Saturday, June 6, 2009

Knit A Nylon Twine Bags

A few years ago someone came up with a brilliant idea. She bought some nylon twine at a local hardware store and knitted it on her bulky machine. She started something. Lots of us thought it was so clever we ran out and bought twine and got creative making our bags. People decorated their bags, made different shapes, whatever, they were fun. Its great, its washable, its strong, in fact I have a full package of #15 twine sitting here waiting for me to make another one. According to the package, tensil strength is 117 lbs. (Tensile strength measures the force required to pull something such as rope, wire, or a structural beam to the point where it breaks --Britannica online encyclopedia--)
Imagine what you can throw in one of these bags with that sort of strength.

Nylon Twine is sold in hardware stores for mason lines, chalk lines, gardening, boating, etc. You can buy 1 lb 2.5 ozs of # 15 twine (1400 feet) for $8.25 (at least that’s what I paid for mine a couple years ago). Some hardware stores like Home Depot have smaller tubes of it in neon colors. You can buy a thinner twine #9 (2200 feet) for $16.41 on-line from fnt industries, they sell it for Rosary's but its the same nylon twine we used for our bags except they have #9 twine which is thinner than the # 15 I used but I notice they have a waiting period to ship. There are other places on line if you want to Google for it.

If you buy white twine you can dye it with Rit dye or koolaid. For directions to dye your twine go to
Scroll down for Kool Aid Dye or Microwave Dyeing. I prefer to dye the bag after its knitted. Make sure it rinses clear before you use it.

Be sure you line your bag if you want to put anything like a pen or keys in it, you don't want to lose something important that might fall out between the stitches.
Now, get creative and make yourself a bag. I gave mine away to my grandaughers but am seriously thinking of making myself a new one. Natalie made one for the beach using neon colors. It was huge and must have held towels and suits for the family.

I came across the notes I wrote when I made my bags so decided to share them here. These directions are for the 2 pictured above.

I used my LK 150 (6.5mm hobby machine) and #18 twine for my bags. (higher numbers would be thicker twine, #9 twine at fnt above would be thinner). The bags need to be lined if you want to put things like keys or pens in them or they’ll fall out through the stitches.

Yellow Flower Bag with # 18 Nylon Twine knitted with every other needle. The bag is 20” long and 8 ½” wide.

Cast on 60 stitches
knit 16 rows and hang your hem
Knit 3 rows white eyelash yarn
Knit 70 rows twine
Knit 3 rows white eyelash yarn
knitted 16 rows and hang the beginning of the 16 rows for a hem.
Decide how long your want the handles to be and twist 2 strands together. Sew the sides of the bag together, leaving an opening at the top of each side for the twisted handles, pull them through and tie each one in a knot to hold the twist.

Cherry Bag 17 ½” long and 9” wide
Using every needle
Cast on 39 stitches and knit 132 rows
Fold the top over for a flap (closure isn't necessary unless you want to use one for decorative effect.
Knit an I-Cord or twist the tie and sew it to each side
Dye the bag with Cherry Kool Aid.

If you have an embroidery machine, you can embroider on organza and sew to the front of the bag. Another option would be a free standing lace design sewn to the front.

Get creative, these are fun to make and go fast.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Still Packing and Sorting

Why is it taking me so long to sort out my stuff and pack it? Well, I know I have to get rid of some of it and I hate to do that. PLUS its such a chore to sort the stuff out and pack it. BUT I finally made myself do one of the hated chores. I sorted out my machine tools. What happened was, I gave away some of my husbands tools and kept a fairly new tool box for myself. I decided to put my knitting tools in that tool box. So, I poured out all my machine tools onto a table and sorted them by machine, the Bond, the LK 150 and the Brother 970. Each machine has its own set of "stuff". I have been saving little plastic zipper cases that things come in, you know, the kind that maybe slippers or curtains or whatever come in. So I labeled the bags and put each machine's tools in a separate bag. Some things, though are for all the machines, weights, for example can be used on any machine. Clips, definitely for any machine. Ravel Cord once again, any machine. I also put all my scissors in one bag (I didn't know I had so many pair of scissors, where did they all come from? Did I buy a pair every time I needed one?

So, here's the result all nice and neat and the tool chest. If I can now just take out the bag for the machine I'm working on and then put the tools away when I'm finished, I will never again have to do this horrible chore. I highly recommend the tool box idea, the bonus is you get a tray in the top that has a handle, easily carries to the machine you are working with at the time.

I also when through every drawer, cabinet, the garage, etc and got out the tools I knew I'd want to take with me if I ever move and put them all together in a tub I forgot I had, sitting out on the back porch. Its perfect, it even holds the plastic case the drill came in and the plastic case the Dremmel came in. Room for more in this box but believe me, I don't see me buying more tools.

Next, I'm going through the tubs of fleece I bought for spinning. I haven't touched the spinning wheels in 2 years. I still want them but I sure don't need 8 or 10 big tubs of fleece. Probably 2 would be reasonable (although I can't see me getting rid of all but 2).

As I sit here and contemplate going back up to the loft to sort stuff, I think I know why its taken me so long to do it all. When I'm finished, it will sort of mark the end of me living in South Carolina and sort of saying goodby to my husband who I was married to for 48 years, and his family who I've grown to think of as my family. I know I don't have to say goodby to them but leaving this home is closing a chapter in my life. I know its necessary but it sure is hard.

Still, I'm looking forward to the next chapter and can't wait to start it. Mixed feelings? You bet!
Now, before you think I'm sad and, perhaps crazy, I'll close with a picture of my pretty azaleas and the hibiscus that has bloomed only twice so far this summer, today was the second time.
Hibiscus won't winter over at my house so every year I go buy myself a new one. I could take it in and it will survive the winter but I did that one year and decided it was a mess, its easier to buy a new one.
I don't know what kind of azalea this one is, its the last to bloom every year and its a short little bush that stays right down on the ground. Every year I find a branch under the mulch that has grown roots so I move it to a new place and now I have about 5 of these little bushes growing around the edges of my flower gardens.
And finally, the petunia's that are growing on the deck rail. Yes, that's my sweet little dog sitting there watching the world go by while I take pictures. He's sitting there watching the hummingbirds that are flitting around between the feeders.