Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bag It! In Which Count Sockula Re-Appears

It was a dark and stormy night, when the Pharoah of Phiber, the Sultan of Sock Yarn, none other than Count Sockula, emerged after a long sleep. 

Because it was time to crochet bags, muahahaaaa.

When you think about it, a bag is nothing more than a giant, fishnetty type of sock with no heel.  So that qualifies as scary, right?

Bags are simple, E-Z crochet fun.  You can make small ones for gift bags or large ones for shopping bags.  You might even make really huge ones for laundry bags.

Here's a scary discovery.  Done with a Q-hook in the round, and worsted-weight cotton, a single crochet stitch looks remarkably like knitted lace stitch, only it's about ten times faster to work.  Okay, we concede that crochet uses more yarn than knitting.  But speed is what Count Sockula is all about.

This is a method, not a pattern.  Grab some cotton yarn.  Four ounces might do the trick.  If all you had was worsted-weight acrylic yarn, that would work, too, but the Count enjoys cotton.   

Then, select a granny square pattern.  Any granny square pattern.  We are after speed and simplicity here.

You start with a smaller hook (anywhere from a 7 to a 9) for the first couple of rounds, increasing the granny square as usual, then switch out to progressively larger hooks (10, 11, 11.5) until the bottom of your bag is the size you want.  (The bag will magically turn from a square to a round, so make the bottom a bit smaller than you think it should be.)

Now, switch to the Q-hook, pick up the yarn, mark the beginning with a stitch marker or thread, and work a single crochet in every other stitch or so, which works really well when picking up stitches in the chain-1 spaces of your average granny square.  Do not increase at this point.  You're just going round and round. With UN-joined rounds, so you really need that stitch marker.  

(There's a variation that's even looser and more lace-ish: work sc-ch 1 all around.)

Work in the round until the bag is as long as you want.  Then switch off to a smaller hook and work the handles.  You need a smaller hook because you want the handles to be a much tighter gauge than the big, loose Q-hook stitch.  I will go back to a size 7 through 10 for the handles.  

In working the handles, do this however you like; I usually work a single-crochet chain with the yarn still attached (because Count Sockula is monumentally lazy), then go back on the chain at least once with slip stitches and work them all along the length of the chain.  Or work single-crochet handles off the bag and attach later.  Whatever suits you.

Sometimes Count Sockula goes a little crazy and works the bag on a granny rectangle. Here's a good pattern:

In either case, the same principles apply: stop increasing when you think the bag is almost big enough.

Here we go:



So there you have it: bag and baggage.  Happy Halloween, muahahaaa.