Sunday, April 26, 2009

Net Duffle Bag - Success

I fell in love with this bag when I got spring Interweave Knits, and immediately went to my LYS to get the linen yarn. It is pricey, but completely worth it for an item like this. I was first introduced to Louet Wet Spun Linen when I made the Mason Dixon after dark Nightgown from Mason Dixon Knitting. Excellent nightgown, fantastic book.

But I digress... I very rapidly made my way through the solid bottom of the bag, and then realized, once again that I was knee deep in a project that involved "squares" I think back to numerous projects where I made granny square blankets, I was very ambitions at first and excited then after square 5, I was officially bored, and it took everything in my will power to get the project done.

Fast forward to the net duffle bag and the 72 "units" (they aren't squares, they are "v" shaped) but the same principles hold, I was very excited when I finished them all and was just one handle away from having the coolest bag at the beach/pool/farmers market.

I happily began the handles, 145 stitches seemed like alot for the top part of the strap, but the rest of the pattern had been perfect, so who was I to argue. After a full day of knitting, I managed to finish one side of the handle. I excitedly stood up and put the bag over my shoulder, and watched with horror as it swung down to my knees. It did not sit smartly at my hip for easy access while shopping, I was INCREDIBLY annoyed, and the bag had to take a break.

This past weekend I brought it out, and measured where I wanted the bag to fall and how long the handle should be, 70 stitches, not 145. So this is what I did.
1. Followed pattern instructions on picking up and casting on stitches along the sides, placed the marker, CO 70, placed another marker and began a purl row.
2. Began the next knit row with a SSK, right after the first marker, this looks better than what is proposed in the directions.. then did the s1 k2tog psso in the middle, and the k2tog on the last 2 stitches before the next marker.
3. purl (and so on) until there are 8 purl rows showing (15 total garter stitch rows)
4. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off, first I tried to just CO regularly, it made a tight and uncomfortable ridge, so this worked much nicer. The I-Cord is a ton of work, and I didn't think it made sense with the feeling of the bag.

For the second side of the handle I followed the directions, but I picked up the 70 stitches from the handle that I had just finished. It looks great, and is very comfortable.

Finished project looks like this:

I am extreemly happy! I just got the summer Interweave knits this weekend, and there is another bag, that is similar and involves felting and lots of bright colors. I think i'll definitley be giving that a try.

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