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The Birds – Mochila Bag Pattern
by Priscilla Bradburn
21 cm (diameter), 30 cm (height)
Yarn used: Scheepjes Catona, 50g = 125 metres (100% cotton)
3 x Jet Black 110
1 x Snow White 106
1 x Electric Blue 201 (dark blue)
1 x Powder Blue 384 (blue)
1 x Cyan 397 (light blue )
1 x Forest Green 412 (dark green)
1 x Yellow Green 245 (light green)
1 x Yellow Gold 208
1 x Tangerine 281 (light orange)
1 x Royal Orange 189 (dark orange)
1 x Hot Red 115
1 x Amethyst 240 (light purple)
1 x Shadow Purple 394 (dark purple)
Hook size: 2mm
About the bag
I was inspired by Huichol beaded art when I designed this bag.
If you’ve never made a mochila bag before I encourage you to watch Marion Verloop’s videos. They can be
found on YouT ube by just typing her name. There are also in the below Facebook group:
In this group there are files, videos, u seful links and numerous free patterns including a beginner’s bag that
can make things much easier.
The videos include basic mochila te chniques, colour changes, buttonhol es, crab stitch, macramé tassels, how
to use a kumihimo disc and an inkle loom.
DBlu dark blue
LBlu light blue
DG dark green
LG light green
LO light orange
LP light purple
DP dark purple
[ ] repeat what is in between
( ) total amount of stitches in a round
This mochila bag is made using tapestry crochet (5 strands are used at any given time) . It is made with single
crochet (US terminology or double crochet UK terminology) through the back loop . It is worked in spirals so
there is no need to slip stitch between rounds.
The bottom of the bag should lie fl at and has 12 increases in each round from round 3 onwards .
Normally when making a mochila bag (using tapestry crochet ) 4 or 5 strands of yarn are used from beginning
to end without needing to introduce additional strands. You crochet over the strands you carry. Because I use
13 different colours in my design there is a need to cut off unused colours to replace them by new ones. Every
colour change is written down in the instructions below.
You can just cut off the yarn when the instructions ask for it without worrying abou t leaving a tail . The yarn
will have been carried for a while so it will al ready be nice and secure.
When insert ing a new yarn, leave a short tail at the beginning, make 10 stitches with your current colour then
gently pull the new yarn until it disappears.
Because it’s worked in spirals there is a jog between the first an d the last stitch in each round. In order to make
the jog less noticeable I have made some changes to some of the last stitches of some rounds (only for the
bottom of the bag) . The changes are written in blue and are optional but I think it makes the flowe r pattern
Because I am left -handed I have made graphs (for the bottom and the sides) for both left -handed and right -
handed crocheters. The written instructions are the same for bo th.
For people who haven’t used graphs before, left -handed crocheters read graph s from left to right and right -
handed crocheters from right to left.
I have written full instructions on how to make the bottom of the bag . For the sides I have only written down
when to change yarn.
Bottom, written instructions
Round 1. With LG, crochet 6 stitches in a magic circle (6)
Round 2. Insert DG and B, inc LG x 6 (12)
Round 3. Insert W and Y, inc LG x 12 (24)
Round 4. [1 DG, inc LG, 1 LG, inc LG] x 6 (36)
Round 5. [1 B, inc DG, 3 LG, inc DG] x 6 (48)
Round 6. [ 1 W, 1 B, 1 DG, inc DG, 1 LG, inc DG, 1DG, 1B] x 6 (60)
Round 7. [1 B, 1 Y, inc B, 5 DG, inc B, 1 Y] x 6 (72)
Cut off LG, insert LO
Round 8. [ 1 B, 1 Y, inc Y, 2 B, 3 DG, 2B, inc Y, 1 Y,] x 6 (84)
Round 9. [1 W, 3 Y, inc Y, 2 B, 1 DG, 2 B, inc Y, 3 Y] x 6 (96)
Round 10. [1 B, inc LO, 5 Y, 3 B, 5 Y, inc LO] X 6 (108)
Cut off DG, insert O
Round 11. [ 1 B, 4 LO, inc Y, 3 Y, 1 B, 3 Y, inc Y, 4 LO] x 6 (120)
Round 12. [1 W, 2 O, 4 LO, inc Y, 5 Y, inc Y, 4 LO, 2 O] x 6 (132)
Round 13. [1 B, 1 O, inc O, 1 O, 5 LO, 2 Y, 1 B, 2 Y, 5 LO, 1 O , inc O, 1 O] x 6 (144)
Round 14. [1 B, 7 O, inc LO, 7 LO, inc LO, 7 O] x 3, cut off Y, insert R , repeat an other 3 times (156)
Round 15. [1 W, 1 B, 2 R, 1 O, inc O, 4 O, 3 LO, 1 B, 3 LO, 4 O, inc O, 1 O, 2 R, 1 B] x 6 (168) (do the last stitch
of the round W instead of B)
Round 16. [1 B, 1 W, 1 B, 5 R, 2 O, inc O, 7 O, inc O, 2 O, 5 R, 1 B, 1 W] x 3, cut off L O, insert blue (Blu), repeat
another 3 times (180) (do the last one Blu instead of W)
Round 17. [1 W, 2 Blu, 2 B, 1 R, inc R, 4 R, 9 O, 4 R, inc R, 1 R, 2 B, 2 Blu] x 6 (192) (last 3: 1 W, 2 Blu)
Round 18. [3 Blu, 1 W, 4 B, 3 R, i nc R, 9 R, inc R, 3 R, 4 B, 1 W, 2 Blu] x 6 (204)
Round 19. [2 Blu, 1 W, 3 B, 1 W, 2 B, inc B, 1 B, 13 R, 1 B, inc B, 2 B, 1 W, 3 B, 1 W, 1 Blu] x 6 (216)
Round 20. [1 Blu, 1 W , 2 B, 1 W, 8 B, inc b, 9 B, inc B, 8 B, 1 W] x 6 (228)
Cut of f O and R, insert LP and DP
Round 21. [1 W, 3 B, inc B, 29 B, inc B, 3 B] x 6 (240)
Each stitch is represented by a coloured rectangle . Round 1 (magic circle) is not on the grap h. It starts at
round 2. Increases are marked by black or white lines on the stitches.
At the end of the bottom you should have 240 stitches. Now that you are starting the sides there is no longer
any increases so every round from now on has 240 stitches. The graph is 60 stitches wide and therefore needs
to be repeated 4 times. The sides consists of 58 rounds.
There are 8 but tonholes in round 54. They are 4 stitches wide and are marked on the graph by 4 uncoloured
ovals . The buttonholes are made with the same colour (B). They are stitches made around the carried yarn so
they are not inserted in the stitches below.
Extra instructions for c olour changes
Round 3. After 8 stitches cut off Blu and DP, insert LG and DG.
Round s 11 – 12. Before starting round 12, cut off LP, insert Y.
Rounds 14 – 15. Before starting round 15, cut off W, insert LO.
Round 18. After 6 stitches, cut off LG and DG, insert O and R.
Rounds 20 – 21. Before starting round 21, cut off Y, insert W.
Round 22. Half way through round 22 (after stitch #120), cut off LO, insert Blu.
Round 25. After 8 stitches, cut off O, add DBlu.
Round 31. There are only 4 DBlu stitches in this round. Once you’ve crocheted the last one, count 15 stitches
then cut off DBlu, inse rt O (after stitch #226).
Round 32. Half way through round 32 (after stitch #120), cut off R, insert LO.
Round 33. A quarter through round 33 (after stitch #60), cut off O, insert Y.
There are only 4 Blu stitches in this round. Once you’ve crocheted the l ast one, count 15 stitches then cut off
Blu, insert DBlu (after stitch #226).
Round 37. Half way through round 37, cut off W, insert Blu.
Round 38. Half way through round 38, cut off DBlu, insert LBlu.
Round 39. Half way through round 39, cut off Blu, inse rt O.
Round 40. Half way through round 40, cut off LO, insert W.
Round 43. Half way through round 43, cut off Y, insert Blu.
Round 44. Half way through round 44, cut off O, insert DBlu.
Round 47. Half way through round 47, cut off DBlu, insert LG.
Round 48. Half way through round 48, cut off W, insert DG.
Round 49. Half way through round 49, cut off LBlu, insert Y.
Round 51. Half way through round 51, cut off Blu, insert LP.
Round 54. Make the 4 -stitch buttonholes (skip the corresponding stitches below).
Half way through round 54, cut off Y, insert Blu.
Rounds 57. Before starting round 57, cut off LG, insert DP.
To minimize the height difference between the beginning and the end of the round, cut off DG at stitch
#210, cut off Blu at stitch #220, cut off L P at stitch #230 until there are only B and DP left .
You will have to weave in the end of B.
Decorative round / edging
Round 58 (which isn’t on the graph) is a decorative edge made with the crab stitch using only DP. Skip every
Sides, rig ht-handed graph (repeat 4 times)
Sides, left -handed graph (repeat 4 times)
Cord and tassels
I used a kumihimo disc to make a 16 -strand cord as per below pattern and photo. Kumihimo discs are cheap
and very easy to use. However, if you don’t want to make one of those cords you can always make a braid.
To hide the knots at each end of the cord I added macramé tassels but you can also make ordinary tassels . For
one tassel I used 15 strands for all 4 colours (= 60 strands in total) . Each strand is about 20cm long.
If you add tassels make sure to put the cord through the bag first as the tassels will be too big to fit through
Colours used for the cord: Blu, LG, DP
Colours used for the tassels: Blu, LG, DG, DP
Strap made on an Inkle Loom
I made the strap on an Inkle Loom as per pattern s and photo below. There are 49 strands and it is 3cm wide.
It is a plain weave pattern and the heddles are marked with a dot above the coloured squares (each square
represents a thread) .
Colours used: DP, W, L blu, Blu, DBlu, B, R, O, LO, Y and LG.
Crocheted s trap
Whether you are left -handed or right -handed you can use this pattern.
The strap is made length wis e. Decide how long you want it to be. Use your bag and count how many stitches
you make in 10 cm. From there you can calculate how many chains you need for your strap.
Start every row on the same side (left side if you’re left -handed, right side if you’re right -handed), cutting your
yarn at the end of each row. Leave tails on each side that you can either weave in or braid later.
Repeat the pattern within the blu e vertical lines as m any times as you need to reach the length you want. The
2 and 3 stitches that are at the beginning and the end of the pattern are only done once to start and finish the
You can either sew your strap on the outside of your bag or like me you can sew it on the inside.
Thanks to Marion Verloop for her wonderfu l videos without which this bag would never have been made.
© 2019 Priscilla Bradburn
This pattern is for personal use only. It cannot be translated, sold, redistributed or edit ed in any way without
my permis sion. You can sell your finished products, but you cannot use my pictures to promote them.
Please, always credit me as the designer of this pattern.
Thank you for your understanding.