Saturday, January 11, 2014

Knitted and Crocheted Soap Bags

I write about a craft project once in a while but I haven't for quite some time.  Today is a good day for it.  We went from bitter cold temperatures last week to temperatures hovering around freezing the last two days.  Last night we had freezing rain which made the roads almost impossible to drive on and the sidewalks really slippery.  It was a good day to stay home and create.

Knitted and crocheted versions of a soap saver.

How many people use bar soap?  I usually don't but the men in my family do.  I think it's more economical to use bar soap than body wash.  The only problem is when the bar gets small, it breaks.  It leaves a sliver that most people throw away.  We throw them, but not into the wastebasket, we throw them into a little bag.  The soap lathers up nicely in the soap bag, and the bag has texture like a washcloth.  It isn't slippery so you don't lose your grip as easy.  It doesn't gunk up the soap dish as much either.  Just be sure to rinse it well.  We had purchased little bags in the past, but today I decided to make some new ones.   I used yarn.  In the future I will look for something that dries more quickly, but the patterns turned out.  Maybe I should use nylon yarn or tulle cut in strips like the nylon netting strips I use for scrubbies.

The scrubbie nylon netting would be too rough on the skin but tulle would be softer.  These bags would even fit a whole bar of soap. 

Knitted Soap Bag

Any type of yarn will work.  Heavier sport weight or worsted is best.  If you use wool, the bags will felt and get smaller as they are used.  Cotton yarn takes a little longer to dry so they should be hung up to dry or they will smell musty eventually.  If that happens, just remove the soap and wash in the washing machine with your laundry. 

You will need 4 double pointed needles in a size 3 or 4.  I changed to a size 3 circular needle-9 inch after the increases.  You could use two needles and knit a rectangle.  Then just sew a seam.

Cast on 9 stitches.  With 3 stitches on each needle, knit around increasing on the last stitch of each of the three needles as follows:

Row 1:  Knit 2, inc. 1 on next stitch (4 sts.), repeat on needle #2 and needle #3.  12 stitches total.
Row 2:  Purl around
Row 3:  Knit 3, inc. on next stitch (5 sts.), repeat on needle #2 and #3.  15 stitches total.
Row 4:  Purl around

Continue in this manner until 10 stitches are on each needle (30 total).  Then knit 1 round andpurl one round until the bag is 4 inches long.

Next round K1, YO, K1, YO etc.  This will make holes for the draw string.  Then knit each round for 3 or 4 rows.  Bind off loosely.  Hide the loose ends and close the bottom of the bag.

Make a tie either by crocheting a string of about 70 chains or try this fun technique.

Cut off about 6 feet of yarn.  Tie one end to a door knob and the other end to the middle of a pencil.

Pull the yarn taut and begin twisting the pencil in one direction.  After a while fold in half and the yarn will twist on itself like a rope.  It makes a sturdy tie.  Thread the tie through the holes in the top of the bag.

Crocheted Soap bag

Use the same type of yarn as mentioned for the knitted bag.

Size "J" crochet hook.

Chain 10 stitches.  Start with a half double crochet in 3rd stitch from hook.  Continue hdc in each chain stitch across and then on opposite side of foundation chain.  You should have 16 hdc's.  Slip stitch in top of starting chain, ch. 1 and continue around.  Work several rounds until the bag is about 4 inches.

Next round:  hdc, chain 1, skip 1 hdc, repeat around.  Single crochet around for 2 or 3 rounds to finish.

Make a draw string in the same way as the knitted bag and thread through the holes.

Update:  These bags work so well, I use one for the soap nuts I use for laundry.  I blogged about using soap nuts.  If you want to read about it, just put soap nuts in the blogs search box.  

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