Miniature Sion bag by Chris Laning

Miniature Sion bag

March 2013
Thread ?
12 stitches = 1 inch
in stockinette
US 00 - 1.75 mm
82 - 93 yards (75 - 85 m)
one size
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This is a small bag (about 2+1/2 inches by 3 inches finished) based on one of the 14th-century knitted silk bags from Sion, Switzerland. The original of this bag has many more repeats of the patterns, both horizontally and vertically, and is knitted at about 16 stitches per inch.

The charts have been corrected from those published by Richard Rutt in his 1987 A History of Hand Knitting.

This project uses Trebizond embroidery silk, approximately equivalent to size 5 DMC perle cotton. The silk comes in 10-meter spools, and one excellent source is Recommended materials are:

  • 5 spools of #565 Dark Mulberry
  • 1 spool of #713 Spring Green
  • 1 spool of #231 Light Burnished Gold
  • 1 spool of #125 White

Total cost of this project in silk will be about $40 (2013 prices).

The color match to the original bag is less good, but for a less expensive alternative, DMC size 5 Perle Cotton may be substituted, using colors 814 (3 skeins), 783, 704, and white. Mixing cotton and silk threads is not recommended.

The carrying strap of the purse (see detail photo) is a 5-strand flat fingerloop braid. See for instructions.

Instructions for the tassels and drawstring are included in the pattern.