Now that the Ravelympics are over, I'll give you all a break from The Franket for a few days. I know looking at Garter Stitch rectangle after Garter Stitch rectangle had to get old pretty quickly. I decided to start something new because I had some cotton yarn in my stash and while I know that a lot of people like to crochet in cotton, I didn't know how I'd feel about it since I'm not a huge fan of knitting with it. I had seen this little bag, designed by Lucy of Attic 24 and thought it would be fun to make with the cotton and it should be a smallish project so I could get it done quickly. Although Lucy's original bag had a multicolored bottom, I had more of this color of yarn than the other colors I'll be using, so I decided to make a solid colored bottom. (The yarn is Omega Sinfonia, it's a cabled, mercerized cotton that I picked up at Hobby Lobby.)
In the original pattern, the bottom of the bag is round, making the entire bag round. It's cute, but one of my pet peeves is bag handles that fall off my shoulder while I'm carrying it. I've found that bags that stay closer to my body are less likely to fall off and irritate me, so I decided to make the bottom of my bag an oval. Fortunately, Beyond The Square has an oval in it (Motif 125) so I started with that. The pattern only gives you the first 5 rounds, but it explains how to keep going. As you can see in the picture above, I was working on my eighth round and I started to notice something. The oval was becoming pretty fat. I was keeping my increases at the ends of the oval, but because I was adding the same amount to the ends as I was to the sides on each round, the proportions weren't staying as long and oval as I wanted them to - the shape was getting rounder.
I realized that what the bottom of the bag needed was more length added to it and since I don't know how to short row in crochet, the only thing I could come up with was to frog the whole thing and start with a longer chain - 4 times longer to be exact! (Frogging crochet is even more fun than frogging knitting - it makes the same fun "pop pop" sound, but it deconstructs in weird ways - not just rows!) So I restarted my bag bottom and quickly realized that by doing this, I'd have to figure out how to do each round on my own. I knew I needed to increase 6 stitches at each end of the oval on each round and once I learned to count to 6 (yes, it took some practice), I was off and running! On round two I realized that I had really gotten quite cocky with this whole crochet thing, seeing as all I can do without looking it up in the book is chain stitch, slip stitch and double crochet. Fortunately, that's all this bag bottom requires though. As you can see, I'm in the middle of round 3. I've got markers on the center stitches and I'm using markers to tell myself where to work increases, but so far I think it's working pretty well! Sometimes when you don't know what you're doing it works out just fine.