I enjoy going to thrift shops and looking for vintage collectibles and china, and since I’ve been knitting have found some good bargains in yarn. Since 90% of my knitting is for charity, I appreciate finding some nice yarn at a good price. I was thrilled to find a large plastic bag filled with 17 unopened skeins of Caron Premium yarn in off-white for only $10.00.
I envisioned soft, fluffy baby blankets for my Lakota Indian group and was disappointed when I made a trial swatch to find that the yarn was thick and rather stiff when knitted. So much for fluffy baby blankets and I made a dishcloth, a table mat and a floor mat. The yarn worked OK for these projects but I had a lot of yarn and didn’t want to make any more cloths or mats. Then, I thought it might make a good, strong market bag to carry all the fresh corn and melons I buy at the farmer’s market every summer. My daughter had a nice pattern for a seamless tote bag that is knit in one piece from the bottom up. The pattern called for 4mm (#6 US) needles and cotton or DK (baby/sport) yarn. I used #6 needles with my thick, sturdy yarn and following the pattern for the bag portion exactly, made a very thick, sturdy market bag. I changed the pattern a bit for the handle which my daughter had made and found to be stretchy. I made two long I-cords, doubled them and stitched to the center front and center back of the bag to form a shopping bag shape.
Using the thinner yarn would have produced a bag 13 inches wide x 14 inches deep. My bag turned out to be 18 inches wide x 17 inches long.
Here is the link for the tote bag:
…and here is a You Tube tutorial on how to make an I-cord. This is another project that is mindless and good for knitting when there might be distractions. I used the same needle and yarn size to make the I-cord as I used for the bag.