Guernsey Style Bag by Debbie Bliss FO

Pattern: Guernsey Style Bag by Debbie Bliss
Source: Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine Spring/Summer 2010
Start: May 22 Finish:June 16, 2010
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Eco Aran Cotton
Needles: 4.5 mm
Modifications: None

The yarn, evokes the summery sight of tomatoes ripening in the garden. (The photo above is dead on from my monitor at least) The cool yet substantial Aran weight cotton is set off nicely by bright shiny grommets threaded with rope like handles which bring a bit of nautical whimsey to the piece.
Its knit in horizontal stripes of Aran style patterning which keeps the knitting entertaining yet quite straightforward.
The twisted handles were quick and fun to make and will no doubt be comfortable on the hands. (I have sprayed the whole bag inside and out with Scotchguard to keep it from getting grimy)
Rue was asking about the grommets.  You buy the grommets and a little two piece tool (above) that's used to affix them. The tool kit consists of a "stud end tool"(in my hand) and a "base tool" (on the table). The circle at the centre of the base acts as a cutting edge which you place under the fabric right at the marked spot where you want the grommet to go. Setting the base on a solid surface with the fabric over it you place the stud end tool on the fabric so that the base holds it in place then you tap, tap, tap the top of that little stumpy thing I'm holding and very shortly, a perfect hole has been cut, right where you want it! (Don't try this on a wooden table or floor - the base can leave marks!)
There is a perforated barrel portion of the grommet which you then pass from the right side of the fabric up through the newly cut circle
... and then through a toothed washer at the back - the two pieces creating a sandwich around the hole in the fabric. (I can't photograph it with fabric in place because the fabric blocks the view of all the business going on below it but I'm sure you get the idea.)
 Again, the whole works is seated on the base tool, again a few hammer taps are applied via the stud end tool but this time the force causes the barrel to split and then wrap down over the washer, fastening the grommet in place....
Its really a fool proof system. I did eight for this bag and the whole exercise took less than half an hour. I've used them in a range of sizes over the years when sewing and never had a problem with them and now I see they can also be a great addition to a knitted piece as well!
As for the lining, (I used a remnant cotton print from another cottage project) I affixed interfacing to stiffen it a bit and give the bag a bit more structural integrity.
 Interestingly, the lining is smaller than the bag (as stipulated by the pattern) and takes the full weight of the bag's contents preventing stretching or pulling the bag out of shape.
While not called for by the pattern I hand stitched the lining around the top to the knitted fabric to keep things tidy and prevent anything from slipping between the bag and lining. 
It was a nice change of pace working with the cotton after months of wool and right in keeping with the change of season. So look at that..I knit something in the specified yarn and colour with no modifications! (And I admit, no swatching - I just blocked the pieces to size prior to assembly.) Its was a great little project to do and I'm looking forward to getting lots of use of it now that its finished! 

Hey thanks for dropping by today!


Lisa R-R said...

Wednesday was a good day for short haircuts, as it was so humid at lunchtime. (I had a summer haircut too yesterday! Those thinning shears had a real workout.)
Excellent bag - thanks for showing us the process. I had never thought of putting a grommet in knitting.

LynS said...

Love the colour - maybe this is what I need for the paint colour for my hallway? The neat repetitiveness of the garnsey patterns is so appealing.

Sandra said...

Love the bag! And I'm very familiar with the grommets - my right index finger is especially familiar with the hammer that is used to attach them. (It's much better now, except for the blood discolouration under the nail that will be with me for months yet.)
But the bag! Spectacular! I had not thought of interfacing the lining - great idea - and making it smaller to take the weight is also genius.

elizabeth said...

I love it! I really do! I'm filing this away as a potential beach project.

LaurieM said...

What makes this bag special is all the care you took with the details. I think your scotch guarding idea is brilliant!

Anonymous said...


Stephanie said...

Wow! What a great-looking bag. Congrats!

jp said...

Love the bag. A great colour to show off the pattern.

Paddy said...

Love it! I'll take one in White lined with Marimekko Tuliainen #550. ;)


Rue said...

Fantastic bag! I absolutely love that color combined with gansey patterns. And thanks for the grommet tutorial! What a nifty tool.

Tina said...

Whow, what a beautiful bag! I’d love to carry one around, too. So much more things I want to knit. Bad thing I have to spend 10 hours per day of my precious day at work/in the car… (and no summer holidays ahead) But otherwise there were no lovely house I could call my home and no money to spend on yarn so I don’t whine.