Vancouver practically hasn’t stopped raining since last summer. It rained through most of the Olymipcs, and it’s almost halfway into June and it is still raining. Sigh. I miss the warm DRY weather of Los Angeles, strolling through the Farmer’s Market with my boyfriend, filling our bags up with fresh fruit (to become pies) and our stomachs full of crawfish and alligator (it was chewy fishy chicken).
I almost always use reusable shopping bags – I don’t own a car and I find hauling groceries easier with a large sturdy bag instead of those flimsy plastic ones (that get slippery in the rain). My boyfriend tries to use reusable bags, but fails. There is some great crochet bag patterns out there, however I wanted to make my own pattern to suit my needs.
What I came up with:
They look small, but are very sturdy, stretchy and can hold A TON of crap. Hey, they look fishnetty too!
The red on is the “large” size, holding two 775g cereal boxes, with plenty of room to fit more crap on the top. The “small” size in camo green is holding 7 cans of beans and would hold more but it be a pain in the ass to carry more weight.
For another size comparison, the “small” size is your typical plastic grocery bag size that will hold two 2 liter bottles of pop, whereas the “large” one can hold four bottles!
Other than size, these bags are lightweight, roll up tiny, work up fast, great for a beginner, have no seaming and very easy to adjust the size to your liking!!
Enough chatter – onto the pattern (and free – my first free pattern)
~Worsted Weight Cotton yarn – around 140 meters for the large size. I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (renegade colour) for small, which is more weighted and more gapey finished appearance. For the large size, I used a cotton polyester blend, Nashua Cilantro. The latter yarn has a bit of stretch to it, but not necessary for the project.
~4.5mm to 5.5mm crochet hook – gauge is not important, go with what the yarn says or experience to make a not too loose not too tight stitch. I went with 5.5mm because I got that amigurumi tight gauge.
~Tapestry needle to weave in ends.
~Whatever you use to mark beginning of rows (safety pins, scrap yarn) as you will be working in rounds and marking where to put handles.
Small (Large) – crochet in rounds formed around the foundation chain.
Ch = chain
Sc= single crochet
Hdc = half double crochet (could get away with and not use this stitch for this pattern)
Sl st = slip stitch
- Chain 36 (56). You may adjust the width of the bag by keeping the base chain in increments of 4.
- Sc in the 8th stitch. *Ch 5, skip 3 stitches, SC* repeat till the end. DO NOT TURN – continue to work the pattern on the underside of the foundation chain, inbetween the chain spaces.
(note: for crocheting onto the foundation chain, ensure you are doing your intial set of single crochets through two loops of each foundation chain, not the round bump of the chain. This ensures the bottom is more stable)
- Repeat row 2 for 20 (22) rounds, or until it reaches the desired lenght.
Lay the bag flat, and mark where your handles will be, ensuring they are evenly spaced. I did 2 (5) chain spaces in the middle of each handle.
- Continue the *Ch 5, skip 3 stitches, SC* pattern until you reach the first handle marker. Chain enough to make a long enough handle for your liking. For a bag that will go around your shoulder, as seen in my examples, I chained 60. 35 chains would make typical grocery bag handle. Attach the chain using a SC at the next marker. Resume the pattern until the next marker and repeat for the next handle. Continue the fishnet pattern until the end of the row.
- HDC in each chain space 3 times, and 1 HDC in SC (you may have to do one or two more depending on your gauge. It stretches a lot, though you do not want it to ripple). Work HDCs until you get to a handle. Do 1 HDC from around the same space the SC is to make the handle more secure, then continue HDCs up the handle in each chain. When you reach the end of the handle, HDC in the chain space before the SC, then continue around the edge of the bag until you reach the end.
If you want thicker handles, do the edging again at least once more. You may also use Single crochet/whatever instead of Half Doubles – I just like Half Double crochets and like to toss them in when I can.
Feel free to add extras – attach crochet flowers, hearts (this is a cute tiny heart pattern ) or beads. I would of added something cute, but these bags are for my boyfriend and they need to be “manly”.
I should really make one in black….
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada License. Pattern created by Char Gascho. Pattern is for personal and non-commercial use.