I am embarrassed to admit how long it has been since I have had a FO around these parts. We’re talking months. Leave it to Chester to break me out of my slump.
I was thinking on my drive home tonight about what Chester’s personality would be if he was a cartoon character. I decided he would be the best friend of the really funny but sometimes annoying character. Chester’s best friend is small, maybe a raccoon or something. I am not really sure what the movie would be about but I am sure that Chester would act the cool and handsome devil I know him to be. I can just see him giving deadpan responses to his overly excitable counterpart.
Pattern: Intricate Stag Bag
Source: Knitting Daily/Knitscene Free Web Project
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas, Melange, Orange and Yellow Mustard
Needles: US 5
Notes: Okay, I have quite a few notes…but first, Chester needs to know that I love him always–faults and all. That being said, I know he is an accessory and all but you may want to check your gauge before you start knitting this bag. Mine turned out a little longer than the pattern intended meaning my row gauge was off. But hey, I always look on the bright side, now it is going to be SO much easier to carry baugettes.
Next, the strap. Literally, it took a village to make this twisted cord strap for the bag. Imagine my sister-in-law, brother, Mom, Kara, and I all standing in different corners of a large room twisting long strands of yarn to just the right level of taughtness and then carefully allowing it to reverse twist on itself forming a evenly twisted rope. We failed to the point of serious frustration. I finally got one that worked right but upon closer examination I realized that in an ideal world I would like it to be thicker. But, I just wasn’t willing to spend the time to create another rope and I thought this one would do.
You see how Chester almost covers the expanse of my hips? That’s HUGE.
Now, gauge issues. Beyond the final size of the bag, there are some gauge issues to pay attention to. Specifically in regards to the front and back sides measuring up to each other. I found my front (with the stranded stag and chevron patterns) was wider than my back (knit in all stockinette). Even though I blocked it like crazy, the front is still wider which makes for some annoying puckering. This is probably due to my gauge ratio (between stockinette and colorwork) not being consistent to the designers which frankly, I wasn’t paying attention to while knitting. Sometimes I get lazy and assume the designer and I will have the same results, but when the designer is accounting for differences in gauge he or she can only base that off of their experience. In reality, it is not that noticeable so I am not too worried about it.
Finally, a style note. In the picture, the stag portion of the bag is highlighted more and given more of a styled look by having the stitches picked up on the wrong side when adding the top and bottom chevron patterns. However, in the pattern, it tells you to pick up the stitches on the right side which will give you a more tailored seamless look. Obviously up to you which style you prefer, I just thought I would give you a heads up that the pattern as written does not perfectly represent the picture in the pattern. I picked up the stitches on the right side as the pattern instructs–probably would have preferred it the other way but didn’t think about it until I was too far down the road and at that point it wasn’t worth frogging.
In the end, I am pleased with my little…urm, big bag. Chester did me proud.
The following 28 comments were originally left at blogspirit:
love your bag. looks great. i often ignore guage too and end up with funny results. i’m currently doing a baby pillow which is going to be a very odd size. oh well. by the way, the wedding pics look lovely!
Aw, Chester as Cary Grant in The Philadelpia Story! I like it. Like the bag too–the bigness is perfect for farmer’s marketing!
Chester looks lovely! Congrats on a great project!
That looks great! You inspired me to knit the stagbag too, I’m half done with the front piece. Maybe someday I’ll even write about it…
Chester is lovely – I mean handsome! He looks very regal.
I think Chester is fantastic!
And no! You do NOT have big hips! Silly girl.
What a great bag, it looks like it was fun to knit too.
Thanks for such detailed notes on the pattern. It’s annoying when little discrepancies add up to big differences in the outcome, but your project is an eye catcher, and I’m sure you’ll get a ton of comments–nice work!
Chester looks fantastic. I would have considered it a bonus that the bag turned out a bit bigger than expect (as I see you did with the baguette!) And I totally sympathize with you about the twisted cord. I made one of those… once. I practically had to have my friend stand at the other side of the street it was so long at first!
You are going to love having Chester around…he’s a peach!
Such a wonderful bag! I am happy to see a finished photo – this is on my list, and I was thinking of doing it in 2 brown alpaca yarns. Thanks for all of the notes on the pattern.
…you can tell I have Harry Potter on my mind. The first thing I thought of was Expecto Patronum!
I like it! And I think the length is excellent…bigger bags tend to be more useful, right? Great job!
It turned out great! And hey – a larger bag means it’s more useful for more things, right?
It looks fab!
I saw you at the Stitch and Pitch, but I feel like too much of a goob to introduce myself to people that I’ve only ever seen online. I hope you had a fun time!
I love him more than ever! I am looking forward to making one with the aid of your pattern notes, which rock.
Did you line the bag/have your mom line him for you?
Your bag looks great! This one is on my list, thanks for your notes!
The stag bag looks great! A wheel, or even a drop spindle would help you with making the strap – if you ever decided you wanted to make thicker one. Now, inquiring minds want to know – did you line it?
Chester looks great! I love it that you named him Chester. How funny is that.
The wedding photos from your last post are great as well. It looks like it was a wonderful wedding and a fun time for everyone.
I love Chester! Your bag looks great! That is a bag I would love to make.. one day.
How COOOOOLLLLLLLL is that?!?!?!
It looks really lovely Erin, despite the fact that it is not ‘perfect’. Thanks for sharing your notes. I will definitely be reading them again before i attempt to knit this pattern in the future.
Regardless of his flaws, i think you and Chester are going to be good friends. :0)
Chester looks amazing! What a great bag.
chester is awesome, despite the gauge struggles. he looks so proud to be carrying a baguette!
Chester is awesome — and thanks for the tips!
Next time you need twisted i-cord—-try your hand mixer. Use the bread dough attachments. Works like a charm.
The bag is LOVELY. You too.
Yay, loving Chester. He is so awesome.
I also jumped in without swatching. However, even looking at the intended measurements, it is a pretty large bag.
Love it. You picked great colors.