While we wait for the bulbs to blossom in Lansing, there has been a not-so-quiet explosion of my Maxi ZigBagZ here instead. I taught 5 people in a class not long ago. Eileen started it, her first bag is at right. She’s knitting a second.
I hope you can imagine what it feels like for me to see these bags materialize. I had the idea for this bag for a long time. It took me a lot of planning, several “draft” mini-bagz, and a serious team effort to get the pattern out into the world.
(A thousand thanks to Diana who knit many sample bags, from tiny swatches to Burly/Afghan sized models, and helped me iron out technicalities on this pattern. It may never have happened without her hands-on assistance, and emotional support.)
In my recent class of 5 people, at least one (Carol) has knit 3 of them, and at least one more (Tamsyn) has knit two. I think that maybe someone else did two, but I can not remember.
And then a Study Hall student, Kim, is knitting a ZigBag also. (Study hall is a semi-private lesson time, one to four people sharing me for an hour on self-determined projects, at Rae’s Yarn Boutique.)
The second photo (left) is Kim’s selection of yarns, before she started. She has finished the base and is knitting the sides, but I forgot to get photos last Thursday when I saw her.
The pattern calls for two solid-colored yarns (Main Color 1, which includes the handles and base, and Main Color 2). Then, it calls for two slowly-self-striping yarns to contrast. Contrast Color 1 contrasts with Main Color 1, though it may nearly match Main Color 2. Contrast Color 2 contrasts with Main Color 1.
Often, the colors available on the store shelves influence which yarns we can pick. If there are only 2 skeins of one color, it needs to be a color 2 rather than 1.
In Kim’s plan above, the turquoise/blue Noro Kureyon bottom left is being used as contrast with the light purple solid. It may look as though they match on this screen, but the purples in the Noro are blue-tinged and the solid lavender has a distinct reddish tinge to it. Even though they are close, the two worked together do contrast enough to show the colorwork, more than it appears in this photo. She may have liked to switch the multicolors around but there was not enough of the yellow/green/pink to do it that way. Her bag is knitting up very well with this combination.
In some of the photos you see a checkerboard pattern, too. This is the design on the bottom of the bag. It does not show to anyone but the knitter, but it makes the base stronger and is a source of joy for me when I see it. I assume other knitters will enjoy it, too.
The photos here are before felting/shrinking. More photos later on that!
Above is M’s start of a bag with Main Color in a deep green Ella Rae Classic (she didn’t want her name here, it’s not the same M as in my kid class).
Below is a view of Jan’s bag. Her Main Color 1 (MC1) is an Araucania vat-dyed raspberry. It has many subtle differences in the color throughout the skein. She contrasted that with a light neutral Noro Kureyon. Very pretty. Her Main Color 2 (Solid) is a soft neutral. Her Contrast Color 2 knit along with it, is a Noro Kureyon in cool tones… greens, blues, turquoise. I find this combination very relaxing.
Here is Carol’s first bag. She used a Solid green with a contrast of many flower-toned colors (pink, orange, etc.). The second set of colors are a solid bold magenta-pink with Noro Kureyon in cool tones.
For the next two (yes, you heard me) of Carol’s “Biggie” ZigBagZ, she saved on the amount of yarn needed and the decision factor, by using only one solid and one self-striping. In fact, it can show the contrast differently (more boldly) that way. You perhaps lose a little depth of color, but you gain clarity in the vertical zig zag pattern. I have a photo of bag #2 below, which uses a solid dark purple for the Main Color. (Carol’s bag #3, for which I have no photo, uses a chocolate brown for the solid and a neutral cream/beige for the multi, it is sophisticated and rich.)
Tamsyn did two bags using one solid color throughout. One bag was for her to use up many colors of leftover yarn as the contrast color (rather than a self-striping yarn. Here that one is. Spectacular!
Here is another bag she made. It really looks like she used Noro Kureyon for her contrast, but perhaps she just has a spectacular gift for changing solid colors so that they look like a self-striper. It looks so much like something I might carry myself, I asked her if perhaps this really was *my* bag. She assured me it was not. (I tried!)