Help trying to modify a pattern

I’m making this knitted bag: Viking Bag (free pattern, Ravelry link).

You can see it has 6 repeats of the cable pattern (3 in front, 3 in back). I’m trying to modify the pattern so that I’ll have a section of flat knitting about 3/4 of the way from the top edge of the bag, about 1/2 the size of one of the pattern repeats. Does that make sense?

I’ve already tried just going right into a section of stocking stitch after the 2nd pattern repeat, but didn’t realize until after 8 rows that the st st section wasn’t laying flat… it was almost like the cables carried themselves over my st st, so that it was really wavey/bumpy. :??

Would knitting a couple of rows of garter stitch before a section of st st prevent that from happening? I don’t want to have to rip back another huge section if I can help it (I’m always worried I’m going to drop stitches, and I’m terrible at picking them back up again). I suppose I could do the section in all garter stitch, but I’d prefer it to lay flatter/more indented than the cable pattern if I can help it.


I think garter stitch would be a jarring change. You might try continuing the rib a few rows, past where you’d do another cable cross if you were going to cable, then switch to the stockinette. Or you might try seed st; that may fit in better with the rev stockinette that’s the background for the cables.

I’m not 100% sure I understand what you want to do. I think you want to carry the cables up from the bottom and then drop them and do the top plain all around, is that right? That is what I get out of this part:

I’m trying to modify the pattern so that I’ll have a section of flat knitting about 3/4 of the way from the top edge of the bag,
This part I’m not sure of:
about 1/2 the size of one of the pattern repeats.

Cables cause the work to condense a bit. When you drop the cables and start St st it would want to be wider than in the cable section. So it could be that you need to get rid of a few stitches to keep it from rippling. If you decreased one stitch at the top of each of the two basic cables on each side of the bigger cable and 2 or 3 at the top of the big cable that might help.

Cute bag.

hmm, let me see if I can make more sense LOL

Say each cable pattern is 6" from top to bottom (just pulling a number out of my head). From the top of the bag moving downward, I’d like to have half a pattern repeat, followed by 3" of flat knitting, followed by the normal two pattern repeats that make up the front of the bag.

The (hopeful) plan is to have a twisted fabric accent across the front of the bag that will match the lining I’ll be adding. I don’t want to put the fabric over the cables, as they’re very bulky and will likely make the fabric lay awkwardly.

So from the top of the bag down you want a bit of the cables, then a plain section, then back to the cables about half way in the middle to the bottom? Which end of the bag do you actually start at to knit it? From the bottom or the top?

Since you want the cables to come and go and come back I still wonder if it would be good to add and take away stitches as the cables come and go to keep the St st flat. For instance if you start at the bottom do the stitches as called for. When you want to drop the cables get rid of a few stitches right over the cables, do the St st and then when you want to go back to the cables add the stitches back where you took them out. I think this would keep your St st from wanting to get wavy.

I like the seed st idea, I don’t know why that never occurred to me, sine I was thinking of adding a seed st gusset to give the bag more depth, too.

To the bolded, yes, that’s exactly right!

Technically, the pattern goes that you knit 6 pattern repeat as one long piece, then it folds in half and you seam the sides. So since I only need/want the flat portion to be in the front, I can knit it either way… from the front top down then up the back, or from the back top down and up the front.

I’m going to try your suggestion of decreasing my sts and see if that helps. I’ll post back and let you know! Thank you!

MarigoldinWA, your idea to decrease the sts over the cables is working perfectly! Thank you!

Thanks for that. It’s always nice to know that something you thought you had learned actually is true. :lol:

I think Merigold’s post is probably true. If you don’t want the bunching thats going to happen, you are probably going to have to decrease some stitches, seed stitch might work better than stockinette. Cables, by nature of being cables, are going to be a much smaller gauge than stockinette. So the only way that the fabric is going to be able to handle the change in gauge is by bunching up. To even out the bunching you’d have to reduce the stitches in order to reduce the gauge and even it out.

The seed stitch might work better as it should have a gauge somewhere between the cables and stockinette.