My summer project took less time than I thought...

WARNING; This post is MASSIVE and full of photos of crochet. 

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Last week I read this post about a chunky bag on Attic 24.  My, but Lucy can really crochet. I mean, really. I wonder if she has a family of elves hidden in her understairs cupboard who sit, patiently, hooking away to complete her projects. Although, not elves. Elves are too... ethereal to crochet. It takes a more down to earth species to crochet. Like dwarves (no, too heavy handed) or gnomes (euch! too green fingered) or..., yes, I have it... hobbits. Crochet is an ideal hobbit craft. It's quick, easy, portable (so you can do it at the pub) and makes lovely stuff in the round. Perhaps Frodo really crocheted his tobacco pouch, or Sam hooked his garden flowers with pleasure as he sat back outside Bag End. You can find ideas for hobbit crochet here, but my favourite has to be either the crochet Smaug or the idea that Geek Central has amigurumi figures with separate clothes made from felt.

No, wait. It's the feet from Happily Grim. They are my ult fave hobbit crochet. Absolutely.

But I digress. I'm not writing about hobbit crochet, oh no, I'm sharing some good news... I finished the crochet on another project. Yeay! Another thing done! And this one wasn't on my to do list either! Inspired by Attic 24's chunky bag, I bought a pack of chunky wool from Wool Warehouse and sat down to look at the instructions for the bag.

Then I thought, "I don't like the base. It's too... curvy. Too baggy. I could lose everything in there and never find it again. I want something.... different."

So I did an oblong base. I chained 19 stitches, did a foundation line of single crochet and then did 5 rounds of crochet, a treble in each space with 2 chains at each corner and initially 2 stitches across the ends. This gave me a nice rectangular base to build on.

I crocheted straight rounds up for the sides, slip stitching at each end and joining on a new colour every row. Chunky really is a fast wool to work with, I'd forgotten that from my forays into children's clothes in my past. It took 26 rows until I thought the bag was big enough. And then I looked at the instructions (you know, the ones I haven't followed so far) and thought "I don't like the handles. You have to sew on those handles. I don't want to sew on the handles. And won't they stretch anyway?"

So I thought again, and decided that I like one shoulder strap, hobo style and that if I did that, I could line the whole bag very reasonably and put pockets inside. I like pockets. It's extra places to lose stuff.

So I planned out my strap; I put markers on the bag with 25 stitches set out on either side. I figured I could decrease at either end to give a nice slope to the strap and I worked 7 rows decreasing either side until I had 11 stitches left. That's about 3 inches or 7cm wide, comfortable enough to sit on a shoulder all day if necessary.

Then I did individual rows of 11 stitches to make the shoulder strap. 31 individual rows to be exact and I like being exact. See the photo? That's only 10 yarn ends on either side. 10. Imagine how messy 31 could be?

 I had to sew them in as I went along, otherwise the whole strap was just beginning to radiate that Johnny Cash (but colourful) 1979 'fringes are way cooler than anything else ever invented' vibe. I could hear Ring of Fire vibrating through my brain. And I like Ring of Fire, but it's not a good look on a strap. So I sewed in the ends.

The next day I edged the handle with a line of single crochet, all the way around on two sides. At this point the idea of Mobius crochet struck me. That's for another day as well.

And I wondered if I was finished. Well, it looks bag like. The ends are neat, the bottom well sealed, the texture good enough to use as a bag. But I don't like open bags. I like a flap or a fastener, or something security related. And the bag is plain. I know Lucy has flowers on hers, and I'm thinking about that, I am, but I wanted something to make a statement.

Books are my friend. Books are sometimes my best friends. I looked in my collection, I sought out sage advice and I found my coaster print out that I took away with me last year to make on holiday. An ideal hexagonal flower shaped thing.
 I like it. It's like a rose in the summer sun. Ah. I sewed it on so it overhung the gap, roughly half and half but with a slight bias towards the front of the bag.
The Attic 24 pack comes with a choice of buttons, 8 in total. These were the 5 I thought I liked best. I got 2 packs, so I could decide which ones I liked best. And the winner was.....

OK, so it was an easy choice. The edging and the buttons had to match. Either that, or I needed some nice wooden ones but that involves shopping or postal service and I am NOT A PATIENT WOMAN. The corner turns on the hexagonal coaster thingy work well as buttonholes, too, so that was another easy result.

My bag is good, my bag is useable. I want to line it and I have a material coming from ebay which I think will be really beautful, but that won't arrive until the weekend. I hope I can find time on Sunday to do it. It won't stop me using the bag now. *swoon* I like it too much.

And I was wondering about putting in a gratuitous shot of my Filofax in my bag to see if this post makes it to Philofaxy.... but I figured that was mean and I'm trying so hard to be kind.

OK not that hard. It does match, though? See the red and the green? I love it. And I'm happy to use it.


  1. Get you, making up your own design, there'll be no stopping you now. It looks fabulous, I love the modifications you've made, it's truly unique. I just knew the edging and buttons would be red.

    1. I did think about writing the pattern up, but that's just so long-winded. It's not a hard design, so I expect somebody could follow the instructions anyway. It's very comfortable to use!

  2. Wonderful and unique. I love that you use the pattern as something to refer to only if you get bored! Freestyle all the way!

    1. Inspiration rather than instruction. Like the leaflets they give you in flat pack furniture.

  3. It's really lovely, so colourful, and I like the way you modified the pattern to suit your own needs better. That long strap is fab. x

    1. Thank you! It's very boho.... now, if only I truly were! A little channelling of Sienna miller needed, I think!

  4. Your bag is gorgeous. I read Lucy's blog post about her bag and thought it was gorgeous too. She has to be a very fast worker!

  5. I swear it's the hobbits. They must do all the crocheting!

  6. It's fantastic, clever you. I think you must have a hobbit or two stashed away somewhere as well!

  7. My feet are hairy enough, I have to admit! And I could keep them happy with plenty to do, but I will have to get hooky and make my own hobbit, alas, as I have none hidden in the house! But who to start with? Peregrin? Merry? Not Frodo....


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