Friday, September 05, 2008

String Bag Instructions

I thought I'd probably have to be more specific about how I made the String Bag in the previous post, and Marji has given me the push I needed.

I found the original pattern I started with. It's Everlasting Bagstopper from the Summer 2007 Knitty. It calls for 2 skeins of Allhemp 6, which sells for about $17/skein. So we're talking $34 for yarn, exclusive of S&H. I find this ridiculous for a string bag, which in my view is the sort of thing that you ought to be able to make from stuff on hand at basically no cost. Oh well, that's just me, and there's nothing wrong with the pattern itself, except that I don't like the handle or how it attaches. It's just a piece of twill tape or ribbon, and so you basically have a bucket shaped bag with a handle. Not what I really had in mind, so I changed it.

I followed the instructions up to where she starts the garter stitch rows for the top edge of the bag, then I went on my own.

Here's my (very sketchy)pattern, using 2 skeins Aunt Lydia's Size 3 Fashion Crochet Thread, for a cost of around $4. (I tried SugarNCream with my bag following the original pattern, and I thought it was too heavy looking, so I looked for a yarn/thread that looked like the right size and came up with Aunt Lydia's.)

With Size 5(US)needles:
CO 44 and knit every row for about 28 rows (14 ridges).
PU 14 st on end of rectangle, 44 on long side and 14 on end. Place marker. Continue in garter stitch around your rectangle/circle for about 4 or 5 rows.
Change to Size 10.5(US) needles and begin pattern stitch.

Row 1: YO, K2tog. Repeat around.
Row 2: K.

Repeat these 2 rows until you get the height you want before the handle area (about 8-12 inches unstretched).

Place a marker at the halfway point of your round. You will be working on half the stitches at a time. Work so that you are doing Row 1 on the right side and Row 2 on the wrong side. Of course you will now be purling Row 2. After you finish the first side (half the original stitches0 go back and do the other side to match.

BO 3 st. at the beginning of the next 2 rows, then continue in pattern, decreasing 1 st. on each side of every WS row. I like to decrease next to a selvedge stitch which is K on each row, rather than on the outside stitch. Keep doing this until you have about 40 stitches.

Next 2 rows: K2tog. across the row.

10 st. remaining.

Here's where my possible changes will come in. I changed back to the Size 5 needles and did a garter stitch strap at this point across the 10 rows on both sides and did a combined cast off at the middle of the strap. This is kind of pointless and fiddly, so I would either cast off at the 10 st. point on the first side and do the whole strap on the other side and then sew them together,


cast off at the 10 st. point on both sides and use a crochet hook to do a couple rows of reverse SC around the entire bag opening and then make the strap. That would probably be the sturdiest option, but possibly unnecessary.

Photo Link


Ann R said...

I haven't seen a string bag for years! But what good idea.
And you're getting a new-to-you sewing machine... I hope you enjoy your 2144 as much as I did, it's a really great machine, but you do need to read - and digest - the manual.
Hope your cold's better..

Miriam said...

Thanks for sharing this. I enjoy having a string bag in my purse to use any time. The first one I made (not your pattern)was huge - and now holds a lot of yarn stash. :)
Have fun with your machine embroidery. I know you'll use it for another level of creativity to your projects.
I hope you are feeling well again.

Marji said...

I'm copying and pasting this to a word doc so that I can duplicate your wonderful efforts while I'm whiling away my time this summer on the boat. Thanks for the detailed instructions.