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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Heart Yarn Bag

Why not use some of your left-over yarn to make yourself a Valentine's Day gift with this heart motif yarn bag? You could use it as an extra small handbag, or make it for a little girl. I'm sure she'd love it in pink!

I designed this bag to hold my ball of yarn when I'm working on my feet. Often when I'm at yarn fairs, or teaching, I find myself walking around trailing yards of yarn in my wake as I try in knit on the go. I noticed that many of my clever neighbours at the yarn fairs get around this problem by using little yarn bags, suspended from their wrists that neatly hold their yarn as they pace around. And this is my take on the yarn bag.


I decided to combine the knit panels with some tweed that complimented the colour and texture of the stitch-work, and then I made an acetate lining to go inside to keep everything ship-shape. If you're not keen on sewing you could simply knit the side and bottom panels and forego the lining. It would still totally work. Just read on for my pattern:




We'll start off with the knitted front and back panels. These are both the same, and knit with the heart, worked on reverse stocking stitch, and framed in a garter stitch frame. They are connected by two side panels, made from tweed, and a bottom tweed panel.


So let's start with the knit front and back panels. They're both the same.

Using 4 mm needles (UK size 8, US size 6) cast on 34 stitches using the cable cast-on method so that your stitches will be easier to pick up and sew to the tweed sides and bottom, and knit according to the graph:


I've knit the heart on a traditional reverse stocking stitch background with its centre in seed stitch. I've framed that background with a garter stitch border. You can see that rows 1 to 4 are garter stitch, the first and last 4 stitches of each row from row 5 to row 33 and the last 4 rows are all worked in garter stitch. This produces a panel that is less inclined to roll around the edges. When working these garter stitch rows it's worthwhile not knitting the last stitch of each row. Just slip it across knit-wise, and knit into the back of it on the beginning of the next row. That little trick will make the edges of your garter stitch much neater.



When you're done, block the front and back panels. They should measure 15 cm x 12 cm/ 6" x 4¾".


Using the matching tweed fabric, I cut out two side panels that measured 7 cm x 12 cm/  2¾"  x  4¾" and a bottom panel measuring 15 cm x 7 cm/ 6" x 2¾" , and finished off the edges with the overlocker, so that they wouldn't fray.


Using the wool that the front and back panels have been knit in and with a nice elastic whip stitch, sew the sides, and bottom of the bag to the front and back panels.

whip stitch

Now you need to make the handles.

Cut 2 lengths of tweed that measure 33 cm x 3.5 cm, and finish off the side edges with the overlocker. Do not finish off the ends with the overlocker as they will be left frayed for effect. Fold in thirds lengthwise so that the handle will have a triple thickness of tweed, attach the ends to the front and back panels just above the tips of the heart. Use small squares of felt on the wrong side of the felt panels where you are attaching the handles so that the knitted stitch-work is supported by the felt. You can trim the felt off when you're done so that it doesn't bulk up too much.


Knit a 4 stitch i-cord that is long enough to go all the way around the bag, and sew it in place. It should measure 44 cm/ 17¼", but don't it cast-off until you've measured it around the top of the bag, and know that it's the right length. I prefer to sew it on as I work the i-cord to get it the perfect length.

Using a contrasting fabric for the lining cut two front and back panels that measure 18cm x 15 cm/  7⅛ "x 6", a bottom panel that measures 18cm x 10 cm/ 7⅛ " x 4", and 2 side panels that measure 10 cm x 15 cm/ 7⅛ "x 4". Overlock the edges of these panels and sew them, right side to right side to make a lining bag using a 1.5 cm/ ⅝" seam allowance.


Sew the lining into the bag, with a rolled hem at the top, which is attached to the outer fabric of the bag using whip stitches, sewn loosely with the thread used for sewing the lining.


And ta-dah! You're done.


Enjoy!

Bonny x


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