Category Archives: crochet

I’m just a Bag lady

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Two more bags to show you, one a crochet work-in-progress and the other a sewn finished object.

The above patchwork bag is a giant tote with denim on the back, patchwork from 4.5″ cut squares on the front, denim handles and a magnetic clasp.

I didn’t follow a tutorial for this, just made it up as I went along. The fabrics were inspired by this little drawstring bag…

…which I made recently and decided to give to a coworker who’s leaving. I made the tote to coordinate so I can give it to her at the same time.

It just took me an afternoon from idea to FO.

My little crocheted bag is coming along. I joined in with a Patreon Zoom chat this morning with Hannah of The Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast, and got the squares joined to the base and started the upper section.

It’s still super smoky here and the event I had planned (crocheting at the beach) isn’t going ahead as most people would prefer to stay home in their AC! I must say, my chest feels crappy today, even though I have been indoors all day and haven’t been aware of a strong smoke smell. Ah well, maybe next week.

Staycation – days 4 – 7

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Day 4 was a long day, mostly at home. There was library book reading, sewing and Ravellenics project planning.

I finally decided on a crochet project for the Ravellenic Games (on Ravelry, to coincide with the Olympics). I went for a bag pattern I’ve made before. It’s called the Feelin’ Groovy Drawstring Purse. It’s a paid pattern now but years ago I was one of the testers for the designer so I got it free.

I’m using Lion Brand Mandala in Chimera from the stash. I had to wait to actually start the project because the Games hadn’t started yet.

My exercise class on Thursday was Strength and Lengthen at the gym with Mr Fixit. That was a good class. The teacher was nice, which makes a huge difference.

Day 5, Friday, was an early spin class. I sweated a lot and had very sore quads afterwards. Once that was out of the way, I could get going on the crochet.

I decided I needed to make the base bigger and do six squares instead of five because the bag would have been too small. So I’ll be adapting this a bit as I go.

The sashiko on my tote bag pieces was done, so I made up the bag with a white linen lining and vinyl handles.

My muscles were glad to have a rest day on Day 6, Saturday. I cooked in the morning and we had lunch and games at our friend’s house. That took up the whole afternoon.

I finally finished Troubled Blood, the fifth Cormoran Strike novel, the one that weighs over 4lbs!

I also made more progress on the bag.

Six squares all joined up and the base circle complete.

My Little Drop of Wonderful wanted to be in my photos today, inspired by the fun photos of Ravellenic mascots in the Colourful CALs group on Ravelry.

She also came out with us today to our favourite tea shop and Costco.

I think I will name her Sparklii.

Day 7 isn’t over yet but the plan is to go to the gym for a weights workout later. And tomorrow I’ll be back at work.

A bit of everything

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A bit of everything

There’s been knitting…

Since I took that photo, it’s grown quite a bit. This is Age of Brass and Steam which is a free pattern that I found via Ravelry. It’s very popular with thousands of projects linked. The yarn is Cascade Ultra Pima Paints, a lovely tonal cotton.

There’s been crocheting…

I won’t say too much about this because it’s a test for someone. But it came out CUTE!

And there’s been sewing…

A vinyl zipper pouch based on a Crafty Gemini tutorial (YouTube) called a pinch pouch.

And an actual garment which gave me grief and I had to redo the neck binding but I think it’s wearable now!

Gawd, it’s 34 degrees today with a forecast high for the weekend of 38. What the heck?!?!?!

We don’t have AC so the only way to be sitting here and not dripping is to have the big floor fan going. Downstairs, where my sewing room is, is somewhat cooler. I can see the big maple tree in my front yard blowing about in the wind and I can imagine it’d be like standing on front of a giant hairdryer right now.

And now I have to make dinner so the fan is getting moved to the kitchen!

Yarn/fabric fusion

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I made two project bags on Friday and this is the second one. Unfortunately the garment-making didn’t go as well so I have nothing to show for that yet.

The base is a bowl shape crocheted from Knit Picks Dishie, a cotton yarn. Once the ball was almost used up, I added fabric to the top part.

After measuring the circumference of the top edge, I cut a strip of fabric the same length plus seam allowances, sewed it into a tube, and then sewed it to the top of the crochet.

The lining is another tube, the same circumference by the height of the bag, with a circle base. Much as I dislike sewing cylinders and circles together this came together easily.

When I sewed the exterior and interior together, I added channels for the drawstring. It worked out just as I imagined and I’m really pleased with it.

In the photo above, the bag has four 100 gram yarn skeins inside, so it’s a good size.

Squeezing in sewing time

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Often when I get home from a full day on my feet, having lifted myriad bolts of fabric and dealt with lots of people (can you say extroverted introvert?!) I am wiped and all I have the energy for is food, tea, Netflix and bed.

Other days, given the right motivation, I can actually get things done.

The barbecue display at work

One evening to make an apron and a second to make an oven mitt to add to the display.

The finished rope bowl

My hand-dyed yarn crocheted over cotton clothesline.

A new mask and earsaver

Just because I love the camper fabric so much!

And another WhitneySews bag from the same tutorial as the cat bag I showed you last time. How adorable is this fabric, with the yarn-bombed trees!

One day, I managed to have a complete sewing room blitz and now everything is tidier and better organized.

All that clear space waiting to be used!

I’m working tomorrow but then I have three days off. Ooh, what mischief can I get up to?!

More makes from the makeaholic!

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My boss called me a makeaholic! I confess. I am. And I’m not a bit sorry.

This mandala is from a pattern by Lucy of Attic24 called Positivity Mandala. I used a rather splitty acrylic yarn from work without too much thought as to colour placement but I don’t think this could look bad however you made it. It’s pretty!

It was quick to crochet but it took me a while to find the metal ring locally. It was only a couple of dollars at a dollar store.

This is a crochet bowl in progress. At the stage above, I was crocheting a flat circle for the base. The yarn was a white cotton one that I dyed (my first dye experiment) with Procion MX dyes. At the time I thought it was so eye-searingly bright that I wouldn’t find a use for it but this bowl is perfect.

Once I decided the base was large enough I stopped increasing and kept going.

I love that one can pop the yarn (and in this case the rope that I am crocheting over) into the project in progress!

This is a gift for a coworker. The fleece toy is just made from a bear that was printed on the fabric, backed with more fleece, sewn around, cut out and stuffed.

The bag is from a tutorial by WhitneySews on YT. I like this style. It’s spacious and has both handles and a drawstring closure.

It goes with the baby quilt.

It was a very quick quilt. No piecing, just top, backing and batting. The backing was cut larger and brought to the front to act as a binding. I tied it in places with embroidery cotton.

All in all, a productive week! Oh yes, and I also sewed a quick apron from a quilt cotton panel for work. I will set up the display tomorrow and try to remember to get a photo.

In case you were wondering…

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I actually started a crochet project this week but I’m not sure that I want to continue with it. I wanted to make a baby gift so pulled out some DK yarns in some analogous colours plus some from the opposite side of the colour wheel.

I started following the Relaxghan pattern, found on Ravelry, but now I’m not crazy about the combo or the pattern.

I need this gift to be fast, and a blanket made with DK yarn with lots of ends to weave in is just not doing it for me.

Nah!

Maybe I’ll go back to it later but for now I think I’m going to do a simple quilt with a fun fabric, one piece for the top, one for the backing, add batting and tie the layers together.

I have fabric in my stash for the top. Just need a metre of a coordinating solid for the back.

I did have some fun with rope tonight.

This stuff was from Home Depot and cost about $9 for 100 feet. I used almost a whole pack for a bowl that ended up about 9.5 inches across at the top edge.

Dang, that used a lot of thread. I think I filled the bobbin four times! The teeny bit of vinyl at the end is a scrap from work. I like the pops of colour from bits of quilting cotton wrapped around the rope in places.

I have the makings of more bag handles here – I found the cotton rope at the dollar store today so with the grommets and the scrap of vinyl to cover the ends of the rope I’d say I’m ready to construct a new tote bag. I’m thinking patchwork……….

See you again soon!

FO: the Doppelgänger hat

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Inspired by a comment from a co-worker that she thought a ponytail hat would be nice (it wasn’t really a request and it certainly wasn’t a demand) I thought I’d crochet one on the fly and see what happened.

It needed to be warm so I made it double layered, starting at the crown, working down through the first part and then continuing on and finishing with a second crown to make a one piece hat which is also reversible.

And it has ponytail holes.

The holes were made by chaining 6 and skipping 6 stitches on one round, and then working into the chain on the next round.

The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala in Chimera and I let the colours fall as they came, without cutting or splicing. I mostly used a 5mm hook but went down to a 4.5mm for 6 rows in the brim area.

I considered sewing the edges of the two holes together but that might have reduced the stretch. Also when washing the hat it will dry quicker if opened out. And if one didn’t want to stick a ponytail through the hole, one could stagger the holes to stop draughts!

Orangey shades one side, greeny shades the other. And a closeup of the hole.

Misc makes

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Misc makes

Spring has arrived in full, with today’s temperature reaching the low 20s. I managed to leave work early, which almost never happens, and took a book out to the deck to catch some sunshine before dinner.

I take my new phone now when I go walking because it takes good photos. These are from a couple of days ago.

I burnt the heck out of my fingers making this guy…

I got hot glue on my skin and actually had quite the blister afterwards. I feel like he could use more accessories. Or perhaps I’ll just make more using the rest of the dollar store socks and see how they turn out.

Another easy, quick project was this flowy vest (waistcoat) which is my fifth one of this style.

I like to wear these at work. They go brilliantly over a T shirt and jeans, making an outfit look more dressy and streamlined, and they take 5 minutes to make. You only need a metre of a non-fraying knit fabric. If the print goes all the way to the selvage you don’t have to trim them off. I just make sure to straighten up the cut edges.

Once the edges are neatened all you have to do is fold the fabric with selvages together, measure 8 inches down from the top and 7.5 inches in from the fold, and cut a slit from that point down for 8 inches through both layers to make armholes. Easy peasy!

I had to do a repair on this apron. My sister bought this for me years ago, it was made by a local (to her) crafter and has seen me through many a kitchen mess. But I wore a hole through part of it so dug out some stripey fabric from the stash and patched it and now it’s good to go again.

And finally (FINALLY!) a crochet work-in-progress!

A co-worker of mine is leaving soon. She hasn’t been there long but we will be sad to see her go. She mentioned (not in a gimmiepig sort of way) that she had been wondering if I’d be able to make a hat with a ponytail hole. Well, I didn’t mind having a go, not that she has any idea that I’m making it.

This Lion Brand Mandala is one of my favourite colourways. It’s called Chimera and is sort of a muted rainbow.

I am designing this on the hook and the plan is to make it double thick because she’s headed further north. I’m approximately at the halfway point. It was coming out a bit loose so I went down to a smaller hook for the rounds that will form the brim. It’ll be reversible when it’s done.

Enough distractions, I must get back to my hook. I’m on a deadline.

Fun with dye

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The store where I work has a monthly DIY idea and this month it’s a rope bowl.

My boss has been making these for ages and she uses cotton clothesline which she buys in bulk online. But the fabric store obviously wants to promote their own products so they used cotton piping cord for theirs, plus they dip-dyed it in Rit dye.

I brought home 8 metres of cord, some 100% cotton thread (so it would take up the dye) and some Coral Rit. I already had a scrap of vinyl at home.

Above photos are after sewing and before dyeing. The top diameter is about 7″.

(Spoon for scale.)

I was pleased with the result, but I did just go back and add a bit more stitching to the final loop to make it look neater.

When I was dipping the bowl into the dyebath, the water was barely soaking through so I scooped some water into the inside and then had to hope it would drain out, or I’d have had dye up the side and over the edge!

There was so much dye, I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I grabbed a couple of balls of white cotton Drops Safran and tossed them in as is. They instantly went a vibrant orange. After they’d had a chance to dry a bit, I used my swift to make them into hanks so they’d dry faster.

I got a nice tonal effect. In real life, it’s coral, not as bright as the photo suggests.

I’ve had a satisfying day today, cleaning and airing the house.  Soup is cooking and now I’m going to make a couple more earsavers for myself. This is one I made last night.