It didn’t take long for me to realize I was going to need a bag for all this knitting paraphernalia I’ve slowly acquired; throwing it all into the monstrous bag I’m currently using for a purse risked grave damage to in-progress items, and everything else just got Lost.
Looking around online, I couldn’t find anything resembling what I wanted. Granted, I only looked for a few minutes. I wanted a drawstring top and some pockets inside. Something lined.
Well shoot, I thought, I could just whip something up myself.
And so I did.
The end product is a lot bigger than it should be, because I had a last-minute impulse of “what if I want to carry a giant sweater/scarf/whatever in there?!” Naturally, that is not likely to happen, but whatever – now I have a giant honking knitting bag.
I started out with 20″ x 20″ squares of two of fabrics I’ve been saving – for the shell, I chose Ginseng for Westminster. This is nearly identical to the fabric I made Stacey’s bag out of, and I may make one for myself, someday. This will kind of match, if I do. The Ginseng is a very muted fabric, and I wanted something bright and contrasting for the lining. I’m not sure if the Wonderland deep pink polka dot (ah, beloved Moda!) really matches or not, but it sure does pop. I selected Robert Kauffman’s Night & Day for the pockets, and it was only after I’d cut them out I realized how they really didn’t match. Ah well, they’re on the inside!
The more I thought about the bag and its purpose. the more I realized I’d probably want a flat bottom of some sort to help keep projects from really getting squished… but I also didn’t want to fuss with a square bottom and the ensuing side panels. Hm. I pondered for a few minutes and came up with the idea of a tapered bottom – if it tapered together at the sides, I shouldn’t need side panels, right? Right!
Now. How to get the bottom panel drawn out… that took me nearly a half hour to figure out. I put points on paper 20 inches apart, found the center point, marked out the width of the fabric from there, drew a diamond as a starting point… and got totally, totally stuck.
At the bottom, you can see my driving vision – yes, I am quite the artist.
I couldn’t figure out how to get a graceful arc from point to point without some sort of… instrument. Be it a compass or a flexible curve guide, I had nothing, and I was stymied. In the end, I just sketched it out as best I could, realizing this was just a bag for knitting stuff, just for me, and no one would really be paying attention to it. Right on, off we go.
Here are a few photos of the process. The machine really didn’t like the thread I was using, and we had several arguments over it. The Singer knotted and spewed and coughed and threw fits, and I couldn’t find my seam ripper. There were Words.
I’m proud to report at no time did I sew anything on backward. This is somewhat of a noteworthy feat for me. I paid no attention to seam allowances, and the pockets have double seams around the outside, because I opted to sew the folded-over edge down, instead of trying to keep it down whilst I sewed the actual seam.
I should have placed the pockets lower into the body – my longest needles pop out now. Boo, sort of, kind of… I might like the fact they show a little. Maybe. Here, I am testing with Not My Longest Pair, because I forgot the other ones existed.
I added a shallower pocket with only two division for things like stitch holders, clickers and the sundry other odds and ends one needs. I think I should have made it a bit taller, though.
When I got the sides of the lining sewed together, I held my breath and turned it inside-out to see if it was, in fact, the sort of bag I’d imagined. Holy crap! It was! There was a flat bottom and everything.
Next, I had to figure out what I wanted to do with the top. I looked at the bags Lisa sent me, seeing how she’d done her casing and drawstrings, and took my cues from her. Before I did the casing, though, I needed to fold over and stitch down the edge of the lining, since it would be on the outside.
I got that sucker down, folded it over again a random amount, pinned it again, and sewed all around. I ran out of bobbin thread an inch from the final topstitch. Grrrr.
But when it was all over with and the dust had settled, I ended up with this:
It is fairly enormous, not just something easy to bring along. Certainly not something I’m going to be able to stick inside my “real” bag, as I had envisioned. Heck, this could be both a knitting bag and my purse – I don’t really need much in a purse. Problem there being, I didn’t include straps – just ribbons. The ribbons are long enough to act as very thin shoulder straps… we’ll see.
Next up, knitting progress post – because now, I know how to purl!