Ninjago Lunch Bag Challenge

My obsession is knitting but my son’s obsession is Ninjago. Lego Ninjago from Cartoon network with new episodes every Wednesday night. OK maybe I’m a little excited about these five ninjas and their quest to defeat Lord Garmadon. “What’s the best way to defeat your enemy? Make him your friend.” Ahh who wouldn’t love it with great messages like that.

Well it’s a little harder to love when your 6 year old is asking for a Ninjago lunch bag for school and there are none to be found. No that’s a lie – search on EBay and you’ll find them. For $20-30 bucks. I’ll do a lot for my kid but I am NOT spending $30 or even $20 on a lunch bag.

Not gonna happen when I have a stash of red and yellow yarn left over from the angry bird I crocheted for him last year. No he was going to have a Ninjago lunch bag – it just wasn’t coming from Ebay..

Now I can do a lot of crafty things but I am no artist. Not as far as my drawing is concerned anyway. I did not inherit that gene from my Mom. I did inherit the gene of collecting project materials and never actually finishing (or starting) any of the projects that I have such good intentions of completing some day. But that’s the topic of a different post.

This post is about how this mom found a way to make a pattern without the ability to draw. It is called Photoshop. Well a free copycat version from the Internet that is actually called Pixlr.


I used their pointinize filter to turn my picture into a series of dots. First i took out all the shading and colored all the red-red and yellow-yellow instead of shades of yellow and red. I did the same with the black and the white until my final picture was just black yellow or red dots.

Unfortunately a knitting stitch is not the same dimensions as one of these dots so when I made my first set of ninja eyes they were twice as wide as I wanted. I adjusted my size by taking out a few columns from either side and in the middle and transferred my pattern onto some graph paper.

My new pattern is available for purchase from my ravelry store buy now

I decided to make my bag out of a circular tube. I thought I could just knit along happily on circular needles and life would be grand. Guess I missed the chapter in my Knit ‘n Bitch book that talked about why it is an awful and terrible decision to knit in the round when you are doing Intarsia or stranded knitting. That chapter is there by the way – I have now read it.
You can’t possibly carry your yarn around to the back side of your project for every row and I ended up with about 300 strands needing to be sewn in or – yes I’ll admit it – tied off with a knot. Next time I will knit two sides and sew them up with a mattress stitch and save myself at least a couple hours worth of tying up ends.
To make the bottom of my bag I found the sides and pinched about an inch on either side and sewed it together to give the bag a bit of a flat bottom. Doing this first made it easier to center my handles later. I knitted up in the round until past the pattern and then found the center of my bag above my ninja eyes.

I estimated about 15 stitches to make a good handle and on my next pass I bound-off those stitches on the front and the back. On my next pass I cast on those stitches and then went on knitting on the other side of the new “hole” I had just made. I bound off after about another 8 rows and had just 2 feet of red yarn left. Talk about a stash buster.
It’s about 18 hours until school starts so I just made my deadline but I guarantee my kid will be the only kid in school with a Ninjago lunch bag. Well unless their parents were willing to pay the $30 to order one from EBay. Me – I prefer the free yarn in my stash and a good challenge. I’m still putting off that black angry bird he has ordered though.
To get a chart of these eyes you can click on the link below and finish your purchase at my Ravelry store.


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