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...

 


1950s-style wide brimmed hat

EDITED TO ADD:

This is an old pattern. It’s the first one I wrote up and looking back on it I’m not sure it’s that great. If you want to make it please do go ahead but I’m kind of embarrassed by it nowadays. I apologise for my poor pattern writing skills.
I was stuck on another project which I will write up very soon. A bag made out of string which I refer to as the picnic bag because it’s summery and cream coloured and makes me think of going on picnics. So while I was going thorugh my third attempt at this bag which had got me properly peeved I decided to cheer myself up with something creative and fun on the side. Hence this matching hat.

1950s style wide brimmed hat on table

The hat is made out of normal string from the corner store. The kind of stuff you use in the garden for tying back the honeysuckle or to send a parcel to your auntie. It’s stiffish stuff which leaves you with a bit of cramp in your hook holding muscles if you work with it for too long at a stretch, but also means it holds a shape well.For example making a reasonable brim.

I also used a second type of softer cotton string to make the decorative band although I think any cotton yarn would also be good. I think this could look very chic with the band done in black.

I couldn’t say how many balls of string went into this because what with all the balls I bought for the bag and the amount of hooking and ripping I had to do to get the bag right I lost track. I think you’d need between two and three small balls and less than 50g of the cotton for the hat band.

So… here’s the pattern please comment if anything’s not clear:

This pattern is worked in the round. I am using American notation. sc= single crochet, sl st= slip stitch, ch=chain

R1: With string and a size 6mm (size J) hook make a magic loop and sc into the loop six times. Join with a sl st in 1st sc. Pull tight.

R2: Ch 1, 2sc in each sc around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R3: Ch1, *sc in next sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R4: Ch1, *2sc in next sc, sc in next 2sc, repeat from * around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R5: Ch1, *sc in next 3 sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * around. Join with  a sl st in 1st sc.

R6: Ch1, sc in next sc, 2sc in next sc, *sc in next 4 sc, 2sc in next sc repeat from * around until last 3sc, sc in last 3sc. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R7  & R8: Ch1, sc in each sc around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R9: Ch1, *sc in next 5sc, 2sc in next sc repeat from * around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R10 & R11: Ch1, sc in each sc around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R12: Ch1, sc in next 2sc, 2sc in next sc, *sc in next 6sc, 2sc in next sc repeat from* around until last 4sc. Sc in last 4sc. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R13: Ch 1, *sc in next 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in 1st sc.

R14: 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 1st sc.

R15: 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.

R16: 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 1st sc.

R17: Ch 1, *sc in next 11 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in 1st sc.

R18: 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 1st sc.

R19: Ch 1, *sc in next 13 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in 1st sc.

R20: 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 1st sc.

Fasten off and weave in end.

Make a loop with string. Inside hat find row 13. Pass new loop through a loop of row 13 and sc around inside hat attaching to loops in row 13. Join with a sl st in 1st sc. Ch1 sc in all sc around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

EDITED TO ADD: Try the hat on to check whether the crown is deep enough. If not add another row or two of single crochets at this point.

Fasten off.

You should have something that looks a bit like this:

Inside 1950s style wide brimmed hat

Now for decoration. You will notice that there is now a pronounced ridge in the hat where you’ve attached the section inside. We don’t want that now do we?

So let’s make a band to cover it up. Using your cotton and a size 3mm hook make a chain long enough to wrap around that section of the hat and leave a couple of neat little tails. If you want to tie a bow in the band make it long enough for that. To be honest this is up to you so  no need to count stitches here just eyeball it!

Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch to end. Ch1 and turn, sc in each sc to end. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Wrap band around hat on top of ridge at row 13. Pin in place and sew down. Remove the pins and hooray, your hat is ready to wear!

I wear my pretty retro hat

Modelling my 1950s wide brimmed hat