Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Grown-Up Yarn

Lately, I've become very interested in what my friend calls "grown-up yarn". Basically, this is anything that's not acrylic, and is preferably hand dyed and/or hand spun. She loves Peruvian wool, angora, and silk-blend yarn. We also found some camel blend yarn in our local yarn shop, and some incredibly lovely soft stuff that was made of 20% lactase. That's milk protein. Someone figured out how to spin milk into a gorgeously soft yarn with a beautiful sheen.

Since I haven't posted anything for a while, and since I assume that any regular readers of this blog (if there are any, which frankly I doubt - and no, that's not encouragement for someone to boost my ego) then they must be interested in the - what shall I call it? The theory of crochet and yarn-work in general. Therefore, I don't feel at all bad posting my fangirlish ravings about Grown-Up Yarn.

I sit here with two skeins of Peruvian wool/alpaca/silk blend yarn and one of merino wool/llama/silk blend yarn beside me, part of a skein of acrylic wound around my fingers, and a helmet made of many kinds of acrylic yarn on my head, waiting for the final piece. My hook is sitting on my side table, just waiting to be used, along with two mismatched knitting needles I'm contemplating experimenting with. The goal here is to make a dwarf's helmet that would make Hrothgar proud. (When it's finished, assuming it's any good, I'll post the pattern so that all interested parties can make their own.)

More on that later.

There's this yarn store about twenty minutes from where I live. It's an amazing place with three rooms filled with yarn. Yarn in cubbyholes along the walls, yarn on shelves, yarn sitting in baskets and piles. There's embroidery thread and patterns as well, but it's mostly yarn. None of it's in balls or skeins; it's all in hanks, varying from fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand to babydoll size. There are couches, too, and customers are encouraged to come and sit and work on things for as long as they want to. It's amazing. I love it.

The best part is that they don't have any of the name brands you see in WalMart and Hobby Lobby and Michael's. Vanna's Choice was to absent itself from this store. I Love This Yarn!, of course, has never been here, being the Hobby Lobby brand. Lion's Brand is missing and they don't even have Red Heart. It's like sifting through the Etsy yarn section - it just reeks of lovely lovely hand-made yarn. You can almost see the Peruvian farmers shearing their sheep and then spinning the wool. Actually, the first time I walked in, there was a guy in there spinning thread. He had a push-pedal spinning wheel and a huge mound of fluff beside him and he was making thread.

Of course, all of this yarn is horribly expensive (I paid $30 for my three skeins) but it was oh so worth it. Seriously, I have never been more excited to buy yarn, and that's saying something. Buying yarn is one of my main hobbies.

I even showed my gorgeous new yarn to my mother and made her comment on how nice it is, even though I'm well aware of just how little she cares about yarn.

I think I'm going to have to do more side projects with grown-up yarn. Maybe I should look into making wearables, even though generally speaking wearables bore me, just so I have an excuse to buy that oh-so-pretty milk protein yarn. Even if it is $20 a hank. (I'll have to save up first.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Strawberry Trinket Pouch

This used to be for sale in my Etsy shop, but since I've refined my brand, I've taken it down and decided to put the pattern up here instead.

It's a smallish bag, made to fasten onto a dorm bed and help replace a night table. I keep my watch, my contact case, and some cough drops in mine; I don't know what I'd do without it sometimes!

This pattern has a band on the back, and a crochet strawberry flower as a button, so that it can be fastened onto things.

x(st) y:  x is the number of stitches to make in the next stitch. (st) is the kind of stitch to make. y tells you how many stitches to do. hdc 7 means "one hdc in each of next 7". 2sc 4 means "two sc in each of next 4".
2-x:  make two stitches in first stitch, then one stitch in each of next x stitches. Repeat around. (used for increasing) If this row doesn't specify the stitch kind, use the last kind of stitch specified.
2-x dec:  make (st)2tog in first two stitches, then one stitch in each of next x stitches. Repeat around. (used for decreasing) If this row doesn't specify the stitch kind, use the last kind of stitch specified.
ea: Do this for each stitch around.
Row of numbers: if there's a row of numbers after a row, repeat that row for all of those rows. (For example, hdc ea - 3 4 5 6 means that rows 3-6 are "hdc ea")
*instructions* - Repeat from * to * around.

Unless specified otherwise, join with sl st at the end of each round, then ch2. Do not turn.

Any worsted weight green
Any worsted weight red
Magenta for the small strawberries (or you can use more red)
Scraps of black (~1yrd) for embroidering seeds
A bit of white (~2yrd) for flower
Scrap of yellow (~2ft)
Polyfill to stuff small strawberries

5 hdc in a magic circle
2: 2 ea (10)
3: 2 ea (20)
4: hdc ea
5: 2-3 (30)
6: 2-5 (35)
7: 2-6 (40)
8: hdc ea
8 9 10 11 12 13
End off red. Join green.
14: hdc ea
15: *hdc 3, ch1, sk1*
16: sc ea
17: *sc, dc, tr, dc*
fasten off.

With green, ch however many you want to make the drawstring your desired length. I find that about 65 works.

Ch2 with magenta or red
1: 4 sc
2: 2 ea
3: sc ea
3 4 5 6
Join green. Stuff the strawberry.
7: 2-1 dec (6)
8: 2-1 dec (4). fasten off with ~6" tail. Sew shut.

with red, ch35
1: hdc in 2nd from hook. hdc to the end. (34)
2: sc in each until seven from the end. ch3, skip 3 sc. sc 4.
3: hdc 4, 3hdc in chsp, hdc ea to end. fasten off.

With white, mc 5 sc.
Each petal should be made in 1 st.
2: *(sl st, sc, hdc, dc, hdc)* fasten off.

1. Sew top of strap just under the green of the bag. (The top of the strap is the narrow end without the button hole.)
2. Use the yellow to sew the flower to the bag. The yellow makes the center of the flower.
3. Sew one small strawberry to the end of the drawstring. Thread the strawberry-less end through the holes, then sew the other strawberry on.
4. Weave in all ends.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Converse Slippers Pattern

I made these slippers for my roommate last year. She loves them! Someone requested I share the pattern, so here it is!

A couple of things first:  These are INDOOR SLIPPERS ONLY. They aren't suitable for going outside, and from what I've seen the white yarn won't clean up completely unless you bleach it, which will ruin the yarn. So only wear them inside, k?

Also, I haven't got around to sizing yet, so these are size 8 women's. If you adapt it to make a different size, I'd love to know! =)

How to read my patterns:
xst y:  x is the number of stitches to work into the next stitch. st is the kind of stitch to use. y is the number of stitches to work this way. (2sc 3 means make 2 sc in each of the next 3 stitches.)
sk - skip this many stitches.
2-x (dec):  2sc first st, 1sc x. If there's a dec after this instruction, replace the 2sc with sc2tog.

I Love This Yarn! Red (or any color you want) - 1 skein per pair
I Love This Yarn! White - 1 skein per pair
G hook
Yarn needle for sewing in ends

With white, ch23.
1: sc 11, hdc 10, 9hdc, hdc 10, sc 10, 4sc. (54)
2: hdc 21, 2hdc, hdc 2, 2hdc 3, hdc 2, 2hdc, hdc 21, 2hdc 3. (62)
3: hdc 23, 3hdc, hdc 2, 2hdc, hdc 1, 2hdc 2, hdc 1, 2hdc, hdc 2, 2hdc, hdc 23, 2hdc, hdc 2, 2hdc. (70)
4: hdc 26, (2hdc, hdc1)x6, 2hdc, hdc 27, 2hdc 3, hdc 1. (80)
5: hdc 30, 2hdc, hdc 3, 2hdc, hdc 1, 2hdc, hdc 1, 2hdc, hdc 3, 2hdc, hdc 30, 2hdc, hdc 2, 2hdc, hdc 2, 2hdc. (88)
6: hdc 33, 2hdc, hdc 1, (2hdc, hdc 2)x3, 2hdc, hdc 1, 2hdc, hdc 33, 2hdc, hdc 1, 2hdc 4, hdc 1, 2hdc. (100)
7: hdc ea
8: back loops only, sc ea
9-10: sc ea

After row 10, join red between 9 and 10. sl st around. Mark out 28 st at toe. Join red next to the mark.

11: sc to other marker, leaving toe alone. (72)
12: ch3, sk 2, sc to last 2, ch2sk1, sc last.
13: (sc3, sc2tog)x3, sc to last 15, (sc2tog, sc 3)x3
14: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog.
15: ch3, sk2, sc to last 2, ch2sk1, sc last.
16: (sc3, sc2tog)x3, sc to last 15, (sc2tog, sc3)x3
17: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog
18: ch3, sk2, sc to last 2, ch2sk1, sc last.
19: (sc2, sc2tog)x4, sc to last 16, (sc2tog, sc 2)x4
20: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog
21: ch3, sk2, sc to last 2, ch2sk1, sc last.
22: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog.
23: sc ea
24: ch3, sk2, sc to last 2, ch2sk1, sc last.
25: sc ea. (33)
26: sc ea.
27: ch3, sk2, sc to last 2, ch2sk1, sc last.
28: sc ea. fasten off.

TOE AND TONGUE -- join white in the same sp as the first st of red.
1: back loops only, sc ea. (30)
2: sc2tog ea (15)
3: 2-1 dec. (10)
4: sc 3, sc2tog 2, sc 3 (8)
5: sc 3, sc2tog, sc 3 (7)
6: sc, sc2tog, sc, sc2tog, sc (5)
7: sc2tog, sk 1, sc2tog. fasten off. break white.

8: Join red at 1 side. sc across. (16)
9: sc2tog, dc to last 2, dc2tog. (14)
10: dc ea
10 11 12 13 14 15
16: dc2tog, dc to last 2, dc2tog (12)
17: dc ea
17 18 19 20 21
22: dc2tog, dc to last 2, dc2tog (10)
23: dc ea
23 24. Fasten off.

Join red at the top of the high-top, just behind the first lace hole. sc down one side, across the edge of the toe (where the white toe meets the red tongue) and up the other side. Fasten off.
Sew in all ends.

LACES: With white, ch235.

And there you are! Make the other one and you're good to go!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Simple Kindle Case

I got a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas, and it's sadly unprotected in my chaotic life. So I'm going to make a very simple case for it. I really don't forsee any problems - just a straightforward project which shouldn't take more than a few hours. Hopefully, it will also use up a little ball of white yarn that I have taking up space.

I'm going to make it mainly white, with a pink band around the top. I'm using Red Heart yarn (the pink is, at least) and my H hook.

ch19, white
1: hdc to last. 3hdc. hdc to last. 2hdc.
2: hdc ea
3: sc ea
3456789 10 11 12 13

And now I'm out of white. It's a little earlier than I wanted, but that's okay. I'll switch to the pink now and maybe do a narrow band of dark pink around the top.

14: sc ea pink
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26: sc ea dark pink.
27: hdc ea
27 28
29: sc 3, ch30, sc ea. Skip no sts.
30: sc ea, end off.

All done! Paperwhite cover complete. It fits, but it's a bit tight; next time I'd do 20 ch at the beginning, or maybe 21. The long ch30 in the second-to-last row is a button strap. It's supposed to stretch diagonally over the top and across the front to a button sewn into the light pink. I'm going to make a flower once I have a good yellow for the center.

There we go; got a flower on it and it's lovely. I don't remember how I made the flower, sorry. I might figure it out later and do a little post for that.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Little Backpack

Another project? Just what I need right now!

So, a few days ago, I decided that I needed some stitch markers. And um... I went on Etsy and bought fifty of them. It seemed like a great idea at the time - they were less than $3 for 25 of them, so I thought, I'll get two sets! Then, when they break, which they will because no one sells durable things for that cheap, I'll have plenty more and I won't have to worry!

After I'd ordered them, I realized that I live in a dorm and have absolutely nowhere to put fifty stitch markers. Crap. Okay, okay, no problem... I can handle this. I have yarn with me, so I shall make a bag!

My favorite site to look up patterns is It's a free site and has hundreds and hundreds of patterns. The only problem is, there's a new layout which is much harder to navigate than the old one was, so I don't like spending time there anymore. And things like bags... well, there are millions of patterns! I could spend all day looking through the pages of patterns for bags! And it's not like it lists the whole pattern - just the names, which link out to the site where you can then read the pattern.

I got in and out as quick as I could with a pattern for a kid's backpack, which looks promising. Except that... I didn't like it. I didn't like the colors and it was too small and I didn't want to have to use two strands of thread, especially since I only have one ball of the color and it's a tiny one at that. So here I am, making my own pattern.

Now... I didn't think this was worthy of a blog post until after I'd done the base and part of one side, so I don't have pictures of working on those parts.

My basic plan is this:  I've got a circular (well, hexagonal) base and I'm going to do blue front and back panels, tan sides, and a dark brown closing flap. The blue parts will just be rectangles worked into the base. The sides will be half as wide as the front, at the bottom, and decrease as they go up. Here's what I have so far:

1: ch2, 6sc.
2: 2 ea (12)
3: 2-1 (18)
4: 2-2 (24)
5: 2-3 (30)
6: 2-4 (36)
7: 2-5 (42)
8: 2-6 (48)
9: 2-7 (54)
10: 2-8 (60)
11: 2-9 (66)
12: blo, sc ea

13: sc 22
13 14 15 16 17 18 19

I picked multiples of six so that I could split it evenly into four parts, with the front and back panels twice as big, like I said. I'm thinking that the side panels will start at 11 and decrease to maybe 4 or 5. I'm also thinking I'll need at least 40 rows. Also, I think I do need to decrease the front and back panels as well - the back more than the front.

20: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (20)
21: sc ea
21 22 23 24 25 26
27: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (18)
28: sc ea
28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

I know I said 40 rows, but it looks like this is good, so I'll fasten off here and get to work on the sides. I've decided to make the sides 13, instead of 11, with the two outside stitches sharing a space in the first row with the front and back panels. That will eliminate a little bit of a gap in the bottom. That space always drives me nuts when I'm making something with pieces to be sewn together.

Sides: join in the same st as blue front panel.
13: sc 13
13 14 15 16 17
18: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (11)
19: sc ea
19 20 21 22
23: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (9)
24: sc ea
24 25 26 27
28: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (7)
29: sc ea
29 30 31
32: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (5)
33: sc ea
34: sc2, sc2tog, sc (4)

[picture here] Well, I know I'm very nearly done, but it isn't what I want. I don't like how wide it is at the bottom, so I'm going to rip it all out and start again. I also think that the panel I labeled "front" should be the back, instead.

Sides: join in same st as blue.
13: sc 13
14: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (11)
15: sc ea
15 16 17
18: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (9)
19: sc ea
19 20 21 22
23: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (7)
24: sc ea
24 25 26 27 28
29: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (5)
30: sc ea
30 31 32 33
34: sc 2, sc2tog, sc (4)
35: sc ea

Okay, that looks good! Now, fasten off and do the same on the other side.

Well, it's hard to see in the picture, but I'm really pleased with how this looks so far! I want the front to protrude more, be a lot rounder. I'm thinking I'll increase over the first few rows of the front and then gradually decrease up to the top. We'll give it a try.

FRONT (for real) - join blue in same st as brown.
13: sc ea
14: sc 4, 2sc, sc 3, 2sc, sc 4, 2sc, sc 3, 2sc, sc 4 (26)
15: sc ea
16: sc 5, 2sc, sc 4, 2sc, sc 4, 2sc, sc 4, 2sc, sc 5 (30)
17: sc ea
17 18
19: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (28)
20: sc ea
20 21
22: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (26)
23: sc ea
23 24
25: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (24)
26: sc ea
26 27
28: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (22)
29: sc ea
29 30 31
32: sc2tog, sc to last 2, sc2tog (20)
33: sc ea
33 34 35

And okay! There we go. All four panels done, now to sew them together! Then all I'll have to do is experiment in how to make a long semicircle (I guess, a semioval) for the top.

As you can see, the sides are a little misshapen, but I'm not worried about that. I could probably fix it if I wanted to, but it won't affect the integrity of the bag and this is just a storage bag, not something I plan on carrying around. I'm not too worried about how it works.

I looked around the internet and I can't find any semioval that I like, so I guess I'll have to make it up. I've done something like this before, in the converse slippers I made a while back, but I'm not really looking forward to it. It's just tedious to get the shape exactly right. To do it, I'll use a combination of sc and hdc.

TOP - ch 4
1: sc 2, 3sc, sc 2
2: sc 2. 2sc 3, sc 2
3: hdc 3, sc 1, 2sc 2, sc 1, hdc 3

This shape is absolutely perfect, but... still way too small. Normally I would just do sc rows until it's big enough, but that would make the edges curl instead of laying flat. I don't want that, so I'll have to keep increasing the number of stitches until it's as big as I want. I think I'll go to just using hdc so that the stitches are a little taller and I won't have to make so many rows.

4: hdc 2, 2hdc, hdc 2, 2hdc, hdc 2, 2hdc, hdc 3. (15)
5: (hdc 2, 2hdc) x2. hdc 1, 2hdc, hdc 1. (2hdc, hdc 2) x2 (20)
6: (hdc 3, 2hdc) x2, hdc 4, (2hdc, hdc 3) x2 (24)
7: (hdc 4, 2hdc) x4. hdc 4. (28)
8: (hdc 5, 2hdc) x2, hdc 4, (2hdc, hdc 5) x2 (32)

Well, it's now as wide as I want it, but not as long. I'm running out of this color, so I'm thinking I'll do two rows along the bottom (hdc) and then a sc row around the entire thing, if I can. Then I'll use whatever is left to sew it to the rest of the bag.

9: along bottom edge, hdc
10: hdc ea
11: sc around. In the middle, ch3 for buttonhole. Skip no sts. fasten off.

And there's not a lot left, maybe about six inches, so I'll go ahead and trim it off, then sew it on with blue. I have lots of blue. I'm also going to make straps (purely decorative, obviously) and a loop on top so that I can hang the back somewhere. Shouldn't be too hard. I don't have enough of the tan I was using, so I'll use a slightly darker brown. It should still match. If it doesn't, well, I'm not really bothered.

STRAPS - make 2.
1: sc ea.
1 2

Top strap - ch15
1: sc ea
1 2

And there! All done! Sew in the ends and you're ready to go! Probably a small child could wear this, if you wanted, but mostly I just want to put things in it and tuck it away somewhere. When I get back to my dorm room and my button stash, I'll sew a button on it to keep it closed. For now, I'm pleased with this.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gramma's blankets

My great-grandmother used to make the most wonderful afghans. I inherited her crochet hooks, actually, when she died, but she didn't teach me how to make the blankets. We weren't close. At all. To be honest, I inherited her hooks from my grandmother, who gave them to me mostly because she didn't want them. But still - my great grandmother's hooks. They're the awesome steel kind. Most of them are little lace-making hooks, utterly useless to me since I don't have anything like enough patience to make lace things, but a few of them are big enough to make other things. Say, blankets.

Recently, someone gave me some yarn. Yeah. Enough yarn to make a pyramid. That's not all of the yarn, actually; I didn't include half-skeins because they were too floppy to support the pyramid. But anyway. I got some yarn from a lady at my church. And I thought, what the heck am I going to DO with all of this yarn?! As I've stated in previous posts, I live in a dorm! I don't even have enough room for the yarn I already have!

So, my yarn pyramid will stay at home, and while I'm home over breaks, I'm going to try and make blankets like great-grandma used to.

Before I jump in with this, let me say, I'm NERVOUS. These blankets (I think we have something like ten or twelve of the ones great-grandma made) are precious to my family. They're the closet thing we have to family heirlooms. The dog isn't allowed to touch these blankets for fear that she'll chew them up and/or get hair all over them. And now it's my turn. To possibly make something that my great-grandchildren will one day treasure and not let their dog sleep on.

Oh boy.

I've decided, for the first blanket, to use the variegated blue and the off-white. (Red Heart "Ocean" and Red Heart "Aran".) I'm using an H hook and the pattern my mother wrote down for me.

Here's the pattern I'm working off of:

Chain however many you like, depending on how long you want the blanket. 44 is a good number. Make two dc stitches in the fourth chain from the hook. Chain one time. Make three dc stitches in the next chain. Chain one. Make three dc stitches in the next chain, and so on until the last chain. Make four clusters in the last chain. Work around the back side of the chain with clusters in the spaces. Make a slip stitch into the top of the first cluster.

Chain three and make two dc stitches in the same space. Make two clusters in the next space. Make one cluster in the next space and two in the one after that. Make one cluster in each space down to the corner. Make two clusters between the first and second clusters of the corner. Make one cluster in the next space and two in each of the next two spaces. 

For future corners, make two clusters between the two clusters of the previous corner.

Clearly, my mother is not a pattern writer.

Did I already say "Oh Boy"?

Alright, the first instruction is easy enough. So let's get started!

Great-grandmother always did at least two colors, and usually a stripe of some kind. I thought I would do the middle section in blue, then a thick stripe of off-white, then another, thinner stripe, again in blue. I don't know how many rows of each I should use... I don't know how much yarn this is going to take, either. I've never seen anything but the finished blanket before, except for the tiny part my mom made when she was telling me how to do it. I'm flying by the seat of my pants.

1: 2 dc in fourth ch from hook. (ch1, 3dc) ea to last.

Right... well... I'm four clusters in and this thing is curving around itself in a spiral already! I'm really sure it's not supposed to do that. But I refuse to freak out just yet; I'll wait and see what happens. Except... now I'm eight clusters in and I don't remember my mom's looking like this. I think she meant for me to skip a chain between each cluster.

1: 2dc in fourth ch from hook. (ch1, 3dc) ea to last. 4 (ch1, 3dc) last. (ch1, 3dc) shall now be known as "cluster". 1 cluster in the ch sp along the back side.

Okay. Now I'm just about ready to join, except that... I don't have enough clusters in the very first chain. I misread mom's instructions and now I have to go back and do it all again! Also, skipping one chain between clusters looked strange... I'm still going to go with it and see if it will straighten itself out. For now, back to the beginning.

1: 2dc in fourth ch from hook. 3 clusters same st. (sk 1 ch, cluster in next) until last. 4 clusters in last. 1 cluster in each ch sp along the back side. Join to top of ch3.

And, uh, yeah. Still doesn't look anything like correct. So I asked my mom and guess what? The first row doesn't have clusters! Well then! Let's start over.

1: 2dc fourth ch from hook. (ch1. dc 3.) to last, do not skip any ch. 4 clusters last ch. (ch1, dc 3) to last. 3 clusters same ch as beginning. sl st to join. sl st 2 to next chsp.
2: 2 clusters in that chsp. 1 cluster next. 2 clusters next. 1 cluster each to last 4 in row 1. 2 clusters, 1 cluster, 2 clusters. 1 cluster ea back. sl st to join.
3: for all future rows, 1 cluster ea ch sp. For corners, 2 clusters between the 2 clusters of previous corner.

There! Now... just go. And go. And go. Until it's big enough or you run out of yarn.

Well, the pattern is figured out now! I'll have another blog post with my progress eventually.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Ugly (but useful) Hanging Bag

Well, I live in a dorm room and we don't have much storage space on the floor. We have four of those awesome stackable crates, and two of the standing three-drawer bins, but somehow we still seem to be out of space. And how does that work, anyway?

I've decided that what I need to do to clear up some space is to make myself a big old hanging bag to store my yarn (which is currently taking up two crates) in. To that end, I'm using the color I have most of, which is currently the ball of magenta I bought on a whim and never got around to using.

My plan for this is pretty simple:  an open-work bag, with smaller holes at the bottom than the top but not by much. I want two loops on one side from which to hang the bag on 3M hooks, and a button closure.

So here we go!

The first thing I'm going to try is 18 dc in a circle, increased quickly and then more slowly.

mc 18 dc
2: ch4, sk 1, (dc ch1) ea
3: ch4, (dc, ch1) first, 2(dc, ch1) ea
4: ch4, (dc, ch1) first, (dc, ch1) next, 2-1

And, actually, this is boring me a little bit, so I'm going to try something else! The sweater I'm making has a really cool pattern which isn't very hard to do, so I'm going to try and adapt that.

mc 18 dc
2: ch7. sk1, sc next 2. repeat around. sl st under first ch, turn.

And here I've come to a problem... The join on the pattern I'm adapting actually forms one of the ch loops. So I need to figure out how to get the last st at the top of a ch loop.

2: *sc 2. ch7, sk 1* to last sc. for join, ch3, tr into first sc. ch1.
3: sc3 first ch loop, (sc3, sc7, sc3, sc7, sc3) ea ch loop to first/last. (sc3, ch7, sc 3, ch3, tr in first sc)

Well, the holes are just a little big for my liking, so I'm going to go back and cut out the skipped stitches. I'm also going to decrease the chaining by one. Since the holes will be smaller, the third row will have to have less stitches.

2: *sc2, ch6* to last 2 sc. sc 2, ch3, tr into first sc.
3: sc3 first ch loop, (sc 2, ch 6, sc 2, ch 6, sc 2) ea ch loop to first/last. (sc 2, ch6, sc 2, ch6, sc2)
4. sc3 first ch loop, ch6, (sc3, ch6, sc3, ch6) ea ch loop to first/last. (sc3, ch6, sc3, sc3, tr in first sc)

.... And that's too quick an increase. It's making the shape warp in funny ways. To solve that, no problem, just insert a row without increase.

4: sc3 first ch loop, (sc 3, ch 6, sc 3) ea ch loop to first/last. (sc 3, ch 3, tr in first sc)
5: sc3 first ch loop, ch4. (sc 3, ch6, sc3, ch4) ea ch loop to first/last. (sc 3, ch2, tr in first sc)
6: sc3 first ch loop, ch1, (sc 3, ch6, sc 3, ch1) ea ch loop to first/last (sc 3, ch2, tr in first)

And um... halfway through, I decided I don't like this pattern anymore. I'm going back to the one I said was boring. This is just taking forever! So back to the first pattern.

mc 18 dc
2: ch4, sk 1, (dc ch1) ea
3: ch4, (dc, ch1) first, 2(dc, ch1) ea
4: (dc, ch1) ea
5: ch4, (dc, ch1) first, (dc, ch1) next, 2-1

This one is still curling, so I'm going to insert another row of no-increase between four and five.

4: (dc, ch1) ea
4 5
6: ch4, (dc, ch1) first, (dc, ch1) next, 2-1

Okay, that's much better. Note to self:  two rows between increase rows. I have 54 ch sp right now; that looks like enough for me, so  I also want to slowly start making the holes bigger. I'm going to begin by increasing from ch1 to ch2, and eventually work my way up to (I think) tr, ch3.

7: (dc, ch1) ea
8: (dc, ch2) ea
8 9 10 11 12

So, at this point, the bag is still a circle (not beginning to start vertically yet). It's also a lot bigger than I thought it would be! Unfortunately, that means I'm going to have to rip out a lot of stitches and go back to row 5. I'm going to increase row six by 9 st instead of 18. I currently have 36 ch sp, and I want 45. I need to increase to 5 for every 4 of the previous row, which means 3 st between increases.

Also, I've decided that I want it to have a sloped bottom, not just a circle, so I need to insert more rows between increases. So! Back to the beginning, I'm afraid to say. I may as well not trouble myself with increasing 18 every row. I'm going to increase 9 instead. It means more increase rows, but might be better for the shape I want.

3: ch4. (dc, ch1) first 2. 2-1 (27)
4: (dc, ch1) ea
5: ch4. (dc, ch1) first 3. 2-2 (36)
6: (dc, ch1) ea
6 7
8: ch4, (dc, ch1) first 4, 2-3 (45)
9: (dc, ch1) ea.
9 10 11
12: ch4, (dc, ch1) first 5, 2-4 (54)
13: ch5, (tr, ch1) ea.
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

At this point, I'm out of the magenta I've been using, so I'll switch to maroon.  It's looking a good shape - nice and spacious - so I think I'll use the maroon to finish it out.

24: sc ea ch sp and tr.
25: sc ea (108)

Alright... I want five straps total, three of them with buttonholes. I want four of them evenly spaced (26 st apart) and the last one between two of the other straps. I think I know how to do this. Let's see.

26: sc 12, ch 11. (sc10, sl st 2 of bag, sc 7, ch2 sk 2, sc last. ch1 turn, sc 10.) sc 12......

Okay, now I'm confused. Let's try this again:  the bag has 108 st. Each of the four long straps will take up 2 st, so that means 24 st between them. The small fastener strap will also take 2 st, and I want it centered between two straps. That means there will need to be 11 st between each strap and the edge of the fasten strap. Okay. And the four main straps will be varied length:  the two front ones shorter, the two back ones longer, and the fasten strap between the two longer back straps. The two front straps will have buttonholes; the two back ones will not.

26: (ch19. sc 18. sl st 2 into bag rim. sc 14. ch3, sk 3, sc 1. ch1, turn. sc 18.) sc 24. Repeat ( to ). sc 24. *ch53, sc 52, sl st 2 into bag rim, sc 52, ch1 turn, sc 52* sc 11, (ch10, sc 9, sl st 2 into bag rim, sc 6, ch2sk2, sc last. ch1, turn, sc 9). sc 11. Repeat * to *. and sc to end. fasten off.

Right-o! That looks good. Now just sew on some buttons, wherever you want really, and it's done. I'm too lazy to go track down three matching buttons, so I'm just going to use some leftover scraps of magenta to just make some circles.

Easy enough. G hook, worsted weight yarn. Make at least three, or however many you want.
mc 8 hdc
2: 2-1 sc (12). fasten off.

In the end, it isn't a pretty bag, but it's going to be useful! And hey, I finally got rid of all that ugly magenta.