When I saw this photo by Emma of Lulu Loves blog (Hello E! – she reads my wafflings) on Instagram last Thursday I was intrigued: Did Emma crochet this? What is it that she’s making? What yarn is she using? Where’s the pattern, or did Emma design it herself? And so on and so on. I have at least three questions in every ten minute period most days, and Instagram can make my brain go into overdrive sometimes. It feels as if it’s whirling at top speed. Usually I just check the hashtags and make a mental note to check back and see what develops; other days I have to send a message. Emma is a sweetie and so instantly told me all I needed to know. Basically if you search Pinterest for ‘pineapple market bags’ you’ll find patterns she said. So I did, right away. Being a clever cookie I later found out that she made the circle for the base larger and will have a bigger bag. No matter; I don’t need a bag, but I do need to try new crochet.
I foraged in my yarn stash and came up with fairly cheapy craft cotton I bought when I was making dishcloth, and off I went. It’s basically string and so is pretty hard on your hands, but when you’re gripped trying something new, you’re gripped aren’t you?
I was buzzing because I’ve never used such a complicated Japanese symbol pattern before, with no other instructions. I have a Japanese friend in Tokyo so sent her a couple of screenshots to ask what the text said. Not a crocheter, she said ‘it is instructions.’ I left it at that, since my crochet was coming out ok.
It has to be said that I dislike that I cannot credit the designer, or recommend the book from which this pattern came. I always link to pattern sources or credit designers. If you do recognise this image, can you let me know so I can add them in please?
The middle looks wooky, doesn’t it? I must try and ease the first chain around to the right a little. I know there are bloggers who have written about ways to avoid the gappy middle and wonky line upwards altogether, where you’ve slip stitched into the third chain. I did Google and found some, but by then had already crocheted many rounds. It’s a ‘must learn’ another time. Since this is the base of a market bag it doesn’t really matter because it won’t show. Even as I type this I feel myself I feel myself resisting the temptation to grit my teeth, as a perfectionist it goes right against the grain, but sometimes it’s best to carry on and not keep unravelling…
Being cheap craft cotton it is a little splitty, but ok for this type of make.
Just one more round to complete the top of the pineapple.
It’s starting to curl upwards as it should, turning into a bag.
But there is a but, or a however with this project. That was all crocheted on Thursday. I was in my element and forgot my usual ‘Do a bit, then stop’ rule. It was 3pm before I realised I still hadn’t eaten lunch and I was ravenous. I did a little more afterwards and then called it a day. Now, really here is the but and the however: I have not picked up a hook or pair of needles since, this string has killed my elbow. Oh. My. Goodness. It is sore. So sore that I dare not aggravate it anymore. Last night I gently massaged it as it’s feeling stiff, but apart from that I’m being very wary. I do not really want to go through the process of acupuncture again. It works like a dream, but I’m hoping I dodge it this time. Last time the physio was in stitches when she asked what had inflamed it, and I replied ‘Kneading bread.’ I really don’t want to have to say ‘Crocheting a string bag.’ Cross your fingers it settles down soon please!
Have you ever used a chart with no other instructions? I liked the challenge of it (actually it’s pretty easy once you’re familiar with crochet) and will do more, when my elbow settles down….
Sorry about the elbow, love the bag but the instructions are non sensical to me.
Thank you Cathy.
If you get a key to the symbols – which are universal – and start in the middle (if in the round) it’s really straightforward. It’s probably best to start with a small make like a block, crocheting rows, and you’d be fine.
Look forward to seeing the finished bag. I love pineapple patterns. Sorry about your elbow; hope it gets better soon. I have made things from just a chart and will work from the chart if I have both though it can help to have written instructions to know if to crochet into the stitch or tap for instance. Looking at the chart, it appears that they use a magic loop to start but expect there to be a hole as there are so many stitches into the loop. If you want to make the loop smaller than it is, I have sometimes threaded a piece of yarn through the wrong side of the central stitches and pulled as tight as I can, tied a knot and sewn in the ends. Just a suggestion.
I’m not a fan of the magic loop, I’ve read too many tales of blankets etc unravelling in the middle. I always ignore that instruction, as I did here, and chain a circle. The middle becomes smaller when you darn the end in and around those stitches. I’m happy with that, it’s the ss into the 3rd ch thing which is visible in the first round and upwards – but I can live with it for this bag.
I always find that a problem!
We’ll have to test some of the alternative techniques between us!
Well there’s working in a spiral of course and I did wonder if using a standing treble would help. Going to try.
There’s a method where you add an extra stitch in, another where you skip one and another where you start rounds at different points – but that won’t work unless you’re changing colours and snipping ends. Many more besides I expect.
I don’t like charts without written instructions. I always second guess myself when I crochet or knit and I like to read the directions over and over agAin. With a chart I just get lost trying to figure out where I was. The bag looks pretty though. Hope you share pix when you’re done.
It’s not too appealing at the moment but if I do any more I will definitely show you.
Sorry to hear about your elbow! It’s definitely better to have your physio in stitches than your elbow!
Thanks. I’m hoping it just settles down of its own accord without the hassle.
That really is the prettiest thing! – and far too nice to be used for a “market” bag. I’ve never worked from a chart only before but if you say it’s not difficult then one day I’ll give it a bash. It does look complicated, though…
Poor elbow. Perhaps with enough rest you could bypass the physio?
I’m sure you could follow one with ease being a clever bunny.
I really hope so. It’s annoying as I’ve been really keen lately. Thank you.
I’m still learning to use charts so I need instructions or a video with them at the moment. I do find charts much easier to read than written instructions though, they give the visual prompt that I need, so I’m really trying to get better with them.
I just admit I prefer both charts and instructions, just to check I’m on the right track. That’s probably why I was so thrilled to manage a pattern with only a chart.
Gah I hit send too early!
I hope your elbow gets better soon, do take care of yourself :)
Ooooh! Off to Pinterest I did go… now trying to justify starting another WIP 😅 I love charts!!! Much prefer them to written instructions, because they look just like the thing you are trying to make, to me anyways 😊 Don’t forget to post the finished article xxxx
I know what you mean Clare. You also feel quite clever – or is that just me?!
It’s good just to glance at as well, rather than stop and wade through a sentence or two of written instructions.
just discovered your site sorry about your elbow hope it heals soon noticed that you are left handed so am i i always avodd words letters and numbers as are always backwards
i know how to crochet but nevr atttempted before as its flustrating when words numbers etc are backwards ive taught my mom and sister how to crochet and they are right handed but now trying to do tapestry crochet with just 2 colors words and nothing comes out can you tell me if you have ever done letters numbers etc and how you would read or do them or even if ya have charts etc ya can buy please email iof ya can
by the way you do beautiful work found your site when someone had on their page as was looking up lefthanded and they had you are left handed thanks
Thank you Patricia.
I replied to your last comment about the letters etc on my left-handed crochet page. I hope it helps.
That’s nice to know, which page was it?
Lovely work, I can’t wait to see it finished but understand your caution with your elbow, I had a similar problem when using a thick cotton to make a basket but it was my wrist that was the problem. I think it doesn’t help that there is no give in cotton. Take it easy and take care of your elbow.