Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crocheted Bike Bag

This weekend I got a new bicycle. It's the kind for just riding on the local streets and trails, but I am very happy with Bluebell.

My new bike and non-matching water bottle
It weighs a LOT more than my road bike did, though it claims to be aluminum.

The first thing I noticed about it was that I have no way to carry my cell phone when I am riding it, thanks to giving away all my fancy cycling shirts a while back. I usually ride in exercise pants rather than jeans, so I have no pockets.

But I know how to crochet! So, on Sunday when my devoted spouse was planting things in the front yard, I sat down with good ole Lily Sugar and Cream yarn and crocheted myself this little bag to hold my cell phone and maybe a chap stick. I need to take the phone because I track my progress with one of those free GPS exercise apps.

Bicycle Bag with Cute Buttons
I could have just made a big rectangle, but I like the way single crochet looks in the round better than back and forth. So, I did a little trick and ended up with a no-seam crochet bag. I made the button holes vertical rather than horizontal, so that the buttons would stay better when the bag is on the bike. I think it looks fun and practical. I could have used hemp cord, but it hurts my hands. And the same bag could be made weatherproof by using strips cut from plastic shopping bags. If I shopped at Wal-Mart I could get blue ones to match the bike.

(I also knitted a good amount on the alpaca sweater. I am on the home stretch.)

How to Make a Bike Bag

If, for some reason, you are dying to make one of these, here's how:

Body of Bag

Use sturdy cotton yarn and a crochet hook that will crochet the yarn tightly. I used an F.

Chain enough to be a little longer than your phone, no more than an inch longer.

Single crochet into the second stitch from your hook and sc across. Count how many stitches you have.

Sc into the side of the last stitch.

Sc into the BOTTOM of the row you just did. Make sure you crochet the same number of stitches (it's easy to skip a few, which I did the first time).

Sc into the side of your previous turning chain, then sc across your first row.

Continue to sc in every stitch around and around that first row. After a few rows you will see a pouch shape developing.

Keep going until your bag is about an inch longer than whatever you want to put in it.

Straps

My straps are 4 stitches in from each side, and 6 stitches wide. Each row will be ch2, sc5, turn. When the strap is a good length in your estimation (long enough to go over your handlebars with some slack), make the button holes.

Do 4 rows of just three stitches. Break yarn. Start where you left off and do 4 rows of 3 stitches. Go across and connect the two thin sections to return to 6-stitch rows, and crochet a few more rows. Repeat on the other side of the bag.

Buttons

Get nice big buttons and sew them on securely. I took my bag to the fabric store to be sure I got the right size buttons. You don't want to have your phone fall to the ground and get ridden over by your bike.

8 comments:

  1. Nice bike! Do you put your little purse on the handlebars then? I've been thinking I should get a bike. Once upon a time I rode all the time and now with gas prices so high, it could be worth it for trips to the store for milk

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  2. FUN!!!!!!!!!!!! And just in time for spring!!!

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  3. Your creativity is so inspiring. Any suggestions for a similar bag that I could knit for my Nana to use on her walker?

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  4. Yes. You fasten it on the handlebars. It works great. To knit one, you would use Judy's Magic Cast-on in a width that would work for the walker, and go around and around until it's the height you want. then I'd probably attach i-cord ties in about the places the straps above are, to both sides to tie it on. Or you could pick up and knit, back and forth in stockinette. For knitting I would be sure to use a very sturdy yarn. Crochet isn't as stretchy, which makes it good for a bag.

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  5. Just saw your reply, Suna. Thanks! As my life-long knitting mentor, are you willing to spoon feed me a bit more? Any suggestions for a sturdy yarn? It seems like there is some of everything in my stash.... I'm wondering if I should plan to felt it so the bottom of the bag can be flat-ish. Hmmmm.....

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  6. Well, if you made it with wool you could felt it--perhaps using something chunky. I wanted to knit it out of hemp or some other thick rope-like yarn, but could not find any. I used Lily Sugar-n-Cream cotton. A nice thick cotton would be good. I don't have any ideas for exact yarn choices.

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  7. Yeah, Blogger no longer talks to Facebook, so all the pictures I grabbed from there over the years no longer work. That's one reason I no longer post things to this blog.

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Suna says thanks for commenting--I love comments!