I don’t just like designing bags, I LOVE designing bags. Even as a child I was fascinated by the various bags and accessories in my mum’s wardrobe, and as a God-fearing Bajan woman my mum went to church twice every Sunday elegantly turned out in a fab outfit finished off with a killer hat and co-ordinating bag. Now as an adult I’m not one of those shoe obsessed women, I’m proud to say that I’m a bag lady.
This bag is knitted using my felted bag yarn of choice, Jamieson & Smith’s 2ply Jumperweight. Like the Gladstone Bag I designed for The Knitter, I’ve used the yarn doubled to make it DK. The large scale florals are worked using the intarsia technique with bullion knots and beads worked at the centre of each flower and the swirling foliage Swiss darned into the background after knitting. Felting not only tightens up the fabric to make the bag more substantial and less likely to sag when used but also blurs the colours slightly, almost like taking down the colour setting on the TV, ( does that make sense?).
In terms of difficulty if you haven’t tried intarsia before this probably shouldn’t be your first project as there are lots of colour changes and therefore ends to deal with at the flower centres. If you have knitted intarsie before it’s a really enjoyable project to do, just enough changes to make it interesting with all the flowers placed to the right of the bag and then a contrast of a plain background to knit in stocking stitch. I thought the dark colour of the background would be too ‘heavy’ against the bright flowers so it’s broken up with curls of Swiss darning. The beads and bullion knots are added after felting, you could add a lot more knots, use much bigger beads or even small buttons at the centres.
Although I tend not to line my bags I have lined this one and finished it off with a curved bamboo handle from Bags of Handles.