Sunday, February 1, 2009


Several years ago, I stayed at a house in Provence that had a little field of poppies out front, and I’ve loved these bright and cheery red flowers ever since. When I decided to knit a bag with a floral design, the poppy came immediately to mind. Once this bag was finished, it reminded me of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of oriental poppies, and so I named it in her honor -- the O'Keeffe.

Because I'd only designed one pattern of my own previously, I decided to experiment with this design by making a smaller version first -- that way, I'd have spent less money on yarn if I decided I didn't like it. I did like it, though, and that experiment gave me the idea of enlarging the bag by simply knitting the larger version with two strands of yarn held together. As a result, the large bag knits up just as quickly as the smaller one, and the extra yarn gives it the extra body you need for a large tote.

For the yarn, I turned to Ella Rae Classic, which has a gorgeous array of colors in a basic worsted weight yarn. The background color is "eggplant" -- a really versatile almost-gray shade of purple. It functions as a neutral, but with a more lively color than a pure gray. It sets off the red flower and green leaf beautifully. The red leather handles are from Grayson E -- expensive, but worth it for a special project.

The bag is knit all in one piece -- starting at the bottom of the stem as seen in the picture above, then wrapping around to the other side, ending with the poppy blossom. After knitting this long rectangle, I picked up stitches for the sides, knit them at right angles to the main section, and then seamed the bag together and felted it.

Would you like to make an O'Keeffe of your own? I've posted the pattern online, and added it to the Ravelry pattern database. Let me know if you make one -- I want to see pictures!


Kathleen said...

I guess that means Knitty didn't want it! :) It's a beautiful bag!

Anonymous said...

I found your site via, and I love your felted bags! I am not a crafty person at all, just a voyeur all things crafty. Do you plan to sell either of those bags on your Etsy shop? I would love one. Please let me know. Thanks.

Betty Behrens said...

I found your site via I am not a crafty person, at all, just a voyuer of crafty things. Any plans to see either bag at your Etsy store? I am definitely interested. Thanks!
Betty (a non-crafty paralegal)

Glenda said...

Your tote is beautiful...thank you for sharing the pattern (so love ravelry!) I'm eager to make my own.

knitting dragonfly said...

I love this bag! I can't wait to get my needles out and cast on. Thanks for sharing, great blog and off to check out your etsy shops!!

Miss Me said...

i saw the "o'keeffe" pattern on ravelry and am smitten... it is lovely! do you have any suggestions for the length of the handles/straps for the 2 different sizes of bags? i am having absolutely no luck finding handles/straps locally and may have to a) get creative and do something different with them or b) try and find some online.
my ravelry id is MissMe1964 if you wouldn't mind popping me off an answer or perhaps you could put it in the pattern?
many thanks.

rutabaga said...