Lesser nerds, stay away!
Thanks for all the sweet comments about the smoke ring and the shawl, guys. They were both fun knits that receive two thumbs up from the Eunny Jang School of Knitting.
Take it with a grain of salt, though, since, the EJSoK isn't necessarily the most conscientious institution out there. Take, for example, our most beloved maxim:
An ounce of detergent
covers a multitude of sins
The construction for this bag is going to be an interesting little puzzle. At All About Yarn the other day, I saw a display of patterns and kits by Noni Bellows, a local designer who makes fresh, seriously good-looking bags and totes with felt. Some of the stuff is fairly standard - cylinder bag with eyelash trim, anyone? - but other items are absolute knockouts, not so much because they're terribly original, but because of a spectacular sense of color and shape. There's very little messy, sloppy frowsiness in her designs (present in almost every felted bag I've ever seen); instead, they walk the narrow tightrope between clean and soft; fresh and romantic. And besides, they're just so pretty - what dark heart beats in he who could find nothing to love in a pistachio-and-dark-brown striped baguette adorned with giant pale pink flowers?
In examining the sample bag, it looked like it had been knit in pieces, felted, cut to size, and then seamed together and reinforced with plastic needlepoint canvas between outer layer and facing. I'd rather felt it already seamed, but I do want to adopt some of the clever shaping ideas I saw with regard to pleats and handle attachment. I'm thinking that instead of doing this incredibly awkward side pleat:
(which even looks awful in the modeled bag, so you know I could never make it work:
I'll do one deep pleat, perhaps by making crease lines with columns of purl stitches. I'm also dead-set against using i-cord for handles, so I'm thinking I'll attach deep brown leather straps around the reinforcing dowels along the sides - maybe sewn into place, or maybe buckled to themselves.
Does anyone have ideas for lining fabric? Right now, I'm leaning towards a rich pink solid, but we are nothing if not flexible here at the EJSoK.