Fleuri: A bag in blossom
by Julie Holetz
I’ve dreamed of this bag for a couple of years. Every once in a while I would pick up some yarn and give it a try, but it just wouldn’t come out right. Then, one very gray, very rainy Seattle morning I picked up a chunky, bright fuchsia yarn and started again. As I dreamed of spring and all that’s blooming the bag made itself.
This bag is pretty versatile in design. If you want a slightly less blooming bag, then fasten off your petals after only a couple of rows. If you want fewer layers of petals, just fasten off and pick up the yarn after a round or two and start the petals again. It can be made into a larger bag or a smaller one like a coin purse. You can even do petals on both sides of the bag for an exploding blooms bag, just work the back of the bag as you do for the front. A lining can be added, but since I’m slightly intimidated by sewing I like the option of not having to line. So using the chunky/bulky yarn and medium sized hook makes it sturdy enough to keep from stretching.
- About 165 yards chunky or bulky weight yarn. (Sample used Bernat Softee Chunky (68 yards/1.34 oz/50g) in Hot Fuschia.)
- Size J/6mm hook (if you want a sturdier or bulkier bag try a smaller hook)
- Stitch marker
- Yarn needle for weaving ends
- Two acrylic ring handles
There is really no gauge as the bag can be done in any size. Using a smaller hook would make the bag smaller and more sturdy; using a larger hook or a worsted weight yarn would give it more drape, and you would probably need to have a lining added to counter any stretching.
Back of bag is done in both loops.
The entire body of the bag is made as a spiral, so you will not join to the beginning of the round. Your first stitch will always be where the marker is. You will need to place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round. You will always end each round with 2 hdc in the last stitch. When doing a two-color bag, work the back loop only rounds in the color of the flower and work the remaining rounds and back in the second color.
US pattern notations used
Ch = chain
St = stitch
Sl st = slip stitch
Sc = single crochet
Hdc = half double crochet
Ch 3, this counts as your first hdc.
Rnd 1: 1 hdc in 3 rd chain from hook 7 times. Place marker (the safety pin in the photo marks where you will begin round 2. – 8 hdc
Rnd 2: 2 hdc in first st of next round, 2 hdc in each st around. Move marker up. – 16 hdc
Rnd 3: 1 hdc in first st. 2 hdc in next st, (1 hdc in next, 2 hdc in next) repeat around. Move marker up. – 24 hdc
Rnd 4: 1 hdc in first st. 1 hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next (1 hdc in each of next two sts, 2 hdc in next st) repeat around. Move marker up. – 32 hdc.
Rnd 5: 1 hdc in first st. 1 hdc in next two sts, 2 hdc in next st, (1 hdc in next three sts, 2 hdc in next st) repeat around. Move marker up. – 40 hdc.
Rnd 6: 1 hdc in first st. 1 hdc in next three sts 2 hdc in next st, (1 hdc in next four sts, 2 hdc in next st) repeat around. Move marker up. – 48 hdc.
Rnd 7: 1 hdc in first st. 1 hdc in next four sts, 2 hdc in next st, (1 hdc in next five sts, 2 hdc in next st) repeat around. Move marker up. – 56 hdc.
Rnd 8: 1 hdc in first st. 1 hdc in next five sts, 2 hdc in next st, (1 hdc in next six sts, 2 hdc in next st) repeat around. Move marker up. – 64 hdc.
Rnd 9: 1 hdc in first st. 1 hdc in next six sts, 2 hdc in next st, (1 hdc in next seven sts, 2 hdc in next st) repeat around. – 72 hdc.
Next, Sc in first st, sl st in next and fasten off. These sts will help smooth out the end of the last round.
Repeat pattern for front of bag working in back loop only for rounds 1-7. Work in both loops on rounds 8 and 9.
Petal Pattern: (Hdc, dc, dc) in the next st. (Dc three times) in the next st. (Dc, dc, hdc in the next st). Sl st in the next two sts.
Petals are done on the front of the bag in the exposed top loops from each round.
Starting in the middle, or anywhere else your heart desires, pull yarn through and sl st in the next st.
Rnd 1: *Place (sc, hdc, hdc) in the next st, (hdc, hdc, sc) in the next st. Sl st in next two sts*. Repeat ** pattern 2 more times.
Rnds 2-5: Begin Petal Pattern, spiraling your way around the bag. Sl st to next st and fasten off.
Finishing: With right sides facing, sew the last round together for about 45 sts. Fasten off and turn right side out. Starting 6 sts to the right of the center at the top of the bag, join ring to bag with a sl st and work 13 sc around the acrylic handles. Turn the bag over and repeat for the other handle. Weave in ends.