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My favorite knitted accessory: The Handbag

Apr 4, 2012

I'm a handbag collector. I come by it honestly because my gramma and my mom paved the way for me (and my sister!). Just last week my mom and sister came over and we spread out all of our handbags on my dining room table and held The Big Seasonal Handbag Trade. I honestly don't remember which of us some of those handbags originally belonged to! It's a really fun way to get a new bag for the season, though.

I haven't switched out of my bag yet—I'm still carrying my favorite Coach black bucket bag—but I'm looking forward to changing into my mom's smaller red purse for the spring.

I have just one knitted bag. It's big, brown, felted sling. It gets pretty heavy, but I consider a heavy handbag a workout opportunity. I like to carry this bag it in the winter and as a project bag.

I've actually knitted lots of bags but they've all been gifts so I just have the one, lonely brown bag. All of my handbag knitting projects have been felted, too, so I'm interested in non-felted bags, which are few and far between in our knitting world, but here are three from creative designer Teva Durham; they're all beautiful. I have to choose one, though.

     The first bag is the Leaf Satchel. The leaf motif is so cute and I like the pairing of the nature design with the bamboo handles.

This bag would also be nice with a longer knitted strap so it could be worn over the shoulder.

I think I would knit a two-inch reverse-stockinette strip with a purl turning row and then seam it together to make a double layer, then sew it to the ends of the bag.

The double layer adds structure to the strap but I've also seen single-layer knitted straps lined with grosgrain ribbon. Choose a stripe or contrasting color to add a little color!
The Ripple Purse is a blast from the past. It reminds me of a bag that my mom inherited from her gramma.

It's a chain-mail bag with the same sort of frame Teva used in her Ripple Purse. The bag still lives in my mom's curio cabinet, and it occasionally gets used for a night at the opera!

You can't see it well in the photo, but the frame has a long chain handle.
I've seen the Barrow Bag in person and it is so cool! Teva was inspired by M.C. Escher and Art Deco metalwork grilles.

The Barrow Bag is large, which I like, and the shaping and stitch pattern are really attractive.

I might put a shoulder strap on this bag, too, along with the handles. It's got a wide opening and it needs the stability of those handles to show off the stitch pattern.
I'm inspired to knit a bag for summer, and I hope you are too! Download one of these patterns today and add a handbag to your wardrobe of knitted accessories!

Cheers,

P.S. Which bag would you choose? Leave a comment and let me know.


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Leaf Satchel

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Loop-d-Loop's signature leaf motif gives this roomy bag dramatic impact.

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Ripple Purse

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Price: $6.00

eProject

A stitch pattern from granny's afghan is turned into an accessory with Art Deco appeal.

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Comments

Gerryberry64 wrote
on Apr 25, 2012 12:11 PM

Top one I love the leaf motif.

Geraldine

xxx

Sunny View wrote
on Apr 12, 2012 4:43 PM

All the bags are beautiful but the one I find most tempting is the Leaf Satchel. I love to knit projects that use leafs. I would make this bag in pumpkin or another fall color.

TerriLynnC wrote
on Apr 9, 2012 12:42 PM

These are all really pretty.  I love the idea of the Leaf Satchel with a knitted strap.  I really like the stitch pattern and this would be so nice for the summer.  Definitely tempting!

Sherry Haun wrote
on Apr 8, 2012 4:57 PM

My favorite is the Barrow bag and probably would want to do something else with the handles.  Thanks for the fine offering.

pat@284 wrote
on Apr 8, 2012 3:57 PM

I've just downloaded the Barrow Bag -- looks like fun!  But tell me, where does one get the wooden handles?  Thanx!

Jane@146 wrote
on Apr 7, 2012 7:37 PM

When did "knitted" become a word? It used to be "knit" for adjective, as well as the verb...just confused.

knitpick56 wrote
on Apr 7, 2012 4:18 PM

My favorites are the Ripple Purse and the  Barrow bag.  If I had to just choose one, it would probably be the Barrow because it's larger...I tend to carry a lot of stuff in my purse. Terri in  TN

Bynska wrote
on Apr 7, 2012 12:22 PM

These are beautiful!  What is the dificulty level of these bags?  I am an intermediate-level knitter, I'd really like to try them but am afraid that they may be too difficult for me.

Thank you!

marjack202 wrote
on Apr 7, 2012 12:09 PM

All of the bags are so pretty but I really love the Barrow Bag.  The shape and pattern of the knitting really caught my eye.  As a very beginning knitter, I can only wish to be able to to complete one.  It certainly is a pattern I will purchase as an incentive to work harder at improving my knitting skills.  

cosmicmuffin wrote
on Apr 7, 2012 11:32 AM

What I do to fend off stretchiness in bag handles: a row (or two) of crocheted slip stitches along the long ends of the straps.

Vivi@3 wrote
on Apr 7, 2012 11:16 AM

I think the Barrow Bag would look better without the bottom lobe or whatever you want to call it. As I scrolled down my curser stopped at that point and I said ooh, pretty, but as it went all the way down and I saw the bottom, I thought, not so much.

But I think I will be making the ripple bag for my daughter, I have some silvery yarn left over from a shawlette I made her and this would be a perfect go with.

Vivi@3 wrote
on Apr 7, 2012 11:15 AM

I think the Barrow Bag would look better without the bottom lobe or whatever you want to call it. As I scrolled down my curser stopped at that point and I said ooh, pretty, but as it went all the way down and I saw the bottom, I thought, not so much.

But I think I will be making the ripple bag for my daughter, I have some silvery yarn left over from a shawlette I made her and this would be a perfect go with.

on Apr 7, 2012 9:22 AM

Paula,

You can get purse handles on-line at www.umei.com/handle-bamboo.htm or on e-bay. (you might have to copy and paste the link)

Julie

Paula Kelso wrote  

I love the Ripple Purse. I actually had knitted a bag from a free pattern posted online and can't find purse handles anywhere in Toronto!  The craft stores have disappeared and the one left doesn't carry purse handles of any kind.  Considering that knit, crochet and fabric purses are very popular, I wonder where people are getting the handles?  Does anyone know?

Paula

SharylRae wrote
on Apr 5, 2012 12:22 PM

I like the Leaf Satchel the best.  But you should check out Kristin Omdahl's crochet tubular handle she demonstrated not too long ago maybe show 805 or 809?? That might work, too.  I like long over the shoulder handles for lugging stuff and hands free shopping.  Good luck with whichever you choose.

mellies yarn wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 11:05 PM

Oh well I am going to do the M.C. Escher bag because I am a very big fan of his work.  So naturally I have to have a bag inspired by him. To great things in one!

cemetery6 wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 5:05 PM

Definitely the Leaf Satchel!  I love the shape, and of course, the leaves.

Paula Kelso wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 5:03 PM

I love the Ripple Purse. I actually had knitted a bag from a free pattern posted online and can't find purse handles anywhere in Toronto!  The craft stores have disappeared and the one left doesn't carry purse handles of any kind.  Considering that knit, crochet and fabric purses are very popular, I wonder where people are getting the handles?  Does anyone know?

Paula

fjheller wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 3:45 PM

The leaf satchel is beautiful.  This is my choice, but then I'm a sucker for flowers.

Ceriani wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 11:41 AM

The leaf bag...I want to make it.  

KarenLeeC wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 11:35 AM

I love the leaf bag and just might have to make it.

loanrho wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 9:47 AM

I love the leaf bag -- and the handles really make it!  Very cool summer bag.

Lois

Belle Gallay wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 8:54 AM

Do you have a pattern that you would share for a small handbag using a cable stitch?

Belle

Jean@77 wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 8:48 AM

Do you line these bags?  I think they would stretch if you don't - just wondering??

Jean

CeceliaJ wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 8:37 AM

Tough Choice!

I think I would use the Barrow Bag more than the others, but i'd love to have them all.

Thanks for the show.

psanders50 wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 7:45 AM

I love the Barrow bag.

psanders50 wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 7:44 AM

The Barrow Bag is fabulous--but then the others are as well...I love to knit handbags...

LindyS@6 wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 7:08 AM

blast from the past for sure....classy and timeless and practical

CathyT@9 wrote
on Apr 4, 2012 6:13 AM

I like the leaf satchel , and your idea about the strap. I once knit a purse for my daughter and when full, the purse hung down near her knees . never thought of making a double knit strap ! Even with a big knot tied in the handle , it still hangs too low .