Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pauline's easy shopping Bag

For all my friends that wanted to know how I made my bag, here is the pattern- easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Its shown here holding 2 queen sized bath towels & it's not even at full stretch!

Pauline’s easy shopping bag
This bag is very flexible in what requirements you need & what you knit it in. You could do it in 4ply if you like or even heavier yarn. There isn’t a tension that is critical- it’s not like it has to fit. If you want to do a really big bag then get another ball of yarn, but be warned this bag stretches & stretches & will hold lots-so you don’t want it too big or it will be too heavy to carry.

Great thing is it fits in your handbag without taking up much room & can be pulled back into shape when you take everything out of it.

2 x 50gm balls of 8ply knitting cotton or similar. Craft cotton would work.
5.5mm crochet hook (use bigger or smaller if you change the yarn weight)
5.5mm circular knitting needle. (use bigger or smaller if you change yarn weight)

You need to be able to;
Knit in the round

Not important, but should be looser than you would normally knit up your chosen yarn.
The instructions are very easy-& can be adjusted to suit your requirements- on how big or small you want the bag.

Sl-st slip stitch
dc- double crochet (single crochet for the Americans)
k2tog- knit 2 stitches together
yfwd- yarn forward

With 5.5mm crochet hook & chosen yarn make a slip stitch start & do 3 chain, join with a sl-st to form a circle.
1st row: 2 ch,7 dc into circle, join with a sl-st into top of 2 ch. (2ch counts as a stitch)
2nd row: 2 ch, 1 dc into same space , 2 dc into the top of each dc of the previous row, join with sl-st to top of 2ch. (16dc-first 2ch counts as stitch)
3rd row: 2ch, 15 dc into top of dc in previous row, join sl-st into top of 2 ch.
Repeat 2nd & 3rd rows, increasing every second row until the base of the bag has at least 64 dc’s- you can go to 128 but you’ll need more yarn & this is a really big bag.
Take loop from crochet hook & place on circular needle-knit up 1 stitch from each of the dc’s of the last row. You should have the same number of stitches as you had dc’s & you need an even number of stitches to do the knitted pattern.

Continue as follows:
Mark beginning of round.
K2tog, yfwd-repeat to end.
Repeat this row for as long as you want the bag- about 55 rounds. Do more rounds if you want a bigger bag-you need to have about half of your last ball of yarn left (if using 50gm balls).

Either cast off REALLY loosely or chain cast off with a crochet hook- it needs to be very loose or you won’t get your goodies in your bag easily! Do not cut yarn. Leave last loop on knitting needle & transfer to crochet hook.
2 ch to commence round, 1dc into each stitch of cast off row-if you had 64 stitches then you’ll have 64 dc’s in this round. Join with a sl-st.
Next row: 2ch, 1 dc into each dc of previous row, join sl-st
Repeat this row twice.

Make handles:
Mark the top of the bag roughly into quarters.
2ch, dc into each dc of previous row until you reach the first mark (I used pins).
Make a chain adding about 5-10 extra chains than the stitches that are between the marks (if you have 17 dc between the pins then do 25 chains)-dc into the next marked spot on the bag. Dc to next mark & repeat chain, dc to beginning of round & join sl-st.
Next row: 2ch, 1 dc in each st & ch to end, join sl-st to beginning 2ch
3rd row (handles)-2ch, 1 dc in each to end, join sl-st to beginning 2ch
Repeat 3rd row once (you could do another row, but if you make the handles too thick they will be uncomfortable to carry)

Tie off. Sew in end. Admire bag. Fill it with goodies. Expect comments wherever you go.

Few things to note.
If you make the handles too long then when the bag has stuff in it they tend to get longer & longer. This is not a shoulder type bag- more like the string bag my mum carried but the holes are closer together so things don’t fall out as easily.

This pattern is really just a basis for you to work on- add or subtract as you like to give you the size you like.

Please send me a pic if you make this bag. If there are any massive mistakes in my instructions please let me know- this if the first pattern I've written for anyone but me to follow!

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