Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Prismatic Entrelac Purse

I have been making and carrying knapsacks for quite a while now, and although I do love their convenience, I wanted a change. I really love this yarn, called Home-Spun, by Lion Brand and when I saw this entrelac scarf, I knew it's what I would use. Many of the color choices do have the variegation needed to make the squares of different colors. I did choose three colors that I thought would work well together, and alternated them for each tier. I really wanted a prismatic effect with warms and cools, but still Earthy.

Size 3 or 4 circular needles with a 32" cable
3 skeins of Home-Spun Lion Brand yarn in Wisteria, Wildfire and Fiesta
1.5 yards of fabric for lining
Tissue Paper to make your lining pattern.


Rather than show the tutorial on how to make the entrelac bag, I have decided to give you the pattern and then post 3 videos on how to do entrelac. These three videos explain it very well - just remember that instead of doing 6 stitches as she is doing in the video, you will be doing 8.

Thanks so much to Melody, from MelodiesMakings for sharing this!

Here is my adapted pattern, based on the above video:
CO 8 times 13 stitches (104), join. 
13 is the number of squares or patches you will have in each round.
8 is the number of stitches across each square will be.
You can easily adjust the circumference of this bag by either knitting more or fewer squares, or by having more or fewer stitches within each square. 
Make 13 base triangles as:

R1 - k, turn.
R2 – p across, turn.
R3 – s1, k1, turn.
R4 – p across, turn.
R5 – s1, k2, turn.
R6 – p across, turn.
R7 – s1, k3, turn.
R8 – p across, turn.
R9 – s1, k4, turn.
R10 - p across, turn.
R11 – s1, k5, turn.
R12 – p across, turn.
R13 – s1, k6, turn.
R14 – p across, turn.
R15 – s1, k7, turn.
R16 – p across, turn.
R17 – s1, k7, *k1 to begin next triangle, and begin sequence again.

Tier 1

**Turn your work so that you are facing the purled side. On the left hand downward slope, pick up 8 stitches putting your needle in from the back
 (knit side) and pulling the yarn through to the knitted side.
Once you have 8 stitches picked up, slip the last stitch onto the left needle and purl it together with the first triangle stitch on the left. Turn.

R1 - **picking up the 8 stitches as described above counts as the first row.
R2 – k across, turn.
R3 – s1, p6, p2tog (purl the last stitch with the first triangle stitch).
R4 – k across, turn.
R5 – s1, p6, p2tog
R6 – k across, turn.
R7 – s1, p6, p2tog
R8 – k across, turn.
R9 – s1, p6, p2tog
R10 – k across, turn.
R11 – s1, p6, p2tog
R12 – k across, turn.
R13 – s1, p6, p2tog
R14 – k across, turn.
R15 – s1, p6, p2tog

Turn the work so that you are starting on the knit side.

Pick up 8 stitches on the left side, inserting the needle through the front and grabbing the yarn from the back. 
Pass the last stitch onto the second needle, and then SSK (slip, slip, knit) it with the first stitch on the next triangle. 
*This is row 1.

R1 - *pick up 8 stitches, SSK the last stitch.
R2 – p across, turn.
R3 – S1, k6, SSK
R4 – p across, turn.
R5 – S1, k6, SSK
R6 – p across, turn.
R7 – S1, k6, SSK.
R8 – p across, turn.
R9 – S1, k6, SSK.
R10 – p across, turn.
R11 – S1, k6, SSK.
R12 – p across, turn.
R13 – S1, k6, SSK.
R14 – p across, turn.
R 15 – S1, k6, SSK.

If you are confused about the combination, Slip, Slip, Knit (SSK), the following video is helpful.
Make as many tiers as you like, in order to give your bag the height that you want. I did eight.

**For the final tier, you make your squares into triangles by knitting or purling two together on both sides. You will k2tog, where you SSK or P2tog the same as you did on the previous teirs, to bind off (consume) the working stitches on the tier below - and as you knit or purl back, decrease on the end of the row. This will create your upside down triangles. (I was unable to find a Youtube video for this).
Once I had my tubular shape of the bag, I thought about turning it inside out and sewing along the bottom seam, but I really wanted to avoid a pinched bottom. I wanted a bag that would hold my things easily - whether it be my wallet, glasses or keys, to my knitting supplies.

I picked up 20 stitches from the bottom of the bag, and knitted across. I picked up another adjacent, and then knitted two together. I knitted across again, picked up a stitch, and knitted two together. Take care to keep your rows even as you pick up the side stitches. Use the triangles as your guide and try to stick with picking up 8 stitches from each triangle.
When you get to the other side of the bag and have a length of the bag that is equal to the width of your bottom (approximately 8 inches), you can begin to close. To do this, pick up one stitch from the side of the bag and knit it together with a stitch on your needle. Once you have two stitches on your right needle, pull the right stitch over the left and drop it off so that you are binding off as you are joining. Continue this across the bottom of the bag and then pull the end in and weave it in.

The bottom bag was knitted using Wisteria, and produced a garter stitch, square bottomed bag.

I turned the shell of my bag inside out, and weaved in my ends.

For the strap, I picked up 16 stitches from along the top of the bag and knitted them. The pattern goes:

Even Rows - P2, K12, P2
Odd Rows - P across.

Do this until your strap is approximately 40" or until you have the desired length.

Join the end of the strap to the other side of your bag by picking up stitches on the opposite end one at a time and knitting them together with a stitch from the strap. Once you have 2 stitches on your right needle, pull the right stitch over the left so that you are binding off as you are joining, just as you did on the bottom of the bag.
Part 2
Ok, so now you have your bag made, you can leave it as it is, but I prefer to line it with fabric. For one thing, my keys would get caught on the fibers and for another, the bag would stretch and lose it's shape without added support. I also wanted to be able to zip it up.

The first thing you want to do is get a piece of scrap paper and a tape measure. Measure and write down all of the dimensions of your bag, and add an inch.

The reason you add an inch is because the bag has the capacity to stretch and if you make your lining to the size of the bag when it's not in use, you're going to be losing usable space.

With the dimensions recorded, make your pattern. You're going to be sewing a six sided box, basically, but the top side will have two pieces because it's going to have a zipper. You also want to account for your strap.
Measuring the strap (mine was 40 inches) you want to add an inch to the width, and four inches to the length.

Draw your pieces out onto newspaper or tissue paper, or if you're handy at sewing you can even just measure the fabric directly and cut it without using a pattern.

These are my pieces. I have two squares and two rectangles for my sides, a rectangle for the bottom, two pieces for my top, and a long piece for my strap.

I didn't picture it, but I recycled an old zipper from a coat that had been ruined and sadly could not be saved.

At this point in the game, I realized something truly horrific. My sewing machine (brand new, only used 4 times) had been dropped and was now broken. So from this point on, I was hand stitching. If my stitches look sloppy, it's because I'm not fond of hand sewing when I'm used to the ease and speediness of a machine.

Back on point!

I folded my two top pieces in half and sewed them to the longer side pieces that I had cut. It's hard to explain the configuration, but this is why I do photo tutorials.

Place the longer sides of the bag right side up, and lay your folded top strips along the top. Sew at least a half inch seam.

If it looks like the picture, to the left, then it is correct.

Pin the zipper into place and sew it onto each side. Remember that the inside of the bag is the side you want finished, so when making the lining, you want to reverse what you typically do when sewing.

You can see that when the zipper is in place, the sides of the bag will have the right side of the fabric facing down while the zipper is facing up.

At this point (though I forgot to photograph it), you will sew the shorter sides to the sides of the bag.

Do not connect them to the top as of yet. Sew the side pieces together with the right sides of the fabric together with a half inch seam.

To join the top of the bag to the shorter sides, tuck the top pieces under and pin them down.

At this point, hand sewing suited the job more than machine stitching would.

Here is another angle of it with the pins in place.

Sew the bottom of the bag on in the same exact manner.

Fold the edges of the strap lining under, and then wrap the edges of the strap over this, pinning it into place.

Pin the lining of the bag to the knitted shell, tucking the edges under.

Sew them into place, using only an 8th inch  seam allowance. Sew up the strap as well.

At this point, I was again pleased to be hand stitching because I'm afraid the machine would have snagged the knitting or created puckers in places.

Your bag is ready for use, enjoy!

Check back soon for the matching wallet pattern/tutorial!

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