Friday, May 28, 2010

Crochet coin purse with purse frame

This is a project that I have been planning to start for a while, I kept putting it off because I wasn't really sure where to start but then I decided - I'll just give it a go.

First off I purchased my frame, It's not the smallest frame so the end result is likely to be a bit of a cross between a small handbag and a large coin purse.

Then the next thing to do is to crochet the bottom.  I've chosen to use 100% cotton 4Ply yarn in green and  ecru and a 3mm hook.
Crochet Coin purse

I decided to create an ellipse for the bottom.  To crochet an ellipse just follow these simple rules. (I am using single crochet)

start with the chain length you need, the longer the more elliptical the shorter the more circular your finished crochet will be.

How to create a crochet ellipse:
  1. On the foundation chain, 2SC into second CH from hook, SC in each chain to the last, 3SC in last CH
  2. DO NOT TURN but continue to crochet into the back of the foundation chain, SC into each CH to end and 1 more SC into first CH. Then Join with a Slip Stitch.
  3. Now you have the basis for your ellipse.  To continue simply increase by 3 on each end on every row.  This means you are increasing by 6SC every ellipse row.  The increases should be done visually to keep the curves even.  Remember your turning chains and to close every row with a slip stitch.
  4. Try to not increase in the same stitch every row as this will tend to lead to curling.

For my purse I have created the ellipse so that it is as wide as the widest part of my purse frame.

The next stage is to create the sides of the purse.  To start this process I have done a single row where I crochet into the back loop only, then continue rows working into both loops until the purse is as long as I want it.

To explain further, When you look at an SC stitch from above it is a < shape, one half of the < is the front loop and the other half is the back loop.  The back loop is the one furthest away from you.

Have a look on the Craft and Yarn Council website for more details.  Figure 8 on the "Crochet Patterns - How to read" section shows the front and back loops in a diagram.

Crochet Coin purse

At this stage I need to start to decrease the width, so I am crocheting each side individually.  I am decreasing a single stitch at the end of each row.

Crochet Coin purse

When I have done both sides I will then sew the purse into the frame.  Fingers crossed it turns out OK.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Crochet Document Holder Part II

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to complete my document holder by adding a pocket for passports, driving license etc.
Crochet document holder

Fortunately when the holder is folded in 3 there is just enough space on the back to create a little pocket big enough to hold a few small documents.

Crochet Document Holder

I added a little tab to button over the pocket opening to make sure that the passport etc don't fall out.  I did a single row of SC round the tab to finish off the edges - it was a little rough looking before doing that.

Crochet Document Holder

I fasten the pocket with another of the coconut buttons that I've used to close the main document holder.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Crochet document holder

We always have a mess of documents to take on holiday with us, the flight confirmations, hire car confirmations and sometimes even hotel booking information etc etc etc

Usually they are just folded up and bunged into our hand luggage somewhere.  Which inevitably causes some panic at some point when we are trying to locate the right document.

So I thought I'd put my yarn stash and hook to good use and make a document holder for our travel documents.
Crochet document holder

First things first ... Pick a suitable yarn - so I chose this vibrant cotton, multicoloured DK yarn.  Its got a really holiday feel about it.  This particular yarn is Anchor Magicline Blocks in 1440 (Yellow) it also comes in Green & Orange shades.

Crochet Document Holder

I made this holder using simple Double Crochet (SC for my American readers) all the way.  Then crochet an additional piece for the "flap" at the top.
Crochet document holder

I also crochet a length of chain and pulled it through under the flap.  Making sure the distance between the entry points matched the distance between the holes on a standard hole-punch.

Punched holes in the top of my paperwork and threaded it onto the chain & tied in a bow.

The document holder folds in 3 and is closed with 2 pretty coconut buttons

Coconut button

I am planning to add on a passport & driving license pocket to the back so that we can keep all of our documents together.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Crocheting Toys

I love making crochet toys, they can be quite fiddly and difficult to create because they often have many and multiple parts - but the end result is usually very satisfying.

I have a few guidelines I try to follow when creating new toys, I like to use cotton yarn if I can.  I find that cotton is more durable than wool for something that will be played with - some early toys I've made with wool have needed some surgery after some playing.  The seams don't hold together as well and they generally don't wear so well.

I prefer to use DK cotton yarn for larger items, although if I want a finer look I'll use 4Ply.
Also, I like to avoid buttons or hard eyes if I can.  I prefer to sew on eyes and other "decoration".  That way you don't need to worry about letting little hands play with the toy afterwards.

My happy car is a good example. everything is made with yarn or embroidery cotton.  There is nothing on this toy that is sharp or hard.

Where possible I like to use several colours, in many instances the more the better :)  This train pattern I created is just an example of how you can combine many colours into a single toy.

All in all, creating toys should be just as much fun as the end result will be to play with.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Coffee cup cuff / cozy

Having become thoroughly weary of burning my hands on the coffee cups at work I thought I'd put my crochet skills to good use and create myself a coffee cup cuff or cozy.

Crochet coffee cuff

It is made with Rowan cotton glace, its weight is between DK & 4ply.  I used a 3.5mm hook.

I used shade 833, Ochre for this one.

I have also added a couple of buttons, these are decoration only but also serve as a good gripping mechanism for the cup.  These are are 20mm black wood carved buttons.

Coffee cuff button

 I am now trying to figure out if I should make more to see on my Etsy shop.  What is your opinion?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Crochet kiddy Rucksack

I made this one a while ago, but its been packed away until now.   This is made with 100% cotton yarn and I don't mind saying it was quite some work to get this one done.

The front is made up of individual squares made of 3 different coloured yarns, an ecru, denim & darker blue.  they are then individually crochet together to make the front panel - trying to make sure that the same colours aren't together!.

Crochet rucksack

The back is made up of stripes of various sizes, again using all 3 colours of yarn.  Same for the straps which are attached into the seam at the bottom & buttoned at tht top.

Crochet rucksack

Then the closure is a simple crochet chain & I've added a couple of chunky beads to the ends.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The finished garter

I did promise to take photos in day light when I could, fortunately the sun was still shining when I got home last night so here they are;

I tried to keep the beading subtle, so its just round the very edge.

Now its finally ready to take its place in my shop


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thinking of my next project

I have finished my wedding garter now, and will photograph it this evening if I get home during daylight hours!  So I need to think up my next project.

As per my promise, I will need to make something with the stash of yarn I already have.  It is so easy to get sucked into making something that means I have to go and buy even more yarn - I am completely useless at estimating the amount of yarn I'll need to I almost always end up with leftovers.

So I since my collection of cotton yarn seems to be the largest I think I'll have to find projects for that.  I need a coffee cozy sleeve because the drinks at work are super heated & the cups are super thin!  So I can start off with that.

I could also do with a little coin purse for my holidays - if they happen! I'm at the mercy of the British Airways cabin crew on that one, I'm hoping the strikes get called off.

So I think that I'll be making things for me for a while rather than my Etsy shop.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Crochet Wedding Garter

I have almost finished the wedding garter, I decided to use a blue ribbon - in tune with the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue".

I think that it works with no elastic and just the ribbon to tie it.

The concensus of opinion is that it needs beads as well, I agree.  I plant odd some small beads along the domed bottom edge.

I also plan to take better photos ... in daylight !!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Time to get organised!

My yarn collection has been getting out of hand, I don't know what I have and its starting to turn into yarn spaghetti.  I'd try to extract a single ball of yarn and end up with three more that its got tangled with.  So I really had to take action, the time has come to sort out the mess that is my yarn collection.

So let the sorting begin ....

I have started by putting like yarns together, maybe I'll rearrange later.

The most amazing thing is just how much I have, I have filled 2 storage units like this one & I still have odd yarn's left over in a box.

So I now have a resolution;

I Promise to use the yarn I have before I go buying any more !!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

White lace wedding garter

Since the wedding season is upon us I had a notion to make something wedding related.  I decided on making a garter, but I want it to look fairly old fashioned.

To get the look I want I have decided to crochet it in an old lace style.

The idea is that this garter will not have elastic, but will have a ribbon threaded through the larger "holes"

I also intend to sew on some beads, but until I have completed crochet and see how it looks I'll hold off on the final decision on beading.