How to Crochet a Tote Bag

I am a knitter and knitters, as you might know, are quite prejudiced and prefer knitting to crochet and similar crafts that involve yarn! That was until I came across a few tutorials on YouTube and learned that crochet is far more flexible and fun that I had imagined. With some scrap yarn and a crochet hook I had for seaming edges in knitting projects I started making chains while watching the videos and a few chains later, I was absolutely hooked (no puns intended)! So as you see I’ve already completed my first crochet project, which took me less than a few hours, from design to finish.

All you need is about 150-200 grams of a medium-thick yarn (preferably acrylic) and a corresponding crochet hook (e.g. 5 mm). I am not still familiar with reading or writing crochet pattern, but since this was super easy to do, I’m going to explain the general instructions in simple English.

Base: Start with 35 chains and single crochet in the round for a couple of rounds,  adding stitches in the first three rounds (first 3, then 2, then alternating between 2 and 1). This is the base and you want it as firm and sturdy as possible. If you want a wider base, go ahead and add a few more stitches in the round as you crochet. I have a total number of 5 rounds.
Height: The rest is half double-crochets without adding or subtracting until the very top. If you decide to change colors, do so when you reach one end of the work in order to minimize the jug. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that teach you how to do it, but I didn’t mind since it doesn’t really show on this pattern. I have a total number of 33 rounds.
Straps: Once you reach the desired height, single crochet in all chains until you reach the markers for the straps. Each strap in this pattern is eight stitches in length. Using single crochet helps make the straps less stretchy and more suitable for carrying weight.
Dimensions: In this pattern, I have crocheted a total number of 33 rounds plus 5 rounds of single crochets for the base (if you count rows it will be 10). The straps are 64 rows of single crochet. The dimension are: 35 x 36 (cms). The straps are 53 cms in length.

I promise to add more detailed instructions once I learn the crochet vocabulary. I also need to make some time. We have reached the middle of the semester at the University of Tokyo and I’m busy giving feedback on my students’ essays and marking exams.

By the way, I went to the market the other day and stuffed everything I had bought in the tote and I confirm that it holds well. The straps stretch a bit, but nothing too dramatic. I’m really pleased with the end result. I basically taught myself how to crochet and I can now practice more daring patterns. Now it’s your turn. 

Please leave a comment if you have any questions or doubts. Knit Crochet and smile 😉 

4 thoughts on “How to Crochet a Tote Bag

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