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Archive for July 14th, 2009

Schuler Books: Subtly-Striped Scrap “Satchel”

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Monday Rae and I did a presentation at the Okemos/Meridian Mall of Schuler Books. They are having a “green” week celebration and we contributed by using donated materials (needles from Diana, yarns from Margaret and Suann: thanks, all) to make bags.


My project, which I designed just for this event, was inspired by a hand-woven bag I have that I used so much I wore out some of the fabric (see below). It’s very simple, just an envelope without a top flap or closing, and a braided handle. It is the perfect size for notebook/copy paper or a small laptop/notebook computer.

My version (photo above) is a very simple project, with only cast on, knit, slip, and bind off. Slip is easy, you literally just move a stitch from the left needle to the right without working a new stitch into it or twisting it. However, the slips create the bumps you see in the fabric, making it much more interesting to look at than plain garter stitch.

The simple stitch pattern mixes the colors with the “bumps” on the outside of the bag, and how I handled the changing of colors also made the stripes more like a watercolor and less like polo-shirt stripes. I really like the result.

I used small to medium balls of leftover yarns for my project (third photo, below), holding one warm-colored yarn and one cool-colored yarn together throughout. When I ran out of blue, I would add blue or green or turquoise in its place. When I ran out of purple, I replaced it with berry or magenta, or a different purple. I think it looks great, and it surely reflects my personal taste in color, without being a boring solid color (which is so hard to match anyway).

scraps5.jpgIn the presentation, I gave the participants all a pattern for this project. In addition, we learned tips on casting on, we learned how to do the slip stitch, how to figure out a number of stitches for the size you want (rather than matching my bag exactly), how to work in yarn ends and how to change yarns in the middle of a row without having a lot of ends to work in. It was a tiny sliver of the hints I teach in my 4-hour “Fix and Finesse” class, but for no charge.

I meet new interested knitters (and a few familiar faces) when I am in the bookstore, and they get a 2 hour class for the price of their time. It’s a good situation for all of us.

If you are in the area, we will repeat the same lesson at the Eastwood store (northeast Lansing). That session is Wednesday 7/15, from 7-9pm. I would love to see you there!