I need crochet bag handles. Crochet bags have one hurdle for me, finishing them with handles. There are many great handles out there, I could easily purchase leather strapping or wooden rings or traditional purse straps. I could even head to the thrift store and find a cheap handbag that I love the handles on, and cut them off for my bag…but there is a common theme in these approaches; I have to go and get something.
This “final step” is my constant hang up. It is bad enough that I have to weave in the ends; just this step can leave an item sitting in a pile for a while. So, finding a handles solution that does not become a “final stage” has been paramount to my actually completing these projects.
I have come up with 3 crochet bag handles that fit my needs very well. Ones I could actually make and attach are the requirements. Added to these requirements are the need that they not be flimsy and don’t stretch too much.
The first is make it a Tunisian crochet bag handle.
Tunisian crochet fabric, under certain conditions curls. I have taken this trait that is often seen as a deterrent and turned it into a benefit. To create this handle, I simply create a chain for the desired length of the handle using a Tunisian hook size that is a bit smaller then I would normally use (this ensures that the fabric curls). Then I work 3-5 rows of Tunisian Simple Stitch. The fabric should be curling up on itself. I then decide to seam the strip together of not. I might even insert a bit of clothes line and let the fabric wrap around it. Attach it to the bag.
The second is make it a braid crochet bag handle.
For this approach I create a chain that are about 3 inches longer then I would like the handle and work a single crochet in each chain. Make 3 of these single crochet strips. Pin the 3 strips together and braid them together, placing a pin at the finished end. Then attached this handle to the bag.
The third is make a chained chain crochet bag handle.
In this process you create a chain three times longer than you would like the handle. I don’t fasten off this chain as I may want to add to it to lengthen the handle as I work. Take a larger hook and then use the newly created chain as a “yarn” and create a chain with it. This creates a heavier rope appearance handle. Attach it to the bag.
These three types of handles have helped me finish up projects, then I only have to weave in the ends.
Tunisian Crochet is a technique that always has something bold to offer. It seems to be a bit cyclical in the design world, making a splash every few years. With every splash creating a great surge in creativity, and the new digital release of The Tunisian Collect from I Like Crochet Magazine is no exception.
I am fortunate enough to have 2 designs in this publication.
A Teenager Loved Pillow
The Cozy At Home Tunisian Tassel Pillow is one that my teenage son liked enough that he had me make some for his room (this is always a huge reward for my work…that the kids actually like it). It really only uses two Tunisian stitches, a Simple Stitch and a Purl Stitch to create this visual effect. In addition it uses a large hook size, so it works up pretty quickly.
I like the edging that seams the two sides as you work it,
and the tassels were a definite highlight for my son, so maybe it is a new
This pattern though has a little twist, it is worked in the
round. Working in the round is not something that is commonly worked in Tunisian
crochet, as it is a technique worked by loading up loops on the hook and then
working it back off. So you never turn the work, and it is easiest to work flat.
To help you celebrate
National Crochet Month, I am sharing a technique to help advance your crochet
skills, and including a free pattern. Today I am sharing how to work Short
Rows, in both traditional and Tunisian Crochet.
First, I would like to thank Crochetville for including me in they blog tour for
this month long celebration. Everyday you are introduced to a new designer, or
hobbyist or teacher, to help inspire a new desire of crochet within you. Don’t
miss a day, check out the participants here.
There are some terms that can be a bit intimidating the
fiber arts, short rows can be one of them. However, they really are quite
What Makes it Special
Learning how to work short rows in crochet will help expand
crochet skills by adding subtle shaping in garments and the ability to create
dramatic effects in just about any work you wish.
A short row is exactly as it sounds, you work your row
short. Meaning you do not finish the row.
Sometimes this is worked by tapering the stitch height, by
working shorter and shorter stitches until they are near a slip stitch. The
work is turned, and possibly started by tapering the stich height upward, it is
Working As A Dart
In the case of using short rows as is seen in sewing as if a
dart, or a point in fabric, you work un-worked stitches. The next row works to
the point where two rows below the row was worked short, then it continues to
the remained of the stitches not worked three rows below.
Making A Wedge…
In the case of making a triangular shape, a multiple of
short rows are worked, so that there are fewer stiches in each row. I often use
this approach in creating shawls, essentially creating triangular wedges that I
then build atop one another.
It is this last approach that I also use to create
washcloths and potholders. I create “wedges” of triangles that work on one
another to eventually create a circle.
Starting Your Circle
Using any yarn, with a comparable size hook, these patterns are great for scrap yarns. You can adjust the size by adjusting the number of beginning chains as the foundation. Just remember that this is only half the size of the finished product, and you will remove one stitch per row on the same edge of the fabric. It can be used utilizing either traditional crochet or Tunisian, and I share a quick pattern for both below.
Short Row Washcloth/Potholder
Row 1: Ch 16, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn. -15 sc
Row 2: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -14 sc
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 12 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -13sc
Row 4: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -12 sc
You Should Start Seeing the “Stair Stepping”
Row 5: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 10 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -11sc
Row 6: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -10 sc
Row 7: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 8 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -9sc
Row 8: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -8 sc
Over Halfway on the First Wedge….
Row 9: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 6 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -7sc
Row 10: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -6 sc
Row 11: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 4 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -5sc
Row 12: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -4 sc
Row 13: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 2 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -3sc
Row 14: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -2 sc
Row 15: Ch 1, sc in same st, turn. -1 sc
Row 16: Sl st in same st, turn.
Row 17: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in the edge stitch of Rows 15-1 (essentially either the stitch skipped in a row, or the slip stitch after the row is turned), turn. -15 sc
Row 18-32: Rep Rows 2 through 16 of wedge 1.
Repeat Second Wedge.
Seam Wedge 1 to Wedge 8.
Tunisian Short Row Washcloth/Potholder
These same principals apply to Tunisian crochet as well.
Row 1: Ch 15, pick up loops in each ch across. RP. -15 sts
Row 2: Tss in next 13 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -14 tss
Row 3: Tss in next 12 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -13 tss
Row 4: Tss in next 11 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -12 tss
Still not working the last stitch…
Row 5: Tss in next 10 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -11 tss
Row 6: Tss in next 9 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -10 tss
Row 7: Tss in next 8 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -9 tss
Row 8: Tss in next 7 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -8 tss
Are you seeing the angle?
Row 9: Tss in next 6 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -7 tss
Row 10: Tss in next 5 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -6 tss
Row 11: Tss in next 4 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -5 tss
Row 12: Tss in next 3 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -4 tss
Almost finished the first wedge…
Row 13: Tss in next 2 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -3 tss
Row 14: Tss in next 1 st, leaving last st unworked. RP. -2 tss
Row 15: Tss in same st, leaving last st unworked. RP. -1 tss
Row 16: Pick up loops in each unworked stitch of rows below. RP.-15tss
To help you celebrate National Crochet Month, I am sharing a technique to help advance your crochet skills, and including a free pattern. Today I am sharing how to work Tunisian Crochet in the Round.
First, I would like to thank Crochetville for including me in they blog tour for this month long celebration. Everyday you are introduced to a new designer, or hobbyist or teacher, to help inspire a new desire of crochet within you. Don’t miss a day, check out the participants here.
What Makes this Special
Tunisian crochet is an interesting technique that produces a
fabric that can look woven, or even knitted. It is worked with in a two-step
process. The first step is to load up the hook with loops (Forward Pass), like
casting on in knitting, the second step is working all the loops off until only
one remains (Return Pass).
Here is One Option
This back and for of the two-steps, actually can make it a
bit challenging to work the fabric in the round, so often it is worked flat and
then seamed. However, there are a couple of different approaches to working in
the round. One is to work with a double ended crochet hook, so you can load
from one end and work off the loops with the other. This process works the
piece in a spiral and two strands of yarn, it looks nice, but finding double
ended hooks is not exactly an easy task.
The Option I like
The method I employ more is one that I discovered from Jennifer Hanson, the Stitch Diva. It is a Tunisian Loop Return Pass. It involves using a cabled Tunisian hook, and adding joining loops to the fabric while working the Return Pass. I have tweaked it a bit from what Jennifer has in her video, as it works for me. So let me share my tweaked version.
How to Make it Work
After you have completed the Forward Pass of a Round, fold the
cable of the hook so that the end is next to the hook, the next step for a return
pass is to now yarn over and pull through a loop, you will still do this step
but you wrap the yarn around the cable as you are yarning over. Basically I
have the cable laying adjacent to the hook so that when I yarn over, the yarn
is coming over the cable as well, and then I pull through 1 loop.
Keeping the cable laying adjacent to the hook still, I now yarn over and pull through 2 loops. At this point I have just added 2 loops to the end of the cable.
Finishing the Join
I now continue the Return Pass, by yarning over and pulling through 2 loops without working over the cable until 2 loop from the Forward Pass and the 2 added loops remain, (this will be 4 loops on the hook). Yarn over and pull through the last 4 loops.
Work all subsequent round this way, and the fabric with be
In some of the Tunisian stitches there may be some gapping at the join. I have found this with the Tunisian Full Stitch for example, but overall it is satisfactory to me. In addition as the fabric is joined in the Return Pass, during the very first Round the beginning chain is not joined, so when I weave in the ends, I use this opportunity to close this gap.
Tunisian Cup Cozy Pattern
Any medium weight yarn
M/N (9 mm) Tunisian cabled crochet hook
Loop Return Pass (TLRP)–
*Bring end of cable to working end of hook, bring working yarn to bottom
of hook and in front of cable, loop working yarn under cable to top of hook,**
YO, pull through a loop; Rep from * to ** once, YO, pull through 2 loops (2
loops added at end of row); (Yo, pull through 2 loops) until 4 loops remain on
hook, YO, pull through 4 loops.
Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss)—Working from right to left, hold working yarn behind work, insert hook under next vertical bar, yarn over and draw up a loop.
Rnd 1: Ch 23, load hook by inserting hook in next ch, YO, pull up a loop across. TLRP. -23 sts
Rnd 2 & 3: Tss in each stitch. TLRP.
Rnd 4: Sc in each st across. Fasten off. Weave in ends.
Help me help local communities by creating blocks
for Warm Up America, by making a block for yourself and one for a community project
with this free pattern. I will be creating a new block every few weeks and
sharing it with you, I just ask that make one for donation.
Warm Up America is a nationwide organization that encourages local
donations, but will also except donations to be sent to their office so that
blocks can be assembled and then blankets can be donated through the United
Even if you do not want to
participate with Warm Up America, please consider
creating blocks, or blankets for your local community. There are various places
in every community that accept donations.
This block is used working Tunisian Crochet. Tunisian Crochet is essentially inserting your hook through your fabric and pulling up a loop, and leaving the loop on the hook, pulling up loops across the row. Then a “return pass” is worked to work each loop off the hook. This creates a fabric that has a similar look to weaving, yet has the same structural characteristics as crochet. There are many different stitches in this technique, but in this block I only use one stitch, the Tunisian Simple stitch. Learn the stitch here.
Changing color on every forward and return pass, creates a
dramatic effect. Utilizing only three colors means that I have a color waiting
for me when I finish a row and I know exactly which yarn to work next.
Gauge: 7”x9” rectangle
Medium weight yarn, in 3 colors MC (main color), CC1, CC2
9 mm Tunisian Crochet hook
Simple Stitch (tss): Insert
hook from right to left under next vertical bar, YO, pull up a loop.
Pass (RP) : YO and pull through 1 loop, [YO and pull
through 2 loops] across, until 2 loops remain on hook, using new color for next
row’s FP, YO and pull through last 2
MC Chain 19
1: With color MC, pull up a loop in second ch from the hook and in
each ch across. Switch to color CC1, RP. 19 sts
2: With color CC2, tss across, switch to color MC, RP.
3: With color CC1, tss across, switch to color CC2, RP.
4: With color MC, tss across, switch to color CC1, RP.
5-19: Rep Rows 2-4 five times.
Rnd: With color CC2, sc in each vertical bar across, 3 sc in corner,
work evenly sc
around block working 3 sc in each corner. Finish off.