Designs From Scratch Boutique Now on Etsy!

UPDATE: After almost a year on Etsy, I’ve decided not to re-list or add any more products to my shop. I realized that I was using my store as a way to refer people to my work and general prices of items that I make. This is obviously something I can easily do on my blog! I would have stuck it out, but I really disagree with the allowance of so many resellers on Etsy. When it started, Etsy was a great way for individuals to sell their one-of-a-kind, handmade creations without worrying about competition from big brand companies that mass produce items. Since this is no longer the case, I’ve decided to close up shop. If you’re interested in one of my custom creations, please contact me and I’d be happy to work something out! You can also find my craft-inspired artwork on a range of products in my Zazzle store.

I’m proud to announce the grand opening of the Designs From Scratch Boutique on Etsy! I’ve started off by listing some of my favorite crochet items. This high quality messenger bag is made to order and comes with a sturdy, cotton liner. The roomy design makes it a great everyday purse to protect all of your essentials. Personalize it by choosing your own colors, and I’ll have your custom bag on its way in no time!

Magnificent Crochet Messenger Bag

Looking for something a little smaller? This clutch purse is the perfect accessory for any occasion. You can make it yourself using my free pattern or order the ready-made version and have it shipped to you for free!

Ice Blue Crochet Clutch Purse

Children, pets & elephant lovers alike will enjoy having these adorable elephants around. Since they’re too cute to just have one, these little buddies come in a set of two!

Crochet Amigurumi Elephant (set of two)

Feel better about transporting your laptop with this cotton laptop case. It’s made as one piece for added durability, and has a simple three-button closure.

Cotton Crochet Laptop Case on Etsy

Love your iPad? Then you’ll love this cotton sleeve made specifically for tablets! The inside of this case is ultra-soft, meaning it won’t damage your screen. The top portion of the sleeve folds over to keep your device in and everything else out!

Crochet iPad/ Tablet Case

 

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Crochet Broomstick Lace With a Highlighter

Crocheted Broomstick Lace Purse Handles

Crochet Broomstick Lace Handles

Can you believe this delicate, crochet broomstick lace was made using only acrylic yarn, a crochet hook, and a large highlighter?! I chose broomstick lace for the handles of my Orchid Crochet Purse From Scratch. The straps turned out so well I just had to share the technique! I originally found Sandra from Crochet Cabana‘s tutorial on how to crochet broomstick lace. The only thing? I didn’t have a “jiffy” hook or even a thick knitting needle like Sandra suggests. Feeling crafty, I decided to improvise. Since the hook Sandra uses in her tutorial looks like an oversized pen, I searched the house for something suitable. The closest thing I could find was a permanent marker, but it proved to be a bit too small.

Crochet Broomstick Lace using a permanent marker

Permanent Marker = Too Small

Since the marker wasn’t right for the job I kept trying. I got it right on the second try when I used a thick highlighter. The holes of the broomstick lace ended up being nice and big due to the highlighter’s large diameter. I began my handles with a foundation chain of five. This produced one lace loop per row and allowed me to build my rows up to the length I wanted for my strap. I used a size G/ 4.25mm hook for my broomstick lace, but you can always experiment and choose the hook that is right for your tension and/ or yarn.

Crochet Broomstick lace with a highlighter

Highlighter = Just Right!

I was a little nervous to attempt this stitch since it looks so complicated, but it ended up being a lot easier than I thought! When I finished the straps my husband asked if they were going to be strong enough to hold up such a large purse. That’s the beauty though, the lace only looks fragile! In reality it’s actually quite a durable stitch, as so much yarn goes into each loop of lace. My broomstick lace handles were the perfect addition to my basic Orchid Purse.

I’m absolutely in love with broomstick lace! It’s so pretty and simple to make. What’s your favorite use of broomstick lace? Have you ever turned random household objects (like highlighters) into crafting tools?

Crochet Broomstick Lace with a Highlighter

Orchid Crochet Purse From Scratch

My Posey Purse in Orchid

Did you know that Red Heart offers free knit and crochet patterns right on their website?! While browsing through their hundreds of patterns I came across this crochet Posey Purse. I instantly fell for the bag. It looked cute, simple, and big. Since I tend to carry my whole life with me wherever I go, those are my three basic requirements for a full-time purse. I even had a skein of Red Heart Super Saver in Orchid that I had been dying to use. Even though this is technically an intermediate-level pattern, I decided to try it out since the instructions looked simple enough for a beginner.

The whole body of the purse is made up of rows (and rows, and rows) of single crochet. The single crochet stitch is very basic, so I had no problems whipping up the main part of the bag. I think I can even single crochet in my sleep now! Just as I was wondering why the pattern was marked as intermediate, I got to the part where I had to do the edging. At that point my bag looked like a huge rectangle, however, the finished purse is gathered at the top. The edging is what gives the purse its trapezoidal shape.

The instructions said to ‘evenly space’ a row of stitches across the edge of the purse body to create the gather. Being new to crochet I had no idea how to go about doing this. Were there specific places on the edge of the piece that I was supposed to stitch into? Was this some super-secret crochet technique that I hadn’t learned yet? Since I wasn’t sure what to do I asked the experts on Ravelry. As it turns out I was WAY over-thinking things. There isn’t really a “right” or “wrong” way to evenly-space stitches – you just have to be consistent.

Once the edging was done the handle flaps were really easy to complete. I decided not to use the bamboo handles that are recommended in the pattern though. I like the way they look in the sample photo, but I wanted to keep the whole purse crochet. I also prefer longer straps on bigger purses. Something about threading my arm through a tiny handle just to have a bag crammed into my armpit doesn’t really appeal to me. Insane, I know.

Broomstick Lace Crochet

Broomstick Lace Handles

The purse itself was too basic to just add any-old-strap to it. Considering I only know a few basic stitches, I figured I would have to learn something new if I wanted to make the bag unique. A while back I came across this tutorial by Sandra from Crochet Cabana on how to crochet broomstick (or “jiffy”) lace. At the time it looked way out of my league, so I bookmarked it in my ‘Attempt MUCH Later’ folder. Desperate for a new and interesting stitch, I dug up Sandie’s tutorial.

I was a little disappointed when I saw that I would need a special “jiffy” needle in addition to my regular crochet hook to make the lace. I don’t have a jiffy needle or even a knitting needle like Sandie used in her tutorial. I really didn’t want to buy a special tool, especially since I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to pull off the stitch, so I improvised. I used a big highlighter instead of a needle, and the handles turned out great!

All done - inside and out!!

I’m so happy with with the finished purse! It’s even bigger and better than I thought it would be! Now it just needs a pretty posey or two! What are your requirements for an everyday purse? Do you carry your whole life with you or do you like to stick to carrying the essentials?