A Tisket, A Tasket, Many Projects In My Basket


My basket has been full of such projects since December. Us women wear many hats, we take on many projects and responsibilities and still are able to take time to feed the family, keep the household together and care for our pets.

The day after Christmas I got sick. The same cold that has affected many people. That cough where you feel like you are going to break some ribs, nonstop coughing. You know what I am talking about. A month before I really felt good. My basket is empty. No work, just rest and feel better.

Surprise at Christmas my nephew Colton was getting married on January 24, 2019. My basket just started filling up now. I put my skills to work, to make Colton and his new bride, Annette, a gift. What will it be? How long will it take? What colors do they like? My basket is becoming overwhelmed with ideas.

Stopped off at JoAnn’s craft store, trying not to cough on others, to get inspiration for the gift for Colton and Annette. Purchasing cotton yarn for farmers market bags, I came across 4 cones of Lily Sugar & Cream yarn. The cone had reduced price of $7.47, grabbed one cone, walked over to the price scanner and it rang up $4.47. My basket is almost overflowing now.

Almost all of January was spent crocheting placemats. Which way do I crochet, length or width, one skein or 2 held together? Decisions, decisions. My basket cannot handle any more. The best approach to making these placemats? Grab a placemat from the drawer and use as a guide to get me started. It worked! I decided 2 yarns held together and crochet them lengthwise. The sturdier the better.

One placemat finished in a day and a half. Work needs to get faster to make at least four. FYI, we decided we would go to the wedding.

On top of crocheting the placemats, trying to get rid of the cold, find a cute blouse to wear to the wedding, now we need to get hotel room, rental car, flight.

Placemats were finished the week of the wedding. I forgot to snap pictures before they were shipped. What do I do? Being me, I crocheted another placemat. Colton and Annette loved the placemats, just happens to be in their favorite color, Navy.

The wedding was lovely, got to spend time with my brother Mark and his wife Kris, and Susan and Laura and her husband Will, step sisters. They were surprised we attended the wedding. It was nice to see all of them. My basket is full of love and appreciation.

Until next time when February gave me inspiration to knit a hat that had been archived for several years, crochet new animals and bring back some farmers market bags.

Summer’s Ready Cotton Crossbody Bag

My original crossbody bag

Have you ever flipped through a magazine, walked into a store, found an article of interest and said to yourself, “I can do that”? Well, that happened to me recently and I had to do something about it. 

While walking through the local mall, I came across a purse on a mannequin that caught my eye. It had fringe on it, with a long strap and it was crocheted! My thought was, “I could make that.”

I couldn’t get it out of my head, I just had to crochet that bag or one similar. Maybe make one with fringe, a long strap to be worn crossbody, big enough to put wallet and sunglasses in it, but not too big.

On Saturday morning, with a cup of hot tea in my hand, I sat down in my “cave” (aka the office) to begin the process of crocheting a bag. First I had to determine a few things. Such as, how big would the bag be? What yarn would be used? What size crochet hook? And, so on.

Yarn.

Originally, I grabbed my stash of Lily Sugar & Cream Cotton yarn, in the colorway Sonoma Print for the bag. The skein is large, 12 ounces, approximately 600 yards, but I need both ends to crochet the bag with 2 strands held together, so my husband wound off half the large skein onto the yarn winder. It’s great to have a yarn winder, much easier than rolling into balls.

Choosing the crochet hook.
Cotton yarn will stretch a bit, so a larger hook, like P, will make the bag airy and will stretch whatever you put in it. A J hook will make the bag stiff, which is good but you do want some give in the bag. My choice for the bag is N-9mm. It will make the bag flow, while still hold its shape.

Let’s crochet.
If you do not want to follow this with all the photos, commentary and instructions, you can pick up the pattern from the patterns link above. For 1 week, you can get the pattern for FREE, afterwards it will be priced at $4.00.

There will be abbreviations in the pattern here:
ch  chain
st-stitch
ss  slip stitch
sc  single crochet

hdc  half double crochet

Round 1 of bag

 

For the sample shown the directions I am using Lily Sugar & Cream yarn-Americana Ombre colorway. With 2 strands of yarn held together, make a slip knot and chain 22. SC in 2nd ch from hook, across to last chain, 2sc in last chain, turn work to underside and 2sc in same stitch, sc across chain, 2sc in last stitch.

10 Rounds SC

 

Place a removable stitch marker, SC in each stitch around for 10 rounds. As you can see from the photo here, this is what it will look like. After the 10 rounds, which forms the base of the bag, you will now hdc around for 12 rounds.

13 Rounds HDC

Do not bind off, its time to add the shoulder strap. HDC in the next 4 sts, turn, sc in each st, continue to make the strap… it will be at least 100 rows. But don’t worry about counting the rows. Just crochet as long as you want the strap. When you have the strap length, lay bag flat, lay the strap on top of the bag, and sc the 4 stitches to the bag.

Attaching strap to bag

DO NOT BIND OFF. You will now make the closure flap. SC in same stitch as the strap edge, sc the next 19 sts, ending with sc in strap edge. Turn and continue to sc across this for 10 rows. Decrease first 2 stitches, and last 2 sts of each row, until there are 2 sts remain. Chain 5, slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook. Add a cute button to close and you are done.

Envelope Decreasing

 

If you do not want to make the envelope closure as in the Americana sample, and just want the flap to be a straight edge, as in the tricolor purse, all you have to do is single crochet 15 rows. Cut fringe to a length that will meet the bottom edge of the purse. And there you go.

Summer’s Ready Crossbody Bag

 

Let me know what you think about the bags. They are fun to make and can be made in less than 8 hours.