I’m especially proud of this entry for my #RecycleReknitRemake make-along. It is entirely made of recycled or leftover materials. It is upping my crochet game while simultaneously clearing a bit of space out of the dreaded closet,”The Closet” being the working title of the autobiographical account of collecting craft supplies to fill the void in my soul.
So, yes, a bright, fun summer bag. Miriam Masendu’s Half Moon Crossbody Bag is an excellent beginning crochet project. I say this because I am a beginner and I made it with little difficulty. I have so little experience with crochet but I can honestly say I feel much more capable after making this.
Details: I think I used a US G crochet hook (I think) and a couple of old red t-shirts cut into t-shirt yarn. You can find a bazillion tutorials on how to do this online: some use every bit of the shirt, some make it easy with just the body, and there are even picture tutorials for those of you who may be impatient to get started and don’t want to sit thru a whole video. I made this t-shirt yarn many years ago out of my family’s old event and club t-shirts and put it in a giant bag in the garage, where it stayed until we moved.
Flash forward to the new house and my desire to use some of this stuff and that’s why I chose this as the super bulky weight yarn for the pattern. You can see the sample bag is knit in actual yarn, which is probably lighter to wear on your shoulder. But I like the idea of fabric yarn in summer, plus the bright red didn’t go with the rest of the t-shirt yarn that I’d been hoarding for a future crochet rug. See, below.
Miriam’s pattern is beyond affordable on Ravelry and comes with video support. This was so helpful to me as I always forget how to make a magic circle in crochet. With her help, I could make one of these bags in an evening.
My one mistake, and it was big, was to misplace one of the balls of t-shirt yarn. As I neared the halfway point on the first side of the bag, I was mystified as to how I’d used so much of my yarn already. I couldn’t find the rest, so I assumed I’d already used it and abbreviated the directions for each side, in order to have enough to finish. After finishing the entire bag, I found the missing ballOf course. It turns out that two t-shirts would have been enough for a full size bag, especially with the method I chose for seaming.
The seams could have been made with the same yarn, but I wanted to try recycling some other leftovers. I dug up a cone of suede lacing that I’d used to make a purse strap (not super successful) and as shoe laces (very successful.) I had plenty to crochet my seams and to make little loops at the ends, for the strap, if I wanted.
I didn’t want. I pulled out some leftover keyrings in a tarnished bronze color that looked nice with the brown lacing and slid the top of each suede lace seam into one, just like you’d slide a key onto a key ring. You really can’t see the opening for the keys once it is on. It looks like purse hardware.
For the actual strap I decided to reuse the faux leather Lion Brand crossbody strap I bought to use on my Crossbody Canteen Bag, which I STILL have not supported with a mesh inner lining. Ugh! Anyway, the hardware on the strap doesn’t clash too much with the keyring/ fastenings so that’s what I’m using. At the time of my writing this, it is like $3 on the Lion Brand site.
The last little recycled touch is a leftover wooden toggle. I attached it using the t-shirt yarn. Now Miriam’s pattern includes directions to make a strap and attach it differently, if you want to go with uniformity. I was very pleased to use some of these things. And now that I know how much I can get from a few balls of t-shirt yarn, I’d like to try another, bigger bag.
What I love about this: This bag is tiny, but still big enough for my phone, card wallet, or keys and is lighter weight on my shoulder if I want to wear it to walk around downtown or for getting a quick coffee. I like having bags like this. Also, look at the puffy canteen shape the t-shirt fabric naturally makes when crocheted. I love that it holds it’s shape and doesn’t require any kind of lining to keep my keys from falling out.
I can’t say enough good things about the design and Miriam’s instagram (@mirrymascrafts) and Youtube channel. Her Youtube has even more patterns than her Ravelry. But I do recommend that if you use her videos, you also purchase the pattern from her shop. They are incredibly affordable and in this day where so much information is hidden behind a paywall, I love that Miriam generously offers things for free.
Another one of Miriam’s patterns I’d like to try is The Blue Knot Handbag, a variation of which is the Japanese Knot Bag. Much like the mini crossbody bag I made here, Miriam’s Exotic Crossbody Bag is perfect when you want hands free and don’t want to lug a giant purse (or knitting bag.) I’d like to make this in an interesting twine-like yarn one day.