FO: Lined Handbag


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!


Apologies and Updates

So here it is, a ridiculously long time since my last post, and a horribly long time to respond to the comment my fellow knitter so kindly left me. We will keep it brief about where I’ve been because it all boils down to being miserable and sick with allergies and flu, and no one needs to suffer through a post about that!

But lest you think it’s been a month and a half since I did anything creative, not to fear. The things I get myself into…you would think that after cranking out about a million Christmas gifts and being completely and utterly exhausted by the time the holidays actually came, I would have learned my lesson. But…no.

I received a Knitpicks catalog in the mail about a month and a half before Easter and simply could not resist buying Chroma yarn. I think I was really afraid my life would end if I did not buy this yarn because it’s so beautiful! Around the same time, I was looking through Creative Knitting magazine, and I had one of those lightning bolt moments when one instantly knows she MUST knit a certain pattern with this one EXACT yarn. And so I  made the very insane commitment (at least it is for me, considering my knitting speed) to knit my daughter an Easter dress out of Chroma in Smoothie complete with a long-sleeve bolero jacket.

I knitted like a madwoman the entire month, took time off to go to bed on the days the flu felled me, and carried on as soon as I felt better. I realized one important thing however, when I was about halfway through the project. Chroma is merino wool. I live in Los Angeles. It could, and has been in recent years, 90 degrees on Easter. A wool dress with a wool jacket could be extremely hot if worn on such a day. You will be happy for me that yes, I did finish the whole thing (although there was not time to block it before she wore it on Easter Sunday) and yes, Easter this year was a cool day. But word to the wise: consider the fiber content and the time of year when matching projects to yarn. Then again, there are projects and matching fibers that instantly speak to your soul, and when you have such a moment, my advice is to seize the moment (and the yarn!).

Catherine’s Easter Smoothie Dress