It’s not that I can’t sew… I’m actually not too bad if I put my mind to it. Instead, you could classify my problem as dinner-table-itis. Meaning if I can’t finish by dinner time or don’t have a really good reason, I probably shouldn’t haul out the sewing paraphernalia. Unfortunately, a pretty little handbag doesn’t fit into my schedule right now and it’s not a good reason to prevent us from dining at the kitchen table. C’est la vie.
However, a few minutes of knitting now and then, does fit into my schedule. Yes, it probably would have been faster to simply get out my sewing machine to make Made By Rae’s Buttercup bag, but I just can’t resist a knitting pattern challenge.
Ingredients for this bag -
- Bernat Worsted. A one pound or so skein. (Will make more than a few bags)
- Knit picks Options – Your favorite size (See notes on Gage below) needles on 24″ or longer cord for Magic Circle knitting or two circs, lots of DPNs, Or your favorite method.
- 2 stitch markers – it’s helpful if they are different so you’ll know when the rounds begin
- cable needle
- stitch holder or scrap yarn
- Optional – clip to make a key ring holder
- This bag is knitted from the bottom up so it is seamless.
- I used a magnetic snap to close this bag and the jeweled leaf ‘bling’ was chosen because I could sew it on to add stability to the knitting.
- Guage and needle size is not important but I chose a tight knit because I didn’t want to line the bag.
Let’s get cookin’!
Cast on an even number of stitches as you would for your favorite toe up socks. More or less stitches to adjust the width of your bag. In this case I cast on a total of 48 stitches onto a single needle and transferred them to two DPNs by alternating needles as I transferred the stitches. It sounds confusing even though I’m the one who did it. Think of it this way… needle one gets the first stitch, needle 2 the second, needle 1 the third, needle 2 the fourth etc. Or again, your favorite method (cast on as to knit in the round and then sew up the bottom would work too).
The bag is knit in the round and we’ll begin shaping the radius corners in the very first row.
So you understand my method for creating the radius, I used the GIMP to make some circles so I could see the shape in pixels.
As you’ll see in the example image above, that the second row up from the bottom is 3 pixels longer, per side, than the first row. So that means I need to increase 3 stitches to shape that portion of the bag. I’m also working with a flat shape, so increases will happen before and after each of the side two markers.
For the bag in the picture and after frogging several times, I settled on a 26 stitch radius.
So let’s get Knitting!
Round 1 – Place Marker *KFB 4 times K 16 (assuming casting on 48 stitches or 24 stitches per side) KFB 4 times*. Place Marker. Repeat between * to complete round 1.
For the next 25 rows You’ll continue making the number of KFB increases in this same manner as above, but with the numbers listed below. For example, Round 2 would be to KFB in the first 3 stitches after the marker. Knit to within 3 stitches of the second marker and KFB3 times.
If you’re using Magic Circle Knitting, as I did with this bag, when you reach a marker, take time to adjust your cord. I usually kept the bulk of my extra cording at the opposite marker and used just enough slack on the working side to get my needle started.
Round 2 – Increase 3
Round 3 – Increase 2
Round 4 – Increase 2
Round 5 – Increase 1
Round 6 – Increase 2
Round 7 – Increase 1
Round 8 – Increase 1
Round 9 – Increase 1
Round 10 – Increase 1
Round 11 – Increase 1
Round 12 – None – Yep, that’s right, there’s no need to increase in this row.
Round 13 – Increase 1
Round 14 – Increase 1
Round 15 – None
Round 16 – Increase 1
Round 17 – None
Round 18 – Increase 1
Round 19 – None
Round 20 – None
Round 21 – Increase 1
Round 22 – None
Round 23 – None
Round 24 – None
Round 25 – None
Round 26 – Increase 1
Now that the corners are done, you’ll be adding an increase round (make one before and after each marker just like we did for the corners) every few rows until you have 72 stitches on your needles. The more rows between your increase rounds the deeper your bag will be.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen directions for pleating in knitting so I had to devise my own technique. The pattern reads – K6 (Pleat 12) 5 times K6 – Repeat for side 2
Now how does one Pleat 12? Good question… Slip 6 stitches to a cable or Double Pointed needle and hold them at the back. Then 3 needle knit from your left hand needle and the cable needle at the same time. Stitch Diva has a good video tutorial on YouTube if you’d like to see how it’s done.
Seed Stitch band and Handle
The good news is there’s only one row that needs pleating so we’re already onto the top band. In this bag I Knit 9 rows of K1P1 seed stitch for the top band. To get an odd number of stitches so I’d have beautiful seed stitch as I went round and round, I replaced the first K stitch with a single K2Tog.
At row 10 I began the bind off round Leaving 3 live stitches on each side of your markers. So starting at the beginning of the round I would knit 3 stitches in pattern, then bind off until I had 3 live stitches before the marker. Do the same for the other side.
For the handle, begin back and forth knitting in the K1P1 pattern until your strap is as long as you’d like it to be. Mine is fairly short because I usually end up with my purse in my hand or around my forearm. Depending on how comfortable you are, you can leave the live stitches you left on the opposite side right on the cable of your circular needle or slip them to a stitch holder.
Attaching the strap
The first trick is getting the K1P1 pattern of the strap to match up with the live stitches when you’re ready to attach. We’re going to do a bit of 3 needle kni
tting again, so slip the stitches on to your Cable needle or a DPN. Take a look at what you’ve got on the needle and what you’ll be knitting next on the strap. To get the next row to match up, the pattern should look the same on both sides.
At this point you can do a 3 needle bind off in pattern, or you can continue seed stitch for another round or two past the connection point.
The second trick is making sure you’re binding off or continuing your knitting where you’d like it to be. So take a moment to determine if you’ll be knitting to the inside or the outside of the bag before you join.
On this bag I knit just a couple more rows of the seed stitch pattern and then decreased by 2 stitches. I continued as a 4 stitch icord to attach a little spring clip for my keys.
Now I should caution you that was a knitter for less than 2 years when I wrote this post and this is one of my first tutorials. Please leave questions or comments below and I’ll do my best to clarify.
UPDATE: 4/25/2012 You can sell this bag as a finished object. See Begone, Personal-Use only patterns for details