I make my own knit grocery bags. There… I said it. It was the first type of bag I tackled after making scarves and hats, when I decided I should attempt to make something rather practical and useful. Sadly my photos for this post are not the best, but I thought you’d see enough to get the gist of my environmentally conscience thumb.
My first bag, I followed this pattern from knitty.com. I actually made larger i-cord handles for mine, but to me the bag felt just a bit too shapeless when I finished constructing it out of my cotton yarn.
So I decided the only solution was to use what I’d learned to build my own bag. I followed the same directions for the base, but when I got to the sides, I decided the solution was to use the YO/drop pattern I learned way back in the very early days of making scarves. To further enhance the effect I swapped from my smaller needles to a larger size for the yarn over row and then back to the smaller needles as I dropped the yarn overs off for the next row. This resulted in a neat striped solid/net look.
Secondly, my experience with the i-cord handles on my first grocery sack led me to consider that perhaps just a simple knit every row handle would suit this style better, giving it more area to grip at the top of the bag. I then crocheted the handles through the rows onto my bag in the hopes of it turning out capable of bearing a load born of the bag clerk learning that knit stretches and then deciding to bag on the principal of discovering just how much the bag will hold.
I really enjoyed how the pattern came out, learned that shorter handles at first do stretch out over time, and had nothing left to do but give the bag(s) a trial run. But what of the truly heavy items…. would my bags stack up? I’m happy to say that repeated testing is showing that indeed they do stand up… incredibly well. In fact, I strength tested this green one by loading it up with as many books as I could fit into it… which was someplace in the 25 paperbacks region. I was at a point where I was more worried for the nails holding my peg rack.
The bag pictured in this post went on to carry about a bushel of fresh picked peaches over last summer.
I’ve made this pattern in a multitude of sizes from Costco-mega-size to the personal half a bag size. Unless they need it sooner, I toss them in the wash about once a month to keep them clean.