I was very excited when Sara asked me to be part of this year's (2014) Purse Palooza and instantly knew I wanted to make the Scallop of the Sea Clutch by Katie Canavan (available from Holla Knits here).
This clutch is definitely a statement piece. It's oversized (compared to most clutches) and the outside is made of knitted scallop shapes. Yep, I knitted a bag! It felt good to both knit and sew a bag - catching three of my favourite pastimes all in one! The bag is stranded colourwork and is knit in the round to form a big tube. The tube is blocked, lined and interfaced, seamed and then folded over to make the big envelope clutch shape.
Here is the version which inspired me to make this pattern:
|image from Holla Knits website|
Aaaanyway. Here is my version:
The bag is fully lined, with a pocket inside and a zip closure. As the pattern itself mentions, it's large enough to hold something like an iPad as well as a wallet or other more usual clutch contents. The yarn requirements seemed sensible - I had some left of each ball but not so much that I was annoyed by the waste :) The pattern is clear and well written, with sufficient tips and hints about the construction of the lining that I think a non-sewing knitter-type could probably make this without issue.
It would also be easy to make this smaller or larger, depending on the intended use. A quick check on Ravelry for other projects using this pattern proved that to me - the VERY gorgeous grey, black and lime green version you can see there by doroti has been modded to the right size to hold an e-reader. You would just need to make sure to scale down the lining pieces, pocket inside and zip accordingly.
|Me, being all happy with my bag on a very hot Sydney day...|
My version was made from Mila Mia yarn purchased from The Stash Cupboard in Hobart. Rather than a blend like the pattern recommendation, the yarn I used is 100% Merino. My suspicion would be that it makes very little difference though perhaps mine might wear a little less well as Merino is softer? I also added the magical Soft and Stable in place of the interfacing. If there is one thing making bags from Sara's patterns has taught me, it's how much I regret it when I don't use Soft and Stable! As the knit textile is so floppy and pliable it seemed like a good addition to help add structure.
My only complaints about this pattern relate to my poor execution of it. The picture below is a close-up on the surface of the bag, which you can see has little divet-type imperfections on the surface where the knit stitches aren't lying super flat and lovely like in the sample pictures. I am almost 100% sure this is because my stranded colourwork is not "strandy" enough :( apparently the looser the better for the loops which are passed along the back of the work, which I didn't really understand until after the knitting was complete. I don't mind it so much and don't think it's so noticeable to others, but of course I see it every time! If you decide to make this - it's probably worth practicing the technique to ensure it turns out smooth and even.
|My poor colourwork skills on full display...|
My only other complaint with my version is that I don't like the yellow in it. You can see I didn't repeat the yellow stripe and instead changed to another lighter blue - I wish I had done that from the beginning but I didn't realise how "primary" it looked until I had gone too far to want to lose all the work I had done.
Overall I would definitely recommend this pattern for something a bit different. It would be especially good for taking an iPad, wallet, keys and phone to a meeting (I have already done so at work!) and your colour choices could change this from a bold statement piece to something more subtle (I would like to make one in two shades of grey!).
Thanks to Sara for inviting me to take part and Happy Palooza to you all!