I bought this kit a very long time ago from Knitpicks – maybe even before I started working at the yarn shop. I was a very inexperienced knitter at the time and did not realize that the bag is entirely intarsia. You have to divide the Chroma balls into multiple little balls, and once you start, you basically end up with about 20 separate balls attached to your knitting.
As you can imagine, that was a little too much for someone new to knitting, and so I stashed the kit in my yarn closet. But as proof of my theory that projects and people do eventually match up with each other, I realized during the summer that this was the perfect birthday gift for a dear friend and that I was more than ready to handle an intarsia project.
My learning curve with this project was to learn how to line a handbag. I was going to post a how-to on lining a bag, except that the truth is I followed other people’s how-to’s, and there are many other crafters out there much more proficient at it than I am. Here are a few that I found particularly helpful: Craftsy and Stitch Diva. Have to admit that lining a bag was not particularly fun, but in the end, I’m glad I did because it really does make for a much better, and more finished, handbag.
My best tips for a project like this is to accept that with intarsia, you do just have to keep all the balls of yarn straight. At the end of each row, you will need to stop the knitting and untwist them from each other to avoid a big tangled mess. It is the nature of intarsia.
In regard to the lining, the only thing I would add to what is already in the tutorials I listed is that it really helps to iron your fabric. If you leave the fabric folded and don’t iron out the wrinkles, it makes it harder to pin and sew it straight. It’s a small thing, and very tempting to just not bother, but ironing truly does make life easier!