I had a lot of fun making this bag! I had a whole pile of brightly dyed recycled yarns and I wanted to find a project that would allow me to show them off to their best advantage. I adapted this from a design by Vicki Square, published in the very inspiring book Folk Bags. She called it "Napramach" which is an Uzbek word for a type of bag used to store household supplies. I shortened her design a bit to make it work better as a purse, lined it with a deep purple silky fabric, and added a very neat woven strap.
The lining is stiffened with interfacing to give structure to the bag. This makes for a really lovely combination of textures: The tightly-knit wool/silk yarns on the outside, the stiff interior, and the silky lining.
Handles and straps are one of the weakest points of knitting. Frequently knitted handles stretch way out, are too skinny for comfort or else have a less-than-ideal texture. In my quest to overcome these weaknesses, I've been exploring the technique of card-weaving on an inkle loom. My amazing husband just built me a gorgeous inkle loom for this purpose, and this bag handle was my first card-woven strap.
Card weaving allows for beautifully intricate patterns and produces a very sturdy product in the end.
One other note about this bag: It's made entirely from recycled yarns, and four of the colors (blue, green, yellow and pink - the four in the strap) are a wool/silk blend that I dyed with Easter egg dyes! The red and purple are wool yarns dyed with black cherry and grape Kool Aid respectively. All of them are really great semi-solids that worked beautifully into the colorwork patterns of this bag.
Suggested Retail: $40