Knitting with ribbon? Really? That's was my first thought too.
I love knitting bags, so when I came across a free Louisa Harding pattern using Sari Ribbon, was eager to try it out. (The link on the Ravelry page doesn't seem to be working but you can find the pattern here.)
I found myself reading the initial section of the pattern 3 times trying to find which yarn to use, assuming the Sari Ribbon was just for the pretty flower decorations. I eventually realised that the whole bag is made using ribbon. I swiftly bought some in lovely red, orange, purple shades and fastened up my 10mm needles.
After knitting a few rows I quickly changed to 8 mm needles as the resulting fabric seemed a little too gappy (yes that is a technical knitting term!). I wasn’t sure how it would work knitting with ribbon. Did I need to hold this flat? Did I need to make sure the sparkly gold stripe was always at the front? What was the best way to wrap this around the needle? Then I thought, stop worrying and knit. Just let the ribbon do what it wants. So I did. And it did :)
The original pattern is knit in one long rectangle and then sewn at the sides. I like to limit the amount of seaming and sewing in ends that I have to do so I thought I'd try this in the round.
I cast on 34 stitches and left a long length of ribbon so that I can use this to sew on the handle at the end. I followed the pattern to the point where the seaming would have reached and provisionally cast on 34 stitches using a crochet chain in waste yarn, joined in the round and continued to knit until the bag was long enough. I chose 21cm from the fold-line row, where the handle will be.
I grafted the bottom of the bag using kitchener stitch, pulling this a little tighter than usual so that the corners of the bag were more curved than pointy.
Now I just had to go back to the provisional cast on, join the yarn back and work backward. I cast off fairly loosely and again left a long tail of ribbon to fasten on the other handle.
After a long search I managed to find some plain wooden D-shaped handles that were narrower than the bag, so they scrunched this up at the top. This made sewing them on interesting! The rosette and button add the necessary pretty touch and a bargain £1 piece of gold Taffeta for the lining finished this off perfectly. I added a must have pocket from a great little tutorial (no more lost cash or keys). This is one of my favourite and easiest bags to make.
Knitting with ribbon ... loving it :)