This is a simple, small, mochila bag pattern.
This pattern is for a small size bag, the final dimensions are approximately 5” (12 cm) in diameter, and 7” (18 cm) tall. The strap woven for the pictured bag measures 40” (100 cm).
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- Scheepjes Catona (100% mercerized cotton, 125 m/50 g)
- A – Vivid Blue (146) 1 x 50 g
- B – Shocking Pink (114) 1 x 50 g
- C – Yellow Gold (208) 1 x 50 g
- D – Black Coffee (162) 1 x 50 g
- if you choose to crochet your strap, you will need an extra ball of each of the colors for the strap
- you may substitute other brands of yarn, but for the best results, and the proper size bag, make sure the yarn you purchase is 100% mercerized cotton and 125m/50g.
Some other suitable brands are: Phildar Phil Coton 3, Schachenmayr Catania, Yarn and Colors “Must-Have”, Paton’s Grace
Abbreviations Used – US crochet terms
- mc – magic circle
- sc – single crochet (always done in back loop only for this type of bag)
If you are new to making mochila bags, you can read my post about getting started here.
Once you are familiar with the crochet techniques for mochila, you can start on your base.
There are three options on how to crochet your base. You can do it with 8, 10 or 12 increases. The bag shown in the pictures is done with 10 increases. The number of increases you need will depend on your experience and personal tension. I have a very hard time keeping the bottom flat with only 8 increases. If you are new to the techniques, start with either 10 or 12 increases. I also suggest working at a table or have a flat surface nearby to constantly check to make sure your base is laying flat.
If you base starts to wave or ripple, you have to many increases, and should go down in the number of increases you are using.
If your base is cupping, or bowling, you should add more increases, and be sure that you are not pulling your carry threads to tight. Every time I pull my carry threads and model my stitches, I place my base down on a table to make sure it is still flat.
The increases are marked with a black dash in the image (for 1/4 of the pattern).
If you would like to work from the graph, you will repeat the section in between the solid black lines the required number of times. If you work better with written instructions, follow below. Repeat all instructions between * * the indicated number of times
Instructions will be given for 8, 10 or 12 increases in brackets; for example:
- * ia, ia * repeat (4, 5, 6) times (16, 20, 24)
- The first number in brackets refers to 8 increases, the middle number for 10 increases and the last number for 12 increases.
With colour D start with (8, 5 or 6) sc in a magic circle,
- if you are doing 8 increases, go to round 2
- for 10 and 12 increases only * id * (10, 12)
rnd 2: * id, id * repeat (4, 5, 6 ) times (16, 20, 24)
rnd 3: * c, icd, d, idc * repeat (4, 5, 6 ) times (24, 30, 36)
rnd 4: * c, ic, 3d, ic * repeat (4, 5, 6 ) times (32, 40, 48)
rnd 5: * 2c, ic, 3c, ic, 1c * repeat (4, 5, 6 ) times (40, 50, 60)
rnd 6: * 2a, ia, 5a, ia, 1a * repeat (4, 5, 6 ) times (48, 60, 72)
rnd 7: * 2a, 1b, ib, 1b, 3a, 1b, ib, 1b, 1a * repeat (4, 5, 6 ) times (56, 70, 84)
rnd 8: * 2a, 2b, ib, 1b, 3a, 1b, ib, 2b, 1a * repeat (4, 5, 6 ) times (64, 80, 96)
- on the final repeat, do the last stitch in B instead of A
rnd 9: * 3b, ib, 9b, ib, 2b * repeat (4, 5, 6 ) times (72, 90, 108)
rnd 10: * 6d, id, 5d, id, 5d * repeat (4, 5, 6 ) times (80, 100, 120)
rnd 11: * 2d, 1c, ic, 5c, 3d, 5c, ic, 1c, 1d * repeat (4, 5, 6) times (88, 110, 132)
- on the final repeat, do the last stitch in C instead of D
rnd 12: * 2d, 6c, ic, 1c, 3d, 1c, ic, 6c, 1d * repeat (4, 5, 6) times (96, 120, 144)
- for 10 and 12 increases, stop here and move onto the side pattern
rnd 13: * 3c, ic, 17c, ic, 2c * repeat 4 times (104)
rnd 14: * 10 a, ia, 5a, ia, 9a * repeat 4 times (112)
rnd 15: * 2a, 1b, ib, 9b, 3a, 9b, ib, 1b, 1a * repeat 4 times (120)
For the sides, your tension is still very important. You want your sides to go strait up, and no get tighter or looser on certain rows. This is more difficult on rows that have long color stretches, since there is a tendency to pull the carrying threads too tight. Always make sure you line your stitches back up so they are neatly stacked after you pull your carrying yarn.
As with the base pattern, repeat the instructions between * * until you reach the end of the round.
Rnd 1: 120c
rnd 2: 120c
rnd 3: * 3a, 3c *
rnd 4: * 3a, 3c *
rnd 5: * 3a, 3c *
rnd 6: 120a
rnd 7: 120a
rnd 8: 120b
rnd 9: 120b
rnd 10: * 3d, 3b *
rnd 11: * 3d, 3b *
rnd 12: * 3d, 3b *
rnd 13: 120 d
rnd 14: 120 d
rnd 15: 120 a
rnd 16: 120 a
rnd 17: * 3b, 3a *
rnd 18: * 3b, 3a *
rnd 19: * 3b, 3a *
rnd 20: 120b
rnd 21: 120b
rnd 22: 120d
rnd 23: 120d
rnd 24: * 3c, 3d *
rnd 25: * 3c, 3d *
rnd 26: * 3c, 3d *
rnd 27: 120c
rnd 28: 120c
rnd 29: 120b
rnd 30: 120b
rnd 31: * 3a, 3b *
rnd 32: * 3a, 3b *
rnd 33: * 3a, 3b *
rnd 34: for 8 and 10 inc base * 5a, button hole, 10a, button hole, 5a*
for 12 inc base * 7a, button hole, 13a, button hole, 6a *
Button holes will be done in this round To make a button hole, work 5 stitches over the carry threads and not into the stitches. Skip 5 stitches, and continue to crochet around as per the instructions.
rnd 35: 120a
rnd 36: 120a
Once you have about 30 stitches left, cut one of your carry colors. Do 10 more stitches, and cut another color. Repeat for the final carrying color. Complete the round and slip stitch into the next stitch. Finish off your yarn and weave in any ends.
Crab Stitch Edging
Switch to color D and join your yarn in a stitch near where you ended your final round. When you do your crab stitch, skip 1 stitch in between stitches. This gives a nicer spacing to the ridges.
Strap – Woven
The strap for this bag was woven on an inkle loom. The plain weave pattern in below.
Strap – Crochet
If you do not want to weave your strap, I designed a pattern for a crochet one as well.
Measure how long you would like your strap. For the pattern shown, your beginning chain should be in multiples of 6. When crocheting, you will use the same technique as for the bag. Add all of your carry threads in the first stitch of the row. Work over your carry threads for all rows, and work in the back loop only. Do not turn at the end of the row, you will cut all yarn and restart at the beginning again. Leave long tails (3-4”) at the start and end of each row for your fringe.
Repeat the instructions between * and * until the end of the strap
with colour A: chain in multiples of 6
row 1: ch 1, turn, * 6b *
Row 2: * 6b *
row 3: * 3c, 3b *
row 4: * 3c, 3b *
row 5: * 6c *
row 6: * 6c*
For instructions on how to finish off your strap and attach it, please see this post on finishing touches.
To determine how long you want your drawstring, use a scrap of yarn and run it through your button holes. Tie it how you would like. Measure the length of the yarn strand.
For kumihimo, you will want to use yarn that is 3 times as long as you want your finished cord. For my cord, I wanted 20” (51 cm), so I cut my yarn at 60” (153 cm). I use thread bobbins to keep my yarn from tangling while working on the cord. Below are photos on how I set up my yarn, and what the finished cord looks like. Feel free to choose any design you like.
You can also braid a drawstring or use a leather strap, or anything you want, be creative! If you intend on adding tassels to your drawstring, make sure you have large knots on each end to secure your tassels to.
Be sure to weave your drawstring through your button holes before you put on your slide and tassels.
For instructions on how to make a drawstring slide and how to make tassels, please see the post on finishing touches.