Malia Shoulder Bag

Winter must be coming to an end, soon right. I'm a little over it to be honest, and my most recent project off the hook has me wishing for the warmer spring/summer months.

I've crocheted lots of blankets, coasters, doilies and cushions, but I've never attempted a bag pattern before. As soon as I saw the Malia Shoulder Bag I knew this was a crochet project I had to try, and I was making it just for me.

The Malia Shoulder Bag is a free pattern from the super talented Rebecca from Yarn and Chai. I crocheted her gorgeous Malia Cowl last year and I knew this would be another easy to follow (and very achievable) pattern.

Rebecca has a detailed video series for each part of her bag pattern, and they're a fantastic reference as you crochet along. I used the videos to familiarise myself with joining in the round - mine didn't seem to look right after my first few attempts but the videos offered the solution.
Rebecca suggested using Lionbrand 24/7 Cotton and I loved working with this yarn. It comes in 24 beautiful colours and they were all so lovely that it made choosing a combination quite difficult. I was immediately drawn to the denim blue and I decided it would be a practical colour for dragging the bag to the beach and on picnics etc.

The yarn was like butter as you crocheted and there was no splitting or tangling especially when I worked those puffed stitches.  It has a lovely sheen and the stitch definition is just amazing. It's a sturdy worsted weight yarn that washes well apparently, and it retains its shape which makes it ideal for crocheting bags.

Just look at that stitch definition. It honestly made my heart happy every row I crocheted.

If you haven't tried Lionbrand 24/7 Cotton then I urge you to grab a few skeins - it's my new favorite yarn at the moment.  Cotton yarns tend to be stiff and coarse, but this yarn is super soft and squishy and the quality is worth the investment.

It's a bit pricey for Australians (around $11-$13 per 100g) but girls, run and grab a basketful when Spotlight has their yarn sales, I grabbed a heap at half off last week - that's my next three projects organised! ;)

It's the little details that count right? Rebecca used a metal scrapbooking embellishment for her Malia Shoulder Bag which is a fantastic idea, but I found some cute leather labels on Ebay which I just loved.

These were super cheap and super pretty, and there are three different designs to choose from. I brought a heap, so I have all my future projects covered. ;)

And don't let the grommets intimidate you either - these attached very quickly and easily.

I brought a grommet set from Bunnings and I had planned to let hubby attach them, but I'm impatient and grabbed the hammer myself.  There are holes crocheted in the white band which make attaching the grommets quite easy - well once I worked out which bit of the tool went where they attached easily. ;)

If you're worried or you prefer not to use them, then Rebecca has included a few other suggestions in the pattern that work just as well.

I decided to line the inside of my Malia Shoulder Bag and I added a few pockets for smaller items like my phone, keys and glasses etc. so they don't get lost. The bag is very roomy, and you can definitely fit a lot inside so it's going to be perfect to take to the beach or on a picnic.

I've never lined a crochet project before but this was my thinking as I tried to figure out the best way to do it - I made the lining shorter than the crocheted bag, hoping that the lining would take the weight of the items without stretching the outer bag too much. Does that sound feasible or will it still stretch? If you have any advice for lining crochet projects, I'd love to hear it.

It was such a fun project to crochet.  I love my new bag and I can't wait to use it on all our family trips over summer. I'm planning on crocheting a larger beach bag for the family as well, to house the picnic quilt, sunscreen, hats and all the other paraphernalia you need on a family trip.

Make sure you pop over to Rebecca's blog and check out the Malia Shoulder Bag plus all of her other gorgeous creations - she's one very talented lady and her patterns are just darling. :)

Happy crocheting :)
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  1. Love it! Your new bag looks fabulous and great colours for the upcoming seasons.

    1. Thanks Anorina. I can't wait to use it. If only this weather would improve ;)


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