Sunday, December 2, 2007

String (Grocery Bag) Theory

In theory, reusable grocery bags are a great idea. They are easy on the environment and less likely to rip, spilling your contents everywhere. In practice however... well, one has to remember to bring the bag for them to do any good.

With this known, I set out to knit a less-forgettable grocery bag.

I found this pattern through Ravelry, and found the yarn in a Manor Department Store while visiting Switzerland this summer.

The bag utilizes a Turkish stitch pattern, which is just a matter of yarn overs and knit2togethers, but I still got off the pattern from time to time. It's not really noticeable, and it's just a grocery bag, so in theory, it really doesn't matter.

Turkish stitch

As for remembering to have the bag with me, I made one modification that makes the empty grocery bag more compact, thus easier to take along for the grocery trip:

Self-contained carrying pouch

Bags expanded

To accomplish this, I followed the pattern instructions almost to the end. After knitting the strap for the main bag, but before grafting the strap to the bag, I knit a smaller version of the bag. I used the same base as in the pattern, and kept increasing the base until it seemed large enough to hold the rolled-up grocery bag. From there, I switched to the larger needle size, and worked in stockinette until it seemed tall enough to fit the grocery bag. It's not an exact science, but again, it's just a grocery bag. I added a small carrying strap, and then grafted it in as I attached the main strap to the grocery bag.

When using the grocery bag, the carrying bag becomes a pocket for items you may need close at hand. When you're done grocery shopping, the grocery bag easily folds back into the carrying bag for much easier storage.

Project Details:
Start-End: October 26 - November 15, 2007
Pattern: "The String Bag" from My Best Friend's a Dork
Yarn: Home "Island Multi" purchased from Manor Department store, Switzerland
Needles: KnitPicks Options in US4 (3.5 mm) and US11 (8.0 mm)
New-to-me: Emily Ocker's circular cast-on.
Modifications: Added small carrying bag, as described above.
If I do this again... I would definitely make one a bit smaller than this, as this one is best suited for larger, light items.


Anonymous said...

Clever! I'm making one of these as a gift, and I'll do this if I have leftovers. Thanks.

erin/pinkerbell said...

The storage pouch is a great idea! the bag looks wonderful.