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Home : Patterns : Smocked Pleated Bag

Free Knitting Pattern: Smocked Pleated Bag

Lion Brand® Fishermen's Wool®
Pattern #: L0161AD
Rating: ***3.0 (based on 2 reviews)
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SKILL LEVEL:  Intermediate (Level 3)

SIZE: One Size
Finished Height: About 10 in. (25.5 cm), not including handles, after felting.
Finished Circumference: About 54 in. (137 cm), after felting.
Note: Due to natural variations in size caused by the felting process, the size of your Bag may vary.


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Color (A)
Fishermen's Wool®

Click here to enlarge image and see more about item 150-098: Fishermen's Wool Yarn: Natural
Click here for larger swatch
To change colors, simply select color name from the drop-down above or else click the swatch you want to change and then click a color below
Fishermen's Wool®
Natural Oatmeal Brown Heather Nature's Brown Oak Tweed Maple Tweed Birch Tweed
*Fishermen's Wool (Article #150). 100% Pure Virgin Wool
Only 202: 78% Pure Virgin Wool, 13% Acrylic, 9% Rayon ; package size: 8 oz  (227 g), 465 yards (425 m)
ONLY 202: 6 oz (170 g), 348 yards (318 m)

You can also buy materials separately
To change colors, click the drop-down list or swatches above
•  150-098 Fishermen's Wool Yarn: Natural
$ 51.96  
Lion Brand Large-Eye Blunt Needles (Set of 6)   $ 3.59  
Additional Materials
Circular knitting needle size 9 (5.5 mm), 29 in. (73.5 cm) long
Medium size binder clips
Sewing needle and thread

Smocked Pleated Bag

Lion Brand® Fishermen's Wool®


16 sts = about 4 in. (10 cm) in St st (k on RS, p on WS) before felting.
The above gauge is provided as a reference - the felting process will affect the finished size.
When you match the gauge in a pattern, your project will be the size specified in the pattern and the materials specified in the pattern will be sufficient. The needle or hook size called for in the pattern is based on what the designer used, but it is not unusual for gauge to vary from person to person. If it takes you fewer stitches and rows to make your swatch, try using a smaller size hook or needles; if more stitches and rows, try a larger size hook or needles.

Making a Gauge Swatch


1. Circular needle is used to accommodate the large number of sts on the Base of the Bag. Work back and forth on circular needle as if working on straight needles.
2. Due to the nature of the felting process, the size of your finished Bag may vary.
3. Bag is worked in four separate pieces: Body, Base, and 2 Handles and is sewn together with sewing needle and thread after being felted.
4. The Body of the Bag is oversized. If you prefer, you can make the Body in 2 pieces, each 42 in. (106.5 cm) long. Seam these 2 pieces tog before felting.

Cast on 52 sts.
Working back and forth on circular needle, as if working on straight needles, work in St st (k on RS, p on WS) until piece measures about 84 in. (213.5 cm) from beg. Bind off.

Cast on 150 sts.
Work back and forth on circular needle in St st until piece measures about 30 in. (76 cm) from beg. Bind off.

HANDLES (make 2)
Cast on 14 sts.
Working back and forth on circular needle, work in St st until piece measures about 23 in. (58.5 cm) from beg.Bind off.
Note: During the felting process, edges of Handles will roll naturally.

The long sides of the Body piece are the top and bottom edge of Bag Body. T-pins are placed 1 in. (2.5 cm) apart along both long sides to mark pleat placement.
1. Lay Body onto a flat surface. Measure 1/2 in. (1.5 cm) from cast on edge on each side edge, and place T-pins. Continue to place T-pins along each long side of Body, marking every 1 in. (2.5 cm).
2. Beg at cast-on edge, fold a pleat in Body by matching first set of pins to 2nd and allowing fabric to fold on RS, making a 1 in. (2.5 cm) pleat. Secure folded edge of pleat with binder clips.
3. Working from RS, with sewing needle and thread, sew through both layers, across Body, from T-pin to T-pin (base of pleat). Don't be concerned about neatness of your sewing - this seam will all but disappear in the felting process. When pleat is sewn in place, remove binder clips.
4. Skip next marked 1 in. (2.5 cm) of Body, then make another pleat, by matching the next two sets of T-pins, and sewing across the base of pleat.
5. Continue to make pleats in every alternate marked section along length of Body, leaving last 1 in. (2.5 cm) or so of Body unpleated.
1. When all pleats have been made, you will sew pleats together to form a honeycomb, smocked effect. Working from RS and with binder clips, clip first pleat to second pleat at 5 evenly spaced points.
2. With sewing needle and thread, and removing one binder clip at a time, sew through both pleats at each clipped point. Knot thread securely. Don't be concerned about neatness of your sewing - sts will disappear in the felting process.
3. Sew third and fourth pleats together in same way as first and second, then, clip third pleat to second pleat at 4 points, spaced evenly between sewn points.
Removing binder clips as you work, sew third pleat to second at each clipped point.
4. Continue to clip and then sew pleats together, leaving portions of the pleats unsewn as desired.
5. Sew cast on edge to bound-off edge (to make a tube).

Weave in ends. Wash pieces by machine on a hot wash/cold rinse cycle with detergent and several pieces of clothing to agitate. To felt additionally, dry by machine on a regular setting until almost dry. Remove from dryer and pull into shape. Allow to dry completely.

Measure Body circumference. Cut Base into a circle to match Body circumference. With needle and thread, sew Base to Body. Sew Handles to Body. Weave in ends.

Click for explanation and illustration
beg = begin(s)(ning) k = knit
p = purl RS = right side
St st = Stockinette stitch st(s) = stitch(es)
WS = wrong side  

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Ratings and Reviews
Pattern Average Rating: ***3.0 (based on 2 reviews)
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Smocked Pleated Bag Reviewed by Virginia Luty on 2011-04-30 *
The only thing fun about attempting this project was the fun of giving it to my friend who asked me to make it.
The knitting portion of the project is BORING!! Nothing but rows and rows of stocking knit.
The idea of the smocking is attractive, but very time consuming and the instructions are less than stellar and very ambiguous!! Pleating instruction #4. Can be interrupted 2 ways and I chose the wrong way!!
Did anyone test knit this? I doubt it. I had plenty of smocking come lose in the felting process, so Leaving portions unsewn would leave for a very ugly product.
By the way it only takes 3 skeins of yarn. Shame on Lion Brand-this sure makes for a nice sale for them. I will post pictures and a complete recap of this on Ravelry.
The only saving grace is that I used my gut feelings and ended up with a rather pretty bag-but not at all like the picture.

When you are in New York City, visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio at 34 W. 15th Street for a one-of-a-kind yarn lover's experience. For more information, visit the website,
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