So let’s look at what materials we will need for our market bags. I have chosen a bright, cheery yellow for my bag. This is Lily "Sugar 'n Cream" which is a worsted weight 100% cotton yarn with a suggested gauge of 20 sts per 10cm/4 ins using 4.5mm/US #7 needles and I am using Colour #00010 Yellow. Of course you can use any colour you like and also any yarn of a similar weight for your bag.
If you are are using Sugar n’ Cream, do note that it comes in regular‐sized balls (70.9gm/2.5 oz) and also "Super‐size" (113gm/4 oz), so make sure you check the ball size when you are buying your yarn. You will need about 3 regular‐sized balls of yarn for this project, but it would be a good idea to have a 4th ball on hand in case you find that you need a little bit more.
My finished bag used 195gm/7.0 oz of yarn which is the equivalent of 300m/330 yds, but please use that merely as a guideline for your own yarn purchase. It is hard to match dyelots at a later date and spare yarn is always useful if you find you have too much. Maybe your next bag can have a jaunty yellow stripe to use up any left‐overs!
If you wish to pre‐wash your yarns (as I do), then prepare your skeins and wash them as per my last post. Then when they are dry, wind each skein back into a ball ready to start work.
Now, if you look at the pattern, you will see the suggested needles for this project in the "Materials" section. There are two different sizes of needles required and this is because the openwork part of the pattern needs to be worked on larger needles than the Seed Stitch to get the right dimensions.
For the Seed Stitch section, you will also see a suggested gauge of 18 sts and 32 rows to 10cm/4 ins using 4.0mm/US #6 needles.
So start by casting on about 24 stitches and working about 10 rows or so in Seed Stitch. How is this feeling? Does it feel nicely tight or a little loose? The bags do have to be worked fairly firmly or they will stretch, so if it feels a little "Loosey‐Goosey", go down a needle size and work a few more rows. If it is too tight and cardboard‐like, then increase the needle size. Do this until the material feels "just right".
Now measure your gauge and see how it compares to the pattern. It would be great if you can match the suggested gauge in the pattern, but it is more important to work the right fabric for your bag. This can vary so much: from knitter to knitter, from one yarn type to another, even one needle brand to another!
If your gauge matches the pattern, then you can work the number of stitches and rows given in the pattern. If it does not, then you will have to do a little Maths to calculate how to adjust the pattern so that you get the size bag you want.
Size of Bag:
So, the next decision is to determine what size bag size you would like. The best way to do this is to measure some of the bags you have on hand and see how they compare to the size in the pattern. It is easy to adjust the height of a bag as you work, so concentrate of what width would suit you best and how large you would like the base to be. Then you can make any adjustments to the pattern that you would need.
Next time, I'll be having a look at lots of different Provisional Cast-Ons and how you can use them both for this project and others too!
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