Sling bag

June 13, 2005

The Dark Side

It had to happen sometime. I've gone crochet.

Have you seen this lovely pattern?? Its from the RYC Classic Holiday book. I saw it online, bought the book, and found out that this bag is created soley through the dark art of crochet. oh. all crochet. not just an edging or optional finishing. The whole thing is crocheted.


What's a silly thing like crochet to stand between me and a cute bag? On Saturday, I gathered supplies and set out to learn it.


One copy Cozy Crochet, a super cute book dedicated to the dark side.
One set Boye hooks in many sizes.
Some yarn scraps.
The RYC Classic Holiday book, containing super cute bag pattern.
One cat (optional).

Following directions is really my thing. Nothing please me more than going through step-by-step instructions successfully. So I decided to do the beginner projects in Cozy Crochet. The first project is a very simple dishcloth in single crochet. I had enough yarn for half.


Then I made the next project, coasters, from the leftover Kool-aid yarn.


Finally, I decided I was ready to tackle the actual sling bag pattern, and practiced on the remaining yarn scraps.


See how its all ruffly?? A mistake. This wasn't a not-knowing-how-to-crochet error as much as it was a not-paying-attention-to-the-pattern error. Luckily, a helpful woman at the yarn store set me straight.

What's that? The yarn store? um yes. Projects on the dark side require yarn too. Nice yarn like Rowan Cotton Glace:


I almost don't want to say this, but here it is: crochet is actually fun. I got the same "hey look what I can do!" feeling that comes with first learning to knit. its not too bad over here on the dark side. not too bad at all.

June 14, 2005

The crochet goes on

The sling bag is starting to look like a bag!


Although its not going to be cylindrical. The shape should be something like this:


According to my calculations, there are only 5 more rounds until the split for the handles. hmmmm. How could this be enough? Cotton Glace is a bit skinnier than the recommended Cashcotton, so I think I'll do some extra rounds just to be sure. Of course, that could cause a serious yarn shortage, but this is a chance every knitter must take.

You know what? Crochet is just like knitting. except the stitches aren't held on a needle until the end. Each stitch can stand on its own right away.

Also, unlike knitting, crochet looks like this:


The increases are the same as knitting though! It starts in the middle with a neat little circle thing, then increases are done in rounds, first increasing every stitch, then every other stitch, then every 3rd stitch.. (you get where this is going, right?) Eventually, the increases stop and you start working in plain rounds.

Its a different sort of look. Its not a look that makes me want to make shirts out of it, but for a bag - perfect.

June 16, 2005

A whole new sling bag

Remember how the sling bag looked a few days ago? How it was starting to actually look like a bag? Well, today the sling bag looks more like potholder than a bag.


Last night, after completing the required number of rows and getting to the point where the bag splits into two handles, I decided my gauge was quite wrong. I was creating this dense, dense fabric that didn't so much resemble the picture in the book. This must be the reason it doesn't really look like a bag, I thought.

A looser gauge is the only solution. and the only way to get there is to undo what has been done. By 11:15pm, the bag was mostly back to yarn. I kept the bottom part with the increases, because hey, that part can be stronger and denser, so loose change doesn't fall out! Also, I didn't really want to redo this part.

Now, this wouldn't be necessary if I hadn't purchased yarn of a prehistoric dye lot. If more of this same color was available, I could keep on going with the uber-dense fabric and just buy more. Alas, I may be in possession of the last 5 skeins of this particular flavor of Cotton Glace shade 814. The ones I saw at Purl yesterday were off just enough to matter.

This pattern has no schematic(argh), but there is this sketch, from the "Designer's Notebook" section of the pattern book.


The new plan: crochet looser, and hope for the best.

June 19, 2005

Return of the Half-knitted Items

The other day I noticed that half-knitted things were lounging on nearly every available surface in my room. Now, this is especially disturbing because at one point in time, I declared myself a one-project-at-a-time knitter. Ooops. guess I fell off that wagon.

Cases in point:

1. A partially knitted One Skein Wonder, looking lovely in pink on my nighstand.


2. The crocheted sling bag, travel-ready in a ziploc, waiting for a good subway ride on my fiber cabinet. (Yes, I have a piece of furniture whose sole purpose is to store yarn...there's no going back now.)


3. Long neglected, Orangina waits patiently on the top of the bookshelf, hoping someday to get that last 2 inches of ribbing. Someday.


4. Hiding out next to Orangina is a sock and half so unloved it didn't even warrant mention here before now. I made it quite far on this pair of socks before deciding the gauge is too loose and have yet to decide whether this development warrants ripping.


My goal: finish these knit items and send them on their way!

June 23, 2005

Beach Ready

Check out what is finished!


Its the sling bag, all crocheted out and ready for the beach.

slingbag_model_side.jpg slingbag_model_open.jpg

Here are the specs:
Pattern: Sling bag from Rowan Classic Holiday
Yarn: Cotton Glace, shade 814, 6 skeins
Crochet hook: Size F (I think, one size up from the pattern recommendation)

Some Notes:

Crochet. This was my first crochet project. It was super easy. If you're thinking about trying crochet, this is a decent beginner project. Its all one stitch, kinda the crochet equivalent of garter stitch, with simple increases and decreases.

Ties. I think the ties were supposed to just go through the bottom row of the straps, where the straps divide. I wanted the bottom of the bag to appear deeper, so I laced the ties through about 10 rows between the straps. Its virtually unnoticable.


Yarn Shortage. Its important to buy enough yarn! My LYS only had 5 skeins of cotton glace, which I somehow thought was enough. It was such a perfect color, it had to be enough. Alas, color perfection is unrelated to yardage and 5 skeins got me about halfway up the straps.

Luckily, through a stroke of goodwill that can only happen in blogland, Julia noticed my plight in a previous entry and offered a skein *of the same dyelot* from her own stash. Julia totally rocks. The sling bag would not have been the sling bag without this:




diana AT streetsandyos DOT com