I have gotten quite a bit of questions about the Positano Tote that was published in Interweave Winter 08 issue and I would like to create this FAQ post for anyone who is interested in the pattern or have already purchased the pattern or already started the project and would like to get some tips and information about the pattern and the project.
1. Where can I found the handle?
The pattern has included the url where the handles were purchased. However, the website is not that user friend to navigate and if you call the company, they would tell you that the handles is no longer available. However, if you go to the following link that I listed below, you can get the exact same handles that I used on the sample that I submitted to the magazine.
2. Can I substitute the handle? If yes, what is the best substitution?
The answer is Yes. Since the tote is lined with plastic canvas; hence, it’s quite sturdy througout. You can get a U-shape handle does not have the body rod. If you use a U-shape handle, when working on the purse tab, just work the center piece, and ignore the side 2 tabs.
3. Where can I find the buckle? Can I use a different size buckle?
The buckle I used is a buckle from an old belt that does not fit me anymore since I have gained a few pounds. If you can’t find any buckle with the same size, there is a few option you might want to consider;
1. See whether you can find an cheap belt with the same size buckle, 2. Find a buckle that you like and try to modify the purse flap to work with the buckle; e.g. if the buckle is smaller than the pattern is called for, you might want to do more decrease to the flap;
3. Not to use any buckle so do have to work the tote flap.
4. Do I have to use knit-in (attached) i-cord for the side seaming?
No. I like knit-in i-cord because it give a round edge and it gives the tote a more finish look. You can either use tapestry needle and yarn to sew the seam together or use crochet hock to work a couple rows of single crochet to combine the tote together.
5. Do I have to put plastic canvas to the tote? Do I have other option?
The answer is no BUT I would highly recommend to use plastic canvas because it will really increase the durability of the tote. Also, the way the tote is designed, it meant to be and look sturdy. Another option I would suggest is to use home decorative fabric along with heavy interfacing when lining the purse, that would provide a little more sturdy look and feel to the tote.
6. Do I have to apply plastic canvas to the tote before assembly the pieces together? Can I do it other way around?
Yes, you would but it might get a little bit tricky to do it the other way. if you assembly the pieces together before applying the plastic canvas, you will have to first turn the tote inside out, then apply the plastic canvas to the body and the bottom, the tricky part is to turn the tote outside in again since the plastic canvas made the tote very stiff; hence, it’s difficult to turn. So I would suggest to assembly the tote first. I have attached a picture below about applying the plastic canvas. make sure to leave about 1/4-1/2 inch so that you can work the knit-in i-cord.
7. My tote come out way smaller than the finished measurement stated in the pattern even though I have the right gauge, what’s wrong?
I did hear quite a few people told me that the actual size come out way smaller. The key is that you will really need to stretch the body pieces out when blocking because of the nature of the motif, it tend to pull the pieces in. In addition, when working on sl 1 wyf, not to pull the yarn too tight. If you are pulling it too tight while working on the stitch, it will make the over tote smaller. If you realized that the size for the tote is smaller than what it was stated on the pattern, then you will need to modified the bottom piece. You might want to consider to drop a needle size when working on the bottom (not the side) or may be even cast on a few less stitches. I would recommend to do a gauge on the garter stitch to see how many CO you need to match the widest part of the body.
I hope this post povide enough information about working on the Positano Tote. If you still have anymore question, please contact me.
Thanks you everyone that is interested in this design and I wish you Happy Knitting!