Special stitches


Marianne Martin


Ribbed Sweater Hobo/Tote

I recently found an amazing bag picture on the web and it turned out the instructions were only in an obscure japanese mag that would have cost me an arm and a leg to order (not to mention… it’s in japanese). Inspired, I decided to improvise a similar one that looks like a nice ribbed sweater.

Keep in mind that this project requires some (simple but unusual) assembly and that since it was improvised, it’s not uber-precise. But it works! And it is a pretty forgiving design.

Materials List

One skein of Bernat Super Value (7 oz) or any other worsted weight yarn

4mm hook – a hook one size smaller than the recommended size.

Fabric for lining, sewing supplies etc. *Please note that the instructions for the lining are not included! Many tutorials are available on the web, though 🙂

Finished Size

Crocheted in Bernat Super Value, the bag should measure approx. 15 inches wide and 12 inches high. Roomy!


Gauge is not critical for this project.


scblo – single crochet in back loop only

scblo2tog – scblo decrease. Insert hook in back loop of the first stitch, pull yarn, insert hook in back loop of 2nd stitch, pull yarn (2 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through both loops.

For the decorative touches, slip stitch through fabric + bobbles (instructions are easy to find)

The Pattern


Row 1: Ch 23, ch 1, turn

Row 2: sc in each ch across, ch 1, turn

Rows (3-8): 2 scblo in 1st st, scblo in next 5 st, 2 scblo in following stitch… continue increasing every 5 stitches for the rest of the rows, starting each new row the same way (with 2 scblo in the first stitch, then do 5 scblos etc). * These rows do not end evenly: if you have room for another double do it, if not simply continue with the next row.*Ch1, turn

Rows (9-12): scblo in each st across, ch1, turn

Row 13: Repeat row 3 technique, increasing every 5 stitches

Rows (14-15): scblo in each st across, ch1, turn

Row 16: Repeat row 3 technique, increasing every 5 stitches

Rows (17-20): scblo in each st across, ch1, turn

Row 21: Repeat row 3 technique, increasing every 5 stitches

Rows (22-40): scblo in each st across, ch1, turn
*This forms the first half and center of the bag’s body. Now we mirror our increase rows with decreases to get a symmetrical bag

Row 41: scblo2tog, scblo in next 5 st, scblo2tog… *the same principle as for row 3 applies here. Decrease every 5 st, and if the row ends unvevenly, either decrease if you have room, or don’t.

Rows (42-45): scblo in each st across, ch1, turn

Row 46: Repeat row 41 technique, decreasing every 5 st

Rows (47-48): scblo in each st across, ch1, turn
Row 49: Repeat row 41 technique, decreasing every 5 st

Rows (50-53): scblo in each st across, ch1, turn

Rows (54-59): Repeat row 41 technique, decreasing every 5 st.

Row 60 (*and potentially 61): Check to make sure you end-up with 23 st (one more or less won’t show). Work enough decreases to get that number (you may also add another row if you wish. This design is pretty forgiving.

Fasten off, weave in ends

The area directly underneath the handles (the two dc rows that would be below your armpit when wearing the bag):

Keeping in mind that the ribbing should be vertical, fold the bag the way it would be when finished and locate the center by counting the ribs from the edges.

From that center, use stitch markers to mark an area of 20 stitches ( 10 on each side of the center), in wich you will make:


Row 1: Join yarn, 20 sl st in center of bag’s body, ch 2, turn *Note that even though the next row is a dc row, I only chain 2)

Row 2: dc across. Ch 2, Turn.

Row 3: dc across, Fasten off


Rows 4-5-6: Mirror this on the other side of the bag, repeating rows 1-2-3


The all-around handles


With the bag folded and the ribs vertical, locate the place where you would attach the side points of the bag, basically the ends of the 1st and last rows of the body (this makes a round hole on each side).

Join these points together with the yarn and then start making sc all around the edge of the bag.
When you reach the top of the dc rows, ch 56 (handle1) and being careful not to twist the chain, continue sc along the other side, joining the points of the second side when you reach them.When you reach the top of the back of the bag, ch 56 (handle 2) and continue sc until you are back where you started.

Continue sc around for 2 more rows and when you are back where you started, sl st and fasten off. Weave in ends.


The hole plugs


The bag is almost complete but there are holes at each end. You can either sew them shut with yarn or (and I prefer this technique because it’s prettier), you can join the yarn at the top of the hole and crochet in spiral, making decreases every 3 st, then 2, etc, until the hole closes.
Another way to go about it would be to crochet in the round 2 discs that you can then attach there.

Decorative touches


I made the horizontal bar with 3 rows of slip stitches through the fabric, and then made two bobbles and attached them on each side. (You can easily find these techniques on the web if you don’t know them already)

I added a cotton lining with a few pockets: you can also find instructions for this easily on the web. This bag REALLY benefits from a lining, else it will stretch and take the shape of every object you put inside. I was surprised myself at how a simple lining solves this problem. Just watch out for the measurements: keep the opening tight enough to fit the fabric but lose enough to accommodate the stretch of the bag. Make sure you have a 3-dimentional box-type bottom so you have room to fill your bag!


Enjoy this unusual pattern!

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