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Tag Archives: shopping bag

 

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.

 

The design pattern is easy and the project is a good one to work on while watching TV or visiting with friends.

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:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/seamless-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.

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fullhorse

I made this shopping bag-size tote several years ago for the Warren County (Lebanon, Ohio) Fair.  It won a blue ribbon and I enjoyed doing the harness horse design.  I used a coloring book sketch transferred to white fabric, then embroidered the design with black floss.   I used crayons to color the picture and heat set it by placing a piece of white paper over the coloring and pressing it with a hot iron.

horsecuI used the same patchwork blocks to make the back of the bag, machine quilted it with low loft batting and made a lining and handle.

backhorseI found the large size of the bag to be extremely useful.  My oldest daughter recently mentioned that she would like to have one the same size and I started looking through my orphan blocks and scraps to see what I could put together.

sewingfullThe center block is a Morning Star block  I posted last year and the center with vintage-type fabric was appropriate for my daughter because she is interested and talented in any type of hand sewing.  I looked for scraps with shades of yellow and blue and cut 2-1/2 inch blocks to accentuate the focus block.

sewingcuOn the back, I put together 2-1/2 inch blocks with 2-1/2 inch strips to continue the color theme.  The front and back were machine quilted using low loft batting.  The sides  were left unquilted to cut down on bulk.  I made another bag of plain fabric for a lining and made the handle extra-long so my daughter can swing the bag over her shoulder if she wants.

The bag is large – 22 inches wide x 25 inches long and should accommodate a lot of stuff when my daughter comes for her weekend visits.