In my last two blogposts, I have been extolling the virtues of knitted bags with linen liners and today I want to add the final two bags in the set. The whole collection has come from a very simple idea: to take plain craft-store tote bags and with very little sewing turn them into something stylish and unique.
The first two bags in the collection, the Back-to-Nature Bag and the Sarasota Shopper have almost no sewing at all, just needing the top facing to be turned to the inside and caught down into place.
The book bags that I am featuring here have a small amount more sewing as they each feature long straps so the bags can be easily carried on your shoulder. The first is the Falmer Book Bag with strong graphical bands of red set into a black basketweave background.
And the second is the Southampton Book Bag from where the collection takes its name.
This is worked in a single navy colour with contrasting straps and liner, which makes it a little easier to knit. The liner was dyed at the same time as the Sarasota Shopper using Dylon dyes in "Bahama Blue".
Inside, the bags include a inner tab with an attached carabiner - very useful for clipping on a set of keys or your library card. Carabiners come in a wide range of colours and sizes to suit all types of colourways. Here, the black and red carabiner used in the Falmer Book Bag perfectly matched the black linen tote liner and the exterior yarn colours.
The bags can accommodate a good number of books and DVD's to transport home from the library, or for more general shopping.
I was using the Southampton Book Bag as a camera bag the other day and it was really good for that. I kept the camera on its shoulder strap along with the bag straps, so that the camera just dangled inside the bag. The lenses were then easy to locate underneath. I put a spare battery and memory card into a small carrying pocket and clipped that to the carabiner and was good to go. I love bags that don't look like camera bags!
The knitting patterns for these two book bags are available separately or as part of the collection: the Southampton Collection.
The patterns are available for instant download from my website. I do hope you enjoy making and using these bags, and adapting them for all your various activities.