You know how to tell when you have a problem? When you have 35 totes hanging on a hook in your office and you keep making more. At least Hubby is trying to tell me. My response was that they are all for different things! There are market totes, beach totes, book totes, project totes, picnic totes – I could just keep going. So when I got the new All About Cotton book from Leisure Arts of course the first thing I made was the Lacy Tote.
There are other projects in this little pattern book that I am going to make. Mermaid has informed me that she NEEDS the bath set in green – because that is her color of course. My Mother In Law has requested the basket set to keep her counter clutter in. I am going to make the pot holders for myself with all my scrap yarns.
So far I have made two of these Lacy Totes. The first was in turquoise and a white that is speckled with spots of blues and greens. The second I made with a variegated in crazy colors (also out of my leftover stash). All of it is Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Cotton.
Time To Make
I was able to make each tote in an afternoon while Mermaid sat with me coloring. The bag body is created with three different stitch sections.
There are no complicated stitches to worry about. My only note is when you make your first picots to try them as the book writes them with a single crochet to close the picot or with a slip stitch instead. Personally when working with a thick yarn like this I like to close picots with a slip stitch – it makes it less likely they will curl up over time.
If this is the first time you are going to work with cotton yarn make sure to use a metal or plastic hook. If you use wood or bamboo it is going to drag on the yarn messing up your tension and just overall making you unhappy with the yarn. A metal/ plastic hook will slide through the yarn much easier.
Working the Pattern
When you are working on Row 5 (and its repeats) of the bottom section, slip stitch twice into the first ch 6 space. This makes the cluster base stay together. This way your beginning cluster won’t be obvious. It is a little change but trust me you will like the finished product.
To Make A Solid Color Body
If you want to make a solid color bag it is easy. You can just keep working the sections without cutting or moving your yarn.
To Make A Solid Color Handle
If you want to make a solid color handle you will follow the pattern with a few changes.
- Don’t add in a second yarn for row 2.
- After completing row 3, do a row of single crochet as row 4. This gets the tail at the opposite end from the start so you have a way to sew both sides to the bag.
The only flaw with this bag is it is very lacy. If you put anything small or loose it might slip out the open work of the pattern. To prevent this you could sew a fabric lining into the bag. If you look at the main pattern photo it has a white liner sewn inside. The easiest way to do this is to buy a tee shirt/ tank top in the right color that has no designs on it. You know those plain ones you can get at your craft store. Cut the shirt off under the arms (your making a tube by removing the neck and arm holes). Sew a straight seam along the cut edge. Tuck the shirt inside your Lacy Tote and stitch the shirt hem to the top band of the bag. Boom you have a lined market tote worthy of even the snootiest farmers markets.
If you make this bag leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!