Things-I’m-Working-On Thursday

It’s been really busy around here lately and I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit. OK. A lot. To get back on track, I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve been working on lately.

It was Mother’s Day a little over a week ago here in the US. I really enjoyed making special goodies for my mom and mother-in-law. I sent them each a personalized card and some crochet coasters. My MIL loves the ocean and everything beach related, so I went with a seashell theme for her Mother’s Day gifts.

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Scallop Shell Mother’s Day Card and Crochet Coasters

Inspired by the beautiful colors of spring, I decided on a floral theme for my own mom. I made her some colorful coasters and a card with some pretty, paper flowers. Thanks to almost a whole bottle of glue, the 3-D roses arrived safe, sound, and still attached to the card! Since my mom is the one who inspired me to crochet, I just had to send her a “Captain Hook” t-shirt too!

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Pretty Flower Mother’s Day Card and Crochet Coasters

I started working on this crochet Deep V-Top a few months ago. Bernat offers it as a free pattern on their website. It’s my first real attempt at crocheting something wearable. I’ve had to alter the pattern quite a bit to keep it out of crop-top territory. Somewhere along the way I got all mixed up and crocheted the cap sleeves backwards. Luckily I don’t have to undo a million rows to fix the problem, but I’m still a little embarrassed at my total “D’oh” moment!

My First Attempt at Something Wearable…Keyword: Attempt!

The other day my Meema (maternal grandmother) asked me to crochet a baby blanket on her behalf. Her only request was that it be for a baby girl. After getting sucked into Ravelry for what seems like a life-time, I finally decided to crochet a basketweave stitch blanket. I’m thinking about adding some flowers to one side, so the little one can play with the petals! I picked out some Caron Simply Soft yarn in Grey Heather and Watermelon. I can’t wait to get started!

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Super Soft Baby Blanket Yarn

Before starting the baby blanket I really wanted to try out the basketweave stitch. Since I have tons of cotton yarn on hand, I decided to make a dishcloth for our kitchen. It’s gone surprisingly fast and I’m already almost halfway done! I just love the basketweave stitch now that I’ve gotten the hang of it!

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Cotton Crochet Basketweave Stitch Dishcloth (Try saying THAT 10 times!)

These projects are only the tip of the iceberg! I’ve been doing tons of gluten-free baking, and have more t-shirt designs and crochet patterns on the way. I’ve also re-listed some of the products in my Etsy shop, and have new items to add soon. Stay tuned!

 

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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?

Crochet Clutch Purse – Free Pattern

Blue crochet clutch purse with flap

Want to make a cute Clutch Purse of your own? Check out the free pattern below!

A couple of weeks ago I started making the Crochet Posey Purse from Red Heart. I was halfway through the project when I came up with an idea for a smaller clutch-type purse. Since I tend to get really excited when I come up with an idea, I had to try it out right then. So I put my posey purse on the back burner, grabbed some pretty blue yarn from my stash and set to work on the clutch I had dreamed up.

After a couple of mini-prototypes and one full-sized fail I finally got it right. I was so excited with how it turned out. It was exactly like I had imagined. I couldn’t keep it to myself, so I wrote up a pattern. Creating the pattern ended up being harder than making the purse itself. Half the time I still have trouble even reading crochet patterns, let alone writing them!

Crochet pattern corrections

I turned to the Ravelry community to check my pattern writing “skills.” If you haven’t heard, Ravelry is basically the Facebook for yarn lovers – except better! When I asked for an extra set of eyes to go over my pattern, I almost immediately got helpful responses. Sandy of Sandy’s Cape Cod Originals offered to take a look at what I had come up with. Kindly, she made many corrections, gave me great tips, and a lot of feedback. Sandy has over 30 years of experience crocheting and sells hundreds of crochet patterns on Etsy and Ravelry. I’m so grateful for all of her help.

Blue crochet clutch purse with flap and strap

After all was said and done I decided to offer the pattern for free both on my blog (see below) and on Ravelry. Please note that this pattern is for personal use only and may notbe sold, reprinted, or copied in any way without my express permission. If you decide to sell something you make from one of my patterns, I ask that you give credit to me as the pattern designer. I also ask that you include a link back to the free pattern, so that others may have the opportunity to make the item themselves. I’d love to see what you come up with! Let me know what you think! Good luck and happy crocheting!

Free PDF pattern download: Crochet Clutch Purse