Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Book Bag for Bag Ladies

I've always been a bag lady. Most knitters and stitchers are, aren't they? I've got bags all over the house hanging on doorknobs and chairbacks filled with projects and yarn and needles all in varying states of doneness. They are kind of comforting - I never feel like I am alone because there are always projects waiting to be worked on.

Last year, Pam Allen asked if I would do a bag for a new book she was working on which has become Bag Style. She wanted it something like this one which has been really popular on Interweave's download site. I suggested a "book bag" size - not too big so the knit fabric wouldn't stretch when the back got heavy but big enough for knitting projects or books and magazines.


Here my bag is on the backcover of Interweave's new "Bag Style."


And here it is inside.


I wanted to add some embroidery to it but wasn't sure if she would like it. So I compromised and made one side decorated with embroidery and the other plain.

Pam showed it both ways. Here is the original swatch with two different ideas for the embroidery. I decided on the blue one.



Yes, it is the same swatch but different light - what a difference light makes with color!

When I make bags with "bottoms" I use plastic needlpoint canvas for the bottom. I cut it to size and then sew it into the bottom of the bag. The holes in the canvas make it easy to sew to the knit fabric. Then I line the bag with a washable cotton. If the plastic canvas is attached securely all the way around, it won't shift while you are schlepping stuff. It also washes beautifully - much better than cardboard which will disintegrate. It is also very reasonable and readily available at craft stores.

I didn't want the handles to stretch because when bags get heavy, they get heavy. I braided many ends of the yarn together and then felted the braids. Then I trimmed them to the length I wanted and sewed them on really securely.

I hope I get this bag back to add to my bag collection.

12 comments:

Gammy aka Peggy said...

A wonderful bag. I love both versions of the embroidery. Very unique. Thanks for the info about the plastic canvas and lining the bags.

Gretchen said...

Armed with your smart idea about plastic canvas, I may actually get around to making a bag someday. Thanks!

Mama Urchin said...

I love that bag. The motif reminds me of a cable in a sweater I knit from one of your patterns for my son. And what a wonderful idea with the plastic canvas. I must remember that.

WandaWoman said...

That is a beautiful bag. I thank you for the tip for using plastic canvas as well.

Tana said...

Now you're making me want to have a copy of that book. I've wanted to make my mother a bag and she's asked for one, but she fills it with books and I fear it wouldn't work. Your solutions address my very concerns. And I love the embroidery. I've always thought I was embroidery-challenged, but I could definitely do the things you showed. Perhaps I should take a second look...

Tana
www.tanapageler.com/life

Julie said...

Thanks for the plastic canvas idea! The bag is beautiful. I collect any kind of container...coffee mugs, organizing units, and definitely bags!

Anonymous said...

i bought this book a few weeks ago..it has great patterns but your bag is my favorite...i can't wait for your new book to arrive...not much longer!
:) laura

Susan said...

Kristin,
That is the best bag in the entire book. I love it. Great work and thanks for sharing the embroidery insight.
susan

Willow said...

Great idea for the handles. I've been thinking about how to make better handles! I was so excited last night when I looked through the Woodland Woolworks catalog I received in the mail. Nashua Julia yarn!

Connie said...

It's a beautiful bag, Kristin. I also really like the downloadable bag from IK. I had been eyeing it for a while, but don't feel my color skills are up to it yet. Still, if it's felted, I guess it would be more forgiving with mistakes in tension.

woolywoman said...

Oh, golly, now I have to buy the book! I really appreciate a design that is not only pretty, but will function well as a bag. BTW- after twenty years of being unable to make a French knot, I got your embroidery book and I can finally do it! Thanks!

mathea said...

I like your bag! I have lots of them too, but most of mine are quilted - it has never occured to me that I could knit one...
Thank you so much for the tip about using plastic canvas. I have used Fast2Fuse interlining in my most recent bags, but I have yet to find out what washing will do to them!