Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cable Tote

This tote bag is knitted using DK yarn on 3mm needles.

W 35cm
H: 30cm (excluding handles)
D: 11cm

Approx. 5 x 50g balls of DK knitting yarn.
2 pairs of 3mm knitting needles.
1 cable needle (small).
1 metre of heavyweight fabric (e.g. upholstery fabric).
2 short curtain poles (30cm x 1cm).
6 buttons.
1 sewing-up needle.

C4b - Cable 2 to the back (slip next 2 stitches from left-hand needle onto a cable needle and place at the back of your work. Knit 2 stitches fromthe left hand needle and then knit the two titches from the cable needle.
C4f - Cable 2 to the front (slip next 2 stitches from the left-hand needle onto a cable needle and place at the front of your work. Knit 2 stitches from the left-hand needle and then knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle.
Foll. - Following
Alt. - Alternate - Stocking stitch (knit a row, purl a row, repeat).

Cast on 108 stitches and knit 8 rows.

Commence pattern:
Row 1: K5, p3, k6, c4b, c4f, k6, p3, k46, p3, k6, c4b, c4f, k6, p3, k5.
Row 2: (and every foll. alt. row): K8, p20, k3, p46, k3, p20, k8.
Row 3: K5, p3, k4, c4b, k4, c4f, k4, p3, k46, p3, k4, c4b, k4, c4f, k4, p3, k5.
Row 5: K5, p3, k2, c4b, k8, c4f, k2, p3, k46, p3, k2, c4b, k8, c4f, k2, p3, k5.
Row 7: K5, p3, c4b, k12, c4f, p3, k46, p3, c4b, k12, c4f, p3, k5.
Row 8: Repeat row 2.
Repeat these 8 rows until work measures approximately 25cm ending with row 6 of the pattern.

You will now begin forming the pocket:

Next row: K5, p3, c4b, k12, c4f, p3, k3, cast off 40 stitches (this will form the opening of your pocket), k3, p3, c4b, k12, c4f, p3, k5.
Now put all of your work aside but do not break the yarn.

Take a new ball of yarn and cast on 40 stitches. Work in until this piece measures 10cm ending with a knit row. Break the yarn leaving approx. 30 cm attached to this piece of work. This forms the back of your pocket.

Now take the work that you put aside earlier and continue knitting the 8th row of the pattern until you reach the pocket opening. Attach the yarn from the back of the pocket to the yarn you are using for the front and purl along the 40 stitches. Knit the remaining 34 stitches as per row 8 of the pattern.

Continue knitting from row 1 of the pattern until your work measures approx. 30cm ending with row 8 of the pattern.

Cast off all stitches.


Work as for FRONT but do not form a pocket.

* SIDES (both alike):

Cast on 31 stitches.
Row 1: P1, k29, p1.
Row 2 (and every foll. alt. row): Knit.
Row 3: K1, p1, k27, p1, k1.
Row 5: K2, p1, k25, p1, k2.
Row 7: K3, p1, k23, p1, k3.
Row 9: K4, p1, k21, p1, k4.
Row 11: K5, p1, k19, p1, k5.
Row 13: K6, p1, k17, p1, k6.
Row 15: K7, p1, k15, p1, k7.
Row 17: K8, p1, k13, p1, k8.
Row 19: K9, p1, k11, p1, k9.
Row 21: K10, p1, k9, p1, k10.
Row 23: K11, p1, k7, p1, k11.
Row 25: K12, p1, k5, p1, k12.
Row 27: K13, p1, k3, p1, k13.
Row 29: K14, p1, k1, p1, k14.
Row 31: K15, p1, k15.
Row 32: Knit.

Repeat rows 31 and 32 until work measures 30cm or until the length matches that of the front and back.


Cast on 100 stitches.
Work in for 11cm, or until it matches the width of the side pieces. Please note, the bottom piece should be wider than the front and back pieces. Place a piece of stiff card measuring approx. 35cm x 11cm onto the wrong side of the knitting and fold back the extra knitting. Sew these flaps together creating two little pockets at each end. This ensures the card remains in place.

* HANDLES (both alike)

Cast on 13 stitches. Knit 7 rows.
Row 8: K4, p5, k4.
Row 9: Knit.
Repeat rows 8 and 9 until work measures 58cm.
Knit 6 rows.
Cast off.

Again, it is highly recommended that you also line the handles with the fabric to prevent stretching. I usually carry such a lot of things around with me that my handbag ends up weighing a tonne, so the extra strength in the handles is really needed!! Thank you to Lindsey for bringing this point to my attention.

Sew the side pieces to the front and back pieces. Then sew in the bottom piece to form the bag shape.

NB. At this point it is highly recommended that you make a lining for the bag out of good quality heavyweight material such as upholstery fabric. This gives the bag extra strength and durability. Cut out 2 pieces slightly bigger than the front and back pieces, then two pieces that are slightly bigger than the side pieces and finally, 1 piece that is slightly bigger than the bottom piece. Sew your fabric pieces together to form an 'inside-out' bag and place it into your knitted bag. Carefully sew the fabric to the knitting along the opening.

Now you are going to attach the curtain poles to the front and back pieces of the handbag. Here's how to do it:

1. Take a long length of your knitting yarn and tie it securely to one end of either your front or back piece.
2. Using a sewing-up needle wrap the yarn around the curtain pole and thread it through the next stitch on your cast-off row. Repeat this, but thread the yarn though every 3rd stitch of the cast-off row.
3. Continue all the way along until you reach the other end. Draw the stitches along the curtain pole until they are evenly spaced. Continue wrapping and threading the yarn backwards and forwards until you can't see the pole (except for the ends). Tie off securely and repeat for the other side.

Sew the handles to the bag.

Knit and sew loops for the buttons on the pocket and the opening of the bag. These loops are knitted by casting on 4 sts and working in for 15cm. Trim the bag with buttons of your choice.

I hope you enjoy making this bag. If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact me by Email. I would also love to see pictures of your bags made from this pattern.

NOTE: A lot of people have asked me about the yarn weight and the equivalent yarn weight available in America. Here is a web page that I have found useful:

Happy knitting!