Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Curious Case of Bonnets & Bags, Part 2

Lacy Brim Hat and Bag Pattern from "Bucilla easy-to-crochet Bonnets and Bags", 1970.

As of last posting, the perpetrator of Patty’s airport misadventure has been identified as the infamous villainess, Dr. Egret.

The cancellation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. the previous year did not just deprive many teenaged girls of their sexy, pouty Russian boy toy, but also left many T.H.R.U.S.H. villains at loose ends.
We may never know who the bomb was originally intended for (although the visiting Sultan of Fictistan may have been a target), but it appears that poor Patty earned Dr. Egret’s ire by daring to fashion herself a matching hat and bag out of Straw-Tex.

Who could have suspected, in the halcyon days of 1970, the significance of this green-eyed crime? This was the first documented case of Crochet-Rage and, as recently declassified U.N.C.L.E. files reveal, it was regrettably not the last.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):


Bucilla Straw-Tex
Hat—8 skeins, Bag—6 skeins
Bucilla Straw-Tex is “raffia satin straw” which just sounds so classy. And comfortable! However, 8 skeins isn’t as much as it sounds, and as this picture proves, you’ll soon be singing “I found it on E-Bay”.

Plastic Rings—1-1/8th’’ in Diameter
Hat—1 ring, Bag—74 rings
Just getting classier by the minute! Only the best for Dr. Egret.
Felt for bag lining—19 ins. by 11 ½ ins.
Wait, not plastic? Or Naugahyde? What about zebra stripes? They go with everything!
Gold chain—28 ins. long—see Finishing.
So, is it real gold, plated gold, or plastic painted gold? Three guesses and the first two don’t count.
Crochet Hook:

Hat—“Boye” Aluminum Hook, Size H, Size H—or size you require to obtain gauge.
Bag—“Boye” Steel Hook, Size 0
What? Now plastic just won’t do? And you can forget about those hippie dippy wooden and bamboo hooks. They come from Red China, and you’ll just be crocheting communism into every loop.
Gauge: Hat—7 sc = 2 inches , 4 rounds = 1 inch


With loop on hook, work 18 sc in plastic ring.

Note: Do not join rounds. Mark first st for beg. of round.

Round 1—* Work 2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc; repeat from * 5 times around; 25 sts.
Round 2—* Work 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc; repeat from * 5 times around; 30 sts.
Round 3—* Work 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, * 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next 4 sc; repeat from * 5 times, 1 sc in each of last 2 sc; 6 sts increased. Repeat round 3 six times, being careful not to have inc. over inc. of previous round; 72 sts.—about 6 ins. in diameter.
This was originally written as “Repeat round 3-6 times...” which gave this transcriber a brief moment of confusion. How on earth was she to decide whether to crochet three, four, five or six more rounds? Was it dependant on the size of the hat-wearer’s head? Changing the “6” to a “six” and removing the hyphen made everything much clearer.
Draw up last loop leaving yarn attached and steam lightly.
One option is to buy a hat steamer. But if you can’t find one at Walmart, you can always just hold your hat over a kettle or a steaming pot of water until it’s damp (but not soggy!), then shape it and let it sit until it’s cooled down. While you’re waiting, you can crochet a poodle cosy for the teapot.
Next Round—Work 1 sc in each sc around.
Repeat last round 15 times.


Round 1—Ch. 3, * 1 sc in next sc, ch. 3; repeat from * around; end ch3.
Round 2—*1 sc in next ch 3 loop, ch 3; repeat from * around; end ch 3.
Repeat Round 2 until brim measures 3 ins., join with sl st into ch 3 loop at beg. of last round. Fasten off.

Cord Trim:

With 2 strands of yarn, work a ch 28 ins. long. Sl st in 2nd ch from hook and each remaining st of ch. Fasten off. Pin and sew cord along last sc row to desired headsize. Tie as illustrated.
In other words tie it in a knot. Evil T.H.R.U.S.H. villains are masters of knot tying, especially when it comes to restraining helpless U.N.C.L.E. agents.

Row 1—Work and join 11 rings as follows: With loop on hook, work 13 sc in first ring to cover half of ring, * work 1 sc next ring to join ring, work 12 more sc in same ring; repeat from * until 11 rings are joined. Work 13 sc in remaining half of last ring, ** drop loop from hook; from right side insert hook under back loop of last sc on next ring; pick up dropped loop and draw through sc; work 13 sc in remaining half of ring; repeat from ** 9 times. Fasten off.

Mark 5th ring for lower edge of front of bag and 7th ring for lower edge of back of bag, 6th ring will be bottom of bag.

Row 2—*Work 7 sc in new ring; drop loop from hook; from right side insert hook under both loops of 7th sc in last half of first ring of row 1; pick up dropped loop and draw through sc—thus joining rows 1 and 2; work 6 sc in same ring; repeat from * joining 11 new rings to corresponding rings of Row 1 and to each other. Continue around remaining half of all 11 rings as in Row 1. Fasten off.
Repeat Row 2 four times; 6 rows of rings are joined.

Fold piece in half crosswise. The first 5 rings of each row form front of bag, the 6th ring forms the bottom of bag; the last 5 rings form the back of the bag.

Side Gussets:
Make 2. Work and join 4 rings as for Row 1. Fasten off.

Pin the 4 gusset rings to 5th and 7th rings of bag to form sides of bag, beg. at lower edge and ending 1 row from top of bag. Tack center st of gusset rings to center st of corresponding rings on sides and bottom of bag.
Line bag with felt or scarf.
Because what else are you going to do with all those excess handmade scarves you have lying around the house? It’s not like you were actually going to wear them.
Note: Chain for handle may be purchased in any drapery or trimming department, or with double Straw-Tex, make a ch 28 ins. long. Slip chain through top rings of bag at both ends and join together.
Straw-Tex! Accept no substitutes!
Unfortunately Dr. Egret remains at large. All that U.N.C.L.E. agents found of her was a purple Straw-tex hat and a hand-crocheted mask.

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. An alteration to the bag that will perhaps enhance the hostility factor might be to work dorset buttons in the rings creating a knotted and twisted style.

    An enjoyable read.

  2. I had to google "dorset buttons", and the first link I clicked on led me here...

    The gummy jelly babies inspired interesting visions of knotted and twisted voodoo dolls in the rings (definitely hostile!).

    However, further investigation revealed that dorset buttons are actually quite pretty.

    Still, making millions of dorset buttons and attaching them to the rings would definitely up the insanity factor of this purse.

    Thanks so much for your comment!

  3. My eyes kept slipping from the "crime scene photo" above to the tasty portrait of Mr. Ilya Kuryakin...

  4. As we have aged, so has he. Check out NCIS on CBS or repeats on cable TV.

  5. In NCIS ("The Meat Puzzle", Season 2), Kate asks: "What did Ducky look like when he was younger?"

    Gibbs: "Illya Kuryakin."

    I like to imagine they're the same character. ;-)