A Slightly Less Sweater-y “Sweater Bag”

redbag1

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I got a great deal on some Isaac Mizrahi craft yarn. If you don’t know, every so often, Michael’s will throw together whatever odds and ends they have floating around the store and, more or less randomly, pack them into large bags that are sold for four dollars each. I’m usually able to ignore the siren song of the $4 Grab Bag, but when I spied one that contained a fair amount of yarn I, of course, went all grabby-hands on it.

I decided to make some sort of small accessory for two reasons: 1 – There just wasn’t that much of each kind of yarn in the bag, and 2 – the yarn, especially that red one, is kind of scratchy, so I wouldn’t use it to make a garment. All of the yarn is Isaac Mizrahi Craft by Premier yarns. The one I used for this bag is called University, which comes in 157 yard skeins of worsted weight yarn, containing 40% acrylic, 31% superwash wool, and 29% polyamide. I found the yarn easy to work with and in the two-and-change skeins it took me to make this bag, there were no knots in the yarn. I looked up all of my Grab Bag yarns online and they usually sell for $6.99 a skein so I got it for a steal, especially since I don’t think this a yarn I would have been interested in buying at full price.

Crochet That Fits book cover

The Sweater Bag Pattern is on page 62.

The pattern I used is from the book Crochet That Fits by Mary Jane Hall, and the Sweater Bag pattern is found on page 62. All of the patterns in this book do shaping without any increases or decreases. This bag just alternates between single crochet and double crochet stitches to make the bag widen or narrow as needed. The pattern actually calls for a bulky yarn but I found the Mizrahi yarn to be on the bulkier side of worsted so it worked great. The bag works up really quickly; I was able to do all the crochet in one day, and all the sewing the next.

I changed the pattern stitch from back-loop-only to front-loop-only because I think ribbing with double crochet, as opposed to single, can look a little too clunky.  The side-by-side photos show the bag in the original pattern stitch as depicted in the book (left), and a close-up of the pattern stitch I actually used (right). While I knew I would get a look that is, overall, less sweater-y, I also knew it would give me those lovely vertical ribbed stripes every other row.

Inside-out bag showing the bronze-colored organza lining.

Inside-out

The hand stitched lining uses some organza I had lying around. I was lucky to already have something is this color as I think it complements the metallic threads in the yarn really nicely. The bamboo handles were donated by my mom. If I had it to do over again, I would not have wrapped the yarn around the handle so many times. It actually prevents the mouth of the bag from stretching as much as it would otherwise, so the bag doesn’t open as widely as it could. Live and learn.

I have to say, I’m not super in love with the Mizrahi yarn, but for four dollars, I’m not mad either. This was a fun, quick make, and I think this bag will fit very nicely into my wardrobe.

 

An Introduction

Selfie of me wearing a beige off-the-shoulder crochet sweater, cinched at the waist with a black belt.

An early attempt at garment making, complete with hanging threads. lol

togs, n. : clothing; especially: a set of clothes and accessories for a specified use, e.g. riding togs (source: Merriam-Webster.com)

Hi, I’m Cryss and that picture you see is of me wearing one of the first crochet garments I’d ever made. As you can see, I still had some ends to weave in. 🙂 It’s not a particularly exciting sweater, but I was very excited to wear it. It meant that I could make something to wear that was actually fit to see the light of day.

I’ve been a crocheter since my grandmother first handed me a hook when I was five years old, and I’ve been crocheting off-and-on ever since. Well, truthfully, much more off than on until about eight, or so, years ago. It took me a while to get back into the swing of things but, before long I was handing out crocheted scarves like Halloween candy.

But I got bored. I wanted to make something that wasn’t a rectangle. I wanted to make something that covered more than just my neck. I wanted to make capital “C” Clothes. That was a big deal for me because, at the time, it seemed like a task so far beyond the scope of my abilities. And at first, I was really bad at it.

Fast forward to that beige sweater you see in the terrible photo at the top of this post. I wove in those ends, pulled on a pair of jeans, and oh-so-proudly wore it to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner (to much ooh-ing and ahh-ing, I might add).

I like to think I’ve come a long way since then. But you can see for yourself by following me on my blog http://www.crochettogs.com and on Instagram @crochettogs. I’m looking forward to sharing my journey as I try to build a crochet wardrobe, one stitch at a time.