FO: Maven

In my week of finishing things, today’s completion involves Maven, the bag I started knitting AGES ago, designed by Courtney Stansbury of Pink Lady Knits, and based on Carrie’s clutch in an episode of SATC.

I modified the design quite heavily, basically getting the nice, trapezoid shape decreases from Courtney’s design and then going off to do my own thing with the knitting needle handles and the ‘tabs.’ While the design on Courtney’s blog has neat, knit tabs to hold the dowels in place, mine has crocheted loops holding knitting needles as the handles. I got the handles free with a knitting magazine some time ago, and since they can be easily removed from the bag and used for knitting, it appeals to me enormously to use them as bag handles when they are not needed for knitting.

Simple knitting-ness.

What I loved about the bag when I first saw it, was its simple knitting-ness. I think that after seeing the photo, I somehow extracted an idea about it that involved the bag being on needles instead of dowels and evoking the suggestion of a living piece of knitting, ‘on the needles.’ I loved this idea of a self-referential bag, something that celebrated its own means of construction and when I was knitting the cotton, I found that cables over-fussified the simple knitting-ness of the bag that I was aiming to achieve, which is why it is knit in simple stocking stitch. The yarn – Shilasdair (The Skye Yarn Co.) – is an organic, Peruvian cotton that I bought from Prick Your Finger and is very fat and ridiculously soft. It is much easier to knit with it than to crochet and sew and it sort of pulls apart like cotton-wool if you’re not careful. Mercifully, it can be shoved in the washing-machine on a 30* cycle whenever necessary which, for me, is kind of essential for a white bag.

I also changed the proposed lining fabric for this strawberry print that my beautiful Bluestockings Hospital Blanket was wrapped in when the Bluestockings gave it to me.

I hand-stitched this carefully into place twice, praying that it wouldn’t break or come undone or look terrible and I was pleasantly surprised that it did none of these things. I was very inspired recently by Needled’s post on hand-sewing and this inspired me to broach my fear of sewing by hand. Speaking of Needled, doesn’t the button badge she sent me in response to my Strawberry Shortcake post just perfectly match the interior fabric of the bag? They are like sisters, these patterns.

On the other side of the bag, I have one of the Etsy gifts my mother got me for my birthday; it is a fabric brooch from the inimitable Monda Loves Etsy Shop.

Thanks Mum for my lovely Etsy birthday presents. As well as the brooch, she got me these pretty sugar cookies from Moose and Bear, which are just the thing to put inside Maven until I take it out for real.

I decided that to ‘style’ the shot of Maven, it would be essential to include the beautiful tea-towel from Ali that I got in a recent tea-towel swap, which also celebrates its own means of construction with a gorgeous, vintage-sewing pattern style graphic machine stitched into the central panel. So here we have it: a knitted bag about knitting, and a sewn tea-towel, about sewing.

And as an affirmative reminder that even in a week of finishing things, not everything can possibly be completed, I present you with my Messy Tuesdays photo for this week. Yes, the studio has borne the messy brunt of all my doings.

5 Responses to FO: Maven

  1. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » Personal Treasures

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