Two by Two, Bags of Blue
Yeah, yeah, they've got other colors besides blue. So sue me.
So, now that Ralph's actually reimburses you a nickel for every bag you bring, there's even more reason to knit some markety bags to shop with! All told, I'm going to make 30 cents a trip! That comes to around $15 a year! More yarn for me! Er... I mean... these bags are good for the earth.
This bag's got some badonkadonk.
First up is the Everlasting Bagstopper. I used a heavier yarn and larger needles than the pattern called for, but didn't bother to change the stitch count because, hey, it's a grocery bag.
Well, that cavalier little attitude came back to bite me in the ass when my bag took on a decidedly Danny DeVito type shape - short and squat. (One would think I might have noticed this after knitting that garter bottom. One would think. *snort* ) Once you fill it with stuff, though, it actually stretches out every which way to conform to more of a bag-like shape.
And you thought I was squatty. *pout*
I only made a few minor mods (a couple even on purpose) - at the top, I knitted 6 rows of stockinette then 4 rows garter because apparently, I stop reading patterns after the word "knit." I also went with knitted handles rather than ribbons and skipped that middle drawcord thingy because eh, too fussy.
As you can see, the bag turned out heeyooge! But it's nice and sturdy, and should work well for items that are big and light, like the salt-and-vinegar chips I can't seem to stop stuffing my face with these days. (Filling a bag this large with jars and heavy items as shown is not recommended unless you enjoy supporting your local chiropractor.)
Next up - the Saturday Market Bag from the now defunct Magknits!
Does my bottom look like a butt?
My first Market Bag, which I love, was knitted flat in one long rectangle, folded, and seamed up the sides. This one I chose to knit in the round. Doing so gave me an extra knit stitch at the end of every 4th row, which you can clearly see once the bag is filled to the gills. But it doesn't bother me too much and besides, I was way too lazy to try and geek it out for a grocery bag.
Are those carbs in your bag, or are you just happy to see me? Mmm...carbs...
After casting on and knitting a bit of garter on size 9s, I switched to 13s for the lace, knitted about eight repeats, switched back to the 9s, knitted one row, turned it inside out and did 3-needle bindoff using the 13s. Then I picked up stitches at the top and finished it off with two handles (it's easier for me to carry a full bag that way than one long one).
While my normal preference is to knit in the round, I have to admit, I like my knitted-flat version from last year better. The bag has to bear more weight on the bottom than on the sides, and I fear that at some point, the bottom seam on this one will bust a gut and dump eggs and spaghetti sauce all over the floor (because you know that's what'll be in there when it does).
Me like Ruski
Since both of these bags have open stitch patterns with no seams, joining in that second skein was going to be a little hinky. The solution turned out to be the Russian join, which I must say, totally ROCKS!
This is the method I followed, which trillian42 posted on a knitty thread a while back (thanks Pam!). It's simple, it's sturdy, and it works like a charm!
Wrap it up
The solid bottom of the Bagstopper is a nice reinforcement, but I'm not sure I'd make that one again. First, that was a looooooot of k2togs in cheap cotton yarn, which was not fun. Second, the lacy pattern of the Market Bag is a little more my style - and a lot easier on the hands!
But they'll both work great for my weekly trips to the grocery store, and the bright, summery colors will make the trek a little more cheery. Especially
Pattern: Everlasting Bagstopper from knitty
Yarn: Lily Sugar-n-Cream in Hot Blue (2 skeins) + a bit of Summer Splash
Needles: Addi Turbo 9, 24" + 13, 24"
Mods: Knitted handles, skipped the middle drawcord thingy, top in both stockinette and garter
Everyday Market Bag
Pattern: Saturday Market Bag by Strings & Yarn
Yarn: Lily Sugar-n-Cream in Summer Splash (2 skeins)
Needles: Addi Turbo 9, 24" + 13, 24"
Mods: Knitted in the round, 3-needle bindoff at bottom, 2 handles