From Rags to Bags

I hate to throw out useable items, as I feel a sort of guilt that I’m not letting them live up to their full potential.  It also feels decadently wasteful, as money was always tight when I was a kid.  Not to the level where we might go to school without shoes, more where every penny had to be thought about before being spent.  It lead to some unique holidays in a camper van that probably cost about the same as one holiday in Spain, which everyone else I knew did every time even though they didn’t seem massively keen.
Before I drift hopelessly off course, I’ll get to my point.  I made my mother a pillow slip to cover an offcut of foam a while back, which proved quite a challenge to my limited sewing skills.  When it came time to discard this because the foam was ‘well used’, I got a nagging feeling that the cover could still be used.  And then it hit me…
A while back, my knitting group had the incomplete front and back of a jumper donated among some yarn.  I saved the lovely cablework from being unraveled by turning it into a bag.  I’d recently read an article on turning towels into bags, so it wasn’t much of a leap for me to add ribbing at the top to match what was at the bottom, fold it in half and sew up the sides.
Then I hit a snag.  The towelbags had used webbing as straps, and all I had was rainbow pattern.  Low funds and the fact that even webbing is quite rough and so not the best thing against bare shoulders.  I was suddenly reminded that Tunisian Simple Stitch looks a lot like webbing, and also has a thick, sturdy construction.  I had flirted with the idea of trying it a few times at that point, but this was when I struck on a project to make with it.
All of this was in my head as a stripped the foam filler from the cover, and took it inside for a good wash.  And here is the result


I decided on the strap length by working out where I wanted the bag to sit (just under the arm), and measuring from that point up over my shoulder and down to the same point the other side.  I then added 4 inches to allow for attaching the ends to the outside, and another 2 to allow for bulkier clothing.  I used an 8mm hook for aran weight and 8 stitches, because I’d previously used a 7mm with 10 stitches for dk and that was perfect.  The pockets are 20 stitches x 15 rows for the large, and 10 x 8 for the small.  The yarn is Rico Creative Cotton Aran in Emerald, and I used about 50g; so I got a ‘new’ and unique bag for £2

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