I have several of these unfinished summer projects and I felt that with the arrival of October I had better do some finishing off and put them to happy use before embarking on too many more new starts.
The first, apart from my Sea-Ripple, was my version of a Blossoming Bag from Sandra of Cherry Heart's beautiful pattern. You can read Sandra's engaging post about the emergence of this bag here and you can buy the pattern in her shop here. I wanted to make this as a nice, discrete project to take away with me for my week's holiday in France, in July. After a few false starts, before departure, with the wrong yarn, - the first was too thin and the second was too thick, like Goldilocks' porridge - I hooked blossoms all the way through France on the train and it grew nicely. I didn't have any of the Bergère de France Ideal yarn Sandra recommends for the pattern so in the end I used some Noro Silk Garden Lite yarn, of which I'd bought a couple of extravagant balls back in the Spring. Although Noro Silk Garden Lite yarn is expensive, I am not sure it didn't work out substantially cheaper than buying lots of balls of a cheaper yarn in single colours.* And the advantage of using a variegated yarn while travelling is major - you don't need to cart the bulk or weight of umpteen balls of yarn in different colours around with you but neither are you stuck with a project all in one colour. Good news for those of you who, like me, like a bit of colour change to keep you happy. And the effect of using variegated yarn, although rather different from Sandra's lovely prototype, is pretty, I think.
*In fact it worked out at almost exactly half price because you only need two balls of the Noro yarn instead of eleven separate colours - thrifty or what?! (I know, I know, let's not go there!)
I finished the flowers in Provence under the shade of the wisteria on the terrace of the Mas, where we were staying.
At the end of the week, the bag - and it was already a bag, because the blossoms are joined-as-you-go - came home with me and waited patiently for a lining. A rummage in my fabric stash produced two suitable oddments of cotton fabric for the lining - one with tiny, lime-green polka dots on a cream background and a deep, rose pink one with a subtle pattern of darker pink flowers and leaves, traced on top.
The bag design cleverly uses two fabrics for the lining so that you can choose a relatively neutral fabric to show through the gaps of the trellis of hooky flowers of the bag's outside and a more dramatic fabric for the inside. I really like this feature.
The handles are plain D-shaped wooden ones which I got from here and they are easy to attach to the bag - you simply make the border deep enough to wrap over the base of them and sew in place.
Simple, neat and secure. I do like well-thought out designs like this.
This point got reached by the end of August and the bag was almost complete. All that remained was to hook up a few extra blossoms to attach to the handle by way of a little extra decorative touch. Took me to October to get round to them, but never mind! They make it, as so often finishing touches do and I love the result.
Perfect, as Sandra says, for when you want to pop out with a purse and keys and not a whole lot of other clobber.
It occurs to me that such a bag might make a good homemade Christmas present - not too big or complicated to make and, unless you are as dilatory as Mrs T, nice and quick to complete!
Now with the loose ends from one project tidied up, I must move on to the next one so that I have a clear field for some new ones! Tee hee!
Have a lovely weekend everyone!
I shall be finding a way to give my newly completed Blossoming Bag a little outing,
... even if it's only to work!