Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Reticule or Knitting Bag

This pattern comes from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Number 125, Thirty-First Series (1896). It is also published in Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 11, Interweave Press, 2004.
The materials suggested are “dark coloured fine macramé twine, a very little light coloured fine macramé twine” and “braid or ribbon measuring three quarters of an inch in width.”  I used DMC Cébélia Cotton, Size 10 in number 3033 for the entire bag, with no second colour, and brick-red grosgrain ribbon. The bag should be knit on “a pair of bone knitting needles No. 7” (modern equivalent 4.25mm/US 7.)
To quote the pattern again, the bag “is worked in an easy but effective stitch, the holes forming part of which gives room for lines of braid or ribbon to be run in and out, adding considerably to its appearance and firmness.” The fabric is knitted lengthways, then turned sideways and sewn closed on two sides. The remaining open side becomes the drawstring opening at top.
The pattern calls for a total of fifteen sets of holes and I added a two stitch border to each side. The stitch sequence was very easily memorized and this bag knit up quickly. Too quickly, in fact, as racing along, I made mistakes in counting the sets of rows in the beginning but these are somewhat disguised by the woven ribbons.
The weaving was fairly easy but sewing down the edges of the ribbon on either side was time consuming. The pattern stated that this should be done on the seamed bag but I found it more comfortable to work on the flat knitted fabric before it was sewn into a round bag. Several rows were left unwoven, according to the pattern, for the area around the drawstring whose ends are sewn “neatly together two inches beyond the bag.” The top of the bag is supposed to be trimmed in a crocheted pattern included with the knitted one using a “steel crochet hook No. 17.” I do not know its modern size’s equivalent and since I do not really know how to crochet, I put an elementary chain stitch and looped border along the top, with a UK 10/3mm/C-D US sized crochet hook.
The bag holds its shape well with the woven ribbon bracing it but having completed the bag, I think the twine would be a better choice than a cotton yarn as the neck is rather weak and soft when worked in cotton.
This finished bag measures 10” tall, including the crocheted edge, and 6” wide. The twill ribbon is just under ¾” wide.


=Tamar said...

That's a lot prettier in your rendition than it was in the engraving. It looks as though the ribbon does the job of spreading out the lace so it shows.

One More Stitch said...

Thanks! I think so, too. It was nice to see the bag come to life, lace and all, as I wove in the ribbons.

Frontier Women's Living History Assn. said...

The little bag is beautiful. I am always looking for small things like this. I was glad to find your blog and would like to make reference to it on my blog which is a Living Historian blog for women in the west. I was quite surprised when I pulled yours up and saw we like the same background.
Like you I want the historic reference to what I make. Ann

Clare Mcvs said...

How do i get the pattern?