Can you believe it’s the first day of fall already? It definitely looks like fall when I go outside. Each morning on the way to school with the kids, I look around at the bluffs and make note of how different they look from day to day. It won’t be long and our trees will all be at peak color. And not long after peak, they’ll all be bare. I really wish they hung onto the branches a bit longer for us to enjoy. In the meantime, I’ll take my Wanderlust Chevron Backpack out hiking to enjoy them while I can. You can find the free crochet pattern in this post below, or an ad-free print friendly version on Love Crafts here, Ravelry here, or on Etsy here. The ad-free PDF includes a Bonus crochet stitch chart!
Even though it’s fall and fall usually means wool and wool blend yarns, I prefer to use 100% cotton yarns for my handmade bags all year long. I love the stitch definition that comes along with cotton. I also love how durable crochet bags are when made with cotton yarn so I try not to categorize my yarns by season.
A BIG THANK YOU to Lion Brand for supplying the yarn for this project & sponsoring the giveaway!
If you’ve popped into a clothing store within the past several months, you’ve likely seen cute mini-backpacks in their accessory aisle. Claire has fallen in love with them so I decided to make her and my niece one, the Striped Mini-Backpack (here) and Drawstring Mini-Backpack (here). I was working on the mini-backpacks for the girls when the Wanderlust Chevron Backpack design idea came to me.
The Wanderlust Chevron Backpack is the perfect crochet backpack to take on your everyday adventures. It will easily hold a pair of sunglasses, bottle sunscreen, chapstick, cell phone, bottle of water, earbuds, a book, snacks (or a lunch if you plan to be hiking for the day)… and many more items. The combination of Lion Brand Yarn’s 24/7 cotton and simple crochet stitches give this crochet backpack its classic appeal. Crocheted ropes work great for the straps because they do not stretch out like most other crocheted straps have a tendency to do.
Wanderlust Chevron Backpack – FREE CROCHET BACKPACK PATTERN
The free pattern is below, but if you love to work offline, I’ve got a couple other great options for you.
Pin it for later here.
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- Yarn: Worsted Weight / 4; Lion Brand Yarns 24/7 Cotton was used for the sample. 100% Mercerized Cotton Yarn (186 yards / 170 m / 3.5 oz / 100 g). Available for purchase on the Lion Brand Website or AMAZON
- Ecru (650 yards / 4 balls)
- Magenta (96 yards / 1 ball)
- Charcoal (80 yards / 1 ball)
- Crochet Hooks: G/6/4.00mm, E/3.50mm, or size needed to obtain gauge (My favorite crochet hooks are the Clover Amour Hooks, I’ve never had an ache in my hand since switching)
- Yarn Needle
- Plastic Canvas (2) 4″ W x 9.5″ L (optional)
- Locking Stitch Markers (4 or more)
Many of these materials are available for purchase through our affiliates below:
Abbreviations (US Terms)
- ch(s): chain(s)
- sl st(s): slip stitch(es)
- st(s): stitch(es)
- sc: single crochet
- bpsc: back post single crochet
- spike sc 5: single crochet spike stitch 5 (tutorial here)
- Rnd(s): round(s)
- RS / WS: right side / wrong side
- SM: stitch marker
- Rep: repeat
- MC: Main Color (Ecru)
- CC1: Contrasting Color 1 (Magenta)
- CC2: Contrasting Color 2 (Charcoal)
- One Size: 9.75″ W x 12″ H x 4.25″ D
In sc: 13 sts + 16.5 rows = 3″
- Back Post Single Crochet Stitch (bpsc): Insert your hook from back to front around the post of the designated stitch, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through both loops on hook.
- Single Crochet Spike Stitch 5 (spike sc): Begin the spike stitch by inserting your hook into the stitch 5 rows down from the current row, yo, pull up a long loop (make sure to pull the loop up to the top edge of your work), yo, pull through all loops on hook.
- I tend to crochet on the tighter side. You may need to go down a hook size (or two) to meet gauge if you crochet on the looser side.
- The first stitch of every row is worked into the same stitch as the turning chain, unless stated otherwise.
- Yarn Notes: Lion Brand Yarn 24/7 Cotton was used for the sample on page 1. (3.5oz / 100 g / 186 yards / 170 meters / 100% mercerized cotton). Another comparable worsted weight yarn may be substituted.
- Colors & Yardage: Ecru (650 yards), Magenta (96 yards), Charcoal (80 yards)
Wanderlust Chevron Backpack Instructions
Base (Make 2)
Row 1: With MC & a 4.00 mm crochet hook, ch 19, working into the back hump of the chain, sc in the 2nd ch from your hook and in each ch across. Turn. (18 sts)
Rows 2 – 50: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn.
Base #1: Fasten off. Weave in ends.
Base #2: Do not fasten off. Continue below to Base Assembly.
Note: Whether or not you choose to add plastic canvas between the two base layers, the assembly of the bases is the same. I added plastic canvas to mine.
Step 1: (Skip Step 1 & go to Step 2 if you’re not adding plastic canvas) Cut 2 rectangles of plastic canvas that are 1/4″ to 3/8″ less in width and length of your base, then slightly snip the corners off. **See Photo A.
Step 2: Line up the last rows of each base and lay one on top of the other. If you’re using plastic canvas, make sure to put both pieces between the two bases. **See Photo B.
Step 3: Use stitch markers to hold the bases together (make sure you secure them thru both bases). I prefer to place stitch markers in the 1st and last sts of Rows 1 & 50. If it helps, you can also add one near the middle of each long side.
Step 4: Working through both layers of fabric at once, continue on to Seaming the Bases. **Photo C shows the bases completely seamed. Note the green stitch marker. This is where you’ll join to begin the Body of Backpack later.
Seaming the Bases
Note: It is very important that you work the seaming round exactly as written, ending with the last sc in the last corner. This makes sure the 1st st of the round is to the left of the last corner worked. Then don’t forget to turn to begin the Body of Backpack.
Rnd 1: Work around the perimeter of the base beginning with a short edge (note the direction of the red arrows in photo C), sc in each st across the last row (18 sts), work 1 more sc in the corner (1 st), rotate and work 1 sc in the side of each row along the long edge (50 sts), work 1 more sc in the corner (1 st), rotate and work 1 sc in each st across the next short edge (18 sts), work 1 more sc in the corner (1 st), rotate to work along the last long edge and work 1 sc in the side of each row (50 sts), work 1 more sc in the last corner (1 st). Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. Turn. (140 sts)
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Continue on to Body of Backpack.
Body of Backpack
Mark Stitches: Look at Photo C on the previous page. Mark the 2 centermost stitches along the edge that the pink arrow is pointing to. It is very important to mark these stitches because these stitches are where you place your very first spike stitches noted in the chart. Move these SM up as you complete each round. After you’ve completed round 7 (the first round of colorwork), you should no longer need the stitch markers.
Rnd 1 (RS): Making sure that you turned at the end of the Seaming round, bpsc in each st around. Join. Turn. (140sts)
Rnds 2 – 6: Ch 1, sc in each st around. Join. Turn.
Rnds 7 – 67: Follow color chart & photo tutorial below (the Ad-free PDF includes a bonus crochet stitch chart), to work stitches and color changes, ch 1, sc in each st around. Join. Turn. Join at the end of round 67, but do not turn.
Rnd 68 (RS): Ch 1, sc in each st around. Join.
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Continue on to Drawstring Channel.
Spike Stitch Chevron Color Chart
- The color chart below only shows the following stitches: 50 sts along the front edge, 2 front corner sts (1 at each front corner), and 18 stitches along each short side of the bag (36 sts) = 88 sts total.
- The colorwork is 86 stitches wide at its widest point, but the chart shows 88 stitches.
- See the color chart below broken down into smaller segments (scroll past the chart).
- See the step-by-step photo tutorial (scroll past the color chart into).
How to Set-up the Spike Stitch Colorwork
See the step-by-step photo tutorial just past the set-up tutorial.
Make sure to look over the photo tutorial (scroll past this set-up tutorial) for tips about working neater spike stitches and for tips on carrying and floating yarn.
Rnds 1 – 6: Worked in Main Color.
Rnd 7: Spike stitch colorwork begins in Round 7. To set-up the colorwork, work 2 spike stitches, in Magenta (CC1), in the 2 centermost sts along the front of the bag. Spike stitches are worked 5 rounds below the current round. Example: Rnd 7 spike stitches are worked into Round 2 stitches. Round 9 spike stitches are worked into Round 4 stitches.
Rnd 8 & ALL Even Numbered Rounds: Each contrasting colored section in every even numbered round, from Rounds 8 – 66, widens by 1 st on each side of the previous rounds’ spike stitches. Example: Rnd 7 has 2 magenta sts, Rnd 8 has 4. Rnd 9 has 6 magenta sts, Rnd 10 has 8.
The graphic above shows a close-up of the beginning of the color chart.
Note how each even numbered row widens by 1 stitch on each side.
The numbers across the bottom correspond with the numbers on the main color chart.
The graphic above shows a close-up of the main color chart where you will add in CC2/Charcoal in round 23.
The graphic above shows a close-up of the main color chart where you will add back MC/Ecru in round 39.
Refer to the Spike Stitch Colorwork Photo Tutorial below for an additional visual aid.
Spike Stitch Colorwork Photo Tutorial
- This photo tutorial is of a small swatch I made to demonstrate how & where I worked color changes, how I worked over/carried the yarn, how & where to work the spike stitches, and a tip on how to create neater spike stitches.
- If you’d like to make a practice swatch like I did, ch 17, and work 6 rows of 16 sc.
Photo A: I’ve added a SM in the 2 centermost stitches on the swatch. You should have SMs in the 2 centermost stitches along the front of your bag, if you followed the instructions under the Body of Bag heading. This photo shows 6 rows of 16 sc.
Photo B: Sc in each st up the SM. Change colors to CC1 on the last pull thru of the last stitch in MC (just before the first SM). Note that I now have a CC1 on my hook. The yellow hook is pointing to Row 2. This is where you need to insert your hook to work your single crochet spike stitch 5 rows below the current row.
Photo C: Begin the spike stitch by inserting your hook into the stitch 5 rows down from the current row, yo, pull up a long loop. Make sure to pull the loop up to the top edge of your work. Note: before you complete the stitch, make sure to read my tip in Photo D!
Photo D: Here is where I want to share a quick and easy tip to help you work nice straight spike stitches. After you’ve pulled up a loop to the top edge of your work, and BEFORE you complete the spike stitch, carefully remove your hook from the loop and then re-insert it in the opposite direction. Doing this one little thing, straightens out the loop of the spike stitch so that it’s no longer twisted and it is nice and neat.
Photo E: To complete the spike stitch, yo, pull through all loops on your hook. This photo shows your first spike stitch complete.
Photo G: Following along with the color chart (above), each contrasting colored section in every even numbered round, from Rounds 8 – 66, widens by 1 st on each side of the previous rounds’ spike stitches (this helps create the “V” or chevron). Example: Rnd 7 has 2 CC1 sts, Rnd 8 has 4. Rnd 9 has 6 CC1 sts, Rnd 10 has 8. I’ve placed SMs to point out these 2 sts that need to be CC1. Refer to the color chart above.
Photo H: This photo shows row 8 complete. Note there are now 4 CC1 sts.
Floating Yarn: See the pink arrow in photo H? It’s pointing out that I floated the MC on the WS of the work in the even numbered round. In all EVEN numbered rows, I floated my yarn along the WS and only worked over/caught it every 4-5 sts.
Photo I: I’ve turned my work and added 1 SM in each of the stitches where spike sts will be worked. Note that after completing Row 9, you’ll now have 6 CC1 sts. Refer to the color chart on page above.
Photo J: This photo shows the first 2 spike sts, then 2 sc complete in Row 9. Note that these spikes sts are worked into Row 4 sts.
Photo K: This photo shows Row 9 complete.
Photo L: I’ve turned my work to complete Row 10 and added a SM in 1 st on each side of the colorwork section to show which extra sts will be CC1.
Carrying & Working Over Yarn: In all ODD numbered rows, I worked over the MC and floated the other CC colors, making sure to work over/catch them every 4-5 sts.
Photo M: This photo shows Row 10 complete. Notice how I’ve floated my yarn across the back and every few stitches worked over it.
Photo N: Continue following the pattern and color chart. This photo shows Row 11 being worked. Since this is an ODD numbered row, I worked over the MC yarn.
Photo O: This photo shows Row 11 complete.
Photo P: This photo shows Row 12 complete. Again, notice how I’ve floated the carried and floated the MC and worked over it to secure it every few stitches.
5 Photos Above: Note that I’m working with a smaller swatch so I added in CC2 sooner than the bag pattern calls for so that I could show how I carried, floated, and worked over 3 colors of yarn. Make sure to follow the color chart when adding in your CC2.
5 Photos Above: These photos continue to show you how I worked with 3 colors at once. Also notice the right and left edges of the swatch, there is 1 st in MC along the vertical edges. You will also have 1 stitch in MC along each short side of the bag, just before the back corners. You will continue to work color changes until the edges of your chevron, the CC1 & CC2, line up (as shown in the photos above).
Set-Up: Lay bag flat in front of you with the front, RS of the bag facing you. Place a SM in the 6th & 7th sts to the left of the last MC spike stitch of round 67. Place a SM in the 6th & 7th sts to the right of the first MC spike stitch of round 67.
Row 1 (RS): Join yarn with a sc in the FLO of the 6th st to the right of the first spike stitch of Rnd 67, FLO sc in each of the next 69 sts. Turn. (70 sts)
Rows 2 – 10: Ch 1, working in both loops, sc in each st across. Turn.
Fasten off leaving a 28″ tail of yarn for sewing. Continue on to Back Channel.
Row 1 (RS): Join yarn with a sc in the FLO of the 7th st to the left of the last spike stitch of Rnd 67, FLO sc in each of the next 69 sts. Turn. (70 sts)
Rows 2 – 10: Ch 1, working in both loops, sc in each st across. Turn.
Fasten off leaving a 28″ tail of yarn for sewing. Continue on to Crochet Ropes (Straps).
Crochet Rope / Strap Instructions (Make 2)
For Rnd 1: Use a 3.5mm crochet hook, work 4 sc instead of 5.
Rep Rnd 3 of the crochet rope instructions until your crocheted rope measures 50″ long, or desired length.
Fasten off leaving a 12″ tail of yarn for sewing. Repeat for the 2nd crocheted rope strap then continue on to Attaching the Straps.
Attaching the Straps
- With the back side of the backpack facing you, use a yarn needle and tail of yarn to sew one end of each strap, onto the back, bottom right corner of the backpack.
- Working with one upper channel at a time, lay one of the straps across the inside of the channel.
- Fold the channel over and around the strap. Use a SM to hold the channel in place.
- Using a yarn needle and tail of yarn left on the channel, whipstitch both loops of the channel’s last row to the BLO of Row 68. Whipstitch across the entire channel. Weave in ends. Repeat for the second rope.
- With a yarn needle and tail of yarn, sew the opposite ends of the straps to the back, bottom left corner of the bag.
- Tip! Before sewing the opposite end of the strap onto the backpack, check it for fit as best as you can. You can easily shorten or lengthen the straps at this point.
Weave in ends and you’re all finished!
Nicole, from Tied up in Knots, chose goldenrod instead of magenta for her Wanderlust Chevron Backpack. Isn’t it just gorgeous?!?! **all the heart eyes**
More Free Crochet Bag Patterns from A Crocheted Simplicity
If you enjoy making crochet bags, you may enjoy these other projects as well. And if you just want to browse, you can find all of our free crochet patterns HERE.
Are you intimidated by knit-look crochet? Would you love to learn my tips & tricks? Take an Annies Video Class with me and let me ease your fears and help you increase your skills! Click on the photo below to watch a free preview. You can also see the other 4 video classes I have available!