I made my first pattern! I'm excited to share it here and certainly appreciate any feedback from people who test it out.
I wanted to make a grocery bag holder, but nothing I found online was my taste. So, I decided to create my own, and I decided to use a crochet stitch that I've found on Ravelry a couple times now and added to my Ravelry queue. I can't find what the stitch is called, although a French site referred to it as "chain mail."
You can see examples of the stitch in this "babala hat" by Mamachee here, as well as a Moroccan tile market tote by Moogly at this site. I love both of those projects and might use that Moroccan tile bag to make a blanket one day! If you go to the Moogly website, you'll get detailed instructions on the stitch, as well as a video. I also loved the various color combinations used by MyPicot in their tutorial of the stitch. My directions are a bit different from both of those, and the technique used by Moogly is a bit different than the one used by MyPicot. Feel free to use either of their instructions for the stitch for the main body of this grocery bag if you prefer their instructions or style. Obviously, color choices can be modified, too, and MyPicot has many examples of colorwork options for this stitch.
My pattern works from the bottom up, so it will start with the dark brown color. I used four colors in my leftover worsted weight yarn. I probably used about 50 yards (or less) of each color. You can make the grocery bag holder as long as you want, so if you make it longer, you'll obviously need more yarn!
4 colors of worsted weight yarn (approximately 50 yards of each)
Stitch markers (optional)
DC = double crochet
FPDC = front post double crochetSC = single crochet
1) Start off by chaining 34 with dark brown color (or whatever color you choose for the bottom). Then DC in the third chain from the hook and every chain to the end (32 stitches).
2) Slip stitch into the first dc, joining it into a circle. Be careful not to twist your row. When you weave in your yarn ends later, you will also sew together the two dc stitches that are split from the join.
3) Chain 2. DC in same stitch. FPDC in the next stitch. *DC in the next stitch, then FPDC in the next stitch.** Repeat from * to ** to the end, then slip stitch to join (32 stitches)
4) Chain 2. DC in same stitch in back loops only. Working in back loops only, DC two times into the next stitch, creating an extra stitch. *Working in back loops only, DC in the next stitch, then 2 DC into the next stitch.** Repeat from * to ** to the end, then slip stitch to join and switch to your next color (I used white). (48 stitches).
Here is a picture of the bottom:
5) Chain 3 using your new color (white is what I used here in my bag holder). DC in same stitch. Skip two stitches. *DC, chain 1, and then DC again into the same stitch (creating a V). Skip two stitches.** Repeat from * to ** to the end, then slip stitch to join. (16 Vs)
6) Remove your hook from the white yarn, and place a stitch marker or pull out a big loop to save your white to pick up again later. Don't cut off the white yarn.
7) Find your V stitches in the previous row. Attach your next color yarn (I used pink) to the top of one of the V stitches at the chain 1.
8) Using Pink - Chain three, then DC into the same stitch. (I crochet into the gap, enclosing the entire chain 1 of the V.) *In the next V stitch, DC, chain 1, DC.** Repeat from * to ** all the way around, join with slip stitch (16 Vs).
9) Don't cut off your pink yarn. Place a stitch marker or pull out the loop a bit to save the color and pick it up again later.
10) Pick up your white yarn again. This time, you do not work into the V. You will work in the spaces between the Vs from the first white row (or the upside-down Vs, if that's how you look at it!). From now on, all of the white rows will be worked in between the Vs. I took a picture of my hook to show where you'll be starting in this next row:
11) Starting in between the white Vs from the first row of white, chain 3 using your white yarn. DC into the same stitch. *DC into the next space in between the white V stitches in the first row, chain 1, then DC into the same space.** Repeat from * to ** all the way around, then slip stitch to join. Don't cut off the white yarn. Use a stitch marker or pull the loop out a bit so you don't loose the stitch. (16 V stitches).
12) You will be working into the V stitches of the previous row again. Attach your green yarn to the top of one of the white V stitches from the last row. Chain 3, then DC into the same V space. *DC into the next white V space, chain 1, then DC into the same space.** Repeat from * to ** all the way around, then join with a slip stitch. Don't cut your green yarn. Use a stitch marker or pull the loop out a bit to save it for later. (16 V stitches)
13) This next row is a white row. Pick up your white again. Attach your yarn in between the V of the previous white row (not the last color row). Use the picture above as a guide for where you are working if necessary. Chain 3, then DC into the same space. *DC into the space between the next white Vs, chain 1, then DC into the next space.** Repeat from * to ** all the way around, then join with a slip stitch. Don't cut off the white yarn; use a stitch marker or loop to save it for later. (16 V stitches)
14) Now you will be picking up your pink yarn from before. Make sure the yarn is pulled up from the inside of the bag and not up the front. Using pink, chain into the V stitch from the white row you just made to attach the pink. Chain 3, then DC into the same V stitch space. *DC, chain 1, DC into the next V stitch space**. Repeat from * to ** around. Slip stitch to join. Don't cut off your yarn. Use a stitch marker or pull out the loop to save for later. (16 V stitches)
Repeat rows 13 and 14 until your piece is the length you want it. Please note that row 14 will alternate between pink and green (or whatever color yarns you choose). End with a white row (row 13), then you can cut off your yarns.
TOP OF BAG HOLDER
15) Join your dark brown yarn with a slip stitch. Chain 2. DC in same stitch and each stitch around. You will be DC into each DC and chain stitch from the last round. Join with a slip stitch. (48 stitches)
16) Chain 2. DC into same stitch. DC the next two stitches together. To do this, you yarn over your hook, insert it into the next stitch, pull yarn through (3 loops on hook), yarn over again, pull through two loops (2 loops on hook), yarn over, insert it into the next stitch, pull yarn through again (4 loops on hook), yarn over again, pull through two loops (3 loops on hook), yarn over again, then pull through all 3 remaining loops loops on the hook. *DC into next stitch, then DC the next two stitches together.** Repeat from * to ** until the end of the row, then slip stitch to join. (32 stitches)
17) Chain 2. DC into same stitch and each stitch around. Slip stitch to join (32 stitches)
18) Chain 2. DC into same stitch. *FPDC into next stitch, then DC into the following stitch.** Repeat from * to ** to the end of row, then slip stitch to join (32 stitches).
19) Skip 2 stitches. Make 5 DC into the next stitch (creating a fan). Skip two stitches, then slip stitch into the next stitch. *Skip 2 stitches, then make 5 DC into the next stitch. Skip two stitches, then slip stitch into the next stitch.** Ending with a slip stitch. (5 fans). Bind off. Weave in all ends. Remember to sew together the split DC stitch from the very first row.
20) Chain 71. SC into the second chain from hook, and all the way across to the end. Turn. (70 SC stitches)
21) Slip stitch into first stitch. Slip stitch in next 31 stitches. Then, chain 20 stitches. Skip 5 stitches, then slip stitch into the next stitch. Slip stitch in each stitch to the end. Turn.
22) Chain 1, then single crochet across. When you get to the chain 20, be sure to single crochet into each chain stitch. This will create a loop to hang your bag holder. Single crochet across to the end, then bind off and weave in ends.
Here is a picture of my loop after it is woven into the top of the bag:
23) Choose what will be the back of your bag. I like to have my joining stitches in the back so they're not visible. Weave in your string ends in and out of each FPDC stitch at the top of the bag below the fans. Make sure your loop is centered in the back.
Here's a picture to show you what stitches you'll be weaving into (my hook shows where the string will be woven in):
24. You want the two ends to come out and meet together in the center of the front. You can tie them together in a bow, or in a knot like I did.