The Lisa Bag

29 Jan

Several years ago, I received two skeins of rainbow-hued frilly yarn as a graduation present from my friend Lisa.  Shortly after I moved to Savannah, I sat down one night and knitted up this purse. I put a cotton lining in the bottom but not in the handle (mistake 1). I also created an overly complicated closure, with two flaps and three snaps covered by buttons to make it look better (mistake 2).

The first Lisa Bag

Shortly after this new year, Lisa sent me a spontaneous present- a box of yarn and beads. Two of the yarn skeins were similar to that graduation present. So I decided to update purse and name it the Lisa Bag, à la Hermès.

beginning the bottom of the purse

I started with a rectangular swatch; then picked up three inches worth of stitches in the middle of the longer side. The material knitted off of this needle formed the bottom, one side of the purse, and then the handle.

I formed the bottom and side of the bag by first knitting a row, then picking up a stitch at the beginning of each row and knitting that stitch together with the next stitch. This connects the strip to the body of the bag without increasing or decreasing the width.

picking up stitches

partially finished bottom of the purse

Once the bottom and side were completed, I extended the long strip the same length to form the handle and sewed the end onto the opposite side of the purse to finish the handle.

nearly finished knit

To finish the purse, I fully lined it in black wool. The knitted fabric is very soft and pliable, so the wool makes an excellent contrast and gives the purse shape.

The lining consisted of one rectangle of wool wrapped around the bottom, and another very skinny rectangle formed the sides and handle. These rectangles were machine sewn together and then hand sewn into the knitted fabric. I like to use large safety pins to hold the lining in place while I sew it onto the knitted fabric.

the lining is pinned in the purse with safety pins

close up of finished bag

finished purse

The final version is available for purchase on my Etsy store, freestyle fashion.

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