So pretty much my whole life I’ve loved Japanese culture, I hate being called a weeaboo I have always loved anime since I was 8 and the culture was sometime before that. I can’t even remember why it’s just something that I’ve always loved.
I started babysitting last year and I was trying to find good lunch ideas, I happened to come across bento boxes which I had never heard of (weird right?) but it can be cute or just normal. I make mine more “normal” but I’m a picky person so my normal isn’t ever normal lol. I learned from Cooking with Dog that bento boxes are best nutritionally balanced with 5 colors; red, yellow, green, black and white. I try to follow this every time, though I’ll admit it’s hard to do sometimes. Bento boxes are good for me because it’s just the right size portions I need.
I got so into bento boxes my husband bought me my first bento box, it was a ninja panda (I love pandas!) I made a basic drawstring bag for it with black and white and duplicate stitched a panda face as well as I made a placemat with the panda face. But it was knit and I wanted to make a bento bag with crochet, also I bought a new bento box, the kid I babysit loves pandas too and my bento panda got scratched somehow and I haven’t even taken over there. So to keep it safe I use it at home. The new one I got off ebay from Japan, it’s pink and green with a white lid that has flowers, it came with the 2 tier bento box and 2 small square containers and matching chopsticks with a matching case. All that plus some extras for 22 bucks, it may seem like a lot but 10 of it was shipping lol. My husband got me a bento recipe book which is awesome it has recipes plus it shows you how to make it cute. So I know this is a lot of reading but I like to talk a lot which is odd since I’m a shy/quiet person in real life lol.
Sizing info: Ok so the way I made it is simple but it is designed for my bento, which is around 6.5 inches long and 3 inches wide, as well as the bag is big so I could carry all 3 boxes that came with it and the placemat I have yet to make. Make it to your bento, pretty much it’s a rectangle, but you can follow the basic idea of the pattern to make it fit your needs. Measure your bento, chain until you’re an inch away from the length of your bento. Increase at ends on first row and then every row after the increase will be on corners only. Then continue without increase to desired length. I know it’s like “HUH? what are you talking about?” but you’ll get the idea when you read my pattern, it’s a little big but I wanted it big so if you want it to fit almost perfectly then skip the last 3 increase rows. If you want it to fit perfectly then only do the first 3 increase rows. I hope this makes sense. But pretty much follow the style of increase rows to about half an inch away from the exact size of your bento, then follow the rest of the pattern until is taller than the bento, you can adjust this to fit any bento!
The yarn I used was I love this yarn white, and a yarn I got in TN at Ben Franklin’s crafts. I did the base as white and striped the pink and green yarn. I used the jogless stripes method.
Abbreviations in us terms
Hook H/8 5.00mm
Chain 21 (read above if you didn’t for sizing info)
1) SC in second chain from hook and across to last ST, 3sc in last ST, rotate (do not turn and go back, you rotate and go around the other side of the chain) sc across to last ST, 2sc in last ST
2) 2sc in first ST, sc in next 18, 2sc in next ST, sc in next ST, 2c sc in next 18, 2sc in next ST, sc in next ST
3) sc in first st, 2sc in next 2 sts, sc in next 17 sts, 2sc in next 2 sts, sc in next 2 sts, 2sc in next 2 sts, sc in next 17 sts, 2sc in next 2 sts, sc in next
4) sc in next 2, 2sc in next 2, sc in next 20, 2sc in next 2, sc in next 3, 2sc in next 2, sc in next 20, 2sc in next 2, sc in next
5) sc in next 3, 2sc in next 2, sc in next 23, 2sc in next 2, sc in next 4, 2sc in next 2, sc in next 23, 2sc in next 2, sc in next
6) sc in next 4, 2sc in next 3, sc in next 23, 2sc in next 3, sc in next 6, 2sc in next 3, sc in next 23, 2sc in next 3, sc in next
7) sc in next 6, 2sc in next 3, sc in next 27, 2sc in next 3, sc in next 8, 2sc in next 3, sc in next 27, 2sc in next 3, sc in next
8) sc in next 8, 2scin next, sc in next, 2sc in next, sc in next 30, 2sc in next, sc in next, 2sc in next, sc in next 11, 2sc in next, sc in next, 2sc in next, sc in next 30, 2sc in next, sc in next, 2sc in next, sc in next
9) sc place marker in this stitch (I use a paper clip) sc in every stitch around
10) sc in BL re place marker in this stitch, sc in BL around.
11) sc in both loops place marker in this stitch, sc in both loops in every stitch around.
Repeat row 11 until desired length, stick you bento in and see if it closes, Chain 2, DC in every stitch around join in top of chain 2 with slip stitch. Finish
Chain 100 or as long as needed for drawstring.
Weave in ends.
Weave drawstring evenly spaced in DC row, place bento inside and enjoy!
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Please do not make and sell this item.