Provence Summer String bag

While browsing through a collection of string bag photos on Pinterest I noticed one that kept turning up. The pattern’s by Kathy North and is available free from Ravelry, it’s called the Provence Summer String bag.

So, that’s how String Bag no. II came about. It’s easy and fast to crochet in trebles and double trebles. Again I used more of my Planet Penny cotton with a 4mm hook.

Yesterday I pinned and then steam blocked it to gently pull it into shape.

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After a visit to the library, and a really nice book find, I’ve seen another string bag pattern which I’m going to try. I hadn’t planned to crochet another so soon but they say good things always come in threes, don’t they?

To the person who Googled and somehow found this blog using the rather sad search phrase: “feeling so fed up and worried will doing knitting and crochet help me….” the answer is YES! I really hope you feel happier soon.

Safron’s flowers

My friend Safron’s favourite colour is green, and when I offered to crochet her something she asked for flowers in different shades of green that she could play with; to make into brooches etc.

I turned to my crochet magazine archive for pattern inspiration, and also made up another few simple flowers…

I’m looking forward to seeing what Safron makes with her flowers.

(Did you spot the one that looks like a cauliflower?!)

In other news: Guess what?

Prachi’s bag has arrived and she was delighted with it!

“Let me start with a big big HUG and THANK YOU for the lovely, lovely bag you made for me…it’s so beautiful, and already the envy of my colleagues! My apologies that you had to wait for so long and get worried about it not turning up…I guess it did take a while to reach, but due to some last-moment work plans I too have been out of the area for about 10 days now……Been very swamped with work lately, so this present has not only made my day but my week and month! It’ll hold my everyday items nicely and will be ideal for walks around town…love that I can knot up the strap and adjust it according to my need, very funky touch that is…and the colours are gorgeous…Rachel, you’re one talented lady, and prompt and super-thoughtful on top of that :) :) :).”

*Blush*

SOoOo glad it finally got to Prachi and most importantly that she liked it. :-D

Prachi’s bag

Backdated crochet post for good reason, it was a surprise for Prachi:

In the first week of July, or so, I made this little crocheted bag using Planet Penny cotton because I have a contact, Prachi, who is a trainee lawyer. She had recently moved to a remote, tribal district in Gujarat, India as part of a new job. The place she moved to lacks basic facilities (apparently running water is a luxury) and it’s very different from the city life to which she is used. Prachi had found a small, cosy place in which to live but was feeling very lonely. She was trying to make her new accommodation a home and really likes handmade items; and so I offered to crochet something of her choice.

After having a look at some of my crochet here she asked for a bag with a few specific requests:

::Could it be ‘holey look’ crochet

::A bag about the size of a kindle would be perfect

::Something she could sling across her on walks

::A bag to carry her wallet, mobile phone and keys (so not too holey then, I thought!)

::A bright stripey bag

I looked around at patterns but none were quite what she described. I decided to make my own design. My first ever off-the-cuff crocheted item. It’s pretty basic and was easy as anything to make in a granny stripe of clusters of trebles (I’ve really come on with this crochet lark I realise, I’ve definitely got the basics now!) but it’s still my work.

Here it is:

I toyed with the idea of lining it, but frankly I’m so unconfident about that kind of sewing that I decided it would be ok without. It’s sturdy and doesn’t have that much ‘give’ being cotton and is a fairly dense material as I used a 3.5 hook, so should be ok and not saggy.

To make the (very pink!) strap I made a lengthy chain, then double crocheted back along the row – very, very fiddly stuff. For strength I crocheted one end of the strap to the bag, then double crocheted all along the strap again until it could be crocheted to the other end.I have some nice buttons in my collection but decided that it might spoil the look of the front and the flap’s heavy enough to stay flapped over. A button can always be added. I’m happy to post a little chain for the loop.

But here’s the thing: I posted this on 9th July. I’ve waited and waited to hear from Prachi and just know she’d be super fast in getting in touch to say she’s received it. There’s maybe still time for it to arrive I guess. I’ll be sooo disappointed if it never turns up in India and am beginning to feel it might not, so have written this blog post so at least Prachi can see her bag, know she was thought of and the promise was promptly kept.

Fingers crossed it arrives please! :-D

Flower pincushion

I decided that I needed a new upstairs (The Little Room!) pin-cushion so made this the other day.

The floating pincushion could carry on doing sterling work downstairs. I’m umm errr darning in the ends of the little pieces I’ve made for my *cough* *cough* 3rd/4th blanket at the moment.

I know…. “Hi, I’m Rachell and I’m addicted to starting multiple projects.”

See why it’s been christened the floating pc now?! (Here’s the original blog post)

The plan for the rainbow granny stripe is to take it, and only it, away on trip #1 soon.

Maybe for trip #2 I might take the alternative granny squares, the rhubarb ripple or the new spring flowers ‘squares,’ or maybe I will have some time off crochet?! Hmmm but bad shopping things may happen if I do the latter. I am remembering this earlier in the year.

 

Sunny Days

I’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve been having lately.

I even had to move into some shade, it became so hot!

And ironically I’ve finished the chunky seashell scarf! I’m sure I’ll need to use it soon enough though…

Details:

Pattern is from Nicki Trench: Cute & Easy Crochet (see books link on sidebar >>>>)

James C. Brett Marble Chunky acrylic yarn

Used 245g (Balls are 200g 341yards/312m each)

9″ wide

67″ long

Made 26 ch (inc turning chn) for 4 seashells width

54 seashells in length

6mm hook

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I’ve also made a few more of these…

Part of me sometimes wonders if crocheted jar covers are a 21st C) version of the 20th C) poodle bottle covers and Barbie doll dress toilet roll holders?! But I have an idea for another one so I’m carrying on crocheting.

I made this with Planet Penny Cotton and am really happy with the colours. It’s my Peach Melba jar cover.

It’s good to see that these little blankets are being put to good use!

Flowers & Seashells

Yesterday I was road-testing the flower key chain pattern for Adrianne of Teeny Weeny Design and trying to get over a streaming cold, so crochet in bed was in order.

Imagine my horror when I realised that the petals were made with a combination of dc (fine) tr (not an issue) htr (quite like them) and dtr (EEEEEK!)

The dreaded dtr and me have a bit of recent history as you might know. I even started a little dtr SOS thread on Ravelry. People there are sooo helpful and knowledgeable. If you want to ask anything crochet or knitting related there’s where you need to head right away.

I watched a very short and simple YouTube video, then got on with trying them again. They are not a problem with cotton! Not an issue at all!

I’m now waiting on the next set of instructions so I can carry on with the leaves and finishing off. I’ve taken my job seriously and emailed some suggestions for the clear translation of English terms etc. It’s been really fun!

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Today I have mastered dtr with chunky yarn too.

:-D :-D :-D

I’ve had a quiet morning sitting in the sun having a second go at The Chunky Seashell Scarf that I tried a week or so ago. The dtr for some reason are not a problem now!  This new found ease must be from yesterday’s petal practice. Perhaps doing them with cotton gave me confidence to try using the more bulky chunky yarn and big 6mm hook?

Want to see? (Sorry, I’m being a bit naff-twee…as if having a crochet blog wasn’t twee enough ;-))

I’m off to The Little Room now, back into the sunshine to practise a few more dtrs -my tension needs to be consistent – while I recoup some more energy for the rest of the week ahead. A friend has given me a couple of Bollywood music cds. Fab crochet-while-chair-dancing about to happen!

Feel free to tell me what you’re working on at the moment, I love a poke around online into others crafty blogs and websites.

Rhubarbing & Rainbowing

So, this is how the newly christened Rhubarb Ripple blanket’s going. (Imagine you’ve gone to the end of the garden to cut some rhubarb for a Sunday crumble, and have taken your blue colander to place the sticks into. See? Everything needs a name.)

The Rainbow Granny Stripe is progressing in a very random fashion. It’s not at all challenging to make and so the ‘what next?’ element of choosing the colours keeps it interesting. Meanwhile I’ve planned the colours for the RR, but there’s no taping tufts of yarn to a card for me…that would be far too professional!

I’ve almost certainly broken the cardinal rule of crochet by changing from a 4mm hook to a 3.5mm as I go, but there was no way I was undoing it all. The tension was definitely going to be too loose with the larger hook. I can see where it changes, but if I hadn’t told you would you have guessed? Be honest if you spotted it – I’m interested, but not changing it now! :-)

The blankets are for small girls who like pretty, that’s why they’re so bright. The next one will probably be more sutble.

The little cotton strip on the top of the pile is for a jar cover.

Sadly I’ve got another streamer of a cold and so am not feeling very dynamic today. It’s particularly a shame when you’ve had a busy week and have plans to do fun stuff at the weekend.

I’ve instructed friends & family to hit me on the head with a large box of balm tissues if I crow about how many colds I used to have when I was younger and how much healthier I am these days….I’ve had two corkers of a cold since I said that last. What a wally.

I feel so blah that I’ve just text downstairs to ask for another cup of Lady Grey and a pint of water…well I’m ill….

A few drinks, and some chatty comments below would definitely cheer me up in fact. I seem to have a lot of visitors to The Little Room but few cheery hellos….go on…introduce yourself, I like meeting new people. :-)

Made with cotton!

“At last!” I can hear Penny shouting :-)

You can buy the pattern for this cute little owl here. It requires a little bit of brain power to translate the pattern into UK terms. Also the translation is slightly eccentric at times. BUT I’ve made an owl and this is my first attempt, so it can’t be too tricky!

I enjoyed using the cotton to embroider the beak, it will work very well as thick sewing thread too.

Look at my gifts from Hong Kong! (One Chinese, one Japanese…)

Aren’t the gingerbread men gorgeous?!!!!

But oh my goodness; how do I read the charts?

Obviously I start at number 1….?

Then what do the in and out arrows mean?

The stitches are demonstrated in line drawings (very teeny at the back of the book) but with no English translation. However I do enjoy a challenge and am determined to learn how to read these tricky symbols. I actually have a suspicion they might not be as tricky once you get the hang of them either.

One page has a line of scissor motifs joined together in a line – super fiddly but very cute!

And finally, because it’s my blog and I can!

The pile is slowly growing. I’m doing an alternative granny square when I feel like it doing something small. It does seem to mean that I have to play back sections of DVDs again, because I can’t look up at the screen as much as when rippling or granny striping. I miss visual clues as to what’s happening! Life’s hard isn’t it?! ;-p

Those edges :-D