Hooked: Patchwork Crochet Bag

Patchwork Bag_7

In late Spring (November), I decided I wanted to crochet a bag to use for the Summer. I looked at Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration and patterns. I wanted something that looked fresh and would be simple to make. In the end I settled for a Stylish Easy Crochet’s Patchwork Crochet Bag pattern which you can find HERE. The great thing about this pattern is that it is made up of just squares. You can make your bag small or big, depending on the size and number of squares you use.

I wanted a bag that would be able to carry my wallet, keys, phone, diary and other bits and pieces – so I decided to make a 13 square bag.

For each square, I used Craft Passion’s Solid Granny Square Crochet Pattern which you can find HERE. I then joined the squares using single crochet stitch. For the handles I just did a chain stitch (which I made wider with about 6 rows of sc).

I wanted a colour scheme that would be colourful but not of a specific colour scheme so that it could match whatever I wore. I found that making the majority of squares neutral colours (white, light grey, dark grey and black) helped achieve this.

All the yarns I used were acrylic. I was initially skeptical about the durability of this material – but after using this bag for about 2 months I have to say it is pretty sturdy! Yes, the handles have curled a bit and some of the squares have some pilling (see below) but other than that the bag has been very strong and reliable. At times I have loaded it up with a water bottle too – the bag can take quite a bit of use!

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Patchwork Bag_1

One thing I have done to help with the durability of the bag though is sew a fabric pocket to sit inside it. Initially I tried to sew a lining into the bag, but with my limited sewing skills, this proved too challenging. I have found a very simple fabric ‘pocket’ is enough to stop small objects like my keys poking out of holes.

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I’m surprised my simple bag has lasted so long and would definitely recommend this pattern to anyone looking to crochet a bag! Do you think you’ll make a patchwork bag?

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Confessions of a Yarn-a-holic

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In the corner of my living room is a stack of plastic containers. Crammed inside are balls and balls and balls of yarn. Hooks. Needles. Patterns. Material. The scary thing is, this stack isn’t even near the entirety of my collection of crafting materials. This is just my “working basket” (if I can get away with calling it that). Projects begun, projects yet to be started, projects that were started and have somehow stalled. I knew there were at least a few of the latter – so this weekend I took the time to see what I could find (and perhaps inspire myself to finish them – Autumn/Winter is coming up in a matter of weeks!).

Exhibit A (above): This is the back of a jumper I started a few years ago. I am not much of a knitter, but have knitted a few scarves and cowls before. This jumper was going to be my transition into more complicated knitting (well, to me anyway). However,  I injured my finger (in a totally un-craft related incident involving a metal door –  I highly DO NOT recommend the combination of fingers and doors) and by the time it had healed as close as it could to its pre-accident condition my enthusiasm for the project had faded. But perhaps this is the winter I finally wear my own jumper?

Exhibit B (below): Who knew beanies could be so… exhausting? Or maybe the word I am looking for is exasperating. Though simple and fairly quick to come together, this “one size fits most” pattern did not cater for my larger than average head. I frogged this beanie several times – and then just put it aside out of utter lack of patience (though, admittedly, it’s probably just a few rows from completion).

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Exhibit C (below): These squares began innocently enough as an attempt to make a baby blanket. Until I did the math and realised that I needed about 81 squares to make a reasonable sized blanket (something I did not have the time for at the time). I like the pattern though, and mean to salvage these squares eventually, perhaps as something less ambitious like a cushion cover.

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Exhibit D (below): Unlike the other 3 projects mentioned already, this project is actually my current work in progress. Though the stitch is not new, I’ve been spying the crocodile stitch on various blogs so eventually sussed out instructions on how to do it. I’ve also been googling images on how different people have used the stitch for cowls and scarves. I like the idea of a triangular scarf, so have been working the stitch in a diagonal way (starting with one stitch, increasing by one each row). Most years I knit I scarf before winter and that project becomes my go to scarf for the season. This is the first year I will have crocheted one. I’m looking forward to wearing it in the winter.

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So, that is a brief run down of some of the things festering in my “working basket” stack. I’m going to make an effort to finish them off this year because my stack definately needs some downsizing!

Do you have half finished WIPs lurking in your baskets/bags/containers? Do you think you’ll ever finish them? 🙂

Pastel Granny Square Baby Blanket

Earlier this week two dear friends of mine welcomed their first child into the world – a baby girl they named Neriah!

A few weeks ago I started crocheting a simple granny square blanket (pairing pastels of yellow, pink, purple, blue and green with white) and (unknowingly at the time) finished it at about the time Neriah was being born! It was my first time crocheting granny squares and I was impressed with how quickly the blanket came together and because of its simplicity how easy it was to roll into a bag and work on during breaks at work.

A few days ago I was able to visit baby Neriah. She was/is adorable. Even though I expected her to be tiny, I didn’t realise just how tiny she would be. Her little head was the size of a mango (yes, strange comparison I know, but hey – it is mango season here!) and all up she was about the size of a watermelon. When I was crocheting the blanket I wondered at times if it would be too small – but it seems safe to say she will get use out of it for some time yet.

Welcome to the world baby Neriah!