The first blogpost (hopefully of many!) and an introduction to my BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag knitting pattern! This was published in Knitty in Summer 2008 and then later updated to include four different sizes on my website here.
Thank you to everyone who has written to me about this pattern and I am so pleased to hear that the bags have proved so useful. I use them myself all the time and love the way they can accommodate all those big, bulky items at the shops!
The bags consist of an oval-shaped base worked in Seed Stitch and then stitches are picked up all around to work a colourful lower band, also in Seed Stitch. This band helps to prevent small items dropping out while you are carrying your shopping home!
Then there is a transition to a central mesh area which helps to keep the bags light and flexible. This is so useful when you are trying to accommodate cereal packets and odd-shaped items. You can read more about that here.
One thing to note is that you can make adjustments to the length of the bags simply by working a different number of repeats of the mesh pattern, so you can tailor the bag to your own needs. The pattern here has four different sizes included, but it is possible to make some height adjustments while you are working simply by changing the length of the mesh area.
The bags then transition back to Seed Stitch again for the top with a shaped handle and handle grip so they do not cut into your hands when you carry them.
I have made quite a number of these bags now and like to work the handle grips first before I do any of the rest of the work! This may seem an odd way of doing this, but it does mean they can be brought into use as soon as they are needed at the top edge.
There are many variations possible from the basic pattern depending on how many colours you wish to use and what yarns you have on hand. I am going to post some blog entries over the next few days with variations that you might want to try. These include a "Fired Earth Colourway" with ideas for autumnal-coloured bags here and some bags worked in pinks and blues here.
The bags can also be worked with solid Seed Stitch or another pattern such as Basketweave for a firmer bag and I will chat about that here and here. Please follow the links at the bottom of this page to find out more!
You can also read about a Market Bag variation here, complete with a blogpost tutorial series so can follow along step-by-step. This has a lot of tips and tricks that will also be helpful while you are working the BYOB pattern.
For more information about the BYOB - Bring Your Own Bag pattern, please click here. The pattern is available for instant download from my website.
Also click here to see patterns for other knitted bags available in my pattern store. These include a set of five fabric-lined bags, the Southampton Collection and a rucksack, the Westernesse Bag.
Until next time – Happy Knitting!