A Bright Red Market Bag

As well as going crazy over knitting the last two years, I have crazy phases about what I knit. It’s either all vests, all baby hats and now it’s all market bags. Remember those bags years ago we’d take to the shop to put our groceries in? They were quite small and easy to transport and yet could stretch to hold an incredible number of items. Well I’ve just finished my first one.

Although not as large as one of the old fashioned market bags, it’ll be perfect for me to take to my weekly scrabble game with the girls as I’ll use it to carry my keys, wallet and mobile phone rather than putting them in my knitting caddy. My bag is also a bit denser so there’s less likelihood of anything falling through the holes.

As per usual, I found this free knitting pattern on Ravelry and it’s called the Ilene Bag. The pattern calls for Louet Euroflax which is a 5ply 100% linen. As I didn’t have this yarn, I substituted it for this bright red Patons Bluebell which is also a 5 ply yarn and has a lovely crepe texture. I bought a bundle of this Bluebell about a year ago on Ebay. One thing I like about Bluebell is it stretches so easily so is ideal for this little bag.

Patons Bluebell Red 01

I used 5 dpns (4mm) when picking up the stitches on either side of the rectangular stockinette stitch base and until I had completed a few of the pattern rows and then I changed to 4mm (40cm) circulars needles.

Ilene Bag 01

Here is the finished Ilene Bag…

Ilene Bag 02

I have put a small paperback book in the bottom of the bag to show the stretch in the handle. You need to make sure you don’t knit the handle too long as it will stretch with any weight in the bag.

Ilene Bag 05

A 300g hank of fingering yarn.

Ilene Bag 04

The base is nice and thick so nothing can poke through.

Ilene Bag 03

An empty bag…

Ilene Bag 11

Oh my goodness, I’ve just had a quick look on Ravelry to find some more market bag patterns and there are sooo many available that I don’t know which one to pick! Here’s just a few:

Lacy Knit Market Bag

Hexagonal Market Bag

Let’s Go Shopping Market Bag

The String Bag

Looks like I’m going to have a nice selection of bags to tote around!

I’ve just bought some Lily Sugar ‘n Cream 10ply cotton from Bubs 2 Grubs Knitting in Western Australian. This is an American cotton and is difficult to source in Australia. I’ve seen so many patterns for dishcloths that use this cotton so I look forward to receiving my 16 balls next week. Four balls of four different colours.

Until next time…

Melanie

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Weekend Chit Chat and Handy Ideas

I’m on a bit of a roll knitting baby garments and putting them away in my ‘Grandma’s glory box’ for the day when eventually I will be blessed with a grandchild. I was thinking the other day that it would probably be an idea to actually label each garment so I don’t forget (which is easy for me!) what pattern I used, what yarn, what needles etc.

So I hopped onto Ebay (one of my favourite shopping experiences) and searched for label tags and was inundated with choices. These are the labels I bought….very handy as they came with a separate ball of rustic looking twine.

Labels 01

The twine can be cut to size to suit your needs.

Labels 02

I’ve written as much detail on each label as I think necessary especially whether it’s a wool or acrylic garment.

Labels 03

I just love the colours in this Ice Yarns Dancing Baby yarn.

Labels 04

This gorgeous orange cardigan is made using the Cascade 220 Superwash wool.

Labels 05

And this is the Milo Vest made in Patons Bluebell 5ply crepe wool.

Labels 06

My very first Pebble Vest made with Cleckheaton Country Paintbox 8ply wool.

Labels 07

And my second Pebble Vest made with a handspn 100% Merino wool purchased on Ebay.

Labels 08

Here’s a sneaky peek at my latest Pebble Vest. I’m using 5mm needles with the Ice Yarns baby yarn and this time I cast on 100 stitches to make a larger version.

Pebble Vest Leaves 01

Pebble Vest Leaves 02

And now for something completely different. I tend to use quite a few medium sized freezer bags and always have a devil of a job trying to separate them when they’re still in their packaging so I’ve come up with such an easy idea. I simply found the top of the bundle and punched a hole in one corner. Make sure you double check that you’ve got the top opening as it’d be a disaster if you punched a hole in the bottom of the bags which would render them quite useless!

Plastic Bags 01

Once you’ve punched a hole just push a large hook through them and voila now it’s so easy to select a bag by simply slipping it off the hook. I’ve got them hanging inside my pantry.

Plastic Bags 02

That’s all my chit chat for now….back to more knitting. Until next time…

Melanie

My Mocha Easy Peasy Vest – # 5

Well I did tell I was on a roll with this vest pattern didn’t I? I am very pleased with my Mocha Vest as it’s been a perfect stash busting project. About a year ago I bought a huge job lot of yarn on Ebay and included in the bag was quite a few balls of 5ply yarn in a light mocha colour (Cleckheaton Machinewash 5ply Crepe), brown (Patons Bluebell 5ply), red and blue. I decided to make another vest by using two strands of the 5ply yarn in the light mocha and brown. I had absolutely no idea whether I’d have enough yarn or how far I’d get into the vest before my yarn ran out.

Well the knitting gods must have been looking down on me as I did run out of yarn but at precisely the correct place on the vest…the front two straps. I had also previously bought 10 balls of another 5ply yarn which just happened to be the same light mocha colour so I finished off the straps using only a half a ball of the Cleckheaton 5ply Riverina yarn.

Vest Mocha 02

To add a bit of texture to the vest and for something different I K4, P4 and then alternated each row to give a basket weave effect. I’m really happy with the result.

Vest Mocha 04

I wore this vest to work last week and it fits like a dream and is soooo comfy!!

Vest Mocha 03

Here’s a close up of the pattern…

Vest Mocha 06

I’m so happy that I’m actually starting to work through my stash…..don’t worry it’ll take years to get through it all…..but at least it’s a start. At the rate I’m going, I’ll have hundreds of these vests!!

I hope you had a great weekend. I finished another vest, knitted a few rows on a baby pram blanket and started another pair of socks. Until next time…

Melanie