, K2tog* around

Row 2: Knit

Row 3: *K3, K2tog* around

Row 4: Knit

Row 5: *K2, K2tog* around

Row 6: Knit

Row 7: *K1, K2tog* around

Row 8: Knit

Row 9: *K2tog* around

Thread yarn onto needle and carefully cinch up remaining stitches. Weave in ends.

*Making your yarn (use about 30 bags of comparable weight)

  1. Roll a shopping bag lengthwise. At the top, cut off the handles, and at the bottom, cut off the seam.
  2. Cut the rolled bag into 1” inch segments.
  3. Unroll each segment.
  4. Carefully link your loops with slip knots. Pull firmly being careful not to stretch the strips or break the loops.
  5. Roll your yarn into a ball.
  6. If you run out of yarn while knitting, just make more and tie it to the end of the yarn in use.

**Some of your plastic bags may stain your needles, so I strongly recommend that you use needles that you can clean with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.

Kate investi-"cats" the bag. Mmm, plastic is so delicious.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Scotland Trip, Episode 3: North Berwick

Simon and I went to North Berwick to visit the Scottish Seabird Centre (recommended!). Inside -- where it's warm and not windy -- you can view seabirds by manipulating cameras on the large rocks/small islands just off the shore. The day we were there, Bass Rock appeared white because it was covered in gannets.

Simon outside the Scottish Seabird Centre

View of Bass Rock

Afterwards, we hiked up North Berwick Law, "a 613ft lump of volcanic rock" according to Undiscovered Scotland.

View from the base of North Berwick Law

View of Bass Rock from North Berwick Law