Sheep Maker's Tote
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
I had a lot of fun making the Maker’s Tote Pattern by Anna Graham. I hesitated a little at first when I saw that I’d need to hand sew the binding down to the from at the end, since I don’t have a lot of experience binding by hand. I wasn’t sure I’d have the patience for it, or if I’d do a good enough job. Turns out, I'm not too bad at it!
When I saw this sheep canvas from Ellen Luckett Baker’s Charms collection, I quickly snatched up a 1/2 yard of each color. They’re too cute, and I knew they’d make great knitting bags. For this project I decided on the mustard color, which is my favorite of the three. I wanted to keep the other fabrics pretty neutral. I chose a black and cream gingham from an old Sweetwater collection (not sure which), gray Heath, Widescreen in Yarrow, and black yarn-dyed Essex cotton/linen.
I made a few minor modifications for my tote. I left off the front flap pocket, I didn’t want to cover up any of those sheep! I also used a non-separating metal zipper. I used a 16” zipper instead of a 14” zipper to compensate. I covered the end with a tab like in the Open Wide Pouch Tutorial. It worked out great, and still opens completely. Other than these two things, I followed the instructions to a T!
I buy all my zippers from Zipit.
Pockets are at the most risk of getting left off when I make bags. I don't tend to use a lot of pockets. For this bag though, I knew I'd definitely get use out of the interior pockets. There are slip pockets on one side and pleated pockets on the other. Perfect to hold my knitting pattern and other notions. The zippered pocket on the back will be good for stitch markers and little scissors. Things that could otherwise fall out or get lost in the bigger interior pockets.
I hardly ever hand bind anything, and like I mentioned I was afraid I wouldn't have the patience for it. Honestly though, it was actually pretty enjoyable. I was able to work on it while watching TV and even while we got our car's oil changed. I used lots of wonder clips to hold things in place. A nice sharp needle and my favorite thimble and it really didn't take that long. I'm pretty darn proud of how nice it looks! Taking the time to do it by hand was totally worth it.
I love a good knitting bag, and this pattern really fits the bill. When open, it sort of functions as a basket. It stays open and is nice and roomy. I am able to fit three skeins of sock yarn in the small size bag, plus my project and all the notions I need. Right now I'm knitting Drachenfels by Melanie Berg.