Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Ugly (but useful) Hanging Bag

Well, I live in a dorm room and we don't have much storage space on the floor. We have four of those awesome stackable crates, and two of the standing three-drawer bins, but somehow we still seem to be out of space. And how does that work, anyway?

I've decided that what I need to do to clear up some space is to make myself a big old hanging bag to store my yarn (which is currently taking up two crates) in. To that end, I'm using the color I have most of, which is currently the ball of magenta I bought on a whim and never got around to using.

My plan for this is pretty simple:  an open-work bag, with smaller holes at the bottom than the top but not by much. I want two loops on one side from which to hang the bag on 3M hooks, and a button closure.

So here we go!

The first thing I'm going to try is 18 dc in a circle, increased quickly and then more slowly.

mc 18 dc
2: ch4, sk 1, (dc ch1) ea
3: ch4, (dc, ch1) first, 2(dc, ch1) ea
4: ch4, (dc, ch1) first, (dc, ch1) next, 2-1

And, actually, this is boring me a little bit, so I'm going to try something else! The sweater I'm making has a really cool pattern which isn't very hard to do, so I'm going to try and adapt that.

mc 18 dc
2: ch7. sk1, sc next 2. repeat around. sl st under first ch, turn.

And here I've come to a problem... The join on the pattern I'm adapting actually forms one of the ch loops. So I need to figure out how to get the last st at the top of a ch loop.

2: *sc 2. ch7, sk 1* to last sc. for join, ch3, tr into first sc. ch1.
3: sc3 first ch loop, (sc3, sc7, sc3, sc7, sc3) ea ch loop to first/last. (sc3, ch7, sc 3, ch3, tr in first sc)

Well, the holes are just a little big for my liking, so I'm going to go back and cut out the skipped stitches. I'm also going to decrease the chaining by one. Since the holes will be smaller, the third row will have to have less stitches.

2: *sc2, ch6* to last 2 sc. sc 2, ch3, tr into first sc.
3: sc3 first ch loop, (sc 2, ch 6, sc 2, ch 6, sc 2) ea ch loop to first/last. (sc 2, ch6, sc 2, ch6, sc2)
4. sc3 first ch loop, ch6, (sc3, ch6, sc3, ch6) ea ch loop to first/last. (sc3, ch6, sc3, sc3, tr in first sc)

.... And that's too quick an increase. It's making the shape warp in funny ways. To solve that, no problem, just insert a row without increase.

4: sc3 first ch loop, (sc 3, ch 6, sc 3) ea ch loop to first/last. (sc 3, ch 3, tr in first sc)
5: sc3 first ch loop, ch4. (sc 3, ch6, sc3, ch4) ea ch loop to first/last. (sc 3, ch2, tr in first sc)
6: sc3 first ch loop, ch1, (sc 3, ch6, sc 3, ch1) ea ch loop to first/last (sc 3, ch2, tr in first)

And um... halfway through, I decided I don't like this pattern anymore. I'm going back to the one I said was boring. This is just taking forever! So back to the first pattern.

mc 18 dc
2: ch4, sk 1, (dc ch1) ea
3: ch4, (dc, ch1) first, 2(dc, ch1) ea
4: (dc, ch1) ea
5: ch4, (dc, ch1) first, (dc, ch1) next, 2-1

This one is still curling, so I'm going to insert another row of no-increase between four and five.

4: (dc, ch1) ea
4 5
6: ch4, (dc, ch1) first, (dc, ch1) next, 2-1

Okay, that's much better. Note to self:  two rows between increase rows. I have 54 ch sp right now; that looks like enough for me, so  I also want to slowly start making the holes bigger. I'm going to begin by increasing from ch1 to ch2, and eventually work my way up to (I think) tr, ch3.

7: (dc, ch1) ea
8: (dc, ch2) ea
8 9 10 11 12

So, at this point, the bag is still a circle (not beginning to start vertically yet). It's also a lot bigger than I thought it would be! Unfortunately, that means I'm going to have to rip out a lot of stitches and go back to row 5. I'm going to increase row six by 9 st instead of 18. I currently have 36 ch sp, and I want 45. I need to increase to 5 for every 4 of the previous row, which means 3 st between increases.

Also, I've decided that I want it to have a sloped bottom, not just a circle, so I need to insert more rows between increases. So! Back to the beginning, I'm afraid to say. I may as well not trouble myself with increasing 18 every row. I'm going to increase 9 instead. It means more increase rows, but might be better for the shape I want.

3: ch4. (dc, ch1) first 2. 2-1 (27)
4: (dc, ch1) ea
5: ch4. (dc, ch1) first 3. 2-2 (36)
6: (dc, ch1) ea
6 7
8: ch4, (dc, ch1) first 4, 2-3 (45)
9: (dc, ch1) ea.
9 10 11
12: ch4, (dc, ch1) first 5, 2-4 (54)
13: ch5, (tr, ch1) ea.
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

At this point, I'm out of the magenta I've been using, so I'll switch to maroon.  It's looking a good shape - nice and spacious - so I think I'll use the maroon to finish it out.

24: sc ea ch sp and tr.
25: sc ea (108)

Alright... I want five straps total, three of them with buttonholes. I want four of them evenly spaced (26 st apart) and the last one between two of the other straps. I think I know how to do this. Let's see.

26: sc 12, ch 11. (sc10, sl st 2 of bag, sc 7, ch2 sk 2, sc last. ch1 turn, sc 10.) sc 12......

Okay, now I'm confused. Let's try this again:  the bag has 108 st. Each of the four long straps will take up 2 st, so that means 24 st between them. The small fastener strap will also take 2 st, and I want it centered between two straps. That means there will need to be 11 st between each strap and the edge of the fasten strap. Okay. And the four main straps will be varied length:  the two front ones shorter, the two back ones longer, and the fasten strap between the two longer back straps. The two front straps will have buttonholes; the two back ones will not.

26: (ch19. sc 18. sl st 2 into bag rim. sc 14. ch3, sk 3, sc 1. ch1, turn. sc 18.) sc 24. Repeat ( to ). sc 24. *ch53, sc 52, sl st 2 into bag rim, sc 52, ch1 turn, sc 52* sc 11, (ch10, sc 9, sl st 2 into bag rim, sc 6, ch2sk2, sc last. ch1, turn, sc 9). sc 11. Repeat * to *. and sc to end. fasten off.

Right-o! That looks good. Now just sew on some buttons, wherever you want really, and it's done. I'm too lazy to go track down three matching buttons, so I'm just going to use some leftover scraps of magenta to just make some circles.

Easy enough. G hook, worsted weight yarn. Make at least three, or however many you want.
mc 8 hdc
2: 2-1 sc (12). fasten off.

In the end, it isn't a pretty bag, but it's going to be useful! And hey, I finally got rid of all that ugly magenta.


  1. Great bag for grocery shopping or garage saling! Is that even a word? I dont know but thats what I like to do on my days off!

    1. Oh, I hadn't even thought of that! You're right, it would be good for those! =)