Reducing, Reusuing, Recycling and Enjoying

Pattern: Elisa's Nest Tote from the Purl Bee
Yarn: Cotton String Leftovers from Several Balls
Colour: White and Cream
Needles: 'Can't remember
Started: January 20th, Finished: January 26th, 2008

Its been a while since this became an FO but I wanted to hold off posting until I could report on the functionality of this pattern. (Oh and I didn't have a blog back when I knit this!)

I couldn't believe as I was knitting it that the structure would really be strong enough to support weight but it turns out the bag is just as tough as I have needed it to be. Its very stretchy and will hold a lot of bulk but it is also quite capable of managing as much weight as I want to carry. The i-cord handle is very easy on the hands. When empty the bag takes up very little room and importantly, I think, it feels very nice.

It was fun to knit and since I made it out of remnants of cotton string I inherited from my mom when I adopted her little stash it was free. The photo doesn't show the wide stripes I incorporated into the bag to make up for the various shades of cream and white I had to work with from the ends of several balls.

There are two drawbacks to the finished bag - the opening at the top is narrow enough that loading the bag, especially in a hurry at the check out, can be a little tricky and somewhat slow and when not in use the bag's mesh gets caught on things in my purse (like sock needles and the arms on my sunglasses). Nonetheless, from my recommendation my aunt has already made one - again using leftover cotton string she had on hand and my mother bought cotton yarn to make a cream and blue version.

I am keen to make another out of hemp. I might also try one with a solid bottom and mesh sides just for variety. I also think this bag, made up in great colours such as chocolate brown or apple green or striped in those two colours would make fabulous gifts. The time and fun factor in them and the fact the yarn is cool and the item small would make for great late summer knitting to get ahead of that annual Christmas crunch.

The whole idea of using leftovers, and scrounged ones at that to make a functional item that makes taking bags at the store unnecessary is very appealing to me! (I must admit I have been carrying my own bags around for years but they are all sewn and don't make me as happy as a knit one!) I may knit another bag with yarn that may be more posh and I may well knit at least a couple more of these but it'll be a stretch to beat the way this bag is working for me on all fronts of the 3R's!

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