Do you like tea?
I found this pattern, Tea for Tricia, a week or so ago and just knew I wanted to knit one. I printed out the pattern, bought the cute little tea and cup buttons, and cast on readily.
And had problems. Actually, I guess it was mainly just the one problem: Gauge.
I knit loosely. I know I knit loosely, I always do and so generally when starting something small I start 2 needle sizes smaller and hope I'm OK. The pattern called for a size 6 and I used a 4. Somehow, it still came out huge.
The pattern works like this:
You cast on for the flap and work in double seed stitch for a certain amount of rows. Then you do the buttonhole, and continue the seed stitch until the piece 4". Then you cast on to start working in the round for the pocket and at the end you work a 3-needle bind off so there are no seams to weave in.
Well with my problems with gauge, after the certain number of seed stitch rows, the piece was already 4" BEFORE I did the buttonhole.
After frogging 3 times- and getting frustrated- I finally threw the pattern(which didn't offer a gauge to match OR dimensions of the finished object) out the window, got out a packet of tea, and did it my way.
I started from the bottom, like a toe-up sock, with the same cast-on used for hexipuffs, casting on fewer stitches (26 instead of 36) and working in the round upwards until it fit the whole tea packet inside. Then I did a purl round, cast off half of the stitches, and worked flat in seed stitch (not double seed) until I thought it was a good place for the buttonhole, bound off 3 stitches instead of 4, and then did a few more pattern rows before ending with two plain rows and binding off knit-wise.
Sewing on the button, of course, made the whole thing worth it. It fits 3 packets of Stash tea inside (Orange Spice, Chai, and Earl Grey) and I popped it into my bag so I'll never be without a little bit of caffeine. ^_^
I will be making another of these cute little tea wallets (using the tea cup button) soon! It was a quick, easy, fun little project, and it's especially nice for hot hot days when a tiny cotton project is really all you can handle.