Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Braided Cable Handle Tote A Free Pattern!

Also available as a free Ravelry download.
An easy tote with braided cables that continue into the handles.
A perfect first cable or felting project.
Available in three sizes!

Finished Sizes:
Large: 13” wide x 9-1/2” high x 3” deep. Handle height is 10-1/2” from top of bag to shoulder.
Regular: 12” wide x 8-1/2” high x 2” deep. Handle height is 10” from top of bag to shoulder.
Mini: 11” wide x 7-1/2” high x 1-1/2” deep. Handle height is 9” from top of bag to shoulder.

Skill Level:
Advanced beginner
Not extremely important. This will be felted.
Yarn: about 450 yards of worsted weight feltable wool
as pictured: Patons Classic Wool in Sage, Black, Natural Mix
US 8 (5 mm) circular needle, 24" or 36" in length
US 8 (5 mm) double pointed needles
Cable needle
Markers in two colors
cn cable needle
dpn(s) double pointed needle(s)
k knit
p purl
sts stitches

Cable Abbreviations:
CF: Slip 4(3, 2) sts onto cn and hold in front. Knit 4(3, 2) sts, then knit 4(3, 2) sts from cn.
CB: Slip 4(3, 2) sts onto cn and hold in back. Knit 4(3, 2) sts, then knit 4(3, 2) sts from cn.

Pattern is written for Large(Regular, Mini) and worked with one strand of yarn.

Bag Base
Cast on 72(64, 56) sts.
Working in rows, knit in garter for 32(28, 20) rows.
At end of last row, do not turn.
Place marker, pick up and knit 16(14, 10) sts, place marker, pick up and knit 72(64, 56) sts, pick up and knit 16(14, 10) sts, place beginning of round marker. You now have 176(156, 132) sts. Markers are located at bag corners for reference.

Bag Body
Note: You may have to use dpn’s for a few rounds until you have enough room for the circular needle.
Round 1: *k4, p2, k12(9, 6), p2, k32(30, 28), p2, k12(9, 6), p2, k4, pass marker, k16(14, 10), pass marker. Repeat from * for other side.
Rounds 2-4: Repeat round 1

Begin knitting in Bag Cable Pattern.

Bag Cable Pattern:
Round 1: *k4, p2, CF, k4(3, 2), p2, k32(30, 28), p2, k4(3, 2), CB, p2, k4, k16(14, 10). Repeat from * for other side.
Round 2: *k4, p2, k12(9, 6), p2, k32(30, 28), p2, k12(9, 6), p2, k4, k16(14, 10). Repeat from * for other side.
Round 3: repeat row 2.
Round 4: repeat row 2.
Round 5: *k4, p2, k4(3, 2), CB, p2, k32(30, 28), p2, CF, k4(3, 2), p2, k4, k16(14, 10). Repeat from * for other side.
Round 6: *k4, p2, k12(9, 6), p2, k32(30, 28), p2, k12(9, 6), p2, k4, k16(14, 10). Repeat from * for other side.
Round 7: repeat row 6.
Round 8: repeat row 6.

Knit Bag Cable Pattern for a total of 8 (7, 6) times.

Handle set-up rounds: (garter stitch rounds)
Round 1: *p4, p2, CF, k4(3, 2), p2, p32(30, 28), p2, k4(3, 2), CB, p2, p4, p16(14, 10). Repeat from * for other side.
Round 2: Repeat round 2 of cable pattern above.
Round 3: *p4, p2, k12(9, 6), p2, p32(30, 28), p2, k12(9, 6), p2, p4, p16(14, 10). Repeat from * for other side.

Bind off, removing markers as you go, as follows:
Round 4: Bind off stitches until you get to the two purl stitches of the cable pattern.
*Bind off first purl stitch, purl one stitch, knit across the cable, purl one stitch. Keep the live stitches on the needle and continue to bind off until you get to the purl stitches of the next cable pattern. Repeat from * until you have bound off all stitches. Cut yarn and pull through last stitch. Each handle should have 14(11, 8) stitches; your cable stitches and one purl stitch on either side.

You now have four handles on one circular needle.
Mark the first handle by placing a permanent stitch marker somewhere at the beginning of the handle below where you are working. This is for visual reference, so you know which one is handle 1.

I strongly suggest that you take a moment to wind your remaining yarn into four fairly equal balls. This is extremely important if you are making the large bag, as you will be knitting to the end of your yarn! It is very helpful for all of the sizes so that you can work on all four handles at the same time. That way you will be sure they are all the same size. I used four zipper bags and thread my yarn through a snipped corner to keep everything from getting tangled. They fit nicely inside the bag too!
From now on you will be working in rows.

Finish this cable repeat as follows:
Row 5: [handle 1] attach new yarn, p1, k4(3, 2), CB, p1
[handle 2] attach new yarn, p1, CF, k4(3, 2), p1
[handle 3] attach new yarn, p1, k4(3, 2), CB, p1
[handle 4] attach new yarn, p1, CF, k4(3, 2), p1
Row 6: k1, p12(9, 6), k1 for all handles
Row 7: p1, k12(9, 6), p1 for all handles
Row 8: repeat row 6

Continue knitting the Handle Cable Pattern, remembering to change yarn with each handle.

Handle Cable Pattern:
Row 1: [handle 1] p1, CF, k4(3, 2), p1
[handle 2] p1, k4(3, 2), CB, p1
[handle 3] p1, CF, k4(3, 2), p1
[handle 4] p1, k4(3, 2), CB, p1
Row 2: k1, p12(9, 6), k1
Row 3: p1, k12(9, 6), p1
Row 4: repeat row 2.
Row 5: [handle 1] p1, k4(3, 2), CB, p1
[handle 2] p1, CF, k4(3, 2), p1
[handle 3] p1, k4(3, 2), CB, p1
[handle 4] p1, CF, k4(3, 2), p1
Row 6: k1, p12(9, 6), k1 for all handles
Row 7: p1, k12(9, 6), p1 for all handles
Row 8: repeat row 6

Knit 9(8, 7) full cable repeats, not including the handle set-up round, or to your desired length (or until you are about to run out of yarn!).

Row 1: p1, k12(9, 6), p1
Row 2: k1, p12(9, 6), k1
Repeat rows 1& 2 once.
Move handles 3&4 to another circular needle or holder.
Working with handles 1 and 2, make sure straps are not twisted. Kitchener stitch together.
Repeat for handles 3 and 4.
Weave in ends.

Felt carefully, checking often! Tug and pull out the braid sections in the handles and bag and check to make sure the handles have not felted themselves into a tube.
Block with an appropriate sized book wrapped in a plastic bag.

There are lots of felting tutorials out in cyberspace. If you still have questions or prefer one-on-one help feel free to comment, e-mail me, or contact me through Ravelry.

Post your pictures! If you are not on Ravelry, e-mail me a picture or send a link to your bag. I’d love to see it!

Cable charts are included in the Ravelry download. Contact me if you want them but are not a member of Ravelry.


Braided Cable Handle Tote

This pattern is offered for personal use only. The pattern, photos, and products made from this pattern are not to be used or sold for personal monetary gain without the written consent of the designer. Do not copy, cut, or paste this pattern. Links back to this pattern are always welcomed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hopefully this will get you excited :)

Ok, so the Ninja Turtle didn't get you going. I understand. It's a very specific target audience and I realize you are not a five year old boy. And if you are a five year old boy reading this blog, then you aren't interested in it either.

Maybe this will work. I've been doing this:

and now have this:

Are you excited? Can you show me some love?

How to make a Ninja Turtle weapon!

Donatello, the first of my knit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is complete. I say first because kidster has already asked for the other three guys. I can understand. They are a team. A matched set. Like socks. You wouldn't make just one of those would you (at least not on purpose!)? I told him that I had other knitting to do first. Which I do. But I'm going to try to get the other three guys done and surprise him.

His other request was that Donny have his weapon. What good is a mutated superhero turtle without his weapon anyway? I didn't want anything hard that could cause bodily injury (to his brother, for instance) but wanted it to look like a pole and not a piece of spaghetti. I thought a bit and came up with this solution. I'm already noodling how to make nunchucks, a long sword, and battle forks. Battle forks? Yup. Not sure what the technical term for them is, that's just what we call them.

So if you are making or have a Donatello and want a weapon to go with him here's what you do:
Pierce the end of one arm with your knitting needle. This makes a little hole through the yarn and stuffing. Take a drinking straw and cut off the bendy top portion. If you don't have a bendy straw, just cut down a regular one to about 6 inches. Fold the end a little and insert it into the hole you made. You will just get it through and need to pull from the other side. Straighten out the folded over part. Position the pole how you like. With the needles you used for the turtle (I used 5's) and the dark green yarn for the shell, cast on 5 stitches. Make a 5 stitch I-cord as long as the part of the straw that is below Donny's arm. Cast off and fasten end closed. Set aside. Make another I-cord as long as you need it for the top portion of the pole. Stick each end of the straw into an I-cord. Attach the cast on edges to Donny's arm using the cast on tails.
Viola! A Turtle and his weapon!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Some progress...

I've been working on writing up that pattern we keep talking about. That's why I've been a little quiet lately. But I have made some progress on my knitting queue too. I ended up making two candy corn hats. They are for the kidsters though, not for Super Aunt. But I still have more yarn left so she might get one after all.
Donatello (aka the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) is coming along. Right now he's a one-legged super hero crime fighter. Kidster #1 has informed me of various "enhancements" he should have so I'm sure he'll need more than his leg to be considered complete.

And my car knitting project is complete. Why did it take me the whole first cloth to get this easy pattern down? Maybe because I was doing it one or two rows at a time. Hmm. Anyway, it's not quite for me. I like the front, but the back makes me frown. Remember, I need things to balance. Symmetry. This doesn't have it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Last night was ladies night again. After two weeks of in-laws away and Hubster busy on the weekends it was nice to get away for a few hours. But I digress!

I finished up the sized-to-order purses and brought them to the ladies. After making five of these I think I am finally ready to take all my notes and scribbles and write out the pattern! It is my next major undertaking, I promise. Well, that and getting rid of the baby gear, getting a dresser in kidster #2's bedroom, painting the kitchen...ok, ok!

Here are my latest cable bags. In "medium" and "small". And here are all three sizes!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

He did it!

He has been so excited about going to Preschool.
No tears. Not even a look back. I'm proud of my little man!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My first KAL

One of my Ravelry friends and Fiber Friends is Anita. She sells her patterns here and on Ravelry. She even has a fan club on Rav (she's so lucky)! When she released her newest pattern for this felted Halloween Ghost, I immediately had to let her know how adorable he is.

(photo used with permission)

Anita thought it might be fun for our group to make him for a KAL. I had a little trouble finding white wool, since there isn't an LYS nearby. But I managed to pack up kidster #2 the other day when it was rainy and we took a drive. Thankfully he loves the car! I got myself some Galway and I'm just waiting for the fun to begin. I'm pretty sure everyone will finish it before me, but that's OK! If you are interested in joining us, check out our Ravelry group!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Two down, one to go

Kidster #1 started Kindergarten last week. We waited for the bus to come. And waited...and waited. Apparently the bus driver determined that there was no where on the road for her to turn around, so she decided she wouldn't pick him up. And didn't call anyone either. Not me, the school, the town's transportation department, or the bus company. It's straightened out now. All it took was one very firm mother, a father being an administrator in the town's school system, and the fact that you can fit three tanks in our driveway!
So here he is, on the second day of school.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

An answer for Vicki

All of you Blogger users know there is no good way to respond to comments folks leave. Bummer. Vicki had a question about yarn for felting, so I thought it would be good to repeat her question and my answer here.

Vicki said...
I love this bag [Around About]! I would like to make it in a yarn other than wool, though, as I am allergic to wool. Can you recommend another type of yarn I could use to get a similar, sturdy bag? Thank you!~Vicki

Amybel said...
Thanks Vicki!
In order to get yarn to felt it should be 100% natural animal fiber. No superwash, acrylic, cotton, etc. You could try Alpaca and see if you get an allergic reaction. Alpaca tends to be a little "furry" after felting, but it is very soft and should felt nicely (and you could always give it a haircut). I would recommend that you try to felt a sample swatch first just to make sure! You wouldn't want all that hard work to go down the drain (pun intended!). There are also wools blended with other animal fibers like llama or alpaca that might be less irritating to your allergy. Or, if you are not wallet constrained you could opt for higher end yarn like mohair or angora. Good luck! And let me know how you make out :)

Good luck Vicki, and keep in touch!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What's in your knitting queue?

I don't mean the 145 things you've queued in Ravelry. I'm interested in your immediate queue. What are the next five things you are going to make or finish?

Here's mine:

1. Finish mini cable handle bag before Brenda's niece drives her nuts.

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for Kidster #1. He's literally obsessed with them (he's my son?) and ever since the puppy and giraffe he's determined that I need to make him something. He even picked out the yarn so that I would make the right color. I'd like to make a kid sized mask for him too, since I know already what he wants to be for Halloween.

3. I have a new purse design floating around in my head and I need to get it out!

4. Speaking of Halloween, my SIL (aka Super Aunt) has a birthday in the beginning of October. She loves all things fall and Halloweeny. I'd like to make her this hat with matching ones for the kidsters just for fun, and some felted candy corn.

5. Make more Christmas Gift Holders. I made some a few years back and they were a huge hit. A little vague? Yes. Does that mean another pattern is coming? Yes. I'd better get on it quick so that I can get it out there for all of you before New Years!

So what are your next five? Leave a comment with your list or post it on your blog. Don't forget to comment so I can check it out!