Thank you so much for your get well mesages. I am almost back to normal now. John (poor bloke) has some antibiotics which should clear up what turned to be an ear infection. Bella is in robust health and Angus, not to be outdone, has a bit of a cough that becomes very dramatic when he has to do something he doesn't want to do, like wash his hands before a meal or eat his vegetables. We battle on!
Anyway, the bag. I think this must be one of the most satisfying crochet projects I've completed in quite some time. Two and a half big balls of parcel string, one 10 mm hook and the whole thing made in under a week.
The pattern is from the excellent book Granny Squares by Susan Pinner which I've used a lot since I bought it a couple of years ago, and most recently to make my blanket. The bag is thirteen granny squares crocheted together using the join as you go method.
It was fun watching the bag come together and take shape. Once the main section is done you add some double crochet edging and make the handles.
It's surprisingly strong and surprisingly roomy. It stretches when it's full and carried my laptop, slippers and crochet bag when I babysat my nieces for my sister a couple of nights ago.
It wont work as a handbag as things might fall through the holes, but it's already getting lots of use as a kind of hold-all for when I go over to the house and want to take decorating clothes or my camera with me. I thought it might be a good beach bag for towels and wet things, since the material is so hard wearing and the construction allows air to circulate. But I'm mainly going to use it as it was intended, for shopping, even if my purchases wont always be this photogenic.