Monday, December 17, 2012

Knitting bag: Japanese linen edition

Remember the terrible failure of my blue and black weaving project?  This is what I made to replace it:

The newer-to-me friend I am giving it to is not just a super nice person, but also somebody I particularly want to thank for a lot of 'little' (it's big to me) help she insists hasn't put her a bit out of her way.  You know people like that too I'm sure - people you may never know quite well enough to be able to return the favour, such that you just have to make something for them to properly show your gratitude for having them in your life.

Of course, the other aspect of not knowing somebody quite as well yet as you'd like to is that it's tough to know what to make.  That's  why I was in despair when the Perfect Scarf Idea didn't work out.  Then last week - and it's amazing, frankly, that this never came up before - I found out that she knits.  Well, every knitter can do with a fancy tote bag, don't you think? 

I haven't written this up as a tutorial because it's just a very simple lined tote bag and there are tons of instructions for those that will have better proportions than mine does.  But I did want to note some special things about it.

The biggie is that this bird-patterned fabric is something I bought to make an iPad cover for a small friend, plus extra to make something for my mum, who loved birds and also, blue.  As it turned out I didn't think of a good project in time.  But this friend is one of several I have with mom qualities I especially appreciate right now, and it seemed like the right time to use some of it.

I was very careful to make this bag as perfectly as I possibly could, and one thing I thought would look nice was double stitching down the centre of the straps:

It's possibly not even visible in this picture, because I was lucky enough to have an almost perfect match in thread, but you do get a bit of texture along the stitches.

I also added a pocket to one side of the lining before I sewed it all together:

I decided to leave the selvedge as the exposed edge for the top of the pocket, because it seemed so soft and feathery.  I kind of wish now that I'd stitched it down the middle before assembling it, or else added a tab closure, because the pocket does flop open a fair bit.  Probably that won't matter when it's in use though.  Might even be an advantage, if that's where the working yarn lives while the rest of the project materials rest below.

The straps are long enough for shoulder bag use but also for hanging off a doorknob or the back of a chair, and I boxed the bottom in case it's ever so full of yarn as to stand up on its own.  I'm very comfortable with the way it came out.

And in case you're wondering:

it took three hours.

against the eight or so I spent on the scarf.  SIGH

And speaking of the scarf:

Bob was over on the weekend and I showed it to him as an example of Weaving Gone Wrong.  He loved it even after I'd pointed out all the flaws, so I gave it to him.  Everybody's happy.

I hope your day has a small victory or two in it, and I'll see you tomorrow!

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