This particular pattern is very popular and I see that Ravelry alone has 647 projects made from it. My customisation was to make it a shoulder bag and add a knit thingummy.
Yarn: Acrylic that Yasmin sent me and I used for my Tunisian baby jacket a while ago. It’s squeaky and fuzzy, but works fine for a bag. Plus the colours go well together. I used up the pink completely, but have amounts of the white and purple left over.
Pattern: Haekelbeutel (PDF link, German also available), of course, by Inga Joana Mertens. The Rav page is here. Instead of making the 16 squares, I made 6 squares and 4 triangles, because it was fairly obvious that the number of rows I chose to make them would give me a huge sack and also, I was feeling too lazy to make so many of them. Since I had an even number of pieces and an odd number (3) of colours, I did my best to randomise the order of the colour changes, and then make two of each so the opposite sides of the bag would match. You could choose any square pattern, solid or not, as you wished, which is the beauty of this pattern. And the size of the square would determine how big your bag is. Nothing would stop you from knitting the squares, either. Although then it would be a Strickebeutel, I suppose. (Mine is just a Beutling, should have been a Beutchen).
Size: About 13″ x 8″
Time: About 4 days to finish the bag and as many weeks months to actually line it. No, about 2 months to line it. Seriously, I’m terrified of sewing, whether by hand or machine.
Extra #1. I used the polka dot fabric from the dress I blogged about almost a month ago. Nobody could ever accuse me of having an eye for colour or taste. (Polka dots with stripes! In non-matching colours!) Luckily, my revulsion of feeling after the lining was done was not matched by everyone and I gave the bag away to the MIL who took a shine to it. I also made a tiny pouch for a cell phone with the leftover bits of fabric. More pics on either my Flickr page ( click through from that photo) or my Rav project page.
#2. Even with such a simple construction, I confused myself when crocheting the pieces together and had to frog once not to end up with an unidentifiable 3D object like one of those hyperbolic art pieces.
#3. My favourite part of the bag though is the two-colour thingummy I made at the top. Due entirely to my tight gauge with two yarns, the thingummy (is a technical term, I swear) drew in on itself, thus making an opening smaller than the actual bag body. Neat, what? I went around on a circular needle after picking up stitches around the top, knit in stockinette for as long as I wanted the thingummy to be high, then purled one row with a contrast colour, knit for the same number of rows again. Folded it over at the purl row (which forms a natural hinge) and knit the final row together with the back of the first row. Voila, a nice neat thingummy. Makes me proud, it does. The actual knitting involved knitting the stitches of one colour on one pass while slipping the stitches of the other colour, and then doing the reverse on the second pass. I must strand very tightly, hence the thing drew together to become smaller than it began its life. On the inside I just used the white and left the purple out. Perhaps I slipped stitches again…how did the inside end up as small as the outside? Maybe a different size needle. Hmm.
#4. The handle was a lengthwise chain followed by sort of tapestry crocheting (crocheting over the unused colour), attached to curtain rings with their hooks broken off and crocheted over.
That’s it, really. And I don’t even have to carry it around.