Thursday, 2 March 2017

My First Hand-made String Bag

I do appreciate a nice old-fashioned string bag and considered ordering some on-line last Saturday when I remembered I had 600gms of beautiful 8ply cotton from Bendigo Mills waiting for me in the cupboard. I looked instead for simple patterns and settled on this one, the Emerald String Bag . After reading through the pattern I realised I had to alter it somewhat to suit my needle sizes and then I thought why not use a handknit cotton wash cloth as a quicker way to make the base as I already had some put by for gifts.

I'll share my pattern here, it's a fairly quick knit on the round and I used up the rest of that green cotton just because it was there. When changing needles simple knit onto the new needle and continue the rounds.

You'll need

1 new cotton handknit/crocheted washcloth or you'll need to make an 8 inch/20cm square first(50 gms of cotton here)
Approx 130-150 gms more of 8ply cotton(thicker cotton gets used up more quickly, mine is fairly fine but I only used 110gms apart from the base)
Circular needles sizes 8mm, 5mm and 2.75 mm...NB these are what I already have, if you have slightly different sizes then use them but alter your measurements to suit
Straight needles 2.75 mm or use the 2.75mm circ needle but go back and forth, not round and round,
Darning needle, tape measure and scissors

Pick up 140 stitches evening around the washcloth/square with the 5mm needle and work 5 rounds then change to your biggest to pick up sts If you have trouble fitting 140 sts on the first round just increase evenly on the next round...

Work rounds until you reach almost the required length(mine is 30cms)
Change to 5mm needles for 2 rounds
Change to 2.75mm for 6 rounds.

Bag with divided sts on holders for the strap....

Divide for strap(or cast off and sew on fabric handles perhaps)

Cast off 50 sts, knit 20 and place on holder, cast off 50 sts, knit 20
Change to your smallest straight needles now and work in stocking stitch(this looks nice but tends to roll under as in the following photo) or garter stitch for 5 rows
Knit2 together at both ends of 6th row (18 sts)
Decide whether you want a long or short handle now
Work to required length (mine is 18cm) and place sts on the holder or a spare needle.
Cut yarn and knit across the sts on the other holder.

Work for required length then join using the Kitchener Stitch method of grafting

Sew in the ends and off you go!

Details of handle and upper edge

Another even quicker method would be ignore the squared bottom altogether and cast on 140 or so stitches and then run an i-cord or ribbon through the stitches/holes of bottom edge and tie it (very) tightly.

I'm off to make an all red bag now...piccies soon
Love from Sue


  1. Clever you. You've got a stylish bag there! Thanks for the pattern

  2. That is awesome, I haven't thought of them in ages and now I want one!! I think that would be fairly easy to crochet too...

  3. Your bag is lovely, Sue. It looks a good size too. Meg:)

  4. very clever!
    i recently downloaded a heap of bags to knit, never made bags before as i always seem to pick up what i want at op shops or garage sales, etc.
    thanx for sharing