Several months ago I saw this kit on a favorite knitting website of mine (Knit Picks) and immediately thought of my sister-in-law Julie. It had all the right colors, and the pattern looked exotic and bohemian. With Julie's 30th birthday approaching in May, I ordered the kit (which came with 17 different colors of yarn and size 2 needles) back in December. Unfortunately, Knit Picks didn't make it truly available until the middle of March, so I didn't get started until then. However, two months turned out to be just the right amount of time to get the project finished.
Fair isle is the knitting term for working with two different colors of yarn at a time to create a pattern. As you can see, by the time I finished this purse I had used 17 different colors (no more than two at a time though) to create the beautiful and intricate design. It was a great learning experience, and though I hope I'm the only one that can tell, there is one side that turned out a little better than the other. My mom helped me make and sew in the liner (I may enjoy the knitting challenge, but sewing is not something I've ventured into yet). I finished just in time to wrap it up and give it to Julie on her birthday, Saturday the 23rd. I think she was happy with it.
The purse in progress. I started with the side welt (the green and yellow part) and then knit the front and back panels along its edges. The panels were knit in the round, with even decreases in each round, so the knitter ends up knitting toward the middle of the bag, eventually ending up with just four stitches left to sew together. The last, top welt, is knit directly into the tops of the panels, and then the handles are knit into that. The construction is actually really intuitive and easy to work with.
The finished project. Not too bad if I do say so myself. And Happy Birthday Julie! It was so fun to knit something special for you for your big day.