Sunday, January 21, 2007

pattern: recycle

I knit this bag pattern out of the very cheap R2 rag that I bought, but it could almost as easily be knit out of bias cut strips of material that were sewn, glued or tied together onto one long, yarn like strip.

Although this bag was made out of bought yarn, I've got plans to use up some bits of charity shop and sale material that I've acquired over the last few years.

it also needs a very chunky set of needles, 18-20mm are about the right size as well as a more commonly found, 10mm set. Now these can be quite pricey and will rarely be used by most knitters, however, they can also be made relatively cheaply out of dowel rod, shaped into a point at one end with a drawer knob attached to the other.

You also need to either buy or make the bias strips necessary for knitting. To make these, you need to make repeated cuts along the diagonal of a strip of material. Cut strips about 12mm wide.

When these strips are cut, they need to be attached together into one long strip. About 160 yards of material is needed to make a bag of the size shown here. While these can be sewn, or knotted together. I prefer for the sake of complete laziness to use Copydex, a flexible latex glue. A dollop about the size of a split pea is enough to hold 2 strips together. Glue tem end to end with about a 1cm overlap.

so onto the pattern:

material: bias strips as described above.

1 set 10mm US 15,
1 set 20mm US 36.
1 sewing needle, blunt with a very wide eye.
a sharp pair of material scissors

Cost: hopefully nothing, the idea is to recycle what you already have

knitability level: beginner.

to knit body:

cast on 30 stitches onto the 10mm needle. Knit 5 rows in garter stitch.

change to 20mm needle, knit in stocking stitch until the bag measures about 2 foot in length

change to 10mm needles, knit 5 rows

cast off loosely

handles (make 2):

cast on 25 stitches onto 10mm needle
knit one row
cast off loosely

To finish:

sew up sides of bag. to secure the end of the strop used to sew, it should be knotted. Although this is not normally good knitting practice, it is necessary to ensure that the seam is held securely.

lay bag flat, measure points at 1/3 and 2/3 along the top edges and attach handles at these points using the yarn tails from the handles. weave the yarn tail through a complete stitch on 2 different rows, then tie securely in a knot.

the yarn tails can then be woven in for a few stitches, cut off level with the fabric of the bag and the ends held in lace with a bit more of that fabric glue.

you can make bags of different sizes by altering the number of stitches cast on, and the length you knit before switching back to 10mm needles to do the second edge. The body of this bag gives is about 32 cm long, by 45cm wide at the top (the base is wider) the handle is about 50cm long once the bad has been used and it has stretched.


Batty said...

Thanks for the pattern! I think we all have random bits of fabric lying around the house. Now there's a use for them!

Toggle said...

Thanks to everyone who has advised me on how to improve this pattern. I'll be re writing it in a couple of days, including some of their additions and hopefully a better picture.