Thursday, November 09, 2006

String Bag No. 3: Streamlined and Simple

This bag knits up very quickly - I have streamlined the construction techniques for speed and simplicity, without sacrificing a tidy, polished appearance. It's perfect for last-minute gift giving – fill it up with homebaked goodies or eco-friendly odds and ends, and after the holidays, the recipient will have an excellent alternative to shopping with plastic.

I have created a PDF of the pattern - it is hosted for the moment at QuickSharing, so you have to put up with a few ads - just click "Download File" and it should come up just fine. Plans are in the works to add a knitting subdomain to my jewellery website, which will allow me to host my design archives in my own space - that probably won't happen until after Christmas, though.

For anyone who prefers to read the pattern straight from the blog, here it is:


Materials: Any sturdy cotton or cotton blend in approximately DK weight will do – I used Aunt Lydia's Denim Quick-Crochet (75% cotton, 25% acrylic). Yardage: around 150 to 300 yds, depending how long you choose to make it.

Needles: I used 16 inch, 4.5 mm (US 7) circulars for the body, and 3.5 mm (US 4) DPNs for the cord.

Gauge: Approx. 4 rounds of the lace pattern to the inch – you really can't go too far wrong with a bag like this, however.


Body: With circular needles, cast on 64 stitches (a cabled cast-on gives a firm and attractive edge) and join in the round.

Rnds 1-3: knit, placing a marker at the beginning of the round.

Openwork pattern:
Rnd 1: *yo twice, k2tog; rep from *
Rnd 2: knit, knitting only once into the double yo – I find it easiest to slip the first loop off the needle and knit into the second.

Repeat these two rounds to desired length: 20 repeats makes a nice gift bag (as pictured), 30 would be a good capacity for a full-sized shopping bag. Hint: this is a very stretchy pattern, so be sure to pull it firmly lengthwise to measure.


Rnd 1: as above
Rnd 2: *k2tog; rep from *

Continue until 8 stitches remain. Leaving a long tail, break the yarn, and run through the remaining stitches, drawing up tightly and knotting securely. Weave in ends.

Using 2 DPNs, CO 3 st, *k3, do not turn. Slide sts to right, pull yarn to tighten. Rep from * until cord length equals the bag circumference plus another couple of inches. Thread through the top row of eyelets, and graft or sew the two ends together securely, weaving the tails inside the cord.

As always, please email me with any questions!