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Crocheted Shopping Bag

               Size:  Approximately 15” x 18”
     Materials:  Crochet hook size G
                         Four stitch markers
                         Tapestry needle
             Yarn:  Approximately 300 yards worsted weight cotton yarn.  (Which was approximately not enough – figure on 400 yards.)

Abbreviations:

Beg – beginning           ch – chain stitch
Prev – previous           Sl st – slip stitch
Rnd – round                SC – single crochet
St(s) – stitch(es)           DC – double crochet

While following the instructions below be careful to count your stitches while forming the bottom circles!  Too few or too many stitches in a round will mean that your circles will not be flat when finished.  Don’t pay too much attention to the fact that it won’t be flat when you start, it will even itself out by the end!

First bottom circle:  Foundation round: CH 6, SL st in first CH to form ring.
Round 1:  Ch1 8 SC in ring (I used half double crochets).
On Rounds 2-7:  Close each Rnd with SL st in first DC of Rnd; CH 2 at beginning of Rnd counts as DC.
Round 2:  Ch 2 1 DC in first st, 2 DC in ach of next 7 SCs (16 sts made).
Round 3:  Ch 2 *2 DC in next st, 1 DC in nest st, repeat from *, 2 DC in last st (24 sts made).
Round 4:  Ch2, 1 DC in first st, 2 DC in ach st to end (24 sts made).
Round 5:  Repeat Rnd 3 (48 Sts made).
Round 6:  Ch2 1 DC in each st to end.
Round 7:  CH 2, 1 DC in next st, *2 DC in next st, 1 DC in next 2 sts, repeat from *, 2 DC in last st (96 sts made).  Fasten off.
Second bottom circle: as first circle but do not fasten off.

Joining circles:
Round 8:  With wrong sides facing each other, place two circles together with last closing SL sts in parallel, SC 72 along edges through both layers; SC 24 sts only on lower or far side layer; SL st in first SC to close.
Begin mesh:  When making SCs, tighten yarn over hook as much as possible.  (Yes make them good and snug, but don’t go nuts and break and/or bend your hooks doing this.)
Round 9:  *Ch 6 (=CH loop), skip 2 SC, 1 SC in next st; repeat from * around upper or near side layer; close with SL st in first SC.  (Actually it would make more sense to do this on the bottom layer since it’s slightly larger.  Just be careful not to close up the pouch opening.  Also the first time I did this I SC just through the usual places around single outer round, but I’ve decided I want a stronger seam here so now I loop the SC another strand deeper through each layer.)
Rounds 10 – 24:  *CH8 (= CH loop), 1 SC in CH loop of Prev Rnd; repeat from * to end of round, do not close (work progresses in spirals).  Keep count of your rounds as you go and use a marker at the start point of the mesh.
Round 25:  * CH 4, 1 SC in CH loop; repeat from * to end.\
Round 26:  * 4 SC alon CH 4 loop of Prev Rnd, 1 SC in SC of Prev Rnd; repeat from *, close with Sl st in first SC.
Round 27:  SC 1 to end of round, close with Sl st.  (With the next steps below to finish the project out the entire top border is three SC high.  This seems a little narrow for me so I would repeat this three more times around.  This extends it to Round 30).

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