Cactus Tote – Free Crochet Pattern

It’s a purse, it’s a tote, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… the Cactus Tote!

This purse sized tote is specifically for impressing the barista at your local swanky coffee shop/vegan bakery. No really!

The entire time I was crocheting this baby up I fantasized about sauntering into my local vegan bakery (I’m lactose intolerant), ordering an overpriced cupcake, pulling my wallet out of my cactus purse, and watching the amazement spread over the cashier’s face as she or he realized I made my tote myself becoming thoroughly impressed with my clever crochet skills. This is seriously what I daydream about.

Inspiration & Design:

The tote is made from one skein of Lion Brand’s Flikka Yarn! You’ll also need a little Worsted and a little Super Bulky. I used the Flikka color Dill Pickle because I couldn’t resist the adorable name.

Once I got the yarn home it reminded me so much of a cactus that I hopped on the cactus trend bandwagon and whipped up my version of a cactus tote complete with a big blooming flower!

This tote has lots of pretty details both small (a subtle fan stitch and surface crocheted strap) and big (aforementioned flower). I hope you enjoy the pattern!!

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Cactus Tote

Materials:

  • Lion Brand Yarns Flikka Yarn, 3-Light (50% cotton/50% polyester, 196 yds/179 m, 3.5 oz/100 g), 1 skein (Color A) Dill Pickle
  • weight of yarn 3 light
  • Lion Brand Yarns 24/7 Cotton Yarn, worsted 4-Medium (100% mercerized cotton, 186 yds/170 m, 3.5 oz/100 g), 1 skein (Color B) Ecru
  • Worsted Weight Yarn
  • Lion Brand Yarns Hometown Yarn, 6-Super Bulky (100% acrylic, 81 yds/74 m, 5 oz/142 g), 1 skein (Color C) Madison Mustard
  • weight of yarn superbulky
  • Crochet hook sizes G/6 (4 mm), US N/P-15 (10 mm)
  • Tapestry needle
  • 1 Stitch Marker
  • Pins, I use Clover Bamboo Marking Pins
  • Scissors

Gauge:

Tote: Using US G/6 (4 mm) and yarn (A) 7 shells and 15 rows = 4”/10 cm
Strap: Using US G/6 (4 mm) and yarn (B) 17 stitches = 4”/10 and 7 rows = 1.5”/4 cm in sc
Flower: Final measurement 4.25”/11 cm at widest point

Finished Measurements:

7.5”/19 cm wide and 9.5”/24 cm tall without strap, 18.75”/47.5 cm tall with strap

Project Level:

Abbreviations:

ch(s) – chain(s)

sc – single crochet

st(s) – stitch(es)

dc – double crochet

FLO – Front loop only

BLO – Back loop only

RS – Right Side

sk – skip

rep – repeat

sl – slip

sp – space

Notes:

  • The pattern is written in US terms.
  • This pattern has been tested and professionally tech edited for accuracy and clarity.
  • Ch 1 does not count as a st throughout the pattern.
  • Ch 3 does count as a dc throughout the pattern.
  • Tote is worked from the bottom up in joined rounds.
  • The flower is worked in joined rounds. 
  • The strap is worked in rows and is 22.5”/57 cm before attaching to bag.

Instructions

Tote

With color A and hook US G/6 (4 mm), ch 40.

Round 1:  Work 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, mark the 1st sc with a stitch marker to make it easy to find, move the marker up the rows as you work, (skipped ch does not count as a sc), work 1 sc in next 37 ch, work 2 sc in last ch (rounding the corner), working in the opposite side of the foundation ch, work 1 sc in remaining 38 ch, join with a slip st to first marked sc- (78 sc).

Round 2:  Ch 1, (does not count as a stitch here or throughout), (sc, ch 2, sc) all in same sc as join, sk next 2 sc, *(sc, ch 2, sc) in next sc, sk next 2 sc; rep from * around, join with sl st to first sc- (26 shells).

Round 3:  Sl st into first ch-2 sp, ch 1, (sc, ch 2, sc) in same ch-2 space, *(sc, ch 2, sc) in next ch-2 sp; rep from * around, join with sl st to first sc.

Rounds 4-35 or until bag reaches 9.5”/24 cm tall: Repeat round 3.

Fasten off.  Weave in ends using a tapestry needle.

Tote Stitch Chart

Strap

With color B and hook G/6 (4 mm), ch 101.

Row 1:  Work 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, (skipped ch does not count as sc), work 1 sc in each ch across, turn- (100 sc).

Row 2-7:  Ch 1, work 1 sc in same sc, work 1 sc in each sc across, turn. 

Fasten off. Weave in ends using a tapestry needle.

Flower

With color C and hook US N/P-15 (10 mm), make an adjustable loop or ch 4 and sl st in first ch to form a loop.

Round 1: (RS) ch 3, (counts as dc), work 11 dc in ring, join with sl st in FLO of top of ch-3- (12 dc).

Round 2: Ch 2, sl st in same FLO of top of ch-3, (sl st, ch 2, sl st) in FLO of each dc, join with sl st to BLO of top of ch-3 from round 1- (12 petals).

Round 3: Ch 2, work 1 dc in same BLO of top of ch-3, (1 dc, ch 2, sl st) in BLO of next dc, *sl st in BLO of next dc, ch 2, work 1 dc in BLO of same dc, (1 dc, ch 2, sl st) in BLO of next dc; rep from * 4 more times- (6 petals).

Drop the yarn from the hook.

Round 4: With RS facing up insert hook from front to back between the ch-3 and first dc of round 1, put the loop back on the hook and pull through to front, (sl st between next dc) 11 times- (11 sl st).

Fasten off, using a tapestry needle, invisible join to first sl st (forming the 12th sl st) (images 1-3).  Weave in ends in back of flower.

Flower Stitch Chart
Image 1: Invisible Join Step 1, Pass needle under the two loops of the first sl st of round 4.  Pull through.
Image 2:  Step 2, Insert needle straight down through the middle of the last sl st of round 4.  Pull yarn all the way through to back.
Image 3: Finished!  As you can see, the invisible join looks just like a slip stitch.  Pretty cool right?

Attaching and surface crocheting the strap

Flatten body and find left edge.  Pin the strap centered with the left edge of tote (row 1 of strap to your left and stitch 6 of strap lined up with the top of the tote.

Pin the other side of the strap to the opposite edge of the bag in the same position.

Starting on the side to your left

Row 1:  Starting on the side to your left, insert your hook through both the bag and the strap between row 7 and 6 and the 5th and 6th sc of the strap, pull up a loop, work 1 sl st between the next 5 sc (image 4) (5 sl st).

Image 4

Row 2:  Turn the bag and strap together 90 degrees clockwise, work 1 sl st between next 4 sc- (4 sl st).

Row 3:  Turn the bag and strap together 90 degrees clockwise, work 1 sl st between next 5 sc (along the short edge of the strap)- (5 sl st).  

Row 4:  Turn the bag and strap together 90 degrees clockwise, work 1 sl st between next 4 sc (completing the square)- (5 sl st).  

Row 5:  Continuing in the same direction along the long edge of the bag and now stitching in the strap only, work 1 sl st between next 88 sc (image 4) (88 sl st). 

Row 6:  Continuing in the same direction along the long edge of the bag and now stitching in both the strap and bag, work 1 sl st between next 5 sc (image 5) (5 sl st). 

Image 5

Row 7:  Turn the bag and strap together 90 degrees clockwise, work 1 sl st between next 5 sc (along the short edge of the strap)- (5 sl st).

Row 8:  Turn the bag and strap together 90 degrees clockwise, work 1 sl st between next 4 sc- (4 sl st).

Row 9:  Turn the bag and strap together 90 degrees clockwise, work 1 sl st between next 5 sc (completing the square)(image 5) (5 sl st).  

Fasten off.  Thread end through strap and tote to inside of bag.  Weave in ends using a tapestry needle.

Row 10:  With the bag positioned so the top of bag is parallel to you and bottom of bag is closest to you, insert hook in to top right corner of top stitched square, pull up a loop, (image 5) turn bag counter clockwise 90 degrees, work 1 sl st in next sc across long edge of strap ending in the corner of the box at the other end of the strap (The first 88 sl st will be in the strap only.  The last sl st will go through both the strap and tote)- (89 sl st).

Fasten off.  Thread end through strap and tote to inside of bag.  Weave in ends using a tapestry needle.

Finishing

Using the running stitch, stitch flower to front lower left corner of tote using yarn A.  Stitch behind the front row of petals, along the very bottom of the back row of sl st.

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