Spring Cables

I have been drooling over this bag for quite some time. It's a free pattern from Lion Brand called Sweater Bag. I finally found the right yarn and decided it was time that I had my longed-for bag.

I chose to use Sensations Licorice yarn. It's a Super Bulky weight 100% wool yarn. It's nice and soft, and it has a nice blend of colors. I'm not sure that I would use it for clothing, but for a bag that will get lots of wear and tear, I think it will work just fine. I chose the "purple multi" colorway. I just could not wait to see how the cables worked up in these colors! Nice and Springtime-y!

I sat down with yarn and pattern, ready to begin. The pattern calls for a smaller needle size than recommended for the bulky yarn called for in the pattern. This makes a nice dense fabric for the bag. I'm a loose knitter, but the size 8 needles still achieved gauge for me. I'm ready to go!

As I'm looking over the pattern, I realize that the bag is worked by knitting a long tube. Half of the tube has the cable and half is reverse stockinette. When the tube is finished, you sew the ends shut, fold one third of the tube up, stitch the sides, and then use the top third as the flap to close the bag. When you are finished, you have a bag which is double layered.

So I began to think. I figured that I do not need the sides of the bag to be two layers of fabric. This bulky yarn knitted on a smallish needle will already be nice and thick when it's just one layer. Plus, it will take twice as much yarn as compared to a bag with only one layer of fabric for each side.

Out comes the calculator and pencil. I begin sketching and figuring and re-working the pattern. I decide to give the bag a bottom that is about an inch wide. I am still going to work in the round, with half of the tube being cables and half being reverse stockinette. I decided to work the first half of the bag in the round, and then work a few rows of ribbing instead of stockinette~this will be the inside top of the bag. Then I'm going to bind off the ribbing and begin working flat for the duration of the cables in order to make the flap. The plan is that the bag will still look like the pattern pic when finished, but will be one-layered. This should make for a much lighter bag that also requires much less yarn.

Using a circular needle, I worked the bottom flat in reverse stockinette for one inch. I then picked and knit a few stitches on one end. Then I used a second circular needle to pick up the live stitches from my provisional cast on, plus the few stitches that I picked up and knit from the other end. Now I had the number of stitches that were supposed to be cast-on in the original pattern.

After working with the two circular needles for a while, I was able to knit all the stitches onto the one circular.

So far, I like how this bag is turning out. I really think that the rest of my plan is going to work out just fine.

I love how the cables are turning out in this colorway with the reverse stockinette behind them. I think that I am going to love this bag. I know that it's wool, and that it's called "sweater bag," but I think this will be fine for a spring bag. The colors are very bright and cheerful. After all, my other wool purse is the one that I always gravitate to in the summertime. How does that happen anyway?

Stay tuned for the next installment of "Spring Cables."


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