04 June 2008

How to Crochet a Classic String Bag

Need reusable shopping bags? Want something thats funky, colourful and that you can make yourself? Try this Classic String Bag - its super easy using only chain stich and slip stich!

2 50g ball of crochet cotton size 10
2.00mm hook

30 x 35cm (12 x 14in)

10 loops should be close to 10cm (14in)

1. When making a tube the work is not turned and there is no real beginning or end after row 1.
2. If you leave a length of cotton approximately 50cm (20in) long before making the slip knot, this length of yarn can then be used to sew up the base of the bag without joining in a new piece of cotton
3. After working 10 to 20 loops of the second row or spiral, put a safety pin in the loop on your hook, to stop it unravelling, and connect the chain into a circle. This will make it easier to know where to insert your hook when you come to the end of what is technically round 2.
4. You can be economical with your thread by working the handles first

Make 6 lengths of chain each 46cm (18in) long.

Work 244 ch.
Row 1: 1ss in 8th chain from hook, *5ch, miss 3ch, 1ss in next ch, rep from * to end of chain (60 lps)
Row 2: 5ch, 1ss in next chsp (this is the space of the first lp made in row one and changes rows into rounds). *5ch, 1ss in next chsp, rep from * in a continuous spiral until approx 35cm (14in) in length has been completed, or until the thread runs out. Fasten off

To complete
Sew the bottom of the bag by flattening the tube and joining the two halves together.
When the bag is flat there should be 30 loops on each side of the bag. Securely attach one end of a handle chain into the 5th, one into the 7th, and one into the 9th loop.
Plait these three lengths of chain 6cm (2 1/2in) from the bag until 6cm of the chain is left.
Securely join the three ends into the loops, missing 12 loops free in the centre.
Attach the remaining 3 lengths of chain to the other side of the bag the same way.
Place a little sewing stitch at the end of the plait to hold the strands together and prevent unravelling.

You may like to slide some clear plastic tubing over the handles to make it more comfortable to carry!!

**This bag is easily adapted using double knitting cotton and a 4.00mm hook. Begin with 120ch, whcih will give you 30 loops at the end of Row 1. When attaching the lengths of chain for handles place one chain in loop 2, one in 3 and one in 4, leaving 7 loops free in the centre of each side.

This pattern is taken from 'How to Crochet' by Pauline Turner

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