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the Knitty store

I have always wondered how the women here in Italy look so put together.

After much deliberation in the form of countless cappuccinos and cornetti at the local cafes, I've come to the conclusion it's all in the bag. No matter the age, the woman, the season, they always have a great bag.

I really don't need much of an excuse to make another bag but I thought, hey, if I did need one that would certainly be it.

This bag is roomy enough for the necessities and then some. I've left the structure rather simple, the shaping coming from the gusset and lining support. I highly suggest lining the bag simply to prolong the life of your knitting (well, that and the added structure and supportthe lining gives). Applied i-cord edging and i-cord handles give it a finished look.

The slip stitch pattern is from Le Dictionnaire Harmony des Points de Tricot Volume III. The textured slip stitch pattern and contrasing colors make for one eye-catching bag. The pattern works beautifully using a solid and variegated yarn combination as well!

model: unassuming-yet-well-accessorized Italian citizens photos: Wendy Wonnacott


Width: 10.5 inches (27 centimeters)

Height: 8 inches (20 centimeters)
Gusset Depth: 3 inches (8 centimeters)



[MC] Grignasco Mexico [100% Mercerized Cotton; 93yd/85m per 50g skein]; 
color: #002 Black; 4 skeins
[CC] Grignasco Mexico [100% Mercerized Cotton; 93yd/85m per 50g skein]; 
color: #462 Robin's Egg Blue; 2 skeins

A Note on Yarn Substitution: If Grignasco Mexico is not available, try Kertzer's Butterfly Super 10 mercerized cotton or Elann Endless Summer Collection Sonata.

1 pair US #6/4mm 24" circular needles
1 set US #6/4mm double-point needles
1 spare circular needle, US #6/4mm or smaller
Stitch markers
Tapestry needle
Sewing needle
Sewing thread
Straight pins
Fabric for lining approx: 31 inches by 24 inches (80cm by 61cm)


22 sts/30 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
27 sts/44 rows = 4 inches in pattern



[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations can be found here]

Slip Stitch Pattern
Note: When working a slip stitch pattern in the round, on even numbered rows you need to bring the yarn to the back of the work before you slip, then to the front of the work for the next purl stitch.

Round 1: [CC] [K2, sl1] to end.
Round 2: [CC] [P2, sl1] to end.
Round 3: [MC] [(Sl1, k2) three times, sl1, k3, (sl1, k2) three times, sl1, k1] to end.
Round 4: [MC] [(Sl1, p2) three times, sl1, p3, (sl1, p2) three times, sl1, p1] to end.
Round 5: [CC] [K1, (sl1, k2) three times, sl1, k1, (sl1, k2) four times] to end.
Round 6: [CC] [P1, (sl1, p2) three times, sl1, p1, (sl1, p2) four times]
Round 7: [MC] [K2, sl1] to end.
Round 8: [MC] [P2, sl1] to end.
Round 9: [CC] [(Sl1, k2) three times, sl1, k3, (sl1, k2) three times, sl1, k1] to end.
Round 10: [CC] [(Sl1, p2) three times, sl1, p3, (sl1, p2) three times, sl1, p1] to end.
Round 11: [MC] [K1, (sl1, k2) three times, sl1, k1, (sl1, k2) four times] to end.
Round 12: [MC] [P1, (sl1, p2) three times, sl1, p1, (sl1, p2) four times] to end.


Using circular needle and MC, CO 192 sts.
Place marker and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.
K 1 round.
Join CC and work in Slip Stitch Pattern until work measures 9.5 inches (24 cm) from beg.
Transfer 96 sts to spare circular needle, turn work inside out, and BO two halves of work together using three-needle BO. This seam forms the bottom center of the bag.

Handles (make 2)
Using double-point needles and 2 strands of MC, CO 6 sts. Work in stockinette stitch for 2.5 inches (6cm), ending on a WS row.
Next Row [RS]: K2tog, k2, ssk. 4 sts rem.
P 1 row.
K 1 row.
Work in I-cord for 14 inches (36 cm). Turn work.
P 1 row.
K 1 row.
P 1 row.
Next Row [RS]: K1, m1, k2, m1, k1. 6 sts.
Work in stockinette stitch for 2.5 inches (6cm). BO all sts.


Weave in ends.
Lay bag flat and measure length and width -- record these numbers for use in cutting lining fabric.

I-cord edging
Using MC, work applied 4 st i-cord around top edge of bag. [note: applied i-cord photo turorial here]

Sew bag gusset, creating a 3 inch (8cm) gusset. Tack down corners of gusset to bottom seam of bag. [note: detailed info on creating a gusset in the Sueet pattern from the Spring 04 issue]

Cut out a piece of cardboard 10 inches (26cm) long by 2.5 inches (6 cm) wide. Round the corners. Cover the cardboard with a piece of lining fabric, securing with tape or thread. Tack base into the bottom of the bag at the four corners.

Sew handles to inside edge of bag, approximately 3 inches (8cm) from corners of bag. Align beg of I-cord with top of bag.

Cut a rectangular piece of lining fabric that is the height and twice the width of the bag (add one inch to each dimension for seam allowances).Fold the lining in half widthwise and sew the sides and bottom of the lining together, leaving a half-inch seam allowance. Sew 3-inch gussets into the lining. Fold the top edge of the lining down one-half inch and insert lining into bag, pinning in place. Sew top edge of lining to the bag. [note: hand sewing in a lining tutorial can be found here.


Wendy lives in Sicily at the foot of Europe's largest active

Her days are spent torturing her husband, daughter and the natives with her lousy Italian as she schemes up her next sacrifice to the Boiling Cauldron of Death. She documents it all here.