I have received quite a few questions regarding the best way to finish the Christine bag (ravelry link). So I thought the easiest way to explain would be to do a series of tutorials. This is the first and it will cover seaming and attaching the handles.
1- Metal yarn needle
2- Coordinating yarn approximately 24 inches long
(Optional) - Pins to hold your bag together as you seam.
1.) Lay your bag out with the cast on and bind off rows together.
3.) Before you begin seaming it is important to understand the difference between the outside stitches and the inside stitches. (See the image below).
4.) To begin seaming you will insert your needle & yarn into the first outside stitch on the left side of your bag. Be sure to leave a tail about 6 inches long to be secured later.
5.) Next you will insert your needle in the first outside stitch on the right side of your bag.
6.) Back to the left side, insert your needle in the next inside stitch. (Refer to image in step 3 if needed to determine proper placement).
7.) Insert your needle on the next inside stitch on the right side of the bag. (See image above)
8.) You will repeat steps 4 - 7 working your way down the bag until all your stitches have been seamed up. Your bag should look like the image below.
9.) Now that you are done seaming up the side it is time to hide your ends. Insert your needle between the last two stitches you seamed up and pull your yarn through to the inside of your bag.
10.) Secure your ends by working back and forth through the side seam. You may even tie a knot if you want. You won't see it once the bag has been lined. Do the same to secure the tail that you left in step 4. Trim ends if needed.
11.) Repeat steps 2 - 10, to seam up the other side of your bag.
1- pair purse handles - I purchased my wooden handles from Jo-Ann fabrics for about $7.00.
1- metal yarn needle (I have broken several plastic needles)
2- Coordinating yarn approximately 115 inches or a little over 3 yards.
Please note: You will skip the first 5 stitches (P3, K2) and the last 5 stitches (K2, P3). If you attach the handle to these stitches you will not be able to open your bag enough to get your items in and out. Below is an image of the bag with the handles already attached so you can see what I mean.
1.) Inset your needle in top of the appropriate stitch. Be sure to leave a length of yarn about 6 inches long to secure while you attach your handles. If you used Brown Sheep Burly Spun be careful not to pull too hard. Burly Spun is not plyed and will pull apart if you use too much tension.
2.) Wrap yarn around handle and insert from back to front in next stitch. Be sure to wrap yarn around the yarn tail that you left. This will eliminate the need to secure the end later. Below is an image of the back view of the handle.
3.) Continue attaching the handle until all but the last 5 stitches have been attached.
6.) Once you have completed attaching the handle you will need to secure your ends. Turn your bag so the wrong side of the handle is facing you. Insert needle into top of stitch closest to the handle. Be sure to pull your yarn tight.
7.) You are now going to feed your needle back through the wrapped stitches on your handle.
8.) Repeat until you have worked your way through all the wrapped stitches.
9.) Secure your yarn as you did in step 6 and hide your ends.
10.) Repeat steps 1 - 9 to attach 2nd handle.
I will be posting a tutorial for lining your bag in the next couple of days. Stay tuned.