I am sat writing this lovely chatty post after spending days and days (and more days) working on the most humungous tutorial you ever did set your eyes on, gosh it really has been a labour of love. In fact, everything about this bag has taken a ridiculously long time to pull together, and I am stunned to tell you that I made the first prototypes of this bag more than two years ago now. Two years!!! It seems that this bag has been stuck in rather a long pipeline, but finally, at long last we are no longer stuck and there are no more blocked pipes! Yippeeeee!!! So without further ado, here is the story of the Weekend Bag.....
I do have a soft spot for crochet bags, being that my original yarn bag was the very first pattern I wrote and shared here on my blog way back in 2008. A few years ago I made a smaller, chunky version of the original bag (that's it in the above photo, looking rather jolly and useful as it holds my yarn so beautifully). I use these two bags all the time for holding yarn and carrying my crochet projects about in, but I've always wanted to make more of an Everyday sort of a bag that can be used and worn almost like a hooky accessory. The design and shape of this bag has been swishing around inside my Creative Mind for what seems like ForEvEr. I knew this bag would need to start with an oval base, but honestly my brain just couldn't really seem to work out how to make this happen. Eventually I got fed up thinking about it all the time and simply got stuck into attempting to make it. The very first bag I made was way too small. The second bag I made was too long and skinny. But the third bag (beginning it's life in the above photo) came out just right. There might have been a bit of a happy dance here in the Attic!
The Weekend Bag is made from Stylecraft Special Chunky yarn and a 5mm hook to keep the stitches nice and tight. The body of the bag is worked in rounds of UK half trebles (thats hdc stitch in the US), beginning with a flat oval shape to form the base, then moving up in quick easy stripes.....
.....oh such delicious stripyness!! The curvy shape is rather pleasing I have to say :)
The bag flap is worked directly into the top edge of the bag body which is neat as there is actually very little stitching up involved with this design.
The handle is made using long rows of UK double crochet (that's sc stitch in the US) - this makes the strap very tight and sturdy, meaning that even with constant use it won't stretch out too much. I know this as I've been road-testing one of these bags for over a year now and it has held up remarkably well. Especially considering the amount of junk essential everyday items I feel the need to carry around with me.
I managed to source a rather fabulous magnetic fastening for my Weekend Bag - it's quite hard to find ones that you stitch in rather than clip in place, but these ones are really great. The holes are big enough that I could use a darning needle and chunky yarn to stitch them in place which means that the stitches virtually disappear.
I knew I would definitely need to make some sort of floral detail for my bag, I just adore stripes and flowers together. Chunky yarn isn't particularly great for making flowers though, so after a lot of experiments I decided to re-work and simplify my Triple Layer flower to suit the thicker yarn. I think it turned out pretty good.
At one time, Stylecraft Special Chunky yarn existed in a very limited colour palette compared to the DK. Luckily for us, Stylecraft listened to the collective voices of the yarn loving public and has been steadily increasing the number of colours available in both the Aran and Chunky weights of the Special range. In fact, I'm pretty sure there are even more new shades just launching this month, bringing the total up to 36.
I played around endlessly with the colour possibilities for my Weekend Bags, and after choosing quite light, bright Springtime shades for my first bag....
....I decided to try the pattern out with some richer, more Autumnal colours.
Even the deep, dark Burgundy looks fab in these stripes, which surprised me as it's not a colour I would usually feel comfortable with.
My third colourway is a bit like my beloved Coast Ripple blanket and uses shades of blues and greys which remind me of being by the sea in winter. I named it Seaspray, and it really does make me think about wild, rough seas, pounding waves and salty sea air.
I must say I've thoroughly enjoyed the whole idea of taking one pattern and making it using different colour combinations, what fun for my colour-loving soul!
I used 8 colours in each Weekend Bag, but actually it takes less than 300g (3 balls of yarn) to make one of these bags. It's a great stash-buster if you have odds and ends of chunky yarn left over from other projects.
I named this bag the Weekend Bag as truthfully I can easily make one of these over a weekend, they are speedy little numbers to whip up. Well, it's chunky yarn and a 5mm hook, plus the pattern is pretty simple to grasp I promise you.
I'm so sorry about the utterly rubbish nature of the above photo, very lame of me I know. But I wanted to give you some idea of the size/scale of the bag and how it can be worn across the body. I always prefer bags to be worn/carried this way as I do a lot of walking in my day to day and find that bags with shorter shoulder straps never seem to stay put on my shoulders. However, if you prefer shoulder bags, there is nothing to stop you making the strap shorter and wearing it your own way.
I've decided not to list out the colour stripe order for each bag here - I'm hoping you'll be able to use the images and have the confidence to create your Weekend Bag your way. But I thought it would be helpful if I gave you a list of the colours I used to create each colour palette to give you a starting point....
Heatwave : Burgundy, Plum, Pomegranate, Copper, Spice, Gold, Teal, Meadow
Seaspray : Graphite, Silver, Aster, Denim, Teal, Aspen, Lavender, Cloud Blue
Springtime : Pomegranate, Fondant, Spice, Lemon, Cream, Aspen, Cloud Blue, Aster
If you buy any of the Weekend Bag yarn packs from my shop at Wool Warehouse, there is a printed pattern included in the pack which does list all the colour information.
Each pack contains ::
♥ 8 x 100g chunky yarn
♥ 1 x sew-in magnetic bag closure
♥ a full colour printed pattern (including colour stripe order).
You will need your own 5mm hook
I've written up a full tutorial for the Weekend Bag, and boy oh boy I really do mean FULL!!!!!!!!
Over 5000 words and 109 photos. Yup, really that many!!! It is a very, very thorough walk through of the whole pattern, as I hope more than anything that it will give newbie crocheters the confidence to give it a go.
Wishing you a very Happy Weekend my lovelies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!