A few months ago, my friend Alex mentioned wanting to learn how to knit. She’d learned once, as a child, from a relative but it had been a decidedly less than relaxing experience, and she’d forgotten how. I offered to teach her, and dug out some bamboo needles I was no longer using, as well as some purple yarn I’d spun way back when. Over a couple of coffees I taught her how to cast on and the basic knit stitch, and soon she was texting me about where she could buy more yarn.
Quick digression: I am not a sewist. Really, I dabble, and occasionally I make something that looks half-decent. One thing I do like about sewing is that it’s fast, especially compared to the snail’s pace at which I knit. So when it came to thinking about holiday gifts for friends this year, I thought I might both encourage a friend in her new hobby as well as practice my sewing skills (not to mention use up some of my fabric stash) by making a small project bag for Alex.
Way back when, I picked up some grab bags of high-end fabric pieces at a shop in Ottawa. I still have most of them sitting around, so I pulled them out and starting trying to find two pieces that matched. Most are one-offs and I thought I might have to combine patterns, but I did find two similarly sized pieces of a very nice silk/cotton blend in muted jewel tones. At $242/meter, this Lee Jofa fabric is not something I would normally ever buy (not in my wildest, student-loan-addled dreams), so it was a treat to work with a bit of it. The pattern I chose is extremely simple and is explained in a nice tutorial. I wanted something a) easy, b) fast, and c) reversible, and this fit the bill perfectly.
There is something so satisfying about topstitching. Especially when I manage to do it in a straight line.
After just a couple of hours (it helped that one of the silk pieces didn’t need cutting), I had the finished product in hand:
Big enough for a knitting project, small enough to fit into a backpack or other bag. For the lining and handles, I used up some church spire-themed cotton (no hidden religious message, really) I had picked up at The Workroom and had leftover from another project:
(Technically, since the bag is reversible, this is the other side rather than the lining.)
All in all, a quick, satisfying project, and one that was loved by the recipient. Win!