Do you ever have a project that looks fantastic in your mind but doesn't turn out quite like you expected?? Happens to me all the time. But this bag is EXACTLY how I pictured it. I'm just so thrilled I could scream!! Don't get me wrong, there's a few things I would change about it, but overall, I'm am loving my fabulous new purse!!
I didn't have a pattern for this one, I just made it up as I was knitting. I've made lots of purses, so I had an idea of what I wanted, just no actual pattern. To create the base, I knit 10 stitches (garter stitch) for about 10 inches. Then I picked up 48 stitches on each of the long sides, and my original 10 cast on stitches for a total of 116 stitches (on circular needles). I knit 5 rounds in black and then started my stripes. Each colored stripe is 10 rounds, with 2 rounds of black in between.
I knew I wanted a shoulder strap, so when casting off, I placed the 10 "end" stitches on a stitch holder and knit the other 10 end stitches to create the strap. I also placed 12 stitches on a stitch holder to create the flap. The strap was about 34 inches pre-felting. It was a bit hard to determine how long to make it, but it worked out perfectly.
The 12 stitches for the flap were also an arbitrary number I came up with. When I came to actually knit the flap, I decided that was not quite enough and so I picked up a stitch on each side for a total of 14. To make the point, I just Ktog the first 2 stitches at the start of each row until I was down to one stitch. I think I would make this flap differently next time. It looks abit askew after felting - but I might be the only one that even cares!!
Here are a few pre-felted pictures. The first one shows the stitches fairly well, but it's hard to judge the size of it. Sorry. The second photo shows the bag hanging from my banister. That one it's a little easier to determine size from.
These next photo's are post-felting. I took a close-up so you can see how the stitches fused themselves together in the felting process.
And here it is hanging from my banister again. This makes the size change from felting look a little more obvious.
I picked up a "horn" button from Jo Ann's last night. I'm not convinced it's really horn, but I like how it looks with the bag. I just cut the button hole where I wanted it placed - no fear of unraveling!
All materials came from KnitPicks - see the link on my sidebar. I used all Wool of the Andes for this project. Unfortunately, one of the colors I used (the Orchid color) has been discontinued, but the other colors I used are Cherry Blossom and Grass. (Yep - kind of bright, but I love these colors together!!) KP carries a fabulous variety of colors so I'm sure they would have something you would love. And for only $1.99 for a 50 gr ball, it's quite the deal.
Happy knitting, and if you have any questions, just leave them in the comments. I'll be sure to respond.