A few summers ago when we still had a summer program in conjunction with our after school program, I was fortunate enough to be allowed to teach crochet as one of our activities. I had some students that never left the chain stage. They made short chains and long chains and multi-strand chains. There was always at least one student who attempted the worlds longest chain. I wanted the kids to feel a sense of accomplishment when they conquered making a chain, so I would let them decide what the chain could become and then, made a little accessory like a flower or star to embellish it. Many turned into necklaces and bracelets.
Some kids progressed so well, I had them making granny squares, purses and cases. At one point I ended up with a huge jar of chains and a few rectangles, squares, and granny squares. I didn’t want to just toss them so I got it into my head that I would find a project that would incorporate all of those chains and granny squares the kids had worked so hard for. At first, I thought I would tie the strands together and create a ball of yarn with them and then come up with a project, but I rejected that idea because I wanted the work to stand out. I opted to make a crochet bag that could hold our balls of yarn that always ended up all over the place. It was going to be my gift to the program.
It turned into a huge task but it was so much fun. I made the sides out of double crochet netting. The bottom of the bag was made up of the squares some of the kids made. I had to make a few more to make it complete and added stitches and rows to the students’ squares that weren’t even. I made borders on them and then joined them. I took the chains and and wove them through the netting. I used more chains and did end up making a ball of chain yarn and made a flower as a decoration. I took the thicker chains and wove those together to make the handles. I used up all the chains and squares we made that summer! Some of the kids had a ball finding their individual chains within the work. We were all proud of all the work we did.
Here it is in all it’s glory.
Whenever I look at the bag, it gives me such a sense of accomplishment for me and for the students (although I don’t think I’ll tackle such a big job again hehehe). It’s not only great for storing all sorts of things, it stores some wonderful memories.