Way back in a month called April, the Loose Knit Group (Ravelry link) made bags the gift-knitting theme of the month. Bags? I thought incredulously? Yes, bags. I was originally not at all interested. Until I persued that other greatest invention of mankind, my Ravelry queue. Where I found at least 6 or 7 bag patterns awaiting my attention. Oh, I admit it wasn't an earth-shattering revelation, but it did provide some nice easy distraction knitting while working on several larger projects, such as a wedding. Not to mention the handy amounts of yarn called for, which were a stash-busting boon in at least one case.
First I started with the market bag concept. The Saturday Market Bag is the classic and was a natural starting point, but I found Elisa's Nest Tote to be much nicer looking, and probably more practical as well.
Elisa's Nest Note
Pattern: free, from the PurlBee
Yarn: a single 100g skein of King Tut Egyptian Cotton with very little leftover
Needles: US 9
Notes: Love the attached i-cord handles. Also, don't modify these to do them in the round. The side seams really help stablize them and make the stretching more reasonable.
Best Thing About This Project: Both of these are likely to make it as gifts, since brining your own bag is hip these days, but the mercernized cotton is so much nicer. Definitely recommend it.
The Saturday Market Bag
Pattern: from Magknits, prior to that demise. Anyone know if it's available elsewhere?
Yarn: some *bright* yellow kitchen cotton, 2 50g balls
Needles: US 10 - much smaller than the pattern called for, and probably still too big
Notes: I made the bag and the straps significantly shorter than called for in the pattern, and it still stretches quite a bit
Best Thing About This Project: It's farmer's market and grocery store ready.
Since the bag thing was going so much better than expected, I then progressed on to actual purses. This is where, I confess, most of my bias against knit bags had been. Just a style thing. But I found a Ravelry link to a Paton's pattern, conveniently misread the pattern so that I thought it took only 1 100g ball of Paton's Classic Merino (it takes 2), and cast on from stash.
Paton's Cabled Bag
Pattern: free, Ravelry link here
Yarn: Classic Merino in leaf green - 2 skeins. Which I noticed right around when the first one ran out. I can't tell a different in the dyelot. Yarn is used doubled throughout
Needles: US 10 1/2
Notes: No changes, although I find the doubled-yarn fabric stiff enough that I didn't line it.
Best Thing About This Project: Have you ever seen a rectangle look this cute?
And, speaking of bags, I found these in a closet-cleaning expedition. You may or may not remember the fun of The Amazing Lace, Summer 2006, that knitalong co-hosted by myself and the incomparable Rachel, but if you'd like a small project bag (good for socks), email me. I've found myself with many, and I'm happy to spread the wealth.