Monday, June 13, 2011

Sewing up some project bags

Inspired by L's lovely project bag (and by inspired by I mean directly copied from) I decided to make a few of my own. You can never have enough bags to hold your knitting projects on the go!

After rifling through the fabric collection I cut a paper template; I drew a rectangle in the size of the desired finished bag & then added 3 cm for a fold at the bag opening and 1 cm seam allowance all around. I folded the fabric, placed the paper template flush with the fold and cut the fabric to size. Each bag is made from 2 pieces of fabric; the outer & lining.

Turning the right side of the fabric to the inside, I seamed the 2 edges of the fabric rectangle together to make a tube shape; I then seamed the bottom closed, as shown below;
I did the same to the lining fabric, before placing it inside the outer piece. Then I cut & pinned the top edges together to make a 3 cm fold that would allow me to use a draw-string closure;It was easier to sew this fold with the bag turned inside-out!
Once the sewing was done & everything was neatly ironed, I used a safety pin to thread through the drawstring;

And then I got a bit carried away & made a few as gifts for other knitters.

The double-layer of fabric means pointy needles are less likely to poke through the bag; the drawstring means that your knitting is less likely to slip out inside your handbag.
There are a few things I would do differently if I were to make more, and I think I will. There is something very pleasing about having my knitting projects tucked into pretty individual fabric bags; this is definitely my inner girlie-girl making an appearance!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Comfort knitting

As anyone I converse with over Facebook & Twitter is probably aware, my place of work has announced redundancies. I know that my current email / admin role will be offshored to another country, and that it will probably happen between October & April of next year. We have been given no further information & are expected to continue on as normal while waiting to be told what will happen to us. Of course, this is all very upsetting; the company has made massive profits yet still seeks to make redundancies & has refused to acknowledge any responsibility to myself & other agency-employed workers. So, to distract from feeling rather sorry for myself, I have turned to knitting; stranded colourwork knitting that requires a little concentration; knitting that involves in improving techniques that make one feel like A Very Clever Knitter; knitting in slightly sticky rough-ish yarn that is perfect for such projects, and is ever so satisfying to handle.

In the mean time, I just keep reminding myself that a few weeks off work will give me time to knit up some of the stash! On a more serious note, this might be the opportunity to push myself to find something that I would find more gratifying.

Finished object; Laminaria shawl

Before blocking, knitted lace can look a bit, well, unpleasant. (I have used the phrase 'elephant scrotum')
After blocking, it is transformed!
Pattern; Laminaria by Elizabeth Freeman.
Yarn; Alpaca Lace by Dublin Dye Company
I had my issues with this pattern; mostly because it can sometimes be difficult to maintain concentration for hours of fine knitting. I'm not a hugely experienced lace knitter so it can take a while for me to see & recognise an emerging pattern in the lace stitches. As a result I can't read my knitting & notice errors immediately, so there were some lengthy sessions unpicking & re-knitting to fix errors. All difficulties aside, I am delighted with the finished shawl; I love the gently rounded droplet shapes of the border stitch pattern & feel like A Very Clever Knitter while wearing it.
And because it is knit in an alpaca yarn, it is surprisingly warm. Beautiful & cosy; I suspect William Morris would have approved.*

*I am currently reading 'The Children's Book' by AS Byatt; this novel is set around the turn of the 20th century & the characters all have interest in the literary, social & design movements of that time.