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Monday, December 3, 2012

Crochet Project: Gift bags

So, winter is here and with that gardening goes out the window--at least for me in my cold, Pocono home. Now I get to stay inside and crochet. What my latest project has been is gift bags. Perfect time for them with Christmas coming soon.

Why would I make crocheted gift bags for gift-giving when there's perfectly useful wrapping paper, gift boxes and even paper gift shopping bags which are so easy to use? You have to know, I'm all for saving trees and wrapping paper is a total waste of perfectly good trees, in my opinion, even if you do re-use it, although I'm betting most of you never do.

Seeds and puppies are even better in one of these crocheted gift bags
My crocheted gift bags are the perfect "Green" solution. They can be used over and over making them great for little kids who exchange gifts often with each other --not just for Christmas. They may even like these bags for keeping collectables and keepsakes. Little girls could use them as tiny purses, too.

These are so easy to make and can be whatever size you need for whatever gift you wish to stuff within it. You can use any type yarn and stitch pattern you like. I used worsted weight acrylic yarn, but any will do. I've tried three types of pattern stitches so far and they were each rather nice and different looking. I'll show you how to make them if you wish to join me and the Lorax in saying no to wrapping paper and therefore saving a tree.

Small gift bag

1. Chain 15.
3hdc at the end to make the round

2.  In third chain from hook half double crochet (hdc) and make 1 hdc in each stitch down the row. Do not turn.
Work on the opposite side of foundation chain

3. In last stitch work 2 more hdc. Total of three to make the turn.

4. Working on the opposite side of the foundation chain, work a hdc in each stitch, making two at the end of the row for the second curve; join with a slip stitch. Now you work in the round, Try not to get dizzy!

5. Ch2, work 1 hdc in back loops of each stitch to end.

6. Around curve work 2hdc in each of next 2 stitches. Work 1 hdc in each stitch down the row to the end. Work 2hdc in each of next 2 stitches

7. Work 1 hdc in beginning stitch, join with slip stitch.
Add more rows for a wider bag

8. Chain 2, work 1 hdc in each stitch to end of row just before the curve.

9. Work 2hdc in each of next 6 stitches on curve.

10. Work 1 hdc in each stitch until you get to the curve.

11. Repeat step #9

12. Repeat step #7; bag bottom done.

13. Work row even with 1 hdc in each stitch all the way around--meaning no increases—and join with slip stitch. This begins the sides of the bag.

14. Repeat #13 until you reach the desired length.

15. Chain 4, *skip 2 stitches and work a double crochet in next stitch, chain 2. Repeat from * all the way around until the end. Join with slip stitch.

16. Add one last row of hdc, join with slip, bind off.

17. Take a ribbon, colorful shoelace or double length of yarn in a contrasting color and weave in and out of the double crochet spaces. 
Should've gone with the ribbon

18. Fill gift bag with treats—perhaps even a cookie!--, tie ribbon in bow and give away.
Tiny stuffed animals, seeds and/or candy. All's good when it comes in one of these crocheted gift bags

Easy, huh? I think so, and like I said, these crocheted gift bags can be used over and over. A good choice they are if you are tired of all that useless, wasteful wrapping paper.

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