I made this bag several years ago and kind of forgot it was in my stash until a group of gals brought it to my attention again by starting a KAL for shopping bags. My inspiration came from a bag done by Linda (Lanz) Tsekoura of 'dancingbarefoot' fame on Ravelry. My bag looks a lot like hers but knitting is a bit different than hers. She uses a ribber with her standard gauge machine and mine is developed to be knit on a KX350 midgauge machine with no ribber. I thank Linda for her pattern at https://dancingbarefoot.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/susitna.pdf
Here's how I did it: (Please forgive the appearance of this post; sometimes blogspot doesn't like my formatting).
Machine: Brother KX350, Midgauge
Yarn: Cotton carpet warp, 8/4, 2 strands throughout
8.5 oz ea cone, 5 oz total
Size: 16”H x 14W” unstretched, without strap
NOTE: Double stranded cotton will be pushing the limits of your machine, so work your carriage slowly but deliberately. Use both hands and it may help to put a bit of downward pressure with back hand when moving the carriage. Use yarn spray if needed.
1) Leaving a long tail for sewing the side seam. Scrap, ravel cord and loosely e-wrap CO 65 sts. Pull the e-wrapped stitch thru the ravel cord when casting on. This will make it easier to knit the first row. Pull needles out to hold position.
2) RC000, T8. K1R to the left. (May need to manually knit the first row.)
3) Carriage on Hold, shortrow decrease by putting the 1st needle next to the carriage in hold til 5 needles are in hold on each side.
4) Increase back out by putting the needle opposite the carriage into working position and knitting across each row til all needles are in work again.
5) Backstitch bind off and leave work on machine.
1) RC000, T4, K40R. (More or less rows as desired for length.
NOTE: A stitch must be on the end needles.
3) Move empty needles to working position and even out needle butts.
1) RC000, T8, K10R total on all needles, reducing tension by one click every 2 rows.
2) T9, K1R.
3) T6, K9R, increasing tension by one click every 2 rows. End with COL.
4) Remove weights from the front and reposition them on the back side of knitting on the upper portion of the band.
5) Move needles out to UWP (position D).
6) Pick up and hang the top of the knit stitches from the beginning of the band row. Hang the new stitches on every other needle, making sure that the end needles are hung with the new stitch.
7) Pull the front hung stitch thru the back stitch on the needle.
8) Loosely, back stitch bind off.
9) Remove from machine. Lay work flat and pull on the BO stitches to flatten and shape the stitch.
10) Unravel the dropped side stitches down to the beginning row at the bottom. This will create the meshwork.
11) To make the 2nd side, with wrong side facing, rehang 65 sts from the other side of the bottom.
NOTE: Must be an odd number of stitches. Repeat the steps from the first side for the 2nd side and top band.
12) Loosely mattress stitch the side seams, stretching to keep the same gauge as the meshwork.
With wrong side facing, pickup 2 bars between stitches and hang 16 sts on the side seams of the top band. (8 sts on each side of seam). E-wrap and manually knit the first row as you e-wrap.
1) RC000, T7, K90R (for shoulder length), or for length desired.
1) RC000, T7, K1R across,
2) With the 2 prong transfer tool, *move sts 2 and 3 to needles 1 and 2 on each side. K2R. *
3) Repeat from * to * for desired length.
1) RC000, T8, K1R across,
2) **Pull needles out to hold position and with an extra strand of yarn, weave over and under every other needle. K2R**
3) Repeat from ** to ** for desired length.
FINISHING the STRAP
Back stitch bind off and sew to other side of top back evenly spaced over the seam line.
MORE STRAP IDEAS:
1) Make the straps, then sew in both ends in place after bag is completed.
2) When hanging the first end, to make the 2nd end match, knit only half the length and scrap off. Then hang the bag and knit the 2nd half the same as the first. Scrap off and graft the 2 ends together at the middle top.
3) You may also make 2 straps instead of one by evenly placing them on each side of the top band for desired length.
4) For drawstring straps, do not sew the top bands together and run a 4 or 5 stitch I-cord thru each side.
HANGING THE TOP BAND
Release EOS and knit top band
Pick up the top loop of the first row of knit stitches
Hang the stitches on every other needle, with a hung stitch on each end.
Pull the hung st thru the st on the needle bed to have one st on each needle.
Back stitch bind off.
Weave in ends.
You may add a closure to the top band by making an I-cord loop on one side and an I-cord knot button on the other side.