18.2 Altair Project Bag
I learned to knit in first or second grade, and knitted haphazardly throughout my childhood and teens, but only became truly, single-mindedly obsessed with the limitless possibilities of knitting in the last few years.
Up until recently, I contained and transported my knitting projects in plastic gallon zip-top bags. I liked their transparency, and I liked that they zipped closed, for knitting-in-transit security. Aesthetically, however, they were not ideal. They got shabbier the older and more battered they were, and, as a maker, I hated that they were machine-made and disposable.
I wanted a project bag that could be zipped closed, and was large enough to hold at least a large piece of a sweater, as well as a printed pattern in an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet protector (my pattern-transportation method). Not finding that ideal bag readily available, I designed my own, the pattern and instructions for which you can download here!
I designed the Altair to fit a substantial knitting project. As designed, the bag is 12.75" tall x 10" wide x 1" deep, but I have included instructions to modify the size of the bag in height and width, should you need a larger or smaller bag. In the photos below, I have fit an almost completed women's large So Faded sweater in the white organza bag. The sweater is still missing half a sleeve, but I think this demonstrates that the bag is quite roomy!
The Altair bag is finished inside with french seams, and has built-in zipper guards at the top opening to protect yarn and knitting from snagging on the zipper's teeth. It's fitted with tabs at either end of the zipper, to facilitate easier zipping, and has a short strap, just long enough to carry by hand, or sling over the arm.
Fabric Requirement: one project bag requires a 30" x 20" piece of fabric.
Recommended fabrics: Lightweight, but stiff and smooth fabrics that hold a crease, like silk double organza or taffeta. Cotton canvas would make an attractive substitute, although the yarn won't slide as smoothly out of that bag.
Notions: One 5-gauge closed metal zipper, 11" from top stops to bottom stop, 1 3/16" wide in total when zipped closed.
I named this design Altair after a star in the constellation Aquila. Altair means "the flyer" or "the flying eagle" in Arabic, as this project bag also serves well as a packing organizer to keep things separated when traveling!