As promised, I have a new free pattern in my series of activity-related knitting. Last time it was a pattern for a colorful yoga mat bag. This time it’s pattern to make a uniquely colored chalk bag for rock climbing! Introducing, Beta:
I tried rock climbing for the first time ever in a climbing gym about seven months ago. I was amazed at how much I liked it, and I’ve climbed there almost every week since June. I never thought of climbing as my kind of activity, but I love that it is both a mental and physical challenge. (A side benefit of the latter is that I have actually have some upper body strength now!)
One of the things that climbers often have on their person is a chalk bag, as chalk can help you get a better grip on holds when your hands start to get sweaty. After seeing someone who had a crocheted chalk bag at the gym (she received it as a gift and didn’t know how it was made), I decided I had to knit my own. I also decided that it should match the other gear I use while top roping. So I wrote a pattern that incorporates the colors of my belay device, harness, and shoes, AND for good measure, loosely mirrors the pattern on the strap of my particular harness ( this one by Mammut) with stranded colorwork. You can kind of see all this in the photo above. Here’s a lovely (blurry) action shot of me “chalking up” with my new chalk bag:
In climbing terms, ‘beta’ usually refers to descriptions of or advice about a particular route. I thought it was a fitting name for a knitting pattern like this one. I don’t expect that many people will want to replicate the exact colorwork that I have done, because it is so tailored to my climbing gear. But you can use this pattern as advice for how to make a chalk bag in whatever style and color you want.
[EDIT: I almost forgot to include some “in progress” pics!]
The only thing I don’t have good advice on is how much yarn you need, because I used leftovers from the Bernat Handicrafter Cotton that I had from making the yoga mat bag. I would guess that since skeins are 80 yds/50g each, to be on the safe side you’d want to have about 1/2 skein of white, 1/3 skein each of orange and grey, and 1/4 skein of green, but I did not measure or weigh my yarn so I am truly guessing. In the future I will try to take notes!
I’m going to post the whole pattern below, but for the first time ever I have made a pattern into a free ravelry download, so if you are on ravelry, you can get the pattern there as well, and post your own finished version!Beta: A climber’s chalk bag pattern Yarn: Worsted weight cotton yarn in white, green, gray, and orange (this version was made with Bernat Handicrafter Cotton) Materials: One set of double pointed knitting needles, size 4 Yarn needle Optional: stitch marker for start of round Gauge: 18 stitches and 26 rows= 4 in. square. Gauge is not super important as long as you can fit your hand inside the bag. Chalk bag pattern Cast on 56 stitches in green, divide onto four needles (14 stitches on each) Round 1-4: knit Rounds 5-8: switch to white, knit Round 9: (k6, yo, k2tog), repeat to end of round Rounds 10-13: knit Colorwork section: Rounds 14-21: Work Chart 1.
Rounds 22-29: Work Chart 2.Rounds 30-37: Work Chart 1 again. Decrease section: Round 38: with white, knit Round 39: (k2tog, k1) repeat until last two stitches remain, k2tog Round 40: knit Rounds 41-46: Repeat rounds 39 and 40 three times Round 47: k2tog all around At this point you should have about 6 stitches remaining. Break yarn leaving a long tail, pull through remaining stitches. Weave in ends. I-cord closure With white yarn, cast two stitches onto a double pointed needle Knit across, but do NOT turn. Slide stitches to the other point of the needle Repeat until I-Cord is the desired length, approximately 30 inches. Cast off. Weave through the yarn over holes. I-cord carabiner loop Cast on 4 stitches in green, leaving a long tail (8-10 inches) for sewing Knit an I-cord as for closure When I-cord is 3 inches long, cast off stitches leaving another tail of yarn. Using yarn needle, sew tails of yarn into the bag at the desired location. Liner options: If you sew, you can make a fabric lining for the inside of the bag and stitch it in place. Otherwise, putting a zip closure plastic baggie inside or using a chalk ball will minimize the amount of chalk that falls out. A tighter gauge will also help loose chalk remain inside.
Round 22: knit
Rounds 23-24: switch to orange, knit
Round 25: (k5 gray, k2 orange, k1 gray), repeat to end of round, carrying floats in back
Round 26: (k5 gray, k2 orange, k1 gray), repeat to end of round, carrying floats in back
Rounds 27-28: with orange yarn, knit
Round 29: switch to white, knit
k = knit, yo =yarn over, k2tog =knit two together
As before, you must ask my permission before reproducing any of the content here, and when you do, cite me as the source!