Color chart: http://twostrands.com/2010/10/01/the-dearest-beast-is-dead-long-live-the-dearest-beast/ (the author’s Ravelry is here: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/mary-ann-stephens, she has some beautiful designs)
Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Blueberry, Hot Pink, Country Yellow; Crafter’s Secret Cotton Brown (I would have preferred to use all the same brand, but I couldn’t find the shade of brown I wanted in Sugar ‘n Cream)
Needles: Size 3 circular, used as straight; size 2.75 double pointed for strap
A friend of mine has a new golden retriever that she is quite fond of. (Personally, I don’t get it; she’s a big, overly energetic puppy. But I tend to prefer dogs that return the favor when I ignore them.) I found the adorable color chart online and decided to use it to make a little purse. I poked around for a purse pattern, but I didn’t find what I wanted, so I winged it.
The first try, I thought I’d knit in the round. I got a few rows in when I remembered that I don’t want to do color work in the round, especially when I need the back to be decently finished.
Entire pattern is knit in stockinette, except where noted.
CO 40 stitches (I would consider 39 or 41 next time), knit 49 rows. (I had completely finished and cast off, when I realized that about 7 rows in I had picked up the project and knitted the wrong way. So there are about 14 stitches on the left that have 51 rows.)
Purl (wrong side, or knit right side) one row, for the bottom of the bag
Knit 7 rows before starting the pattern. Knit pattern from the bottom up. I added 6 stitches to the left of the pattern and 7 stitches to the right. The first row, at the bottom of the collar, has 16 stitches to the left of the color.
Knit the pattern: 35 rows. Knit 10 more rows, for a total of 52 rows – aiming for 2 rows more than the front of the purse.
Purl (rs, knit ws) 2 rows for the top of the bag. (Could probably do 3 rows if you wanted.)
The rest is the front flap. I intended for the flap to start the same width, then decrease steadily at the start and end of each row, and end with the point somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of the way down. I wanted the bone larger bone from the color grid centered and the edge two or three stitches away from the bottom corner of the design. Unfortunately, I messed up my math somewhere and the decreases where about to the design, so I had to modify the decreases on the fly. I did get it centered, so the problem must be with either the start of the decreasing, or the rate of decrease.
Knit 5 rows before starting the design. There will be 9 stitches to the right of the pattern. Knit 15 stitches to the right of the first row of the design.
Start decreasing on the 8th row of the pattern. Decrease at the start and end of rows 8-14. Row 15, decrease at the start (right) but not the end. Row 16 and 17 no decrease. Row 18 decrease at the beginning (left) but not the end. Rows 19 and 20 decrease at the beginning, but not the end. Continue decreasing on both ends until you reach 4 stitches.
Button hole: Knit the first 2 stitches, then turn. Knit back 2, forward 2, back 2, then forward 4, going back to the other stitches still on your needles. Knit those two stitches up to match the others, then knit all the way across. Decrease the first and last stitches, leaving 2 stitches. Knit these last two stitches together, pull the yarn through, and weave the end in. I found it most convenient to weave it in along the edge.
Fold along the purl rows.
Whip stitch the edges. Start at the bottom and work your way up to keep the rows matched up. Use the same brown as the outline of the design.
I stitched over the edges a few times, both to make sure the edges are firmly bonded and to give it a solid look.
The strap is a 4 stitch wide i-cord. I picked up 4 stitches at the top of the seam on one side, 2 stitches on each side of the seam. I-cord to the desired length, then join to the other side of the bag. I picked up a stitch from the bag every other stitch of the strap then knit them together. Knit first and second and the third and fourth stitches together. Knit the last two stitches together. Cut a long tail and pull through. Use the tail to whip stitch around the join. I went back and stitched around the top of the other side too, where the strap started. I’m sure there were better ways to do the joins, but this is what I did.
If I ever do one of these bags again, I am going to start with the button. I had an image in mind for the button, but I forgot check if such a button existed. I imagined something like bonz candy (http://www.amazon.com/Candy-By-The-Pound-Bonz/dp/B00A5QVR0G) but a little bigger; in white or off white. I found a bone shaped button, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I kept looking and I found some paw print buttons. In the end I’m happy with how it turned out. I did have to stretch out the button hole a bit to make it fit.
I have to admit, my favorite part of this project is the name. See, it’s a bag, with a doggy on it…. it’s a “doggy bag”!!!!