Tag Archives: purse

Pattern: Oak tree filet chart and purse

Crochet purse with a filet design of an oak tree

Crochet purse with a filet design of an oak tree

Welp, it’s officially gotten to the point that I feel so ashamed of how long I’ve let the blog languish that I avoid touching the blog. So, it’s time to re-work my expectations. I’m going to continue to use this space sporadically to post patterns that I’ve created, but I’m not going to try to keep up with journaling in any way. Suffice to say that I’ve still been creating, but the combination of work, new friends, and not-least-important an apartment with less natural light for photography means I’ve let documenting slip.

Another view of the purse

Another view of the purse

Today I intend to share a pattern that I worked up a few months ago. I had a bit of leftover yarn and wanted to make another filet crochet purse; I was looking for charts of trees online and couldn’t find anything I liked. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of gorgeous tree designs out there, but since I was limited to a couple dozen pixels on a side… anyway I ended up making my own. Without further ado, here’s an excel version, where the gray cells should be filled in and the white cells left open:

Chart: tree

For the purse, the general construction scheme I followed was the same as for the heart purse. Start by working a few rows flat of 29 hdc, with the number of rows dictated by how thick you want the purse to be. Then start working in the round, using this flat piece as a base, working 2hdc into each post at the ends of the base’s rows. When you’ve worked about 6 rows/2″ high of a bag, start in on the chart on both faces of the bag, with normal dc on the short sides between the charts. When you’ve finished the chart, add another row or two of open cells, then start working on the handle, by working a strip about 7 dc wide in the flat starting from one short side of the purse. Extend the handle until you like the length, then stitch it down to the far short side of the purse using slip stitches. Add a closure flap to one face of the bag, if you like, by (ch 3, turn, (dc, ch1) across, dc in 2nd-to-last dc of the row, skip a ch1 and tc in last dc of the row) to create a triangular flap that gets narrower each row. I made the very last row, when my flap had two square cells left in it, just a chain of about a dozen stitches to make a button loop. The button I made by wrapping a large stitch marker that I’ve never used in the yarn and stitching it down. Photo:


Detail of button and triangular flap.

Purse with hand for scale

Purse with hand for scale

I made this purse in sport-weight acrylic, and it’s quite long and rather narrow—it fits most hardback novels, but not easily. I made the handle super long, so if I wear it cross-body it falls to my calf, but I can trap the middle of the strap under the button flap and make it into a backpack. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, and definitely happy with the chart, which I hereby license you all to use however you see fit, not just in purses.

Pattern: Filet heart purse


Purse with a heart motif in filet crochet

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.


Demo base with 6 hdc

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.


Demo piece with base and one side made

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.

Pattern: Tatted tiles

100_0963 (903x1024)Today’s pattern is one of my favorites; it comes from the Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese de Dillmont, via Project Gutenberg. I love sifting through these old pattern books, which you can find by image-searching for tatting patterns and then clicking the black-and-white pictures; the Antique Pattern Library is another great resource. In particular, this pattern is based on figure 511; I made some alterations including working out how to turn corners and modifying the scalloped edging part a bit. I will also talk about using this pattern as a fractal-tatting motif (see also this post). It is also where I got the inspiration for the headband pattern in this post.

The basic motif is: Ring 6ds, large picot, 6ds; chain 6ds, picot, 6ds;ring 6ds, join to first ring, 6ds; shoelace trick and repeat. By “shoelace trick” I mean tying a single overhand knot with the ball and needle threads, switching their positions, so that the next motif has its rings facing the opposite way than the first motif. In this way you can build up a strip of arbitrary length, like:g4083where the short, thin lines and the small circles are picots (and large picots, respectively); the ovals and arcs are rings and chains. So far so good, and by itself this already makes a nice, small edging. The Encyclopedia suggests making a strip in the desired length, then cutting the thread and making another strip, joining rings to rings and chains to chains along one side, repeating to desired width, and then adding a fancy scalloped edge.

bottom (1024x768)Fancy scalloped edge: Follow the Encyclopedia if you prefer, but I have modified the pattern to omit the non-joining picots. Begin with a Ring 5ds, join to a pair of rings, 5ds. Chain 2ds, picot A, 3ds. Ring 6ds, join to a chain, 6ds, picot B, 6ds, slightly large picot C, 6ds. Chain 3ds, join A, 3ds, join D (omit or picot in first motif), 5ds. Ring 5ds, join C, 5ds; chain 12ds; ring 5ds, join C, 5ds. Chain 5ds, picot D, 3ds, picot E, 3ds. Join a chain to a picot on the wrong side, as follows: either simply pass the needle through the picot, use your fingernails to form a cow hitch in the picot on the needle and pass the needle through, or use the needle to tie a cow hitch in the needle thread on the picot. The first is easiest to do, but if you pull your chains tight it will tend to pull into a smooth curve, whereas you want the chain to bend sharply backwards here; the other two methods are tricky but in my opinion worth it. Chain 3ds, join E, 2ds. Repeat from start. If your strip of edging ends on a pair of rings, finish on a ring 5j5; if it ends on a chain, omit picot B from the large ring, and finish on the first small ring that joins picot C (as shown).

One thing I hate in tatting patterns is cutting the thread and starting a new piece, so the first thing I did with this pattern was figure out how to corner:g3910-1-1It’s a little awkward and requires additional shoelacing, but lies reasonably flat. After you have made however many repeats you want (in my project, this was the height of the purse), finishing with a shoelace, make a ring: 6ds, picot, 6ds. Shoelace again and make a chain: 6ds, picot, 6ds; and a ring: 6ds, join to most recent pair of rings, 6ds; shoelace. Repeat these steps once more, and you are ready to begin working back along the first strip, joining rings to rings and chains to chains.

Constructing the purse proceeds as follows: Make a strip as long as you want the purse to be tall. Corner and build up new rows until you have a piece as twice as wide as you want the purse to be. Finish by joining the last row to the first row, forming a tube. Cut the thread (yes, I know!), and add a top flap by joining the first row to one side of the top edge; if you had more foresight than me you could do this by simply making one side of the bag longer than the other in the first phase of construction, although this forces you to have an even number of repeats in the width. Add a strap by making two long rows, joined at the ends to matching rings and chains in the top corners of the bag. Add decorative scalloped edging on the end of the flap and the bottom of the bag, using the one on the bottom to close the bottom edge, joining into two picots at once.

You may notice a couple things about the cornering: first, it adds a new row on the side that the last pair of rings face; in a flat piece that rasters back and forth this means you will have an even number of whole motifs. Second, the cornering procedure adds a half-motif of width; if you are making a tube you will have to make all the later rows a bit wider than the first, then come back and finish the first row at the very end. In a flat piece, though, you can’t come back and fix it—so we need a new way of thinking about the motif.Instead of the ring/chain/ring/shoelace motif, which is basically a square with the thread entering and leaving at the center of opposite sides, what if we think about a motif of half-chain/ring/shoelace/ring/half-chain? This adds a half-motif at the beginning of the row, and the corner is simply a couple of motifs with an extra shoelace thrown in and doesn’t have to be broken down into its constituent parts. To my mind this is a little harder to see at first, but a lot more elegant than the original motif.text3085-4-3The revised motif pattern is chain 6ds; ring 6ds, picot or join, 6ds; shoelace; ring 6ds, picot or join, 6ds; chain 6ds; with shoelaces between the rings and chains as needed to make the corners. This also makes the motif a square with the thread entering and exiting on opposite corners—which is a much more interesting beast. Fractal diagramSquares that connect on their sides can be tiled in one direction, but squares that connect at their corners can be tiled in two dimensions, and can be tiled fractally. Consider the image at right; the thin lines are the sides of a square motif, the thick lines connect the corners that the threads enter and exit on, and the numbers are the order in which the motifs are made. A large square can be made up of nine smaller squares, and the large square is, again, a square with the thread entering and exiting on opposite corners. The motif has to be altered a little bit to allow cornering, because tatting chains have a natural curve to them, but not by much.

A variant on this fractal pattern can be created by omitting the outside ring on the cornering motifs; I tried this purely because the double-shoelaced ring is a little awkward and doesn’t want to lie flat. The result is:

100_0941 (1024x646)

which started in the top-right corner (omitting the starting half-chain and first ring) and makes a square of 81 motifs (nine blocks of nine motifs) before starting on another (the tail on the bottom left). It makes something of an interesting pattern, but I think in future I will keep the outside rings.

Random note: the pattern I gave has a lot of units of 6ds, and is suitable for smaller threads; if you are working in larger threads, you may want to do 8ds or even more every time I called for 6. The purse is in a nominally size-10 thread, but I think is mis-sized, and using a smaller needle; the flat fractal piece is a more standard size-10 cotton with a #5 needle, and I used 8ds-picot-8ds rings.