I wanted a little bag that just holds my wallet, keys and a couple little necessities. So I knit up a long strip of random stripes and checks in some leftover rug yarn. I stitched the side seams before felting and then added a felted i-cord strap, a lining with pockets and an old button for closure. Works perfect.
Here’s the details:
First I must brag. I knit this on my Christmas gift from my youngest son. Laminated hand shaped knitting needles - about size 10.5
Second, the yarn is Halcyon rug yarn. It felts up quite shaggy but I think this is a quite charming effect for the bag. I did not mix yarn brands or weights as they can be profoundly different when felted.
Otherwise this is an exercise in random effects - how much scrap yarn you have, how the colors go together, how much felting changes the final size. I suppose you could swatch and test felt but that takes away life’s little surprises. You’ll have to do a little figuring to get the size bag you want. I wanted a vertical shaped bag about 6”H X 8”W X 2”D with a flap that was about 4”.
I CO 20 stitches and knit a purl row - this would be the front edge of the bag under the flap. Then I knit stripes in st st of various widths followed by 5 rows of alternating color work vertical stripes. Because I wanted the base of the bag to be one color and have a definite bottom to rest on, I knit the next two rows, purled a RS row, knit three more, purled another and knit two final rows all in the base color. I figured to fold the bag up on the purl rows with the middle rows forming the bottom of the bag. You could adjust these row numbers to increase the depth of the bag.
Although I don’t think you need to match the stripes, I did choose to do the vertical stripes again so they would match up all the way around the bag. Be careful to reverse the stripe colors so they don’t double up at the seam.
Continue the stripes until the front and back are the same length. Purl a RS row and then make the front flap. I made mine with a stripe and then three squares. The flap can be any length. Finish up with a RS row and shape the edge a little by k1 k2TOG knit to last three stitches k2TOG K1. BO next row in pattern
Next stitch together your bag using a blanket stitch.This will prevent a lump at the seam Match the top edge of the front (CO) to the bottom of the purl row before the flap and stitch down the side to the beginning of the base stripe. Hopefully they match up - you may need to adjust your start point or pull the material slightly to do this. Fold up the bottom at the purl rows and pinch things into the shape of the bottom of an uppercase I then stitch it in that shape for the bag base.
Make a couple yards of 4 stitch i-cord and then felt everything. I felted by hand in hot water in my kitchen sink. The Halcyon rug yarn felts up thick and fairly quickly. It lost about 1-2 inches in size either way. Make a cloth lining with the same pinched bottom and stitch it around the opening. I made a button closure with a loop of cord. Stitch on the i-cord strap and you are ready to go.