Step 6: Adding Handles

For the straps I used 1 inch wide by 28 inch strips of leather, and the finished strap is about 20 inches. You can definitely make the straps longer or shorter for your preference. Also cut 4 pieces of leather that are 1 inch by 4 inches.

Cut the leather with the utility knife and trim any fluffy fibers along the edges of the leather.

On one of the small piece of leather mark out where your studs go. I (mentally) divided the pieces into 4 1 inch squares and centered a stud in each square. This meant marking at .5, 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 inches one direction, and then 3/16 out from the center line on each side. The photo is much more useful than the explanation, especially because your studs are likely to be a different size.

Cut tiny slits with the utility knife and temporarily press a stud into each spot (don't bend the prongs.)

Use that first pieces as a template - transfer the marks to the ends of the bag straps and the other small pieces of leather and cut the slits in each. Be careful not to make marks on the straps that will show on the finished bag.

Press 4 studs into each end of the straps, still don't bend the prongs.

Set the end of one handle onto the bag where you want it to be. I set mine 3 inches from the outside edge. They need to be at least 4 inches from the top. Drop the prongs between knit stitches, being careful to to push them through the yarn because that will weaken the bag.

Adjust the prongs on the inside, then set one of the small pieces of leather over and now, finally, bend the prongs. You might have to smush down on the leather and knitting a bit to fold the prongs well.

Work your way up the rest of the studs. Use the vertical lines of knitting to keep the studs in line. The leather on the inside might not be perfectly flat but it's just there for support. Make sure no prongs are poking out because they'll catch on what you put in the bag, then repeat for the rest of the straps!
Interesting technique. I had at first thought you had knitted the whole bag and ombre dip-dyed it, but as you mentioned, this gives better control. Great work!
Wow! I love the handles on this one - they look so great with the blue. :)

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