Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Choxie Revisited

A while back I posted an entry about my first bag "Choxie" and got some requests of posting a pattern. I tried but the fact is there is no pattern per se. As mentioned in the entry, I followed the direction from Donna at c'ville. For those who are really interested, you can go read the thread and have some ideas for yourself. It's been half a year since I finished mine so I don't really remember what I did.

But that doesn't mean that's the end of the story. You think I will disappoint you, huh? Nuh uh!

In order to do the bag, you need to know how to crochet cable stitches. They're not difficult but really need lots of practice. I found this tutorial from About.com very useful. It has step-by-step pictures that you can follow. At first I was kind of confused at the front post stitches and the back post stitches (I called them "front stabbers" and "back stabbers" hehe) My favorite book "Stitch and Bitch and the happy hooker" has a pattern called "Short and Sweet" that utilizes these two stitches. Also, the newest issue of Crochet Today! (Dec. 06/Jan. 07 issue) has a tutorial on cable stitches and has so many variations of this stitch.

After mastering the awesome cable stitches, you'll need to have a rough draft of how you want your bag to look like. You have in your hand the expensive bag version, Donna's version and my version of the bag. You can use them for reference and inspirations (and there's nothing wrong with that! Being inspired is totally different from "stealing")

For mine, according to my note this is how I did:

first 4 rows: single crochet stitches
after that:
RS-1: 4dc, 4 front stabbers, 4 dc, 6 front stabbers (for cable), 4 dc, 4 front stabbers, 6 front stabbers (for another cable), 4 front stabbers, 4 dc.
WS-1: 4dc, 4 back stabbers, 4 dc, start cable stitch according to tutorial, 4 dc, 4 back stabbers, another cable, 4 back stabbers, 4 dc.
RS-2: follow RS-1
WS-2: follow WS-1
Repeat until desired length. Finish with 4 rows of sc (hey, the bag needs to be balanced!)

After all these work (and I'm guaranteed your fingers will be sored!) you'll have a rectangular piece of awesome crochet fabric. Double it up lengthwise with WS facing you and stitch the two sides together using a tapestry needle and the same color yarn. Then turn it inside out and attach the handles. Finally, decorate it with your favorite satin bow.

Voila, you got one very cool bag!

If you want the body of the cable to be longer, you can repeat another row of "reverse" RS-1 (instead of using front stabbers, using back stabbers instead.)

I found the body of the bag very dense and hence didn't line it. Choxie was dragged along for half a year and nothing happened to it. I got compliments at the mall for its exotic look and was quite proud of it (considering it's my first real crochet product and all :D) For bags, I don't really spend a lot of money on the materials and Choxie was made from Caron Super Saver (the big and cheap one, not Simply Soft!) I found this yarn less stretchy than Red Heart. And it's very durable too!

I hope this post will help you who are interested in this bag. Again, my arcane memory doesn't give me the exact instruction and the above incoherent words exactly described it so that you have some ideas.

But one day, yes, one day I WILL sit down and write the pattern properly. Promise!