Monday, July 21, 2008

Shop 'Til You Drop.

And, another post in the "I really need to get my knitting blog up-to-date" series...

Stats:Pattern: Shop 'Til You Drop bag, from Hemp for Knitting, size M
Yarn: AllHemp6, Natural, 2 skeins (only a small amount left over)
Needles: KnitPicks Options Circulars, US 4 and US 6
Date Started: April 15
Date Completed: July 6th (Actually, I finished all the knitting in April...and then took forever to sew the straps onto the bag...I'm silly like that). Note that I finished those Pom Pom Peds the same day...I was in an "all these UFOs are making me a sad panda" kind of mood.

I made the bag top-down instead of bottom-up, so I could make the foldover top hem without sewing (ie, using a provisional cast-on), and make the bottom seam via three needle bind-off instead of sewing (can you tell I avoid sewing whenever I can, even though I kind of like it?). Other than that, the only change I made was to increase to an even number of stitches at the bottom so I wouldn't have an "odd stitch out" for the bind-off.

The bag is a fast knit (though the straps are a bit tedious), and while the hemp is a little hard on the hands, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, especially considering that I knit the body of the bag in 2-3 days. The fabric softens-up nicely in the wash, though it remains very sturdy and crisp. And oh man, this thing holds a TON. I took it with me to the running store, and it held:

One pair of women's running shoes, still in the box
Two pairs of socks
One pair of shorts
One shirt
One big-ass foam bolster (the guy behind the counter totally didn't think it would fit in there, but I showed him. Ha!). still fit comfortably over my shoulder for the trip home. This bag is awesome.

As a side note, it really didn't look all that big when I knit it (I had to play a bit of a guessing game to figure out when to stop knitting the body of the bag) -- it also didn't look that big when it came out of the washer. I blocked it (er, blocking = holding it by the top of the bag and whacking it against the kitchen table a few times to lengthen it out), and it looks great (I had to repeat the process when I washed it a second time).

If I knit this bag again, and I plan to, I will probably stick to knitting the smallest size. I cannot imagine how big the large tote is, and the medium is almost too big -- it'll be great for grocery shopping and as a beach tote, but it's awfully big for small shopping excursions.

Oh, and yes, I just posted twice in one day. I don't know what's wrong with me, either.


Lauren said...

oooh - that looks like a good bag pattern... too bad it's only available as a kit!

Amanda said...

Lauren, where I bought the yarn and pattern (okay, my mom bought it for me because she is awesome), you could buy the pattern separately from the yarn -- so you might be able to find the pattern on its own.