Understanding the Basic Design of a 1Bag
The 1Bag pattern was designed to replicate the plastic shopping bags provided at grocery stores–the same dimensions and construction.
I designed the pattern so that it could be knit as-is, or modified with different stitch patterns if the knitter so chooses.
The 1Bag employs two stitch pattern types:
A. A closed stitch pattern for the bottom, sides, and handle
B. An open mesh stitch pattern for the body of the bag
It is knit in the round, with cotton worsted weight yarn, on size U.S. 10* circular needles, beginning at the lower edge with a cast-on of 108 stitches.
[*Originally I wrote that I had used size U.S. 11 needles -- I realized afterwards that the needles I was using were size 10. The 1Bag could be knit on size 8, 9, 10, or 11 needles, depending on how stretchy you want your 1Bag to be and also depending on the tension of the given knitter. I tend to knit with a tighter tension than other people, so a larger needle might work better for me whereas you might do well with one of the smaller sizes. The 1Bag is going to be great, and stretchy and hold a bunch of groceries no matter what size needles you use.]
You knit the bag from the bottom edge up through the handles, then you go back and knit the actual bottom.
Here is a diagram showing the dimensions of the body of the bag, on one side only. Notice each handle is made of 11 stitches, and the center portion is made up of 32 stitches. Keep in mind, this is the front of the bag. The same diagram applies to the back of the bag, so if you double the number of stitches you see in the diagram you get a total of 108 stitches.
In all, there are 44 stitches (11 stitches for each handle section, front and back–added together they come to 44 stitches total) devoted to the sides and handles of the bag, and there are 64 stitches (front and back combined) devoted to the body of the bag.
If the closed pattern stitch you use requires an even number of stitches, reduce or increase the handle stitches by 1 stitch for each section, front and back.
If the open mesh pattern you use requires an odd number of stitches, likewise reduce or increase the number of stitches in that portion of the pattern – both front and back to accommodate the pattern.
You use any closed pattern stitch such as stockinette, seed stitch, basket weave, garter, etc. for the sides and handles.
You use the same closed stitch pattern for the first two inches or so of the bag, all the way around.
You use any open mesh pattern for the body of the bag, from the first two inches up.
After knitting 12” in the round, you will be casting off the 32 middle stitches (front and back–a total of 64 stitches), and changing to straight knitting for the handles. What you will do is, place 11 left front handle stitches on a dpn, cast off 32 front middles stitches, place 11 right front handle stitches on a stitch holder, place 11 left back handle stitches on a stitch holder, cast off 32 back middle stitches, place 11 right back handle stitches on another dpn.
From there you will continue with whichever closed pattern stitch you are using for each handle. However, you will no longer be knitting in the round, so you need be sure to continue your closed pattern stitch as is appropriate for regular (straight) knitting on the handles.
I switch to smaller dpns when knitting the handles, so I will get a tighter knit fabric for the handles–this is optional. If you have size U.S. 11 dpns and want to use them, do so. If you don’t, then change to a smaller size dpn (but not smaller than size U.S. 8).
You use the stockinette stitch for the actual bottom of the bag. The way I worked the decreases on the bottom of the bag creates a similar bottom to that of an actual plastic grocery bag (see diagram below).
Now that you have an understanding of the basic design and construction of the 1Bag, here are detailed directions for the first 1Bag I knitted. This will serve as the basic pattern.
Click here to get the free pattern for my first 1Bag.
I hope you participate!
Copyright (c) 2008 J. L. Fleckenstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED