Stashbusting – The Purple Purse

From some leftover purple overdye comes this little confection of a purse.  I had to laugh, though:  I showed it to someone at weaving class today and the first thing they said was, it’s cute, but it’s not big enough.  What would you use it for?  When I said it’s a gift bag, they said they weren’t that organized.

Organized?  It doesn’t take any organization at all to use up our stash in these little bags or other small projects.  Quite the contrary, actually.  If we use it up, then we don’t need to organize or store it – and if it’s a gift bag, we can give it away and get it out of our house, and make somebody really happy in the process.  A win-win, in my book!

I figured out one thing, though.  I used the Woven Stitch from Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns.  If you’re a knitter, get this book and the other three in the collection as you can.  They’re a treasure trove.

But I digress.  So, Woven Stitch.  It calls for a K1 before the repeat begins on Row 2, and a K1 at the end of the repeat on Row 4.  I wasn’t thinking, and knitted the bag on 3 needles in the round like a sock.  I did each pattern repeat distinctly, one on each needle, not thinking that when I took it off the needles it would be a tube.  In the front left of the image above, immediately to the left of the handle, there’s a vertical stripe of stockinette (stocking) stitch going up the purse in the midst of the Woven Stitch; it’s echoed on the other side as well.  I actually like the effect but had a “derp” moment when I took it off the needles and realized my mistake.

If you’re reading that and trying to figure out why it’s a mistake, consider this:  even though you’re knitting on three needles, you’re knitting in the round.  You don’t need the edge stitches to keep the integrity of the design the way you do in back-and-forth flat knitting.  I should have just omitted those extra knit stitches on either side of the design and then you’d never be able to tell where I began and ended the row repeats (which, since I was knitting in a circle, were rounds and not rows).  Clear as mud?  Good.

Here’s a bigger picture so you can see what I’m talking about and use my thumb for scale – it really is a cute little bag.  But, honestly, I would use it for keys and cell phone if I was going out for the evening somewhere casual but where I didn’t want to drag my planner and ubiquitous backpack.

The woven stitch when knit flat has a curl to it, so I decided to do a seed stitch for the handle instead so I didn’t have to worry about edge stitches to keep it flat.

Here’s a detail of the handle and a look inside the maw of the bag.  Rowr!

One more stash down; a lot more to go.

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