I bought this Scheepjes Cotton 8 ages ago in a sale as I really fancied giving cotton a go. The colours were gorgeous but I had no idea what project to use it for.
I ended up making a ZootyOwl Starflower mandala (pattern here) and a teeny freestyle one I made up as I went, a couple of bralettes which I have neither the figure nor will to wear (I followed a youtube video I can no longer find) and a few brooches from a pattern by lucy at attic24 (pattern here).
Then I ran out of ideas… so the remaining cotton was packed away in its suitcase and put on a shelf… until a week ago when the idea for the bag crept into my mind.
I knew I wanted to make more items using the crocodile stitch – it had been one of those stitches that took me quite a while to get the hang of but after making dozens of pairs of gloves for Christmas presents I feel like I can make a decent looking stitch now.
Having formed the basis of an idea I decided to go with the cotton as I wanted to stitches to look ‘sharp’ and if I am honest I wanted a rainbow shaded bag and the cotton was already sat in its little suitcase all rainbowy and ready to go – whereas I would need to actively look through my mountains of acrylic to select the shades – like I said lazy!
I ended up using the following shades:
Bordeaux, Red, Orange, Light Orange, Yellow, Light Green, Green, Petrol, Bright Blue, Heath, Moors, Fuschia and Pink.
Any yarn will work but the dimensions of the bag will differ depending on the weight of the wool and hook used. My bag ended up approx 13 inches wide, 2 inches deep and 14 inches long, with a 41 inch long strap. The bag does require some basic sewing but this can be done by machine or by hand. There is a fantastic tutorial on Craftsy on how to line a crochet bag.
To make the bag you will need…
Yarn – I used an entire ball of the bordeaux and was left with a 3rd of a ball left of the remaining colours (cotton 8 is 170m per ball and 4 ply)
Hook – 3mm or a hook suitable for the yarn you choose
Yarn needle, scissors,
Lining material of your choice, zip (optional), Sewing pins, ruler and a means to sew it (i used my sewing machine for the lining and hand sewed it to the bag).
ch – chain
sc – single crochet
dc – double crochet
ss – slip stitch
V stitch = dc, ch 1, dc in same stitch
You will need to know how to do a crocodile stitch you can find an easy to understand guide from Red heart here…
You will be working in both sides of the chain.
rd 1 – In the fourth chain from hook dc (this counts as 2 dc into space)
dc in next 50 chain spaces then dc four times in the last chain, working along the other side of the chain dc in the next 50 stitches and dc twice in the last space, ss into the top of the ch3 to close.
You should have 50 dc and two sets of 4 dc at each end. (108 stitches)
rd 2 – ch 3 and dc into same stitch (counts as two dc), dc in each of the next 51 spaces, 2 dc into the next two stitches, dc in each of the next 51 stitches, dc twice in the last stitch and ss into the top of the ch 3 to close. (112 stitches).
that is the base of the bag done – time to make like a crocodile!
rd 3 – ch 4 and dc into the same space (counts as a v stitch) ch 1, *skip one stitch, dc, ch1 into next, skip the next stitch and v stitch, ch1 into the next* repeat from *to* around – you should end with a dc, ch1 and ss into the top of the ch 3.
rd 4 – in this round you will be creating crocodile stitches around the posts of the v stitches and slip stitching around the posts of the dc stitches. To begin ch 1 then dc five times around the first v stitch post, ch1 – dc 5 times around the second post of the v stitch, ss around the post of the next dc – that should be one crocodile stitch made
*dc 5 times around the first post of the next v stitch, ch1 and dc 5 times around the post of the second v stitch, ss around the post of the next dc* – repeat from *to* around, ss into the top of the last dc to close (i tend to slip stitch through both the corner of the first crocodile stitch and the top of the last dc in order to make the work look even)
change yarn if you are going multicoloured – make sure to attach new yarn where a dc was placed in rd 3 – not in a v stitch space from rd 3
rd 5 – in this round you will be placing v stitches in the spaces between the crocodile stitches (in the tops of the dc’s from rd 3) and a dc in the middle of the crocodile stitches.
Ch 4 and dc into same space, ch 1, dc into middle of next crocodile stitch, ch1, *make a v stitch in the next space, ch 1, dc into middle of the next crocodile stitch ch1* repeat from *to* around and ss in to the top of the ch3 to close
rd 6 – repeat rd 4
from here on you will be repeating rounds 4 and 5 until the bag reaches the desired length. I ended up with 26 colour changes in total
finishing off the top of the bag
Once you have completed your crocodile stitch rows decide what colour you wish to do the last two rounds with (i chose bordeaux) attach your yarn. I single crocheted twice in the middles of the crocodile stitches and spaced two single crochets evenly in the spaces between the middle, slip stitched to close , ch 1 and sc around, ss to close, cut yarn and weave in ends. You can make the top of the bag wider by adding more rows of single crochet but I was happy with just the two, it gave enough space to sew the lining to without detracting from the crocodile stitching.
For the strap:
chain 9, sc into second chain from hook, sc across, (8 stitches)
ch1, sc into same space, sc across (8 stitches)
repeat until strap is desired length. Attach contrasting yarn (i went with the pink) and sc evenly around all four sides of the strap making sure to sc twice in each corner, ss into first sc, cut yarn and weave in ends.
sew strap to top of bag.
Cut out and sew together your lining (if adventurous including zip or pockets) then hand stitch to your bag.
You’re done! all that’s left is to sit back and marvel at your awesomeness!
I am in love with this bag – the cotton makes the crocodile stitches sharper and the colours make me smile (who doesn’t love a rainbow?).
With the left over cotton I am in the process of making a smaller version of the bag which is made in exactly the same way but starts with a ch 35 instead of 55.
If you give this or any of my other patterns a go I would love to see them 🙂