I mentioned in my last post that we are going to the Philippines over Christmas, which for me means warm weather knitting projects. (Yes, everything translates into some kind of knitting project for me.) The purses I currently have are both thick felted wool; not exactly suitable for hanging around the equator. So, I started my search for the perfect bag on Ravelry, as many knitters do, and came across this pattern from Nora Gaughan. She aptly calls it the Missing Piece Hobo Bag as it is a pentagon with one wedge missing. The pattern was published in the book KnitKnit - Profiles & Projects From Knitting New Wave. Luckily I found it at my local library saving me from purchasing yet another knitting book.
Here's Nora's version from the book KnitKnit
I wanted to do it in Linen, but linen yarn is rather expensive if you get 100 % linen yarn. So, I looked into getting a blended yarn of cotton and linen and KnitPicks had a very nice and reasonably priced yarn called Cotlin that fit the bill. I needed 8 skeins for this project making the purse cost about $24. Not bad for getting a purse exactly like you want huh? I choose two colors as the pattern calls for knitting with two strands throughout. My basic wear everyday colors are navy blue and brown as I tend to look really washed out and wan when I wear black.
The skein called "coffee" is a dark rich brown and the other skein is called "planetarium" and is a deep night sky blue.
You can better appreciate the colors in this next photo of the front and back pieces of the purse. I took the photo in shaded daylight (if that makes sense), but it still came out a bit washed out. This pattern was difficult for me not being an experienced pattern reader so it took me four attempts to complete the front piece. Yikes, casting on 199 stitches four times! I wasn't aware that you read the pattern one direction for the "right side" and the other direction for the "wrong side", but once I figured it out it was quite easy.
When the front piece was finished I noticed I made one more mistake. Agh! went the perfectionist in me. Apparently I started with row 1 being the "right side" instead of the "wrong side" which made a difference in the center of each stripe's lace pattern. It still looks good, but I did correct the problem in the second piece which will be the front. And since you can't really see both sides at once I doubt anyone but me will know.
Here's the correct version of the lace detail.
Nora Gaughan did her version on size 10 needles, and even though I knit tight (I got gauge on size 10 1/2 needles) I still decided to go down a size needle so the lace holes would be smaller. Some people on Ravelry lined their purse to escape that problem, but I didn't want to do an extra step you know?
Strap in progress. Need to get size 9 straight needles as it is a bit award knitting on my circs.
Now, all I have left is the bottom strap section to knit. It is only 24 stitches wide now, but needs to be 75 inches long. That's right 6 feet 3 inches long - yaooza! I'm hoping to finish this week and get back to my Hubbie's cabled vest as he's feeling neglected. I'll post an update when I finish.
But for now, Happy knitting everyone!