Done, done, done! Phew! This one really started to feel like a marathon!
My Rav page here.
Yarn: Knit Picks Simply Cotton Worsted in Green Tea, a tinse more than 4 skeins.
Needles: US 6
Start Date: September 8, 2013
Finish Date: October 15, 2013
Mods: None, but I did have to do some adjustments to make everything fit together. The actual knitting was very straightforward. Another Raveler combined the charts and that was very helpful until I was able to memorize them. The front (and matching back) is knit as one big (huge!) rectangle and you sew the top leaf panels together to get the pleats. I used mattress stitch to sew the leaf sections together, because if you whipstitch it like in the pattern it doesn’t look very good. I did whipstitch the sides and bottom onto the front and back. Sewing the pleats on the front down to the bottom piece was a little tricky. I overlapped the bottom of the panels slightly to fit. A bunch of locking stitch markers or safety pins would have really come in handy. It was a little shaky, but afterwards you can’t really tell I had so much trouble. My gauge on the front and back leaf sections was different from in the pattern. I ended up having to ease it in quite a bit. If I was doing it perfectly, I probably would have knit my seed stitch sections to match the length of the front pieces.
Here is the picture you saw before with the bag knit and the structure in progress:
I used the exact measurements in the magazine for the structure. My Joann’s didn’t have the same size of plastic canvas, but I just made do with the smaller sheets. For the most part it didn’t matter, but for the bottom, I had to sew in an extra panel for one of my side flaps. One issue that I had with the frame work is that the front and back are parallelograms with angled sides. They are wider at the bottom than at the top. The bottom width is 17.5″. But the tall sides need to fit over a boxed bottom that has a width of 16.5″. These two sides don’t fit together great, because you can’t just ease plastic canvas in to fit. Instead I centered the sides and had half an inch of a gap on each side. I just kind of loosely whipstitched these together, but if I wanted to be picky I could have sewn in a small strip of canvas.
And again, if I had been going off my own measurements to make this structure, I would have made it taller so there wasn’t so much loose fabric on my front and back. Okay, now the structure was done. I wrapped the outside of the structure with fabric (from Joann’s) so that you can’t see it through the lace knitting.
I made the inside lining from the measurements in the pattern. It ended up huge, so I made it 1″ less wide. I also made a pocket just using a rectangle of fabric and turning down the edges and topstitching it onto the lining. There are strips of fabric that loop through the handle slots. (The handles I bought cheap from Quilting-Warehouse. About $20 for two handles, bag feet and shipping). I sewed these fabric strips onto my outside lining using my sewing machine. I then did a running stitch through the outside lining and plastic canvas to keep the handles connected to the structure. I whipstitched the knit exterior onto the outside lining, then whipstitched the inside lining into the bag. This may sound like nonsense if you aren’t making this bag, but hopefully it will come in handy for someone who is making it! I probably looked at the Ravelry notes for every project about eight times.
And then I did one more step that I think helped out a lot. Since my front and back were larger than the sides, I had some extra fabric kind of puffing down onto the base. It was overwhelming the bag feet a little. I took some sewing thread and just tacked down the bottom edge of the front and back. This way the extra fabric stayed in the pleat section and didn’t get pulled by gravity onto the base of the bag. This was a huge improvement.
And that’s all she wrote. A bit of an ordeal, but I love how this bag turned out! I have almost nothing in it for the pictures, but I could fit an entire outfit in here, or at least a sweater project! I did use quite a bit less yarn than called for in the pattern. It called for 900 yards and I used 672 yard. Kind of annoying to have so much left over, but I guess I can use it for washcloths!