08 June 2007

The Bag Issues

Finally some knitting...I know amazing!

Even though I haven't posted in over a week I have been knitting. I had to knit...needed it for stress relief from all the work I had to do for the intensive 3 credit class that I took in just 3 weeks. Wow was it a dozy...I have only taken one summer class once before but it was over an 8 week period. This was a new experince for me. I have to say though that it was well worth it. The Professor, Dr. Jennifer Ring, was enthusiastic, extremely intelligent and passionate about her topic. The course was called Race and Gender in the U.S. It was under the heading for the Political Science Department and the Women's Studies Department. Excellent, course! Challenging with the amount of reading that I had to do in the last 3 weeks and with having to write a term paper (10 pages AFTER cutting it back from over 20!)

Anyway, on to the knitting. As you can see from the opening picture I have made three bags. I finished two last night. They are scheduled for "shrinking" (a.k.a felting/fulling lol). Thought before I subject them to the process of size reduction I would post about them. I have wanted to do some bags for awhile but have been in "The Sock Zone" for a while. So while taking a break I did these. They went really fast. I have a fourth one on the needles still and hope to finish it by early next week and will then process all 4 together. I have made 3 other bags prior to this but they have been on hold due to issues I have with them which I will discuss below.

First, "The great purple bag" (as I am calling it). I pulled together several patterns to come up with this one. It is basically a typical messenger type bag. I have been wanting my own funky knitting bag. There are many cool knitting bags out there for purchase but they are a bit pricey for my budget so I figured that I could come up with my own and then it would be unique. Pre-shrinking this bag is huge and though I know it will be smaller I hope it won't shrink too much. Here are the specs:

Yarn: Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride. I used 4 colors, black and 3 purples; about a skein and 1/2 of each color.

Needles: Addi turbos, U.S. 9, 36" circulars.

Pattern: Part from "Knitting for Peace" (a book that I want badly!) messenger bag and from 2 other sources plus my own ideas. I have written all down and came up with my own pattern by combing things I liked from the other patterns and my own ideas. It was done all in one piece, from bottom to handles.

Bottom: 16 1/2" x 5"
Body: About 20" in length (5" per color) and approximately 60" in circum.
Handle: About 4" x 61" (about)
Flap: 19 1/2" x 18 1/2"

Notes: Really easy to do. We shall see how much it shrinks, will be interesting. I know that Brown Sheep felts to a nice texture. It really is a lovely yarn to work with (as I have mentioned before).

This was a REALLY quick bag to do. Super easy and cute. Here are the specs:

Pattern: Knitting Daily's "Amanda's Squatty Sidekick Bag".

Yarn: Paton's SWS, in variegated pink. Really nice and soft to work with. I read somewhere that it felts fuzzy, but if I don't like the fuzziness I can use one of those clothing shavers to smooth it out and then it lays nicely. I am not really big into fuzzy so will see. I bought the yarn a long time ago to see how it felts. It is part Bamboo and was meant for felting projects. Everyone who has seen this bag so far, pre-felting, thinks I should leave it as is. However, the problem with doing that is that it would need to be lined so that it would be sturdy. I DO NOT sew and DO NOT care too...I have never liked sewing. I could pay to have someone line it for me ...but geez who can afford that! lol...so it WILL be shrunk. (SO THERE ;-p~~~ ) Oh btw, it was done in one piece and I only used about 200 yds, which was about 2 balls. Not too bad.

Bottom: 9 1/2" x 4"
Body: About 8 1/2" in length and approximately 27 " in circum.
Closure Tab: 4" x 3 1/2" at the base and 1 3/4" at the tip
Handle: 3 1/2" x 21 1/2"
Needles: Addi turbos, U.S. 9, 24" circulars

This was the fastest of the three for some reason. LOL. I was sent the yarn as a gift for my bday and it went perfect for a bag that I have been wanting to do for a very long time. The person who sent it to me (who asked me not to say who they are though I have no clue WHY! Silly woman! but I love her so its cool), said that when she saw it that it screamed to her "VIKKIE!!!" She was right of course...she said that it the lady in the craft store said it was perfect for "shrinking", lol, I am sure the lady told her that it felted but that is what she told. When I asked her "shrinking? or felting" She said "Whatever, if I put my cashemer sweater in the wash it will shrink...so what the hell is the difference. It shrinks and I knew you would love it because of the colors and I don't know one damn thing about yarn so shut up!" LMAO LOL! So here are the specs:

Yarn: Poems (I could not find a link for this yarn, a search only gave me links to actual poems about yarn and knitting...sheesh) in two colorways....and umm I was so excited to get the yarn that I ripped off the labels...which my dog promptly grabbed and shredded so umm yeah. I could google it but I am lazy today so...no. It has a mat sort of finish (unlike SWS and Lamb's Pride which has a sheen). It isn't that soft but the color patterning is nice and even. Transitions from one color to the next nicely. I used about 3 balls of the colorway with the purple and one ball of the graduated blues. (Edit 09/07/07: Wisdom Yarns Poems; 4 Stitches to the inch on US 7s, 109 per ball, and I used colorways 550 and 558. I just found it online)

Pattern: "The Lucy Bag". I was gifted with the pattern. Even though everyone around here (in my area that is) is making this bag, and I don't usually like to make the same projects everyone else is making, I love the way the bag works and looks and have wanted to make it for a long time. It worked up really fast. I had started in Lamb's Pride in blues but when I got the poems I ripped it out and started over. I basically made it in about 3 days. It was also made in one piece from bottom to the handles. I chose to do the smaller version.

Bottom: The bag is constructed in the round. You cast on the bottom and join into a small circle and increase to a certain number of stitches. At the end of the increases it is 7" diameter.
Body: 16" in length and about 24" in circumfrence.
Handles: The longer one is 3" x 25", the shorther one is 3" x 16 1/2"
Needles: U.S. 7, bamboo, 24" circulars

The first bag is made from Sari Silk remenants and was completed back in the fall. The 2nd bag is an Entrelac bag that I did a few months ago (with Noro) and then felted. The last one is a Booga bag (in Berroco Hip Hop and Cascade Pastaza). I am not going to post details on these at this time because of the issue that I will discuss below. I loved making the bags but the lack of being able to totally complete them as me disappointed. When and if I can work out the issues then I will post details about them.

Ok so here are some issues I have been having with all the bags.

Closures: I am having difficulty selecting closures for my bags. I do not want the same (typical) closures everyone else uses. Like buttons or beads. I want things that are different and unique. But, what? Does anyone out there have ideas? I want original, unique and different....NOT typical. But exactly what that is I have not figured out yet! LOL...so I am open to ideas.

To line or not to line?: The entrelac bag and the Sari Silk bag definetly need to be lined because they just aren't sturdy enough for use. But as I said I do not sew. Do not know how too (well barely)...so not sure what do.

Handles: As with the closures...I want different and unique and not something that everyone else is doing. I made handles for the entrelac and Booga bag but they are what everyone else has done and they really do not call to me nor do they do anything for the bags. I really love the entrelac bag and I want something classy and special for it...as well for the Booga Bag. Any ideas?

Well I have more to post about...but not about bags. I will save it for the weekend so I will have another subject to post about. Plus this has ended up being a long post and if you are still with me at this point you probably are saying "Enough already!" LOL...plus I want to go knit and play yarn! Woohoo.

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