Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Bride's Memory Bag

Bride's Memory Bag

We had 3 family weddings this summer, and I really needed to find a nice acceptable way to knit. I'm not much of a partier and I am always the designated driver and I really need to keep my hands busy till its time to go.

After watching a prayer shawl workshop this spring, the idea came to me. Wouldn't it be lovely to pass along my joy for each of these lovely couples? It had to be something I could complete quickly, with minimal finishing so that it could be given to the bride before the end of the evening. The makings had to fit inside my hand bag. It had to be simple enough to knit without using a pattern, and it had to be easy enough that I could knit it while sipping my lone glass of wine.

Following the inspiration and example of the prayer shawl ladies, I knit each project solely on the day of their wedding, from beading the string to tying the tie, capturing my good wishes and the spirit and joy of the entire assembly.

Yarn: Lang Silk Dream (any dk or 3 weight yarn will work well)
Beads: 10-15 drop beads, and 30-40 smaller beads
Needles: 4mm dpn
Gauge: Not critical

Time to complete: approximately 4 hours.

String beads onto a sturdy string (I used pearl cotton size 8 for all the bags). Pearl beads were used for the first two Bride's Memory Bags, and Swarovski crystals for this last. They were usually strung so that each drop bead was separated by 3 to 5 round beads (depending on the size of the bead and the yarn you are using).

Using Judy's magic cast on, cast on 30 stitches on each of two needles for a total of 60 stitches.

Row 1: Knit 1, Pick up bead string and knit it along with your yarn for the next stitch. Knit 2 or 3 stitches, picking up the bead strand just past the second drop bead, knit 1. The goal is to have a swag of little beads between the drop beads. Continue knitting the beaded strand in every 2 or 3 stitches across the first 30 stitches. Knit the remaining 30 stitches.

Row 2: Knit all stitches

If you are using dpns, slip your stitches onto 4 needles as follows: The last 5 stitches from needle 2 and the first 5 stitches from needle 1 onto one needle. 20 stitches from needle one onto another needle. The last 5 stitches from needle one and the first 5 stitches from needles 2 onto a third needle. 20 stitches from needle 2 onto a 4th needle. If you are using circular needles, place stitch markers at these positions.

Continue working in stockinette till the bag bottom is about an inch from the cast on row. Then begin to work the lace panels on the 20 stitch sections of the bag. Each 10 stitch section forms the side of the bag, framing the lace panel. Continue working these stitches in stockinette.

Lace Panel

Row 1: Knit 1, *knit 2 together, yarn over* Repeat from * across till you have only 1 stitch remaining, knit 1.

Row 2: Knit all stitches.

Row 3 Knit 1, *yarn over, knit 2 together*Repeat from * across till you have 1 stitch remaining, knit 1.

Row 4: Knit

Repeat row 1 to 4 rows to form the lace panel until the lace panel is roughly square. End on a row 4, and continue to work around all stitches in stockinette until the top is about an inch and a half long.

Tie section

Work 3 repeats of the first 2 rows of the lace pattern above. Do this across all stitches on all needles.

Then knit in stockinette on all stitches for an inch and a half. Work 1 repeat of the lace pattern made by row 1 and 2 of the lace panel, and bind off.

Knit a 3 stitch I cord, or crochet a foundation single crochet chain about 18inches long.

Lace the tie through the center of the 3 repeats in the tie section. Weave in all ends.

Present to your bride and groom.

Other technical stuff

I began by stringing the beads, first thing in the morning, and worked each bag till the lace section was established. The rest of the knitting was between service and reception, after dinner while the speeches are going on, during the general cheer of each party. I finished each in ample time.

Your lace may look a bit different than mine. For my own ease, I knit the 2 stitches together always through the back loop. This means my decrease will lean the other way, but for this bag it is not important which way your decrease leans. You could, if you wish work the centre doing an entirely different lace design.

The bag could be made out of any size yarn. You could use it instead of wrapping paper for a baby gift or shower gift. Have fun with it.

As always, please respect my copyright, and do not use the bag for commercial purposes.

(the original, worked flat and seamed up the side, with a base worked in garter stitch)

©D Renneberg 2008


Deborah said...

What a nice gift for the Bride!

Lady Watkins said...

What an awesome gift!! This would als make a wonderful gift for mother's day as well. Well done on such a awesome design.