Saturday, November 25, 2006

Positively the Last of the Doctor's Bag

At least, the last time it will be the featured project. The closure post had to wait. When my niece saw photos of the Doctor's Bag on the blog, she told me she had the perfect button for it. She brought it with her on Thanksgiving.

I think she may have been on to something.


Pattern - "The Doctor's Bag" from Knit 2 Together by Mel Clark and Tracy Ullmann.
Yarn - Fleece Artist/Handmaiden Stretto in Mineral (I think. It looks a lot like Ebony, too).
Needles - Size 11 Addi Turbos.
Button by Rama, via Cate (Thanks, Sweetie.)
Handles from Knitche.

Quibbles, Inspirations, Ideas and Suggestions:

The pattern specifies straight needles. I did the whole thing on circulars and I'm glad I didn't buy the 2 sets of straights called for.

The instructions say to do the 3-needle bind-off with "WS facing" when joining the front and back to the bottom, but with "RS facing" when joining the sides. Think "WS facing each other" and "RS facing out." Better still, just remember the bound-off seam should be on the outside.

I stained the wooden rods before inserting them, so they would blend in with the dark yarn.

I had construction issues. The instructions tell you to line the bag before you add the doo-dads and details. Also, to sew the flaps around the wooden rods with the rods in place and then sew the flaps to the lining. Thinking about it, sewing on the button and attaching the handle and button chains would be a real pain with the lining already in place. If I were a thinking knitter, I would have foreseen the awkwardness before I put the lining in or attempted to sew the flaps down while juggling to keep the wooden rods in place. I un-sewed the lining and decided thinking was probably a good thing.

I used the rods to measure the depth of the rod pocket, removed the rods, stuck in a few pins to hold the flaps in place, and sewed the flaps to the inside of the knitted fabric. Then inserted the rods and sewed the ends shut.

With the rods in place, I crocheted the chains to attach the handles. The pattern called for 4 chains (2 per handle). I used 8, (4 per handle), so the ends of each handle are secured with two crochet chains. I used the crochet hook to pull the yarn through and then tied the chains into place around the rods.

With the handles in place, I attached the button chain. I didn't like the noose-like version. Instead, I made a loop and tied it into a knot to take up the slack.

As an added bonus, by reversing the procedure (adding the finishing touches and then sewing in the lining), all 20 ends (from the handle chains, button chain and button) were easy to hide.

I still love the surprise of the monkeys on the lining fabric.

And the bag is certainly capacious.

The perfect bag to hold Clare's Perfect Sweater.


Jess said...

That is an awesome bag! I LOVE the fabric you used for the lining, too cool :-)

diane h said...

A thinking knitter is a knitter who has make the same mistake before - even more beautiful than before -

Anonymous said...

I love this bag, I've not seen this book yet, you've whetted my interest.

Merry Christmas and a Happy knitting Julie :)