7.30.2010

Scrappy Felted Bag Pattern, to Crochet

After knitting several Big Bags. I decided to try a crochet one. I’m not an advanced in the crochet world. And have trouble following crochet patterns.

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I thought that maybe it would be faster to crochet a big bag than knit it. I was inspired by a girlfriends purse, one of those crochet ones out of the shiny cord. I wanted the bag to be simple and fast. Sturdy and fun. My first attempt was with a single crochet stitch, later I frogged this and used a half double crochet. I like this stitch as it seems to be sturdier and quicker.

This is what I came up with . Any combo of yarn can be used, be creative! The colors and size of the bag are up to you!

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Size 14 L x 11 W inches          Size 11 L x 11 W inches

Both of my bags shrank about 1.5 to 2 inches on each side after felting in a top loader

Crochet Hook: I used a size K, look at the recommended size on your yarn label and use that size or close to it.

Yarn: Any kind of yarn, if you are mixing yarns, and they are of different thickness, hold the thinner ones double to approximate the size of your thickest yarn, think about holding different colors together.

Stitches used: chain stitch, and hdc. see links if you need a tutorial on these. Illustrations, and videos, (for video’s I used mikeyssmail on You Tube, he is a natural teacher) I like the hdc, because it seems to be  thicker and sturdier stitch than a single crochet. But a single crochet can be substituted in the pattern if you wish.

Crochet felted bag pattern:

Bag is made by casting on a chain as long as you desire your bag to be plus about 4 inches more in the chain (to allow for shrinkage). Ball park guideline the piece USUALLY (but not always) shortens lengthwise about 30% more than width-wise, this is in a top loader. If you are using a top loader my experience is that it felts more in proportion). Of course the proper way to see how much your bag will felt is to make a swatch (about 8 to 10 inches square) and felt it, measure, and calculate how much it shrank. I prefer to live dangerously. To calculate your shrinkage in 10% use this, if I used a 10 tall x 10 wide inch square and it ended up 8 tall x 6 wide, it would be the following:

8 inches x 100%/10 inches = 80%, 100-80=20, so we had 20% shrinkage Height

6 inches x 100%/10 inches = 60% 100%-60%=40% so we had 40% shrinkage on the width

With this info we can add 20% of your rows to the height to get the approx size you need (example I like the height at 20 rows of making the bag, I’ll now add 20 rows X .20 = 4, so I’ll add 4 more rows to my bag.

and add 40% of the number of chain stitches to make to approx the width we need. (example: I like the width of 22 chain stitches, take 22 stitches X .40 = 8.8, I would round up to 9 stitches, add 9 stitches to your foundation chain )

1-I used bulky yarn in the bottom of both of the bags shown, and chained 22 stitches for each one.

2-Hcd in back loop of the 2nd chain from the hook twice, now hdc in the back loops of all of the chains to the end chain, hdc three times in this one, now turn your chain and hdc back up the other side of your foundation chain in the other loop of your chain stitch, place a marker here, I just a regular safety pin.

3-Bag is worked in the round, so continue on around with no break in the rows.

4-You are making the base of the bag, so continue around, at the ends hdc two times in the end three stitches, hdc all other stitches or, (*hdc x2 in first three stitches of new round, hdc down the side, and repeat from *) , place marker in the middle of the 2nd hdc pair, (this should be the edge of the bag, do this on both ends.

5-Continue step 4 until the base looks big enough, remember it is going to shrink some. I went around 5 times on each of my bags.

6-Now that the base is big enough, continue working in the round in hdc, this will start your progress up the sides of your bag.

7-Continue this and change yarn colors at will, don’t worry about the knots, we will weave those in before felting.

8-When your bag is high enough for the handle, (remember felting shrinks the lengthwise 30%, so make it longer than you think you will need, if using top loader to felt)

9-Tall enough? Woo Hoo, stop at one of the markers.  OK now to make the handles, lets do some match and calculate where you need to put your handles. I made my handles 10 to 12 stitches wide, so if you were to use 12 stitches, take your total number of stitches around your bag, lets say it is 65 stitches around, so 56 stitches around – (total stitches for handles 12 x 2 = 24), 56 – 24 = 32 (stitches live on the bag excluding the handles), take 32 stitches / 2 = 16. (now divide that in half again 16/2=8 stitches.

10- Using the example stitches, start at marker and hdc 8 stitches, now chain 12 stitches, (*count 12 stitches on your bag and this is where you will put your first hdc), hcd 16 stitches and chain 12 stitches, repeat*, and hdc to your marker.

11-Hdc all around, taking care to pick up both top loops of your chain stitches on your handles.

12-Continue for 3 rounds.

13-Now cut your yarn and weave in, weave in ends, and we are ready to felt!

Here are some excellent  instructions on felting from About.com from Sarah E. White, and you can also refer to my how to felt in a front loader post.

 

Have fun! Please let me know of any mistakes in this pattern!

If you want to download a copy of this pattern, I put one on Scribed, (Scrappy Bag Pattern to Crochet)

Thanks, now go make a bag and fill it with knitting!

7.29.2010

July Featured Etsy seller

The Etsy seller for July is Sykin, who has two etsy shops, graphic design, and web design!
Sykin Twilight Shop, (the first etsy shop to exclusively carry Twilight inspired items, who knew that vampires would ever become so popular??) and Sykin’s NW Wonders, (handcrafted items & photography from the Pacific Northwest)
She blogs at http://sykin-at-etsy.blogspot.com/
Bio
I'm a 26 year old wife, full time worker, and mother to a little boy named Kyler and a little girl named Emma. I design jewelry (inspired by books, music, etc) and hope to start designing clothes and other miscellaneous sewing items as well. Please feel free to browse through my shop and send me a message if you have any questions.
I do take personal requests on jewelry, graphic design, web design, etsy design, etc. Don't be shy! My graphic work can be viewed at http://www.fraying-fabric.net/
A varied and creative woman!

Twilight inspired Cullen Eyes Long Necklace $15.00

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Bella Twilight Hat made by Alonia Creations $15.00

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Pacific View 5x7 Print $10.00

print

My World's On Fire 5x7 Print $10.00

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The prints make me want to get my watercolors out!
Enjoy!!

7.25.2010

Tour De Fleece 2010 Finish

I didn’t get all of my fleece spun up. But I made good headway. I foolishly thought I would be able to return to work and spin up over a pound of fleece! Well a girl can dream.

Dogs sleep, I spin…

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I finished the Parrot Fish BLF 4.6 oz, approx 260 yds, yellow and turquoise mix. I like the colors, this is the first roving that I have spun that was bi-colored, and I am pleased with the result!

The BFL from Orion 4.4 oz, ? yds, I have approx 11.6 more oz of this fleece to spin up, but the good news is that it is lovely to spin and I will have enough of it to knit something with, I’m hoping a sweater. I think  the deep brown of his fleece is unusual.

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Not much else to report, a visit from family this weekend, so we were all busy. My brother’s new girlfriend knits!

Say no more!! Get the preacher!

I have been playing around with watercolors a little, having some fun. Here is a sample of colored pencils with a bit of watercolor wash.  I really have been wooed by watercolors. I thought that they would be the hardest of paints to work with, but they are making me loosen up and have fun!

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May your knitting needles fly as fast as Dragonflies….

7.21.2010

Need to boost your creativity?

dragonfly goddess

Both of the photos used here are from the gluebook group on Flickr from petalthrow

Exercises to unleash creativity and get your mind flowing are plentiful. I try to keep a list of them to use when I feel like I’m in a rut, and need a new perspective on things.

-Read some new blogs, some that are not in your area of interest, I never fail to come up with something to add to my list of things I want to try when reading blogs. Bloggers are tremendously creative people. Likewise with podcasters.

1-Start a journal! Sit down and write nonstop for 15-20 minutes per day, about anything, as fast as you can, don’t think and see what happens. You will be surprised.

2-Start a gluebook, Yahoo gluebook group, gluebooks ideas, more on gluebooks, Flickr gluebook group

3-Turn OFF the TV, seriously, it is a big time and brain suck. Turn it off and you will be surprised what happens, with your children also.

-The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp, I highly recommend this book!

-Pikaland’s 9 Tips to be More Creative by Amy Ng

-Ten Steps for Boosting Creativity by Jeffrey Baumgartner

-7 Easy Creative Rituals by Pioneer Thinking

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Now go get creative!

7.19.2010

Tour De Fleece, delayed start

I got a delayed start on my Tour De Fleece spinning! I’m going to try and make up for lost time! I returned to work after recovering from an injury, and I am behind on everything and exhausted. (and forgot how much work drama sucks the energy out of me!)

So no spinning on the beginning date of the Tour.

I did decide I would spin up:

4.6 oz of BFL from Parrot Fish and a pound of BLF/BL from Breezy Manor from “Orion” it is nearly black, and so pretty!

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Well it is the middle of July now, and me with very little spinning, I’ll have to make up for it next year! 

Progress so far….

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4 oz spun and plied, I have just started on the dark brown BFL.

Hope your spinning is going better than mine!!

7.17.2010

Felted Big Bag remix, A Bag for everything!

I knitted this pattern once, and loved it so much I decided to do it again! I use my first bag constantly, and love the size, which is 16 long x 14 wide. This time I want to knit it in some vibrant colors, and make the stripes really stand out! I’m in the mood for some happy colors! I know another bag, I like to have a variety of sized bags to carry my flotsam and jetsam to work and around.
Pattern: Baby’s Got a Brand New Big Bag from Maia Discoe (pdf link), (love this pattern, I’m thinking of making a purse sized one soon, maybe decreasing the stitches by about 60 to 70%?)
Yarn: Black, leftover from some projects, yellow, hand dyed by me, multi color orange, red and yellow, hand dyed by me, and some orange Malabrigo
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Needle size: 10.5 circulars
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OK, so a little further..
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Before felting and after
Felting was done in my top loader, measurements before were 17 inches wide x 19 inches long, after felting measurements are 15 x 15, which is an estimated of felting shrinkage of approximately 10% decrease in width and 30% in height. See my post on my first time felting in a front loader with tips.
This bag is so sturdy and holds a lot! The handles are sturdy! These colors make me smile, I can fit everything I need in here to carry to work, and included some knitting also.
This bag is suitable for a laptop also, with room for other paperwork.
These colors make me smile, they make me think of summer. Tomatoes turning from yellow to red, there is nothing like eating a sun warm tomato right out of the garden!
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Yay!! Another bag to carry my stuff in!! I love these!!! I’m working on a crochet version of it now, pattern to follow, for anyone who is interested.
May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies…

7.12.2010

Fleur De Lis Mini Felted Tote

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Continuing my felted bag obsession I found this pattern, Mini Skulls and Crossbones Tote, from Adrian Bizilia. Very cute but I wanted to use a different motif. I chose this one, a Fleur de Lis knitted chart from About.com.  Look on Ravelry at all of the different bags, from happy faces to peace signs. All so cute!

Still in my destash mode, I found these two colors that seemed to go well together. And I was off with what I hoped was a quick project.

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I did have a problem with tangled yarns, until I talked to Eternal Arts and Craft blogger, and decided to wrap the yellow into little bobbins. That make it a breeze. I wished I had tried that at the beginning.Below is bag pre felting.

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I also felted this in the front loader. The original measurements were 13 in vertical x 10 in horizontal, after felting it shrank to 10 in vertical x 9 in horizontal. So that holds up to the current estimate of an average 30% shrinkage in height and 10% shrinkage in width.

Modifications: Just the motif, If I made this pattern again, I would hold two strands of yarn together instead of using one. It turned out a bit thin and flimsy, but I am use to using two strands of yarn.

From Knitting on the net, here is a list of charted motifs to add to your knitting and some more knitted chart patterns from Knitting any way and Spinning Too

Want to chart your own pattern? Try looking at So you Wanna be a Domestick Goddess, she includes 3 easy ways to chart your knitting pattern

The bag was small for my taste, but I found that it turned out  just the right size to put my journal and some pencils into, and now I’m ready to travel and sketch! Not too big, easy to toss into another bag and keep everything in order.

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If you check out the Ravelry link, you can see other motifs that knitters have used on this bag!

Now go get creative!dOrangeDragonfly

7.08.2010

Cotton Calorimetry

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Summer is here! I was looking around for something to put in my hair to keep it under control while outside in our high humidity and hot weather. I’m letting my hair grow (at least for now), and the humidity turns my hair into a frizz bomb. I was searching for something to tame it, yet be stylish. When camping it would be nice to have a good looking alternative to a bandana.
You know how head bands either squeeze your head and stretchy bands migrate off you head. Well I remember the Calorimetry pattern from Knitty winter 06 and wondered how it would knit up in cotton! I love it!
I did make some alterations due to the cotton yarn, and added ties instead of a button to accommodate for shrinkage of the yarn. But this head band just gets better every time I wash it! Soft and the ties allow for a good fit. I used smaller needles and adjusted the number of cast on stitches. I would also make this in other types of yarn, I’m thinking a cotton/linen blend, I found this CotLin at Knit Picks, it is dk weight and 123 yards/50 gram ball, I think this would be enough for one.
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Yarn: Peaches & Cream, one ball makes two
Needles: US size 5
Cast On: 70 Stitches for adult size head, 55 for a child or a smaller version.
Knit pattern rows 1-5, repeat this until about an inch is left in the middle of the band that has not been included in the short rows.  Then knit row 7, until you have worked all stitches, then bind off, making sure it is a stretchy, (i.e. not too tight).
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Perfect way to keep you hair under control and look good also.
Rav link
Along the way I ran across some other good headband patterns that could be made for summer wear.
CraftGrrl has a cute cable headband
WikiHow has this knitted headband with a twist tutorial
This Moss stitch bow headband is delightful from A Common Thread
From Half Assessed Patterns, a great looking Cabled tie headband with a nice edging.
Now get knitting and tame that hair! Look great on a bad hair day.
May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies….avatar27923_1