Adventures in Knitting: Summer Beach Tote with O-Wool Yarn

One of our goals for the year was to expand our craft supply section.  Since most supplies must be purchased wholesale, we can only add to our selection slowly so we don’t break the bank.  Yarn was one of the first things on our list to stock. We wanted to find a company that made their yarn entirely in the US.  We came across a wonderful Philly based company called O-Wool, which makes a line of organic cotton yarn in beautiful colors.  The cotton is grown in Texas and the yarn is dyed and wound right here in Philly.  And it turns out the owner of the company, Jocelyn Tunney, has been a customer of ours for years. Extra bonus!

Being a knitter myself, I couldn’t wait to try it out.  I wanted to make something for summer, since we got the yarn in a little later in the season.  I decided to design a beach tote.  I had intended on sharing the pattern on the blog, but I am not 100% happy with my design. The yarn knitted up really nicely but it ended up being a little bigger than I had initially envisioned.  I am not a knitting expert by any means.  I am still learning.  I like how it turned out overall but next time I’d make it smaller and use a more sturdier yarn for the base.  I felt the bottom of the bag stretched out a little more than I liked when I put in a beach towel, book & phone…… I might try a thicker cotton next time or maybe I’d use smaller needles to make it tighter.  I also thought I could make the bottom (knit in cinnabar) out of fabric , maybe canvas or leather & then knit the rest. I really like how the strap came out though!

It is a pretty simple pattern.  The base is just a seed stitched rectangle that I knit on two needles.  Then I picked up stitches all around with double points & continued knitting in seed stitch for a few inches.  I switched over to the Natural colored yarn and knit in a basic faggoting stitch until I felt it was big enough, then I seed stitched for a couple inches and bound off.  I used graph paper to plot out the shaping of the strap.  I picked up stitches on each side and seed stitched each strap separately.  They taper off at the top & look cute tied together.

I love the yarn & with a bit of tweaking to my design, I think I’ll have a great summer beach tote to share with you all eventually. I can’t wait to try out the yarn on some other project ideas I have cooking up in my head.

Here is a link to what we have in stock.  I think it is very affordable for organic yarn.  At $6.75 a skein, you get a good amount out of it.  This bag took 1 skein of cinnabar & 3 skeins of natural.  Try the yarn out for yourself, I think you’ll like it. Happy knitting!

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