billyskullknits: A friend asked me to make him a dice bag for…

billyskullknits:

A friend asked me to make him a dice bag for his Edge Of Empire dice… shockingly long ago, and I’m sad to say I’ve only just got around to it. His only request was for ‘something Star Wars-y.’

After a bit of searching and consulting (or browbeating) I managed to narrow him down to something a bit more specific, having found a brilliant Star Wars image chart here, courtesy of the downright charitable @notanicedragon. Seriously, check that chart out — the finished scarf is stunning.

Unfortunately it’s apparently impossible for me to make anything easy for myself. If you’ve already looked at the chart you’ll notice it’s for a double knitting pattern. I like double knitting — I’m making a blanket using double knitting right now (once I untangle it), but the idea of making a double thickness dice bag just felt like too much effort.

“I know,” I said to myself in that tone of voice that means I should probably just kick myself straight away, “I’ll just do it in intarsia. I’ve done colour work before, it’s not that hard.”

Now, dear Reader, I’ve done intarsia before. And yes, for a blocky design like the Millennium Falcon above it’s not that hard — in the flat. Where you can carry the yarn back and forth. As you can see in the design above I had large — and I mean large — stretches of material with only one colour. So I had the choice of either carrying floats around almost the entire circumference of the bag, or cutting the yarn after every line.

In the end I went for a mixture of the two (I know, I should have taken a picture of the inside. I’m sorry). I cut the contrast yarn for every row that there wasn’t a design on the back and carried it as a float where there was. This meant I only had, y’know, about 40 ends to weave in when I was done, so no biggie.

When I finished it was a sorry and lumpen thing, half born out of bad ideas and 11pm caffeine. I looked at it and despaired, disappointed that I would have to present such uneven stitches to a friend.

That was the night I realised why blocking was important.

By the morning it was almost perfect. The front prongs were weirdly raised as I’d tried to cut some corners last minute and been too lazy to fix it once I’d realised it wasn’t working, but oh, dear Reader, it was beautiful. Where once the stitches were pulled by wraps now they hid their woolly burden like heroes; where once the seams between one colour and the next stood raised like now the blended, shoulder to shoulder. I was sad to see it go.

The lightsaber handles at the bottom could have been neater, and I kind of feel I should have made the Rebellion symbol bigger, but I’m still proud of a day’s work, my friend was happy, and I learnt some valuable lessons about not cutting corners, and that if literally every other knitter in the world thinks something is a good idea then it’s probably a pretty good idea.

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