WOW -- I LOVE the blanket, and am anxious to see it completely put together!! Yeah, the whole intarsia thing with the hanging bobbins and the guesstimations of yarn amounts is sort of a thorn in my side, too, though I really like the way it looks. I guess that's why we have the "big picture" in mind when we're doing that sort of thing. As Allison said in one of her comments in recent weeks, "...nothing says "I love you" quite like intarsia....." I read a hint in the Spring 2006 Interweave Knits which suggested to estimate the number of stitches you'll be knitting in a particular color, and wind your yarn around the needle that many times to get the amount of yarn to put in your bobbin. I've been doing that, though I usually put in a little extra because of allowing the wraps around my needle to overlap, and its been working out as well as can be expected, for an estimation anyway..... I hesitate to put this in print, but I haven't run out of yarn doing it this way, yet.....
I've been working on my bag pattern. I finished the bottom using garter stitch with miters. Then, I went back up to the top and carefully removed my waste yarn as I knit each of the top stitches. I added a top band, and have now completed one of the strap gussets and am well on my way to knitting the strap. This would be a good time for me to learn how to knit backwards, though I'd have to figure out how to purl each edge stitch backwards, too..... I'm sure there must be some way. I'll let you know....but it's about time I learned how to knit backwards, anyway.....
I might be repeating myself here....but, after staying home with small children for the past six years, and providing day care for a third child this week, if all that's wrong with my brain is repeating things, then I'm feeling pretty good. In any case.....the pattern, which I'm hoping to have available in mid-September as a joint project with YarnBotanika, and also sold separately on our blog, will include directions for two versions of a felted bag. One version will use a purchased wood handle. The other version will have a shoulder strap. Both will have similar bottom constructions done with mitered garter stitch and ZERO seaming. The pattern will also have some options for needle felting a design onto the felted bag using assorted bits of fiber. I'm still toying with the idea of including instructions for lining it, too, though I might just put that as a sidebar item in the blog. There are a number of details remaining to be worked out regarding this, but at least the pattern itself is coming together after several iterations on how to make the top of the bag and the strap. But, so far I'm pleased with this version and hope to be felting it by the end of the week.
Well, I should get some more chores done before all of the kids get up from quiet time today, so I'll close. Again, congrats on your blanket!! That was a tremendous undertaking, and your results, even not sewn together, already look stunning!