Do NOT ask me to work on one crochet project at a time! It’s just not in my nature to keep my pile of WIPs under 4 or 5 at a time! While I can’t help myself from starting up another WIP, I do like to keep them all organized! That’s why I have even more project bags than I have WIPs – ha ha! The one thing my project bag collection was missing was a crocheted project bag made my me! The Waylen Project Bag fixed that problem!
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It all started with a mistake. That’s right a mistake. While I love to encourage other people to check their gauge – and you should – I’m notorious for not swatching when I’m excited about a new project. I’d say about half the time I regret it. So I was thrilled to work with this cozy yarn and beautiful stitch I dove right on in without swatching a single stitch. I happily stitched away, cutting the yarn after each color change for 5 repeats, yes FIVE repeats before a stepped back and realized that adult hat I was making was never going to fit on my small head, let alone an average sized adult head. Opps! Since I had already cut the yarn it didn’t seem worth frogging the work I had done so I set it aside. I moved it from spot to spot around my craft room for almost a year before I decided it was the perfect size for a notions bag – and how cute would that be?!?
Just a few days later I was talking to Robin, owner of The Bloomin Spindle in Chicago, about coming down to teach some more crochet classes. I suggested the notions bag and she said it was great, but wouldn’t a whole project bag be amazing? Um, yes, yes it would! So I set to work!
To be completely honest, one of the things that was holding me back from crocheting another notions bag was the sewing. While my mom was an amazing seamstress, I do not have her skills. I always feel clunky and slow when I try to sew. The perfect solution for that was to use a premade canvas bag. Let me tell you this worked even better than I imagined! I’m so thrilled!
Customize Your Bag
The Waylen Bag pattern has specific instructions for a 9″x12″ large project bag and a 5 1/2″x8″ small notions bag. If you’ve looked for zippered canvas bags you know that they come in a very large variety to sizes. Never fear! The pattern includes all the information and tips you need to adjust the pattern to make you bag any size you need!
For my Waylen Bag, I went with my “go to” colorful worsted weight yarn Rios by Malabrigo. It comes in the most stunning colors that always catch my eye. If you’ve seen any of my pictures, you may have guessed that my favorite color is teal so the Cian colorway immediately grabbed my attention! Nothing goes better with a beautiful solid colorway than a beautiful variegated colorway. The colorway Aniversario definitely fit the bill! At first I thought I’d make my project bag in two colors, but it quickly became apparent that two skeins weren’t going to make an entire project bag. So rather than asking you to buy 4 skeins of two colors, I decided to add a third color! Thankfully I had the colorway Valentina in my stash. I’m not usually a light pink person, but the depth of color in the colorway, especially in combination with the other two colors, made it just the perfect fit!
I LOVE working with Malabrigo yarn and often find myself reaching for Rios. It comes in so many wonderful colorways, both tonal and variegated. I almost never walk away from the Rios section of my local yarn shop without picking up what I need for my next project. Rios is a worsted weight yarn with 210 yards per 100 grams. It’s made of 100% superwash Merino wool, which makes it easy to work with, bock, wash and care for. The middle of the road price tag makes it the perfect stepping stone yarn if you’ve been drooling over hand dyed yarn, but were a bit hesitant of the price. I think once you try high quality, hand dyed yarn you’ll fall absolutely in love!
This fun and flexible project can use as many or as few other supplies as you’d like. Of course you’ll need your standard supplies; a US I 5.5 mm hook, a tapestry needle (these are my favorites) and scissors (aren’t these beautiful?). I always recommend you check your hook carefully and look for the millimeters rather than a letter label. While US I hooks are pretty standard, there can be some discrepancies between companies as to how they label their hook sizes.
I fell in love with and always recommend Furls crochet hooks. Their Alpha Series is my absolute favorite hook line. It’s stunning and fits so well in my smaller hands. It is one of their pricier hooks, but well worth the splurge. If you’re looking to dip your toes into Furls hooks, I love their wooden Streamline hooks too. Because of their more affordable price, I have a lot of these hooks and use them regularly. They fit nicely in my hands too, are so comfortable to work with, and glide nicely through yarn! I have a couple Odyssey hooks too and, while they are a heavier hook many find they glide nicely through the yarn!
During the summer I take my yarn on the go a lot more than I do now that the boys are back in school. I’m a bit nervous about taking my wooden hooks to the park so I ordered a set of metal hooks at the beginning of the summer to take on the go. I’ve really been enjoying my Tulip hook set. They’re super smooth, with a really comfortable grip. I usually work with wooden hooks, but find that metal hooks glide really nicely through cotton and other plant fiber yarns. I bought a whole set of Tulip hooks and am a bit surprised that I’ve used almost all of them. Initially I worried the more narrow handle might cause hand pain, but they glide so easily through the yarn, they’ve been very comfortable to use!
When it comes to adding a zipper to your bag it can feel a bit intimidating – especially if you don’t sew, but I’ve found the easiest way to not only add a zipper, but also reinforce your whole bag and it’s SO easy! For the super simple easy method you’ll just need the appropriate sized premade zipper pouch. If found these large ones that make the perfect project bag. They’re super sturdy and give my finished bag wonderful stability! I found this great pack of smaller bags that came with natural and black colored bags! While each of these packs comes with several bags, remember you can never have too many project bags – ha ha! These make great gifts and not just for yarn lovers! They can be used for a pencil case, to organize a bag or purse. They’re great for travel and the larger bag can be used to hold a tablet or small computer!
Ok are you ready for the no sew magic? First, I have to say that as the daughter of a professional seamstress I was VERY skeptical of this product, but it’s worked even better than I thought it would! The magic product is Aileen’s Quick Dry Fabric Fusion. Yes, fabric glue! Like I said, I was extremely skeptical that this would work, but it has worked like a dream and reinforces my bags in ways that would have been difficult with sewing.
Of course I’m not opposed to sewing, if you have those skills. You can always sew a zipper to the top of you bag or even sew in a premade pouch. If you’d like to get fancy, read my friend Amber’s post about adding a lining to any bag for tips! You’ll need a needle and thread for hand sewing, but did you know you can even use a sewing machine? So exciting!
Seriously No Sew?
I am not kidding when I say no sew. I didn’t sew a single stitch in any of the 2 Waylen Project bags and 2 Waylen Notions bags I’ve made. I must say it’s SO satisfying! While I could have – and you totally can – made a fun lining for my bags and sewn in a zipper (I do own a sewing machine and do have some sewing skills) it would have taken me much longer than adding the premade pouch and probably wouldn’t have been a sturdy. While gluing the premade pouch into the crocheted bag had a bit of a learning curve, I got it down after the first couple tries and share all my tips in the pattern! I’m so thrilled that I can help you create a beautiful, handmade, sturdy, zippered bag with absolutely no sewing skill needed!
A special deal for you!
The Waylen Project and Notions Bag pattern is available on Ravelry and Etsy (coming soon) for purchase. If you’re reading this between July 26th, 2023 and August 12th, 2023 you can use the code NOSEW20 to save 20% on Ravelry or Etsy. If you’d like to get the best discounts on all my new patterns, join my email list here!
The Waylen Bag is a tier 2 pattern. Tier 2 patterns are designed to apply a new technique. These patterns include medium size projects that will add basic stitches and design elements to the new stitches or skills learned in a Tier 1 pattern. These patterns will grow your skills by using them in new ways.
Coming soon – Check out the Tier 1 and 3 patterns for the stitches used in the Waylen Bag below.
Read more about my tiered pattern system here!
A HUGE ***thank you*** to my amazing testers! They all did such beautiful work! Each and every Waylen Bag is unique and gorgeous! This pattern was tested and tech edited to be as clear as possible. Pattern testers are an important part of the publishing process. I appreciate the time and attention they give! Thank you to my wonderful tech editor Michelle Muskett of Tales of Knots whose attention to detail makes every pattern better!
Can’t Make Just One
I couldn’t possibly make just one Waylen Notions Bag or Project Bag! I’ve already made 4 – two of each size! I was excited to make one project bag for a shop sample for The Bloomin Spindle. I LOVE choosing colors, but I normally gravitate towards a certain – bold – color palette. I was so excited when Robin, owner of the Bloomin Spindle, chose a color palette I never would have picked for her shop sample. It is absolutely gorgeous and I loved working with the new to me yarns! Robin chose two colors of Jagger Spun yarn, which is beautifully heathered giving it so much depth and a stunning Primrose Yarn Co. yarn that looks handspun.
I’ll be teaching a class at The Bloomin Spindle in Chicago at the end of July 2023. I’d love to have you learn to make a Waylen Project Bag along with me! Chick here to sign up for the class!
More Waylen Patterns
Waylen Cozy – Tier 1
Coming soon! This simple, small pattern is the perfect way to practice the amazingly textured stitch used throughout the Waylen patterns. With endless color combinations, they make great gifts and are an excellent way to use up scraps of yarn while you expand your skills.
Waylen Cowl- Tier 2
Coming soon! Expand your stitching skills by mixing up even more amazing color combinations. With the additional choice of adding applied ribbing, you can taking your skill up a notch and be super cozy when cold weather sets in.
Waylen Hat- Tier 3
This classic, unisex pattern is where the Waylen pattern series began. I absolutely love this hat and the versatility of the pattern. With options for brimmed or brimless, fitted or slouchy, one color or many, you can make a Waylen Hat for everyone you love!
Every year I’m honored to participate in the Crochet Cancer Challenge hosted by my friend Christine of Sweet Potato 3 patterns. Each year designers offer free patterns in exchange for a pledge to make hats for charity. If you haven’t heard of this challenge you’re not going to want to miss out. Each year promises beautiful new patterns and generous crocheters. You can sign up for my email list here to be notified when this year’s challenge begins or keep an eye on Christine’s blog here!