Updated: Sep 17
The Vivid Bucket Bag crochet pattern is released on 17th September 2023! The written pattern is available as a pdf download in English in both UK and US crochet terms. Get your copy of the pattern and enjoy a fun to make project that results in a really handy item to own. It's on Ravelry or Etsy with 20% off applied automatically at the checkout until midnight 30th September (UK time) or sign up to my mailing list before the end of September 2023 (UK time) to get 50% off with a discount code in this month's newsletter.
I came up with the design and called it the Vivid Bucket Bag whilst making the Vivid Bucket Hat pattern at the request of my sons. Just before adding the brim, I looked at the piece and decided it needed a bag pattern as a partner. Then one of the hat testers said exactly the same thing. I had to do it! Let me know in the comments what I should make next with this stitch pattern. I have some ideas but I wonder what you think! You can read more about the Vivid Bucket Hat in this blog post.
It's a casual, cotton bag, for children or adults (20cm base in aran/worsted yarn), in eye-catching V stitch. The most exciting feature is that it's a convertible bag. The adjustable straps and handle mean it can be worn in different ways: backpack, cross-body, shoulder or hand carried, and a combination of drawstring and front flap keeps your belongings safe inside.
For smaller items that might fall through the gaps between stitches, there's even a matching lined coin purse pattern included. A video is available of the construction of the purse to accompany the written instructions and support those who like to have a visual guide.
The flexibility of the V stitch reduces bulk when the bag isn’t full but allows you to fit more in than you might expect and there are several strap and edging finishing options to choose from in order to get a style that suits each user. It's a fast, easy stitch pattern with a memorable repeat and the pattern has notes, plus a link to a video clip, on changing colour without cutting.
The sample was made with Drops Paris Aran Cotton yarn which is a soft aran/worsted weight cotton yarn and it worked really well for this design, resulting in a sturdy but soft and flexible fabric and it's a great budget option. I have a lot of Drops yarn that I bought while I took a career break when my children were little and the quality is so impressive for the price.
I know some of you will be substituting yarns to fit your budget, yarn availability in your part of the world, style preferences, health and ethical considerations. Not every yarn will turn out the same way and I want all crafters to feel they can create something they'll love, so I would suggest that going for a non-mercerised cotton or cotton blend in aran/worsted weight and with a medium twist should work well. In some parts of the world you might call this dishcloth yarn. I worked up swatches in Rowan Handknit Cotton and Lily's Sugar n Cream (left), both of which felt very sturdy and Lion Brand Pima Cotton (centre), which felt a little more luxurious and soft than the others. All of those would be great options. Don't be afraid to hold two thinner yarns together to get the right weight. That could work very well in this stitch pattern or you could consider making a mini bag in a lighter weight yarn too. Just use a hook that gives you a fabric you like (usually this will be the same as or close to the yarn band suggestion).
I think this is a great bag for casual wear. I can picture it equally adding brightness to a winter coat on a dull day in the city as with sundress or jeans and a t-shirt at the beach, pool or a local park in summer. I really love the flexibility of the convertible strap arrangement too. It should work whatever you plans or outfit.
I loved making this bag on my livestreams on Twitch this year. That was so much fun. The easy pattern meant I could chat with those watching without making a mistake, so perhaps this is a great project to take to craft group or anywhere else that you'll want to craft and chat at the same time. I was also able to make clips from each livestream's recording so you'll find links in the pattern for parts where a visual aid could help.
I've added some customisation tips to the pattern too: If you want a deeper, shallower, wider or narrower bag; a hardware fee version or a fast alternative to working the long straps, I've got you covered. I love seeing how creative people can be and seeing how different versions of the same pattern turn out to suit the user's style and use preferences is one of the best parts of being a designer. I think this could make a great scrap yarn project perhaps with one main colour and then a round in each of those yarns that have been languishing too long in your stash!
I was fortunate to work with two great testers who gave feedback on how the pattern could be improved before being released. Victoria from USA tested the US terminology version of the pattern and Barbara from Australia tested the UK terminology version. I really love both of their versions and the little touches they added that make them unique. Barbara chose a plain base and a snap closure purse clasp as an alternative to a zip, plus a button finish for the flap, while Victoria used a zip with a pretty and easy to grasp circular pull and opted for a contrast colour drawstring and the scalloped edging. Both made such helpful and clear suggestions on how I could make the pattern better for you. Here's a gallery of their finished work. Thank you testers; I'm always so grateful for your work! If you are interested in testing one of my patterns in future, just sign up to my mailing list. I offer all my new pattern tests to subscribers first.
A downloadable copy of the Vivid Bucket Bag crochet pattern, including in separate files US terminology and UK terminology versions, is available from Sunday 17th September 2023 on on Ravelry or Etsy with 20% off applied automatically at the checkout until midnight 30th September (UK time) or sign up to my mailing list before the end of September 2023 (UK time) to get 50% off with a discount code in this month's newsletter, plus monthly news, updates, behind the scenes info, testing opportunities and exclusive offers just for subscribers.
If you're a fan of matching accessories, you might like to get the pattern for the Vivid Bucket Hat too. The good news is that if you buy both on Ravelry, there's a discount and if you already have the hat pattern in your library you'll still get the discount. It'll apply the other way too, so if you buy the bag pattern now, and try to buy the hat pattern later, you'll automatically be charged the reduced price. That feature doesn't exist on Etsy unfortunately, so you'll need to buy both at the same time on Etsy to get the discount.
Do let me know if you make the bag or hat. I'm always excited when I see that someone has used one of my patterns!