I've been working on a felted bag design for the Sheep, using the Galway of which I've become recently fond. (This is not the houndstooth bag, no. I'm not sure I'd force that project on anyone else.)
The body of the bag was easy, no issues.
Lots of things to think about, though, for the handles. Thick or thin? How long? Is this a handbag or a shoulder bag? I'm not a fan of what I call elbow-length handles (you know, ones that aren't long enough to go over your shoulder so you end up carrying it over your bent arm. Although Liza tells me that everyone is carrying their bag like that in New York right now, my elbows just aren't up to the demands of fashion.)
It didn't seem like i-cord would produce a handle substantial enough for the bag, so I decided to knit a 12-stitch round.
What a huge pain in the butt. 12 stitches on dpns. And of course, I only had the size I needed in metal, which made for a slippery jangly mess.
And again, the wisdom of Abby came to my rescue.
Tubular -- a.k.a. double -- knitting. Knitting in the round on straight needles. It's the coolest thing.
Here's how it works... cast on 12 stitches, normally. *K1, yfwd slip 1 purwise; repeat from * to end of row.
Work every row the same.
What you're doing is working alternate sides of the tube. It takes two rows to complete the round. And as long as you keep the yfwd sl1p perfect, you get an actual tube.
The end stitches aren't as neat as the rest, so this is best for an application that's going to lie flat. Perfect for handles for a felted bag, for example. Or a scarf. Or -- hey -- Teva Durham's double knit vest in Loop-D-Loop about which I've been obsessing since I first got the book. (Focus, girl, the Noro sweater comes first.)
Abby, thank you!