A few weeks ago I was in Fabricland looking for buttons and in passing saw a great set of purse handles. I was thinking at the time that they would look nice on a felted purse. I'm not too much into felting, mainly because I have a front load washer which makes felting more difficult to do. Still, the handles played on the back of my mind.
Gradually an idea developed. I went back for the handles and put them aside percolating an idea for a knitted, but not felted purse. While I was in Michaels looking for the eyes for Clementine I found some natural colored cotton and the idea became a little clearer.
I still wasn't sure exactly what pattern I would put on the bag. Something aran style for sure, but what? Ever since I knit The Celtic Knot Pullover I have been thinking that the graphed design would make a nice cushion or bag, so that became the main idea. I'll expand the motif so that it is larger. I wanted it to be more than just a central motif though.
The idea of making a side panel, like that on a box style pillow, began formulating. My search for the perfect stitch pattern for the panel was aided by the chance finding of "The Harmony Guide to Aran Knitting" at a second hand book store. (Awesome book if you are into designing your own Arans).
I got a start on the bag, but puzzling over details like how to turn the box corners, how big to make it, how many stitches to cast on, seams finishes and the like kept me awake all night. I WENT to bed, I just didn't sleep much. Here is the beginning: