How to Knit a Modular Shoulder Bag

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The modular Chevrons Shoulder Bag is worked in smooth, commercially dyed wool at an intentionally firm gauge, and then felted for even more fabric stability. Purchased trim and an oversized Dorset button finish the look. Raid your stash for scraps of feltable worsted-weight yarn to make this eclectic purse, or choose your shades from the readily available staple yarn shown. You can even stage a knit-along with friends, and swap colors for more fun!

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  • Size: Finished measurements: approx 10" wide x 12" tall, after felting

  • Yarn: Worsted-weight yarn (shown: Paton’s Classic Wool, 100% wool, 210 yd., 3.5 oz)

    MC: Royal Purple, 1 skein

    CC1: Jade Heather, 1 skein

    CC2: Black, 1 skein

    CC3: Plum Heather, 1 skein

    CC4: Orchid, 1 skein

    CC5: Leaf Green, 1 skein

  • Gauge: 24 sts and 32 rows = 4" in St st

    This project is worked at a firmer-than-usual gauge to create a more stable fabric.

  • Needles: Size 4 (3.5mm) straight needles, or size needed to achieve gauge

  • Notions:

    Tapestry needle

    36" leather sew-on strap

    1-1⁄2" plastic ring (to cover) or button

    1 yd. purchased trim

    image1.jpg

Follow the schematic for the order of block construction. Except for the last three blocks, each one uses two colors, indicated on the diagram.

Work Block 1 as follows:

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  1. CO 31 sts. Purl 1 row.

  2. Row A (RS): Sl1 kwise, knit to center 3 sts, sl 2 sts tog kwise, k1, p2sso, knit to last st, purl.

  3. Row B (WS): Sl1 kwise, purl to end of row.

  4. Alternate A and B rows, changing colors every 4 rows, until 3 sts rem, ending with a WS row.

  5. Sl 2 sts kwise, k1, p2sso. Break yarn, leaving rem live st for reuse in next block.

Work Block 2 as follows:

  1. With new color, knit last st from Block 1. Pick up and knit 14 sts along upper-left side of Block 1 and 1 st from CO edge. CO 15 new sts — 31 sts.

  2. Work these 31 sts as for Block 1.

Work Block 3 as you worked Block 2.

Needles with sharp points make it easier to pick up stitches and make decreases when working at a reduced gauge.

Work Left Triangle 4:

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  1. With new color, knit last st from Block 3. Pick up and knit 14 sts along upper-left side of Block 3 and 1 st from CO edge — 16 sts. Purl 1 row.

  2. Row A (RS): Sl1 kwise, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, p1.

  3. Row B (WS): Sl1 kwise, purl to end of row.

  4. Alternate A and B rows until 3 sts rem, ending with a WS row.

  5. Sl1 sts kwise, k2tog. psso. Break yarn, leaving rem st live for reuse in next block.

Work Block 5 as follows:

  1. CO 15 sts. Pick up and knit 1 st from far-right CO edge of Block 1, 14 sts through upper-right edge, 1 st through center st of Block 1 — 31 sts.

  2. Work these 31 sts as for Block 1.

Work Block 6 as follws:

  1. Pick up and knit 1 st through center of Block 5, 14 sts along upper-left edge of Block 5, 1 st through center st of Block 1, 14 sts along upper-right edge of Block 2, 1 st through center st of Block 2.

  2. Work these 31 sts as for Block 1.

To work Blocks 7–15, repeat the instructions for each block that match its placement in the schematic, using the colors indicated there.

Work Right Triangle 16:

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  1. Pick up and knit 1 st from far-right CO edge of Block 10, 14 sts from upper-right edge of Block 10, knit center live st of Block 10 — 16 sts. Purl 1 row.

  2. Row A (RS): Sl 1 kwise, ssk, knit to last st, p1.

  3. Row B (WS): Sl 1 kwise, purl to end of row.

  4. Alternate A and B rows until 3 sts rem, ending with a WS row.

  5. Sl1 kwise, k2tog. psso. Break yarn, leaving rem st live for reuse in next block.

Continue following schematic for block order and colors. All remaining blocks follow instructions for prior ones, according to placement, except final 3 top-edge triangles (42, 46, and 48).

Before felting, the blocks will be bumpy and look as if they overlap like fish scales. The process of felting will smooth and straighten them.

Work the top-edge triangles. Top-edge triangles are worked in one color.

Triangle 42 requires special instructions:

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  1. With new color, knit live st from Block 41, pick up and knit 14 sts along top-left edge of Block 41, 1 st from center of Block 35, 1 st from upper-right edge of Triangle 36. Turn work.

  2. Row B (WS): P2tog, p to end of row.

  3. Row A (RS): Sl1 kwise, ssk, work to end of row, pick up and knit 1 st from upper-right edge of Triangle 36.

  4. Alternate B and A rows until all sts have been picked up from upper-right edge of Triangle 36 and 1 st remains. Break yarn and pull tail through last st.

  5. Rep for Blocks 46 and 48.

Finishing:

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  1. Weave in ends. Felt piece in washing machine and dryer.

  2. Fold bag with RS tog and sew side seams with hand sewing needle and thread.

  3. Turn bag RS out. Beg at top edge under flap, sew trim along top edge and around flap edge, forming loop to fit button at point of flap.

  4. Sew button under loop.

  5. Sew shoulder strap in place.


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