Crochet with Kate: Super Shopper!
This week in England, shoppers now officially have to pay 5p for a plastic bag, joining many other countries around the world to contribute to the global effort to save the planet. Of course this gives crocheters a fabulous chance to create their own, gorgeous shoppers!
Bags are a brilliant opportunity to express some crochet love! Kate Eastwood from the Just Pootling blog has created the most fantastic tutorial for a super shopper that you will love taking to the supermarket, to school (as a teacher or pupil!), to college, to uni or as a fabulous stash bag for your latest WIP! Jaw-droppingly gorgeous, this fabulous bag has a heart worked into the sides, and is made over the top of a jute bag for extra strength!
Made with Wendy Supreme Cotton Chunky yarn, and worked with two strands of yarn, the crochet fabric for this bag works up beautifully rigid but just in case those books are extra weighty – and because once made you will want your bag to last forever – inside the crochet bag is a hessian shopping bag to give a solid framework to your bag and also to provide you with two handles.
You will need:
- 8 x balls of Wendy Supreme Cotton Chunky in Pear 1430
- 5 x balls of Wendy Supreme Cotton Chunky in Cream 1421
- A 6mm hook for the main part of the bag and a 4.5 mm hook for the edging pieces and finishing off
- A hessian shopping bag ( approx size: 40 cm wide, 34cm high, 18 cm deep )
Front and back panel (make 2)
Make a loose chain of 48 using a 6mm hook (you may prefer to work the chain in a 6.5 mm hook to keep it loose.)
Row 1: This is where you start the tapestry bit of your crochet and it is nothing more complicated than laying a strand of the cream yarn (the yarn you are not currently using) along the top of your chain.
As you work along the row crochet over the cream yarn and it will just automatically become worked in to your stitches. Just keep checking that the cream yarn stays running along the top of each last row and every now and again give it a very gently pull to make sure it is at the same tension as your green. If you notice that the cream is very obviously sticking out between your stitches it just means you need to pull it tighter and straighter.
So, holding your cream yarn in position, and starting in the second chain from the hook, work your first row in DC.
At the end of each row you will need to CH 1 and turn. When you make the CH 1 trap the cream yarn in to the CH just to hold it in place.
Work a further 9 rows of DC, remembering to CH 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Row 11: This is the first row of pattern.
When crocheting a tapestry crochet pattern you can either work from a chart or just use simple counting. I have included both a chart and also instructions written in the counting method.
Looking at this chart you will see that the space below the heart signifies the rows of plain DC that you have already worked. As you have completed 10 rows you are now on the 11th row and ready for your first pattern row.
So, working from either the chart or the numbers, you will see that you need to begin the row by working 23 ST of DC in the green. You will then be working 1 ST in the cream and then a further 23 ST in the green.
Changing colour: When working the tapestry crochet method changing colour is very simple. The colour that you will be changing to is the yarn that you have been working in along the top of all of your previous rows. So to change from one colour to the other you simply make the last yarn over of your final stitch in the first colour, in the new colour.
The picture below shows this as I have already worked 23 DC in green. I am now on the 23rd ST and the final yarn over is made in the cream.
You are now going to work 1 ST in cream.
Remember though that because you are only working 1 ST in the cream on this row the final loop of the cream ST will need to be made in the green.
You are now ready with the green to work the final 23 ST of this row.
Now just continue working the pattern as you go, remembering to CH 1 and turn at the end of every row.
As you work just remember also to keep giving the yarn not currently being used a gentle pull to keep the tension right. I find a good time to do this is at the end of every row before the CH 1.
Just be careful not to pull too hard as this can leave your work a little out of shape.
As you get further up the heart you will need to work some green into the middle of the heart to get the correct shape. Do this exactly as you have done before by making the final loop of last cream ST in the green.
Once you have completed the pattern you will be continuing in rows of green DC, with the cream still worked in as before. In total work 13 rows of green.
The 13th row will be a Right Side row and your final row. At the end of this row just continue working in DC all the way around the panel, and work 2DC in to each corner ST to keep the shape. Then work a second round of DC, finish off and sew in your ends.
Once this panel is complete make a second identical one for the back.
Side and bottom panel:
Make a loose chain of 141 using a 6mm hook (you may prefer to work the chain in a 6.5 mm hook to keep it loose.)
Starting in the second chain from the hook on the first row, work 25 rows of DC, incorporating the cream yarn as before.
Finish off and sew in your ends.
The next step is to pin your front and back panels to the side and bottom panel. I found a good way to get this accurate was to fold both panels in half length ways and then match the panels at the folds and ease and pin in to place.
To join the panels together work DC all along the joining seams. I worked mine in the cream.
When all your seams are joined place your hessian bag inside the crochet bag. It is worth spending a bit of time at this point ensuring the bags are in line with each other and placed correctly.
When you are happy with this, pin the two bags together and stitch the two together around the top edge with a basic tacking stitch.
Handle straps and edging pieces
To add the finishing touches to your bag you now need to make two strap covers and two edging pieces.
For the handle covers I used one strand of the green and a 4.5mm hook.
Make a loose chain of 86 (85+1), and starting in the second chain from the hook on the first row, work 8 rows of DC. Finish off and sew in the ends. Make 2.
Fold the handle covers in half around the handles and join together with DC all the way along. Use the end of the yarn to stitch the handle covers to the main bag.
Inside edging piece:
Using the cream yarn and a 4.5 mm hook make a loose chain of 146 (145+1). Beginning in the second chain from the hook on the first row, work 5 rows of DC. Finish off and sew in ends.
Outside edging piece
Using the cream yarn and a 4.5mm hook make a loose chain of 171 (170+1). Beginning in the second chain from the hook on the first row, work 5 rows of DC.
For the final row, with RS facing CH 3 and then work a further 3 TR in to the same ST. Continue along the row working 4 TR in to each ST. Finish off and sew in ends.
The final step is to pin the two edging pieces in to place and join along the top edge with a round of DC. I worked a few SL ST when working round the handles.
Once the edging strips are joined along the top carefully stitch the bottom of the two edging pieces together by running a basic tacking stitch, from front to back, just above the frill. The inside of the handles covers can also be tacked in to place.
And that’s it – you’re done ! You are now the proud owner of a beautifully hand crafted and very unique bag!
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