One beautiful Saturday morning (well, any day of a yarn tour is beautiful), Linda and I traveled to McComb to visit Crafty Lady one of our favorite LYS. (Remember, Martina one of my favorite knitting teachers.) They have such an amazing selection of yarn displayed ever so well. They always have intriguing sweaters, afghans, scarfs, baby clothes made up to showcase their yarns. I tackle a yarn shop much as I tackle a knitting magazine; a walk through to see what pops out with the WOW factor saying, "Make me!" before I settle in to an indepth study of what I want to buy. There is always something that grabs me at Crafty Lady. This particular day it was a yellow multicolored bag like nothing I'd ever seen. I couldn't figure out how many different yarns there were or how the stitches seemed to disappear. This was my first experience with Noro yarn and felting. I inquired about the bag only to discover that it wasn't many different yarns but one; the incomparable Noro Kureyon. The pattern came out of a book called A Knitter's Stash. Two things happened that day; I became a Noro collector and I started an life long obsession which became "The Jan Bag."
I wouldn't even venture a guess how many I've made but somewhere along the line it became known as "The Jan Bag." I think my good friend Amy Palmer named it. They are great bags to carry on when flying. They hold tons and you can push them under the seat in front of you. They form to any space as long as there's nothing breakable in your bag. Friends, relatives, fund raisers, gifts; the Jan Bag is always an anticipated and welcomed surprise. I have never carried one on a flight that at least one person didn't ask about it.
I'm not sure there are many things more fun than the magic that happens when you combine wool, agitation and hot water. This giant, floppy, blob of stitches becomes this beautiful bag with colors that pop. You just knit with 2 strands of Kureyon and stripes magically appear. I gave one to my niece Erin and she decided I should start a business, a "cottage industry." She was sure I would make a fortune. My beloved Annabelle thought the same thing. She even had a price based on a bag she saw while shopping with her daughter Becky.
I don't ever want to be a "have to knitter." I only want to be "want to knitter." I want what I knit to go to people I love rather than strangers who don't really care who made their bag. I want people who get a Jan Bag to know who Jan is. My nephew Eric has twin girls Abby and Emmy. They will get their Jan Bag for Christmas.
This is my very first Jan Bag. It still looks great after many trips and knitting projects.