By MaryKate Newcomb
I’m a painfully slow knitter, but I love the look and texture of knitted fabric. Crocheted slip stitch does a bang-up job mimicking a knitted fabric, with the added advantage of super-strong construction – perfect for purses!
A great yarn for this type of experiment is Lion Brand’s BIG, or Big Prints. I’ve swatched the heck out of this stuff, and it normally doesn’t cooperate well with crochet. Unless you want a nobbly-looking hat, of course. In slip stitch, though, the colors look great and the texture is much more appetizing.
For this purse, use a HUGE size S hook, grab the rope-like yarn, and purge all your frustrations as you wrestle each slip stitch into place. The result is a happy purse, and perhaps slightly sore fingers.
- 3 hanks Lion Brand Big or Big Prints (A), OR pliable rope, roving yarn, or any type of super-super-bulky yarn. The green purse I made with only one hank of Amazon, but pink hanks (in the Grand Canyon colorway) have half as much yardage in them. Boo!
- 1 skein Moda Dea Wild to match (B), or matching color worsted weight yarn for the top panels of the purse, handle attachment, and closure. The pink purse uses 1 skein Cascade “Luna” cotton yarn.
- Optional scrap yarn for crochet flower embellishments. I used scrap cashmere chunky yarn for the green purse.
- Size S (19.0mm) for purse body
- Size H/8 (5.0 mm) for the rest of the purse
- Large-eye yarn needle
- Tapestry needle
Gauge is not crucial for this pattern. If you crochet tightly, make an effort to loosen up your stitches a little for this project. Slip stitch is extremely dense and will give your hands a workout.
When weaving in big yarn ends, unravel the yarn into its individual strands and then weave in, instead of trying to weave in a big honking end all at once (see photo, above right).
Note: Ch-1 at beginning of each row does not count as a stitch.
With A, ch 38.
Row 1: Working in bottom loop of ch (see photo, right), sl st in 1st ch from hook and in each ch to end, turn – 38 sl sts.
Row 2: Ch 1, sl st in each st across, turn.
Row 3: and 4: Rep row 2.
Fasten off, hide ends.
Purse Panel (make 2)
Note: Do not fasten off second panel.
With A, ch 16.
Row 1: Working in bottom loop of ch, sl st in 1st ch from hook and in each ch to end, turn – 16 sl sts.
Row 2: Ch 1,sl st in each of first 6 sts, 2 sl st in each of next 4 sts, sl st in each of last 6 sts, turn – 20 sl sts.
Row 3: Ch 1, sl st in each st across, turn.
Row 4: Ch 1, sl st in each of first 4 sts, [2 sl st in next st, sl st in each of next 2 sts] three times, 2 sl st in next st, sl st in each of last 5 sts, turn – 23 sts.
Rows 5-8: Rep Row 3.
Row 9: Ch 1, sl st in each of first 7 sts, [2 sl st in next st, sl st in each of next 3 sts] twice, 2 sl st in next st, sl st in each of last 7 sts, turn – 26 sts.
Rows 10-11: Rep Row 3.
First Panel only
Fasten off and hide ends.
Second panel, continued, and bottom of purse
Row 12: Ch 1, sl st in back loop only of each st across (see photo, right), turn. This makes a right angle to the purse panel.
Rows 13-21: Ch 1, sl st in each st across, turn.
Putting panels together
Remove hook from loop. Insert hook in bottom right corner of first panel and pull through loop from second panel. Working through both layers, sl st both panels together. Fasten off, weave in all ends.
Option 1 (make 2)
With B, ch 15.
Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each ch across, turn – 13 dc.
Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in each st across, turn.
Rep Row 2 for 8 rows. Fasten off. Sl st end caps to sides of purse.
This is adapted from a technique I learned at a Lily Chin class. Once you get the hang of it, this technique allows for virtually seamless connections, and you sew it together as you work.
Row 1: With RS facing, attach B, with sl st, in bottom right corner st of open side of purse. With smaller hook and working each chain into the edge of the purse panel, ch 3. Dc in the edge of each st across bottom panel to last st (it will be taut) to last st. For your last stitch, yo, put hook through the edge of the stitch like usual, but also insert the hook into the side edge of purse panel, pull loop through stitches and 2 loops on hook. Insert hook into side edge of purse panel above previous st and pull through all loops, turn.
Rows 2-8: Ch 3 into side edge of purse panel to begin new row, dc in each st across row to last st. At last stitch, yo, insert hook through stitch and then into the side of purse panel, pull through all sts and loops on hook. Insert hook into side edge of purse panel a little higher and pull through all loops, turn.
When you’re at the top of the purse, fasten off. Hide ends in the bigger yarn. Repeat for second side.
The handle should be slip-stitched or blanket stitched into the curve of the bag on one side, then in the same position on the other side. Leave the top part of the purse on the outside of the handle unstitched; this area can serve as a small pocket for a cell phone or a house-key.
Attach B to center st on edge of bag opening. Make 4 sc all in same stitch. Ch 18, join to 1st sc to form a loop, turn. Ch 1, sc in each ch around loop, sl st in last sc. Fasten off and hide ends.
Take a 2’ piece of big yarn, and knot it about 8-10 times in the same place. Unravel ends and sew 3 ends into the knot to form a knot ball. Take remaining ends, thread them through the middle of the opposite purse panel and tie in a knot. Hide all ends in the purse body.
Optional embellishment & Finishing
See Irish Oranges for some flowers to choose from. Attach to handle of purse.
Now, soak your fingers in a soothing bath, and lay off the big yarn for a while!