I haven’t blogged in a while because I haven’t had much to say since the last time I posted. Also, I’ve been very busy working on some projects. One of them is done and can be found in my Ravelry Pattern Store. The pattern is called “Spare Pocket,” and I think a lot of knitters will love it. For starters, it is knit flat in garter stitch (99.9% knit stitches, .1% purl stitches). People who hate sewing knitted pieces together will like how there’s no sewing assembly for the knitted parts. I have found it truly convenient to just knit the bag together. The only sewing is for the button and the fabric liner. Both sewing tasks, if desired, are very simple and don’t take up much time. For the liner all one needs is some cotton fabric, which is very easy to sew by hand if a sewing machine isn’t available. I most certainly don’t have a sewing machine, so I can attest to how relatively quick the liner goes in when sewing it by hand.
Here’s what Spare Pocket looks like:
Both blue and green bags are made with about two balls of DMC Natura Just Cotton. I chose this yarn because I — like everyone else that has seen it — adore the colors. In reality, any yarn can be used, depending on the bag’s desired size. A yarn with a weight similar to the DMC Natura Just Cotton’s will give the gauge and dimensions called for in the pattern. A heavier yarn knit up at a bigger gauge will produce a larger bag. Of course, if you use a cotton yarn, it’s truly ideal for knitting in the summer heat. Minimal sweat on the hands.
Usually when I decide to write up a pattern it’s because I came up with the design out of practical reasons. In the summer I can be seen walking around town with a small or medium-sized bag because I often don’t have enough pocket space on my summer clothing. Pretty much every summer I buy a new one of these bags in one of my favorite stores. I have quite the collection. This year I wanted to knit one, but I didn’t want to sew it together and I knew I wanted it to be fairly simple and easy to make. I think this is the best thing I could have ever come up with for myself. My bag collection is now infinitely proportional to my yarn and fabric purchases.
Of course, I call my new creation “Spare Pocket” because that’s exactly how I view its role in my daily life: a substitute for the pockets I usually have available in autumn and winter — on my pants, on my coat, etc.
I love knitting this bag so much that I’ve actually casted on another one. This time, instead of making stripes, I’m using a mosaic knitting pattern from one of Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries. When I’m finished making this Spare Pocket I’m going to update the pattern so that it includes a formula for customization and personalization. This way, any knitter can use different mosaic patterns and whatever number of casted on stitches. Also, instead of DMC Natura Just Cotton, I’m using Katia New Cancun, a wonderful cotton blend that also has a delightful and varied color palette. Its weight is similar to the DMC cotton and it knits up at the same gauge for me. It’s also cheaper by volume but I think that’s beside the point. DMC isn’t all that expensive to begin with.
I can’t really think of any unpleasant step in the process of making this bag. For me, it’s all fun from start to finish. First, I went to my local yarn shop to pick out my colors and spent about twenty minutes holding different balls of the stuff next to each other to see how I wanted to combine them. Seriously, with a color palette like DMC’s, it’s very entertaining. Then, when I finished knitting the bag, I spent some time at the fabric shop to pick out what I wanted for the liner. At the sewing shop I sifted through thousands of cool buttons searching for the special ones I wanted to use on the bags. Just in case you don’t believe me when I say that sewing in a fabric liner is easy, here’s a preview of one of the photos I included in the pattern to help people with this optional step:
As can be seen in the photo above, I’ve designed the bag so that there is a visible purl bump ridge just below the bind off edge all around the bag. This makes it very simple to whip stitch the liner to the inside top.
I hope that others have as much fun with knitting this project as me. The customization and personalization options are endless. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of making Spare Pockets for myself and other knit-worthy people.
When I update the pattern I’ll be sure to post again. I’ll also be sure to report on when I get it translated to Spanish. I just need to sit down for a few hours to go through the process of translating it, those few hours I don’t have just yet. I will soon, though, I promise. 🙂
If you’ve already bought a copy of the pattern, don’t worry, when I update it you get the changes with no additional cost. 🙂