Friday, May 30, 2008

Going Green...

....or blue, yellow, orange, or purple. I finally found a knitted mesh bag pattern, Everlasting bagstopper, that I liked so that I could make a couple of these shopping bags. I really don't mind plastic, but I thought I'd try harder to be a little more enviro-friendly. A year or more ago I bought a number of skeins of cotton yarn. I'm not really sure why, except that I really loved all the pretty colors. So now I am trying to use them up.This one is Sugar 'n Cream--color Sun Kissed Ombre. L. has her eye on this one. As she told me--it has two of her favorite colors: yellow and blue. Strap details--cut 27 inch length of cotton strap per side (1 1/2 yd. total length strap per bag). On the inside of the bag fold up end of strap 1/2 inch and then pin and sew the strap on with a box with an X pattern (around all 4 sides and then cross in the middle of the strap to secure).

**Here are a couple of the changes that I made on this pattern. Instead of making it with 116 stitches in the round I reduced it to 114 on the second bag. That way when you thread the drawstring it works out a little better. I don't like the two ends to be coming out of the same hole (call me crazy or anal!) I bought 1 yd. of drawstring elastic or drawstring cording. You may want to go up to 1 yd. and 1/8 to have enough "give" in the bag once you add the cord lock and knot the ends.

The first bag--blue/white combo (Lion Brand--color Wedgewood) I got carried away, wasn't paying as close attention as I should have and knitted more rows than suggested. I would definitely try and stick with the 10" suggested so that the bag doesn't hang down too low. I counted and that is about 25 eyelet holes high. I used this longer blue bag for water bottles and snacks while we were at the Omaha Zoo a couple weeks or so ago and it was hanging a bit longer than I would like it--and I'm tall. So I'm thinking that for a shorter person it would be WAY too long. However, I also washed it once we got home and it seemed to be a bit better.
When you bind off the last row I moved up to a size 8 needle, which worked just fine for me. I have read on other sites, though, that some have had to go clear up to a size 11 to make sure the binding off wasn't too tight. I think that size 8 is just fine.

For this orange version I decided to try a different method for the straps. I got the idea from this pattern, but also needed a little instruction on how to cast on additional stitches at the end of a row. That particular bag pattern didn't come with any instructions on how to do that. Once I figured that out it was pretty easy. Instead of knitting just one row and the bind off for the handles, I knit and then purl alternate rows for 5 total rows before binding off. I wanted a little sturdier handle than the pattern originally indicated.
I used Sugar 'n Cream--color Creamsicle with Peaches 'n Cream--color Sunburst for this version. M. will get this bag. She is all over orange.
I was playing around with a different edge--K3, P3 with Sunburst before making the handles.

The drawstring I thread at about eyelet row 8. This is so, if you want, you can bunch the bag up inside of itself and pull tight for storage. If you want you could put the drawstring up toward the top edge of the bag to use as a closure when you are toting things a round.

I think that my girls are going to end up using these for their own personal swim bags. B. is hoping I'll make her a pink version. Actually I am working on hers right now. I'll keep this purple combination (Sugar 'n Cream--color Jewels and Lion Brand--color Purple) for myself along with the blue/white combo.


  1. Peaches n Cream is my favorite

  2. So love them! Way to go, Renae! Can I add these to my list? ha ha I'll have to wait 4 more years for you to have my name for Christmas again....bummer.

  3. I'll take care of you. See you in July with a new fun bag.



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