Updated: Dec 2, 2020
This handy small bag is just big enough for your phone and going out essentials using basic knitting techniques with Scheepjes Cahlista double gassed cotton yarn. The geometric textured stitch pattern keeps you focussed and I have included both written and charted instructions to guide you. The bag is easy to customise for size and strap length. Some hand sewing is required for assembly and finishing though, and I have included a number of photos to help with this.
Pattern is written in English (UK) Knitting terminology.
Difficulty Level / Skills Required / Techniques Used
Skill level suits an adventurous beginner to intermediate knitter, with some basic hand sewing (ladder stitch, back stitch and whip stitch). Techniques include double tail cast on, knit, purl, cast off and knitting an I-Cord.
Scheepjes Cahlista (100% Double Gassed Cotton; 50g/85m)
Colour: 385 Crystalline x 2 balls
3.75mm circular needles throughout (I used addi brand 60cm)
15-20mm wide Ribbon (4 x 8cm lengths – choose something that a tapestry needle can go through)
Tapestry needle (to use with yarn)
Sewing needle (to use with thread)
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Wool Warehouse (in the UK)
Caros Atelier (in the Netherlands)
Main Fabric: 24 sts and 14 rows to measure 10cm x 10cm using 3.75mm needles, (unblocked).
One 10-st x 18-row rep of Chart measures 4.5cm wide x 5.5cm high (unblocked).
A little word about gauge: Because this is not a garment, gauge is not exactly super critical, BUT ....given the bag's function is to carry small items, tight/firm stitches will create a sturdy fabric best suited to taking the weight of the bag contents!
These are not critical, though my finished bag laid flat (after blocking, lining and assembly) measures 18.5cm wide x 19.5cm tall exclusive of the strap.
Schematic 1 – Completed Bag Laid Flat (blocked)
[ ] number of sts on a given row/round
as folls as follows
PM(s) place stitch marker(s)
RM(s) remove stitch marker(s)
RS right side
ss slip stitch
WS wrong side
yo yarn over
Bag is made as a long narrow rectangle that is folded in half then hand-sewn ladder stitch side seams trap 2 loops of ribbon at the top and bottom of each seam as you sew. The top edge of the bag opening is folded in and sewn down using whipstitch.
A separately knitted I-Cord threads through the ribbon loops with knots placed under each loop to anchor the strap to the bag.
Option: Sew a bag lining with a magnetic closure and hand sew into the bag. Photo tutorial for this is at end, and represents Steps 4 & 6 of Assembly.
Let's get started!
Bag fabric rectangle is 42 sts wide by 142 rows: (4 reps wide and 7 reps high of a 10-st x 18-row patt rep as shown in Stitch Chart below) with a selvage stitch at either side and 8 rows of stocking st at either end.
Complete written instructions follow chart.
TOP OF BAG
Using a “double” or “long tail” cast on (80cm), cast on 42 sts
Row 1 K to end, turn.
Row 2 P to end, turn.
Rep Rows (1-2) three more times (total of 8 rows).
BODY OF BAG:
Row 1 K1, (P1, K1) to last st, K1, turn.
Row 2 P1, * P2, (K1, P1) 3 times, K2, rep from * 3 more times, P1, turn.
Row 3 K1, *P3, (K1, P1) 2 times, K3, rep from * 3 more times, K1, turn.
Row 4 P1, (P4, K1, P1, K4) to last st, P1, turn.
Row 5 K1, (P5, K5) to last st, K1, turn.
Row 6 P1, (K1, P4, K4, P1) to last st, P1, turn.
Row 7 K1, (P1, K1, P3, K3, P1, K1) to last st, K1, turn.
Row 8 P1, (K1, P1, K1, P2, K2, P1, K1, P1) to last st, P1, turn.
Row 9 As Row 1, turn.
Row 10 P1, (K1, P1) to last st, P1, turn.
Row 11 K1, (P1, K1, P1, K2, P2, K1, P1, K1) to last st, K1, turn.
Row 12 P1, (K1, P1, K3, P3, K1, P1) to last st, P1, turn.
Row 13 K1, (P1, K4, P4, K1) to last st, K1, turn.
Row 14 P1, (K5, P5) to last st, P1, turn.
Row 15 K1, (K4, P1, K1, P4) to last st, K1, turn.
Row 16 P1, * K3, (P1, K1) 2 times, P3, rep from * 3 more times, P1, turn.
Row 17 K1, * K2, (P1, K1) 3 times, P2, rep from * 3 more times, K1, turn.
Row 18 As Row 10, turn.
Rep Rows (1-18) six more times (total 7 patt reps).
TOP OF BAG
Row 135 K to end.
Row 136 P to end
Rep Rows 135-136 three more times (total of 8 rows). Cast off all sts.
The I-Cord is a narrow spiral of continuous knit stitches with the smooth side of the stocking stitch on the outside of the cord. Instructions describe making an I-Cord with circular needles but you could alternatively use regular needles by instead of turning at the end of each row, slip all the stitches back on to the left needle – this way you are continuously knitting right to left for each “round” of the spiral.
Cast on 4 sts
Row 1 K to end.
Row 2 Slip all 4 sts to left needle (other end of circular needle), pull yarn tightly from end of row, K to end.
Rep prev row to desired length. Actively stretch it as you go to gauge how long you want it as it will be pulled by the weight of the bag when used.
Cast off all sts. Sew tails into I-Cord neatly.
ALSO SEE PHOTO SERIES THAT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS.
1. Block fabric rectangle to straighten edges to approx. 19.5 x 43.5cm (my pre-blocked dimensions were 18 x 43cm). Block I-Cord Strap. (My I-Cord was 150cm long laid flat (before and after blocking, each time after giving it a good stretch, and weighed 14g - I would not recommend making it any longer than this).
2. Fold each 4 x 8cm length of ribbon in half applying a small amount of glue at the cut ends to keep it in place until each ribbon tab is sewn into the side seam. Pin each tab as shown. Important: Make sure the amount of ribbon loop protruding out the side of the bag side seam (refer to bottom photo page p9) is only big enough to thread the I-Cord through, and not so big that the knotted I-Cord could also pass (or otherwise the knot will not anchor the strap).
3. Sew side seam: Fold fabric rectangle in half RS tog, use ladder stitch through the inner edge of aligned selvage sts to close the side seam, trapping a ribbon tab at the base and the top of the geometric patt rep rows as you go as shown. Re-inforce seam strength over each ribbon tab attachment by 2 passes of hand-sewn back stitch through the full thickness of the seam with the excess ribbon tab folded back under itself. These are the anchor points, so it needs to be strong.
4. If inserting an optional bag lining, use the inside-out bag as it is now as the template to cut out lining fabrics/interface etc (see Bag Lining photo series at end of pattern).
5. Turn bag RS out, fold WS top edge of bag opening down and whip stitch to top edge of geometric stitch pattern around inner bag opening as shown (ensure fold is straight down and not at an angle and be careful not to split the yarn/sts as you go).
6. If inserting optional bag lining, pin assembled lining in place around bag opening and sew in place with top edge of lining to sit just above previous whip stitch of prev step. I recommend whip stitch for this (see Bag Lining photo series at end of pattern).
7. Thread I-Cord through all 4 ribbon tabs and make a knot under bottom edge of each ribbon loop as you go. If you start with loose knots you can fine-tune their position up and down the cord after the strap is threaded, so they sit well under each ribbon tab.
If you want to line your bag and insert a magnetic clasp then read on...
Photo Tutorial for Bag Lining Option
I really hope you enjoy making my New Day knit project!! There is a bit of extra stitchery required to assemble this bag and I know that is not going to be for everyone.. Learning how to line a bag is pretty useful though and can be applied to other projects for those that don't mind a bit of sewing.
Click here for Scheepjes retailers worldwide, or maybe shop by these affiliate links (this does not cost you any extra but I receive a small percentage of the sale :) Caros Atelier (in the Netherlands)
Wool Warehouse (in the UK; ships worldwide)
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