Friday, 19 April 2013

Bag 2

Hello there! Another catch up post today, still feeling the Dr Seuss vibes hence the title (were you kinda expecting this after the title of my last post?) ;-) This is another project that was lurking around in my brain for months but, whereas with Bag 1  I pretty much had everything worked out before I started, this one evolved as I went along.
It's no secret that many of us find inspiration online these days whether through blogs, Pintrest, or the myriad of websites featuring patterns both free or to buy. Sometimes we find things we want to make exactly as they are, sometimes we want to make a few changes, and sometimes (although we really like the project) we don't have any intentions of trying it out for ourselves. One pattern that fell into that last category for me was the stripey yarn bag made by Lucy at Attic 24. I love the playful random stripes of the first one she made but I really adore the ocean colors she used to make this bag last summer. I must admit that second one tempted me a lot but I am not really a tote bag kind of gal so... Further wandering online turned up a much more "me" kind of bag in the shape of this crochet rucksack - that went straight onto my "must make" list!
Many months later while I was planning Bag 1 I thought it might be a good idea to make this rucksack for my small yarny WIP to live in. I tend to have two crochet projects on the go at once, a big (usually a blanket) crochet project that lives in a plastic storage box, and a small take-with-me-anywhere project that lives in whichever carrier bag was to hand when I started it. Didn't it really deserve a nicer home too?
Way back here I showed you some gorgeous Red Heart yarn that I had started making squares for a blanket from. That project came to a halt when Hubbie (who was the intended recipient of said blanket) remarked that the colors were rather boring for me, and I had to agree they weren't my usual kind of palette. Back in the stash they went but when I started thinking about this rucksack it occurred to me that they would be perfect for it, so shortly after I finished this baby blanket I looked out the pattern & yarn & made a start.
Now the first thing that I noticed was that the pattern called for working with two strands of yarn at a time - I wondered how was that going to look when I got to the variegated yarn? Well I didn't get to find out as after a few rounds I really disliked the feel of the resulting fabric. It felt way too stiff to me, so I ripped it out & started again with only one strand (realising as I did so that this pattern was now going to need some major tweaks). After a few rounds I decided to my hook size was wrong so out it came again, and  then again when it wouldn't lie flat as I worked the increases, and yet again.... I was getting nowhere fast! I decided to look at some other crochet bags for ideas & that is when I ended up going back to Lucy's stripey yarn bag. Ahhhh! She used triple instead of double crochet stitches - time to try that then... You can find Lucy's tote bag pattern here & I heartily recommend it if you are trying to get a nice, flat, big round bottom... for a bag! ;-)
I didn't change colors in the same way but apart from that I used her pattern for the 14 rounds of the base of my bag. In this photo the outermost purple ring is the first round of the sides, the first round with no increases...
To make the sides I carried on working trebles (just as in Lucy's pattern), round after round with no increases, chaining three to start each round & joining into the top chain with a slip stitch to finish. I had decided to use my two skeins of Red Heart variegated yarn for the body of the bag & so I just kept going till the second skein ran out! I looked at the original rucksack pattern to see how Susanna made the holes for the drawstring around the top & adapted it to my stitch count, & then came the tricky bit - working out a new flap... Actually in the end it wasn't that bad, I even remembered to write it down as I went along!
Small confession time - at the point where I started working up the sides this bag really didn't seem that big but as the sides grew I realised I could have made a much smaller bottom, this bag was big! So once I had finished the flap I decided to see how much yarn I could fit inside - answer, a whopping sixteen full 100g balls! Eight balls with another eight on top like this...
At this point I decided not to buy plastic buckles to fasten it closed like a regular rucksack. I wanted a more adjustable way to close it as I figured it was likely that the bag would be less than full most of the time, so I chained a loop & attached it to the bottom front of my bag & then made two long chains which I attached to the center front of my flap. By passing one of the long chains through the loop & tying it to the other long chain the bag can be closed according to how full or empty it is...
Once that was sorted all that it needed was two straps....
...and a drawstring to gather the top...
If you look closely in that last picture you can see one last thing I decided to add - a lining. I didn't want anything slipping through the stitches & getting lost when I'm out & about (if you've ever lost a crochet hook down the side of the sofa you know how in the wink of an eye they can vanish through the smallest gap!). Happily I found the perfect coordinating fabric in my stash in the loft. To line my bag I measured the base & cut a circle from tissue paper that fit inside my bag nicely. I added a seam allowance & cut it out from my fabric & then carefully measured the circles' circumference. Next I measured the height of my bag to just below the drawstring round and using these two measurements I cut a rectangle of fabric. I added a couple of internal pockets in exactly the same way as I did for Bag 1  and then joined the two shorter edges of the rectangle to form a tube. Finally I sewed the circle of fabric onto the base of the tube. You can find a great tutorial for attaching a fabric lining to a crochet bag here, and the same basic principles apply no matter the style or shape of your bag. So there we are, one lined crocheted bag...
... all ready to be filled with yarn...
...all the way up to the top!
But as most of my small "to go" projects don't use that much yarn I think it will more often look like this...
...all ready to come with me :-) 
Thank you for dropping by to visit here today and a special thank you to all those who took the time to leave me such lovely comments on my last post - I love hearing from you! I'm off to finish writing up my notes on this pattern & I will (get Hubbie to) add the link to the resulting pdf on my tutorials page for anyone who fancies making their own. Have a great weekend folks!




10 comments:

  1. Love it, looking forward to the PDF.

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    1. Thanks Josie, the pdf is on my tutrials page now. Have a great week! Helen

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  2. Oh man..now this bag is totally me as well...are you going to make any to sell? I LOVE it, but I also know I would never attempt to make it...the colors are gorgeous, the whole thing makes me think Hippy! Which I feel like a very old one right now...I say again that I Love It!! :o)

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    1. Thanks Cathy, glad you like it :) Hadn't thought about making to sell... I do love that Red Heart variegated yarn it's kinda calming somehow? Hope you're feeling better soon,
      Helen xoxox

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  3. Woo! That one is gorgeous too! And very cool that it fits all of that lovely lovely wool in! I love how you have lined it too. Stunning ^_^
    xox

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    1. Awww thanks Steph - really appreciate all your encouragement :-) Wait till you see what's snuggling up in it now! (Hopefully will get that written up this week...)
      xox

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  4. I love your crochet bag Helen..it's gorgeous and the colours are so lovely (here's to more knitting days too!)
    A bit of crochet practice for me this evening,
    Happy Weekend,
    Susan x

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    1. Thanks Susan! Hope your weekend went to plan, I finally got some cross stitching done - yay! Have a lovely week,
      Helen x

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  5. That is A-MA-ZING!!! Love it! Laura x

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    1. Aww, thanks Laura ;-) Need to pop over to your blog to see what lovely things you've been up to recently... have a lovely week! Helen x

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