Thursday, December 15, 2011

Flashback: Free pattern for Mrs. Claus' Date Night Handbag Ornament

Doing a good bit of Christmas gift stitching these days and I can't post photos of what I'm working on until my items are in my loved ones' hot little hands. I know other bloggers must find this time of year challenging for this reason, too!

So instead, at the bottom of this post, I've included my simple knitting pattern for my Mrs. Claus' Date Night Handbag Ornament. They are easy, quick and fun to make, so there is still time to get them on your tree!

I made these bags in earnest last year. My life could not be more different now than it was at this time a year ago. After being married for many years, I now live on my own (for the first time in my life) in a sunny, brightly colored apartment. I have many new people in my life, including a foxy new squeeze. The present is filled with art, stitching, music, friends, hiking, red wine and my current baking obsession. The future is enormous, wide opened... terrifying and exciting at the same time.

This year Christmas feels shadowy and distant. It's as though I'm looking at it through the milky film stuck to the sides of glass, after I drank the milk. I'm aware that it is happening, but I am not immersed in it, beyond stitching a few gifts.

But that's OK. Time is mercurial, as is life. And my eyes and heart are wide opened and ready for adventure.

And I take another step forward...

Pattern for Mrs. Claus' Date Night Handbag (adapted from my Ornamental Joy - Tiny Handbags pattern that was published in the String Thing Theory pattern book back in 2009.)

Approximately 30 to 40 yards of any type of feltable yarn. In order to felt, your yarn must be animal fiber: cottons and acrylics will not felt. 
Set of 5 dpns in the appropriate size for your yarn.
Gauge is irrelevant!
Body of bag: 
Cast on 11 stitches 
Knit garter stitch for 6-7 rows to form a little rectangle. This will become the base/bottom of the bag. At this point you’ll switch to knitting in the round.
Pick up and knit 3 stitches along the first short side of the rectangle base. 
Pick up and knit 11 stitches along the other long side of the rectangle base. 
Pick up and knit the remaining 3 stitches on the second short side of the rectangle base.
Place marker to indicate beginning of round.
At this point you’ll knit in the round (in a rectangle shape) by knitting all rolls until the bag is about 3 inches, or as tall as you want it to be before felting, ending on a short side of the rectangle. You’ll now do one decrease row.
Long Side one, K2tog, K until the last 2 stitches from the end of that side, K2tog. 9 stitches remaining.
Short Side one, K2tog, K. 2 stitches remaining on that side.
Long Side two, K2tog, K until the last 2 stitches from the end of that side, K2tog. 9 stitches remaining.
Short Side two, K2tog, K. 2 stitches remaining on that side.
Knit one more round.
Bind off all stitches. 
Weave in ends.
Felt the bag: 
To felt, place the bag in a lingerie pouch and run through the washing machine cycle on the highest heat and agitation available for your machine. Include a towel or pair of jeans with the wash so that the bag is agitated as much as possible. 
Decorating your bag: 
Use any fluffy white novelty yarn as the faux fur; simply sew around the top of the felted bag. I make my bag handles out of pearl beads strung on florist wire. Simple string beads onto 3 or 4 inches of florist wire, twist of the ends, and using a clear thread, sew into the inside of your bag. 
Just play!
Copyright Olisa Corcoran 2011 

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