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!
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