With Mothers' Day and warm weather approaching it is time to refresh your wardrobe or develop a gift for someone dear to you. I wrote about the Japanese Knotted Purse and the Bento Purse last year, but I wanted to showcase the designs with some new colors and new creations.
The Crocheted Bento Purse is simple to engineer. You can simply crochet a rectangle in which the height is 1/3 of the length.Then fold the piece so that you end up with a V shape opening. For the red purse I used a half double crochet, stitched on the black loop only to create a ridged texture. The navy white, orange, and turquoise purse was created with a striped rectangele. For complete instructions see http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/crocheted-bento-purse. You can use a manufactured or a crocheted handle.
Another strategy would be to crochet 3 decorative granny squares. Sew the squares together to make one long rectangle. Then fold the piece and sew up the open edges. The white orange and pink purse was constructed from solid granny squares. The white, black, and turquoise purses were made from a simple extended clustered granny squares. It was fun to crochet circles in several colors before adding rows that would transform the shape into a square.
The Japanese Crocheted Knotted Purse is one of my favorites. Once you insert the larger handle through the smaller loop the purse closes on itself. Also when you slide your hand through the larger handle you hand is free to do other tasks. Last year I crocheted the purses in bright spring colors. This year I added a red and white striped version a brown piece to wear with neutrals and a red purse that is edged with black. Since I wear a lot of black and white, it will be nice to have a lively accessory with a pop of color. For complete directions, see http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/crocheted-knotted-japanese-purses
The new designs begin with the pouchlike bag I crocheted for the Japanese knotted purse. For the first project in a light sage green cotton yarn, I crocheted a horizontal slit a few rows before the top on one side of the bag. To produce the slit, I crocheted 9 stitches in half double crochet, chained 10, skipped 10, and continued crocheting in half double crochet (HDC) to complete the round. In the following round, I did the HDC as before until I reached the chain. Then I crocheted 10 HDC onto the chained strip before continuing on in the main body of the purse. I crocheted an additional two rows before fastening off. On the back side of the purse opposite the opening, I began crocheting the strap by picking up and crocheting 10 HDC along the top row of the pouch. The strap would be about 16 long before it was doubled and attached to the inside of the top row. To close the purse, simply insert the handle into the slit and pull up. A design feature was added to the front of the purse by crocheting a 4 inch strap that was doubled and sewn a few rows below the slit. Before folding the little strap, I slipped a craft bracelet onto the strip. I also added a coordinating heart silver button to the surface.
For the second bag, I crocheted a pouch with a black lower portion and an off white upper portion. For this piece the decorative element was the two tone handle. This handle was crocheted horizontally along the length and then added to the purse. A simple brown leatherlike button ws added to break up the space and create interest.
The final purse alternated black and taupe yarns. At the top I added three rows of black . At this time, I stopped crocheting on the front of the purse and continued on the back for 5 rows before making a slit on the back of the purse. I continued for for 4 more rows in black and topped off with two rows of taupe to complete the flap. This time I crocheted and attached a doubled 16 inch strap to the front of the purse. To close, I slipped the handle through the slit and placed the flap onto the front of the purse. To secure the flap, chain a loop in taupe to the top of the taupe layer and add a large coordinating button to the front.
These crocheted cotton purses are fun to make with endless creative possibilities. They provide a delightful inexpensive gift or a stylish, unique addition to your wardrobe.
Thank you for your reflections and feedback. I welcome you to join me on my stitching adventure.