Tuesday, March 27, 2007

it's pinky and the indian cookbook

my magnetic snaps arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon, so i finished up my felted bag.
Pinky purse
I'm calling it "Pinky" for lack of a better term. approximately 4 skeins of knitpicks wool of the andes in tulip, 2 strands held together throughout on #13 denise circs. i ran it through 2 wash cycles.
Pinky lining
the lining fabric is some leftover quilters cotton. i used a 1/2" magnetic snap on the flap for closure. i meant to sew a zipper pouch or maybe a cell phone pocket, but i got lazy. the handles are black plastic from joanns.

i'm a little worried that the fabric handle attachments are not sewed securely enough. i had to do it by hand. i also made the top portion of the lining too large for the opening, so i made a pleat on each short side to make the circumference at the top of the bag smaller.

the double stranded wota makes pretty thick felt. i had some trouble getting the magnetic snap brads to pinch down. i think that in the future i might stick to single-stranding for thinner felt on a purse this size.

i'm pretty happy with how it turned out, even though my handsewing skills are still awful. i might even carry the bag. who knows.

in case anyone wants details on how i did it (this is probably TMI):

i started with the magknits sophie pattern, but i lost the pattern after i had knit a few rows on the base. and since i had actually cast on a different number of stitches to begin with, i am going to say that i did this one on my own. (Please don't ask me for specific numbers--i have no idea)

basically, i knit the base rectangle flat in garter stitch. i knit across the live stitches on the long sides and picked up stitches for the short sides and joined to knit in the round. i knit in stockinette in the round for several inches. i believe i placed markers in the corners for ease of decreases. i used paired decreases (k2tog and k2tog tbl) although i doubt it would really matter if you just wanted to use k2tog throughout. i decreased at the corners on one row (8 st) and then knit a few plain rows, then another decrease row, and so on until i had the circumference that i wanted at the top. i finished with a few rows of garter stitch at the top to prevent curling (though again, i doubt this really mattered). i (mentally) divided one of the long sides in three parts (say 3 sections of 10 st) and began my cast-off on the last third (stitch #21). i bound off around the bag until i reached the beginning of the second third (stitch #11). i knit back and forth over these 10 remaining stitches in 1x1 rib until i had the flap length i desired. then i bound off the remaining stitches.

this probably goes without saying, but everything was oversized to account for felting. after the first wash cycle, i still had stitch definition. i wanted a thick and sturdy fabric, so i felted it again. you can see how much the bag shrank here.

for the lining (and i almost don't want to admit this--my laziness is so pitiful) i didn't measure squat. firstly i cut out a rectangle for the flap. i hemmed all 4 sides, making sure that the piece was long enough to extend down into the eventual lining (so there would be no gap). i attached the male end of the magnetic snap to the lining, using a small circle cut from a plastic milk jug to stabilize it on the fabric. i pinned the rectangle to the flap. i marked the magnetic snap placement and applied the female end of the snap to the felt.

then i cut an oval in my fabric for the base, and 2 long rectangles for the sides. i sewed the 2 rectangles together, and then sewed it to the base. very poorly. i have quite a few puckers. as i mentioned before, i did not cut out trapezoids and so at the top of the lining, there was too much fabric to fit properly at the top of the purse. that is why i made the pleats. i ironed down the hem for the lining, pinned it to the felt, and handsewed away. i overlapped the lining over the flap and handstitched in place.

for the handle attachments, i sewed a long strip and cut it into 4. then i folded those in half around the handle holes and handsewed them to the lining. i also ended up handsewing them to the felt for added stability. i'm still not convinced that it will be strong enough to hold up.

so those are my horrible guidelines for making your own. if you want to do it right, certainly carefully measure and mark and pin and stitch. or you could halfass it like me. i never said i was a role model.

fabric and an RAK
this weekend, i bought 2 yards of quilter's cotton from joanns. i'm going to make a top based on one in the anthropologie catalog. more details later.

i had another surprise in the mail. a HUGE indian cookbook from knitmonkey. it looks like an awesome book--i can't wait to try it out. indian cuisine is one of my favorites. thank you, knitmonkey!

see all project entries on pinky


  1. Very cute and beautiful bag :) I love this colour! :D

  2. That bag is awesome! I liked it a lot before you lined it and attached handles, but now, it's irresistibly cute.

    Indian cooking... drool!

  3. Pinky is very cool.

    Indian food in my fave, I've been cooking it now for about 8 years, and finally getting to the point where I can wing it! Have fun with it!

  4. I think you need to make an oddly-shaped change purse to carry inside the bag. And it would be named "The Brain," of course. And it would be the cutest bag/change purse combination EVER.

  5. did you get this pattern from a book or just make it up yourself? very cool, i'd love to have a go!

  6. What a cute bag!

    I love Indian food but never attempted cooking them since I'm too lazy with the spices!

  7. Great job on the bag!

    Love indian food! I should expand my horizons, but I get mutter paneer every. time. And garlic naan. Mmmmm...

  8. Very nice! What better way to celebrate Spring than with a bright pink bag! It's lovely!

  9. Pinky is awesome. There's something about fuschia paired off with white polka dots on a black background that makes it so classy.



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