25 March 2012

Make your own knitting bag

I’m always carrying my knitting to my boyfriend’s place in plastic bags (rocking the bag lady look) that inevitably get punctured on the journey. Once the bf stuck his hand in my bag and yelped after he accidentally palmed the sharp end of a knitting needle. It was time, I decided, to make a knitting bag.

And here it is--

The bag is 40 x 10 x 15 cm. It has contrast piping, a contrast inner wall and contrast backed handles. Only the contrast piping was planned; the other pieces were cut from the yellow fabric when the blue ran out. I hadn't bought any of the fabric with the bag in mind! There is an outer pocket, lined in another contrast fabric (also an improvisation when the blue fabric ran out), and two inner pouches which are slightly elasticated to hold bulkier items in place. In the final photo you can see the scarf I've been knitting recently!

I have not put measurements on the pattern in case you want to make your own. My needles are 35cm long so this was the rationale behind a length of 40cm. Also the wool I use comes in smaller balls and my projects are scarves, not jumpers, so my bag didn’t need to be too tall or deep. In case you want to make yours the same size, here are the dimensions, all in cm with 1.5cm seam allowance:

1.   FRONT                                  43 X 18
2a. BACK ABOVE POCKET          43 X 6
2b. BACK BELOW ZIPPER           43 X 15
3.   BOTTOM                               56.7 X 7.5
4.   TOP                                       56.7 X 13
5.   INNER POUCH                        47 X 14.5
6.   HANDLE                                 30 X 3.5 (0.5cm or 1/4" seam allowance)

**If you're making your bag to custom dimensions and don't want to do all the maths yourself, here's how to calculate the length of pieces 3 and 4.

Draw a small square in each corner of piece 1 and the top and bottom corners respectively of pieces 2a and 2b (mine were 3 X 3cm). Use this to draw a curve with a compass or eyeball it. We will use the rule circumference = 2πr in a sec. [If you don't have a scientific calculator, pi is 3.142.]

- Calculate the total perimeter including seam allowances of your bag front. I will use my bag as an example. eg. 122cm

- Subtract twice the perimeter of your corner square. eg. 3+3+3+3 = 12, 12 X 2 = 24 so 122-24 = 98

- Now drawing that square becomes relevant. To find the length of the curves at the four corners (four quarters of a circle!) multiply the length of one side of your little square by 6.284 (which is 2π), eg. 6.284 X 3 = 9.42. Add this onto your total perimeter minus corners eg. 98 + 9.42 = 107.42.

- Now divide this by two. eg. 107.42 / 2 = 53. 71 Add on seam allowances, eg. 56.71, and you're done!**

For the dimensions I have given you will need:
1/2m of heavy weight fabric such as canvas, twill, denim, oilcloth or any upholstery grade cotton. I used normal medium weight cotton and even with heavy interfacing it is quite flimsy.
0.4m medium weight fabric for lining (quilting cotton, poplin, lawn)
0.2m contrast medium-weight fabric (for the piping and inner contrast wall)
0.15m second contrast medium-weight fabric (for the outside pocket)
1/2 heavy iron-on interfacing
2.3m thick cording (nylon is preferable) 
45cm zip
60cm zip
40cm 3mm elastic
Polyester thread

Heavy weight fabrics machine needle (blue or size 90/14)
Zip and piping foot

Next post I'll tell you how to make the bag as this one is getting long...

Alix xxx

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