Tunisian Crochet

Tunisian Raffia Bag Project

March 14, 2020
The raffia and handles that served as inspiration for the Tunisian Raffia Bag Project

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Tunisian Raffia Bag Project

Come and see this Tunisian Crochet Raffia Bag project come to life as I share with you my crazy ideas and process to turn a design into a project!

Inspiration

Did you see the Raffia Flower Pot Sleeve? It was quite an unexpected design, but I did it for two reasons. One, I wanted to make something to say thank you for the wire (you can read about it in the post). And second, because I needed to test an idea for another design.

The first sketch for a bag

This idea has been on my mind forever, but I haven’t worked out all the details to make it. I planned to do it this month, but I started working a part-time job, and I’m still adjusting to the new schedule. What I mean to say is that I’m struggling a bit to find time to turn my idea into a reality.

Enter Coronavirus… And even though there are no drastic measures being enforced here yet, everything seems out of sorts. The runs to the supermarket, the uncertainty of what’s happening next… I’m sure you know what I mean.

So, until I get my bearings again, I think I’ll do a different kind of posts. Instead of a finished pattern, I’m gonna show you a bit of my process. I’ll be sharing with you what I’m doing, the things I’m trying until I get to the finished project. Then I’ll write up the pattern, as I usually do, but with all the things I’ve learned along the process. This way it’ll also help me stay motivated and accountable in these weird times.

Project

The project I’ll be sharing with you is a Tunisian crochet raffia bag. I still haven’t figured out the final name.

As I mentioned in the Cross Stitch Beanie post, I am in stash-busting mode, so I’ll be using what I already have at home. Aside from the raffia, there’s another thing that I bought a while ago and that has also traveled half-world with me. An that is a couple of handles. They are made in leather with wooden details. These handles were what sparked the idea for the bag.

The raffia was something that I wanted to use again. The idea of doing it in Tunisian crochet was motivated by my Tunisian Raffia Tote.

The materials for the Tunisian Raffia Bag Project

Pattern

I had a rough draft of what I wanted to make. And an essential part of the design is precisely the size of the handles. Which in my case are just far too big for what I had in mind. πŸ™ You can see from the picture below, that my handles are way bigger than the ones from a shopping bag.

Testing the handles size for the bag

Of course, I didn’t think of any of this when I bought them. I thought they were pretty so I got them. But now I have to figure out a way to make them work.

Another important aspect of this bag is its size. It’s supposed to be a large bag. But raffia and large projects do not go hand in hand. The raffia is wobbly and in my mind, this bag holds straight. Hence the wire. My plan is to somehow work my stitches around it so that it can give some structure to the bag. I say somehow because even though I can make single crochet stitches around it, I’m still not sure how to make Tunisian simple stitches around it… But anyways…

Here is the latest draft of what I think I will be making.

The latest draft of the Tunisian Raffia Bag Project

Challenges

For me, this is quite an iterative process. There are challenges that I can see right away, like how will I be working the wire into the stitches. Others, I do not foresee when I draw something up. They just show up while I’m working, and sometimes the solution might change the design.

In this case, the length of the handles, made me change their original placement. And their new placement… Well, let’s just say I can see right away that it will be another challenge. But I’ll think about it later. For now, let’s just swatch, do some math and get ready to start this.

The next step is doing the base of the bag. See you there!

Come and see this Tunisian Crochet Raffia Bag project come to life as I share with you my creative process. See how it starts in this post right here.

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