Saturday, December 16, 2006

If You Can't Afford It, Make It Yourself

While waiting from Mr. Hipp to arrive for $20 rush seats to a night out with Molly Ringwald, I took a window-shopping stroll into the fancy shops at South Coast Plaza and unabashedly fondled things that I cannot afford.

I stumbled upon a sweet little handknit tote bag with a surprisingly tart price tag -- like enough for Mr. Hipp and me to have four nights out with Molly Ringwald, plus a meal at In n Out. The only picture of it that I could find online is here -- it is the fourth picture that scrolls by in the "Pure Holiday" montage.

The rustic, handmade look charmed me. I made some quick mental notes on the construction and sent a silent thank you to The Designer (or her unnamed designee) for the idea. Luckily, I had just the right yarn in my stash already: Patons Up Country in an icy blue. It is 100% wool, barely spun, with the occasional bit of dried grass or twig embedded in it.

I made a rectangle for the bottom, then picked up stitches on all four edges and started knitting in the round for the body. Single purl stitches in the corners create right angles within the plain stockinette body and help maintain the rectangular shape. The inspiration piece has an interior zippered pocket which was also knit but at a much smaller gauge. I think instead I will give it a fabric lining to protect things from poking through the stitches -- it must still be functional in the end!

The thought that this project might be a last-minute holiday gift briefly crossed my mind, but reality quickly set in. So now I will just enjoy it for what it is and hope it comes out nice enough to give to someone, someday, maybe.


DebVA said...

Your yarn color is beautiful & you must have a wonderful heart cause I'd surely keep this one for my very own. Look forward to seeing the finished bag.

Dyer said...

Very Crafty Pam! And the blog is great too! You would fit in perfectly out here on my Island (I've tricked the locals into giving me all of their land you see...) When are you and Mr. Hipp coming out to visit? The summertime is a great time for local arts and crafts!