WWDD: 3+ Ways to Add On to the Martha’s Vineyard Tote

Just about every kit we’ve released this year becomes my new favorite, and the Martha’s Vineyard Tote Crochet Kit from Love of Crochet Summer 2017 currently tops my list! A raffia crochet tote is the perfect summer accessory. I made mine before the kit went on sale because I can’t wait to use it all summer long! The kit comes in 2 colors: classic almond (a tan color) and embers (a beautiful red with some variegation). I’ve heard that straw bags are summer’s biggest trend and now you can crochet your own!

This bag is awesome in its simplicity. It works up quickly, and the relatively easy stitch patterning will give you the freedom to take your project adventuring (in a park or at the pool). BUT what excites me most is all the creative ways to make additions to dress up this bag! Read on to see 3 ways I plan on dressing up my crochet tote.


Martha's Vineyard Tote

1. Add some poms in fun colors!

As yarn enthusiasts, we probably all know how to make a decent pom-pom. For help, check out this Yarn Hack. Use yarn in fun summer colors to make 3 to 5 giant poms! Tie them onto your bag in an attractive color sequence and now your crochet tote is super stylish. If you don’t want the poms to be permanent, leave extra-long tying strands on each one. Then thread those strands through the stitches in your crochet tote and tie them in a bow. The bow will be on the inside of the bag and invisible to all your tote admirers and the tie can be easily undone to remove or swap out your playful poms.


Martha's Vineyard Tote

2. Add a net border and lots of fringe!

If you have an extra skein of yarn around, use it to add a cool border to the top of your crochet tote. For this addition, I recommend a cotton or cotton blend yarn (for drape) in DK- to sport- weight. If you exactly matched the pattern gauge, your bag should be 20″ across. (Yours might be a little more or a little less, so it is worth measuring.) After determining the width of your bag, work the following pattern:

Net
Chain a multiple of 3 + 1 until your starting chain is as close as possible to the width of your bag. Row 1: (RS) Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each rem ch across, turn.
Row 2: (WS) *Ch 5, sk next 2 sc, sc in next sc; rep from * across, ending with sc in last sc, turn.
Rows 3–4: Sl st in first sc and in first 2 ch, ch 1, *sc in center of ch-5 sp, ch 5; rep from * across, ending with sc in last ch-5 sp, turn. Fasten off at end of last row.
Finishing
Weave in ends. Sew Row 1 to last rnd of bag.
Create fringe following this yarn hack for cutting massive amounts of fringe or as desired. Using a lark’s head knot, attach the fringe through the ch-5 sps on Row 4.

A fun alternative is to attach mini pom-poms. This yarn hack will help you make a ton of mini poms really quickly. For this extra add-on (fringe or poms), you may want to sew your bag handles onto the inside of your tote.


Martha's Vineyard Tote

3. Sew on some flowers!

Crochet flowers will make any tote even more fit for summer. Grab some extra yarn and a hook—the larger you want your flower, the bulkier the yarn and the bigger the hook! Find a crochet flower pattern. Work it as directed. Sew that bloom onto your bag. You’ll find some excellent crochet flower patterns in Interweave Crochet Spring 2017 and Interweave Crochet Summer 2015.


And we’re just getting started! There are so many other things to add to make this bag your own. Check out this post on adding crochet words to your straw bag by Sarah Shrimpton, author of the book Supersize Crochet and the Annaboo’s House blog.

Along those same lines, you could add the Spiral, Starfish, or Seahorse from Interweave Crochet Summer 2017’s Beach House Art project. Try adding crochet garland around the top of your bag with the fun owl garland pattern from Crochet at Home.

Can’t kick the mandala mania after our last kit? Crochet up 1 more mandala and sew it onto the front of your Martha’s Vineyard Tote. Talented sewists can pick out a wild fabric to line the bag. And easiest of all, find a thin scarf (crochet or otherwise) and tie it around the handles to give your bag a dressed up look.

There are a ton of ideas on Pinterest as well, so you don’t have to stop with my suggestions. Go out there and make this bag your very own!

How do you plan to dress up your crochet tote? Let me know in the comments!

Happy summer stitching to you!

-Sara Dudek
Associate Editor, Interweave Crochet


Accessorize Your Accessory!

 

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