(Somewhat) Satchel

The bag that was going to be a scarf. Carefully cropped so that you can not see what a mess my garden is. It's been too darn hot to do any gardening lately...
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I found a new yarn shop, full of what seemed to be very impractical yarn. Still, I found myself unable to leave without purchasing a couple of skeins of this yarn (#1 and #22, I think). I do not normally even wear pink. I started a scarf, but soon realised that it was going to be itchy. This is weird yarn - it felt really soft when balled up, but felt kind of rough and scratchy when I was actually working with it. Maybe it's just me. Even so, I knew that I didn't want it around my neck, so I hoped that there was enough to make a bag from instead. The (Somewhat) Satchel was knocked out.
Disclaimer: I don't know what I am doing when it comes to crochet and often wonder if I am just making things up as I go along, but I thought I'd attempt to share the pattern with you anyway. If you do try making one, I'd love to get some feedback about any errors (I'm awful at counting stitches and rows) and ideas for better phrasing or the correct way of doing this etc.
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The bag body is made in one piece, starting with the base. You will add a row of single crochet around the edge of the base, then work in the round up the sides. The flap is then worked back and forth in rows. The shoulder strap and buckle straps are made separately in contrasting yarn and sewn on at the end.
You will need:
approx 180 yards / 160cm of heavy worsted yarn (I used 2 skeins of Savanna by GGH)
1 skein of yarn in a contrasting colour for the straps (I used Vanna's Choice by Lion's Brand)
2 buckles (I bought a couple of dirt cheap cat collars and removed the buckles)
US size K 10.5 hook (6.50mm)
US size I 9 hook (5.50mm)
Yarn needle
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Abbreviations used (nb. I'm using the American stitch terms):
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
fpdc = front post double crochet (a search on the 'net shows lots of great tutorials for this easy stitch - it's the same as a dc, but you put the hook behind the 'post' of the stitch)
sl st = slip stitch
rep = repeat
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gauge: 30sc = 8" or 20cm
finished bag measures approximately 8" x 2½" x 5½" or 21cm x 6cm x 15cm
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BAG BASE:
Row 1: (Using the larger size K hook) ch 30
Row 2: ch 1 to turn, sc in second ch from hook and each ch across =30sc
Rows 3: ch 1 to turn, sc in each sc across
Rows 4-10: rep row 3
At the end of row 10 you will work down the side of the piece (ie. along the short side of the rectangle), and then around the first edge (row 1) and then up the other side:
Turning the corner, sc in last sc of row 10 again (marked ** on picture), then sc in each of the gaps (marked *) down the edge (9sc). Turn the corner, sc in each of the ch of row 1 (30sc). Turn the corner, sc up the remaining edge (9sc).
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BAG SIDES (worked in the round):
Round 1: sc in the back loop (furthest loop from you of the two top loops that make a single chain) of each sc all the way around = 78sc
Round 2: (switch to smaller size I hook) dc in each sc all the way around = 78dc
Round 3: fpdc, dc in next 28dc, fpdc, dc in next 9dc, fpdc, dc in next 28dc, fpdc, dc in next 9dc (the fpdc are at each of the corners of the bag)
Rounds 4 - 13: rep round 3
Round 14: fpdc, dc in next 28dc, fpdc, dc in next 9 dc, fpdc, dc in next 28dc, fpdc, dc in nect 8dc, sl st in last dc
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BAG FLAP (worked back and forth in rows):
Row 1: ch 3, (continuing along the long edge of the bag) dc in next 29 dc
Row 2: ch 3 for turning chain, dc in next 29 dc
Rows 3 - 11: rep row 2
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I then did a row of sc down the side of the flap, around the top of the bag and up the other side of the flap and along the top of the flap. This gives it a nice neat edge, but isn't necessary.
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In contrasting yarn:
SHOULDER STRAP:
Row 1: ch 200
Row 2: ch 1 to turn, sc in each ch
Rows 3 - 8: rep row 2
Sew strap on outside of bag using the yarn.
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BUCKLE STRAPS (nb. The inside edge of my buckle was equal to 3 rows of crochet. You may need fewer or more rows, depending on the width of your buckle) :
Make 2:
Row 1: ch 10
Row 2: ch 1 to turn, sc in each ch
Row 3: ch 1 to turn, sc in each sc.
Sew buckle onto the end of this strap.
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Make 2:
Row 1: ch 21
Row 2: ch 1 to turn, sc in each ch
Row 3: ch 1 to turn, sc in each sc
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Sew the 2 straps attached to the buckle onto the front of the bag, then (making sure that they are in line with the buckles) sew the longer straps onto the flap of the bag (use the picture as a guide)
You're finished. As modelled by a pyjama-clad kid in a garden that needs raking:
Wow, it seems a lot more complicated when you're writing out every step, but it's not a hard bag to make.
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Translation of the day:
UK English: purse = small coin purse (feminine version of a wallet) in US English
UK English: handbag = purse, handbag or (apparently) pocketbook in US English.
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I had to look pocketbook up after reading that word the other day. I had no clue what was being referred to, but guessed that they weren't talking about a paperback book. Is it in common usage over here?
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nb. I have a lot of catching up to do. I am way behind on replying to people, but I have an old wrist injury keeping me from spending much time on the computer. A police dog bit me 10 years ago (no, I wasn't on the run from the law - I just knew the dog handler) and it still keeps playing up (my wrist, that is. Hopefully the dog has stopped playing up).
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Not too long to go 'til my 100th post and a giveaway. I'll give you a clue - there'll be some fabric up for grabs. It seems like I bought it ages ago now. I was under the illusion that I would be posting regularly and often over the summer... Take care all.

The report

"The report of my death was an exaggeration" ~ Mark Twain.
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When I said that you might not hear from me for a while, I didn't think that I would be disappearing for the rest of the summer. Well, the first half of the summer was spent without a car, with two stir crazy kids confined by heat and a poorly designed public transportation system to the house / local park / backyard paddling pool / supermarket (which involved a less than a mile walk, but you would have thought that it was a death march with the way that the kids were complaining. Ok, it was hot, but I'm pretty sure that the one carrying the shopping while dragging along two kids had the worst end of the deal...). Then the second half of the summer was spent rushing around trying to squeeze in all the things that we missed out on during the first half of the summer.
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By the way, I love that the cities around here put on free concerts and movies in the park during the summer. One group of people had set up a table, with a table cloth, napkins, fancy meal, dessert and wine at one of the concerts. What a great way to dine.
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So what did we do this summer?
My parents visited and we went camping.
My friend visited and we went sightseeing (although, if you ask me, I'd advise steering clear of many of the local sights).
We did a bit of time-travel.
Played baseball.
Then checked out how the big boys play it.
We made sandcastles.
that turned out nothing like this.
We splashed.
There was lots of courage displayed at swimming lessons.
There were busy days.
and then there were quiet days.
Summer holidays have come to an end now, though. The swimming pool and wading pools are closed. My son calmly started first grade last week (it was his mum who had first day butterflies). My daughter goes back to preschool next week (she's disappointed that she's got to wait another year before she gets to go to kindergarten). I'm back.
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Translation of the day:
UK English: holiday= vacation in US English
UK English: bank holiday or public holiday = holiday in US English.
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American publishers have marked a lot of special dates on my calendar, but not all of them get you a day off school or work. I'm still trying to work out which ones do. Do we get a day off on Columbus day?
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Ooh, I almost forgot. Talking of calendars: I'm in one! Well, to be more precise, my pear pincushion pattern is in it. The calendar is a collection of simple sewing projects - two a week, I believe. I had no clue what to expect, so I was really excited to get my copy. Some really talented bloggers and sewers have contributed projects to this calendar. I feel very intimidated by the company that I've found myself in.
I hope that those of you in the Northern hemisphere enjoyed your summer. Take care.