I designed this for Knitty, but, sadly, was rejected from the Summer 2009 issue. Ah well, here it is anyway. I’m rather proud of it.

Also, all photo credit to the amazingly talented Alethia, and thanks to  my mom for test knitting!

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: (these are flexible)
Before felting
Body of bag: 12 ½” x 12” x 2 ¼”
Strap length: 49”
After felting
Body of bag: 8 ½” x 8” x 1 ¾”
Strap length: 40”

MATERIALS:
·    Cascade Yarns 220 Wool (100% wool, 220yds/100g skein) in color #9426, 2 skeins (color A)
·    Cascade Yarns 220 Heathers (100% wool, 200yds/100g skein) in color #4010, 2 skeins (color B)
·    1 set Straight US #6
·    1 set Long straight US #8
·    2 double-pointed US #7
·    two ¾” magnetic closures
·    Optional – 4 buttons that match yarn colors
·    Waste yarn
·    Yarn needle
·    Scissors
·    Tape measure
·    Row counter (optional)
·    Stitch holders (optional)

GAUGE:
16 sts/22 rows = 4” in stockinette, unfelted

PATTERN NOTES:
Abbreviations
Inc: In this pattern, the recommended increase is by picking up the bar between the two stitches below. There will still be small holes, but they are much smaller than those created by YO’s and disappear after felting.
CDD: (Centered Double Decrease) slip 2 as if to knit, k1, psso
Sl1: In this pattern, slipping is always done as to purl. The location of the yarn is noted each time. ‘wyif’= with yarn in front; ‘wyib’ = with yarn in back

Note
I hate sewing. Therefore, I’ve designed this bag to minimize sewing. The pattern is worked by first making the sides and bottom of the bag and the strap (these form one long strip), picking up along the middle stitches of the sides/bottom portion, and attaching the body of the bag to the slipped loops along the sides via k2tog and ssk on each RS row.

Sides/Bottom pattern (aka heel stitch), worked over 15 stitches
Row 1 (RS): *sl1 wyib, k1* 7 times, end k1
Row 2: sl1 wyif, p to end of row
Repeat these two rows.

Body Pattern, worked over 57 stitches
Row 1 (RS): PU next loop on edge of heel stitch section, k2tog with first st of row, inc1, k5, CDD, k5, inc1, *k1, inc1, k5, CDD, k5, inc1* 3 times, end by ssk of last stitch with next loop on other heel stitch edge
Row 2: sl1 wyif, p to end of row
Repeat these two rows.

DIRECTIONS:

Sides and Bottom
With #6 needles and Color A, cast on 15 stitches and work in heel stitch pattern for 230 rows. Counting the slipped loops along each edge, place a marker loop of waste yarn on the 33rd and 82nd loops on both edges of the strip. These mark the bottom corners of the bag.

Strap
Place the first 8 stitches of the row on one of the #7 dpns and the other 7 on a stitch holder or length of waste yarn. Continuing on the first 8st with A:
Row 1: k6, k2tog, turn
Row 2: p7, turn
Row 3: k7
Do not turn. Continue as i-cord for 18”. Turn and purl one row, break yarn, and place these 7st on a holder or waste yarn and 7st already on holder on a dpn. With Color B:
Row 1: k7, turn
Row 2: p7, turn
Row 3: k7
Do not turn. Continue as i-cord for 18”. Turn and purl one row. Turn again and knit one row. Making sure i-cords are not twisted, place all 14 st on #6 needle from right to left on RS. Unbroken end of B should now be at correct end of needle to work a WS row. With B:
Row 1 (WS): p across
Row 2: kfb 4 times, k1, p1, kfb 2 times, k1, p1, kfb 4 times (total of 24 stitches)
Continue in 1×1 rib for 13”, ending with RS facing.
Row 1: ssk 4 times, k2, ssk, k2tog, k2, k2tog 4 times (total of 14 stitches)
Row 2: p across
From RS, place first 7 stitches on dpn and second 7 on holder. With B, work 2 rows stockinette followed by 18” i-cord on dpns, end by turning, purling a row, and binding off. Repeat with color A and other 7 stitches. From before the ribbed section to after, the locations of colors A and B should have switched (before rib, right i-cord was A, left was B; after, vice versa)

Body of Bag, Top Flaps
Pick up and knit 49 stitches with Color B from right to left between the two marked loops on either edge of the heel stitch section, RS facing (do not pick up marked loops).

Setup Rows
Row 1: sl1 wyif, p across
Row 2: PU first loop after marked loop with LH needle and k2tog with first st on needle, inc1, k5, sl1 wyib, k5, inc1, *k1, inc1, k5, sl1 wyib, k5, inc1* 3 times, end by ssk of last stitch with first loop after marked loop.
Row 3: repeat row 1

Body
Switch to Color A and work Body Pattern (see notes) rows 1 and 2 twice, to form a stripe 4 rows wide. After the first two, it’s advisable to twist colors A and B together once to bring the yarn up the side. Switch back to Color B and work Body Pattern for 4 rows. Continue in this manner until there are 8 4-row stripes of each color. One loop of the side strip should be consumed at either end of every right side row, and once all 16 stripes are complete, all loops should have been used. End RS facing after a purl row.

Top Flap

With Color B (or contrast color C), continuing on #8 needles:
Row 1: sl1 wyib, *k2tog, k3* to end of row
Row 2: sl1 wyif, p across
Row 3: sl1 wyib, k across
Row 4: Repeat Row 2
Repeat rows 3 and 4 for 24 more rows. End RS facing.
Next, fold over to create doubly thick flap:
With LH needle, reach back to beginning of flap on WS and pick up the loop corresponding to the first stitch in the row. Knit these two together, then pick up next loop and k2tog. Pass first stitch over second stitch. Continue binding off in this manner across row. One top flap created.

Repeat from beginning of body/flap directions exactly the same way on other side of bottom/side heel stitch strip.


FINISHING:
Sew ends of i-cord strap to cast-on edge of heel stitch side section, being careful not to twist. Sew up sides of top flaps. Weave in all ends. Felt in a pillowcase or laundry bag with just a bit of non-bleach detergent. Two or even three cycles may be necessary, especially for the straps to shrink enough. After felting, block to desired shape, stretching horizontally enough to keep flaps from ruffling. Attach magnetic fasteners about 1.5” from edges of flaps. You may need to cut slits through the flaps in order to pass the prongs through the felted material. If desired, attach buttons (or needle-felted dots, etc.) on opposite side of flaps from magnetic closures to hide the evidence of this.


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