This Victorian-inspired crochet bag was designed by Doris Chan for the Fall 2005 issue of Vogue Knitting. I had made the bag this past April, but it was never finished because I hadn't found the right handles. That is, I didn't find any that I liked until just recently, when I happened upon some lovely Crystal Palace handles at Cottage Yarns in South San Francisco.
The original pattern called for four balls of Coats & Clark Opera #5 thread in Cream with pearl beads. I ordered my thread from Yarn & Thread by Lisa in Russet - a deep auburn color. Then I found the beautiful dark red tigereye beads on eBay that were just the right size (6mm).
The beads were fairly easy to crochet on. For each tier of trim, the last round is a beaded round. When I got to a spot that required a bead, I put down the size D hook required to crochet the pretty shell trim and used a size 13 steel crochet hook. I slipped one bead onto the steel hook, and pulled the working loop through the bead. Then I put down the size 13 hook, reinserted the size D hook into the working loop and continued on my way.
The casing for the handles is straight single crochet, one casing made on each side. Each casing was folded over each handle and stitched down inside the bag.
I'm happy with the way this finally turned out after months of looking for proper handles. It's ready to go out on the town!