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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

7 Knitted Miter Square Challenge... A New Knit Handbag!

Have you ever knitted a mitered square before?  Nope? Me neither.  Guess what?  They are fun!

Okay, I'll admit, I have seen mitered squares before in crochet and I've never liked them.  Too "fussy Granny" for me (sorry all you happy Hookers out there!).  So when I joined a new-to-me group on Ravelry named Designer's Challenge and saw that the July/August 2015 challenge was mitered squares, I wasn't thrilled to participate.  Why design something you don't like?  But then I saw the heart of the challenge for me.  I must design something I LOVE with elements I don't like and never tried before.  Ah-Ha!  And the race was on.

Did I mention I joined the group on Friday, August 28?  And the finished project due on August 31?  Yeah, I know, typical me.  Late for the party and the last one to leave.  Sigh.

So, how does one knit a mitered square?

I found some great links online:
http://blog.loveknitting.com/make-some-mitred-squares/
http://verypink.com/2012/03/07/mitered-squares/
http://knitting.about.com/od/knittingskills/ss/The-Magic-Of-Mitered-Knitting.htm
Just to name a few.  Then I discovered that mitered squares is the same as "domino knitting."  I did a Google search and looked through the images.  Inspiring!

The evolution of the design:
I saw the movie "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." (2015) and adored that 60's hip designs.  I ADORED the handbags in the film.  Love those pod-like shapes, and the pairing of circles and bold straight lines.  There was a scooter in the film that I loved too:
Love the colours and the curves!

Then I started thinking about minimalist modern knitting that highlights shape and sparse fabric elements.  That made me look at Japanese knitting.  I love how each element is a beautiful shape in itself and creates harmony in the whole. 

I searched for knitted Japanese handbags for inspireation, and I found this Pinterest Pin:

Even though it is crochet, I loved the feel of it.

Miters!  A bit fussy for me, but love the strong lines.

So I went stash diving and found some Sirdar Snuggly , “Baby Bamboo.” 80% bamboo, 20% wool left over from a hat design.  Perfect!  And the colours reminded me of the scooter pic above.

I cast on 61 stitches and started playing.  I loved the look of a CDD (center double decrease) line, so I knew that had to be in the miter square.   Hence the odd number of stitches.  I wanted to see what happened when I paired twisted stitches and yarn overs to a miter square.  Loving the look, I did a quick sketch of what I wanted the bag to look like (and promptly lost it) and set my needles a-clacking!

So, here is the design.  I might write up the pattern, but honestly?  My wrists are too sore to contemplate any more writing, knitting, and typing.

But I do so love my little purse!