Persian Carpet Bag by Jo Bodley

Persian Carpet Bag

December 2010
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
12 stitches and 10 rows = 4 inches
in Htr
US 8 - 5.0 mm
400 - 500 yards (366 - 457 m)
One of a kind, sizes may vary
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(So as not to mislead, the bag is pictured as a prizewinner in the above magazine, the pattern itself is not included.)
This pattern is in 2 parts.
A basic bag shape, and several separate patterns for flowers and leaves.This is the kind of project where you can be doing the leaves and flowers as portable projects (waiting rooms, travelling etc) and the bag base when you have more time.

I used mainly recycled wool and cashmere for my projects, but felting yarn (i.e Wash + Filz it! for the bag shape and Wash + Filz it fine for the motifs )could be as well as any oddments of feltable yarn.
For the motifs DK was used, used double for the bag shape. A chunky feltable yarn (any pure wool, lopi type works quite well)could be used instead.
You will need for the bag base approximately 100g bright blue, 100g Bright pink, 50g each of orange, green , light pink.
For the flowers, you need a small quantity of yellow, black, dark green, light blue.

The design for this bag is inspired by a 1920s Persian carpet which I inherited from my grandparents. Despite its age and signs of wear, the colours are still vibrant.
It started life as a small sketch for a competition run by ‘Knitting’ Magazine and Biggan Yarns. I was shortlisted and given the lovely Biggan worsted weight merino wool to realise my design.
The resulting bag, knitted in moss stitch with crochet and knit flowers chain stitched on, won the 2009 competition: the prize was lots more Biggan yarn!!
Several years later I revisited my original design and decided to make it in crochet exclusively, and offer the pattern free on Ravelry as a gesture of goodwill to all the kind Ravellling people who inspire me and ‘like’ my designs.
It is a fairly hefty item, more suited to storage than as a handbag. The bag base uses only half trebles and double crochet stitches and offers an introduction to stripes.
The flowers are ideal handbag projects to be made ‘on the go’.
I attached the flowers to the base using blanket stitch instead of the original chainstitch, as I wanted it to look ‘folk art’ in style.
I was lucky to find some carpet bag handles from a wholesaler, but if unavailable, knitting bag handles could work as well.
Feel free to interpret design in your own way!

Apologies to US readers but instructions use UKterms, so for anyone new to crochet or never used a UK pattern before,The UK term first with US after:

Bag Base
With 5.5mm hook and Blue make 32 ch
Rnd 1: Ch2, 3htr into next ch from hook, htr in each ch to end, turn.
4htr into end ch, turn.
Htr into each ch other side of foundation ch , join to top of 2ch with a ss.
If you use markers you may want to employ them from now on.
Rnd 2: 2ch, htr into the same st, pm (place marker)4htr,2htr into next st.
Htr into each st to st before 4 htr in end ch.
Pm, 2htr into this st, 4htr, 2htr into next st, pm, htr in each st to beginning of round , join to top of 2ch with a ss.
Rnds 3-6: Continue in this way, working 2htr into same st either side of markers and 6, 8, 10, 12 end htrs.
You should have about 92 ch.
Stripe pattern as follows:
Rnds 6-12: Continue straight on the 92 sts until you have completed 12 rows of Blue from the beginning.
Rnd 13:Join in black and work a dc into each htr.
Rnds 14-15:Join in dark Pink and work 2 rnds of htr .
Rnd 16:As rnd 13
Rnds 17-18:Join in orange and work two rnds of htr.
Rnd 19:As rnd 13
Rnds 20-21:Join in Pale Green and work 2rnds htr.
Rnd 22: As rnd 13.
Rnds 23- 24: Two rnds of htr using light pink.
Rnds 25-27: Two rnds of medium pink.
Rnds 28-34: Each rnd htr using Dark Pink.

Large Orange Flowers (Make 2)
Using 4.5mm hook,and dark pink, make a slip ring.
Rnd 1: 2ch into ring,7htrs, join to 2nd ch with a ss, pull tight.(8sts)
Change to yellow
Rnd 2: 2dc into each st,join with a ss. (16sts)
Rnd 3:2ch, htr into same st. 2htr, 2htr into next st, repeat to end. (24sts)
Change to orange.
Rnd4:1ch, 1dc into same st,2dc, 2dc into same st, repeat to end.(32sts)
Rnd 5:5ch, skip 3ch, 1dc into next st, 5ch repeat to end (8loops),
Rnd 6: Into each loop, work 1dc, 1htr, 2tr, 1htr,1dc. Join with a ss to first dc.

Small Orange Flowers
With yellow, make a slip ring and into it work 8 dc.
Change to orange.
Rnd1: 2dc into each st, close with a ss.(16sts)
Rnd2:Htr into each dc, join with a ss (32sts)
Rnd 3:5ch, miss 3.* 1dc, 4ch, miss 38 rep to end, join to top of 1st of 5ch with a ss.(8loops).
Rnd4: Into each loop , 1dc,1htr,1tr,1htr,1dcto end.

Small Rose (make 6)
Rnd 1:With yellow,make a slip ring,6dc into ring, pull tight and join with a ss.
Rnd 2:2dc in each st,join with a ss. (12sts).
Rnd3: Join black, 1dc, another dc into the same st,2dc, 2dc into next strepeat to end.(18sts)
Each petal is worked over 3 sts from rnd 3, carrying the colour not in use behind the next set of petal sts and crocheting over it.(This is to minimise the number of ends to be sewn in!)
Rnd 4:With light pink, ch2. Make a tr into the same stitch. Then a tr into the next st. Then a treble and 2ch into the same st. Join in dark pink and work next petal over 3 sts as before, laying yarn not in use to back and crocheting over it.

Large Blue Flower(Make 6)
Rnd 1: With light pink make a slip ring and into it work 2ch,8htr.(9sts)
Rnd2: Join in dark pink and work 2dc into each htr, join with a ss.(18sts)
Each petal is worked over 3 sts as follows:
Rnd 3: With light blue, 3ch, 1 tr into same st, 1tr into next st, turn.
3ch, 2tr, turn.
3ch, dc into 2nd ch from hook, htr into next ch, dc to top of one of 2st row of trebles, 2ch , dc to top of first row of trebles, 2ch, ss to next dc .
Join in dark blue and work petal as before. Carry yarn not in use behind sts, crocheting over it,. Continue until 6 petals have been worked.

Blue/yellow flower(make 8)
With dark Pink make a slip ring
Rnd 1: 3ch, then 7tr into ring, join to top of 3ch with a ss.(8sts).
Carry yarn not in use behind sts, crocheting over it,
Petal:Join yellow,3ch, 1tr into same st. Into next st, 1tr, then 3ch, join to same st.
Add blue.
Repeat as for first petal, but carry yellow wool behind work so it is in place for next(yellow) petal. Do the same for the following petal but carrying the blue yarn behind.

The basic method of making the leaves is the same, but the colours vary as follows:
Plain green- make 4
Orange/green-make 4
Yellow/green- mak e4
Dk green/light green- make 2.
Plain Leaf
With green, make a foundation chain of 11 sts.Turn.
Rnd1: Into 2nd ch from hook, dc.Into following 9 ch,2dc,1htr,3tr,1htr,2dc, dc into last dc again and turn.
Work set of stitches in brackets up the other side of the leaf, and join to 1st dc of round with a dc.Turn.
Rnd 2:Into each st , dc, but into the centre tr on each side of the leaf, 2dc.

Bi-coloured Leaf
With green, make a foundation ch of 11sts.Turn.
Rnd 1: Into 2nd ch from hook,dc. Into foll. 9 sts 2dc,1htr,3tr,1htr,2dc, dc into last st, change yarn to 2nd colour. Proceed up the other side of the leaf, working the sts in brackets.1dc into end st, turn.
Rnd2: With 2nd colour, dc into each st, but 2dc into centre tr of 3tr.Change to first colour and completethe other side of the leaf in the same way.

Felting- Optional, but makes for a sturdier, stronger bag.
I felt the bag base and flowers separately before sewing them together.I do this simply by placing the bag base in a machine wash , with detergent,at 40 degrees with a towel or pair of jeans, and the flowers in a mesh bag.A few sheets of colour catcher are also a good idea.You might want to do a felting test swatch/flower or two first to check you like the result.
The felted motifs may come out looking all scrunched up and terrible, but felt is quite malleable and once you pull them into shape, block and press them they should be fine.
Making up
Motifs can be felted if desired, by washing in a mesh bag at 40degrees in a machine.
Arrange as per diagram, and attach using black yarn and blanket stitch.
Attach handles following any manufacturer’s instructions.
For extra durability, a cloth lining works well. I use recycled umbrella fabric for mine- its a strong type of nylon which wears well and is lightweight.