Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yoga Mat & Strap Bag

So my best friend Ali asked for a yoga mat for her birthday (which is today). I of course, needed to find something to make to go along with it. I had some simple ideas for the bag, including a scrapped idea for the "om" symbol/word in purl bumps. What I was really stumped on was how to make the strap. All of the straps I have made for purses, etc. have been too stretchy. Then this lightbulb appeared over my head. Yoga uses a strap. Hmm... And you know how I love reusing. So presenting, the Yoga Mat & Strap Bag.
It uses your yoga strap as the bag strap, but not permanently, so you can take it off as needed and use it.

I also am writing this pattern to help those novice knitters who want to dabble in the make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach. It's not scary, I swear!

Materials I used:

2 entire balls Sugar n Cream, one solid and one variegated.
1/4 of another SnC ball
2 D-rings that fit the width. I used 1.5" ones, but if I make another, I'll choose 2" ones to be more accommodating for the strap.
Size 7 Circular needles at least as long at the width of the bag (I combined lengths of denise needles)
Size 7 DPN's
Yarn Needle

Gauge doesn't really matter since you will be customizing it, but mine was: 17.5 sts and 25 rows: 4" in stst

CO the width of your mat. You cannot just rely on the length of the cast-on since the stitched are slanted, and then straighten out and become wider after the first row, so you will have to work a few rows to find out the actual width. This is the guess-and-check portion. I casted on 110.
Knit is stst until the length of the piece matches the circumference. Add a few rows if you want it looser. Make sure to slip the first stitch of every row (put it on the working needle without knitting it). This will help you later.

I switched between solid and variegated every two rows, but you can do whatever! Experiment!

Then bind-off loosely and seam the cast-on edge to the bind-off edge. You can either do it using the Invisible Seam (thank you Anne Modesitt), or a three-needle bind-off (see the video at the bottom of this KnittingHelp page)

Now you have a tube!

The bottom will be a hat decrease.
Pick up stitches on the edge using the dpn's (tip: if one of your side edges is tighter than the other, use that for the bottom, since you won't have to try to stuff the yoga mat through it). Anyway, I picked up 40 sts. Make sure you pick a number to pick up that can easily be divided into a number between 5 and 8. Knit the first round. On the next round, decrease every * stitch. For example, if you picked up 40 stiches, you would decrease every 8th stitch by knitting the 7th and 8th stitches together.
Decrease every other round until you have less than 10 stitches left. Break the yarn, thread it through the yarn needle, and slip it into these last stitches. Pull tight and knot, and then weave in the ends. While you have the needle out, you might as well weave in the other ends. I usually find that if I set that needle down, I will never weave ini those damn ends.
Ok, so for the top, you will pick up the same number of stitches you did for the bottom. Knit for two rounds, then make little eyelet holes evenly spaced out. I did a hole every 5th stitch like so:
Knit 3, yarn over, K2tog. And repeat until you are at the end. By number was divisible by 5, so make sure you pick an easily divisible number. Then knit three more rows and bind off LOOSELY. You will after all be stuffing the may through here.

For the drawstring I just braided three strands of the same yarn and then wove them through the eyelets.

Attaching of the D-rings:
simply whip stitch them more securely than you think it needs (it will stretch when you sling the bag on your shoulder) on the top and bottom of the bag. See last two pictures. I would do more whip stitches than I've done in this picture, though. Weave in ends.

Then thread your yoga strap in and tighten. You're set!


MarthaH said...

Great pattern. Thanks for sharing!

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Great idea, Emily!!!

Javajem said...

Great yoga bag! I've been wanting to make one!

Thanks for sharing!

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