No Dice

Posted in FO, knitting by tchemgrrl on August 3, 2011

My beloved is a nerd. I’m sure this comes as a shock to anyone who has ever met either of us, but it’s true. For example, this is the kind of thing one may find on his Flickr stream.

Dungeons and Dragons: The undead attack

For these kinds of things, he has a small collection of dice and the little plastic guys you see above, which had previously been held in a sandwich bag. A sandwich bag, I ask you. He needed something better.

I had this dice bag pattern lurking in my bookmarks probably since the original post in 2005. Dice bag, shaped like a die. Genius. I wanted a slightly more uniform surface, though, something that a tiny orc arm couldn’t poke through, so I decided to knit the bag and then felt it down.

A few things were made slightly more complicated by this choice. First, the shape of a d4 requires 4 perfect equilateral triangles, and felting shrinks fabric more in length than width, so I needed to fudge the knitting a bit to get nice shapes at the end. I went with my usual felting formula (shrinking to 60% of the original length and just over 80% of the width) and hoped for the best, since doing a significant swatch would have been about the same size as just making the whole thing. (For the record, I cast on 30 stitches and decreased one stitch on either side every 4 rows, and had a 3 stitch garter stitch border around all the edges to keep things somewhat flat.)

Also, because the fabric was going to be changing, I was a bit nervous about how much finishing should be done at what stage. If I’d done all the finishing first and then thrown it in the wash, I would’ve been risking a lot of seam puckering. At the same time, though, if I did all the seaming at the end I thought the dice wouldn’t look like one piece, just a bunch of little felted bits stuck together. What I ended up doing was seaming 4 out of 6 edges, leaving a sort of ice-cream-cone-with-a-flap shape. This gave the fabric the maximum chance to mingle and mesh, and minimized the risk of having the non-shrinking zipper cause some problems.

In the end, the fabric flap felted in a slightly skewed way, with the one pointed tip ending up much more elongated. The fabric was very firmly felted, however, so I just trimmed that piece off and all the other angles worked out well. The fabric shrank almost perfectly to my estimations (the advantage of working with a yarn that you’ve used for other felting projects!)

I kept one of J’s d4s around while I was embroidering the numbers on, so that I could mimic the font and placement as closely as possible. Incidentally, this was a Christmas gift and I managed to work on it in front of him without him knowing its purpose right up until the point where he noticed one of his die kept disappearing.

Here’s the result.

dice bag

With the reference d4 for reference. It’s even the same color!

dice bag

The zipper ended up being a tiny bit shorter than one side, but was still plenty big enough for its purpose.

You can see from this that I used the purl side of the felted fabric as the “public” side; I found it slightly easier to neatly embroider, and just looked a little better for this particular project. It’s a good size, actually could’ve been smaller and still had plenty of room. Apparently it was a hit with his D&D group, too.