The summer was really hot, and I spent substantially less time indoors on the couch knitting, and more time outside taking photographs or reading. What can I say, perhaps I am not a year-round knitter after all! Instead, in summer I like to crochet handbags. Inspired by how well it went with the handbag that I crocheted for last summer (read the post here!), which was even complimented at the Phildar store in France, I decided to try my luck with a new design.
The story, however, is one of slight disappointment. I received a newsletter from Katia where they promoted their Katia Washi yarn, available in many gorgeous colors. The handbag you can see to your left really caught my eye, and that is what I decided to go for, so I placed my order straight away—who said newsletters no longer work?
You can download the pattern for free here in several languages, as well as consult the needle size and number of balls from each color that you need. The handbag in the model is knitted, not crocheted. But I guess the point of this post is how I went from the former to the latter 🙂
I guess it is in my rebellious nature to disregard instructions. The salt of life, some would say. I learned the knitting pattern, which was simple and beautiful, but after a while I found it very laborious and it took quite a toll on my poor hand muscles and tendons. It was not delicate knitting, it was proper fisherman struggle. One thing that is important to know about knitting and crocheting is that it can cause muscle/tendon damage, and even Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, especially if not executed carefully. I am, moreover, prone to injuries because I have hyperlaxity –or so the doctor says– so I can get tendinitis and similar bad things quite easily. So I undid all I had knitted, and decided to go for a simple crochet bag.
The idea was simple: make a huge rectangle using single crochet (here is a Craftsy tutorial on how to do this), first with the dark blue, then the light blue and, finally the beige. In order to turn it into a bag, all I would need to do is to fold the rectangle and seam the bottom and the side –so, creating an L-shaped seam, if you will. If you ask me how I make the seams, my most honest answer is: intuition. Perhaps that’s why they always end up the way they do! Step three: adding handles. The two pictures above show the handbag in progress, when all was happiness and confetti.
How things went downhill…
Everything was going great, but then I made two crucial mistakes that have kept me from loving this bag. As usual in knit/crochet, every damage can be repaired. But, do I feel like it? meh…
1. When I changed the project from a knitted to a crocheted bag, without reading the instructions (bad girl!), I switched my 10mm knitting needle for a 10mm crochet hook. WRONG! I was meant to use a 7mm crochet hook for a nice tight stitch. This means that my handbag is sturdy, yes, but the wholes are a bit larger than I would like. I don’t mind the see-through, but I mind the slip-through of small things. Also, I don’t want my handbag to expand and reach the ground after wearing it for a couple of hours!
2. The handles were an epic, epic fail. I attached them at the wrong place, literally like a supermarket bag. Furthermore, even though I always finish every project early due to a lack of patience, in this case I went on and on and on with the handles… until they looked like suspenders! In all honesty, the handbag feels like you could pierce the bottom and fit it onto a child or a size 34 girl with a tshirt on top. The first image from this post shows the bag from a very nice angle, but here you can appreciate the whole length and position of the handles’ issue:
From here, where to?
Well, I have devised three options. Number one is to remove the handles, make them shorter and attach them in the rightful place. Number two, of course, is starting all over again and crochet it with a smaller needle size. Number three is to get rid of the handles altogether, add a button and use this beautiful crochet bag as the case for my gigantic 17 inches laptop. It fits inside like a glove!
Guess what I will pick…
Anyways, it’s Autumn now, and I’ve gotten real serious again with knitting, so expect updates on –hopefully non-disastrous– projects soon!