I thought about it for a moment and then realised that they would also make excellent liners for knitted bags. That would give them the strength of a linen bag but still with the beauty of a knitted bag – in other words, the best of both worlds!
Before I knew it, my shopping basket had filled not only with the tote liners but also with enough yarns and dyes to complete a whole set of bags.
I went home and set to work to make a lovely shopping bag in a bright zingy turquoise with the lining dyed to suit. It came so well, so I then made another one in a striped cream and green pattern. For the next two, I added long handles so they could be carried over your shoulder, and for the last one I sewed a fabric liner instead for a lovely summery bag.
I have just uploaded all the separate patterns into my pattern store here and you can either buy them individually or as a whole set, the Southampton Collection.
The exterior is worked in a crisp cotton yarn and features a neat stitch that almost looks crocheted. This is Embossed Check Stitch taken from our book, Reversible Knitting Stitches. The interlocking ribs of this stitch give it a lot of character and resilience.
Inside, this sturdy little bag has enough capacity to carry home bottles of milk or heavy cartons of juice, or be used to transport all the heavier vegetables home from the Farmer's market. And all this with minimal sewing to complete the item!
Each band only takes a few grams of yarn too, so you could use up all your left-over balls of cotton yarn for a real stash-busting rainbow colourway!
If you would like to read more information about the Back-to-Nature Bag, then please click here. The pattern is available for instant download from my site. I’ll be back next time with some photos of the next bag in this collection, the Sarasota Shopper.
Until then – Happy Bag Knitting!
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