Last night I finished a string shopping bag I’d been designing. Nothing fancy, but I wanted a circular-knit bag done by machine and I haven’t ever seen a pattern like that. What’s a girl to do but design one herself, then?
I knit this in the round on my standard gauge Brother machine with ribber. The yarn is some unknown cotton rescued from a thrift shop sweater I got for a whopping $1. The handle is stockinette but knit circular so that it’s double thickness. I think this makes for a comfortable handle but it also seems to stretch less than other knit handles I’ve tried. Since it’s knit circular, the only seaming you have to do is at the end when you attach one end of the handle back to the bag.
(In case you’re wondering, the tree isn’t diseased or something, it’s just showing some moose damage. When food gets scarce in the wintertime, the moose in our neighborhood like to scrape the bark off our mountain ash and birch trees for food.)
Susitna holds a ton of stuff! I tested it with six large, heavy cones of yarn and there was still plenty of room for more in the bag. Very strong, too! I’ll be using this for groceries and lugging books to the library and back. Beats plastic bags!
I’m writing up the pattern right now in case anyone else is interested. I’ll be putting it up for free here today or tomorrow. It’s written for a standard gauge machine with ribber attachment, but could easily be done on a bulky or midgauge machine, too. (I wasn’t able to test knit a sample on any other gauge because in the summers I only have access to a standard gauge machine.) Susitna is named after a mountain I see every day, Mt. Susitna. Also known as the Sleeping Lady, it lies across Knik Arm from Anchorage, Alaska.
Without further ado, here’s the free pattern: Susitna shopping bag pattern (PDF).
It’s free, but please don’t make copies or sell the pattern. If you’d like to use this pattern to make bags to sell, that is perfectly fine. However, you cannot sell the pattern itself without violating copyright.
If you decide to use it, please let me know if it’s unclear or if there are typos.