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Everlasting Bagstopper!

One of the things about Intolerable Cruelty 2 (progress report: no progress) is that it involved me rescuing this yarn from the go-to-charity box I established in a fit of decluttering earlier this year. I have been carrying this silvery tweedy cotton/linen blend for years and years, and this February I had a bit of a chat to myself and pointed out that it was selfish to hoard six balls of a silvery tweedy cotton/linen blend that I was never, never, never going to use and I should liberate it accordingly.  Precisely four weeks later (I am not zippy with the decluttering), I meekly fished said silvery tweedy cotton/linen blend out of the go-to-charity box and cast on and now cannot get enough of it. Being a tough, neutral-coloured yarn, it’s also pretty damn perfect for the Everlasting Bagstopper. I had a hoot making this bag because it made for perfect Sick Knitting.  There’s a garter stitch bottom, and although I tell myself I’m not that into garter stitch, I have to admit there’s something deeply satisfying about it. I’m more honest with myself about this when I’m unwell, I suspect. It’s like good wholemeal bread with butter, or something else warm and simple and fulfilling when you’re not feeling your best. Then you pick up the stitches around the garter stitch and make a ledge of stockinette stitch, and then switch to huge needles and start the two-round lace pattern which could not be easier.

Picking up the stitches around the edges of the base was a messy, clumsy, preschoolish affair that I, at first, was anoyed with and then delighted with.  I briefly thought “this is going badly” and wondered if I should redo it, and then I realised I was knitting a shopping bag. One that was designed to be scrunched right up and then stretched right out and still do its job well.  There’s a metaphor in that. Tell me there isn’t. Then you switch to huge needles and work some simple lace.  Since I had nearly used up a whole ball on this baby, when I had finished the lace, I switched back down to the beginning-size needles and used up the last of the yarn on the garter stitch around the top.

Everlasting-Bagstopper-2

I feel a sense of satisfaction that is possibly completely disproportional to my conquest: after all, you could snidely point out that, really, all I’ve got that I didn’t have before is a shopping bag. To which I would say, you are not my target audience, snide pointer-outer: kindly find another blog to read, forthwith, and sully not my ears with such snideness.  I am comically besotted with this bag. I love how tiny it scrinches down when I want it to, and I love that I can make it use up the amount of yarn I want it to, and I love that it was so calming and simple to make. It was a huge comfort while I was sick, because I could just prop myself up in bed, reading and knitting, around and around, while I waited for my body to get over its thing. This is it, unstretched, and doesn’t it look small? I loaded it up with tins and things to make sure I hadn’t just whipped up a mini-dud, and it really does stretch!  This thing can suck up your shopping, no worries. And the cotton/linen blend, I suspect, is going to be an incredibly robust yarn. Perfect.

Everlasting-Bagstopper-4

Plus, I used this super-stretchy bind-off I’ve never used before. So, I have a shopping bag, an extremely useful and scrunchable one I intend to pack into my glovebox for emergencies, I learned a new technique, and I found an excellent use for a stray ball of yarn that would otherwise end up mooning around my stash, unloved and lonely.  I think this is pretty damned awesome.

PS: I can’t tell you when this blog is going to start being interesting again. I’m not psychic. Probably won’t be anytime soon.

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