Make a classically styled bag to carry your basics or current diy project!
Supplies and Equipment:
– 2 skeins of sugar n’ cream cotton yarn – this is dyed by following the Ombre Dyed Yarn Tutorial
– 16 metal studs – these are 3/8 inch pyramids
– 12 inch zipper
– 2 by 36 inches of leather
– utility knife
– size 6 US double pointed or round knitting needles
– dull sewing needle
– sharp sewing needle
– sewing thread to match the zipper/yarn
This bag is about 12 by 14 inches, flat, and large enough for a wallet, book, bottle of water, and a few other basics. If you want a larger bag add another skein of the sugar and cream, if you want a bag that is sturdier consider knitting it in linen stitch instead (linen stitch does use more yarn, so you’ll want at least 3 skeins.)
My gauge was 20 stitches = 4 inches and 20 rows = 3 inches. I cast on 120 stitches and knit in the round until I ran out of yarn. Be sure to leave a long enough tail at the beginning to sew up the bottom, especially if you’ve custom dyed your yarn. When I cast off I used the better finishing tutorial to close up the gap, and wove my tail in around the cast off edge to give it a bit more strength.
I could have knit this then dip dyed it, but there are two reasons I’m glad I didn’t. The first is that I really started to like the little variances in the yarn that were created by the ombre dying I did, and the second is that my yarn definitely shrank in they dying process so if I had dyed this post knitting it might have been smaller at the bottom than at the top!
Sew up the bottom and tie off the yarn tails securely.
Pin the zipper into place on one side. Make sure the bag is folded in half on the same stitch at the top and the bottom so it’s not twisted.
Sew the zipper in place and bury the stitches into the center of the cast off row. Using back stitch will give you a secure finish.
Pin and sew the zipper onto the other side.
Tuck in the zipper tails, tack them into place with a few stitches if you’d like.
For the straps I used 1 inch wide by 28 inch strips of leather, and the finished strap is about 20 inches. You can definitely make the straps longer or shorter for your preference. Also cut 4 pieces of leather that are 1 inch by 4 inches.
Cut the leather with the utility knife and trim any fluffy fibers along the edges of the leather.
On one of the small piece of leather mark out where your studs go. I (mentally) divided the pieces into 4 1 inch squares and centered a stud in each square. This meant marking at .5, 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 inches one direction, and then 3/16 out from the center line on each side. The photo is much more useful than the explanation, especially because your studs are likely to be a different size.
Cut tiny slits with the utility knife and temporarily press a stud into each spot (don’t bend the prongs.)
Use that first pieces as a template – transfer the marks to the ends of the bag straps and the other small pieces of leather and cut the slits in each. Be careful not to make marks on the straps that will show on the finished bag.
Press 4 studs into each end of the straps, still don’t bend the prongs.
Set the end of one handle onto the bag where you want it to be. I set mine 3 inches from the outside edge. They need to be at least 4 inches from the top. Drop the prongs between knit stitches, being careful to to push them through the yarn because that will weaken the bag.
Adjust the prongs on the inside, then set one of the small pieces of leather over and now, finally, bend the prongs. You might have to smush down on the leather and knitting a bit to fold the prongs well.
Work your way up the rest of the studs. Use the vertical lines of knitting to keep the studs in line. The leather on the inside might not be perfectly flat but it’s just there for support. Make sure no prongs are poking out because they’ll catch on what you put in the bag, then repeat for the rest of the straps!
As soon as the straps are on you’re ready to go!