Someone on this board posted a link to Novica.com, and after wandering over there I saw this purse http://handbags.novica.com/soda-pop-top/soda-pop-top-shoulder-bag-baby-pink-mandala/106957/
. Of course, in true craftster fashion, I said, "Hey! I can totally make this!"
So, after months of collecting tabs and numerous trial-and-error attempts to design the shapes, here is my bag!
Shot of me wearing it, to show scale:
And lying flat:
Aaaaand a shot of the lovely lining!
I absolutely love it.... it's big enough (and sturdy enough!) to carry all of my usual stuff around, and it's quirky. I like quirky.
Butterfly mercerized cotton, size F hook, a bunch of pop tabs, lined with batik.
This is definitely inspired by the Novica bag, but I made the pattern up from scratch
**************************************************************And now, finally, a tutorial!
Now, I tried to make this tutorial as clear as possible. This is really only a guideline, as the actual number of stitches per tab and per round will depend on the yarn you use, and the type of tab. Also, I only use tabs in the round, just because I like the versatility of motifs. But, you can also use tabs while crocheting in rows using the same basic method!
For using tabs oriented horizontally,
first make your center motif. I would recommend ending with at least one row of sc around before starting a tab row, as opposed to an openwork stitch, because it makes it easier to work the tabs on. Then, you'll want to insert your hook into one of the tab holes, YO (1), and draw the yarn through the tab and the loop on the hook(1b).
Then, sl st in the next sc (2). Depending on how close together you want your tabs to be, you may want to sl st in the next two sc... this spreads them apart a bit more.
Then, you will want to repeat 1 and 1b... insert the hook through the next tab hole, YO (3), and draw through loop on hook. Sl st in the next sc, and then insert the hook into the first hole of the next tab. YO (3.b) and draw through loop on hook.
Sl st in the next sc (or, next two sc), insert hook in next tab hole, YO, and draw through loop on hook (4).
If you continue in this fashion all the way around, you will have a row of tabs that slightly overlap at the ends. Alternatively, you could do a few tall stitches in between tabs (dc, possibly tr). Ch 3 (or more) to reach the height of the tabs (5), and begin to sc in the tab holes around (5.b.) and join (5.c.).
You'll definitely want to experiment with your yarn and tabs to see how many stitches per tab can fit them comfortably. For my bag in particular I knew I wanted hexagon shapes, so once I had the basic circle with two rows of tabs figured out I came up with a number of stitches that I could divide by six, and then shaped the corners over three (maybe four?) rows of sc. Anyway, hope this is useful to someone!