The bag that ate my crafting mojo for most of the last two months is finally done!
I think it will be a handy knitting bag or catch all bag or overnight bag or even a bag to carry my dog around in (just kidding, Oscar!). I have this feeling it will be especially good for spinning excursions - it's just the right size to throw in a Lazy Kate and a bunch of fiber.
Pattern: Kristin's Favorite Carry-All from Best of Interweave Knits, designed by Kristin Nicholas
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza
Needles: #8 circulars
Started: Spring 2008
Finished: 26 July 2008
Will I make this again? No, but I did learn a lot of skills I'm sure I'll use in future projects
Mods: I lined the strap, based on suggestions seen on ravelry. I also added zippered pockets to my lining (much needed in such a large bag!) and added a long zipper to the main bag opening because I'm crazy like that. I also added a gusset to the lining to match the bag gusset, but I'm not sure if that was really worthwhile.
There wasn't anything about this project that was particularly difficult or challenging. It was just a bit of a slog, which I'm not used to when dealing with colorwork. Colorwork has been reliably fun and exciting for me. Of course, this project combined a crazy set of skills: colorwork, steeking, sewing a lining, adding a zipper (my choice, hahahahahahahaha), seaming a million pieces together, adding zippered pockets in the lining, doing a lot of duplicate stitch. Throw in running out of yarn when almost finished and it's no wonder this took so long to wrap up. Here's what it looks like on the inside:
Doesn't that fois bois print totally rock the house? I love that fabric, so perfect for this project. New things I learned through this project:
- Steeks? Shockingly, much easier and less traumatic that I anticipated.
- Seaming? Not all that hard to make it look attractive.
- Pastaza? Hairy. And Necco the evil cat loves it. Totally inappropriate to work with this yarn in the summer.
- Hand sewing a lining and zipper into a large knit bag? Equally as irritating as sewing them into a small knit bag. Hand sewing: the bane of my crafting existence.
- Adding a zippered pocket to a bag lining? Not so hard, really. I used an excellent tutorial from Sew Mama Sew. Hooray for new sewing skills!
- Duplicate stitch? Used to like it a lot. Not such a big fan anymore. (I still like how it looks, I just don't like doing it.)
- ROW Gauge when doing colorwork? Laughably larger than when doing non-colorwork.
I used a kit from the sewing store plus some of my leftover fabric and it took just a minute or two to make.
Overall, while I have to admit that I wasn't thrilled with this project at several points while I was working on it, I'm very happy with the end result and it's nice to have a giant but still very usable bag.
What's up next in the crafty Kim project queue? A secret project (aka Christmas gift for Tim) for the Ravelympics. Since we don't have a TV, I doubt I'll be watching much of the Summer Olympics but I decided to participate in the Ravelympics just for the challenge. If you're on ravelry, you can see the secret project details. In addition to the Ravelympics project, I've been working on a pair of Charade socks in the latest installment of the Yarn Pirate Booty Club. My love of sock knitting has been restored by learning how to knit two socks at once on one circular needle (toe up, of course). Why didn't I ever try this before??? Two thumbs up for this book that gave me the basic mechanics of two socks at once knitting (although all the instructions are from cuff down - easy enough to sort out how to reverse it). After all of that, I have some other not really secret wedding gift knitting to work on - details on that as soon as the yarn arrives.