Soleado Bag

Here’s the newest installment of our “History of Knitting” Kits:

The Soleado Bag!

This is a shoulder bag worked out of Cotlin using motifs and construction methods inspired by the diverse fiber arts traditions of Central and South America. This was a really fun project to design–I always love working on our “History” projects because I learn so much from them! The three major areas of fiber arts I drew on in designing this piece were spinning, knitting and weaving. Much anthropological information has been gathered from spindle artifacts collected in Central America, and the central medallion of the bag was inspired by the motifs found on ancient spindle whorls (that’s the disc-shaped part of the spindle.) The stranded colorwork motifs were inspired by Peruvian knitting (which Kerin also interpreted last year in her amazing Chullo Hat pattern), and the borders of bi-color linen stitch between the motifs was inspired by the rich weaving tradition of South America, which are predates knitting in these region by several centuries at least. The kit includes yarn and pattern to make the bag, and a brief written history of the traditions that inspired the pattern.

The bag measures 14.5 inches from corner to corner, so it can hold plenty of necessities without being uncomfortably large, and I think it would also be a great tote for a drop spindle project–it’s just the right size to hold a spindle and a fluff of roving! I didn’t line the sample, but since the bag is basically square, it would be very easy to line in a complimentary cotton fabric. Finally, I finished our sample off with one of our Harmony buttons, which I thought played up the bright colors of the yarn nicely:

As I said, this project was great fun to design and our test knitter had a lot of fun knitting the pattern, too! The construction is unusual, but relatively few techniques are needed–increasing, stranded colorwork, I-cord, and a three-needle bind-off do handle most of the finishing work. And the tassels, of course, are optional.

Anyone thinking of trying this bag? I’m excited to see what interesting twists this amazing community will put on it!