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Monday, November 1, 2010

Knitted bags

Over winter I knitted a number of bags using patterns from the book Andean Folk Knits by Marcia Lewandowsky.It has very clear instructions, assumes you will improvise and the pictures are inspiring. I purchased my copy online from Melbourne-based Can Do Books which has an excellent range of craft books and send out monthly news of new titles. They are also usually at the craft fairs in Australian cities.

I used up wool and acrylic left over from other projects. They are knitted on four or five needles - the shorter the better I found.

This little Chilean mountain coca bag was made from alpaca that I bought in a charity auction in Washington DC, raising funds for advocacy for technology in schools.The wool was donated to the auction by Winterberry Farm Alpacas in Ashland Virginia.

Below is another bag made from their wool, a bolsa de zapatilla (slipper bag) from Argentina. Alpaca is soft to work with.It shapes and blends beautifully. Many of the Andean bags, like this one, are designed for alpaca.

I also made a few from acrylic. It gives a sharper line for patterns like the cactus and dog below and the characteristic pompoms tease out like fairyfloss.  I love the gaudy colours.

Bolsa de carawata (cactus bag) from chile

Bolsa de perro (dog motif bag) from Ecuador.

These bags are designed to carry valuables on your person - money mostly, but also cocoa and herbs. They are great fun to knit, and I expect to knit many more of them. I hope to work my way through all the patterns in the book, including the figures of both men and women, and to knit a number of them in different versions.

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