Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lacy Walker Bag

The subtitle for this post should be "The $75 Market Bag Revisited..."

The Crochet Crowd had a challenge for the month of June... to make a market bag in a rather complicated stitch... with thin yarn and a smaller hook. I decided to give it a try... I started out with a cotton/acrylic blend that had an interesting texture, but ended up frogging it (rippit, rippit) and starting over with regular cotton yarn.
I ran through a skein of peach yarn and had to finish it up in green. Each of the pattern rows took me half an hour to complete, so when I input the information into my crafts calculator app, typing in my estimated yarn costs ($9) and time (13 hours), it came up with a $75 price tag for this bag. It is quite pretty, though, and I'm hoping it will sell for $20 at one of my craft shows this fall.

I liked the pattern stitch and decided to try it on a smaller project. Since I do a few craft shows at senior housing, I thought a bag that could be hung on a walker would be a fun project.
Here's how it turned out! Actually, this bag is already sold...but I'm itching to get started on another one! Here's how I made it... Rather than copy and paste the pattern stitch, I will just link to the Red Heart Pattern for the challenge.

Yarn: about 7 ounces of knitting worsted. I found that two pattern rows used up about 1.3 ounces of yarn, so if you have a postal scale, you can use up some of those small balls of scrap yarn for stripes!
Size H crochet hook
Three buttons

The base of the bag is a rectangle - you start with a chain and work on both sides of it, increasing at the four corners.

Chain 27
HDC in 2nd chain from hook and each chain across. In last chain, make 3 hdc. Turn and make HDC  in the other side of the chain, ending with two HDC in starting stitch. Join.

Note: You can chain 2 to start each row, but I prefer to do a chainless starting HDC. I think it makes your starting point harder to see...it's a good skill to add to your crochet repertoire   

Round 2: HDC in first stitch, HDC, ch 1, HDC in next stitch (corner made). HDC across, until you get to the 3 HDC at the end of the row. Make a corner in the first of those stitches, hdc in next, then another corner. HDC to the end of the row, making your last corner in the next-to-last stitch before you finish the round.

Rounds 3-6: HDC around, doing (HDC, ch 1, HDC) in each of the ch-1 spaces at the corners

View of the bottom

Pattern Stitch:
Now you get into the lacy pattern stitch - Start with row 9 of the pattern linked below. The pattern is worked over 5 stitches... so if you're getting toward the end, and you don't have a multiple of 5, you can adjust by skipping 3 stitches instead of 2.

Pattern Stitch

I highly recommend that you watch the video that Mikey from The Crochet Crowd made to explain the pattern stitch. I was thoroughly lost until I watched it and saw the little diagram he made up to explain the stitch. Now I can do the pattern from memory.

I did 9 rows of the pattern stitch (row 9 of the pattern, then repeated row 10 8 times)
After that, HDC around for 3 rows.

Measure in 3" from side of bag.
 Do 18 rows of HDC over 8 stitches.
Row 19: HDC in first 3 stitches, chain 2, skip two stitches, HDC in last 3 stitche
Row 20: HDC in each stitch (8 stitches)

Measure in 3 inches from other side and repeat for other strap.
Sew buttons on border at bottom of straps.

Back view of bag attached to a chair's handle

Sew a button on the front center.
Make a loop from the center of the back (attach yarn, chain 20, slip stitch to back center).

Tuck in yarn ends.

Monday, June 2, 2014

June Giveaway!

It has been a long time since I posted a giveaway on my blog. Too long. So, I am correcting that!

May was a big month for our family. We traveled from New York to Indiana for our middle daughter's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, and it's exciting to watch their new life begin as Ben starts a ministry as Director of Youth Ministries with a church in Holland, MI.

We're trying to stick to a "tighten our belts budget" as we recover from paying for the wedding. For the month of June, I am going to carefully track my spending and try to eliminate impulse purchases. I thought it would be interesting to track my knit and crochet projects, too. I will be keeping track of how many I make, as well as how much yarn I use (in ounces) and the dollar amount they will sell for in my online craft shop.

That's where the giveaway comes in... I will give away a $15 credit to PenguinPlace to the person who correctly guesses how many projects I finish in the month of June.

In case there is a tie, the tiebreaker will be who comes the closest in guessing the total weight of the projects for the month.

Here are some hints/tips:

First project finished in June - Doll blanket weighs 5.3 ounces

These are some of the projects I finished in May. Clockwise from lower left - Shawl, toddler hat, cup cozy, child hat, Minion cuddly, market bag, Ninja mask... baby hat and hat/bag set in center. There were several other items that were special orders or gifts that are already out the door.

Here's what I'm working on now... purple shawl, market bag for the Crochet Lounge challenge, and another Minion lovey. I have pulled patterns for baby slippers, a colorful knit sampler hat, and two kinds of slippers. I'm also kicking around the idea of designing a new shawl pattern...

So...you might want to follow me on PenguinPlace to see how much work I'm getting done. In fact, if you like my Penguin Place Shop on Facebook, you can take a second bonus guess.

Rules: Limited to ages 13 and up, in U.S. and Canada.
Limit of one guess per person - (second bonus guess for those who like me on Facebook)
Giveaway ends at Midnight on July 1st.

You can enter by E-mail or Facebook message
E-mail: FreeCellPenguin@gmail.com or leave a FB Message at PenguinPlace

Information needed for entry:
Your name and e-mail address that I can use to contact you if you are the winner
Guess for number of items I will complete
Guess for total weight (pounds and ounces) of all items I will complete by midnight on June 30th, 2014

$15 credit toward any item in my PenguinPlace shop, or special order. Shipping included.