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Old 10-18-2007, 01:10 PM   #1
bitchknitty
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Knitting the Bottom of a Bag
Ok, I'm new 2 this forum and I posed this question on my intro post....so, in efforts to make things easy....and I just don't wanna write it all over again...LAZY! I'll just cut and paste the "issue" that I'm having. Thanx.


I AM having an issue in particular which prompted me to come here and check you chickies out......I'm making bags/purses. I'm getting a little BORED w/making them FLAT....Soooooo I need to make a bottom, right?? Ok, most patterns...well not most, but quite a few, say to just sew the seams together....bla bla bla. Ok---I'm a knitter....NOT a seamstress! I so TOTALLY suck at sewing.....it's actually a little ODD that someone who sucks SO bad at sewing could be SUCH a natural knitter. (Shhh! I think it's one of those evolutionary mistakes that we're not supposed to know about!) Anywho--I really just want to knit the whole thing...I don't want to have to sew everything together when I'm finished....I already have to do that w/straps and buttons.....I don't wanna have to do that w/seams....cause my seams are AMAZINGLY AWFUL....I really had NO idea that a person actually COULD sew as badly as I do. Then I made a panel poncho. HA! Words cannot describe the level of SUCKAGE that the now infamous poncho has achieved.
Ok--so I tried to knit the bottom first and then do a three needle bind off to seam it.....what a nightmare THAT was. I had like 6 double points goin at once.....nightmare...I'm telling you. THEN, I tried knitting the bottom, casting off and picking up sts along the edges....worked like a CHARM....until I tried to get them all onto the circulars and join in the round! I don't understand how I can EASILY fit say.....50sts on these circulars under normal circumstances, with NO problem.....but when I tried to do it for the purposes of picking up and knitting the body of a bag off of the bottom.....O.M.G. You really woulda thought that I had tried to convince the yarn that is was still on a SHEEP for all the trouble it gave me!!!! Ok, so there's my intro....and in case you haven't noticed, I tend to get a weeeee bit prolific at times. If any of you have any suggestions....I'm listenin. Oh, and I just like this little guy here, so I thought I'd throw him in!

THANKS!!!
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:14 PM   #2
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A popular pattern (booga bag, it's felted) and several others, use the method you describe of picking up sts and knitting in the round. It's a bit tight the first round or so, but it gets easier. Or you might use two circulars until the corners are not so tight. If you're doing this on a smaller piece to start with, it might be a bit tougher than a larger size.

Another method for a seamless bag is to do a Turkish Cast on and knit in the round. I use this for string market bags and instructions can be found here - Turkish Cast On Tutorial
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
A popular pattern (booga bag, it's felted) and several others, use the method you describe of picking up sts and knitting in the round. It's a bit tight the first round or so, but it gets easier. Or you might use two circulars until the corners are not so tight. If you're doing this on a smaller piece to start with, it might be a bit tougher than a larger size.

Another method for a seamless bag is to do a Turkish Cast on and knit in the round. I use this for string market bags and instructions can be found here - Turkish Cast On Tutorial
Thank you!!! I was starting to wonder if I was doing something REALLLLY wrong or something. Knitting websites are sometimes GREAT....and sometimes, kinda vague....so it's nice to have somewhere to go to ASK these weird little questions....again thank you!
Oooo, and the next time I'm feelin froggy, I'm gonna TRY that Turkish cast on....it looks and sounds scary....but so did double points and the 3 needle bind off...and now they're second nature....so you never know.....
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:28 PM   #4
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Turkish CO is really easy, you're just winding the yarn around the needles, basically. It helps if you use 2 straights to do the CO, then start knitting the rounds with the circulars. Easier to get at the sts, though if you know magic loop, you can CO on the ends of the same circular, then pull out the one closest to you and knit with that.
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:35 PM   #5
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What size bag are you making or trying to make? I have a formula I use and generally use size 13-24" to start each bag. Check my photobucket link pix and if these kinds of bags are what you want, will be glad to help you. Mary
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mwhite View Post
What size bag are you making or trying to make? I have a formula I use and generally use size 13-24" to start each bag. Check my photobucket link pix and if these kinds of bags are what you want, will be glad to help you. Mary
This is SOOOO embarassing to admit....but I don't knit by gauge.....so I don't really know EXACTLY how ANY of my stuff is going to work out. But, I'll give it a shot!

Let's see....I started another one yesterday....lemme try to remember.....ok, it's on worsted, supposed to be knit on 7-8 but for felting purposes, I'm going w/13's. I've cast on....40 and I'm going to knit 30 rows...then I'm gonna pick up...whatever....what would it be...140? and knit till it looks big enough. I'm so lazy about gauge so I just have to sort of eyeball everything. It's another pattern that I've tweaked-because it's double strand knit on 15's that are 24" long.....well, I don't HAVE any 24" circulars!!! But I figured that I could bump it down to 13's since I'm not double stranding...AND add a few sts to make it easier to join in the round on my 29"ers.

Keep in mind, though....that I welcome ANY suggestions that would make this project EASIER!!! I don't mind if it's complicated, that's not it, I just need it to be a sort of formula so that I can kinda flip thru that rolodex in my brain and pluck out a figure.....without having to sit there for like 30 minutes trying to get my NON-math oriented brain to actually DO something!!!

Oh! and it's similar to HPIM3300 on your photobucket link....although, I was hoping to put some bamboo handles on....I'm sick of knitting straps....all that i-cord work...whew! Makes my hands sore!
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:56 AM   #7
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You shouldn't need to add sts to join; 140 is enough to go around 29" needles. Just sort of fold up the bottom when you do that first row. Sounds like you're doing fine.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:19 PM   #8
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The formula is based on guage and it's okay if that's foreign to you. Basically and assuming that you'll be felting/fulling this bag, size 13s usually guage out at 3 sts. per inch and 4 rows per inch, before felting. That depends on how you knit, number of strands and what type of yarn. I'll use the bag I'm working on as an example.

My plan is for a large totebag so the size will be 11" X 14" X 6" when completed and felted. I am using 100% wool (Patons Classic Merino).

11" - distance from top to roll or edge of bottom.
14" - distance from side to side, not including the gusset, front or back. There will be 2 sides.
6" - width of gussets.

Okay, you're wondering where the bottom comes into play...

The bottom is actually part of the gusset so you must know the size desired for the gusset to make the bottom.

My formula for this bag is: 27/63 x 2 = 180. This is the number of sts. you will have when your bottom is completed.
You will need 4 markers, 3 of one color, 1 of a distinguishable color to mark where your rounds begin.

The 29" needles will work just fine because the bottom of the bag is open until you knit up enough rows to seam it closed and still be able to work your rounds comfortably.

27/63
25/61
23/59
21/57
19/55
17/53
15/51
13/49
11/47
9/45
7/43
5/41
3/39

Make this chart on a notepad. You will begin the bottom by casting on 84 sts.(3+39+3+39) placing markers after st # 39, 42, 81 and 84. The marker after st #84 should be the odd color. Join and knit 1 round.

Round 2: (inc) KFB into the first st, knit to st before next marker, KFB, move marker, KFB, knit to st before next marker, KFB, move marker, knit to st before next marker, KFB.
You should then have 41 sts, marker, 5 sts, marker, 41 sts, marker, 5 sts, marker. Look at your notepad- you are at 5/41. Each additional, even numbered round should be an increase row and you will move up the chart to the next.

Round 3 and all following odd numbered rows: Knit

By the time you get to the top of the chart, there will be a total of 180 sts on your needles. Knit 88 rows from this point.

The way this increases lets the bag felt fairly evenly. So now you're at the top of the chart and want to count rows for the bag body... On the first round after your chart and bottom are completed, purl this row so it will be fairly easy for you to count rows from that point. You can also use this purled row to define your bag bottom.

Defining bag bottom: Pick up sts around using the purled defining row. Knit one round. Then BO all sts, loosely. This will make a ridge around the bottom. Remember to do this loosely or the ridge will be too tight when felted.

Logic: 27sts divided by 3= 9" (9"-3(shrinkage of 33%)=6"
63sts divided by 3= 21"(21"-7(shrkge of 33%)=14"
88rws divided by 4= 22"(22"-11(shrkge of 50%)=11"

Shrinkage is never exact and varies according to temperature, guage, aggitation, etc... so everything will always be approximate.

If this is not clear, holler! Will be glad to explain further... Mary
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:17 PM   #9
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That's a pretty nifty method! I'm gonna try that next time and see if it's any less nerve-wracking than trying to pick up stitches. I dunno if other people have this problem, but when I'm knitting on straight needles...the first and last stitches on the row are ALWAYS loose...I don't know WHAT I'm doin wrong there....but when the time comes for picking up stitches, it makes things QUITE interesting.....for lack of an imaginative expletive....wouldn't want to frighten anyone w/my creative knitting swear words!!!
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:42 PM   #10
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Great! It works for just about any size bag by changing the formula numbers, making them divisible by 3 in stitches and divisible by 4 in rows. You are basically just adding sts on each corner before and after the markers, in 8 st. increases, then knitting a straight row inbetween. By the time I get to the top of the bag, I've decided what kind of straps or handles and top configuration I want and can either finish it from past experience or look up a free pattern on the web to use.
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