Crocheted Tarot Bag with Flap and Catch

I’m in the process of moving my blog, and this post was originally posted August 3, 2009:

I totally improvised on this project, and I ripped it out plenty of times to get it the way I envisioned it. I used 100% Pisgah cotton yarn because I wanted all natural material, but I found it a bit tough to work with; it doesn’t give very much. (You could just as easily use Lily Sugar’n Cream or any 100% cotton yarn.)  I also like bags that are very snug around the cards, so I kept my tension rather tight to produce a more dense weave to lend more support to the deck. (I don’t use the box when I have a bag.)

I like bags with a flap rather than a drawstring style, but I didn’t want to use velcro. So I fashioned a catch for the flap that comes down over the front of the bag.

This pattern is continuous with no weave-in’s except at the end. You could basically split it up into 4 parts: the base, the tube of the body, the catch for the flap (on the body), the flap. (I’ll try to write down the pattern the best I can, but there are parts that are hard to describe because I was improvising.) If you can’t figure out what I was trying to say, please let me know so that I can try improve my wording.  🙂

I used a 4.5 mm hook to keep my tension tight, but you can use whatever size works for you.  Like I said, this was a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants project. 🙂

== PATTERN ==

Gauge: Approx 16 sc and 18 rows per 4 sq inch

The base and the body are completed in the round with the right side facing you.

BASE: (I used slip stitch in the round for a squared base.)
Ch 11 (vary to fit your deck).
Sl st into the top loop of 1st ch from hook and in remaining 10 chains. Sl st 2 more times into that first ch st. Then sl st into the back loops of the original ch. Now sl st into the back loop of each stitch, moving around in a circular pattern, adding extra chains at the corners to give it more of a square shape.

(For a standard-size deck, going around 5 times is a good base size.)

BODY – Part 1:

Row 1:
When you have achieved a base about the size of the bottom of your deck, begin sc into blo [back loop only] of the outside layer of the base. (You can choose which side of the base you would like to show on the outside bottom of the bag.)  At each corner, dec across 2 st. (This helps bring the sides up more vertically.)

When you come all the way around, you will continue sc without ending that first row, but sc into both top loops from here on out, continuing up in a spiral. In this way, you’ll keep a uniform width throughout the tube.

Row 2:
Sc around, dec over 2 st on each long side. This will help bring the sides in to hug your deck.

Row 3-16:
Sc around in a spiral.

CATCH:
At row 16 (approx – you can adj to where you want the catch), as you’re coming around the back side of the bag toward the front (about midway between the front and back), stop sc and ch 16 (approx), going in the direction you would have been going if you had continued sc. When you have reached the other side of the bag, sl st into one of the stitches on the body of the bag. Make sure the stitch you choose to anchor the chain is far enough to the side (but still in the middle of the body) to be fitted to the body of the bag. You don’t want the catch too tight, but you want it to hold the flap securely. Turn and dc into the chains going back to the other side of the bag, to the side where you began your chain. When you’ve reached the other side, pick up sc into the body where you left off.

Sc two more rows around the body (rows 17-19).

When you come to the side where you started the catch, right at the side where the catch starts, bring your yarn under the catch (you’ll probably want to anchor somewhere into the body to add a little stability.) Then sl st into the bottom st of each dc.

When you’ve reached the other side, sl st into somewhere in the body to hold the catch flat (this part of the pattern is very hard to describe because I basically did what I had to make the catch lie flat against the body of the bag.)

When you have the catch anchored where you want it, begin sl st into the top st of each dc of the catch, going back to where you began.

When you get to the side where you started, anchor the catch somewhere in the body, then continue sc into the body where you left off.

BODY – Part 2:

Rows 20-24:
Continue sc in a spiral.

FLAP:
When you’ve reached the point of the body where your deck will be completely covered, stop at the row that comes from around the back of the deck. Sl st into body around the sides and front of the bag. When you get to the other side, you should have 12 st that have not been sl st. (Make sure these 12 st are centered in the back of the bag.)

Row 25:
Sc 12, ch 1, turn.

Row 26:
Sc into 2nd st from hook, and across (end up with 12 sc). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 27-40:
Repeat row 26.

Row 41:
Sc into 2nd st from hook, and across (12 sc). Turn. (Do not ch 1.)

Row 42:
Sl st into each sc. (12 sl st).

Bind off and weave in end.

A New Obsession

Originally posted August 2, 2009:

I confess that I haven’t been doing much tarot lately, and that’s a shame, really.  I haven’t even been buying decks, can you believe it?  (Amazing, I know.)

No… I’ve been buying yarn… and crochet pattern books… and How-To knitting books.   And did I mention yarn?  Most of the time when I see yarn on sale (and it has to be a good sale), I’ll pick up a few skeins, because yarn can be expensive if you want to make anything more than a scarf.  But several times now I’ve purchased yarn with a project in mind. 

So, since I have all this yarn, I’ve been doing a lot of crocheting.  And just recently I took a knitting class to learn how to make garments.   I love to crochet because it was the craft my grandmother taught me, but afghans take so long to make.  (Yes, I know there’s plenty more to crochet than just afghans, but I seem to gravitate toward these.  Maybe that’s because that’s all that Grandma made.  We do have many old afghans around the house.)  And I want to make tops to actually wear, but knitted garments drape much better on the body than crochet does.  Thus, the knitting class.

I took the class with just one other person and the instructor, which actually worked out very well.  Talk about personal attention!  It was great because I had already learned the basics through books and YouTube, but I never had anyone to tell me if I doing something wrong, or to help me when I had problems.  So this class turned out to be just what I needed.  From here on out, I feel I can do most things learning through books and practicing a LOT.  That’s one thing I learned in that class; the only way to improve your skill is to knit, knit, and knit some more.

Anyway, let me get back on a tarot topic…  with my crochet I wanted to make more than just the afghans I’ve been gifting, something smaller so that I could see my results fairly quickly.  So, I designed my own tarot bag!  🙂    Yay!  This is the way to go!  I know what I like, and this way I can make it the way I want it.

I’ll try to post a picture if I can figure out how, but you can also see it if you belong to Ravelry.com, the most awesome knitting website I’ve found yet.  It’s listed on Wikipedia as a social networking site, and it is, but I use it mostly for the database feature.  You can keep track of your projects, yarn stashes, projects you want to do, needles and hooks, and your library, as well as all the other networking things, like friends, groups, discussion lists and the like.  But you can also search patterns from books, magazines, designers, and anybody who has something to add.

Which is basically why I began this post.  I want to post my tarot bag pattern, but it seems that I have to have it “published” somewhere, so what better place than here?  So, I’ll stop here and create another post just for the pattern.  🙂

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