Almost as soon as I received my copy of Stitching in the Stacks, I cast on for Kendra Nitta's Library of Congress Bookweight. As is often the case these days, I then got distracted by design projects and, well, life. But I managed to finish it in time for my husband's birthday (a year later)!
Shown here on a copy of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (not a favorite, just what I happen to be reading (oops, did I say I was reading it? I used the bookweight I made for my husband's birthday before he ever saw it? Couldn't be true . . .)), the weight is slightly lopsided and recovering from surgery.
The basket stitch turned out to be difficult to work using the magic loop method. No matter how I tugged the yarn after the first two stitches on a needle, I would end up with a gap. I told myself if it didn't block out I would fix it and of course it didn't block out. I spent half an hour adjusting the stitches before deciding to just weave all my ends up those sides.
Working on this project in a darkened theater while waiting for my children to finish rehearsal led to an unnoticed dropped stitch. I thought the basket stitch part of the weight would be perfect for those times where you just need a project you can knit without a pattern. But I was using sport weight yarn instead of fingering weight, and the size 000 needles it took to get gauge together with the crossed nature of the stitch turned the tables against me.
I had noticed there was a problem, but couldn't find the dropped stitch until it was time to stuff. Then I just mended it as well as I could. No big deal---I basically sewed the live stitch behind and to the rest of the fabric. You can't see it unless you're looking.
Rice and pebbles were recommended stuffing materials. I had been going to collect a bit of pea gravel from our pit behind the house, but it's so overgrown with weeds I couldn't get any. (I would have washed it first, Jeff, don't worry!) With some thought, I determined black beans would do nicely. Then I noticed beans are in the supply list (which I hadn't printed). So much for my stroke of genius!
I forgot a purl row before starting the chart. I considered leaving it off, but after stuffing I noticed the purl row seems to serve a structural as well as an aesthetic purpose. I added it with duplicate stitch. Maybe I added one purl row over two basket stitch rows, but it looks extremely lopsided now.
Jeff was out of town for his birthday. When he returned and saw the weight sitting atop a stack of mail, he asked what it was. I told him it was his birthday present---a handknit book weight. His reaction?
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