Thursday, January 6, 2011

Marta Meet Marsha

I fell in love with the Marta Bag in the book “Northern Knits” by Lucinda guy. A bag is such a great canvas for playing with color. It’s not a huge investment of time and money and you can try out color combos like pink and lime green that you may not necessarily want to sport covering a large portion of your torso.

As it happens I had the urge to play with this pattern over New Years and pressed myself to use what I had on hand.

I knit the bag with Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport. I am really drawn to their colors “Stone” and “Autumn Leaves” and I pretty much knew there wasn’t enough contrast there for the stranded stem and leaf area of the design, but went ahead and used them anyway figuring I might be able to use the embroidery to highlight it.

Some modifications I made …
I decided to knit at a little tighter gauge than what the pattern calls for on a size 2 thinking it would give me a little firmer fabric for the embroidery. My gauge was 8 stitches per inch.

I continued the decrease area for an extra 10 rows and then did an extra 10 rows straight to get the length needed to go around the handle.

I also washed the bag and treated it to a little more agitation than I normally would to slightly felt it before doing the embroidery. The bag ended up 11 ½ inches wide and 9 inches deep – not including the handles.

I did venture out to Joanne’s for handles and to pick out some lining fabric. This retro looking floral seemed to suit the bag’s vibe, and made me think of Marsha Brady and so I’m calling this bag Marta Meets Marsha.

Fitting the lining was really easier than I expected it to be and gave me a great excuse to pull out my Mom’s old Singer. This machine brings back so many great memories. All I did was pin the bag down on the fabric with a fold at the bottom, and then I cut around it. I stitched up the sides, turned it inside out, stitched around the handle area, then folded the piece around each handle and tacked it down.

Another Marsha I know is fond of saying “I need bags for my yarn and yarn for my bags.” …my sentiments exactly. This would make a great little project bag, and I don’t think I’ll be able to resist doing another... perhaps on a larger scale. I’ll keep you posted on what I come up with.


Kym said...

I just LOVE your bag. I want to make one. I may just . . . sort of copy you. It is really, really wonderful and it looks fun to make. Perfect in every way. (Can you tell I'm Very Enthused?)

fidlstix said...

kym - you are so sweet -
I say go for it! - It really was a fun knit!