Why did C’s bag languish for so long in the basket? Two reasons. First, I just couldn’t get the bottom of the bag right. When I started itoh so long agoI decided to work the bag from the top down because I wasn’t clear on how I would shape its bottom. If I started at the top, I could launch the project and wait for inspiration to hit.
I began by making two flaps for inserting into the wooden bag handles. Then I joined them by casting on the side sections. I knit down to 1½” before I wanted the bag to end. Here’s where the trouble began. I tried a simple bind off at the bottomtoo square; a separate paneltoo bulky; a folded gusseteven more bulky. Nothing really worked the way I wanted it to, until I came up with a short-row solution. A bulky yarn, as we mentioned in last week’s letter, requires simple styling. Once I had shaped the curve at the corners of the bottom edge with a combination of decreases and short rows, all I had to do to finish off the bag was work a 3-needle bind off. Et voila!
The second reason that I resisted completing Caitlin’s bag is that I knew it would require a LINING. Sigh.
I think it’s generally understood that knitters don’t relish the finishing tasks of their projects. And if sewing knitted pieces together is a trial, then making a lining that involves fussing with fabric is an even more onerous task. However, if you like knitted bags, and I do; then sometimes it’s necessary to do the seamstress bit. And now that C’s bag is finished and the lining is installed, I’m happy to report that the hardest part of the whole endeavor was hauling out my sewing machine. Once I’d set it up, however, it took only minutes to whip up a lining for my bagI even added a pocket!
Aspen 50% alpaca, 50% wool
Aspen is a soft-spun yarn, much like a strand of roving. It’s a half-and-half blend of wool and alpaca. Its lofty naturethe nature of a single ply--allows it to fill out stitches, making them round and plumpgood for showing off stitch patterns and cables. Each of the thirteen colors in Aspen’s palette is a heather (see last week’s yarn column for more on heathers). The color used in Caitlin’s bag, Tree Grove, is a mossy green with hints of spring greens and autumn browns.
Where to buy Aspen.
Learn how to line a bag.