Activity Knits & Crafts, Original Knitting Patterns

Beta: a chalk bag knitting pattern for rock climbers!

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:

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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!)

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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:

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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!]

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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!

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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.
Chart 1
Chart 1

Rounds 22-29: Work Chart 2.

Chart 2
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.

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 If you prefer written instructions to charts, I’ve typed them up below:
Chart 1 written out:
Round 14: knit
Rounds 15-16: switch to gray, knit
Round 17: (k1 orange, k2 gray, k5 orange), repeat to end of round, carrying floats in back
Round 18: (k5 orange, k2 gray, k1 orange), repeat to end of round, carrying floats in back
Rounds 19-20: with gray, knit
Round 21: switch to white, knit
 Chart 2 written out:

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

Abbreviations used:

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!

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Happy Climbing!

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Activity Knits & Crafts, Original Knitting Patterns, Tweaks & Alterations

Sunrise: a yoga mat bag knitting pattern

Happy 2014! I have been meaning to share this knitting pattern for a Yoga Mat Bag, and I figure the start of a new year is probably a great time to put it out there. (I’ve actually got a series of activity-related knits I’m planning to write about—stay tuned). I have done some yoga off and on for years, but this year but I hope to do even more. I think this pattern is perfect for (almost) mindless knitting on those cold January nights, and it will help you keep your New Years’ resolution to be more healthy—well ok, it may not actually help you do a sun salutation or attempt a headstand, but it might inspire and motivate you nevertheless.

Oh and did I mention this my first ever pattern??

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I never originally set out to make up my own patterns. I reasoned that it would be too much work. However, as I accumulated more years of knitting experience, I found that I was heavily modifying certain patterns. (I originally had this pattern up on ravelry as an extreme variation of this pattern but I now think mine is significantly different).

sunday yoga

I named this pattern Sunrise because that’s what the colors remind me of, and because last summer I went to an early morning yoga session in a park that was glorious, and it reminds me of then (yep, that’s me, yoga-ing on the grass). This began as a modification but morphed into my own design, particularly the color work.  It’s no masterpiece and it may have some errors, but I have decided to try and write it up, as a free pattern for you.

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Sunrise— A Yoga Mat Knitting Pattern

(Quick note—please ask my permission before reproducing any of the content here, and when you do, cite me as the source! I don’t mind sharing this pattern as long as it’s for non-commercial purposes.)

Materials: 

Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Solids & Denim (80 yds/50g each):

White (2 skeins), Tangerine, Hot Orange, Banana Yellow,  Stonewash, Hot Blue, Indigo ( 1 skein each)

One size 6 circular knitting needle (12 inches)  or double pointed needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)

yarn needle

 Gauge:

4.5 stitches per inch

To fit a yoga mat approximately 24 inches wide and 16 inches around when rolled up

Directions:

Cast on 35 stitches in White, leaving a long tail of yarn for later. Do not join yet.

Round 1: Knit into front and back of each stitch [70 stitches total]

Round 2: Purl

Round 3: Join in the round. Knit

Rounds 4-12: Knit

Round 13: Switch to Tangerine. Knit.

Rounds 14- 23: Knit

Round 24: Switch to White. Knit

Rounds 25-26: Knit

Round 27: Switch to Tangerine. Knit

Round 28: Knit

Round 29: Switch to White. knit.

Round 30-33: Knit

For remaining colors: repeat rounds 13-33. (The patter will be 11 rounds of color, 3 rounds white, 2 rounds color, 5 rounds white)

After doing this for 6 colors total, finish as follows:

Knit 5 rounds White

Eyelets: knit 2, yo, k2tog. Repeat until end of round.

Knit 3 rounds.

Cast off.

Weave in ends. Thread long tail of yarn from the beginning of the project through the cast on loops and draw together until tight. Secure end of yarn tail to the bag.

I-cord Drawstring:

Cast on three stitches.

Knit across, do NOT turn.

Slide stitches to the other point of the needle.

Knit across, do not turn, slide stitches to the other point of the needle.

Continue until you have 75-80 inches of I-cord. Cast off.

Thread one end of the drawstring through the eyelets at the top. Fasten both ends of the drawstring securely to the bottom of the bag.

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Notes:

  • I am a loose knitter, always have been. You may want to go up several needle sizes if you are a tight knitter.
  • This is a great project for using up small amounts of cotton yarn. I didn’t calculate how much I used of each skein but I don’t think it would be hard to adjust the pattern to the yarn you have on hand (a really conservative estimate of yardage would be maybe 280ish, based on other patterns?)
  • The coolest part of this design is that when you put on the strap, the bag cinches up at the top on its own. I can’t take credit for this idea, I’ve seen it on other yoga bags, but I figured out how to do it myself. Perfect for taking your yoga mat with you on a bicycle!