The owner still needs to finalize the selection of one button, but otherwise this project is finished. In just over a month of occasional work, a very sturdy and quite functional bag is completed. This pattern was published as Heather Stripes Bag in the January 2009 issue of Crochet! magazine. The designer is Mary E. Nolfi and you will also find it as a free download from Caron yarns at this page. On the Caron website, it is known as Textured Purse, so don't get confused. It is the same pattern - two different names.
Crochet is normally quite fast for me. Unfortunately, at the same time that I agreed to make this bag for daughter #2, I also agreed to crochet a lot of lacy jacket-ness for a local store owner. Two involved and tedious projects at the same time, coupled with three weekends of travel and a holiday made for mighty slow progress all around. I'll finally hand off this "biggie" purse this weekend. Well, I'll hand it over after the owner makes the button selection.
Mary E. Nolfi's pattern, by any name.
Body is crocheted with two different solid colors.
1. Cotton Classic from Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc. (100% mercerised cotton and one of my most favorite yarns ever)
2. Venezia from Cascade Yarns (merino silk blend that always works up predictably and wonderfully)
The straps are worked in a sport weight linen from Claudia Hand Painted yarns.
The pattern offers a somewhat unique twist on lining the purse. After thinking long and hard about it, I kept to my tried and true regular lining with only one phone pocket added for functionality.
A few random thoughts about this pattern follow. So, if you don't like my opinions, stop reading now.
This is satchel sized bag. It is not a petite and dainty evening companion. It is a load-'er-up-and-have-a-full-day size bag.
If you decide to tackle the project, it is important to know that the body and side gussets are the fastest part. Edging, sewing together, making the straps and attaching the straps takes as much (if not more) time as does making the major pieces.
And speaking of the straps. Don't do it the way that I did it. Learn from my struggle. Edge the body piece and the gussets as instructed in the pattern. Then, sew the body straps into place leaving the top free and hold off on the metal links. After the body straps are sewn, then attach body to gussets and complete the purse top edging. Once that top is edged beautifully, then finish stitching the body straps and add the metal links. Finally, add the purse handles.
I put the whole purse together and then stitched on the body straps. I found it awkward to sew the straps on the rounded purse and deal with one hand on the inside and one on the outside and twisty yarn. It worked. Don't misunderstand. It was awkward.
All in all and lovely workable pattern. And my execution ain't bad either.