Help Preserve Our Earth with a Handknit Market Bag
I do my best to be conscientious about taking care of our ever-shrinking, ever-burdened planet. I never toss paper into the garbage when it can be recycled, I compost tea leaves and apple peels, and I try to walk short distances, instead of driving. I've even kept a line of exasperated shoppers cooling their heels behind me at the checkout counter when I ran to my car to grab my stash of recycled plastic grocery bags.
Recently, I've taken to carrying a little canvas tote in my purse so I'm prepared when the bagger says, "Paper or plastic?" It's a small one, true, but it works for a quart of milk, cookies, and a banana or two.
Better than my canvas tote, however, is a knitted market bag, a great excuseand virtuous wayto put yarn to needles. The Sundance Market Bag will crush nicely into your purse or dangle over the handle of your bike. Notice its sizeit will hold a lot. The bag's lace pattern is soothing to work and looks equally handsome from the wrong side. Make two bagsone inside outif you can't decide which face you prefer. Or use the bag pattern to sample other lace stitches. Just be sure to cast on the right multiple of your pattern. There's no shaping, just straight-up knitting from the sturdy ribbed base.
Sundance50% cotton, 50% microfiber
We knit our bag in Sundance, a great summertime yarn. Sundance is a blend of equal parts cotton and acrylic microfiber. What is microfiber?
As for knitting lace patterns, there are really only two things you need to remember to be successful:
1) Lace patterns are made of increases called yarn overs (these make the holes) and decreases (k2togs, ssks, or double decreases).
2) The number of yarnovers equals the number of decreases.
Here is more information on how to work yarn overs and some excellent reference books on the structure of knitted lace.
Here's the free downloadable Market Bag pattern.
From Pam Allen:
I’ve recently become Creative Director at Classic Elite Yarnsmy dream job. I get to source new yarns, choose the palettes for them, and come up with a collection of patterns. I have a lot to learn about what makes a good yarn, and as I do, I’ll be writing about my discoveries. If you have any fiber/yarn questions, let me know and I’ll do what I can to find the answer. I’ll also be posting free Classic Elite patterns, tips and techniques, and anything else that might be of interest. I welcome any thoughts or comments, so let me hear from you!