It seems most of the projects I complete lately are as a result of the Designers Challenge group on Ravelry. But the monthly call for designs have been fun … and definitely a challenge! The one for May/June was
Object: free choice
Theme: red, white, blue color palette
The rules were very specific this time! You had to use all three colors although the R/W/B didn’t need to be used in the same quantities. However, no other colors were allowed! Not only that but it had to be either horizontal or vertical stripes – diagonal strips and chevrons/zigzags did not count.
Every month there is an inspirational Pinterest board. The board for this challenge had a lot of patriotic or nautical-themed items. I liked the idea of making a tote bag with either a giant star or anchor on it. In the end I went smaller – making a project bag with a star.
The bag itself was a joy to make. I decided the bottom also needed a star, so I came up with a star design in the knit stitches themselves.
The sides of the bag where then knit in the blue and white stripes and finished off with a little bit of red trim at the top. There are a couple of things I’d like to change about this design and one of them would be to make the bag a bit taller so there’s more of a ruffle at the top.
The star on the side was done in duplicate stitch – meaning you knit over the top of the already existing stitches. It doesn’t add a lot of thickness to the star and I also thought it would be a lot easier than trying to do intarsia, in the round, while knitting the stripes.
The way the bottom was knit, it naturally curled up … and actually could be made into a cute hat pattern. I wanted a flat bottom though, so I took a couple circles of plastic canvas, stitched them together and then were placed in the bottom to stretch and flatten it out. This also gave Little Chick and opportunity to “help” Mama by doing some stitching of her own! 🙂
The hardest part for me was to make a lining for the bag. It doesn’t necessarily need a lining, but I knew I had some adorable red fabric with white stars in my stash that coordinated with this project perfectly! I sewed the lining separately (this is actually the inside of the lining showing).
Then I tacked down the lining to the plastic canvas and the top edge of the bag. My hand-sewing skills are not much better than my machine sewing, but it works.
Once the lining was in place, Papa and I worked together to place grommets through the yarn holes at the top and the fabric behind. I made the mistake of adding too many yarn holes. If we had put grommets in each of them, they would have been too close together.
Finished off with a white cord for a tie and it’s complete!
Overall, I’m very pleased at how it turned out. I have a couple of tweaks I’d like to make to the design and hopefully I can get the pattern tested and released soon!