After so many days and weeks in the land of unfinished knitting projects, the Brea Bag is finally done! I might have the Vatican come out and investigate this as a possible miracle . . .
This was quite a time-consuming project; I don't think I'll be undertaking something so involved for a while. The knitting, actually, was a breeze. The cables were simple, and with 2 strands of yarn held together, it knit up quickly. But once the knitting was done, hard times were upon us (me and the Brea Bag, that is).
Seemingly insurmountable obstacle #1: sew the 3 pieces together. You know what's not fun? Trying to figure out how to stitch a moss stitch piece to not one but two shield-shaped cable/garter/moss stitch pieces.
Seemingly insurmountable obstacle #2: crocheting the edges without the faintest knowledge of crochet. This actually was an insurmountable obstacle, I ended up skipping the edging. This bag helped me to realize that crochet is not for me. At all.
Seemingly insurmountable obstacle #3: sewing in the lining. In addition to crochet, I also don't sew. At all. So, of course, I thought it was a brilliant idea to try to line the funny-shaped bag. I really couldn't figure out how to cut the fabric to fit the shape without leaving a bunch of rough edges, so I wound up with a lot of extra fabric on the sides and bottom; I ultimately folded the sides inward and glued some of the fabric together with fabric glue to keep the lining from getting unruly, and just stuffed all that fabric in the bag. I wish I had glued the lining into the bag instead of trying to stitch it--stitching worked well, but it doesn't look great.
Seemingly insurmountable obstacle #4: handles. I had a tough time finding any. M & J Trimming has tons of cute ones, but adding in the shipping, they weren't in my Brea Bag Budget. Joanne's selection was, actually, decent, but almost entirely non-flexible handles, and since the bag is slouchy, structured handles wouldn't really work. I ended up using a belt I found at Target (yeah, that's a belt. The things some people wear . . . ).
Seemingly insurmountable obstacle #5: buttonloop. Gah, more crocheting! This part was a bit easier, but I really needed a lot more yarn tail than I'd left at the top, so I had to break a cardinal knitting rule, knotting 2 (well, really, 4) strands together so I had enough to do the whole loop.
So now, 2 weeks after her birthday, I'll finally be shipping this off to my ahijada, along with a gift card to a store that sells professionally made clothes, just in case she despises it. I hope that won't be the case.
Now that I don't have BB hanging over my head, I will officially cast on for Cobblestone. I did the swatch on size 8 needles, and that produced gauge, more or less, so I'm good to go.