Don’t worry guys, you don’t have to congratulate me on the fantastic pun in the title of this post- instead I’d rather you enjoyed, this in my opinion underrated, Britney banger.
Although I could spend great lengths of time discussing Britney, her faux fur jacket gang and uneven shorts in this video- we are all here for one thing. Knitting, Bitch (channeling Britney there not being rude)
I have been drooling for some time, over the treats available over at Wool and the Gang. After staring for so long, I was lucky enough to have fate on my side and my yearly bet on the Grand National paid off, letting me indulge in some of their delightful wares.
This is not advocating gambling, but gambling did give me the funds for more craft supplies, so at the moment and finding it very difficult, to make the cons outweigh the pros.
Anyway Wool and the Gang specialise in cool and modern knitting gear and patterns and can be bought online or even in some branches of John Lewis, because they are cool cats who are so on the money.
At first I just ambled through the wool selection with the intention of making something on my own, but then I saw the kits available and thought they would give me the kick I needed to get out of my scarf knitting rut. I immediately fell in love with the Hold me Tight clutch bag kit.
I had seem a couple of these on Pinterest and Instagram because of the #shareyourknit hashtag the company uses. You are given the very tough task of choosing what colour yarn you’d like in your kit and I choose this limey-yellow shade, pleasing called Big Bird Yellow. Although I probably need a black clutch more than a yellow one, this was the spoils of my win on the ponies, so it felt appropriate to be extravagant.
One of the things that brought WATG to my attention in the first place was their jersey yarns. To make these wools they have paired up with a t-shirt manufacture in Turkey to get the fabric offcuts and whip them up into lovely tactile jersey yarn. I found in making my own clothes you come to appreciate the time, effort, skill and resources needed and I loved the ethos of WATG making use of what would otherwise be more textile waste.
Another option when ordering the kit, was whether to include a pair of WATG knitting needles.
Now these are some seriously sexy needles my friends. I could have easily picked up some cheaper plastic 15mm needles as the pattern dictates, but blow me down, these were just too goddamn saucy to resist. I think this is my version of the feeling some others have when they lust over Manolo Blahnik shoes or sports cars. The needles are rose wood and have such a wonderful feel and weight I am so glad I opted to splashed the cash.
The kit arrives in a lovely box, with a personal message on the front, which I loved. This is something I adore with lots of the independent craft suppliers; they are changing the aesthetic to appeal to modern crafters and taking the time to give you a nod, ” you are cool, we are cool, let’s craft bitches.”…Sorry… Britney again.
Overall the kit included…
2 rolls of yarn
A magnetic clasp
big needles for sewing up seams
the knitting pattern
a #shayourknits sticker for your skateboard or general studies folder
I was aware that a clutch bag is still just a rectangle of knitting, so not a million miles away from a scarf. However what was new for me here, was following a commercial pattern. I had followed patterns in terms of learning new stitches before, but never a fully fledged instructional pattern with the counting and the paying attention and the not going off piste.
Starting off was easy, with a few rows of stocking stitch- well within my skillset. The next step was to go double yarn and into a woven stitch. I had never done this stitch before, but was happy to find there were instructions in the pattern booklet but also these really great videos online.
Even if you don’t have a Wool and The Gang kit these videos are great and have all the techniques I always need a little memory jog on.
The knitting pattern overall was easy to follow. When you come to end of the woven section you are then asked to cast off and then cast on from your main piece for another section, this was a little confusing and I wish there had been a video to walk me through. Whatever I did in the end is fine, but looks a bit different to the other gorgeous versions of this on Instagram.
The last stage was to sew up the side of the clutch and then sew in the clasp. This was very easy for me as I am used to hand sewing and construction, but for beginners this might be tricky as the instruction were quite basic.
It was during this last stage of the process that I found my one and only complaint and it is really nominal, so probably doesn’t even count as a complaint. Due to the nature of the yarn being spun from jersey off cuts, some parts are thinner and some parts are fatter than others. Just by sheer bad luck some of the thinnest yarn was on one side of the trim section and some of the chunkiest on the other side of the trim- this makes the top of the bag feel a little uneven and when the design already has a ‘front’ and ‘back’, it does stand out to my eye.
My only other teeny tiny complaint, is the end weight of the bag. So much textured yarn means the actual finished clutch is quite heavy and this might put me off using it for some occasions. When I was getting to the last few rows of knitting my weedy RSI riddled wrists were having a mare dealing with the bulk of the main piece and using double yarn to boot.
…but other than those points I LOVE IT. I love the colour, texture, the ease of the kit and the final look. I am already trying to dream up some gorgeous monochrome or khaki based outfits that will benefit from the limey- yellow pop.
Do you have any knitting projects coming up?
Me and my clutch are off to a wine bar (or to stand in what I call ‘Plants vs. Zombies’ corner of my flat to wally about with the self timer)