Pollyanna Meets Clifford the Big Red Bag

Hi all, Anna-Liza here. I will, I promise, write about Burning Man, but my recovery time has been longer than expected and I need to take care of a little thing first.

The 2010 issue of Interweave Knits Weekend will be on sale at the end of this month, the preview is up online, and I have two (two!) items of interest in it. The first one is my own personal creation, and the other is a second-generation creation, quite literally.

First, the Lace Beach Bag (the red and tan one), which is part of the Free Bag Patterns download at Knitting Daily.

The yarn is Berroco Mica, colors Cinnabar and Mushroom – cotton, linen, silk, nylon.  Beautiful colors, nice sheen. The nylon tended to snag a bit, but just a bit, not enough to really be a problem. There’s a yarn review here. The reviewer doesn’t mention snagging, so maybe it was just me.

I found that my stitches were well defined and the yarn drapes nicely. It’s a strong yarn, which was one reason I chose it for the bag, but I can totally see it as a lacy summer top. It’s very soft. It’s not at all stretchy, but the stitch I chose for the body of the bag more than makes up for that.

I got my stitches from the Harmony Guides: Knit & Purl book, mainly Fagoted Rib (the main lacy pattern) and Box Stitch (for the solid bands at top and bottom and for the strap). Then there were the 67 inches of I-cord, kindly knit by Knitting Sprite. You know what? I-cord makes excellent conversational knitting. I mean, the kind you can do while having a conversation, not the kind you have a conversation about.

It turned out to be a pretty quick knit, and the stitch patterns were both easily memorized. It would be a good “conversational knitting” project overall, and the construction is really easy. If you decide to knit it, you should keep in mind that it blocks out much bigger than it looks on the needles.

The bag is designed to carry bulky, lightweight stuff. Beach towels, laundry, paper goods, etc. It stretches a lot, and one time when I tried using it for library books, it actually dragged the ground. A shorter strap might be good if that’s what you want to use the bag for. Alternatively, the yarn is strong enough to use with a different stitch pattern to carry heavy stuff, even though it’s so pretty you might not expect it to be.

One detail I’m especially proud of is the interior pouch. It’s big enough to carry a cell phone and keys, and it has a little flap you insert into the pouch to hold stuff in. I thought of it because I just hate losing my small stuff in the bottom of my big bags. Also, the lacy pattern of the main bag would make it easy to get the keys tangled up or even for them to fall out, if you carry just a couple of keys. (I can’t imagine having only two or three keys, but I’m pretty sure someone does).

Overall, I think I am even more satisfied with this pattern than I was with the Casual Flair Cardigan from last year’s issue of Weekend, if that’s really possible. I am pretty darn happy with that one, too, and I’m very proud of the fact that it’s been downloaded more than 11,400 times! Wouldn’t it be something if half of the people who downloaded it actually made it? But, besides me, I’ve only seen one other person list it as a project on Ravelry. I will not-so-modestly point out that she gave the pattern a five-star rating. (Thanks, kandyknit!)

So, what’s the “second-generation creation” in this issue of Weekend? Wee Sprite! Scroll down to the Mariner Pullover. See the cute li’l thang modeling the baby version? Yep, that’s her. There’s another great shot of her in the bonus photos, too. Yes, even the non-knitting grandparents are getting copies of this one. (I already have mine!)

Bonus, the Ravelry page for the Mariner Pullover features a Wee Sprite photo, as well!

This is a really excellent issue, not just for the bag and Wee Sprite. Honestly, I think every knitter except possibly the extremely boring or whoever knits those “only-looks-good-on-stick-insects” patterns will find at least three or four things in here you’ll absolutely want to knit. At least. My count is twelve, nine if you don’t count stuff I want to knit for someone else. And there are even really good man-sweaters! It’s on sale September 28th – be sure to rush right out and get one!

(I believe that last sentence is called “the call to action” in marketing-speak. But just because I work there doesn’t mean I’d tell you to buy everything we produce – and I haven’t, you might notice. I just really, really like this issue).

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