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Step 3: Hello Summer Beach Bag

Now that we've got Step 1 and Step 2 done, building a nice sturdy bottom for our bag, it's time to have some fun! For this next part we'll be making the body of the bag and you have SO many fun options to choose from!

Are you ready? Let's get started!

Filet crochet stitch patterns are pretty simple once you get the hang of them because they're made using double crochets and chain spaces - that's it! A (dc, ch 2, sk 2, dc) will create an open square and working 4 dc will create a solid, filled in square. Actually, it's a bit more rectangular than square, but if you want to make them more square shaped, try working with extended double crochet stitches instead!

Now you can take this idea of open and filled in squares to create pixelated patterns. Most filet crochet designs use a chart and in the Appendix file for the Hello Summer Beach Bag pattern, you'll find blank charts for all four sizes as well as two alphabets for you to choose from AND the hello summer/beach please charts for the two larger sizes! I've also included a link to the original Excel file I created and made available via Google Docs. That way you can customize your own design on your computer and then save or print it out! You can, of course, also print the blank charts and fill them in by hand. But I kind of like just copying and pasting the letters into the blank chart because it's much faster, you get to see how they fit, and easily rearrange them if need be. And I wanted you to be able to do that, too!

So. Let's have a look, shall we?

Here's what you should have at the end of Step 3:

The coral and ecru bag on top is a size 2 and follows instructions for option 1 in the pattern instructions. On the bottom, of course, is the hello summer chart on a size 4 bag! Here's a peek at the other side with beach please:

You can also, of course, make your bag using just the open squares for a simple mesh fabric (option 2) that will use less yarn. I'm making a size 1 bag with my leftover green, for example, that's all mesh because I had less than half a skein leftover. But it's going to be perfect for a little fruit bag to take to the grocery store! I still haven't decided if I want to make shorter handles or not, though...

For resources, I have the following tutorials that you might find useful, but really, I think the livestream video below will also cover everything you need to know!

I demonstrate the extended double crochet as well as the invisible join in the livestream video, too. (I gotta get tutorials for those two filmed for you!) Look for the time stamps in the video description on YouTube to skip ahead to any specific technique you would like to see.

So there you have it! Lots of customization options for you to choose from for this part and SOOOO many possibilities! Next time we'll be adding on the integrated handles with, you know it, that mighty, mighty single crochet! I know this is a lot of work, but it is absolutely worth it in the long run because it will be a strong, reliable bag that you can use for a good long time! (Seriously, my original market bag using these same techniques has over a decade of grocery carrying on its resume!)

If you're just learning about the Hello Summer Beach Bag now and would like to get started, you can find the pattern in my Ravelry shop and I'd like to invite you into the Facebook Group or my Ravelry Group to share your progress pictures! You can also tag me @crochetcetera with #hellosummerbeachbagCAL on social media, too. Step 4 drops on Thursday, August 25th, along with the full pattern pdf (Appendix file is separate) and I'll be doing another giveaway for the silver set of stitch markers during the livestream on Friday the 26th at 11:00 am Pacific Time.

Happy crocheting!


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