Brown Sugar Bag

Author

by Josie J. Walker

Introduction

Brown Sugar BagLong, long ago, I found a web site with instructions called “Diagonal Crochet.” There were no pictures and my visualization skills aren’t the best, but luckily I figured it out and proceeded to use the stitch to crochet numerous square-shaped things. Later, I was ecstatic to find a picture tutorial explaining how to make rectangles using Diagonal Crochet, and I went on to crochet the first of many Pinch of Brown Sugar Bags. Now you, too, can add a touch of sweetness to your wardrobe.

Materials List

Choose a yarn and appropriately sized hook. The stitches should be neither too loose or too tight — they should be snug. Gauge (tension) isn’t terribly important right now.

Finished Size

One size

Notes

I would like to thank all the people who helped me test this pattern: rozeecheeks —for proofreading my first draft, and SamplerLady and rebeccav for testing the pattern and providing pictures of their finished bags.

This is a pattern for the rainbow bag (below), written in US terms.

The Pattern

Front

Ch 6. Dc into 4th ch from hk. Dc in two remaining chs — 3 dcs, 1 ch-3 sp.

  1. Ch 6, turn. Dc in 4th ch from hk, dc in next 2 chs, block formed;
  2. * sl st into ch-3 sp of the adjacent block, ch 3, 3 dc in ch-3 sp * another block formed;
  3. Repeat from * until there is no adjacent block;
  4. Start back at #1

Keep working until there are 12 blocks x 12 blocks.

Now, to fill in the square.

Once you’ve completed 12 blocks both lengthwise and widthwise, DO NOT CH 6.

  1. Ch 3, turn, sl st in ch-3 sp of the same block, ch 3, 1 block in ch-3 sp;
  2. * sl st into ch-3 sp of the adjacent block, ch 3, 1 block in ch-3 sp; *
  3. Repeat from * until there is no adjacent block;
  4. Go back to i.

Continue until the square is filled in. Now, ch 3 and sl st into ch-3 sp of the last block.

You should now have a 12 x 12 square. This will be the front of the bag.

Back

For the back, work the same as for the front until you get 12 blocks lengthwise.

  1. Ch 3, sl st in ch-3 sp of the same block, ch 3, 1 block in ch-3 sp;
  2. * sl st into ch-3 sp of the adjacent block, ch 3, 1 block in ch-3 sp; *
  3. Repeat from * until there is no adjacent block;
  4. Ch 6, turn. Dc in 4th ch from hk, dc in next 2 chs; ‡ sl st into ch-3 sp of the adjacent block, ch 3, 1 block in ch-3 sp; ‡
  5. Repeat from ‡ until there is no adjacent block;
  6. Go back to a.

Once the piece is 12 blocks x 22 blocks, fill in the rectangle like you did with the square. This will be the back/flap of the bag.

Strap

To make the strap, decide how low you want the bag to hang. You will need at least 108 stitches to cover 3 sides of the bag, so start from there and keep adding chains until the strap seems about the right length. Now, being mindful not to twist the ch, sl st to form a ring*. Ch 2, dc into the 3 ch from hk and each remaining ch until you are back where you started. sl st to join ring, repeat once more—the strap is 2 rows wide.

Assembly

Aesthetically speaking, the join from the strap would be best suited for the bottom center of the bag. So, match up the center of the front with the join and begin to sl st the strap to the front. There should be 3 sl sts in the outermost stitch of each block. DO NOT SL ST AROUND THE STITCHES* — just crochet into parts of the stitch. Keeping that in mind, work to the corner (you can add extra sl sts here if you wish), and continue up the side. Sl st LOOSELY* along the strap until you reach the designated stitch to begin the other side of the bag. Continue as for the other side, adding extra sl sts in the corners if you’d like. If you planned it out properly, there shouldn’t be any extra stitches left once you get back to the middle. Fasten off.

Do the same with the back and the other side of the strap. Remember to only work over 12 blocks as for the front. If you do too many, your flap won’t lay correctly. At the corners where the strap meets the flap, work a sl st into the outermost block stitch twice—once in the front loop, once in the back loop. This helps keep the bag from pulling apart at the flap seam. If you want to be extra cautious, do more sl sts in this corner.

Sl st around the strap, “reinforce the corners” on the other side, and continue as for the front.

Weave in your ends, line the purse (if you so desire), and be on your way. If you think the bag’s too plain, put a border on it. If you want more security, crochet a button loop on the flap and attach a button to the front. Go crazy!

This pattern lends itself to other sizes. You can make the flap longer, the strap wider, the front and back wider. I’ve made it with doubled yarn and single stranded. I have made a handbag, a tote-size bag, and a messenger bag using this idea. The possibilities are endless.

* SamplerLady suggests making the strap as a strip and then joining the ends to form a circle.

* There will be gaping holes if you crochet around the stitch instead of into it and that’s just not cute.

* Not slip stitching loosely will make carrying your bag somewhat painful for your shoulder when it’s full, because there will not be enough “give” in the strap.

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