Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bag of Bags

Here's the "Bag of Bags" in all its recycled glory:

The Pattern (such as it is)

You will need:
5mm needles, dpns or circulars. (I use circulars for just about everything these days - you can use straights to start with but for the body of the bag you will need dpns or circs)

First make your "yarn". I used Ruth's instructions here, but there are other methods - Google is your friend.

Using 5mm needles cast on 40 stitches and work 22 rows in garter stitch. (Knit every row). This rectangle forms the bottom of the bag.

Using 5mm dpns or circs pick up and knit 11 stitches down the first short side of your rectangle. Pick up and knit 40 sts from the cast on edge. Pick up and knit 11 stitches down the second short side of your rectangle. 102 sts. Place marker to indicate the beginning of the round.

Work in the round, in stocking stitch (knit every round) until the body of the bag measures 12 inches (30 cm) - or more, or less. It's your bag. You decide.

To shape the handles:

(Knit 14, Cast off 12, Knit 14, Cast off 11) twice.

You will have four groups of 14 stitches. Leave three of these groups on stitch holders and work back and forth on the remaining 14 stitches.

Join yarn and work 1 row knit and 1 row purl.

Decrease row: *K1, SSK, K to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1
Work three rows st st (i.e. P 1 row, K 1 row, P 1 row)
Repeat from * until 4 stitches remain.

Work 8 rows st st on these 4 sts. Do not cast off.

Repeat this shaping on the next group of 14 stitches, then graft the remaining stitches together to form the handle. You could use a three needle bind off if you prefer but grafting is neater (and it's only four stitches - you can do it!)

Repeat the whole performance on the other two groups of stitches to make the other handle.

In hindsight (perfect 20/20 vision), I might work 5 rows between the decreases on the handles and stop with 6 or 8 stitches remaining. This would make a fatter (technical term) handle, which might be better.

Use bag at supermarket/farm shop/farmers' market and feel smug - you have made something out of nothing and all it cost you was a small investment of your time.

Send me a picture if you make one - I'd love to see them.

The back field is basking in sunshine and has been mowed:

It really is the rural backwater.


allisonmariecat said...

Oh, I love it! I've been using reusable bags for a while, but I still have an unsightly stash of plastic bags under the sink.

I always enjoy your technical terms, by the way.

I love your back field. Last night, when the neighbors dogs WOULD NOT stop barking, I was wishing we lived in a more backwater-y place...

TutleyMutley said...

LOve your bag of bags - I've been trying to knit a pegbag out of plastic but it's been snoozing. I cut my bags up the same way (posted pics right at the beginning of my blog) and didn't know that Ruth had posted the same instructions a year or so before! Got mine off another webplace I think.

Susanne said...

Where are youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu?????