One of my most favorite sources of eye candy when I need a creative burst of energy is Pinterest, as I'm sure it is for many. I love to take elements of garments and shapes that are not necessarily knit items and make them come alive in my projects. I've managed to stumble upon different varieties of a sewn and simple folded bag in recent months, and thought what a perfect shape for knitting in all of the beautiful cottons and linens we have at the shop. One of the first versions of this bag I found was this lovely blog post. Our friend Shannon Cook over at Very Shannon has a sweet tutorial for an Origami Bento Bag that is sewn out of 3 fat quarters. So cute! Also, Karen the blogging queen over at Fringe Association has these darling Bento Bags, if sewing is not your thing and you want to just grab one up. I just love the shape and ease of these bags that I had to make a knitted one! Here's a little recipe to make one of your own:
Hoooked RibbonXL - 250 yd (garter version)
US 15 needles & US 10 needles for optional extended handle
Gauge: 12 sts / 24 rows in garter stitch on larger needles
Quince & Co. Kestrel - 304 yd (stockinette version)
US 8 needles
Gauge: 20 sts / 28 rows in stockinette stitch
Using US 15 needles, cast on 30 sts (approximately 10” width). Work in garter stitch (knit every row), using the following selvedge: with yarn in front, slip 1st stitch purl wise at the beginning of every row. Work in this manner until piece measures three times the width of your work. For example: if your gauge is the same as mine at 10”, you will work in pattern until piece measures 30”.
Fold bag as shown in pictures and sew up sides using mattress stitch.
For the garter version, I chose to knit and add on an additional handle at the top to widen the opening. This is optional. If you like the length of the handle when held together at the top, sew the two tips together using whip stitch and you are done. If you would like to also extend your handle, follow these instructions:
Using US 10 needles, cast on 6 sts. Leave a longer tail for sewing to bag at the end.
Work in stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row), until piece measures 7” long. Bind off, leaving a longer tail for sewing to bag again.
Using whipstitch and longer tails, sew ends of handle to top tips of bag.
Using US 8 needles, cast on 60 sts (approximately 12” width). Work in stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row), using the following selvedge: on RS rows - slip 1st stitch and last stitch knit wise, on WS rows – purl across row. Work in this manner until piece measures three times the width of your work. For example: if your gauge is the same as mine at 12”, you will work in pattern until piece measures 36”.
Using whip stitch, sew the two tips together to create the handle. If you like the length and look of the handle, you are done.
For the stockinette version, I chose to sew on some leather over the top of the handle after sewing the two tips together. I did this by cutting out a rectangle piece of leather approximately 5” X 2”, I then punched matching holes on the ends of the long sides of the leather and used a thick cotton button thread to sew the leather onto the handle with a criss-cross stitch pattern. As I was sewing the leather into place, I would grab a stitch of the interior knit fabric to secure.
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