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Archive entry for August 2015

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August 2015

Festival Bag

FestivalBag2.jpg

Festival season is well under way so I am posting this a little early - too late for Glastonbury but in time for WOMAD if you are a fast knitter (or knit while you are there..!).and Cropredy.
You can use any stitch for the bag that appeals, taking the pattern as a basic shape. You could try a multicoloured honeycomb pattern, or you could combine stripes of different pattern textures. The simplest shape (on the left) is the type I remember with the tasselled handle continuing all down the sides.

Instructions.

Striped bag (left)

Using No 3 needles and main colour A, cast on 36 stitches.
The bag is worked entirely in garter stitch (every row knitted); begin by knitting 2 rows.
Now pick up your contrast colour B and * knit 2 rows with B, 2 rows with A, 2 rows with B, 6 rows with A, 2 rows with B, 4 rows with A, 2 rows with B.
Repeat from the point marked * * 5 times altogether.
Cast off all the stitches.

To make up the striped bag

If you want to line the bag, cut the lining to the size of the bag, allowing 6mm (½ inch) turnings.
With right sides of bag facing each other, join the side seams.
Join the lining side seams.
Insert the lining and stitch round the top opening of bag.

Cut 6 strands each of A and B into 178cm (70 inch) lengths. Divide the strands into 3 groups and plait together to form a handle, making an overhand knot at each end and leaving the ends to form a tassel.

Stitch the plait in position along the side seams of the bag, having a tassel at each lower edge and leaving the remainder to form the handle.

Sew on one button or bead to the centre of each side of the top edge of the bag.
Make a double figure of eight with yarn A, large enough to fasten over both buttons, and work round the figure with buttonhole stitch.

Shoulder bag (right)

To make this bag you can experiment any textured pattern.
The bag shown is made from a strip worked in bobble stitch

Cast on 62 stitches and start knitting in your chosen pattern.
[Editor's note: work out your tension with your chosen yarn in the pattern you are planning to use , and cast on enough stitches for the width of the bag that you want to make.]

Continue in pattern until the length is about 3 times the height you want the bag to be, allowing up to 2 inches additional for the bottom of the bag. The bag shown was knitted 76cm (30 inches) long.

For the strap, cast on 11 stitches and work 106cm (42") in single rib.

Finishing the shoulder bag

Sew together so that the strap makes a gusset at the sides of the bag. You can optionally line the bag and add a couple of buttons and loops as shown in the Picture.

Textured Pattern stitches

Bobble rib

Cast on a number of stitches divisible by 6 plus 2.
1st row (right side): P2, * K1, P2, repeat from * to end.
2nd row: K2, * P1, K2, repeat from * to end.
3rd row:. P2, * K1, P2, (P1, K1, P1, K1) all into next st, this is done without removing the stitch you are working into until the 4 stitches have been — called M4 — P2, repeat from * to end.
[Editor's note: try to make these stitches fairly loose.
4th row:. K2, * K6, P1, K2, repeat from * to end.
5th row: P2,* K1, P2, (P4 then turn both needles round as if you are starting a new row and knit these 4 sts, turn work round and P these 4 sts — called B4 —), P2, repeat from * to end.
6th row: K2, * bring yarn to front of work, and insert right hand needle through the next 4 sts on the left hand needle from right to left and purl these 4 sts tog—called P4tog — K2, P1, K2, repeat from * to end.
7th row: As 1st row.
8th row:
As 2nd row.
9th row:. P2, * M4, P2, K1, P2, repeat from * to end.
10th row:. K2, * P1, K8, repeat from * to end
11th row: P2, * B4, P2, K1, P2, repeat from * to end.
12th row:. K2,* P1, K2, P4tog, K2, repeat from * to end.
These 12 rows form the pattern.

Cane basket stitch

Cast on a number of sts divisible by 6 plus 2.

1st row (right side): K2, * P4, K2, repeat from * to end.
2nd row: P2, * K4, P2, repeat from * to end.
Rep 1st and 2nd rows once more.
5th row: P3, * K2, P4, repeat from * to last 5 sts; K2, P3.
6th row:. K3, * P2, K4, repeat from * to last 5 sts; P2, K3.
Rep 5th and 6th rows once more.
These 8 rows form the pattern.

Tassel stitch

Cast on a number of sts divisible by 6 plus 2.
1st row (right side): P2, * K4, P2, repeat from * to end.
2nd row: K2,* P4, K2, repeat from * to end.
Rep 1st and 2nd rows once more.
5th row: K2,* insert right hand needle from front to back between 4th and 5th sts on left hand needle, take yarn across back of sts and draw through a loose loop across front of 4 sts and leave on right hand needle, K1, P2, K3, repeat from * to end.
6th row: * P3, K2, bring yarn forward to front of work, insert right hand needle through next st and loop on left hand needle from right to left and purl these 2 sts together to decrease one st — called P2tog — repeat from * to last 2 sts, P2.
7th row: K3,* P2, K4, repeat from * to last 5 sts, P2, K3.
8th row: P3,* K2 P4, repeat from * to last 5 sts, K2, P3.
Rep 7th and 8th rows once more.
11th row: P2, K3, .* insert right hand needle from front to back between 4th and 5th sts on left hand needle, take yarn across back of sts and draw through a loose loop across front of 4 sts and leave on right hand needle, K1, P2, K3, repeat from * to last 3 sts, K1, P2.
12th row: K2, P4,* K2, P2tog, P3, repeat from * to last 2 sts, K2.
These 12 rows form the pattern.

You can find more textured stitches in these links:

A different basket stitch and blackberry stitch.

Honeycomb stitch in two colours

Materials

Striped Bag: 200gm (7oz) of uncut rug yarn in main shade A.
100gm (3½oz) in contrast colour B.
One pair No 3 (6½mm) needles.
Two wooden buttons or beads.
Optional lining: 30cm (12 inch) length of 90cm (36 inch) wide fabric.

Textured bag:
About 200gm (7 oz) of double knitting or worsted yarn.
One pair of No 8 (4mm) needles.
Optional lining fabric.

Tension

Striped bag:
About 12 sts to 4 inches

Textured bag:
22-26sts to 4 ins over pattern.

Size matters

Striped bag: 30cm (12 inches) by 25cm (10 inches)

Textured bag: About 25cm (10 inches) high by 23cm (9 inches) wide

Abbreviations

k2tog or p2tog: knit or purl 2 sts together (decrease one stitch).

A Word on the Wool

The suggested use of rug wool is good for bags though can be hard on the fingers. Rug yarns are fairly thick - a chunky or bulky yarn equivalent.

Always check the tension and you can make a bag of the exact dimensions you want.

Disclaimer
(well...almost)

In transposing any pattern it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.

These types of bag were very popular in the 1970s - I used one instead of a school satchel. Probably the striped bag on the left above is the most stylistically similar to the ones I remember - I might choose different colours!
My own bag - now long lost - was woven in a mixture of dark red and blue. Below is a genuine "gap year" cloth bag from the 1970s which made its way backpacking to the far east and back. It is a mail bag style like the knitted version pictured on the right above.

FestivalBag3.jpg

Below is a detail from the picture. The bag is woven of course but you could reproduce this pattern in knitting and easily add lots of tassels.

FestivalBag3-detail.jpg

The main bag has the stripes running vertically, and the flap has them horizontal. If you want this effect, as it's not easy to knit vertical stripes while keeping the integrity of the fabric, you could use this chart as written for the flap, and then use it to knit the front and bag in one piece from side to side. If you were feeling really confident you could knit front and back (sideways rectangle) then pick up the stitches from the side of the knitting and knit the flap.
So - to do this - before you start - work out your tension and then how large you want the bag to be. Lets say that it's 12 inches high and 10 inches wide. You need to cast on enough stitches to make 24 inches in the width of your knitting. Then knit stocking stitch in pattern for 10 inches and cast off. At the side of the knitting, pick up stitches for the flap. Usually this means picking up 2 stitches for every 3 rows to make a flat fabric without puckering. Then knit in the pattern for up to 12 inches to cover the front of the bag - if you are adding tassels you might want to knit as little as 4-6 inches.

FestivalBag-chart.jpg

Finally I'll leave you to extemporise on the handle and tassels. You might want to knit a plain handle about 2 inches wide and back it with some kind of webbing - then you would use it as the sides of the bag as you can see our original was made. Or you could just fold the bag without sides and apply a plaited cord handle as for the first bag on the left in these instructions.

You would probably need to use a 4 ply / DK / worsted on a smaller than usual needle to give a solid fabric, and it would be a good idea to line it with something firm.

I'm sure you could also make a simple bag from two woven panels (three for a mail bag) - perhaps made using a fairly crude home-made loom. I am planning to experiment with this in the near future. Watch this space (!).

© Christina Coutts 2007

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