As you have by now gathered, most of my projects are knitted items. I do like to crochet as it’s faster than knitting but I’m not as good at reading crochet patterns as I am at reading a knitting pattern. For a while now I’ve been wanting to crochet a traditional looking eco market string bag; I’ve searched the internet for patterns, printed off a few but once I start reading them all the instructions just start swimming in front of my eyes and I give up!
A while ago I attempted this crocheted market bag called the Everyday Market Bag. The reason why I thought I’d give it a go was because it said it was easy! The instructions were very detailed to the point they were confusing. Here’s a direct link to them. What do you think?
I had completed about six inches when I gave up as I was so confused. I checked on Ravelry and obviously I wasn’t the only one. The general consensus was that the pattern was very poorly written. One Raveller even rewrote the pattern in easier pattern language but that still didn’t give me enough incentive to keep going so I put it aside.
So last week the latest copy of Australian Creative Knitting Magazine arrives in my letter box and lo and behold there’s a crocheted market bag pattern in it..
I read the pattern and actually thought I’d be able to make it!!! So I gathered some of that rather coarse wool that I wound into lots of balls a while ago.
It’s the perfect wool for a market bag as it looks just like jute….very rustic. So I sat down a few days ago with the wool, my crochet hook and the pattern and this is what I produced…
Yup that’s right….I actually crocheted two bags. The smaller one on the right was my first one. I used a size 5 hook for the body and size 4 for the handles. I also misinterpreted how to finish off the handles and just made up my own version which works well. The larger bag on the left was crocheted using only a size 5 hook and including one extra repeat. This time I read the pattern instruction for the final row of the handles over and over again until it sank in. In fact, I read it out loud a few times….my neighbours must think I’m losing the plot!
They look great and I’m really pleased with them but how about adding some leaves…
and maybe some flowers….
The pattern for the leaves is from the book The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting by Margaret Hubert. I borrowed it from the local library. The pattern for the flowers is from the Pansy Motif by Carol Schoenfelder and can be found free on Ravelry. Needless to say, I can now make the leaves and flowers in my sleep after knitting 16 leaves and crocheting eight flowers!! But I think it was worth the effort don’t you?
Oh and of course there’s a button in the middle of each flower.
I just can’t stop looking at them as I’m so pleased with the result.
This will definitely be my ‘go to’ pattern for a crocheted market bag.
The flowers and leaves really make the bags ‘pop’. The yarn I used for the flowers is just a cheap acrylic from Lincraft called Double Knitting and it’s an 8ply yarn. I bought it ages ago as I was quite taken with the colours (so glad I did). The yarn used for the leaves is Sullivans Coton-A which is a 60% cotton / 40% acrylic yarn. It’s a 5ply / sport weight and the recommended needle size is 5 but I used a 3.25mm for the leaves to try and make them quite dense.
Now for a few close up pics of the flowers and leaves.
And one more. I’m feeling quite chuffed and proud of myself 🙂
I love it when a project works out beyond my expectations especially when I’m using a craft that is not my number one craft.
So that’s how I spent the couple of days before Christmas and part of Christmas Day…crocheting two market bags from the perfect yarn! And of course, I made lunch and spent it with my favourite (and only) son!
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day spent with either family or friends and I hope you also managed to fit in a bit of knitting or crocheting too.
Until next time…