Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Friday, 20 April 2012

Spring bags

I seem to always fall back to accessories at this time of year.  Last year I went through a felting and crochet phase and updated my bag wardrobe with the Dinky Clutch, Alex Felted Tote, Pinwheel Purse, Jewelled Spice Tote, Confection Tote and Coin Purse and Forget Me Not Tote.  (Ravelry Links)

This year I have finished the knitted part of a tweed clutch in 3 colours of Jamieson & Smith Jumper Weight yarn that I had in my stash.  It's a tweed slip stitch pattern and it was a lot of fun to make, it looks a lot more complex to do that it actually is.

I just kept knitting until I ran out of wool.  I just LOVE destashing!

The turquoise felt underneath the clutch is for the lining, which I have sewn, but now I am wondering how to put the whole lot together!  *Mutters* ever hear of forward planning, my dear?

The metal frames have a row of holes at the front only for attaching your knitted or fabric purse, but in reality it's not just as simple as going in and out with your needle if you have several layers with a knitted outer and a fabric or felt inner bag.  Hmmm, I want to do it neatly but not have unsightly stitches showing on the inside, but the narrow valley of the frame with only 1 side with sewing holes makes it tricky to maneuver with a tapestry needle.  I think I might need a curved needle.  Any ideas folks?  Has anyone experience of these types of frames?  Anyway, she is set aside until I get a brainwave.  

I had lots of Jamieson & Smith Shetland Supreme leftovers from my Ceann Caoirigh and Rams agus Caoirigh blanket so I wanted to make a fair isle handbag, preferably with wooden top handles, like the ones you see on vintage knitting bags.  I did search on Etsy and Ebay but couldn't find the exact type I wanted.  They were either mass produced in China or in bad condition, so I ended up ordering some Clover Amber Acrylic ones instead.  Not quite what I had in mind for my 'natural' handbag, but  this bag would languish in wip-land forever, so I took the plunge and swallowed my principles whole (without even a drink).  

She's coming along nicely as you can see, she has a flat narrow base and no shaping through the body, which is knit in the round.

I'm using a stitch compendium for the motifs and working out the colour combinations myself which is terrifying and fun in equal measures!  I am mirroring the design with the larger motif in the centre, but I am already running short on one colour so I may have to get creative :)

I am amazed at the natural colours, the same ones used for my blanket and tams, that look almost black/white monochrome here where as they look brown/beige in the blanket and tams.  

Already this is going to be quite a big bag, it's 12" across and will be about 14" or more tall.  I'm playing about with the idea of felting it a little, but I'm afraid I'll lose some of the detail and I just love how it looks at the moment.  I suppose that means I'll have to swatch *great gasping intake of breath, hand clutches chest*


Or I could just wing it!

Life is an adventure after all :)

One thing I will need help with is a name, this poor bag can't just be called plain ol' Fair Isle Handbag forever, she deserves a moniker of her own!

If you have any ideas please post in your comments, it would be fun to have a collaboration on this!  I might even think up a prize...

Happy knitting



  1. It's gorgeous! I think it needs a landscape-y type name. Something Scottish moor/heathery/Ben Somebody comes to mind - except that's the wrong island. Lough Erne? I found a lovely winter photo from there with the same color scheme.

    1. Hi Carolyn, I think you hit the nail on the head! I live quite close to the river Erne so that would be a perfect name. Now why didn't I think of that!!!

    2. Oooh! I came up with a good name suggestion! My day is 200% brighter now. Happy dance, happy dance.

    3. Hee hee! I haven't properly thanked you yet, so thank you for the name, it was inspired! As a little thank you, if you forward me your e-mail address I'll send you one of my patterns (your choice) as a pdf :)