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 Shopping Bag



Net Bag

Description:  The Shopping Bag is very similar to the net bags used in Europe.  It features widely spaced rows of Alternating Square Knots, which creates a design similar to a fish net. 

The top edges are formed in such a way that it's very strong despite its delicate appearance.  In the example shown, the sack was made with regular cotton cord and it was able to hold over 15 pounds. 

This Macrame project is rated moderate, because you must know how to tie Square knots in both directions.

The finished size is 18 inches tall.   The area at the top is 9 inches wide.  The bottom stretches to 15 inches when pulled sideways. 

Dawn Kepler inspired me to create this Macrame pattern.


 
Supplies Needed:
  • 4mm cord material (125 yards)
  • Fabric glue that dries clear
  • Small paint brush or stick to apply glue (optional)
  • Measuring tape
  • Project Board and pins
  • Rubber bands
 

Knots Used in Design:



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 Strap for Front



Step 1:  Cut 4 cords, each 4.5 yards longCut 2 cords, 3.5 yards long.

Prepare the ends with tape or knots before you work on the Shopping Bag.



Cord Lengths

Secure the cords to your board at the CENTER, arranged vertically.  They need to be placed in a specific pattern, as follows:

The 4.5 yard cords should be in the 1, 3, 4, and 6 positions.

The 3.5 yard cords should be placed at 2 and 5.   



Step 2:  You will be tying both right and left Square knots for the strap, as well as the body of the Shopping Bag. 

Below are the instructions for tying the knots in both directions.  Make sure you tighten all the knots firmly.



Left Square Knot (LSK)

Left SK Step 1
<< Move cord 1 to the right, over the fillers (2 and 3), and under cord 4.

Move cord 4 under the fillers and over cord 1 on the left.  >>
Step 2



The rule to remember when tying Square Knots in opposite directions is that the head of the knot will face the direction of the first working cord you move. 

So a left SK begins by moving the working cord on the left, which is cord 1 in this case.  When you finish all 4 steps, the head will face left.



Step 3
Working cords 1 and 4 have switched places.

<< Move cord 1 to the left, over the fillers and under cord 4.

Move cord 4 under the fillers and over cord 1 on the right.  >>
Step 4



To create the zigzag pattern for the strap of your Shopping Bag, you will use cords 3 - 6 to tie all the right Square knots.  

Cord 4 and 5 are the fillers.



Right Square Knot (RSK)

Right SK  Step 1
<< Move cord 6 to the left, over the fillers (4 and 5), and under cord 3 (right to left).

Move cord 3 under the fillers and over cord 6 on the right.  >>
Step 2



Step 3
Working cords 3 and 6 have switched places.

<< Move cord 6 to the right, over the fillers and under cord 3.

Move cord 3 under the fillers and over cord 6 on the left.  >>
Step 4



Square Knots

Step 3:  To start the first strap, tie left Square knots with cords 1 - 4 and right SK with 3 - 6. 

Begin in the center and work towards one end of the cords.

Stop when the first half is 7 inches long.



Final SK

Tie one more Square Knot, using cords 1 and 6

There should be four fillers (cords 2 - 5). 

It should face the opposite direction from the last knot tied, so it follows the same pattern. 




Turn Around

Step 4:  Turn the strap around, and go back to the center. 

Repeat steps 2 and 3 to create the second half of the same strap.

The first knot you tie will be a left SK.




Strap for Back



Second Strap

Step 5:  Repeat steps 1 - 4 to make a second strap.

When you get to the second half (step 4), place it next to the first strap and compare them. 

Make sure both straps for the Shopping Bag are the same length.




Macrame Cord Divider

 

Mounting Process for Front 



Step 6:  Now it's time to mount the working cords for the front portion of the Shopping Bag.  Locate cords 1 and 6 at each end of the strap made for the front (total of 4). 

These will be holding cords for the top half of the bag.  Apply tape to mark these cords, so you can easily identify them.

Fold the strap so the ends are vertical, and the folded area is at the top of your board.  Make sure the strap is face up.   

Mentally number each group of cords coming from the ends of the strap. 


Holding Cords

Move cord 6 from the left group so it's horizontal, heading right.  

Move cord 1 from the right group, heading left.  

The area between the two halves of the strap is where the cords are mounted in the following steps.  Secure them so they have tension.



Design Tip:  A good way to secure holding cords while making the Shopping Bag is to wrap them around the edges of the board.  The weight helps to hold them taut.



Fold Cord


Cut 6 working cords, each 2.5 yards long.  Prepare the ends to prevent unraveling. 

Step 7: Fold one in half and place it between the two ends of the strap, under cords 1 and 6.  The folded area should be close to you, with the ends heading towards the back of the board.



Larks Head

Step 8:  Tie a Larks Head knot by moving the ends towards you, over the holding cords and under the folded area.


Pull both ends to tighten the knot firmly.



Step 9:  Use the left end to make another Larks Head knot, as follows:



Step A

Step A:  Move the left end over - under the holding cord, rotating clockwise

As you pull it down, pass it over the left end below. 

Pull firmly to tighten, so the loop rests against the left side of the first Larks Head knot.



Step B

Step B:  Move the left end under - over the holding cord, rotating clockwise

As you pull it down, pass it under the left end. 

Pull firmly to tighten.  



3rd Knot

Step 10: Slide the knots to the left, so the second one rests against the edge of the strap.

Repeat step 9 using the right end of the cord.  The two loops are made rotating counter-clockwise



Step 11:  Repeat steps 7 - 10, mounting the remaining 5 working cords to the holding cords (same strap).

The space between the two ends of the strap will be around 6 inches.  To make the top area of the Shopping Bag wider, you can add more cords in sets of 2

Important:  You need to end up with an even number that is a multiple of 4, such as 8, 12, 16, etc. 


After all the cords have been mounted, pull the holding cords so the knots rest close to each other, as shown in the image below. 

Adjust the knots as needed so the upper edge of the Shopping Bag is neat.




Mounting Process for Back



Step 12:  Repeat steps 6 - 11, mounting the same number of working cords to the strap design for the back.  Make sure the strap is face up.


Put this design aside for now, since it's for the back half of the Shopping bag, and won't be used until step 22.




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Front - Top Area



Mounted Cords

Step 13:  Move the four holding cords to the sides, which are marked with tape.

The remaining 4 cords from each end of the strap are considered working cords, along with the six you just mounted.  This gives you a total of 20 cords for the first row of knots.



The top area of the Shopping Bag is made with Alternating Square Knots arranged close together. 

You will be adding cords after the first row is tied (step 15).


 
First Row

Step 14:  Tie the first row of Square Knots as follows:

Left SK:  Cords 1 - 4, 5 - 8, and 9 -12

Right SK:  Cords 13 - 16 and 17 - 20

Tighten the knots firmly, so they rest as close to the Larks Head knots as possible, and are lined up.



Move Holding Cord

Move the marked holding cords behind the Square Knots tied with the four strap cords (cords 1 - 4 and 17 - 20).

Arrange 2 of them to the left and 2 to the right, since they will form the upper side area of the Shopping Bag (see image for step 16).

Secure them so they are diagonal and have tension.



Step 15:  New working cords will now be attached to the holding cords in the same manner as the ones mounted previously.  That's one Larks Head knot followed by one with each end (steps 7 - 10).  

The only difference is that the holding cords will be diagonal.  

Mentally number all the working cords each time you add new ones. Do not include the holding cords when you count.  



Cut 4 cords, each 2.5 yards long.   Cut 6 cords, each 2 yards long.  Prepare the ends to prevent unraveling. 

These cords will be added to the holding cords on each side of the Shopping Bag, before tying the next row of ASK.

While you are tying the first 6 rows described below, tighten the knots so they are close to the ones in the previous row. 



Add a Cord

Step 16:  Add one 2.5 yard cord to each pair of holding cords with a Larks Head knot, on both sides

Use each end to tie another knot, as you did when you mounted the other cords in step 9

Push the knots close to the first row of Square knots, and mentally number all the working cords 1 - 24.



2nd Row

Step 17:  Tie the 2nd row of Alternating Square Knots as follows:

Left SK:  Cords 1 - 4, 5 - 8, and 9 - 12

Right SK:  Cords 13 - 16, 17 - 20, and 21 - 24



Step 18:  Add one 2.5 yard cord to the holding cords (both sides), as you did in the previous step. Mentally number the cords 1 - 28, and tie the 3rd row of ASK as follows:

Left SK: Cords 1 - 4, 5 - 8, 9 - 12, and 13 - 16

Right SK:  Cords 17 - 20, 21 - 24, and 25 - 28



Step 19:  Add one 2-yard cord to the holding cords on each side.  Mentally number the cords 1 - 32, and tie the 4th row as follows:

Left SK:  Cords 1 - 4, 5 - 8, 9 - 12, 13 - 16

Right SK:  Cords 17 - 20, 21 - 24, 25 - 28, and 29 - 32



Step 20:  Add one 2-yard cord to the holding cords.  Mentally re-number the cords 1 - 36.  Tie the 5th row as follows:

Left SK:  Cords 1 - 4, 5 - 8, 9 - 12, 13 - 16, and 17 - 20

Right SK:  Cords 21 - 24, 25 - 28, 29 - 32, and 33 - 36



Step 21:  Add one 2-yard cord to the holding cords.  Mentally re-number the cords 1 - 40.  Tie the 6th row as follows:

Left SK:  Cords 1 - 4, 5 - 8, 9 - 12, 13 - 16, and 17 - 20

Right SK:  Cords 21 - 24, 25 - 28, 29 - 32, 33 - 36, 37 - 40




Back - Top Area



Step 22:  Use the other strap design you put aside earlier, to start the back portion of the Shopping Bag. 

Repeat steps 13 - 21, creating the top area.





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Sides and Body


 
Connect at Side

Step 23:  Place the front of the Shopping Bag on your left, and the back on your right.  The 6th row of knots on each half should line up.  The diagonal rows where you added the cords should form a V shape.

Tie a Square Knot with the 4 marked holding cords.  This will connect the front and back.


 
Other Side

To connect the other side, you need to place the front on top of the back. 

Make sure the insides are touching and the straps are not twisted.

Tie a Square Knot with the other 4 marked cords.
                          


7th Row

Step 24:   The remaining rows of Alternating Square Knots are tied all the way around the Shopping Bag.

Always start at one side, where the front and back are connected.  Change the direction of the knots so they match those in the row above. 



The image above shows the 7th row of ASK, which was tied all the way around both halves of the design.

The knots in this row should rest 1-inch below those in row 6. 

The remaining rows should be 1.5 inches apart.



Step 25:  Tie more rows of ASK until the Shopping Bag measures 18 inches from the top edge down to where you are working. 

Hang the bag by the straps while you work, rather than flat on a board.  It will be easier to make the rows straight. 




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Finishing Process



Last Row

Step 26:  When you tie the last row of Alternating Square Knots, tighten them so they rest just below those in the previous row.

There should be no extra space between them
.

This helps to stabilize and strengthen the bottom of the Shopping Bag.



Step 27:  Turn the bag inside out, so the finishing knots will be on the inside

Place the bag on your project board, with the front resting on top of the back. 



Match Knots


Start at the left edge, and locate the first knots in both the back and the front. 

Match the knots and secure them together with a pin.



Finishing Knot

Step 28:  Organize the cords so there are 4 pairs of two cords, combining one from the back with another from the front.  

Tie an Overhand knot with one pair of cords. Apply glue, and tie a second one.

Repeat this process with the remaining 3 pairs.



Ends

Cut the ends short after tying the knots, so that you know which ones have been used.

Step 29: After all the cords from knot 1 are tied off, match knot 2 from the back and front.

Repeat step 28.



Step 30:  Repeat step 28 with all the remaining cords. 

It's important to take your time and match the knots before tying, since it's easy to lose your place. 

By focusing on just 4 pairs of cords at a time, you ensure that all the cords are tied off and the bottom is closed.





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Have any comments about the Shopping Bag? Contact Me.



 
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