Bulky Machine-Knit String Bag – FREE PATTERN

I was given a pattern for a machine-knit string bag, to which I have made some changes. The original free pattern is here. Below is my version with the changes I made as I knitted it.
Pictures first though…

Machine-Knit String Bag in worsted-weight Bernat Handicrafter Cotton – 340g big ball

Materials
1 x 340g ball of Bernat Handicrafter wrosted-weight cotton (I used the ‘Twilight’ colourway which has since been discontinued. Bernat Handicrafter is made by the same company as Lily Sugar ‘n Cream and is essentially identical to it except for the label.). – one ball is enough to make two large string bags.
sewing-up needle, scissors

This bag was knitted on my Empisal Chunky 610 – main bed only (see my machine-knitting category in this blog for pictures of the knitting machine I used). I have adapted the instructions so that they are suitable for an absolute beginner machine-knitter.

Tension: 4 for the mock ribbed hem, 5 for the body of the bag

Pattern

E-wrap cast-on, on EON (every other needle), L34 (left-side of ‘0’ – 34 stitches), R35 (right side of ‘0’ – 35 stitches).
Knit 10 rows at T4 (tension 4), hang hem by bringing bottom row of stitches up to needles and hanging so each needle has two stitches.
Kint 1 row at +3 tension – in my case, I tightened my tension 3 points – down to 3 on the dial.
Put out-of-work needles into work by bringing forward to B position so they will knit on the next row. Bring tension back up to 5. Knit 100 rows on all needles.
Drop every other needle as before – change tension to 4. Re-hang cast-on comb to mark row.
Knit 10 rows on EON at T4.
Hang hem by bringing each stitch on last row of body of bag up to the needle so that there are two stitches on each needle.
Knit one row at T3.
BIND OFF VERY LOOSELY! (I made the mistake of binding off too tightly on my first bag which puckers the hem and it doesn’t look nice!)

Now for the sides….

The sides of the bag have a garter stitch (knit every row) edge. To achieve this, simply…

Hang every other needle along the SIDE of the bag with the right side of the knitting facing you. This is important – the original pattern doesn’t say, but I realised after doing the first bag that the garter stitch side or ‘wrong’ side of the the edging looks better facing outwards on the finished bag. Normally you knit on a machine with the wrong side of the knitting facing you. By hanging the edge with the right side of the knitting facing you, the edging looks a lot better!

Knit 3 rows (the original pattern says 2, but I think 3 is a lot nicer).
Bind off normally – doesn’t matter here if it’s a little bit tight.
Repeat for the other side of the bag.

I-Cord for the handles.

The handles are made with I-cord knitted on the machine. Your instruction book will tell you how to do this.
I made cords which were 450 rows long at 4 stitches wide.

Finishing

Weave in all ends and using a safety pin, thread the I-cord through the folded hems and VOILA! One lovely and quick string bag!

(My aunts are each getting one of these for Christmas and at a cost of $7.50 for materials – such a lovely but inexpensive gift!)

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