Crochet with Kate: Bobbly Tote Shopper!
As any girl knows, a different bag is needed for every single activity, and this little beauty is the perfect choice for a good day’s shopping! Whether you’re off to buy veg and fruit or heading out for a day in town this light and versatile bag is all you will need!
It couldn’t be simpler to make, and best of all, it will last and last and keep its shape forever as tucked inside the crochet outer is a hessian bag providing not only strength and shape but also 2 handles!
You will need:
- Red Heart Soft Aran (or any aran weight yarn)
- Kate used 6 balls of Nature (0002) and 3 balls of Wheat (9388)
- A tapestry needle for sewing ends
- A 3.5mm hook
For this bag I used an aran weight yarn as I wanted the bag to have a good, solid texture. This is helped too by the fact that you will be working with both colours at the same time, with the Tapestry crochet technique. The bag is made up of several different pieces: you will be making a front and a back panel, a long strip for the bottom and sides and four smaller pieces for finishing off the top edges.
Front and back panels:
For each panel work as follows:
Using one strand of Nature make a chain of 60. ( 59 + 1 )
Row 1: Working into the second chain from the hook and with a strand of the Wheat running along the top of your chain work a row of dc. At the end of the row ch 1 and turn, twisting the two yarns together as you do so to keep the Wheat in place.
Rows 2 , 3 and 4: Continue working rows of dc, with the strand of Wheat laying along the top of your last row of stiches so that you can work it in to each stitch as you go. At the end of each row remember to ch 1 and turn, anchoring the Wheat as you do so.
Row 5: This is going to be your first bobble row. With your strand of wheat running along the top of your stitches from the last row, dc 5, make a bobble, dc 11, make a bobble and so on to the end of the row. At the end of the row remember to ch 1 and turn.
To make a bobble:
After your 5th dc ( or 11th for Bobble Row 2 ) bring your wheat yarn up and in to the 6th stitch work a ch of 3 in Wheat. Then work a further 5 tr in to the same stitch leaving the final loop of each tr on your hook. You will end up with a total of 6 Wheat loops and 1 Nature loop on your hook.
Bring your Nature yarn over your hook and pull through all 7 loops.
Continue working along the row in dc for the required number of stitches, keeping the Wheat lying along the top of the last row of stitches again. At the end of the row remember to ch 1 and turn.
After Bobble Row 1 work 11 further rows of dc.
At the end of each row ch1 and turn. Your 12th row will be Bobble Row 2.
Bobble Row 2: dc 11, make bobble, dc 11, make bobble and so on all the way to the end of the row, ch 1 and turn. Work 11 rows of dc and then repeat Bobble Row 1.
Continue working , alternating Bobble Row 1 and 2 on every 12th row. Work 7 rows of bobbles in total.
After your final bobble row work a further 4 rows of dc. On the 4th row (RS) work to the end and continue to work around the corner and all the way around the whole panel.
Work 2 dc in to each corner stitch to avoid the panel becoming tight and losing its shape.
Finish this ending row with a sl st in to the first st at the start of the round.
Work a further 2 rounds of dc. Ch 1 to start each round, working 2 dc in to each corner st. Sl st to finish each round. On the final round finish off and sew in your ends.
You will need to make 2 of these panels, one for the front and one for the back.
We are now to going to make the long strip that runs all the way down the sides and along the bottom of the bag. This will be made in the alternate colour way to the back and front panels. This panel will be worked in exactly the same way as the front and back panels, except that your main colour will be the Wheat and your Nature yarn will be the one running along the top of each row of stitches and the one that you make the bobbles with.
Using the Wheat yarn make a ch of 202. ( 201 + 1 ) Beginning in the second st from the hook on Row 1 work 4 rows of dc, remembering to work the Nature in from the first row onwards.
At the end of each row ch 1 and turn. Row 5: Bobble Row 1. At the end of the row ch 1 and turn.
Work 11 rows of dc, remembering to keep working your strand of Nature in and to ch 1 and turn at the end of each row.
On the 12th row work Bobble Row 2, continue working , alternating Bobble Rows 1 and 2 every 12th row. You will need to work 4 bobble rows in total.
After the final row of bobbles work a further 4 rows of dc. At the end of this row finish off and sew in your ends. Your bag can now start taking shape. Start by pinning one of the panels on to the long strip. I found that a good way to get the spacing correct was to fold the panel in half from top to bottom and the long strip in half from side to side. Match the two folds up against each other and pin in place, easing the panels as you go to help it fit exactly.
Once the panels are pinned you can start to join them. Using one strand of Wheat and working in dc start from one end and work your way around from top edge to top edge. Work 2 or 3 dc into each corner stitch to stop the bag becoming out of shape.
Finish off and sew in any ends. Now pin the second panel in position and sew together in the same way.
Your bag should now have a lovely dc joining seam on the outside and be looking something like this on the inside. At this point finish off any ends.
When both the front and back panel are sewn on carefully place your hessian bag inside. Make sure you position it carefully so that the sides all match up. Once in position pin into place along the top of the bag and using a needle and thread stitch the two together with a basic tacking stitch.
To finish the bag off we are now going to add a couple of edging pieces to the top of the bag and two smaller pieces to cover the handle strap.
Outside top edging:
Working in Nature make a chain of 211 ( 210 + 1 ). Work 5 rows of dc. Ch 1 at the end of each row. Finish off the Nature yarn and sew in end. Join in Wheat and edge the strip as follows: sl st 2, ch 2, sl st 2, ch 2 and so on all the way along to the end. Finish off and sew in ends.
Inside top edging:
Working in Nature make a chain of 176 ( 175 + 1 ). Work 6 rows of dc, remembering to ch 1 at the end of each row. Finish off and sew in yarn.
Handle strap covers:
Working in Nature make a chain of 16 ( 15 + 1 ). Work 25 rows in dc. Ch 1 at the end of each row. Finish off and sew in ends. Working in Wheat edge the two long sides of each piece as follows: sl st 2, ch 2, sl st 2, ch 2 and so on to the end. Finish off and sew in ends.
Start by laying the two crochet strap covers over the hessian straps. Pin in place.
Next pin the plain edging strip on the inside top edge of the bag and then do the same with the outer edging strip. The idea with these edgings is that not only will they neaten the overall finish of the bag but they will also secure everything in place.
Once all the edging and covering strips are in place stitch in place with a needle and thread using a basic tacking stitch.
Once everything has been sewn down finish off by over sewing all the top edges together with a needle and double thread of Wheat yarn.
And there you are! A stunning, super strong, super stylish bobbly shopping tote!
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