At Morehouse Farm Merino Wool, we are NOT getting into plastics.
But we came up with a way to use our knitting skills and help preserve
the environment at the same time. And we wanted to share our ideas for
a greener life with you.
Size: about 10" wide and 9" tall
(not including handles)
Needles: 16" circular #6 or #7 needle and
1 additional needle, same size or smaller,
for three-needle bind-off
Gauge: forget it!
For this tote, we used all clear and shiny plastic bags—the really flimsy kind used for bagging veggies at the supermarket.
Cast on 116 stitches. Join and knit 7 rounds.
Next round: knit 14 stitches, bind off the next 30 stitches loosely, knit 28 stitches; then bind-off the next 30 stitches and knit remaining 14 stitches. Next round: knit the first 14 stitches, then cast on 14 stitches using e-loop cast-on; knit the next 28 stitches and cast on 14 stitches again; then knit the final 14 stitches. You now have 84 stitches.
Knit until bag measures 9” from cast-on edge. This Tote has a flat bottom. Place markers (use pieces of different color string) as follows: first marker at beginning of round, then count 30 stitches and place second marker; count 12 stitches and place third marker; count the next 30 stitches and place fourth marker; you’ll have 12 stitches remaining to beginning of round. Now work as follows (you’ll be knitting back and forth and no longer in the round): *knit to within 1 stitch of second marker, knit this last stitch before marker together with first stitch after marker. Turn and knit back to beginning of round—knit to first stitch and knit this first stitch together with last stitch. Turn and repeat from * until you have stitches between first and second marker and stitches between third and fourth marker left.
Bind off using three-needle bind off as follows: put the 2 tips of the circular needle parallel to each other with 30 stitches at one end of needle and the other 30 stitches at other end of needle. One needle behind the other. Now use the third needle and bind off stitches from front needle together with stitches on needle in back (in other words: you’ll knit first stitch together with last stitch, then knit second stitch together with second to last stitch; now bind off first stitch. Knit third stitch together with third to last stitch, and bind off second stitch, etc.
Pull plastic strip through last stitch and pull end through to inside of bag. Tie together with last bind-off stitch. Then cut end, leaving a short tuft.
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(not including handles)
Needles: 24" circular #15 needle and
24" circular #10 or #11 needle
Gauge: forget it!
This tote is knit with large needles. The loosely-knit tote will accommodate large amounts of veggies and other groceries in all shapes and sizes. It expands width– as well as length-wise, but is a very sturdy and strong tote despite its flexible shape.
Start with the smaller needle and use strong plastic strips (strips cut from heftier plastic shopping bag; or use 2 strips together) and cast on 86 stitches. Join and knit 6 rounds.
Next round: knit 12 stitches, bind off the next 19 stitches loosely, knit 24 stitches, then bind-off the next 19 stitches and knit remaining 12 stitches. Next round: knit the first 12 stitches, then cast on 5 stitches using e-loop cast-on; knit the next 24 stitches and cast on 5 stitches again; then knit the remaining 12 stitches. You now have 58 stitches. Knit 3 or 4 more rounds with smaller needle.
Switch to #15 needle and use ordinary plastic strips and knit until bag measures 18” from cast-on edge. Bind off using three-needle bind off as follows: put the 2 tips of the circular needle parallel to each other —one behind the other— with half the stitches on the front tip and the other half of the stitches on the back tip. Use the smaller needle and bind off stitches from front needle together with stitches on needle in back (in other words: you’ll knit first stitch together with last stitch, next knit second stitch together with second to last stitch; now bind off first stitch. Knit third stitch together with third to last stitch, and bind off second stitch, etc.
Pull plastic strip through last stitch and pull end through to inside of bag. Tie together with last bind-off stitch. Then cut end, leaving a short tuft. And that’s it!
Go shopping with your new tote—and feel great about having played a part in keeping this earth green and beautiful!
All knit with recycled plastic bags.
Watch for details coming up in our Newsletter.
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