Knitting a tote to match the knitted sun hat

This week, I’m working with Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Speckles, which is a sumptuous worsted weight 100% cotton that is incredibly soft and perfect for summer garments and accessories. To complement the brilliant pops of Fruit Punch colors that decorate the creamy base, I’m also using a solid color of Cotton Supreme in Lavender.

Yesterday, I knitted a sun hat that featured a wired tubular cast on for the brim, and open mesh for the head to let the breeze pass through. The crocheted ribbon hat band adds a flair of color while also serving to size the hat to fit most adult heads.

Today I’m using the same combination of colors to make a tote to match. Whether poolside or on the beach, you need a tote to carry things, like your phone, a bottle of water, and sunscreen to name a few.

Cotton Supreme Speckles in Fruit Punch and Cotton Supreme DK in Lavender.

I previously mentioned that the subtheme for this week is tubes. Today is more like knitting a cylinder and accenting it with I-cords. The tote is knit from the base up using Cotton Supreme Speckles in Fruit Punch and the embellishments are knit with Cotton Supreme DK in Lavender.

To make this tote, you will need the following:

materials

yarn

  • 1 – 3.5oz [100g] skein of Cotton Supreme Speckles in Fruit Punch and Cotton Supreme DK in Lavender for the handles, drawstring and I-cords.

Note: It won’t take the entire skein of DK as I made the embellishments for both the hat and tote from a single skein with lots leftover. I had to go into a 2nd skein of Fruit Punch to finish my tote but I don’t think I started with a full skein. To be safe, have a 2nd skein available or use the balance of the skein from the hat.

needles

  • 1 US5 [3.75mm] 32” circular needle for Magic Loop or DPNs

gauge 22sts = 4” in stocking stitch (approximately).  Gauge isn’t that important but will affect the finished size.

abbreviations

K = Knit

P = Purl

St(s) = Stitch(es)

K2tog = Knit 2 stitches together

K2togtbl – Knit 2 stitches together through back loops

Inc = Increase

Dec = Decrease

Rep = Repeat

Rnd = Round

Sl = Slip stitch purl-wise

Sl YO = Slip YO stitch purl-wise

M1 = Make 1 stitch by picking up the bar between the two stitches and knit it through the back loop

Kfb = Knit into the front and back of the same stitch

RH = Right hand needle.

LH = Left Hand needle.

PM = Place Marker.

YO = Yarn Over, bring yarn to front of work and knit the next stitch.

DYO = Double Yarn Over, bring yarn to front of the work, wrap it over the RH needle, bring it back to the front of work and knit the next stitch.

INSTRUCTIONS

The Base

Using Judy’s Magic Cast on, cast on 5sts.

Set up Round: Purl

Rnd 1: Kfb to end of round. (10sts)

Rnd 2 and all even rounds: purl.

Rnd 3: Kfb to end of round. (20sts)

Rnd 5: *K1, kfb, repeat from * to end of round. (30sts)

Rnd 7: *K2, kfb, repeat from * to end of round. (40sts)

Continue working in this manner increasing each odd numbered round by 1 knit stitch until 100sts, ending with a purl round. Your work should measure approximately 5½” in diameter.

Without cutting the yarn, move the working yarn to the back of your work.

The I-cord Edge

This tubular edge incorporates both the I-cord cast-on and cast-off techniques in one step. With DK Lavender, cast on 3sts on the RH needle and shift them to the LH needle. The yarn from the ball should be attached to the leftmost stitch. Begin knitting the round as follows:

*Kfb, k1, k2togtbl, slide 3sts from the RH needle to the LH needle and repeat from *.

Continue to work all the stitches in this fashion until the end of round. You should have 103sts on the needle.

Cast off and seam (or graft) the last 3sts to the beginning of the round. You should now have 100sts in Lavender on the needle.

The Body

Using Fruit Punch, Knit 1 round increasing 1 stitch at the end of the round. (101sts)

Then work 8 rounds of Seed Stitch over an odd number of stitches as follows:

Rnd 1: *K1, P1, repeat from * to last stitch, K1.

Rnd 2: *P1, K1, repeat from * to last stitch, P1.

Repeat these two rounds 3 more times.

Rnd 9: Knit to last 2sts, K2tog.  (100sts)

Note: When working in the round you will often get a jog in the pattern between the end and beginning of the round. By working the Seed Stitch pattern over an odd number of stitches, the jog seems to disappear.

Then work the Mesh section as follows:

Rnd 1: *YO, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 2: Knit to end of round.

Rnd 3: Purl to end of round.

Rnd 4: Knit to end of round.

Repeat these 4 rounds 5 more times. On the last knit round, increase 1 stitch (101sts)

Repeat the Seed Stitch section once more. (101sts)

Repeat the Mesh section. (100sts)

Repeat rounds 1 – 4 of the Seed Stitch section. (101 sts)

K49, m1, knit to end of round. (102sts)

Work the Double Yarn Over section as follows:

Rnd 1: *DYO, k1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 2: *Sl yo letting the extra yo drop off the needle, k2, repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 3: *Knit yo and sl together, k2, repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 4: K49, k2tog, knit to end of round. (101sts)

Repeat rounds 1 – 6 of the Seed Stitch section.

Knit 1 round decreasing 1 stitch at the end of round. (100sts)

I-cord Cast Off

With Lavender, cast on 3sts on the RH needle and transfer them to the LH needle. The feeding yarn from the ball should be on the leftmost stitch.

*K2, k2togtbl, slide 3sts from the RH needle to the LH needle and repeat from * until all Fruit Punch stitches have been cast off. Cast off and seam (or graft) the remaining Lavender stitches to the beginning of the round.

Weave in ends, wash and block.

finishing

Now that all the knitting is complete, it’s time to embellish the tote. This first task is to reinforce the bottom of the tote. I found a piece of white foam core and cut it to size to fit the bottom which worked out to be approximately 6¼” in diameter. I inserted it while the tote was drying and blocking, and it can be easily removed for laundering. To block, I set it upside down on a large vase so that it hung down straight. Then lightly sprayed it with the starch solution from yesterday’s post, Knitting a sun hat that is cool and breezy, but didn’t overdo it like I did the hat. It dried with just enough stiffness to hold its shape.

Blocked and starched sun hat and tote, made with Cotton Supreme Speckles and DK.

The next step was to make handles, and this is where I used some of my corking. I made two pieces approximately 23” in length. I then raided my button box and found 4 buttons to sew onto each end.  The buttons fit snuggly through the DYO section. If I find 4 lavender buttons, I’ll attach them to the front side of the handles as decoration.

The last step was to make a drawstring closure. This time I cut the length of yarn (approximately 90”), halved it, then twisted it until it doubled over onto itself. Then I wove it through the top mesh row. This can be made to any length. In fact, mine is a bit on the long side but it can easily be shortened.

Finished tote knit with Cotton Supreme Speckles complete with I-cord edges, handles and tie made with Cotton Supreme DK.

And there you have it … a tote to carry the “fun in the sun” essentials that match the sun hat! The finished tote size is approximately 11” in length and 22” in circumference.

This was a fun project and I’m very pleased with the results. Tomorrow is another fun day and I hope you’ll join me as I weave a Ruana cover-up with Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Speckles and Cotton Supreme DK.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: Knitting a sun hat that is cool and breezy

Go to part 5: Weaving a cover-up (Ruana) perfect for summer fun!

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