Make Do and Mend, Hand Knit Market Bags Lined with Pretty Prints

“Make Do and Mend,” a philosophy of repairing and reusing clothes and material, originated in the UK during WWII. Though I often see alternate possibilities for household items and fabric (My family says I’m a pack rat. I call it being creative!), during quarantine the whole family was making do and mending. So, it’s no surprise that when I wanted to line my hand knit market bags (pattern below), I dug into our bag of bags and found the perfect liners:  pretty printed cotton shopping bags.

Steps to create liners out of cotton shopping bags:

  • Wash and iron bags.
  • Cut off handles.
  • Insert into knit bags and pin to fit.
  • Fold over and iron top seams.
  • Pin liners inside knit bags.
  • Sew.

During WWII, the British Ministry of Information released a pamphlet titled “Make Do and Mend.” It provided tips on how to be both frugal and stylish in times of harsh rationing. Readers were advised to create pretty “decorative patches” to cover holes in warn garments, unpick old sweaters to reknit into new styles, turn men’s clothes into women’s, as well as darn, alter, and protect against the “moth menace.”                                                    Green America

Pattern for Double Handled Market Bag from Plymouth Yarn.

DOUBLE HANDLED MARKET BAG

Yarn: 2 (3) 100g skeins of yarn

Gauge: 4.5 sts=1″ over st st on size 7 needles.

Needles: 16″ circular size 7. 24″ circular size 13.

Finished Size: Approx. 16 (20)” long. Bag will stretch.

BOTTOM: With size 7 circular needles, loosely cast 25 sts. Working back and forth in garter st, knit 46 rows or until square. Bind off loosely, leaving last st on needle. Do not cut yarn. Continuing with the circular needle, pick up and knit 96 its all around the base (24 sts per side). Place marker and join. Knit 1 round.

SIDES: Change to larger circular needle and begin pattern:

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: *(Yo, k2tog); repeat from* around.

Round 3: Purl.

Repeat rounds 1-3 9 (11) more times until there are 10 (12) sets of “eyelet holes” up the side. End with round 3.

Next round: Change back to the smaller circular needle.

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: Purl. Repeat these 2 rounds until there are 7 (8) ridges: 14 (16) rounds total. End with a purl round.

STRAPS: On next round: BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10. Working back and forth on these last 10 sts only–knit every row until total length of strap is 11 (14)”, ending with a WS row. Pick up the 10 sts from the opposite side (1st set of knit sts) and holding and right sides together, work the 3 needle bind off–attaching the 2 sets of sts.

Reattach yarn to second set of 10 sts with WS facing. Knit every row until total length of strap is 11 (14)”, ending with WS row. Pick up the 10 sts from the opposite side (3rd set of knit sts) and holding the right sides together, work the 3 needle bind-off-attaching the 2 sets of sts.

Weave in all ends.

Abbreviations: K=knit, p=purl, st(s)=stitch(es), RS=right side, WS=wrong side, yo=yarn over, k2tog=knit 2 sts together, BO=bind off, st st=stockinette stitch

Show and Tell, Loopy Mango Puff Sleeve Top

Hannah wearing Loopy Mango’s Puff Sleeve Top.

 

Hon, there must be a knitting or needlepoint project in the house at all times! Make that several projects. I just finished knitting two of Loopy Mango’s “Mohair Puff Sleeve Tops,” but instead of LM’s mohair I used their Merino No. 5. Hannah gets the gray and Morgan gets the yellow. Once Darcy picks a color, I’ll knit one for her, too.

I’m almost finished knitting two of Loopy Mango’s chunky sweaters (future post), have finished weaving in ends on an infinity scarf, and am finishing up a knit market bag and needlepoint pillow. See, many projects?

Upon hearing about the gifts reserved for future birthdays and holidays, a friend asked how they’re being stored. Good question! The answer? In a bin of aromatic cedar blocks!

Thanks to  Wool & Grace for curbside pickup during quarantine. I actually squealed when they answered the phone!

Hannah wearing my version of Loopy Mango’s Cropped Sweater.

Easy DIY Kids Crafts: DIY Stress Ball

DIY Stress Balls
DIY Stress Balls

Ease the Stress Stress Balls

(Kids craft that’s not just for kids!)

My daughter made a Stress Ball at camp and, since I liked it so much, she taught me how to make my own. It’s sooo fun to squish! It relieves stress! It’s easy to make!

When my daughter was helping me fill the balloon, I said, “Wow, I didn’t think it could fit that much flour.” My teen daughter replied (visualize an eye roll and sarcastic voice), “Mom, it’s a balloon.”

Point taken.

Warning: Flour will floof onto the floor as you fill the balloon.

Supplies: a balloon, flour, spoon, permanent markers, pom-pom optional
Supplies: a balloon, flour, spoon, permanent markers, pom-pom optional
1. Fill balloon with flour.
1. Fill balloon with flour.
2. Knot balloon closed. Draw on face. Tie pom pom to balloon under the knot.
2. Knot balloon closed. Draw face. Tie pom-pom to balloon under the knot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Stress Ball Supplies:

–balloon

–flour

–spoon

–permanent markers

–pom-pom, optional

Stress Ball Directions:

  1. Two people are needed.  One person holds the balloon open and one spoons in the flour. Flour will get everywhere, so fill over a bowl or plate. We used a lot of flour, filling until the balloon reached a squishiness we liked.
  2. Knot the balloon closed.  Draw a face.  Tie a pom-pom around the balloon knot, making sure the pom-pom knot is secured under the balloon knot.

Pom-Pom Supplies:

–yarn or string, same or different colors

–cardboard (we used an old cereal box)

–scissors

Pom-Pom Directions:

  1. Fold a piece of cardboard in half.  Trace a circle around a glass.  Draw another circle inside, about 1 to 11/2 inches from first circle. Cut out circles.
  2. Starting with about 2 arm spans of yarn, wrap yarn around doubled cardboard circles. If you run out of yarn and/or want to change colors, attach a new piece of yarn to old one and continue wrapping.
  3. When yarn has been wrapped around cardboard circles several times, slip a scissors between the circles.  Cut the outer perimeter of yarn.
  4. Slip a separate piece of yarn between the cardboard circles. Keeping that piece of yarn taught, draw it to the center of circles.
  5. Hold pom-pom yarn still while bringing taught yarn ends completely around circles. Tie tightly and knot. Remove pom-pom from cardboard.
  6. Keep ends of knotted yarn hanging out. They will be used to secure the pom-pom to the balloon Stress Ball.

 

1. Fold a piece of cardboard in half. Trace a circle within a circle. Cut out circles.
1. Fold a piece of cardboard in half. Trace a circle within a circle, about 1 to 1/2 ” from 1st circle. Cut out circles.
2. Wrap yarn around doubled cardboard circles.
2. Wrap yarn around doubled cardboard circles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

3. Slip scissors between cardboard and cut around perimeter of outer circles.
3. Slip scissors between cardboard and cut around perimeter of outer circles.
4. Slip a separate piece of between the cardboard circles and draw to center.
4. Slip a separate piece of yarn between the cardboard circles. Keeping that piece of yarn taught, draw it to the center of circles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

5. Cinch separate piece of yarn tight. Knot that yarn, securing the cut yarn in the middle. Remove pom-pom from cardboard.
5. Hold pom-pom yarn still while bringing taught yarn ends completely around circles. Tie tightly and knot. Remove pom-pom from cardboard.
6. Keep end of knotted yarn hanging out. They will be used to secure the pom-pom to the balloon.
6. Keep ends of knotted yarn hanging out. They will be used to secure the pom-pom to the balloon Stress Ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

Stress Balls hanging out.
Stress Balls hanging out.
Stress Balls with personalities.
Stress Balls with personalities.

Hand Knit Market Bag

I don’t know why, but I wanted to knit a market bag. I guess I figured if it was enjoyable to make, I’d knit more. Finished my first, and started on a second! I found the free pattern for this Double Handled Market Bag on Plymouth Yarn.

Happy knitting, hon.

DOUBLE HANDLED MARKET BAG

Yarn: 2 (3) 100g skeins of yarn

Gauge: 4.5 sts=1″ over st st on size 7 needles.

Needles: 16″ circular size 7. 24″ circular size 13.

Finished Size: Approx. 16 (20)” long. Bag will stretch.

BOTTOM: With size 7 circular needles, loosely cast 25 sts. Working back and forth in garter st, knit 46 rows or until square. Bind off loosely, leaving last st on needle. Do not cut yarn. Continuing with the circular needle, pick up and knit 96 its all around the base (24 sts per side). Place marker and join. Knit 1 round.

SIDES: Change to larger circular needle and begin pattern:

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: *(Yo, k2tog); repeat from* around.

Round 3: Purl.

Repeat rounds 1-3 9 (11) more times until there are 10 (12) sets of “eyelet holes” up the side. End with round 3.

Next round: Change back to the smaller circular needle.

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: Purl. Repeat these 2 rounds until there are 7 (8) ridges: 14 (16) rounds total. End with a purl round.

STRAPS: On next round: BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10. Working back and forth on these last 10 sts only–knit every row until total length of strap is 11 (14)”, ending with a WS row. Pick up the 10 sts from the opposite side (1st set of knit sts) and holding and right sides together, work the 3 needle bind off–attaching the 2 sets of sts.

Reattach yarn to second set of 10 sts with WS facing. Knit every row until total length of strap is 11 (14)”, ending with WS row. Pick up the 10 sts from the opposite side (3rd set of knit sts) and holding the right sides together, work the 3 needle bind-off-attaching the 2 sets of sts.

Weave in all ends.

Abbreviations: K=knit, p=purl, st(s)=stitch(es), RS=right side, WS=wrong side, yo=yarn over, k2tog=knit 2 sts together, BO=bind off, st st=stockinette stitch

Ravenclaw Knit Scarf

Ravenclaw scarf.

My kids are crazy for Harry Potter and if my youngest went to Hogwarts, she’d be in the Ravenclaw house. She asked if I’d knit her a scarf for Ravenclaw Pride Day. It was easy, peasy and I learned how to carry up yarn.

Happy knitting, hon!

Ravenclaw Scarf

Materials:

–blue and tan or goldfish yarn, (I used Red Heart Soft, colors Navy and Wheat, 256 yds/234 m each. In the end, I used approx. 1 1/4 skeins of Navy and 1/2 skein of Wheat.)

Tips about yarn: The yarn I used was 100% acrylic which, it turns out, did not block, so the sides of the scarf curl in. If wool or cotton is used, the scarf can be blocked. If you  used acrylic, I suggest adding a seed stitch or some other stitch on each side so that the scarf lays flat.

Straight or circular needles: size of needle will be determined by the weight of yarn used. (I used size 8/5mm circular needles.)

Tapestry needle

Gauge: not important, the scarf can be either fine, chunky or in between.

Finished size: 7 inches x 8 feet (I wasn’t planning on the scarf being that long, but when it didn’t block and I steamed it, it grew!)

Instructions:

Cast on 32 stitches of blue yarn.

Using stockinette stitch (alternate rows of knit and purl stitch) and carrying both color yarns up while knitting*, create scarf following pattern.

Pattern:

  • blue yarn, 6 inches
  • tan yarn, 4 rows
  • blue yarn, 4 rows
  • tan yarn, 4 rows

Repeat pattern 8 times total (or less depending on desired length of scarf).

After repeating pattern 8 times, end with 6 inches of blue yarn.

Bind off on knit row.

Block and add fringe*. I alternated between blue and tan fringe on each end (blue, tan, blue, tan, blue, tan, blue).

*Click here to watch a video on how to carry yarns up.

*Click here to watch a video on how to make and add fringe.

P.S. Use different color yarns for other schools, real or imagined.

Light As Air Bias Loop Infinity Scarf

Light as Air Bias Loop Infinity Scarf

What is it about infinity scarves? 

I love knitting infinity scarves and made this one for my cousin’s 25th birthday. This Wool & Grace  pattern is easy but it suggests binding off using kitchener stitch, a stitch I’d never used before. I got the hang of kitchener stitch, a way to bind off that creates an almost invisible seam, by watching a tutorial online (see link below). My advice when binding off this way is to adjust the tension as you go because you don’t want to do it at the end (trust me!). Next time a pattern calls for this bind off method, I’ll be prepared.

Happy knitting, hon.

Light as Air Bias Loop Infinity Scarf

Yarn: 1 skein Madeline Tosh Merino Light (Yarn A) and 2 skeins Rowan Kidsilk Haze (Yarn B) {I used one color for the whole scarf but knit from 2 skeins.}

Needles & Notions: US 10.5 circular needle, Size J Crochet Hook, extra 10.5 straight needle, Darning Needle, Smooth waste yarn

Gauge: approximately 14 stitches/4 inces

Abbreviations: K=knit, P=purl, KFB=Knit into the front and back of the same stitch, RS=Right Side, WS=Wrong Side, STS=Stitches

Instructions: Using crochet hook and waste yarn, chain 86 stitches and fasten off. With knitting needles and two yarns held together, knit into the bumps on the back of the chain 82 times (82 stitches cast on).

Row 1 (RS) K1, KFB, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1

Row 2 (WS) Purl

Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until approximately 42″ ending with a purl row. Cut yarn leaving 5 yards for grafting.

Carefully unravel your crochet chain from your provisional cast-on and place stitches on extra needle. Place two ends of the scarf with WS together. Cut yarn leaving tail 24″ long. Join beginning and end to your work and join using kitchener stitch. Click here to watch a video on how to bind off using kitchener stitch. Weave in ends and block as desired.

Source:  Wool & Grace

Knitted Cable Baby Blanket

OMG! Isn’t this the sweetest picture of big sisters with their baby brother?
Knitted Cable Baby Blanket

What to knit when a dear friend is expecting her third child and doesn’t know what she’s having?

I picked up 35 Knitted Baby Blankets for the Nursery, Stroller and Playtime by Laura Strutt at my favorite knitting store Wool & Grace, and chose a pattern for a cream blanket–the color of the crochet edge tbd (to be determined). I hadn’t cabled since college, but it came back quickly. I love how this blanket turned out. New mommy loves it also. Yay!

Darling Baby Boy with his new blanket.

Sources: 35 Knitted Baby Blankets by Laura Strutt, Wool & Grace

Manly Scarf

Manly Scarf
Manly Scarf
Hubby modeling the Manly Scarf.
Hubby modeling the Manly Scarf.
Nephew trying on his Holiday gift.
Nephew wearing his Holiday gift.

Despite its name, I worried this scarf wasn’t manly enough. Maybe it was the yarn or maybe it was the stitch, but I wondered, “Does this scarf look masculine?” I wasn’t convinced until Hubby tried it on. Yay! It looked great, and was ready to be wrapped as a gift for my nephew.

Happy knitting, hon!

Manly Scarf

Stitches are cast on for the entire length of the scarf, which is knit from side to side on a circular needle. Tip: Place stitch markers every 20 stitches (or however many stitches you like). This makes keeping track of the total stitches much easier. 

Yarn: The yarn used in the pattern on Ravelry was Manos del Uruguay Handspun Semi Solids, skein of 100g: 138 yards/126 m

4-5 skeins of main color

1-2 skeins of contrast color

Needles:  One US 10 (6mm) circular needle (as long as possible). Change needle size if necessary to obtain gauge.

Notions:  Stitch markers. One yarn needle for weaving in ends.

Gauge: 

In stockinette stitch, 10 cm/4 inches = 14-18 stitches

In pattern stitch, 10 cm/ 4 inches = 10-12 stitches

Pattern Stitch

Row 1:  Knit all stitches.

Row 2:  Knit 2 together to end.

Row 3:  Knit into front and back of every stitch.

Row 4:  Purl all stitches.

Directions:

Cast on 250 stitches. Work in pattern stitch until scarf has desired width. The stripe pattern is 3 pattern repeats in the main color, then one in the contrast color like this:

MC x 3

CC

MC x 3

CC

MC x 3

Cast off.

Notes:  Click the link under Source to see the original pattern, where the author of the pattern explains how to substitute the yarn. I used a different yarn than the one shown on Ravelry and since–gasp–I detest making swatches, I winged it, casting 250 sts and knitting to a width and length I thought looked good on a guy. (I know, very scientific!)

Source: Ravelry, pattern by Johanna K Sarten

 

DIY Back-to-School Stress Ball

DIY Stress Balls
DIY Stress Balls

Back-to-School

Are you anxious about a new school year? Know any kids that are dreading homework? Not in school, but could use something besides yoga breaths to release stress? My daughter made her Stress Ball at camp and, since I liked it so much, she taught me how to make my own.  It’s sooo fun to squish!

When my daughter was helping me fill the balloon, I said, “Wow, I didn’t think it could fit that much flour.” My teen daughter replied (visualize an eye roll and sarcastic voice), “Mom, it’s a balloon.”

Point taken.

Supplies: a balloon, flour, spoon, permanent markers, pom-pom optional
Supplies: a balloon, flour, spoon, permanent markers, pom-pom optional
1. Fill balloon with flour.
1. Fill balloon with flour.
2. Knot balloon closed. Draw on face. Tie pom pom to balloon under the knot.
2. Knot balloon closed. Draw face. Tie pom-pom to balloon under the knot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Stress Ball Supplies:

–balloon

–flour

–spoon

–permanent markers

–pom-pom, optional

Stress Ball Directions:

  1. Two people are needed.  One person holds the balloon open and one spoons in the flour. Flour will get everywhere, so fill over a bowl or plate. We used a lot of flour, filling until the balloon reached a squishiness we liked.
  2. Knot the balloon closed.  Draw a face.  Tie a pom-pom around the balloon knot, making sure the pom-pom knot is secured under the balloon knot.

Pom-Pom Supplies:

–yarn or string, same or different colors

–cardboard (we used an old cereal box)

–scissors

Pom-Pom Directions:

  1. Fold a piece of cardboard in half.  Trace a circle around a glass.  Draw another circle inside, about 1 to 11/2 inches from first circle. Cut out circles.
  2. Starting with about 2 arm spans of yarn, wrap yarn around doubled cardboard circles. If you run out of yarn and/or want to change colors, attach a new piece of yarn to old one and continue wrapping.
  3. When yarn has been wrapped around cardboard circles several times, slip a scissors between the circles.  Cut the outer perimeter of yarn.
  4. Slip a separate piece of yarn between the cardboard circles. Keeping that piece of yarn taught, draw it to the center of circles.
  5. Hold pom-pom yarn still while bringing taught yarn ends completely around circles. Tie tightly and knot. Remove pom-pom from cardboard.
  6. Keep ends of knotted yarn hanging out. They will be used to secure the pom-pom to the balloon Stress Ball.

 

1. Fold a piece of cardboard in half. Trace a circle within a circle. Cut out circles.
1. Fold a piece of cardboard in half. Trace a circle within a circle, about 1 to 1/2 ” from 1st circle. Cut out circles.
2. Wrap yarn around doubled cardboard circles.
2. Wrap yarn around doubled cardboard circles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

3. Slip scissors between cardboard and cut around perimeter of outer circles.
3. Slip scissors between cardboard and cut around perimeter of outer circles.
4. Slip a separate piece of between the cardboard circles and draw to center.
4. Slip a separate piece of yarn between the cardboard circles. Keeping that piece of yarn taught, draw it to the center of circles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

5. Cinch separate piece of yarn tight. Knot that yarn, securing the cut yarn in the middle. Remove pom-pom from cardboard.
5. Hold pom-pom yarn still while bringing taught yarn ends completely around circles. Tie tightly and knot. Remove pom-pom from cardboard.
6. Keep end of knotted yarn hanging out. They will be used to secure the pom-pom to the balloon.
6. Keep ends of knotted yarn hanging out. They will be used to secure the pom-pom to the balloon Stress Ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

Stress Balls hanging out.
Stress Balls hanging out.
Stress Balls with personalities.
Stress Balls with personalities.

Chunky Knit Scarves, Cowl Within a Cowl

Bon Voyage!
Bon Voyage!
Interlocking Infinity Scarf.  Stay warm in Florence.
Cowl Within a Cowl, Slip Stitch Honeycomb Pattern. Stay warm in Florence!
Another way to wear this scarf.
Another way to wear this scarf.  

Sample + Sale = Inspiration!

My knitting store displayed a Cowl Within a Cowl and I was itching to knit something with the rich garnet and grey yarn I’d found marked down. I thought my college-aged daughters would love these interlocking infinity scarves.

Above, “Liquid Copper” (aka Baby A of the triplets) and, below, “Curly Girl” (aka Baby C) model their scarves, knit with the same yarn but made up of different stitches. There’s nothing like a deadline to complete a project.  I finished Curly Girl’s scarf right before the new semester at Pratt Institute started. Liquid Copper is in Florence for this semester (lucky girl!). I finished her scarf a couple of days before she left.  Whew!

Happy knitting, hon!

Interlocking Infinity Scarf.  Stay warm in Brooklyn.
Cowl Within a Cowl, Seed Stitch Pattern.  Stay warm in Brooklyn!

Cowl Within a Cowl, Honeycomb Pattern (as worn by Liquid Copper)

Finished Measurements

22 inches in length by 12 inches wide

Yarn

2 skeins of 100% Superwash Merino wool, approximately 200 yards each

Needles

1 US size 8 (5 mm) 26″ circular needle

Gauge

5 sts = 1 inch (10 cm) in honeycomb pattern

Notions

–stitch markers to mark beginning of round (I used stitch markers to keep track of overall sts)

–1 yarn needle for weaving in ends

Slip Stitch Honeycomb Pattern:

Note:  When working rounds 2 and 4, slip as if to purl and keep yarn in front.

Round 1:  Knit.

Round 2:  *Purl 1, Slip 1 wyif” repeat across round.

Round 3:  Knit.

Round 4:  *Slip 1 wyif, Purl 1* repeat across round.

Directions:

Cast on 110 stitches.  Being careful not to twist, place marker and join for working in the round.  Knit 4 rounds.

Repeat the 4 rounds of Slip Stitch Honeycomb Pattern until work measures approximately 11,” making sure you have enough yarn for the following:  Knit 3 rounds and bind off loosely.

Second Cowl:

Cast on 110 stitches as for first cowl, looping needle through first cowl.  Join, being careful not to twist stitches. Follow pattern for first cowl.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Cowl Within a Cowl, Seed Stitch Pattern (as worn by Curly Girl)

Same yarn, needle and notions as above.

Finished Measurements

24 inches in length by 8 1/2 inches wide, gauge is not important

First Cowl Directions

Cast on 101 stitches and join, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Row 1:  *K 1, P1* Repeat from * — * to end of round.

Row 2:  *P1, K1*, Repeat from * — * to end of round.

These 2 rows form the pattern.  Continue until desired length.  Bind off loosely in patterm.

Second Cowl:

Cast on 101 stitches as for first cowl, looping needle through first cowl.  Join, being careful not to twist the stitches.  Follow pattern for first cowl.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Sources:

Slip Stitch Honeycomb Pattern on Ravelry by Antonia Shankland

Yarn Shop–The Stitching Bee–Shout out to the yarn shop in Chatham, New Jersey 

Lucy
Curly Girl and Lucy.
lucy
Hmm, maybe Lucy needs a scarf, too?  She looks good in red!