Extra Pocket Bag
Definition: A simple rectangular bag, dimensions similar to a decent-sized pocket, with a long strap allowing it to be worn securely across the body.
I am not a handbag aficionado. In my world bags are for lugging essential stuff from A to B when pockets are not big enough or available, so the bags I own are as follows: one leather satchel-like manbag bought from the Next for Men section (sturdy, practical, but quite heavy); one medium-sized lightweight canvas shoulder bag with 50 million pockets (I once literally lost my car-keys in it because they had inadvertently found their way into a pocket within a pocket that I didn't know existed); and (see below) one black, crocheted-with-sequins, 'going out' bag, bought from Accessorize 30+ years ago (so technically 'vintage'), which is just big enough for keys, phone, money, an eyeliner pencil and a little mirror.
I love this bag. It's a little faded, but still going strong, and it is a fine example of what I call the 'Extra Pocket Bag' - in fact , it actually goes above and beyond, because it has a zip top for extra security. No-one wants to lose their favourite eyeliner pencil on a wild night out!
At some point a few years ago I decided to knit myself a casual version of my beloved Extra Pocket Bag, using some denim-coloured cotton yarn from the stash. Very plain, stocking stitch with a garter stitch edging and an i-cord strap, it hung around in a nearly-finished state in my work basket until Covid 19 came along and I realised it would be perfect for weekly shopping trips - just the right size for a shopping list and pen, my phone, card wallet, a mask and a little bottle of hand sanitiser. So I finished the i-cord strap, made a simple patchwork lining to help it keep its shape, and it has done absolutely sterling duty all year. Every time I leave the house I just slip it over my head and I'm ready to go. So when my friend said, on a recent socially-distanced dog-walk, "I need a little bag like that!", I immediately said, "Well, I'll make you one!"
I could have knitted a similar one to mine, but all the mask-making I've done over the past year has left me with lots of pretty cotton scraps, and I've recently discovered a wildly enthusiastic lady on YouTube who posts brilliant videos about how to use up even the tiniest fabric remnants in all sorts of creative ways. I could watch these videos all day, but it's even more fun to DIY, so the little Extra Pocket Bag below, made with crumb patchwork panels on either side and a stripey lining, came together really quickly in a just a couple of hours. Simple, but effective, and ever so useful!