I'll be back.

Hello old and new friends. My blog has been inactive but I am still around. I loom-knit, weave and have picked up the sticks to needle knit, too! My patterns page links to Ravelry and I will answer questions about those. Maybe someday I will be back to write more. We will see where life takes me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A bag for a Chicago occasion

A couple weeks ago I made the crazy decision to knit a purse in time for my Chicago trip. I am pumped for two days of:
  • Exploring my first Stitches knitting convention,
  • Touching base with my Threadless friends,
  • And drooling at a several-block-long Renegade craft fair.
Right from the beginning, I realized how fast the project was going to knit up. I was thrilled and felt not so crazy. But boy oh boy, was I in for it with this lil' bag.

Bee Bopper purse

I am happy to say NOW this story has a happy ending and I'm about to hit the road in a couple hours, purse in hand. But this was after a week of running out of yarn, ripping back several rows and destroying a few pieces of fabric.

Bee Bopper Bag, the telaine version
For my loomy friends out there, here are my adaptions to the Bee Bopper Bag pattern from Lion Brand yarn. Those who have knit this project before me have blogged the bag turns out rather small. So I made plans to make the purse a little bigger and the shoulder strap a little longer.

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in burgundy-green variegated (China), green (lettuce) and pink (dusty)

Knitting board: Knifty Knitter blue long loom (My Authentic Knitting Board and I have not yet become friends.)

I cast on 30 stitches for double-knitting. I used burgundy-green instead of cranberry, green instead of brown and pink instead of white.

I followed the pattern for changing colors until the five rows of green. I added 2 rows of burgundy, 5 rows of pink and 1 row of green. Then I returned to the pattern for 3 rows of burgundy and then decreasing.

I made the strap in pink instead of green and included one row of a different color every 20 rows. (I incorrectly thought this was going to save enough yarn for the second part of the bag.) This didn't work too well because now I have bulky bindoffs and yarn poking through in those areas. I made the strap 100 rows long.

I followed the pattern with my additions above for the second half of the bag.

For the closure strap, I cast on 16 stitches in burgundy and knit 5 rows of stockinette. I did not fold it in half. I added a magnetic snap to the back of the strap and to the purse. I covered the snap back with a pretty shell button.

I added some knit pockets as well.

For the cell phone pocket on the shoulder strap: Cast on 8 stitches. Knit 10 rows green. Knit 5 rows pink. Stitch it onto the strap. For the pocket flap: Cast on 8 stitches. Knit 6 rows. Bind off in the middle of the board for one row to create a buttonhole. Knit 2 rows and bind off. Sew a button onto the pocket.

Bee Bopper purse

For the back pocket: Cast on 20 stitches. Knit 15 rows and bind off. Stitch onto the back. I added a button for decoration. I might add a flap someday.

Bee Bopper purse

I don't pretend to be a sewing expert. I'm a pillow-making gal and really, nothing more yet. So even a simple purse liner made me want to curse. But after ripping out some stitches and some fabric, too, I figured it out.

Fabric: 2 pieces of main fabric, 10" x 12"; 2 pieces of complementary fabric for the pockets, 8" x 14", 1 canvas strap and D-ring hook clasp

First I cut about 5 inches of canvas strap. I looped that around the D-ring. And I tripled-stitched it into the purse. It's going to hold my keys and it needs to be tough. Thanks to Craft Junkie for the idea!

Instead of making seams (blech), I worked the inside pocket panel much like a pillow. I sewed the 2 pieces together, wrong sides out on all sides except 1 edge. I turned it inside out. I added another row of sewing toward the top to flatten the top of the pockets. I then put it on top of the main fabric and sewed some straight lines to create pockets. I made three different depths, including a skinny one for a pen.

Next I took the second piece of main fabric. With the wrong sides out, I sewed them together, leaving a half-inch on top to fold over.

I inserted the finished liner into the purse. I used what I call the back stitch (again, not a sewing expert) to sew it into the purse.

Bee Bopper purse

Ta-da, I have my version of the Bee Bopper bag. It's all ready to show off at the knitting convention. And I can say, yes, I made this on a loom!


  1. that is one crazyawesomebautiful bag!! Have fun in Chicago!!

  2. I really like your modification to the bee bopper...and what colors! Love it! :D I'm sure you'll be so proud to show it off on your trip.

  3. Thank you!! The purse held up really well.

  4. So luck to come across your excellent blog. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun.. Good luck with the site.

  5. This is truly something that you ought to consider when you are making your Chicago inn reservations. The Chicago bean