Today I have two things to share with you.
The first is a little project bag made using Simplicity 2830 from the It's So Easy range.
I bought this pattern as I have never made any bags before and thought as it was labelled "It's So Easy" it would be a good make for a beginner bag maker.
While I am fairly pleased with the finished make, I think the pattern was quite tricky to follow and it was not that easy really! The instructions were hard to follow at times, particularly when it came to making the strap and the instructions for inserting the zip were practically non-existent.
The pattern is for a bag in two sizes - 9 x 12 inches or 8 x 10 inches. I decided to make the smaller of the two as I thought it would be a perfect sized project bag for storing my sock knitting.
I made the bag from a cute cotton that I bought at the October 2016 Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. I only bought a metre as I bought it with bag making in mind. Unfortunately I can't remember who I bought it from though, so sorry about that!
The bag is unlined and is seriously floppy. I think that for this bag to work more successfully you would need to choose a material with more structure. The pattern recommended broadcloth, cotton/blends, damask or canvas, so I thought my material choice was okay at the time.
I also think a lined bag would be better or one made with fusible interfacing to give it a better structure.
In light of this, I have been looking for a better project bag pattern. I found this tutorial at Betsy Makes which is a really lovely blog that I have recently discovered. I think that the instructions are much clearer to follow and the finished bag looks totally cute. I will be trying this one soon, so watch this space.
My second make to share with you is my next sock knitting project. I wanted to knit an easy pattern that I would not have to concentrate on. A quick search on Ravelry and I came up with this pattern called Vanilla Latte Socks. This is a free pattern that is really popular on Ravelry, and having nearly finished my first sock I can see why, as the instructions are very clear and detailed and the finished sock is simple but attractive.
I am making the medium size which involved casting on 64 stitches, and I am using 2.5 mm needles this time. The pattern is very well written and gives you lots of options. I chose to knit a knit 2, purl 2 ribbing as I think it the best ribbing for socks cuffs, and the stitch pattern for the leg is really easy too, as you alternate plain knit rows with a knit 6, purl 2 rib. The pattern even offers three heel flap variations and two different toes.
The yarn I am using is a 4ply self striping yarn by Regia that I bought online from Love Knitting. As soon as sock number one is finished I am going to cast on sock number two so that I don't leave it months between socks.
I am also using my new sock needles that I am totally in love with. I got a set of KnitPro Royale double-ended knitting needles for Christmas and they are an absolute dream to knit with as they feel so warm and lightweight in the hand, but have a nice metal tip. I would definitely recommend these sock needles.
I have also ordered a new book Toe-Up 2-At-A-Time Socksby Melissa Morgan-Oakes as I thought I would try both knitting toe-up socks which would be new to me and also try the 2 at a time method using one circular needle to see if it combats second sock syndrome. Once I get the book I might write a review here. I am not convinced I will like this method as I quite like knitting on four needles, but I am willing to give it a go! The advantage in the toe up method seems to be that you will not run out of yarn and you do not need to use Kitchener stitch to graft the toe together.
Until next time