Mods: working my CDDs as sl1kwise, k2tog, psso. Used mattress stitch to seam together the gussets. I scribed the angle from the upper support onto the lower support and cut away the overhang to make a tidier support structure. I broke with the pattern directions altogether regarding the bag support “slipcover” and the lining, making my own pattern for those; that pattern has been posted in the picture section. My lining also includes a 7” zipper pocket, about 2.75” down from the top edge of the bag. My full notes include some detail about how to achieve the same. I used 30” leather handles, rather than the wooden ones suggested. My notes also include information about how I attached those, as well as the bag feet.
Late-June update: one of the bag feet popped off, but it’s easy enough to re-attach by finding the holes in the fabric that they poked through, sending the “legs” back through, and bending them without removing the lining.
Total materials cost: $195.88 CAD
Mar 8/13: purchased the pattern today for the low, low price of $5.25 CAD (thank Heavens for coupon codes). The lining was purchased on Feb. 23 and the plastic canvas was purchased on Mar. 2. The yarn was purchased on Dec. 30 of last year. Update: I got the bag bottom knitting done tonight, whilst simultaneously creating the gauge swatch for the double seed stitch. My guess about what needle would give me gauge was bang-on. Turns out I’m reliably a loose knitter. I cast on for a bag front/back tonight.
Mar 9/13: this yarn is really promising. It’s rather obviously hard-wearing, contains shades of a pale brown, a pale yellowish-green and a vibrant emerald, and it frogs well. Also, mental note ‘cause my brain’s been stupid: charts are read from right to left when working the WS, idiot. Update: after forgetting about the last sentence I just wrote, I knitted incorrectly, realized the error of my ways and made it through one chart repeat for the 16 row (larger) chart.
Mar 10/13: this project is cursed, but I have chosen to persevere. After realizing that I’d knit about 5 rows of one of my seed stitch sections incorrectly, I’ve been working down and picking back up with a crochet hook to fix each instance. Update: looks like I’m aiming to do one chart repeat per day.
Mar 11/13: since the PMS has subsided, I was able to concentrate well enough to be able to work 2 chart repeats today. Also, I meant to note earlier that I’ve been working my CDD so that I sl1kwise, k2tog, psso.
Mar 12/13: one front/back is complete and I’ve already cast-on and begun the other. It’s doubtful that I’ll make it through a full chart repeat today.
Mar 15/13: bound off for the second front/back today, so I’ve just got the sides to knit. For some reason, my brain just isn’t capable of interpreting the stitch pattern properly, so I’ll pick up my needles again tomorrow, rather than try to push through it today.
Mar 16/13: wow, I might be done knitting up all the pieces for this tomorrow night. It could run as late as Tuesday if there aren’t any unforeseen setbacks.
Mar 17/13: all pieces have been knitted and are wet-blocking now. Update: I’m done assembling the plastic canvas structure for the bag. I forgot to stitch up the side slits when the pieces were flat and had to do it while the upper portion was assembled. That sucks. To anyone else making this: make sure you whipstitch your side slits before you assemble the upper portion. To get the canvas to bend nicely, I snipped every other horizontal join on the fold lines indicated. I also ended up scribing the angle for the bottom “box” to match the upper (as per the picture showing the marker line), as I didn’t care for having a square box to have to work around. In detail: once the first set of flaps for the bottom were tacked in place to the upper, I marked the centre points for the upper and lower, stuck brads in to hold those sections in place, scribed and folded the second set of flaps, then began stitching those in place. I had to snip off the overhang below the bag bottom. I’m using a heavy nylon thread for stitching.
Mar 18/13: so, I broke out my sewing machine today for my very first ever successful foray into machine sewing. I have Craftsy’s Sewing Machine 911 to thank for the fact that I was familiar enough with the machine to be relatively confident. I don’t have a suitable bag “slipcover” fabric yet, but I feel pretty good about being able to whip one up once I get the fabric. I also sewed up the entire height of the knitted portion of the bag for the pleats so that I could unpick my work to suit. It looks like my best bet for even tension is to work two leaf motifs up from the bottom.
Mar 19/13: I ended up sewing the gussets as “pouches” to the base (i.e., I didn’t match the front/back to the bottom piece stitch for stitch). I also did a “dry fit” of the knitted piece over the support without having a fabric slipcover between the two to ensure that things are snug enough. So far, so good. For now, I’m leaving the “laces” for the gussets as loose ends in case I need to adjust the fit. I ordered the handles and bag feet today and they ought to ship in about a week. I’m really excited to see how this project turns out!
Mar 20/13: my dad purchased the fabric for the slipcover at IKEA today. I got a metre, which came out to $10.12. Yay for not having to pay!
Mar 21/13: squee! I ended up making a slipcover for the bag support tonight. It’s a tiny bit too tight (I’m talking about 1/2” or so) for the support, so I’ll make a new one tomorrow, but I’m really excited about the fact that I successfully machine-sewed a functioning piece! I ended up sewing the bottom seams for the sides on the right side, incorrectly, but it was because I knew it didn’t matter if this piece was untidy. I made a “pattern” tonight, for tomorrow’s attempt, giving myself 1” allowance to account for my utter-NEWB skills, and things should go well!
Mar 22/13: new slipcover is complete! I’ve uploaded pics to show how things look so far; the old slipcover is the one with the frayed edges at the top. The fabric for the lining is currently being laundered, so I’ll probably start sewing the liner tomorrow. Update: and the i-cord has been knitted.
Mar 23/13: huge accomplishment! I machine-sewed the bag lining, with zipper pocket! I was greatly aided by LastReelCinema’s How to sew a welt pocket. I have also been consulting Noni Design’s Lining a Rectangular Bag tutorial to help me get a sense of “best practices” when it comes to lining a bag; for instance, I pressed the seams for the lining to get it to sit tidily in the bag. Today’s photos include two which depict my first attempt at sewing in the zipper, which was almost flawless on the RS, but -- very erroneously -- had a sewn-shut pocket lining on the WS. I had to use the seam ripper and try again, but was able to get it right on the second go-round. Also, today I wove in the ends on the gussets for the knitted piece.
Mar 25/13: I knitted an applied i-cord across the top edge of the bag tonight. I prefer the finish this provides.
Apr 2/13: had to re-send my credit card information to the handle supplier today, so hopefully those ship and make it to me soon.
Apr 16/13: handles and bag feet arrived today, after having been misdirected to unit 19 (we’re in 99), in “Baughan”. Mental note: email my address in future transactions.
Apr 21/13: back in the saddle again. I figured out that a good way to add on the feet was to reinforce the fabric for the slipcover with bias-running patches of fabric in the spots where the feet would poke through. Those were ironed on with an iron-on adhesive. I cut slits in the plastic canvas where I wanted the feet to come through, put the slipcover back on, used an X-acto blade to cut the fabric at the slits in the plastic canvas, pushed a foot out through the slits from the inside of the bag and used that as a guide for where to push the feet into the bag. I attached feet at the corners first, since that’s where it’s most fiddly. From there, I tacked down the knitted and fabric slipcovers to the plastic canvas with matching thread to prevent the knitting from sagging. The next step was to sew the bag handles in place. Since the leather tabs which attach them will be obscured by the lining, I didn’t worry myself with making my stitching pretty. I’m done for tonight, having pinned the lining so that I can hem it before dropping it in place and hand-sewing it to the bag.
Apr 22/13: pressed the lining edge, rather than hemming it. Then I whipstitched it to the i-cord edge in all spots but where the leather tabs protrude. I had to fudge the front of the lining a bit on both sides because there was about 1” extra of allowance on the sides of the lining. I attached a 2” wooden button I got at Michaels to the front with yarn, then attached the i-cord loop to the back of the bag. It’s finally done and I love it! Happy dance, happy dance!