Wednesday, 11 February 2015

2 – IN - 1 BAG

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2 – IN - 1 BAG

This handbag has me fascinated.. a superb idea.. a 2-in-1 bag.. The bag can be used as a largish office bag and in the evening, if without warning, you’re suddenly got a night out – just take out all the stuff you don’t need in that bag, fold it down, and tad a!! It neatly becomes a clutch-like bag.  Neat ain’t it..

So here’s yet another lovely pattern for you. 

The Button : During our recent trip to Portugal, we visited this lovely waterfall at Pulo de Lobo, and all around were these lovely neatly smoothed pebbled.  Just for fun, I’d collected a few and thought I’d make buttons with them.  Well, here’s my first successful experiment… and ideas on how to jazz up a regular button as well. 

I’ve been inspired by this pattern which is a  wonderful free floating free one over the net.  I am, as usual, writing down my notes, and am sharing them with you. J
This bag though, has no chart, so I’m just winging it.. not that it looks like it’s going to be a lot of trouble.. we’ll see as we go along, shall we?

Materials used : Polyester purse yarn in cones  ~ just under 3 cones , with a 4 mm crochet hook
This yarn has a 4-ply or sport ply thickness.  (The amount of yarn you need will depend on the size you want your finished product)
General materials info Polyester purse yarn is available only in India.  However, you can use any yarn with a suitable hook to make this lovely project.  It looks like the designer has used a thick cotton yarn for her project.  
You will also need a large button, if you decide to use this as a 2-in-1 bag.

Stitches used :
fdc : Foundation Double Crochet : This is a unique way of starting a project directly with a row of double crochet stitches.  This makes your whole project neat and even.. in a way that you need to do once, to agree!  If you are familiar with fsc, you’ll wonder why you never used this start before !

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3,I’d like to introduce a lovely way of starting a double crochet row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using this chainless dc start.

How to attach a zipper : View 

How to line the bag : View the link below to see how to easily line your handbag.

How to make a crochet button : View the links below to see how to make crochet buttons… or use the inspiration to make your own.

Abbreviations used :
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                                              sc : Single crochet
hdc : Half double crochet                 sp : Space                                           
sl-st : Slip stitch                                       fdc : Foundation Double Crochet
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                       hk : Hook
yo : Yarn Over                                       ch : Chain

Instructions : (Using U.S terminology)
So as usual, a quick analysis of what we’re off to do.  
So I suggest we start with a row of fdc (or chain if you so desire) and then we’ll work around this row of dc, extending our work to the top.  
With this pattern, you can work with any stitch you desire - sc / hdc or dc.

In the last few rows, we’ll make a little hand holding opening that will also neatly fit into a largish button.  Methinks that the button (when folded down and used as a 2-in-1) may not really ‘hold’ the bag shut – but will be more decorative. J

Start with a sufficient number of fdc that will be equal to the width of the finished bag you’re looking at making.
This means that if you want the bag 8" wide, your first fdc or chain row is 8" long.

We will now work back on this row of fdc, then around the end and along the bottom of the fdc, such that this fdc row will then become the base of our bag.

I have used hdc through the pattern, but if you’re using a thicker yarn, you may want to opt for the sc, to get a lovely small neat stitch and a great looking finished product.

Row 1 : hdc in the 1st fdc and each fdc till end ;
Then turning your work at 90°, work 2 hdc in the last fdc (i.e the vertical bar of the fdc) ;
Then turning your work at 90°, work hdc in each fdc till end, and then once more
turning your work at 90°, work 2 hdc in that 1st fdc stitch.  Join with a sl-st to the 1st fdc.

From now on we’ll work in rounds.  If you wish to increase the width of your bag, please add 2-4 hdc at the two ends of Round 2.

Round 2 : hdc in the 1st hdc and each hdc till end . Join with a sl-st to the 1st hdc.

Rep Round 2 till you have a bag of the length/ height you desire. *  

* Remember that we are going to make a small hand hold opening and a small handle as well, in a continuous motion – so work only till the length that you want that hand hole opening / handle.  We’ll meet back here shortly.

Hand hold opening idea : 
Now this will be a general instruction as we’ve all made different sizes for our project.
So here’s what we do – count the stitches on one side of your last row and determine the centre.  Then place your hand on that centre and approximate how many stitches you’d need for a comfortable hand hold.  
Place a marker on either side of that centre stitch to denote these end points. 
Label these as Markers 1 & 2.  
Repeat for the other side and label those as Markers 3 & 4.  
Count stitches between Markers 1 & 2, and ensure they are the same as those between 3 & 4.

Remember that the opening needs to be large enough to allow the fingers to hold the top of the bag but not too large to allow the button to pop off.  That said, the button (as mentioned earlier) is probably more decorative than actually holding the bag down shut.

Round 1 : hdc in each st till 1st marker ; 
ch (as many stitches as you’ve skipped between Markers 1 & 2) , hdc in the 2nd marker ; 
hdc in each st till the 3rd marker ; 
ch (as many stitches as you’ve skipped between Markers 3 & 4), hdc in the 4th marker ; 
Join with a sl-st to the 1st hdc.  

Great.  Now before you move on, check that the holes are aligned.

Round 2 : hdc in each hdc and each ch all around. Join with a sl-st to the 1st hdc.

Round 3 : hdc in each hdc all around. Join with a sl-st to the 1st hdc.

Rep Round 3 once (or more times depending on how thick you want your hand hold) more.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Button : I’ve given you two links for jazzing up your button.
Of course, like the original pattern, you could add the simpler large button that easily slips into the hand hold as well.  
Do remember though, that if this is what you wish, you should adjust the opening accordingly, so do keep your button ready before you reach this point.

As I’ve told you before though, I’d visited a waterfall and picked up this really lovely smooth pebble and thought I’d jazz this up for my bag.  So here’s what I’ve done.
I’ve made two first halves and then joined the two together, slipping the pebble in between the halves.

First half :
Start : with a magic circle and 12 sc into that magic circle.  Join with a sl-st to the 1st sc.

Round 1 : *ch 3, sc in the next sc* ; rep *to* all around till end.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

Second half :
Start : with a magic circle and 12 sc into that magic circle.  Join with a sl-st to the 1st sc.

We will now join our two halves.  

Round 1 : ch 1, sc in the 1st ch-3 sp of 1st half ; ch 1, sc in the next sc of 2nd half ;
*ch 1, sc in the next ch-3 sp of 1st half ; ch 1, sc in the next sc of 2nd half * ; rep *to* all around till end.

Note : When you’ve done halfway through Round 1 of the 2nd half, slip your stone / pebble in and holding it within the two halves, crochet around it, so that the pebble stays encapsulated within your neat crochet lace.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Check the top of the blog for lining ideas, how to add a zipper, as well as ideas to make an I-cord.

We’re ready to show off this lovely creation too.

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You may want to take a look at some more beautiful and unusual bag / purse /wallet patterns.