Picnic Bag

This is the notorious picnic bag which started me off crocheting with string. Look at it.

AKA the heavily adapted Mothers Day Bag

The finished picnic bag

It looks so innocent! Don’t be fooled. This blessed thing had me tearing my hair out before I got it right. You however get to learn from my mistakes and make a third of the time.

First though you should understand it’s in no way the fault of the original pattern designer. I take full responsiblity for my own stupidity. I wanted to make this but in string and slightly bigger than the original pattern. To work the string I had to use a 6mm hook. Each stitch came out roughly 1cm sq. I couldn’t understand how to check the gauge from the pattern properly. I am a newbie at crochet and had no idea just how much bigger my version would be.

Suffice to say I didn’t make a bag. I made a small hammock. I could have tied it to an overhanging tree and the little girl downstairs could have played in it merrily all summer.The slimmer of my friends could have curled up with a book in it. But I stubbornly persisted to the end. Then I held it up against myself, laughed myself silly and ripped it right out back down to the row 22.

If you look on the pattern you’ll see that row 22 is where the first vertical side section with no increase ends. I did another row without increasing and then started back on the pattern with one significant difference. Where the pattern gave three non-increase rows between each increase row I did four. ‘That’ll do it!’ I thought.

Wrong!

I got to about row 40 and realised I was still making something in which I could smuggle small children or large dogs if necessary. I have no children or large dogs. I have no intention of borrowing a small child or large dog and carrying it around in my bag. Time for a more radical re-think.

I made the handles in the meantime. That took a  good few goes to get right as well. Honestly gauge is a tricksy thing.

So, back to the body of the bag again.

This summer had better be sunny.

I ripped it back down to row 15 this time and started to make the sides with 5 straight rows between each increase row. This time it worked. I made the bag up to row 44 the fastened off and sewed on the handles.

I should probably mention that I had been into my local corner shop twice to buy string in three days. And that I had bought a total of fourteen balls of string in that time. And that my local shopkeeper was a little confused. And that I now have three enormous balls of string in my house from the unravelled hammock.

I will never need to buy string again.

OK so the adapted pattern I used goes like this. I am aware that I may get into copyright trouble and have to take this down. I will edit if I do.

Make a magic loop in ordinary parcel string with a 6mm hook.

Rnd 1 (RS): Work 6 sc in loop; join with sl st in first sc – 6 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each sc around; join with sl st in first sc – 12 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 3: Ch 1, *sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 18 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 4: Ch 1, *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 24 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 5: Ch 1, *sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 30 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 6: Ch 1, sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 3 sc, sc in last 3 sc; join with sl st in first sc – 36 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 7: Ch 1, *sc in next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 42 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 8: Ch 1, sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 4 sc, sc in last 4 sc; join with sl st in first sc – 48 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 9: Ch 1, *sc in next 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 54 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 10: Ch 1, sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 5 sc, sc in last 5 sc; join with sl st in first sc – 60 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 11: Ch 1, *sc in next 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 66 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 12: Ch 1, sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 10 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 6 sc, sc in last 6 sc; join with sl st in first sc – 72 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 13: Ch 1, *sc in next 11 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 78 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 14: Ch 1, sc in next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 12 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 7 sc, sc in last 7 sc; join with sl st in first sc – 84 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 15: Ch 1, *sc in next 13 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 90 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnds 16-20: Ch 1, sc in each sc around; join with sl st in first sc.
Rnd 21: Ch 1, sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 14 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 8 sc, sc in last 8 sc; join with sl st in first sc – 96 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnds 22-26: Ch 1, sc in each sc around; join with sl st in first sc.
Rnd 27: Ch 1, *sc in next 15 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 102 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 28-32: Ch 1, sc in each sc around; join with sl st in first sc.
Rnd 33: Ch 1, sc in next 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 16 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 9 sc, sc in last 9 sc; join with sl st in first sc – 108 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnds 34-38: Ch 1, sc in each sc around; join with sl st in first sc.
Rnd 39: Ch 1, *sc in next 17 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 114 sc at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 40-44: Ch 1, sc in each sc around; join with sl st in first sc.

Fasten off and weave in ends. Make handles according to directions in original pattern. As I used the darker, softer, thinner string which I also used to make the band on my 1950s hat I had to double this string up to make the handles. I used a 6mm hook to make the handles too.

I sewed the handles with their ends at the top of row 33 and approximately one third of the way across each side. I tried to measure accurately but measuring accurately is not my forte. It looks alright and with the lovely hat I made earlier and a light cotton dress it will make for a pretty outfit for a sunny day.

The bag matches, the hat matches...

 

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3 Comments on “Picnic Bag”

  1. Stephanie Olin says:

    I love the hat and the bag! Can’t wait to make it for my niece!

  2. Barbara Skipper says:

    I not only love the hat and bag, but your commentary made me laugh. It is good to know that other people make goofs and can laugh at it. Too many people are all serious today, they have no joy to share! Thank you so much!

    • quincetart says:

      Thank you Barbara, you’re very kind.

      I don’t know about being particularly special for sharing and laughing at my own goofs though. That’s always felt like an essential and normal part of British culture to me.


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