Jaycee Weaver is one of the twelve authors who participated with me in the Christian Contemporary Romance anthology, Save the Date. Jaycee’s novella in the anthology is titled Braver With You.
In celebration, I wrote a knitting pattern for the yoga mat bag used by Jaycee’s heroine, Ashlyn.
Update 2022: The Save the Date anthology is now out of print, but Jaycee’s novella is available individually on Kindle!
(In case you missed it, here are the links for my interview with Jaycee part 1 and part 2, and an excerpt of one of Jaycee’s other books, Whatever Comes Our Way.)
This yoga mat bag for Jaycee Weaver’s heroine, Ashlyn, is both pretty and practical. I made the base of the bag a little large, so that it will fit a variety of lengths of mat, and my husband (who does yoga every week) says that a larger base helps protect his mat a little better when he has to walk or bike with it to his yoga class. My husband’s mat was extra-thick so it was a slightly snugger fit than my own (cheap) thin yoga mat. In the photos, it is his mat inside the bag.
The strap is knit with the drawstring so that the weight, when carried, is distributed around the entire top of the bag rather than just from a small section where the strap would otherwise be attached.
I also made the drawstring long so that the bag top could be opened as widely as possible, and there is a shoulder pad that doubles as a cinch to tighten the top of the bag closed.
Yarn: Knit Picks Dishie Multi, (100% cotton, 190 yards/100 grams, worsted weight), Herb Garden colorway, 2 balls
US 7 (4.5 mm) circular or double pointed needles
(optional) Size H (5 mm) crochet hook for the base
about 18” circumference, 25.5” tall
The lace pattern is a variation on spider net. It is called #70, Very Pretty, Something Like Spider Net, which I found on pages 162-163 in The Lady’s Assistant, volume 2, 5th edition, by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, published in 1857. I altered some of the stitches a bit to give some directionality to the decreases.
Round 1: k1, k2tog, YO, k1, YO, ssk
Round 2: k2, (YO, k3, YO, A) to the last 4 stitches, YO, k3, YO, slip 1 stitch, remove end-of-round marker, k2tog (from the next round), pass slipped stitch over, replace end-of-round marker (you have moved the marker forward 2 stitches)
Round 3: knit
Round 4: YO, ssk, k1, k2tog, YO, k1
Round 5: k1, YO, A, YO, k2
Round 6: knit to the last stitch, slip stitch, remove end-of-round marker, place slipped stitch back on left needle, replace end-of-round marker (you have moved the marker backward 1 stitch)
k = knit
k2tog = knit two together
YO = yarn over
A = slip 1 stitch, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over the k2tog stitch
I crocheted the base so it would be a little heavier and sturdier, but below these are instructions for knitting the base instead if you prefer.
Crochet circular base:
Start: Using size H (5.00 mm) crochet hook, chain 3 stitches, then slip stitch into the first chain stitch to make a circle.
Round 1: Single crochet 6 times into the circle, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. (6 sts)
Round 2: Single crochet 2 times into each of the stitches, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. (12 sts)
Round 3: (Single crochet once into the next stitch, single crochet 2 times into the next stitch) repeat a total of 6 times, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. (18 sts)
Round 4: (Single crochet once each into the next 2 stitches, single crochet 2 times into the next stitch) repeat a total of 6 times, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. (24 sts)
Round 5: (Single crochet once each into the next 3 stitches, single crochet 2 times into the next stitch) repeat a total of 6 times, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. (30 sts)
Round 6: (Single crochet once each into the next 4 stitches, single crochet 2 times into the next stitch) repeat a total of 6 times, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. (36 sts)
Round 7: (Single crochet once each into the next 5 stitches, single crochet 2 times into the next stitch) repeat a total of 6 times, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. (42 sts)
Continue in pattern, increasing the number of stitches with only 1 single crochet stitch, until there are 78 total stitches, 13 rounds.
Switch to US 7 circular needles or double pointed needles. There are two ways you can pick up stitches around the base: A) pick up and knit 72 stitches around the base, or B) pick up 72 stitches around the base, then knit the picked-up stitches through the back loop.
If you’d prefer not to crochet the base, you can knit it instead:
Knit Circular Base:
With US 7 circular needles or double-pointed needles, cast-on 8 stitches and join in the round on double pointed needles (I used Emily Ocker’s Cast On).
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Knit into the front and back of the stitch (KFB) on all stitches (16 stitches)
Rounds 3-4: Knit
Round 5: KFB all stitches (32 stitches)
Rounds 6-9 Knit
Round 10: KFB all stitches (64 stitches)
Rounds 11-13: knit
Round 14: (k7, KFB 1 st) 8 times (72 stitches)
Round 13: knit
Start lace pattern and repeat the 6 rounds of the pattern 21 times or until the bag is about 24” from the base or the length that you want. Remember that it will stretch with a heavy mat inside.
Knit 4 rounds.
Eyelet round: (k1, YO, k2tog, k1) 18 times around.
Knit 4 rounds.
Bind off loosely.
Cast on 4 stitches provisional cast on with waste yarn.
Knit i-cord for about 26”, then string it through the eyelets at the top of the bag. Check that the bag can open all the way and that the I-cord isn’t too short.
Knit the 4 live stitches, then undo the waste yarn and knit the 4 cast on stitches.
Continue knitting the 8 stitches of the strap. You can knit moss stitch, garter stitch, or you can crochet the strap. I opted for single crochet so that the strap would be smooth and sturdy, and wouldn’t stretch quite as much as a knitted strap will when the yoga mat is in the bag.
Work until the strap, including the looped I-cord, is 28” long or the length you desire. (I opted for a shorter strap because my husband mentioned that it’s easier to carry the bag if the strap is shorter.)
Firmly sew base of strap to bottom of bag.
You can knit the strap either in the round or flat.
If knitting in the round, with US 7 needles, cast on 16 stitches. Wrap it around the strap and join in the round, being careful not to twist the cast on stitches, then knit it in the round around the strap.
If knitting flat, cast on 18 stitches with US 7 needles.
Stockinette stitch for 13”, making sure the pad is long enough to cover the i-cords and part of the flat strap for comfort when using it. Bind off. If you knit it flat, wrap it around the strap and sew the sides together.
Weave in all ends.
Camy’s knitting patterns inspired by the novellas in Save the Date:
— Ashlyn's Yoga Bag knitting pattern w/ @KnitPicks Dishie
— Cleo’s Drawstring Purse knitting pattern w/ @KnitPicks CotLin
— Kate’s Tube Scarf knitting pattern
— April’s Newsboy Hat knitting pattern w/ @KnitPicks Dishie
If you like romance novels, please check out my list of free short stories, novellas, and novels available on my blog! I write Christian contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Camy Tang, and Christian Regency romance as Camille Elliot. Click here to knit the antique scarf pattern from my Regency romance novel, The Spinster's Christmas.