I recently decided that my son is old enough to handle library books. I've been considering it for a while, but since we just moved, and it's in the middle of a hot Texas summer, and we need some indoor activities, I thought we'd give it a try. So we’ll see. He’s three. There’s never really any telling what may happen!
As soon as we got back from our very first trip (no torn pages, yay!) I wanted to make a little library bag to make our visits even more special. Aaaaaand to give the books a designated (read: safer) place to live. So the next day we hopped in the car and went to pick out some yarn together! It was almost purple rainbow yarn, y’all. But he’s on a red kick, so that ended up winning. This time. If we went back for more he’d probably be back to ALLLLLL the colors! Actually, he just told me that he hopes all the paint peels off on our car so we can have it repainted rainbow colors. O.O
So we came home and I worked up this very simple bag for him over the next few days. And I was thinking, while I was working on it, that I haven't shared a free pattern with y'all in a long time, so why not write up the instructions! Which is the only reason it took me as long as it did to make, ha ha.
It's all half double crochet, which is such a great little stitch (it's my favorite for beanies!) because it has some density like the single crochet, but not TOO much density, so that the fabric still has some fluidity. The handle is simple but strong since it's also part of the bag itself, and I use a little trick to get a more reversible looking seam than you normally get with a single crochet join.
Plus it's just the right size for a handful of children's books! (I think he likes it, what do you think?)
So here we go!
I Love This Cotton! Twist in Monkey Red (85g, 153 yds each) Worsted Weight (4: Medium) Yarn, 100% Cotton, 2 Skeins
G/4.0mm Crochet Hook
Leather or Suede Label (optional)
Permanent Laundry Marker (optional)
17.5 sts and 13 rows in pattern = 4 inches (10 cm).
Finished size of sample was approximately 11.5” wide x 11” deep (29 cm x 28 cm). Keep in mind that your bag will probably stretch with use!
Be mindful of your tension when making your starting chain and the chain space for the handle. You want your chain stitches to be as close in size to the tops of your hdc stitches as possible.
Row 1: (Right Side) hdc in 2nd ch from hk and in ea st across. (48 hdc)
Row 2: ch 1 and turn (does not count as a stitch, here and throughout). Hdc in ea st across. (48 hdc)
Rows 3–32: repeat Row 2 thirty times. To modify height of bag, stop on any even numbered row and continue to Row 33; handle will add approximately 1.5” from this point.
Row 33: ch 1 and turn. Hdc in first 18 sts. Ch 12 and skip next 12 sts. Hdc in remaining 18 sts. (36 hdc and one ch-12 sp for handle. (See Fig 1 below)
Row 34: ch 1 and turn. Hdc in first 18 sts. Hdc in ea of next 12 ch sts. Hdc in remaining 18 sts. (48 hdc)
Rows 35–37: repeat Row 2 three times.
Finish off and then repeat Rows 1–37 to make second side but DO NOT finish off at end of Row 37 the second time.
With wrong sides facing (or right sides facing if you prefer the seam on the inside), ch 1 and join with sl st to cornermost st at top left corner of first side, removing hook to pull loop through beforehand for a cleaner join if desired. (See Fig 4–6)
Holding both sides together now, insert hk from front to back around body of last hdc of BOTH sides and sc. (See Fig 7 and 8) Insert hk from back to front under the top two lps of last hdc in next row and sc. (See Fig 9 and 10) Continue working in this manner, alternating hook placement from front to back and then from back to front with each stitch, working one sc in the end of each row or as evenly as possible.
Work 3 sc in last st to turn corner then sc across bottom of both sides in the same way, alternating hook placement with each stitch.
Work 3 sc in last st to turn corner and then continue up to the top, working into the ends of the rows again as before.
Finish off with sl st or invisible join and weave in ends.
Alternately, you can use any joining method you prefer! I like the single crochet join because it’s both strong and flexible, and you could, of course, simply single crochet in each row or stitch around as you world normally crochet, but alternating hook placement yields a more reversible seam that doesn’t tilt as much.
It’s just another option to add to your bag of tricks if you like trying new things!
The BOOKS label I made with a laundry marker on a 1.5” x 5.75” (4 cm x 14.5 cm) strip of suede from Realeather. I then spent WAY more time and effort trying to make holes in each corner than I cared for and so the label got double sided tape and tacked down in each corner instead of sewed all the way around like I originally intended! I should have just ordered a laser engraved leather patch like I first considered. But I was being impatient and so off I went to my local craft store. In the end, I like the way it looks just fine, but I think a professionally made leather label would last longer. Of course, this was supposed to be just a quick little bag for our library books anyway! Here’s a template of sorts for the text I used to work from, though (it’s Algerian Font, Font Size 100):
I hope you enjoyed this project and I’d love to see your creations, too, so if you feel like sharing, pop on over to my Facebook page or tag me @crochetcetera on Instagram or Twitter and show me what you come up with!
Many thanks to my pattern testers – I couldn’t do this without them!!
Please note that this pattern is available for free here on my website, but for your convenience, you may also download a pdf for this pattern, which includes a link to an informal tutorial on my joining method as a bonus feature, for a small fee through Ravelry.
© 2019 Crochet Cetera by Connie Lee
I invite and encourage you to sell any items made from my patterns; I simply ask that you credit me
for the design, especially if listing online, by linking back to the source of the pattern.
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