This little change purse is worked in an intriguing crochet stitch known as "shallow single crochet." Like the name suggests, this stitch is a variation of single crochet stitch; you'll work it exactly as you would the single crochet, with a several important differences.
The main difference: instead of inserting your hook into the loops (the front and back loops of the stitch in the previous row or round) as you ordinarily would, you insert your hook into the base of the stitch itself. That is to say, the base of the stitch in the round before. So essentially, you are working into the middle of the stitch in the previous round, rather than working through the top loops of the stitch. On its way in, your crochet hook will be placed in the middle of the "v" formed by the previously-worked single crochet stitch. On its way out, your crochet hook will emerge through the "v" on the back side of the work as well; it is likely to meet with some resistance, and that's one thing that makes this stitch a little more challenging than ordinary single crochet stitch is.
This stitch can be worked in either rows or rounds, but I like the results best when it is worked with only one side facing. I think it gives more consistent results.
Other differences: Shallow single crochet stitches are much shorter than ordinary single crochet stitches are; the resulting fabric is also denser, and less stretchy.
This change purse came about because I was going to work a swatch of shallow single crochet stitch, but then I decided that I would rather work a small tube. So I decided to do a tube-shaped swatch, which is, of course, well suited to becoming a change purse.
If you would like to make a larger project using this stitch, I think it would be ideal for making belts, tote bags, market bags, purses, and pillows. I'd also love to explore the possibilities for using this stitch in other ways -- perhaps for ultra-structured thick warm jackets, blazers and outerwear. But of course, first things first; for now let's just get started with the change purse.
- Worsted Weight Yarn: the sample change purse was crocheted using Caron's Simply Soft yarn in the color called "Bone." After having made my first sample, my opinion is that this project would be better if crocheted in wool or a yarn that easily responds to blocking. The stitches slant significantly, but you can take care of this issue using a combination of blocking and careful finishing. Feel free to substitute yarns.
- Crochet Hook: Size I /9-5.50 mm, or size needed to achieve the correct gauge
- Sewing thread in a color that matches your yarn.
- Tapestry Needle for weaving in ends
- Optional: scraps of fabric for lining the change purse. I did not bother giving mine a lining, and since the crocheted fabric alone is really hefty, I didn't consider a lining to be essential. However, everyone's crocheting is a little different; if you'd be happier having a lining in your change purse, by all means make one.
- Optional: stitch markers for marking the beginning / ending of each round; I didn't use markers, and don't consider them essential, but you may find them helpful.
Row gauge is not essential for this pattern.
Before finishing, my sample piece measured approximately 4 inches wide by 3 3/4 inches high.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:
Design Note: Work rounds in a continuous spiral. If desired, place a stitch marker to mark the beginning / ending of your round; if it would be helpful for you to do so, you can move the marker up each time you complete the next round.
Change Purse Crochet Instructions:
Ch 34. Join with a sl st to form a ring, being careful not to twist your chain.Work the first round in sc st, then work the second round and each round thereafter in ssc. Work even until your change purse measures the desired height. End off; weave in ends.
Finishing the Change Purse:
Block the piece. I can't emphasize this enough. I skipped this step when I made my sample, and I regret it! If you look carefully at my sample piece, you'll see how much the stitches slant. Blocking is your ticket to straightening this out. If you skip the blocking, your purse will probably turn out just as slanted as mine did. It is useable that way, but it sure could be improved on by blocking.
If you want to give your change purse a lining, see how to sew a lining for a pouch or bag.
Pin zipper to the top of the change purse and then stitch it in place.
Close up the opening in the bottom using the technique of your choice; you could use whip stitch if you like, or slip stitch. Another idea: You could pick an edging from our list of edging patterns and work the edging across the bottom of the piece.
References and External Links:
I originally learned about this stitch in one of my crochet stitch dictionaries:
- The Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches
Compiled by James Walters and Sylvia Cosh
1986 Lyric Books Limited
ISBN# 0 7111 0028 4
- As far as I can remember, I wasn't inspired to try crocheting a project with this stitch until I saw Carol Ventura's blog post about shallow single tapestry crochet, which I found very inspiring.