Those are the pictures that sparked my interest in pouch knitting. There was also a 5th bag found alongside these, but I can't seem to find the picture right now. From the beautiful colorwork to the fine gauge of the knitting, everything about these bags interested me. I wanted to be good enough to not just make these bags, I want to be able to replicate them in terms of gauge ( 16 stitches per inch) and materials used (silk). It has become a passion to develop my knitting skills and gain the knowledge necessary to replicate these bags as close to exact replicas as I possibly can.
As you can see by the pictures, not all of the bags had a hanger from which to hang the bags from. I really liked that. When modifying the patterns to create samples or gifts for others, it gave me the versatility to leave out that element if I chose to. You can't tell from the pictures, but not all of the bags have tassels either. This also gave me flexibility. I like when knitting can be accommodating.
This was my first attempt at creating one of these bags.
My next two attempts allowed me to stretch my creativity even more. I used elements found in the extant pieces as well as elements of my own creation, to draft my own patterns and make my own version of a reliquary pouch! To me, using the Sion bags as inspiration was really important. I want these bags to be special. I want the person who gets them to keep something treasured or valuable in them. Or, they can keep their car keys and wallet at an event in them if needed. They're so versatile and I love that about these bags.
The bag on the right is actually the second bag made in this pattern. The original went to an individual who didn't have heraldry at the time, but wanted black and red with suns on it. So, using the flower motifs found one the extant pieces, I simply filled them in and called them suns! I didn't add tassels or a hanger to either of these, partially because I thought they would clutter the look of the bag. In future bags I will make sure to incorporate these elements. Again, both of these bags are in the KnitPicks Pallete and on size US 1 needles.
As you can see, I still have quite a ways to go before I reach my goal, but that's a good thing. It gives me a goal that I can work towards. Here is a sneak peak at my newest bag. It's in the Pallete on size 0 needles. I am practicing knitting with 3 colors at a time and long color blocks that have substantial floats on the inside. This won't be the finished product however. It is a test to see if the bag's pattern works! If it checks out, then I'll be recreating the bag in DMC thread and size 00 or 000 needles.
What about you guys? Do you have a long-term project that you're working on? What ways are you going about attaining those goals?