Amping up the knitting bag

I love to knit socks.  It's another very relaxing thing that I do, and I can do it while I watch TV.  When I get into the zone, I don't have to watch the needles and can knit just by feel.  Knitting socks is great for travel, very portable and convenient and I can do it in an airplane seat without banging into the passenger next to me. 

A while back, I decided I wanted a masculine drawstring knitting bag.  I know.  What a contradiction in terms, right?  a masculine knitting bag?

Well, I did it. 

And, it worked great.  But, when it came to travel, it still had a problem.  Stuff fell out of it.  Knitting doesn't take a lot of tools, but it does take a few and there was nothing to keep them in the bag if it fell.  I also had a problem with my pattern.  I had worn it out.  There were holes developing along the fold lines.  This whole project started because I wanted to do something about that. 

You can see the old copy of the pattern on white paper.  I created a table in Word that was two columns wide and I typed the pattern in the squares, allowing myself 10 rows of text, plus three blank rows at the top to give me space to punch a hole.  I put them on a ring and added the hematite dangle as a bookmark.  But, I knew it wouldn't take long for me to wear that out if I kept it loose in the bag, so I made a little wallet to hold it.  And, while I was at it, there's a second pocket in the wallet to hold my small scissors. 

And, then I went crazy.

I took the bag completely apart and added a pocket along the side with a button flap closure (if you do this, put the pocket lower in the bag than I did.  it interferes with the drawstring so high up).  It holds the row counter and the tape measure and the extra little things I like to keep in this bag. 

It already had this pocket to hold extra needles and a crochet hook to help me correct mistakes, and it got a button flap. 

This is something I found a while back.  You know those corkscrew bracelets you find with a  keyring attached?  I took one and cut it into small sections and I can slip the ends of my needles into it to keep them convenient.  If I'm worried about my work slipping off the other end, I can put another one there.  The are loose enough that they don't warp or bend the needles, but tight enough that the needle can't slip out. 

I also finished quilting the little bonus quilt. 

I did something a little different with the binding.  Ellen Carter spoke at guild this month.  She and her sister made the quilts for the miniature red and white quilt exhibit that you might have seen at a show.  It's been all around the country.  Anyway, she makes her double fold binding, then cuts part of the fabric away so that the binding isn't as thick when you sew it down.  As in, cut a 2" strip, fold it in half, then cut away 3/4" along one side so that you have a one inch binding with a quarter inch folded over along one side.  Sew the unfolded edge to the front of the quilt with the machine, and then sew the folded edge along the back by hand.  I wasn't willing to make the binding and then throw half of it away, so I cut my binding 1 1/8" wide and sewed a marking line along one edge a quarter inch in, then used the iron and folded along that marking line.  There's something about having that line of stitching that makes the fabric fold really easily, like a perforation.  Then, I did just like Ellen to attach it.  Now, I just need to find the time to sew it down along the back.

Here's the back.  It's slightly larger than a fat quarter, so I needed to add the stripe along the top and then made the sleeve out of the same fabric and added it with the binding.  When I sew the binding to the back, it will cover the raw edge of the sleeve.  This ends the little pack of 6 fat quarters I got for Christmas. I've used them up...and gotten two quilts out of it. 

Okay, that's it for me today.  It's going to be a busy day of chores and some yard work.  Everybody have a great Sunday!! 



Anonymous said...

I love the travelling knitting case. Great ideas there!

Barb H said...

Great ideas for the knitting bag! And I like the idea for the binding so it's not so heavy. Of course, I make mostly bed quilts where I want the double thickness of the binding, but on ornamental quilts, I can see the value. These days when I make a garment (usually a doll dress!), I always stitch the fold line when I can. As you said, it makes the folding so much easier. Thanks for passing these ideas along.

lindaroo said...

Inventive projects like your travel bag are so satisfying!

I'd forgotten that a stitched line will help to turn an edge, thanks for the reminder!

lw said...

I like your masculine knitting bag. Even better with the customization. I would buy one if they were available, and probably in the masculine color scheme because I like quiet colors.

Good tip about the corkscrew key rings, I've got a couple and I don't use them, so this would be a good use.