Saturday, January 27, 2018

Bag It

Our daughter sent me a crochet calendar last month--it's always fun to see what the next pattern is as the days go by.  Last weekend, there was a pattern for a string market bag that can be stuffed into a little built in pouch when not in use. We have Chico bags, which are made of different material but are a similar idea, and we use them all the time. They are great for when we go to veg man or to the shop because when they are stuffed into the pouch, they take up very little room and can easily be put in a coat pocket or backpack until needed. The handles, though, are not big enough to comfortably carry the bag on a shoulder, so we carry stuff home in them with the bag hanging at our side, which is fine for the short walk home, but not comfortable for longer walks. With that in mind, I decided to crochet the bag shown in the calendar. The pattern showed two straps long enough to put over a shoulder, but not long enough to put on one shoulder, go across the body and have the bag hang on the opposite hip, which is how I prefer to carry bags, so I knew I would be adapting the pattern at that point to make it how I wanted it. I also ended up adapting the top of the bag, but other than those last few rounds and the strap, I followed the pattern and finished this afternoon. I like it, but now that I've done it, I can see how I would do things differently in future.
The pouch part, which is also the bottom of the bag, could have been slightly bigger. There is also no reason why it has to be circular and if I make another one, I might do a square bottom. This is easily adaptable--you just make two pieces the same for the bottom of the bag, then join them using single crochet, almost all the way round, but leaving a space (about 1/4 of the outside edge) open (just sc in one piece instead of through both pieces). Then you build up the bag from there. When the bag isn't in use, you can turn the bottom inside out, stuffing the bag inside.

The chain arches that form the main part get larger as you work towards the top, but I wouldn't do that again, since I ended up decreasing at the top to cinch it in a little. That's partly because of how I wanted the strap, but next time I'd make the bag part the same height, but more narrow. The mesh stitch used works well because it's stretchy and not bulky, so I'd probably keep that but just use smaller meshes.

I used mercerized cotton yarn that is fingering weight and a 3 1/2mm (US size E) crochet hook. The pattern called for postal twine and a US size F hook. It really doesn't matter what's used to make this--any yarn and an appropriate hook will work.

I'm quite pleased with my new bag--I think I'll use it a lot.


Anonymous said...

The calendar as a gift from your daughter was very thoughtful. I like the bag you made a lot. I wear my purse across my body, it feels more comfortable and I feel safer that way.
I know you will get a lot of use from this bag. Do you use something similar for library books?

NanaDiana said...

You did a great job on that bag!! It looks like a really practical useful item. I do a lot of crafts/sewing/etc but that is one thing I have never learned to do- crochet or knit. I would love to learn to do both.
Have a great Sunday and upcoming week- xo Diana