Sunday, March 14, 2010

Silken Tarot Bag

Today I finished Lee's tarot bag. I'd have been finished yesterday, but I decided to add a ruffly edge, so that was done today. Want to make one? Here's how!

Yarn: fine silk yarn, your choice. This is Tillie Thomas Voile de la Mer.
Needles: The smallest you have--you want a sturdy fabric. I used 000s. Yep, I did. You can use double pointeds or circulars, whichever you prefer.

First, measure your bag and do a gauge swatch so you can figure out how many stitches it will take to make the bag fit snugly (optional if you do not care for a snug fit.

Knit a rectangle in stockinette (K 1 row, P 1 row) the size of the bottom of the box your cards came in, or the deck itself. For mine, I knit a rectangle 28 stitches wide by 12 rows of stockinette.

Next, pick up and knit around the edges. I picked up 12 stitches along each narrow end, and 27 stitches along the cast-on edge, for 79 stitches. You will see why I wanted an odd number in a bit.

Knit two rounds. Then start a linen stitch section: *K1, sl 1 with yarn in front*

Because you have an odd number of stitches, the linen stitch pattern will naturally form (on alternate rows, the slipped stitch moves one stitch over, so it makes a pattern that appears woven:
I hope you can see it from the picture. For this bag, I did 12 rows of linen stitch, then 14 rows of plain knitting in the round. and repeated that three times, ending with another linen stitch section. That ended up being just a little longer than my cards, which is what I wanted. Yours might take more or less, or you might do more or less of each stitch pattern. It's up to you! I chose linen stitch because it is so sturdy and counter-acted the delicacy of the silk yarn.

When you think it's long enough, start the ribbing, which is K2, P2. I did about 1.5 inches of this.
Next do an eyelet round: *YO, K2tog, P2*
You will thread a crocheted chain, i-cord or ribbon length through these later.

Do another 1.5 inches or so of ribbing, to match the first part. You can bind off here OR add a ruffle by increasing one in every stitch around, and doing another inch or so of K4,P4 ribbing, then bind off. I liked the way it made the top of the bag blossom. I have also heard that it looks a big like a hot water bottle cover. You can decide for yourself!

Crochet a chain (I used a US size 8 crochet hook too old to have metric measurements on it) long enough to make a nice tie, or do 3-stitch i-cord for a similar length. I think I am actually going to go buy some velvet ribbon to use on this bag instead of the chain.

This was a fun project, and is a perfect little bag for your tarot cards. Or if you are geeky in another way, it would also hold a collection of multi-faceted dice. Or crystals, or beads, or whatever.

For a discussion on the best material to make tarot card bags out of, see the comments on the previous blog entry. Thanks to all who have made that discussion interesting! As you will see, there are lots of viewpoints on the topic! (I tend to put the ones I read with in cotton or silk bags, though some I don't use are wrapped in more sparkly stuff. I think I will also make some bags using 100% wool sock yarn, though.)

For now, back to the mittens.

PS: I added this to Ravelry, so you can list it among your projects if you wish!

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