One of the last finished projects of 2010 was this satchel for my sister’s christmas gift. When she had been staying with me earlier in the year she had mentioned that she liked knitted bags. We spent quite a bit of time on Ravelry looking at patterns. But by the time Christmas was coming closer, I’d totally forgotten which pattern she preferred. So, I knit up this cute Groveland Satchel, which you can find in New England Knits. It wasn’t the first pattern I started from this book, but it was the first completed. Not the only complete thing now – keep watching this space!!
The satchel is a nice size and shape, more like a messenger bag. plenty of depth for outings, but not too large. I knit my version in Cleckheaton Country 12 ply, which was from my stash. I used 6 balls (I think). The bag is knit in three pieces and seamed together for strength. I knit the front first, which has a cable and bobble pattern. I can’t recall the last time I made bobbles, but they really are a cinch. The pattern called for the back to be patterned too. But I really did want the present to be ready in time to be posted, so I knit it in stocking stitch. The bottom, side and handle are knit in one piece- first in linen stitch, then stocking stitch for the handle, and then linen stitch again. It was nearly as long as I am tall when it was done! Part of an evening saw it seamed nicely. Then I popped it in the machine to felt.
And then again. And again.
Guess who forgot to check the label on the yarn??
After three goes in the machine it was waaaay past midnight. I threw the bag into the hot water cupboard to dry and hoped for the best. The next day I put in in the dryer for a few ten minute blasts. When it was done, it matched the pattern specifications exactly. Phew! Time to sew a lining!
I sewed the lining from my very small stash of Amy Butler fabric. What else is it for if not for using? I love this fabric, and it took most of what I had just to sew the lining – I had hoped to have enough left for a pocket but it was not to be. After machine sewing the lining in once slightly unsatisfactorily, I unpicked it and sewed it in again. I added two vintage buttons from my button jar, and then it was quickly wrapped to be sent away.
I really enjoyed knitting this – it took me out of a knitting rut in a way. I seem to be knitting so many sweaters, socks and hats, so it was a lovely change. It’s also quite satisfying to take things from three different stashes and make something cute and useful from them. Such a great project to end the year on!