Geometry Tote

I needed a sturdy oval based bag that would fit under an airline seat and would hide the dirt accumulated while traveling. So I packed some tapestry crochet graph paper, a pencil with an eraser, a size 00 steel crochet hook, and contrasting colors of #18 Omega Nylon in my travel bag so that I could work on it during my long trip to Africa.

Looking around for inspiration at the John F. Kennedy International Airport Delta Terminal in New York City, I noticed a fabulous window at the gate where I was waiting for my flight to Ghana.

JFK Delta Gate Window
Window in the Delta Terminal at the JFK International Airport

Triangles work well for tapestry crochet, but I didn’t want to copy it exactly, so I drew several versions on my tapestry crochet graph paper, then asked some of the other passengers for their opinion. Fortunately, they all chose the one I liked best!

I counted the stitches across the bottom of the motif to figure out the number of stitches in each repeat, then did the math to figure out how many stitches were needed for the base chain.

After crocheting for hours (following the increases from one of my other oval-based bags) I put it under the airline seat in front of me to see how it would fit – and to my horror – the bag was too wide! So, I reluctantly frogged it and restarted with a shorter chain that would produce a narrower bag with less motif repeats.

Carol in the Accra Bus Station
Crocheting the base of the bag at the bus station in Accra, Ghana, in 2009. I hadn’t slept for 24 hours and still had an 7 hour bus ride ahead of me!

Tapestry Crochet Triangles Bag
The finished Geometry Tote, tapestry crocheted with Omega Nylon

I later realized that two of my older projects had similar triangular motifs – not the same – but almost! I’ll probably crochet a few more projects with more variations of these small and large triangles. The possibilities are (almost) endless!

The pattern for the Geometry Tote has just been published in the February 2011 Crochet World. I hope you’ll give it a try!

24 Responses to “Geometry Tote”

  1. Cori says:

    Thank you for posting a picture of the handle construction! That was one thing I was really missing in the magazine. Love this pattern!

  2. Jackie Gill says:

    I love the pattern and the yarn is my favorite when making bags. How do you calculate how many stitches are needed for the base chain? I created a motif that is 30 stitches wide.

  3. Add a stitch or two between each motif, then decide how many motifs are needed to make the width of the project. From that total, subtract 4 for every round of the base. The resulting number is the number of stitches in the chain.

  4. Saundra Winn says:

    I am making your beautiful Geometry Tote which I got out of the Crochet World Magazine February 2011. I have the bottom of the bag made but have decided I would like a smaller version for a purse. Could you tell me how I could accomplish that, I love, love, love the bag. I would be willing to start over for a smaller bag. Please, if you can give me any information on how to make it a little smaller I would really appreciate it!
    Thanks a million!
    Saundra Winn
    lontodw@gmail.com

    • The motif is 16 stitches wide, so the rounds that make up the sides are multiples of 16. Since each round of the base is increased by 8 stitches, you could do 2 or 4 or 6 less rounds. Or, to make it smaller from the beginning, decrease 8 or 16 or 24 or 32 or 40 or 48 chain stitches. The handles and rim will need to be adjusted accordingly.

  5. Saundra Winn says:

    Thank you Carol. I am just learning to crochet but this pattern has not been hard for me. The motif, is that the diamond shaped things, and what do you mean by multiples of 16? Then you mean I could increase each round less stitches to make the bag smaller? If I make the bottom smaller then how would I determine the diamond shapes so they are even?
    I’m so sorry to act so dumb, but I really want to make this bag and make it smaller. I may just have to experment, huh?
    Thanks so much for your help. Are you the one that wrote this pattern?
    Saundra in KCK

    • Yes, this is my pattern. Yes, it’s the triangles that are 16 stitches wide. Each round of the base has 8 increases, so just do 2 less or 4 less rounds to get one or 2 less motifs. I look forward to seeing your bag!

  6. Saundra Winn says:

    Carol, I am so excited getting to connect with you the person that actually created this pattern. I have taken it to my knitting class and showed all them that I was going to make it and also to the yarn shop where I purchased my yarn. The lady at the check out said, oh that is a beautiful pattern. Please bring the bag when you finish, we want to see it. Also Carol, I plan to line the bag and put a top in it so I can put a zipper. Would I just make the top like the bottom in order to do that? But guess I have to figure a way to put a zipper in that also. Any thoughts would be really appreciated!
    I am so excited to corospond with you. Thanks a million….Saundra in KCK

    • If you make the handles the way they are in the pattern, you won’t need a zipper because the handles keep the bag closed. Good luck with your tapestry crochet adventure!

  7. Saundra Winn says:

    Thanks Carol, I noticed that someone posted a note to you that you had shown a close up of how exactly to make the handles. Could you let me see that also.
    Thanks so much, Saundra in KCK

  8. Saundra Winn says:

    OK Thanks Carol, I went in on your web site and watched the videos, very informative, it’s nice to put a face to a name. You explain so well and I plan to watch the videos several times!
    Thanks, you have been blessed with a wonderful talent!
    Saundra in KCK

  9. Saundra Winn says:

    Carol, so sorry to bother you again! I have ripped out the geometric tote I started and want to make it one motif smaller. Can you tell me how many chains I start with and how many rounds I would have before I start the motif?
    I have figured and figured, even in my sleep and can’t figure out how to do this. I just can’t seem to get the numbers right :( I would really appreciate your help.
    Thanks one more time!
    Saundra in KCk

    • It all depends. If you want the bag to have a similar width – the long way, do the same amount of chains, but eliminate rounds 10 and 11. If you want the purse to be less wide, do 8 less chains in the beginning. Both options will give you 16 less stitches.

  10. […] so excited that it’s now part of the Tennessee State Museum’s permanent collection. I blogged about this Tote earlier, when it was published in Crochet World and recently posted about the Hat, […]

  11. […] of contrasting colors would work, only four were used in this example; Coffee and Grape from the Geometry Tote and Bronze and Bone from the Handy Basket. Do you see where the Coffee ran out, just seven stitches […]

  12. Renae J says:

    I LOVE this tote! When I select the link to the publication it says: The product you’ve requested is out-of-stock or could not be found. Is it possible to get this pattern elsewhere? I just gotta have it! :-)

  13. They own the copyright, so I cannot share the pattern. Perhaps you could locate the Feb 2011 issue of Crochet World. Sometimes old issues are available on EBay.

  14. Renae J says:

    Thank you, Carol. I found it on EBay and purchased it! I’m so excited!

  15. Ah says:

    May i know how to do the handle?

  16. G.C.Gibbons says:

    The handle design is perfect for how I use a tote!

  17. Yvonne Bailey says:

    Hi, I love this style of bag, but can not locate a pattern. Do you have a pattern for this bagstyle, with a different design? Thanks

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