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Archive entry for August 2012

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August 2012

String Bag


A crochet "holdall" or "tote" made in dishcloth cotton (subsequently re-branded craft cotton). This one is lined and the craft cotton is soft and flexible. You could make it from a coarser type of jute, (I would use a larger hook), and leave it unlined, to use as a vegetable or market bag. I have also seen some excellent bags and bowls made from Herdwick yarn; these are crocheted very tightly to create a rigid fabric so the bags will keep their shape unsupported.


The bag is made in one piece starting at the base, and the straps are then attached separately.


Start at the base and make 21 ch.
Work in rounds as follows:

1st round: Work 3 dc into 2nd ch from hook; 1 dc in each of next 18 ch; work 3 dc into last ch; then continue along other side of ch by working 1 dc in next 18 ch; join with slip stitch to first dc of round. [42 sts]
2nd round: (inc1, 1 dc, inc1, 18 dc) twice. [46 sts]
3rd round: (2 dc, work 3 dc in next dc 20 dc) twice. [50 sts]
4th round: (1 dc, inc1, 1 dc, inc1, 1 dc, inc1, 19 dc) twice. [56 sts]
5th round: (3 dc, inc1, 2 dc, inc1, 2 dc, inc1, 18 dc) twice. [62 sts]
6th round: (5 dc, inc1, 3 dc, inc1, 21 dc) twice. [66 sts]
7th round: (9 dc, inc1, 23 dc) twice. [68 sts]
8th round: (6 dc, inc1, 6 dc, inc 20 dc) twice. [72 sts]
Base is now complete.
Next round: Make ridge by working 1 dc into back loop only of every stitch

Increase round: (inc1, 8 dc) 8 times. [80 sts]

Work in ridge pattern as follows:-

1st round: Work 1 dc in each dc.
2nd round: as 1st round but working into back loops only.

Repeat last 2 rounds until work measures 11½ ins. from the the first ridge worked at completion of base.
Fasten off.

Straps (Make 2)

Make 49 ch and work in rows.

1st row: 1 dc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc in next 47 ch , I ch , turn.
2nd row:
Miss 1 dc, 1 dc in next 47 dc, 1 ch , turn.
3rd row: as second round
Fasten off.

To Make Up:

Cut piece of card to fit base.

Cut lining, 18 x 24 inches (this lines the depth of bag and allows for gathered top as well).

From remainder of material, cut two strips for lining handles, 15 x 2 inches, and for base, draw round the card shape on material and cut out about 1 in. away from pencil outline.

Cover one side of card with lining, folding over and sticking surplus material onto the other side.
Pin one longer edge of lining round covered side of base, then stitch in position.

Join the 2 side edges of lining to make a tube.

Top Finish: Fold over top edge of lining to wrong side to make 3½ inch hem, and stitch in position. ¼ inch down from top folded edge. make 2 rows of stitching, ½ inch apart, for draw-string. Open seam between the 2 rows and insert tape.
[Editor's note: This assumes you are going with the covered-in draw-up top, but this can be left off if you wish to make the bag as a shopper.]

Slip lining into bag and stitch into position by catching the 3½ inch hemline behind crochet (about ½ inch down from top of edge of crochet).

Catch lining to base.

Line handles and stitch on each side of bag.

Draw up tape and tie.


2 x 4oz. hanks Dishcloth Cotton.
No 6 (5mm) crochet hook.
Piece of stiff card for base.
½ yard 36-inch wide glazed cotton for lining.
1 yard white tape for draw-string.
[Editor's note: This gives the bag a covered draw-up top, but this can be left off if you wish to make the bag as a shopper.]

Crochet abbreviations:

ch: = chain
dc: = double crochet
inc1: increase by working 2dc into 1dc

[Editor's note: Remember these are English crochet instructions where dc is equivalent to US single crochet - see "Terminology" in the side bar.]


3 stitches to 1 inch in width.

Size matters

Depth: 11½ inches; Oval base: 9½ x 4½ inches.

A Word on the Wool

There are a number of brands sold as "dishcloth cotton" or "craft cotton" but it's a little pot luck with the thickness - you will have to experiment with the tension and how you want the bag to look. You are looking for an Aran weight yarn with a yardage of about 75m to 50g.

Lion Brand Cotton is fairly common in the US and would be suitable if you can obtain it (and comes in exciting colours too...).

You can literally use balls of string for this kind of bag but I've always found that works out surprisingly expensive.


In transposing any patterns it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.

© Christina Coutts 2007

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