KEDkrafty Finished Objects

A sister blog for the original KEDkrafty. All the specs for my Finished Objects from January 2006 without all the other chit-chat. Look out for highlights from my knitting archives too.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gypsy bag, detailed specs

The recipe I used for my Gypsy bag.

I used varying amounts of eight shades of Rowan Kid Classic. I can’t give exact amounts because I was stash-busting balls which were already started. (I had done a small fair-isle border on a cardigan.) A full ball of Kid Classic is 140m, and I would gesstimateu I used about 100m from each ball although I was amazed to see how some colours went further than others! I used 4 ½ mm needles, which is ½ mm down on the recommended size for Kid Classic. I wanted the fabric to be dense and sturdy.

Most unusually for me, I did a couple of swatches, including the button-hole bits to see if the fabric would felt. I was happy enough with the felting and the look of the swatch to proceed. I scribbled down the stitch counts and dimensions of the before and after swatches. I was also happy with the subtle change in colour.

I played with the colour sequence for a while before deciding on what I thought would be a good combination. I used my swatch to work out my cast on number, taking into account the amount of shrinkage I had seen in the swatches.

I cast on 74 sts on 4 ½ mm circs. (If I had been at home I might have provisionally cast them on, because they were intended to be picked up shortly afterwards.) I used a dark grey colour which I thought would be practical for the base.
I went back and forth R/S sl1 k1 across, W/S purl, for 28 rows.
After that I picked up 14 sts across the edge, 74 sts on the initial long side and 14 sts along the edge. I placed markers at all four corners.

I started working in the round in my 2nd colour, k every round. (I found I had to go down to a shorter length circ than I had anticipated to make it less hard work at this stage.)

On row 10 I started the button-holes. I knitted the short edge as usual, I knitted 10 on the long side, I cast off ten, I turned my work and cast on 11, I turned it back and knitted the extra cast on stitch together with the 1st stitch on the right hand needle. I continued knitting (starting with my newly cast on stitches) until there were 20sts left on the long edge. I made a button-hole in the same manner, then knit 10, knit across the 14 edge sts.

I did button-holes on every 10th row.
Each colour I used had two button-hole rows.

If I thought it was looking at all gappy near the button-holes I worked 2 tog.
I kept an eye on the stitch count, and did m1 as necessary if I had been over-zealous in decreasing to avoid gaps.

I changed colour every 20 rows, one row after the button-hole. (I used 5 colours for the main portion.)
When changing colours I did the first 14st edge with both colours held together. I knew from the swatch this would be unobtrusive when felted. I wove in the long tails into the back of the stitches as I went, and left inch long tails to deal with later.

When I had finished my last main colour I left the yarn on the circs and did an applied 3 st I-cord, working the last of the three stitches on my dpn with the next bag stitch on the circ. When I had used up all the bag sts, I did a couple of extra I-cord rows just so I could sew things down later.

On each of the four corners I folded the fabric with the right side (outside) of the bag facing me, and did a running stitch making two edge stitches protrude to give some structure to each corner.

Using 4mm needles I cast on 12sts using my last colour. I did sl1 k1 on the right side and purl across the wrong side. I have learned in the past couple of days how to knit backwards across a short row- it could’ve been useful for this!

I knitted the entire new 140m ball up on this. It was a big temptation to stop sooner, but because of the fact it is just one long strap, you have to be very generous.

I threaded the strap through the button-holes, making sure the strap was on the outside on the bottom. I sewed the ends of the strap together, and marvelled at my new bag. I worked the join round to an unobtrusive place.

I have a setting on my front loading washing machine which is called a Daily Wash. It runs for 29 mins and washes at 40 degrees. I adjusted my spin speed to the lowest possible setting. I washed the bag with a denim skirt and a little soap powder. I was happy at how things were shaping up after one cycle, but felt it wasn’t quite there yet, so put it in again. I didn’t bother with detergent that time. I was pleased with the result and looked around for a suitable cuboid to put into the bag to give it shape while drying. I used a computer accessory box in the end. The colour loss was minimal, as it had been on the swatch.

It had gone from 12” x 12” to 11” across, 10” high.
While the bag was still damp, I flattened out the strap a bit where it weaves in and out of the button-holes. I left the hand straps to roll. I teased the button-holes a little too to give a nice shape.

The short tails from the yarn changes had felted, and I knew the joins were secure, so I cut the tails.

When it was dry I took some plastic canvas for cross stitching and cut it to the shape of the bottom of the bag. I sewed it into place (on the inside obviously) with embroidery floss. I tried it with the Kid Classic yarn but the constant stitching in and out of the plastic weakened it too much.

I sewed the straps into place in a few strategic locations to save it from drifting, and to avoid excessive curling.
Then I sat down and wrote a very long-winded, but comprehensive, account of how I made Gypsy bag. xxx K

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