Over the long Easter weekend, I made a bit of progress. All that's left to do on Ivy is finishing off a few threads and stitching up the remaining side seam. Yippee!
I started the first few rows of Dragone a while back, and to be honest it wasn't going awfully well. Now, this is a long-term project, but it was looking like it might take forever. The pattern is fairly straightforward - lots of different stitches but nothing I hadn't done before. Apart from the horizontal stitch, but I figured it out - or at least a version that works for me. But I was struggling to make progress.
It wasn't the yarn, it wasn't the pattern - so maybe it was the needles. I was using a pair of straight 3mm needles that I've had for years and planning to buy a new Addi circular for when the number of stitches got too large. And I had seen reviews of an exciting new development - the Addi Lace needle. Sadly, these don't seem to be available in Europe yet but they are to be had in the US. So I treated myself and ordered online.
It arrived on Friday, so I ripped my previous effort and started again. What a difference! It's much pointier than the previous needle, so much much easier to work multiple stitches, but not so pointy that it's hard to use. And it seems to have just the right degree of slippiness to grip. I think maybe the fact that I had made a previous attempt meant that I was already familiar with the pattern. So here's where I got to over the weekend. Utterly useless photo, but I am now just past the tip of his tail and going well. It's not a pattern I'd want to work on for hours at a time, but 10 or 20 rows at a time (in fairly good light) is fine.
And, at last! A Finished Object! I finally got the lining attached. I'm not wild about the cheapo plastic handles, and since the bag is cream I'd like to be able to wash it. So the handles are attached with tabs with press fasteners. I'll probably never change them, but I can if I want.