Today I want to share a crochet pattern that I worked up recently for a birthday present. For a while now I’ve been interested in large-scale, chunky kinds of filet crochet pieces, using sport or worsted yarns to make blankets and bags; this is not quite on that scale, but arose out of that effort. A while ago, I had odds and ends left over from making a filet crochet tote bag, and used them to make a matching purse, but didn’t bother to write up a pattern. I’ve been using that purse so much—taking books on the train, or my tatting kit on walks to the waterfront park, or my water bottle out dancing—that I thought another like it would make a good gift. I had some lovely blue cotton on hand and built the purse that I want to talk about today, and while I was at it wrote up a pattern. I’ve been sitting on the pattern and this post for most of a month since then, but the recipient has received it now, so I get to share with all of you.
Without further ado, here’s the pdf of the pattern: heart purse
For ravelers, here’s a ravelry link.
You’ll need about 120 yards of worsted-weight yarn and a G hook; an H hook helps for the initial chain if you, like me, tend to chain tighter than you half-double-crochet. Customizing the purse should be really easy, too: if you want a larger or smaller purse, just add or remove cells (symmetrically!) to the filet block, and add or remove twice as many stitches as cells; if you have a different filet pattern you like, just swap it in; etc.
I’m a bit worried about the way I constructed the base, as the pattern is otherwise really novice-friendly; maybe it’s more obvious than I think, but just in case, I re-constructed the first few steps on a small scale in scrap yarn and took a bunch of pictures for a phototutorial here. The thing I want to stress is that the purse is constructed to be three-dimensional, rectangular (in theory) with a base and sides, rather than flat like an envelope; the sides come along naturally but the base may confuse folks who’ve made a lot of envelope-shaped bags and such.
First, chain some number of stitches, twice as many as you want cells in the filet pattern; for the pattern I used 26 and for the phototutorial I used 6. Next, chain 2, turn and half-double crochet in the third chain from the hook and half-double crochet the rest of the way back, creating 6 (26) hdc plus the turning chain, which counts as the seventh (27th). This thing you’ve just made is the bottom of the bag. Note that it’s more-or-less rectangular with two long sides and two quite short ones.
I wanted to put the unsightly seam where each row turns on the narrow side of the bag, rather than somewhere in my nice filet work, so the first row wants to start from the middle of the short side of the base: slip stitch once in the post of the hdc you just made to get there. Don’t turn yet, though: chain two, and then half-double crochet along the unused sides of the chains you made in the first step, making 7 (27) hdc plus the chain 2 (which, as always, counts as another hdc).
The work should naturally fold towards you a little bit around the center line of chain, or at least be flexible there; this line is the corner between the front panel and the base of the bag.
To make the far, narrow side of the purse, hdc twice in the ch2 at the end. It doesn’t really matter how or exactly where, so long as the stitch count is right.
Next you want to start the back panel of the purse. Like the two rows we’ve already made bending at the chain line, we want the back panel and base to meet at an angle—but ordinary crochet, passing through both of the two top loops of the stitch it is made in, is really good at making things flat. So, for this part and this part only, crochet only in the front loop. If this makes no sense to you, unfortunately my camera is not good enough to help, so either google around a bit or ignore this and crochet however you normally do; it’s nice but won’t be the end of the world to skip.
At any rate, hdc along the remaining side of the base. Finish the round by making one hdc in the slip stitch you made at the beginning, then slip stitch into the chain 2 that started this round. Before you move on, count your stitches, and if you are off by one, just fudge it! Crochet can be really forgiving, and in this project the stitch count is a lot more important than the details of where the stitches are made. If you are off by more than one, or if your piece looks weird, rip it out now and try again. The purse should be 58 stitches around, counting the chain or the slip stitch that holds the row together, or four times the number of cells in your filet pattern plus 6; my demo piece is 18 stitches around. To qualify “looks weird”, the piece should be a long narrow trough; see photos below (and imagine them 4x longer along the long dimension):
I hope that is helpful to at least somebody; if you’re still confused, please comment and I will try to improve my teaching. For the rest of the pattern I will refer you to the pdf (heart purse), which should be straightforward once you get the base right.