One thing you will notice when you start knitting or crocheting is that you can never have enough yarn! What’s more, there are just so many possibilities out there, that you just can not wait to get started with your next project -hence, you start hoarding balls of wool! A few weeks ago I realized the sales season was coming to an end, and that of course yarn stores would also have their last batch of special discounts (yes, yarn stores also have sales!). Since knitting has made its way back into being fashionable and cool, there are a number of options to buy yarn. To be precise, within a 5 minutes walk in my town, I have access to four different stores that sell yarn (two specialized, and two focused on crafts in general). That’s quite amazing, right? But don’t worry if you can’t find any in your neighbourhood, there are plenty of online stores that ship national and internationally, and they also have sales!
This time I bought three balls of PhilCorde (cord yarn from the brand Phildar), two beige and one dark green. The idea was to crochet a color-block tote for the summer that would be resistant. Nowadays, who doesn’t carry around a laptop, book, pad, heavy purse (or a combination of those?). Indeed, we girls literally abuse our handbags! It would be a pity to invest time and money into making a handbag that will not survive a whole season, so if you want a strong material, cord yarn is your friend.
Instead of knitting, I wanted to crochet the bag. I have to be honest with you: I only knew ONE crochet technique when I started this handbag, and that is the single crochet (called “double” crochet in the UK). However, the pictures below shows that you can make a pretty darn cool handbag with using only one technique. No sweat. The key is to have a clean design that speaks for itself, and you’ll be fine. Whether you use only one technique, or whether you go for a more advanced crochet pattern, there are several ways to construct your handbag. For instance, I crocheted the handbag in “spiral” all the way up in one piece (basically, I crocheted a tube), then I sowed the bottom using the remaining cord, and added the handles. I could have also crocheted two rectangles, sown them together and added the handles afterwards. As for the handles, you can crochet them yourself or you can buy them. Many shops sell bamboo, leather or other materials’ handles made specifically for knitted / crocheted bags! My handles were pure improvisation, I went crazy and made them in “the heat of the moment” without checking up on any website. I’m happy they actually hold up well. This is how fast you can get good at crocheting!
All in all, I spent 21 euro and 2 weeks on this handbag, and I love it! I used it a lot during the last bits of this summer, and it has accompanied me to France, and to Spain for my holidays too! In fact, I went to the Phildar store in Nantes, France [check some of my travel photos here], and was complimented on the handbag the second I entered the store. Never felt so proud!
Later in the year I will show you how I crocheted this handbag, and then I will show you how I should have crocheted this handbag. Although the end-result is really nice, there are some details that can be improved. For example, because I crocheted in spiral and not in a perfect circle, you can always see the spot where I changed colors. I solved this by folding the handbag just so that the imperfection would appear exactly at the edges of the handbag, and be therefore less noticeable. One learns to be resourceful!!