Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Miragamo Handbag... and onwards!

I decided awhile ago that I needed a handbag which would hold all my stuff, including medical stuff and "just in case" stuff. I searched around for a bit before I found a pattern I liked and which looked like it would be suitable. From what I gather, it's based on a designer handbag that someone wanted to knit, and now there are a few patterns floating around out there in internet land. This one happened to be free and use the kind of yarn I had on hand, so I jumped on it. It's called the Miragamo bag, and is a bunch of triangles knitted with a kind of lace pattern followed by straight stockinette stitch, then gathered at the end into one stitch by combining 11 stitches into one. Believe me, it was tricky, but not as tricky as you might think. The effect in the end is of rather funky diamonds. It could even be made larger or smaller by doing only some of the rows of diamonds, but I found what the pattern called for adequate to my needs.
I had an old purple skirt which no longer fit, and decided to use that for the lining. It took a bit of doing, since I've never lined a bag before, but I did it pretty well, and then proceeded to cut up another old skirt for the pockets, which I don't have a picture of. I prefer my handbags to go over one shoulder and across my chest instead of hanging from a shoulder and falling off every 5 seconds, so I scoured the internet in search of a long strap. This nice leather one was the result. The finishing touches were some of those metal closures you can get which I've sewed onto the pockets and the inside of the top of the bag in order to keep the things I want in the pockets - in the pockets, and the bag itself closed. I just got the closures Saturday, and have done that all up today, so now it's finally finished.

I have been using it since I finished the knitting and lining though, and it's really great. I'm extraordinarily pleased to have been able to make something that will hopefully last awhile and be of such an invaluable use to me on a day to day basis,

After I finished the Miragamo, I found myself at a loose end. There were a few large projects I wanted to start, since I have a LOT of yarn to be getting through right now, and a fair bit of it is yarn for large projects. I have plans to make a vest and a wrap this winter, and probably another cardigan or jumper as well, not to mention all the small things - a hat, since I gave my old one away, and some more comfortable armwarmers, since the ones I have are of the decidedly scratchy kind of wool. But the thing that hovers in a knitters mind come the middle of September or the beginning of October is Christmas present.

The middle of August, when I finished the bag, was probably a little early to be thinking about Christmas. But I wanted to get a bit of a head start to make sure I got done all the projects I wanted to make for gifts for various people. With my whole family to knit for (Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, sister, brother-in-law, other sister, and brother) plus the husband and father-in-law, there was a lot to do, and I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to make. Now, with Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, sister and  brother-in-law finished, and the thing I'm making for father-in-law and brother easy, I've decided I really did start too early, and have cast on three new things for myself. I got some Rowan Kidsilk Haze which is mohair and silk - divine to touch, but a little tender to work with. It has a reputation for being impossible to rip back, and I want to make something that requires beads with it, so I thought I would do a dress rehearsal with the yarn to figure out it's quirks, and make a scarf that doesn't have beads. So I've started that.
I also started a waistcoat with this Mistral, which is this lovely chunky stuff that has an interesting variegated pattern, with purple going into white over a long distance. I then found that the waistcoat is a bit of a challenge, and requires close looking at each individual stitch, which is something I find very challenging given the light in our living room and the fact that winter is coming on with sunlight getting rarer. I can work on it during the day, but my brain doesn't work very well then, so complicated patterns usually have to wait for evening. So I might have to shelve that until spring or find a better light.
Instead of the waistcoat, I've decided to work on a wrap which is going to be made from Sublime Organic Merino. I cast it on tonight and did 15 rows, and this stuff is lovely to work with, pretty much as nice as the Malabrigo was. It's a rather unassuming colour, but I figure it will go with anything, and it was on sale; the colour selection wasn't great, but the price was, at £15 for 10 skeins of the stuff.

I'm still working on Christmas present in between, of course, and anticipate a speedy finish to the rest of them. My family read this, so I can't post pics of what I've already made, but they're on my Ravelry page if anyone wants to have a look. :)

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