Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pattern for my Sophie bag flap

Enough people have requested my instructions for the flap that I added to the Sophie bags I've been making so I thought I should post it so everyone can benefit.

First off, download the original pattern for the Sophie's here:

Then when you get to the binding off part, follow these instructions instead:

At the top of the bag, where the pattern tells you to bind off 39 stitches, only bind off on one of the sides. So this will leave you with 6 stitches on a holder for one side of the handles, 39 stitches bound off, 6 stitches on the other side for the handles, and then 39 stitches on the back of the bag for the flap. These last 39 stitches I placed on a holder in order to finish the handles before working the flap.

Put the 39 stitches back on the needles. Knit back and forth in Stockinette stitch for about 10 rows. Increase one stitch at the beginning and end of next right side row. 2 stitches increased - total of 41 stitches on the needles. At this point its good to start counting rows with a row counter. Then -

  1. Knit 9 rows in Stockinette stitch. Then increase one stitch at the beginning and end of next. 43 stitches total
  2. Knit another 9 rows in Stockinette stitch.Then increase one stitch at the beginning and end of next. 45 stitches total
  3. Knit another 9 rows in Stockinette stitch.Then increase one stitch at the beginning and end of next. 47 stitches total
  4. Knit 2 rows in Stockinette stitch.
  5. Bind off all stitches in next row.

The flap (after felting) will have an A-line shape that matches the bag sides.

Once felted I added the twisted icord edging from "Knitting on the Edge" by Nicky Epstein. The pattern is on page 58 in the book. Knit it long enough to go around the edge of the flap. Then sew on using a needle and matching thread.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rockin' Sock club - Spoiler Alert!

If you are a member of the Rockin' Sock Club '08 and haven't gotten your package

- don't look!

From the red of the January shipment, to the green of this shipment... the newest Rockin' Sock Club yarn is here! I love this one...and the pattern is luscious! Vibrant green with subtle variegation in the yarn and a beautiful pattern with cables running up the leg and down the top of the foot. Can't wait to work this one up!

Here's a couple more pics to make you green with envy :)

The Sophie's

Wow. What have I been knitting since the Central Park Hoodie? It's been so long since I posted, I thought I should take a look.

On the left you see my version of the free Magknits "Sophie" bag. This one was made using leftover yarn from the CPH sweater - about 1 skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted. The body and handles are made exactly as the pattern is written. I added the flap and then felted it as usual.

When it was all felted and dried, I looked at it and thought it just needs something else. I considered embroidery on the flap, a flower or flowers...all kinds of ideas. Then I pulled out my copy of "Knitting Over the Edge" by Nicky Epstein. Flipping through the pages I decided on a twisted (cabled) icord that I could make and then sew around the edge of the flap. I chose this cord because it matches the twist in the handle and it's simple and understated like the person I made it for. Flowers or embroidery would have been over the top. Here's a closeup of the edge. I really like how it looks. (Plus, I already have a Christmas gift all made a ready)

Oh, and as you can see, this icord is made after felting and sewed on. I used tiny (size 4 needles) to make sure the stitches were a nice size when put next to the felted edge. I do love how the Lamb's Pride has this beautiful shine to the yarn - this shine next to felt looks great.

So...I finished this nice little bag and then took it with me to my parents house so I could use her fabric stash to line my bag. My mom has a fabric stash bigger then my yarn stash due to her chronic quilting habit. While there for the weekend, not only did I line this 1st Sophie, I completed a second one made out of Paton's SWS Soy Wool Stripes. Mom claimed it the second it came out of the washer. That one got a lining before I left and she started using it. So that's Sophie #2 done. (sorry, it was snapped up so fast I never got a picture)

Well, also while I was home I did more then just knit (believe it or not). We went in to Portland to see a show at the Portland Museum of Art by John Bisbee. I was particularly interested in seeing this show because he went to my almamateur Alfred University. Very good show!

Anywho...back to knitting...before leaving the house, I decided to take the 1st Sophie bag with me (to test it out, you know). My aunt (and Mom's twin sister) came along with us to the museum and as soon as she got in the car with us she pounced on the 1st Sophie. She loved it and wanted one of her very own.

Needless to say on the way home from the museum we stopped at Michael's to get some wool for her bag. My Mom bought enough for another one for her (in the same color as her twin's) so now I'm on the hook for another 2 Sophie's (that's #3 and case you lost count). I have #3 done (except for the lining) and #4 is all knit I just have to felt it and add the edging. My mom will do the linings for I'm in the home stretch. Here is #3 and 4 in their current states:

These two are made using Lion Brand Wool in color Majestic Mountain. I was skeptical of it's feltability at first. But the Sophie #3 felted easily and quickly in the washer in less then one wash cycle. I'll be using this for other felting projects, I'm sure.

So that's what I've been working on since February. There are a couple other projects in there...but this post is already so long...I'll leave them til later.

PS: if anyone is interested in my pattern for the flap, let me know. I've got it down to a science by now :)