I’m a big fan of Tunisian crochet, and I especially love using it to make bags. Although Tunisian crochet can be delicate and lacy, it can also make a nice, dense fabric if you use a hook that is the right size. That fabric is perfect if you’re like me and don’t love to sew in lining.
This post contains affiliate links. The yarn for the sample was generously provided by Rowan.
Alternatively, you can use a 100% wool yarn and felt (or “full”) this bag. That will make it even denser and easier to use for every day wear. I used Rowan Big Wool for the sample, but I actually like the look of the unfelted bag.
I love the texture the basketweave stitch creates on the surface, and it’s a great way to practice two of the basic Tunisian crochet stitches in one project.
Basketweave Mini Messenger Bag
Tunisian Crochet Pattern by Underground Crafter
Tunisian stitches combine to create a great texture. Choose a wool yarn and make the larger size if you plan to felt.
- Unfelted (Felted): 12” (30.5 cm) width x 8” (20.5 cm) height x 3.5” (9 cm) depth.
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- Rowan Big Wool (3.5 oz/100 g/87 yds/80 m/100% Merino wool) – 5 (6) skeins 068 Sun (CA) and 1 (1) skein 043 Forest (CB), or approximately 417 yds/381 m (522 yds/477 m) in CA and 20 yds/18 m (40 yds/36.5 m) in CB in any super bulky weight yarn.
- US Size N-15 (9 mm) Tunisian crochet hook, or size needed to obtain gauge.
- US size K-10.5 (6.5 mm) crochet hook for assembly, or size needed to obtain gauge.
- Yarn needle.
- 10 sts /10 rows = 4” (10 cm) in pattern with larger hook. Exact gauge is not critical for this project, but fabric should be stiff and dense, so bag can hold its shape.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern (* see Special Stitch Patterns, below)
- CA – Color A
- CB – Color B
- ch – chain
- rep – repeat
- Rnd(s) – Round(s)
- RS – right (front) side
- sc – single crochet
- sl st – slip stitch
- st(s) – stitch(s)
- Tks – Tunisian knit stitch*
- Tps – Tunisian purl stitch*
- Tss – Tunisian simple stitch*
- WS – wrong (interior) side
- yo – yarn over
- * Rep instructions after asterisk as indicated.
Special Stitch Patterns
- Tks – Tunisian knit stitch – Insert hook from front to back through center of next vertical bar, yo and draw up a loop, leave loop on hook.
- Tps (Tunisian purl stitch): Bring yarn to front, insert hook under next vertical bar, yo and draw up a loop, leave loop on hook.
- Tss (Tunisian simple stitch): Insert hook under vertical bar of next st, yo and draw up a loop, leave loop on hook.
- Return row: Ch 1, *yo and draw through 2 loops; rep from * across.
- First vertical bar of each row (underneath first chain on hook) is always skipped.
- This bag is crocheted in three pieces: the front, the bag (which folds over to close the bag), and the strap/gusset.
- Instructions for felted bag are in parenthesis.
- With larger hook and CA, ch 34 (39).
- Row 1: (RS) Forward: Skip first ch, *insert hook in next ch, yo and pull up a loop, leave loop on hook; rep from * across. Work return row. – 34 (39) sts.
- Row 2: Forward: Tps to last st, Tss. Work return row.
- Row 3: Forward: Tps, *5 Tks, 5 Tps; rep from * across to last 2 (7) sts, (5 Tks), Tps, Tss. Work return row.
- Rows 4 – 7: Rep Row 3, 4 times.
- Row 8: Forward: Tps, *5 Tps, 5 Tks; rep from * across to last 2 (7) sts, (5 Tps), Tps, Tss. Work return row.
- Rows 9 – 12: Rep Row 8, 4 times.
- Rows 13 – 22: Rep Rows 3 – 12 once. UNFELTED SIZE ONLY: Continue to Final Row.
- Rows 23 – 27: Rep Rows 3 – 7 once.
- Final Row: *Tps in next st, yo and draw through both loops on hook. Rep from * across to last st, Tss in last st, yo and draw through both loops on hook. Fasten off.
- Follow pattern for front piece through Row 22 (27).
- Next 20 (25) Rows: Rep Rows 3 – 22 (Rows 8 – 27).
- Rep Final Row as for front piece.
- With larger hook, ch 9 (14).
- Row 1: (RS) Forward: Skip first ch, *insert hook in next ch, yo and pull up a loop, leave loop on hook; rep from * across. Work return row.
- Row 2: Forward: Tps to last st, Tss. Work return row.
- Rows 3-6: Rep Row 2, 4 times.
- Row 7: Forward: Tks to last st, Tss. Work return row.
- Rows 8 – 11: Rep Row 7, 4 times.
- Rep Rows 2 – 11, 15 (17) more times.
- Rep Final Row as for front piece. Fasten off with 10”/25 cm (15”/38 cm) yarn tail.
- Spray block all pieces.
- Start with front piece and strap/gusset. Align first row of strap/gusset with final row of front piece. With WS facing and smaller crochet hook, join CB with sl st through center loops of front piece and strap/gusset, ch 1, starting in same loops as sl st, *sc through center loop of each st of front piece and strap gusset across to last st on side,** 2 sc through center loops of last st, turn and begin working across next edge, 2 sc through center loops of first st of next edge; rep from * across twice, ending last rep at **, sc through center loop of last st, fasten off.
- Align back piece with unworked side of strap/gusset, beginning at edge of Row 22 (Row 27) of the back piece. With WS facing and smaller crochet hook, follow instructions for joining front piece and strap/gusset, finishing at the edge of Row 22 (Row 27) on the other side of the back piece.
- Align first and final row of strap/gusset. With RS facing and smaller crochet hook, use long yarn tail from Final Row to sl st strap closed.
- Finish off by weaving in yarn tails with yarn needle.
- For unfelted bag, spray or wet block bag and strap.
- For felted bag, wash in warm water – in machine on delicate cycle with denim or other items that don’t pill, or by hand – with gentle soap or detergent. If bag hasn’t yet felted to desired size, tumble dry low, checking frequently. Remove bag from dryer promptly. Spray block to shape.