Magic of the Circus bag

Woman in grey knitted top and bright pink skirt holding clutch bag with flap made of knitted hexagons in different colours
© The Knitter Magazine 2013

Magic of the Circus bag

This has been a very exciting week! Firstly, I have machine and hand-knit work in an exhibition (see here and here).  Then I returned home from the Private Preview for the exhibition to find the latest issue of The Knitter magazine had been delivered.

Cover of The Knitter magazine issue 64
© The Knitter Magazine 2013

Now, the mittens are lovely, but the reason I’m really, really excited is the small image at the top, second from the right because I designed that bag! And it’s the first time that I have had a design published by someone else, so I hope you understand my excitement.

Woman in grey knitted top and bright pink skirt holding clutch bag with flap made of knitted hexagons in different colours
© The Knitter Magazine 2013

Let’s take a closer look. The bag is called ‘Magic of the Circus’ and is inspired by the shape of the big top at the circus.  It is knitted using a variegated yarn from Noro, Silk Garden Sock; the colours are so cheerful, which seems appropriate for the spectacle of a circus. If you have used Noro’s yarns, you will know that the colour changes make them a joy to use.

The front flap is knitted first, using a modular technique. Each hexagon is knitted in the round, one at a time, with more hexagons, joined on by picking up stitches. The front and back of the bag are knitted in the round, from the top, and the lower edges joined using a three-needle cast-off. So the knitting is seamless. I love this technique!

Modular knitting techniques were used to make the Magic of the Circus bag
Magic of the Circus bag - inside flap

Here you see the back of the bag and the flap (apologies for the blurry image – I didn’t check them before I sent the bag off).

And here you can see the bag open, to show the front and the flap lining. I would recommend lining any knitted bag; this stops the bag from stretching and will help it last longer. In this case, the lining is attached to thick interfacing; I used the thickest one available from the dressmaking department at John Lewis. The lining was bought at a patchwork shop. The lining is machine stitched to the interfacing, then attached to the bag by hand stitching the narrow facings over the lining.

I really enjoyed designing and making the Magic of the Circus bag. If you have not tried modular knitting before, it does take a little concentration at first, but you will be surprised at how quickly the hexagons accumulate. The zig-zags are fun and quick to knit. I am looking forward to seeing this bag made in other colourways of Noro Silk Garden Sock. It would also work in Noro Kureyon (which has been discontinued but is still available in some yarn shops).

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. margueritedesigns

    Hello – your bag is fab! I buy ‘The Knitter’ on a now and then basis, but was curious to see what you’d done so made sure I had this issue. I’ve just been using a Noro yarn for some of the lace exercises in C&G Module 8. I was wondering if you might be interested in doing a mini interview on my craft blog about the course and how you’ve made the change from biologist to knit designer. It’s ok if you’re busy – I’m just trying to increase the knitting content on there and thought yours was an interesting story. I’m at http://www.margueritedesigns.blogspot.co.uk Hope to hear from you!

    1. Being Knitterly

      Would love to Diane. Email me with the questions.

  2. Ellen Kapusniak

    Sooo excited and pleased for you! Well done, and a beautiful bag :-))

    1. Being Knitterly

      Thank you Ellen!

  3. Loraine

    This is fab Nicki – well done, no wonder you are excited.

    1. Being Knitterly

      Thank you Loraine, your tuition has been invaluable!

    1. Being Knitterly

      Thankyou Nicky! Double congratulations to you; just read that you came second in the Rowan design competition, as well as the silver award at the UKHKA Open Category – fantastic!