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Schleppenheimer
Seriously Hooked

USA
627 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  09:31:06 AM  Show Profile Send Schleppenheimer a Private Message
I've just finished knitting my first handbag, combining three different colors of a cotton yarn and attaching them to a handle while I cast on to four DPN's. It turned out pretty good. I was just wondering if anyone else out there has done knitted purses.

Did you:
a) use cotton or wool yarn?
b) use a purchased handle, or knitted a strap?
c) felt the finished product, or leave it as is?
d) like the finished product?

My only complaint about knitted purses is that they sometime end up looking a little "too" homemade.

Kris


knittygirl
Chatty Knitter

242 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  09:34:11 AM  Show Profile Send knittygirl a Private Message
Hi Kris,
I have made a few bags now, all but one have been felted. the one that wasn't felted was lined, but it always felt too soft and shapeless to me. The felted bags hold up much better, in my opinion, and look great (even if you mess up, which is a plus!). the bags I've made so far have had knit handles or i-cords, but I'd like to try one with a purchased handle, because sometimes the i-cord gets stretchy.
Kerry
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  10:02:48 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
I have made so many knitted purses, I can't remember them all. I am allergic to wool so all of them have been cotton or synthetic/ I have worked with purchased (or salvaged) handles. I make knitted handles too small because they all stretch out. I find that it is the details that make the difference between a quality purse and one that looks "homemade". I put that in parentheses because, in my opinion, homemade items are frequently superior to their manufactured counterpart. I always like the finished product because it is what I wanted when I designed it. The most frequent cause of a poorly made purse, besides workmanship, is poor color selection resulting many times in something garish. My bags are usually lined and with all the amenities like zippered pockets, etc. on the inside.

fran
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Schleppenheimer
Seriously Hooked

USA
627 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  11:21:29 AM  Show Profile Send Schleppenheimer a Private Message
Wow, Fran, you sound like you really put your time into these bags, what with the lining and the zippers. That WOULD make the difference between a professional looking bag and one that isn't even very useful. In my bag, I was trying to see if I could knit one that was sturdy (the three-combo of cotton yarn did the trick for that -- it's like Fort Knox!), AND had a nice bag-like appearance, which I managed by sewing a pleat in either end of the sides at the top of the bag, where there is knitting on either side of the handle. I attached a bit of knitted fabric that acts as a closure from one side of the bag to the other, buttoning on the front. Have you used pleats to make your bags look more professional?

I'm not unhappy with the finished project, in that this is my first purse, but I am already having ideas run through my mind as to how I could possibly make the next one better. Any ideas that might come in from the crowd might help me!

Kris
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ChristinaN
Chatty Knitter

USA
184 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  2:00:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit ChristinaN's Homepage Send ChristinaN a Private Message
I've made a few purses and bags, some felted and some not. For the non-felted bags I knitted I-cord, but as Kerry (knittygirl) said I didn't like how they stretched. The felted I-cord seems to hold up better. I just finished felting three small handbags and I was going to try and find some handles to sew on. I'm just not sure where to start looking for them.

I like your idea of using pleats. A few of the patterns I've used call for slipped stitches on the corners of the bags to create a "fold" when they are felted. Did you handsew the pleats?

I've thought of adding lining to my bags but then remember I need to learn how to thread the needle on my sewing machine first!

~ Christina

http://warmfuzzyknits.blogspot.com
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Knit kitty
Permanent Resident

USA
1383 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  2:15:39 PM  Show Profile Send Knit kitty a Private Message
I have done non-felted bags from Tahki Positano and from recycled silk yarn. I am really pleased with the silk ones--I thought that they would not hold up very well, but other than becoming softer and fuzzier, they are all intact. I did line them, with pockets and a divider (putting crinoline inside the divider works wonders for the bag keeping a nice shape). I plan to make a felted one for fall if I ever get caught up enough on other projects.
~Rebecca

"Where am I, and what am I doing in this handbasket?"
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orangebliss
New Pal

USA
28 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  2:58:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit orangebliss's Homepage Send orangebliss a Private Message
i do mostly felted bags, too, and use the i-cord as a strap. however, i did make one handbag out of deco-ribbon, and while i liked the way the seed stitch looked, i felt like it looked very homemade. and by homemade i mean sloppy. and it wasn't sloppy! it just lost its shape when i'd put things in it. i really really like my felted handbags, but i do get a little annoyed by the pilling. any tricks to stop that?

http://orangeyarnplease.blogspot.com
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tedbets
Warming Up

57 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  5:22:41 PM  Show Profile Send tedbets a Private Message
Christina,

Try looking for purse handles at fabric stores. The fabric stores here have several styles available. The selections aren't extensive, but they do provide some choice.

Betsy
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Knit kitty
Permanent Resident

USA
1383 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  6:25:39 PM  Show Profile Send Knit kitty a Private Message
Hobby Lobby and Michaels also have a few styles of handbag handles.
~Rebecca

"Where am I, and what am I doing in this handbasket?"
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Schleppenheimer
Seriously Hooked

USA
627 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  6:29:28 PM  Show Profile Send Schleppenheimer a Private Message
Christina,

I handsewed the pleats with the yarn I was knitting with. Something about those pleats helped it look more like a real handbag. Also, I bought the handles at Joanne Fabrics -- but as someone else posted, Michaels would be a likely spot to buy them as well.

I'm going to have to try the I-cord idea with the next purse. Thanks for all of the input, and keep it coming!

Kris
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meowy
Chatty Knitter

USA
299 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  6:31:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit meowy's Homepage Send meowy a Private Message
I love making bags :)

So far I've done felted bags with wool but I am currently kintting the "Fiona Bag" pattern in cotton. It's coming out really really nice.

Two purses so far have used knitted icord handles. The Fiona bag I'm not sure what it uses but it's yarn based I guess icord too. Then the monkey bag I'm going to knit will have storebought handles sewn into it if I can find something yellow or banana themed, so far I can't find anything though. Even tried to find banana beads to string up onto one of those bead-base type handles.

Two were booga bags and felted. When I get around to making my backpack that'll be really strange in color since I'll be using my original koolaid dyed yarns, I'll probably not felt it. The monkey bag won't be felted and Fiona isn't felted either.

I've loved the finished project every tiem though, mostly cause I made it myself haha. The first booga bag is a bit manky since I messed up on it pretty bad. It looks nothing at all in size to my second booga bag. But I like it anyway. I carry it around and lots of people like to pet it and ask where I get it, so I guess it must be a success haha

- meowy
- Knitting a Rat's Nest
- http://knit.strayalleycat.com
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2004 :  9:55:54 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
You can also salvage handles from old handbags for example at the Salvation Army. Another source is old leather belts. I have also used chains for handles available from hardware and home stores. Yes I frequently pleat the sides, especially in those bags with a fold over closing and I also just stitch them at the top with the same yarn I used in the bag.

fran
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Dagny
Chatty Knitter

USA
178 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2004 :  04:56:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit Dagny's Homepage Send Dagny a Private Message
Another vote for Sally (Salvation Army) store bags! My step-mom is the director for the Meals on Wheels program up here, and she delivered food for years. The stories are heart wrentching - people who's children would dump into any apartment to get rid of them, others with mental handicaps, and even a few who no one knew were gone until she was outside pounding on the door. All the store sales go back to help these programs, so buying a ripped bag to use the handles - she'll love you for helping! (besides, with 4 kids, I've grown very adept at finding bargains for my own clothes, and let's not start on the recycled yarns, and the donatations of yarn and needles we get in!)

Dagny in Maine

yarn blog
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twstdstchs
Chatty Knitter

178 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2004 :  12:34:18 PM  Show Profile Send twstdstchs a Private Message
I read another suggestion for handles on another thread. I believe it was under techniques, alternatives to I-cord. Someone did a handle that started with 7 stitches, K4, wyif sl next 3 as if to purl, turn and repeat. She said you end up with a double I-cord with a garter stitch in between and that it was very sturdy. I assume it wouldn't stretch out either. I will be trying that one on my next bag. Sheryl
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Allyn
Chatty Knitter

USA
290 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2004 :  12:52:05 PM  Show Profile Send Allyn a Private Message
Kumihimo braids make good and attractive straps too. Last year I made a whole slew of little make-up/evening bag sized bags. Just went wild with novelty yarn and trim add-ons. They were lots of fun to do. They were also a good way to use up small amounts of yarn and to try stitches that were too wearing for a large project. Now I need to know what this booga bag that everyone is talking about is!

Allyn

Ik hald fan dei.
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knittergrrl
Chatty Knitter

USA
175 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2004 :  09:20:29 AM  Show Profile Send knittergrrl a Private Message
Here ya go---http://boogaj.typepad.com/knitting/

I can't wait to do the Amanda...delta

2004 stats--FOs-19 (some scarves, 1st sweater, mittens, 2 felted cell phone purses, afghan) WIP--xmas gifts-lots! UFO-1
>>>Su voto es su voz!<<<
>>>Vote!<<<
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gone2seed
Warming Up

77 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2004 :  10:42:51 AM  Show Profile Send gone2seed a Private Message
I'm curious, what happens to knitted wool bags in the rain?
I've been looking to make a knitted bag from the DB tweed collection book, but it's not felted, and I wondered what would happen if I got caught in the rain. I walk everywhere, so it would definitely happen . . .
Are felted bags safer for that?
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Knit kitty
Permanent Resident

USA
1383 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2004 :  11:24:32 AM  Show Profile Send Knit kitty a Private Message
It shouldn't be a problem unless you add soap and agitate the bag. After all, a wool sweater is fine in the rain. Just make sure it is colorfast.
~Rebecca

"Where am I, and what am I doing in this handbasket?"
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croknit45
Chatty Knitter

147 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2004 :  1:55:06 PM  Show Profile Send croknit45 a Private Message
I've made a few bags-not purses really-One was the Annie bag from Berrocco...others were just out of my imagination. But haven't felted yet. The Annie bags were using some cotton I got at Webs that is more like embroidery floss. Added some boucle I got from an ebay seller that I really didn't like. They are nice I have to admit. Put some beads on the ties and people seem to like them very much. A friend who is a brand new knitter loves hers, using it for her new knitting project (baby ghan). I've got some NORO so I want to do a bag from that soon...after the church fair stuff is done. I like doing them...short-term project, can get very creative, if I goof it's not such a big deal, no or little gauging...just right for my pea brain. I used to make fancy macrame purses and they were really, really nice, but macrame supplies just aren't what they used to be, plus I can't seem to put the knitting needles down long enough to do anything else...
So, congrats on your bag, got any pictures yet?
Sharon in MA
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ChristinaN
Chatty Knitter

USA
184 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2004 :  4:56:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit ChristinaN's Homepage Send ChristinaN a Private Message
Wow, what great ideas. I never thought to use belts or beads or chain. Shows how creative I am. And thanks for the suggestions on where to get pre-made handles. There is a Michael's down the street and a Jo-Ann's across town so it looks like I have some options. And that stitch Sheryl mentioned sounds interesting. I'll have to try that as well.

Now I'm all inspired to go home and start a purse project!

~ Christina

http://warmfuzzyknits.blogspot.com
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mwyn
Permanent Resident

USA
1419 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2004 :  11:54:52 AM  Show Profile Send mwyn a Private Message
I just knit up the unbias bag from knitty. I'm a bit disappointed. In the photo it looked large and deep enought to hold knitting "stuff". I didn't use the recycled silk, not for a first time project. Didn't want to spend the travel time for one yarn purchase. I made a magic ball from left over cotton yarns & went to it.
It's wide enough, but too shallow for me. So I frogged the strap & picked up stitches on all around. To make a wider 'base' & defined edges.
It's simple, I like the way the bias turned out. Just an FYI in case you thought of making it. mwyn

One who works with his hands is a laborer. With hands & head; a craftsman. With hands, head & heart an artist. (Paraphrase St. Francis of Assissi)
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