handmade home: pure wool knitted market bags


We seem to be on a bit of a home decor sort of rampage this week so I'll just carry on with a post about my carrier bags.

Now, some may call them string bags for granny. That's fine. Laugh all you want because I can fit a truck load of groceries in each of these things.

I like the idea of only possessing items that bring beauty into your world. So the hideous but practical bags I used for my grocery shopping became increasingly irritating for their ugliness. I looked around for some lovely natural bags, nothing really appealed.

I first thought to sew several rectangles of my Sanderson fabric stash together, and I still like this idea, then I saw string {polyester} bags and wondered could I knit a bag? A search online and ta-da! zillions of free patterns for knitted and crochet market bags.

My favourite, and the one I based my bags on, is Laura Spradling's Grrlfriend Market Bag which is knitted, not crocheted, and absolutely addictive. Laura's free pattern design is super-easy, knits up fast and uses a pleasingly rhythmic lace stitch to work.

I cheated and used knitted swatches I already had for the bottoms {hence the fancy knotwork panel on one of them}. I picked up stitches on all sides using DPS needles and then switched to a circular needle as soon as I could. I think I also fudged to the tops.

One of the most satisfying things about making Laura's completely adaptable bag design - any wool, any size needles, any size - was the wool I used. I can't believe how strong these bags are, how much they expand and how much weight they can take.

They are knitted in Uist Wool - the creamy ones are pure Black Face wool which is a traditional sheep of the Hebrides, very hardy and the wool is too. The one in the middle is the gorgeous {I love ombre} Reothart. {I also knitted someone who benefited from a bit of comforting a pair of slippers in Reothart recently - absolutely gorgeous.}

Carry on.

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