Video Game Guy Backpack Tutorial

Let’s say for the sake of imagination that there’s a story featuring an adventurous youth and his acerbic canine best friend, who live in a slightly macabre and trippy video game world and have adventures. We’ll call it “Adventuring Friends.”


I think that in that world, they’d probably have a sentient portable video game console. We’ll call him Video Game Guy and he’s definitely not based on anything that is trademarked πŸ˜‰
Wouldn’t it be cute to crochet a backpack featuring this colorful companion? I think so too. Let’s do it! (P.S – I got this idea originally from Instagram crochet artist @mioforestcrochet and made my own version- please check her out and give her some likes!)


I hope you enjoy this free crochet tutorial for the Video Game Guy Backpack! I’ve included all of my notes, and as much bonus info as I could capture – if you have any questions on how I did any of the steps, please don’t hesitate to ask ❀

Update!: This design now has a Ravelry project Page, if you want to favorite it & save for later ❀

Video Game Guy Tutorial

This tutorial covers the instructions for making all the pieces of the Video Game Guy Backpack, but you can easily use this pattern to create a stuffed friend or pillow out of him, too!

Materials:
I Love This Cotton! (#4 weight, 100% cotton, about 150 yds per skein) 2 skeins in light blue and 1 skein in teal
Assorted scrap yarn colors: Lighter blue for the screen (I held in a strand of Glow-in-the-Dark yarn as well, to make the screen glow. I got that yarn from here, years ago). I also used scrap red, yellow, green, and dark blue for the buttons, and black for the accents.
Scrap fabric (optional)
Safety eyes (optional)
Button
Scissors, Tapestry needle, and locking stitch markers (for assembly)

Hook: 3.5 mm hook
Gauge: Not critical. Should be tight, as you don’t want a very hole-y fabric.

Special Stitches: Linked Double Crochet (LDC) – get the free tutorial from my blog here.
Magic Ring (MR): A great tutorial from Planet June here
Notes: I use Ch 2 to turn on the rows of linked double crochet instead of the traditional 3-chain turn, I find it works better with my gauge on this project – you can substitute 3 if it works better for you! πŸ™‚

Instructions

Front & Back (Make 2, 1 front 1 back, in light blue)

Ch 37.

Row 1: 1 Dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 LDC in ea of the next 34 sts. – 35 sts
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 34 sts.
Rows 3-27: Rpt Row 2.

If you are making the Front rectangle,
Cut yarn and tie off.
If you are making the Back rectangle and you want a fold-over flap with a loop, continue on in pattern for 7 more rows, placing a chain loop of stitches in the middle of the last row (skip the chain loop if you are making a pillow or stuffie). I wanted the loop more on the inside (showing the button less) so I made the loop on the second to last row, and then crocheted over that row with the loop held on the inside, out of the way.

Side (1 continuous piece, in teal)
Ch 12.
Row 1: 1 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 LDC in ea of the next 9 ch sts. – 10 sts
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 9 sts.
Rows 3-77: Rpt Row 2.
Cut yarn and tie off.
Compare the side strip to your front and back panels. It should have enough rows to match all the way around the 3 sides of the front & back rectangles, with plenty of room to turn the fabric at the corners. You can adjust the number of side rows here if needed.

Screen Face (Make 1, lighest blue, white, or preferred color – I held 1 strand of glow yarn in with the regular cotton light blue):
Ch 24.
Row 1: 1 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 LDC in ea of the next 21 sts. – 22 sts.
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 21 sts. – 22 sts
Rows 3-12: Rpt row 2.
SC border: Ch 1, rotate. Work 2 sc in the side of every LDC row-end, making 3 sts in each corner to turn. 1 sc in each st across the bottom (the foundation chain), making 3 sts at the corner to turn. 2 sc in the side of every LDC row-end. Stop at final corner.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Here’s a picture of his face glowing! Sorry for the terrible image quality here. But it does glow!

Arms (Make 2, light blue)
MR.
Rnd 1: 6 sc into the ring. Tighten.
Rnd 2: 1 sc in ea of the next 6 sc – 6 sts.
Rnds 3-18: Rpt Row 2
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Legs (Make 2, teal)
MR.
Rnd 1: 6 sc into the ring. Tighten.
Rnd 2: (1 sc in the next sc, 2 sc in the next sc) rpt around – 9 sts
Rnd 3: 1 sc in ea of the next 9 sc. – 9 sts
Rnds 4-12: Rpt rnd 3.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Arrow Pad (Make 1, yellow)
MR
Rnd 1: Ch 2( does not count as first dc). Dc 12 into the ring. Tighten. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the round.
Rnd 2: *Ch 3. Dc in the same stitch. 2 dc in the next st. 1 dc in the next st. Working down the side of the last dc stitch made, slip stitch 2 toward the round below. Work 1 sl st in the same stitch of the round below. Sl st in the next free dc. Rpt from * 3 more times to form all 4 arrow directions.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Red & Green Button (Make 1 each)
My green yarn was small, so my green button was naturally smaller as I would imagine a Video Game Guy to have a smaller green button than red button πŸ˜‰ But you can substitute hdc’s for dc’s to make the green button smaller if your yarn is the same weight as the rest!
MR
Rnd 1: Ch 2, 12 dc into the ring, tighten. Sl st in the first dc to join.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Blue Button (Make 1)
My blue yarn is small, so my blue button is small – you can substitute hdc’s for the dc’s and sc’s for the hdc’s to make the button smaller, if you are using the same weight yarn πŸ™‚
MR.
Rnd 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc). (3 dc into the ring, 3 hdc into the ring) 3 times. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the round.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Straps:
I forgot to note how many stitches long my straps were, but I ended up making them too long anyway so that’s that πŸ˜› So here’s a short description (skip the straps if you’re making a pillow or stuffie) :
Chain a length equal to the length you want your straps, or slightly under (a lot of weight will stretch them some).
Row 1: 1 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 LDC in every other stitch across.
Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 LDC in every other stitch across.
Repeat for as many rows as you want to get the width of your strap. Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Black Details:
Chain small lengths, single crochet back down the chains. Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Lining (Fabric, optional)
I wanted to make my Video Game Guy pretty sturdy (sturdy enough to house an actual portable game console) so I decided to line the inside of the backpack with fabric to reinforce it. I used scrap fabric and just traced my main pieces (the front side and the side rectangle) onto the fabric to get my shapes.

I used my serger for quick construction (it’s ugly, but it’ll mostly be hidden).

And added a channel at the top of the lining for a drawstring, because hey. I’m fancy. I used my regular sewing machine for that part.

Assembly

Using a bunch of locking stitch markers, line your side piece so it runs all the way around both sides of the Front & Back rectangle, with plenty of space at the corners.

Using light blue yarn, join at one end of the Side. To create a seam, work through 2 layers of crochet fabric at once. Single crochet down the side, working 2 single crochet per row-end, under the sides of the LDC stitches at the edge.

If you prefer, you could just use a tapestry needle and yarn to sew it together, but I think the single crochet seam creates a sturdy shape and a crisp edge and is worth the extra patience required!

When turning a corner, work 5 sc into the corner stitch to keep the corner sharp. Continue to work 2 sc into the sides of each LDC row end on the Side, but remember to keep 1 sc per CHAIN stitch on the Front rectangle, as you will now be working across the bottom of the foundation chain on the Front rectangle since you’re working the short side.

Continue on to turn another 5-sc corner and finish the seam up the other long side, leaving one short side (the one with the flap) un-seamed and open.

Repeat this process to seam on the back side.

At this point, weave in any ends on all of your extra pieces that AREN’T going to be used to sew the piece on. Don’t forget like me and accidentally weave in the long yarn tails used for your sewing threads πŸ˜€

For the screen face, place your safety eyes or other form of face-making onto the screen before sewing it on to the front of the backpack. I left the top of the screen open and un-seamed, for use as another small pocket:

I then added the arms and legs, unstuffed, by carefully seaming the top opening onto the flat side piece surfaces.

Next came aaaaaaalll the surface details: Arrow Pad, Colored Buttons, and black details are all seamed onto the surface of the front piece using the yarn tails and tapestry needle.

The final hurdle to jump before I finished the piece was the straps. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I made the straps too long. Possibly because I underestimated how much they would stretch, or possibly because I was just wrong πŸ˜€

Regardless, I used locking stitch markers to test-place the straps, inserting more strap on the inside of the backpack if I needed to shorten it more. Since mine is getting a lining anyway, it won’t matter if there’s a little extra strap poking around in there.

Once they were arranged to my liking, I used the tapestry needle and the remaining yarn tails to sew them into place on the top and bottom. After messing around a little more with the flap and straps, I was ready insert my lining.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s really scary to place something you’ve lovingly stitched for hours with your hook and soft yarn, right into the gaping maw of the stabby-stabby machine. But the more I sew on crochet, the more I get used to it and the more I learn, so away I went! Stabby Stabby!

I sewed reinforcement stitching on the straps, and sewed all along the top rim of the backpack with a straight stitch, keeping an eye on my tension settings. I also added a round button on the inside front of the bag, so the top flap would button down but the button wouldn’t show on the face of the Game Guy.

Lastly, I added the drawstring. Exceedingly happy with my project, I hastened to type up this tutorial so that others might make their own Video Game Guy! This special piece is going to my friend for her birthday ❀

I hope you enjoy making this project, and maybe try out different versions – a simplified project might be to make a stuffed friend or pillow out of VGG! Or even a smaller patch version? ❀

If you liked this free tutorial and want to show off your project, Morale Fiber has a pretty kick-butt Facebook Group now with ALL KINDS of awesome fantasy, boho, hippie, nerdy, and alternative crochet projects shared by fiber fans ❀ Check it out and see if you’d like to join us here!

-MF

Glow-in-the-Dark Mushroom Free Pattern

Welcome to day two of the Halloween Special! Day one featured a handspun pumpkin (handspunpkin?) which was more of a description than an actual tutorial, but today you’ll never guess what I’ve got here.

It’s glow-in-the-dark. It’s a mushroom. It’s a FREE PATTERN!

JackolanternCover2

This spooky fungus is cute and quick and has a little secret pouch inside the hollow stem, covered by the moveable cap that is strung on the chain loop band.

DSC_2178.JPG

The glow-in-the-dark yarn I use here is awesome, from a company called Gert’s Glow House.Β They don’t always have it in stock though, so you might have to range afar to find it. Since gauge isn’t critical on this project, you can also easily substitute other glow or neon yarns if you can’t get that exact type.

FUN FACT: There is a species of mushroom called the Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom (Omphalotus olearius)Β that really does glow in the dark! That’s what I named these little pockets after πŸ™‚

Jacko1

Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom Pouch

Materials:
3.75 mm hook
Gert’s Glow House Glow-in-the-Dark Yarn (50 g, 4-ply fingering weight) – 1 skein
Tapestry needle & scissors
Stitch Marker

Gauge is not critical

Notes:
Pattern uses 2 strands of yarn held together, so you will need to either split your skein in half, work from both ends, or use 2 skeins

Rounds are worked continuously without joining, so mark the first stitch of each round with a marker to keep track.

Helpful Tutorials:Β 
Magic Ring, Back Loop Only

Stem:

To begin, take 2 strands and make a Magic Ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed tightly. – 6 sts
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of the next 6 sc. – 12 sts
Rnd 3: Working in the back loop only, 1 sc in ea of the next 12 sts. – 12 sts
Rnds 4 -13: Work in both loops, 1 sc in ea of the next 12 sts. – 12 sts

You can add extra rounds here if you want a longer stem!

Rnd 14: Sl st in the next 2 sts. Ch 100 and join with a sl st on the opposite side of the round. Sl st in the next 2 sts to secure. Cut yarn and tie off.

Cap:

To begin, make Magic Ring
Rnd 1: 10 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed, but not tightly – there should be a circle left open big enough to get your hook through later. -10 sts
Rnd 2: *1 sc in the next st, 2 sc in the next st. Β Repeat from * around. – 15 sts
Rnds 3-4: 1 sc in ea of the next 15 sts. – 15 sts
Rnd 5: *1 sc in ea of the next 2 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Rpt from * around. – 20 sts
Rnds 6-7: 1 sc in ea of the next 20 sts. – 20 sts
Rnd 8: Sl st in ea st around. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Insert hook from the top of the cap to the underside and catch the 100-st long chain you made for the stem. Pull the chain through so that the cap fits over the top of the stem.

Jacko6

Tighten the hole at the top of the cap to the tension you like (remember you still want the cap to be able to move up and down the chain).

Jacko5
Weave in all ends.

To get a really good glow going, leave your new Jack-o’-lantern mushroom on the windowsill to charge in the sunlight (or moonlight).

Jacko9

The glowing in this picture is enhanced by my camera exposure setting, but still, they’re pretty dang glowy.

DSC_2179

These are so handy for carrying pocket money, chapstick, pretty rocks, etc… or just for looking cuter than heck.

-MF

Tidbits Linen Stitch Bag

Remember Tidbits Linen Stitch? That was only my second post, from what seems like a million years ago (but was only 6 months). Well, that delightful diversion remained hanging from the knitting needle at the very bottom of my WIP basket since I posted that little tutorial. I’ve been cleaning up old hangers-on and scribbling their names out of my project notebook. In the case of this little swath of linen stitching, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it… it was just a matter of getting it done.

TidbitsBag2

A simple envelope style bag. The ultra-bright colors and the woven look-alike stitch reminded me of the beautiful textiles of South America. The use of various yarn weights and russian joining (which produces some frayed ends poking out here and there) adds to the folksy, rural feel of this piece (aka – messy looking), which I accentuated by adding little tassels made from my handspun, Andean-plied Targhee sampleΒ and finishing with an I-cord strap, from the same handspun.

Andean plied Targhee

Andean plied Targhee

The awesome thing about this bag is that it is made exclusively from yarn bits that were under 20 yards in length. I love projects that challenge me to use things that are otherwise doomed to non-usefulness.

TidbitsBag

Watching different colors blend together using linen stitch is fun, with the added advantage of a simplistic stitch pattern to zone out on. Linen stitch creates a right side (the woven looking side) and a wrong side (the bumpy garter stitch looking side), so a fold-over bag like this is a great way to use the fabric so that the right side is featured and the wrong side stays hidden.

-MF

Simple Stylish Market Bag

For the grocery store, farmer’s market, or even beach – these cotton mesh bags are incredibly useful, expandable, and durable. Plus they take up virtually no space when empty.

AND they’re super easy to crochet.

Update 11/2020: I’ve completely revamped this design, please see this new, still-free version with improved tutorials and sizes! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Crochet Market Bag

I posted this bagΒ not long ago, and due to it’s popularity decided to publish the pattern. In the original post I mentioned that it’s made with cotton yarn upcycled from an old sweater – and so is this one!

Market Bag Teal

For more information on getting your hands on recycled sweater yarn, see my definitive tutorial Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn. You don’t need recycled yarn to make this bag, though – any cotton yarn will do.

Like Vickie Howell Cotton-ish for Bernat. Color shown is

Like Vickie Howell Cotton-ish for Bernat. Color shown is “Cotton Gin.”

Simple Stylish Market Bag pattern

Notes: The chain lengths at the beginning of rounds 1-7 DO NOT count as the first dc.

Gauge is not critical

3.75 crochet hook.

150 yards #3 weight cotton yarn – recycled yarn or store bought, like Bernat “Cotton-ish” pictured above.

Rnd 1: Ch 4. Dc 12 into the 4th ch from the hook, join with a sl st in the first dc. – 12 sts made

Rnd 2: Ch 3. 2 dc in the same stitch. 2 dc in ea of the next 11 sts. Join with a sl stitch to first dc. – 24 sts made

Rnd 3: ChΒ  3. 1 dc in the same stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. (1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl st to first dc. – 36 sts made.

Rnd 4: Ch 3. 1 dc in the same stitch, 1 dc in the next stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. (1 dc in each of the next 2 stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 48 sts made

Rnd 5: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 2 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 60 sts made

Rnd 6: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 72 sts made.

Rnd 7: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 5 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 84 sts made.

Rnd 8: Sc in the same st as sl stitch join.Β  (Ch 4, skip 2 sts. Sc in the next st) rpt 27 times around. Ch 2, hdc in the first sc of the round. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-4 sized space.

Rnd 9: Sc in the same space. (Ch 4, sc in the next ch-4 space) rpt 27 times around. Ch 2, hdc in the first sc of the round.

Rnds 10-23: Rpt Rnd 9.

Rnd 24: 2 Sc in the same ch-4 sized space. 3 sc in ea of the next 27 ch-4 spaces. 1 sc in the next ch-4 space, join with a sl st to the first sc of the round.

Rnds 25 & 26: Sc in the same st as sl st join. 1 sc in each sc around, join with a slip stitch in the 1st sc of the round – 84 stitches.

Rnd 27: Ch 2 to begin a double chain (tutorial here), double chain 50 (or ch 50 normally if you prefer). Skip Β 22 sts of Round 26, sc in the next stitch (this creates a 22-stitch long gap between Rnd 26 and the double chain of Rnd 27, which will become your handle). 1 sc in each of the next 19 sts. Ch 2 to begin a double chain, make 50 double chain stitches (or ch 50 normally if you prefer). Skip 22 stitches of Rnd 26, sc in the next stitch. 1 sc in each of the next 18 sts. Sl st into the base of the handle chain (your first double chain). You should have 2 evenly placed 50-stitch long chain arcs.

Rnds 28 & 29: 1 sc in each st around, stitching into the double chains as a normal part of your round to form an unbroken, continuous stitch sequence between the bag and handle.

Cut yarn and weave in the ends using a tapestry needle.

Crochet Market Bags

Got questions or comments? Leave ’em!

-MF