After muttering to dh about wanting a new handbag for the summer, I have now used my new crochet skills to make one:
The pattern was from a library book called Easy Crochet Bags. But take care: there are errors in the printed version, and I have not fixed them all in the FO - the dark green stripe should have been two more rows. I noted the pattern errors on my Ravelry project page, which you'll be able to find without too much trouble if you search on Rav for "Summer Stripes Bag".
I made this using Rico essential cotton dk and a 4mm hook. The bamboo handles I bought off ebay - I had to buy two pairs, as the first ones were too big - the perils of online shopping! But at least I have another pair of handles in my stash, should I want to make another bag in future.
I sewed a lining for the bag, using a layer of interlining as well as cotton fabric, to give it more structure. Here's a view of the inside:
I took that photo before I replaced the too-big handles, and also, I since sewed up the side seams about 2 ins further, as I found my bag gaped a little.
Overall I am happy, and the proof of success is that I have actually taken it out of the house.