Crochet and macrame bag
Was in Bangkok recently, and found a workshop Big Knit to make a crochet + macrame bag. I haven't tried crochet or macrame before, so I was quite excited!
They have a few branches around Bangkok, and the workshop was conducted at their store inside Siam Paragon, which was at a crafty corner in the department store:
This was the poster of what we were supposed to make - basically a crochet bucket bag inside a macrame outer layer:
The materials we used was t-shirt yarn - it's very soft and stretchy, and we got to pick colours for the bag:
We first started with crocheting the inner layer. The instructor didn't speak English, so I was trying my best to look and follow her actions, but her movements are much faster + smoother than I was able to replicate. Thanks to another participant who helped do some basic translation for me along the way
We didn't have time to finish crocheting the full bag - once we got to a certain "height" where the pattern was repetitive, the instructor said we could continue at home.
We then moved onto working on the macrame outer layer. This was tying a lot of knots all around, which was kinda meditative.
A sample completed bag was placed inside as a guide, so that the macrame knots are tied in a way that would allow the crochet bag to fit. That's what's supposed to happen, but....
By the end of the workshop, I completed the macrame outer layer, but still had quite some way to go for the crochet bag:
Spent a bit of time every night in the hotel doing a little bit:
Before I knew it, I was back in Singapore, and finished the bag back at home.
I did some trial and error to crochet the sling strap (cos I only learnt how to crochet in a circle around the base, at the workshop).
When it was finally done, somehow, my crochet bag turned out to be larger than I expected 😅 Pretty sure it's due to my poor counting and uneven crochet knots. I added a little drawstring, so that I can use that as a standalone bag instead.
XK commented that they are great colours for Chinese New Year, and we can use the macrame bag to carry our oranges to bainian next time 😄
Details of the workshop
Duration: 4 hours (it was my first time doing crochet so I was a bit slower. I took about 2-3 hours more, across little pockets of time in the hotel + back at home to complete the piece)
Price: THB 1,550 (~SGD 62), booked on via direct message with Bigknit on their Instagram account (I got a TH friend to do the money transfer for me)
Level of "fun": 2.5/5
"Fun" wouldn't really be a word I would use to describe crochet and macrame - I find "meditative" a more appropriate word. The repetitive actions make it so, and I found myself having to pay attention to make sure I count the knots and do them in the same way consistently during the process. I think it helps with being mindful (although it might also be because I am a beginner, so I had to really pay attention).
When the piece was done (especially the crochet one), I was thinking about how amazing it is that the entire bag was made from one "long thick string". It certainly feels like one of those crafts closer to making something out of nothing, similar to weaving (versus say, sewing, where it feels a bit later in the process, once there is a cloth made already).
Level of difficulty: 3/5
I managed to push through with it, but I lost quite a bit of time earlier on doing the crochet bag at the workshop because I found it a little bit difficult to do the crochet knots in the right counts (e.g. 1 knot-1 knot-1 knot-2 knots then repeat). I think it was also because I didn't really get how to tell which "hole" I was doing my knots in, so I accidentally do extra ones sometimes. Language barrier might have made it a little bit harder for me to ask questions and for the instructor to explain. She helped inspect whether I did it correctly after every round (where the pattern changes a bit).
The macrame outer layer also turned out to be a bit too small - I think it was a mix of me being too conservative when doing the macrame (tying it quite tight), while also having inconsistent crochet knots, which resulted in the crochet bag being bigger than expected 😅 Making consistent knots (and checking that they are indeed consistent) isn't that easy for a beginner!