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Clever Bags from Stash Cotton

Download this pattern from Barbara Nielsen that uses stash cotton in a clever way to create a one-of-a-kind colorful weft for a set of colorful bags.

Christina Garton Aug 3, 2023 - 3 min read

Clever Bags from Stash Cotton Primary Image

Colorful Shoulder Bags by Barbara Nielsen. Photos by Joe Coca

While Easy Weaving with Little Looms has only been around since 2016 (and only available four times a year starting in 2022), Handwoven magazine dates back to 1979! During the past 24 years, Handwoven has published more than a few projects for small-loom weavers. I know that not every Little Looms subscriber also has a subscription to Handwoven, so when I can, I like to share fun past Handwoven projects with current Little Looms subscribers!

While searching through hidden gems of Handwoven, I saw this incredible rigid-heddle-woven shoulder bag by Barbara Nielsen. When designing her bag, Barbara picked out her lining fabric first and then used that to determine her weft colors for the rest of the bag.

Barbara chose her lining fabric first, then used it to help her choose the yarns for her weft.

At first glance, I assumed the weft was some variegated or other specialty yarn. As it turns out, Barbara turned to her stash and picked out a bunch of thinner cotton yarns that she thought coordinated nicely with her lining fabric and with one another. These yarns were gently twisted together to create the colorful weft. It’s such a good idea if, like me, you’ve got a massive stash of 8/2, 5/2, and 3/2 cottons.

Also, the braided strap is such a nice touch. I love that while she could have attached the strap just to the top two corners of the bag, she instead has it travel down the sides to give the bag a bit more stability and visual pop. I absolutely love this bag, so I had to share it with our current Little Looms magazine subscribers. (Not a subscriber? Learn more about subscriptions and everything that comes with them!)

Bag Pattern and PDF

Weave structure: Plain weave.
Equipment: 2-shaft or 4-shaft loom or rigid heddle loom with an 8-dent rigid heddle, 9" weaving width (or multiple of 9"); 8-dent reed; 1 or more stick shuttles.
Warp yarns: 10/2 pearl cotton (4,200 yd/lb), 5/2 pearl cotton (2,100 yd/lb), or 3/2 pearl cotton (1,260 yd/lb), 108 yd (or more if you weave more than one bag side by side or along warp length).

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