The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Counterpane Carpet Bag by Carrie Brenner from Handknit Holidays: knitting year-round for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Winter Solstice by Melanie Falick.
Yarn: Noro Kureyon (100 per cent wool) in colourway 219; almost four balls.
Start to finish: Knitting time - 17 November 2010 to 4 January 2011. But I actually finished it today, just now, this evening when I finally sewed in the lining.
Stash/recycle content: This was yarn that came out of the cupboard, but I had bought it only several weeks previously in order to make something else (which didn't work out). Oh well, at least I didn't buy yarn to make this. I can't remember where I got the handles from, I have had them for a long time so probably from an op shop in Australia. the black velvet that I used to make the lining is re-purposed from a skirt that I definitely bought at Josies op shop.
Comments: I loved knitting this bag, seeing the Noro create its various coloured stripes. And I particularly love how stitch pattern creates stripes that are almost zig zags. I think that projects like this make the best use of this sort of yarn (and so do many others - many of the counterpane carpet bag projects on Ravelry are done with Noro or an equivalent). Someone asked me how I had managed to get the colours to change at exactly the right spot and that is the beauty of this - wherever they change just magically looks like the right spot.
I did make some changes: specifically I changed the handle flap to fit the handles that I had picked out as well as shaping it with paired decreases and increases. I also felted the fabric by hand slightly (in hot water with some soap and rubbing) before sewing it up, just to give it a little more body. Inside the handle flap I inserted some stiff fabric, almost a heavy paper-like stuff that you can use as backing for embroidery, to give the flap some rigidity and support the bag.
Verdict: Wonderful bag! I love knitted counterpanes so was delighted to knit something using a traditional stitch pattern, and in a completely non-traditional yarn. This one is large enough to hold a good-sized knitting project, including straight needles. And a quick note about the book - it has lots of other great patterns in it.
* Credit to Ravelry user lilyofforce for the great project name.