Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Now back to our regularly scheduled knitting...

Rose Bag
Originally uploaded by Project Pictures
Back before the Ravelympics, I started a bag. This is the Christmas Rose Bag from Handknit Holidays. It's a very easy pattern with a lot of nice elements of design.

I used Cascade 220 yarn for this project. The first skein is a hand-dyed skein from MeanBean, my swap partner in a yarn swap that took place AGES ago. Right after getting this yarn I began to hunt around for a project that would fit and I found someone that had knit an extremely similar bag. I picked up a skein of black Cascade 220 to use along with this one, and then let the whole thing marinate in my stash for over a year. It wasn't until recently that I thought to look up the book at our local library.

Happily, our wonderful library had a copy! I reserved it and once it was in my hot little hands, I very much enjoyed reading through the entire book. There were several other patterns that spoke to me and I also knit the River Forest Gansey. I think that means I need to add a copy to my own library sometime soon.

Rose Bag
The bag is knit top-down. I used a cabled cast-on and knit my tail into the first row (one less end to weave in). I also knit in the tail of the contrasting color in its first row. I'm all for less work later on. The first few rows are a 2x2 "rib", but when it's stranded you loose the structure of ribbing. Instead you get these wonderfully nubbly purl stripes of the contrasting color coming through the black. They look wonderful.

The rest of the bag is simple stranded work. Because the black and red are such high contrast I opted to not capture any of the floats, even when they got particularly long. Because of this I will either need to toss the whole thing in the wash for some light fulling, or I need to line it eventually because those floats threaten to snag every time I take something in or out of the bag.

The I-cord ties really finish off the whole piece. They were surprisingly fast to knit (considering I had to do two 4-foot lengths). But the gentle variation of the red yarn really looks nice in I-cord.

Rose Bag
The bottom is decreased at five points. Conceptually I like this and it yields a good, flat bottom. It probably goes better with the smaller size of the bag, tho. In that version the floral motif is knit five times which would line up with the bottom decreases. The large has the pattern repeated six times, and if I knit this again I might try a six-sided decrease to see if it works as well.

All in all it's a fun, easy knit. I have baseball-sized leftovers of yarn which might end up as an iPod-sized stranded cozy.

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