Just an idea

I had this idea that tortured me for days till it finally saw the light of day.  Ideas float in my head begging and pleading to be implemented into something more tangible than just an idea in my head.

The idea behind this is so simple.  A starting chain, then rounds until it is as tall as you would like plus a little extra.  Then you fold the button and sew on some buttons and add handles.

How easy is that?

Pattern

Chain 51.

SC (Single Crochet) in the back ridges of the chain (50SC), slip stitch into first SC and turn.

SC in the front loops of the chain (50 SC)

The rounds start now.

Chain 3 and DC all around. (100DC)

You can make it a solid color or striped.  I was just using up leftover cotton yarn.

Keep going until the bag is high enough, add a couple of more rows because when you create the base it gets slightly shorter.  Add one last row of SC for a cleaner finish.  Finish off and weave in ends.

Lay the bag on a flat surface align the side seam with the starting chain so a triangle is formed.  Sew on a button to keep it in place.  This creates a base for the bag instead of just being a flat rectangular bag.  I saw the same method being used on canvas totes, that’s where I originally got the idea.

Do the same for the other side.

Handles

You can either add crochet handles ( like the one’s in Lucy’s Bag or Alice’s Starling)

I found the middle 24 stitches on each side and marked with stitch markers on either side.

Attached a new color and did 24 SCs then 4 rows of SCs.

I set the handles in their place by surface crocheting the bag and the little rectangle I just made for the handle.

Repeat for the other handle.

This really only took a couple of afternoons and I wasn’t really focused and using a 3.5 mm hook.  If you focus and use worsted weight it could easily only take a couple of hours.

If you want to add a rigid base check out this tutorial

Pencil, paper and ideas

Pencil And Square PaperI’ve been thinking about where this blog is going recently and I was doing a bit of blog-soul-searching.  When I started out back in August of 2006 I had no idea where I was going.  I grew older (and wiser)  and so has the blog.  It has evolved from a little bit of posting here and there to a place where I have a creative outlet.  I was considering starting a second blog for craft related posts only and after a lot of thought decided against it.  This is who I have become.  Trying to label my interests under different spaces would be the same as pretending to be two different people. I know what might interest me might not interest you but I can’t help it.  Part of the journey of growing up means learning self acceptance and understanding that sometimes even our closest friends will walk away when we change and grow apart.  It is not a sad thing but should be a beautiful thing, everyone has to move on sometime in their life.  I hope all of you who already enjoy and visit this blog stay even if what I write now is different than what I used to.

I am glad I got that off my chest.

My husband and I have an interesting habit.  We both love scribbling little notes, reminders and ideas on pieces of paper and notepads around the house.  Although his writings are different than mine and usually concern more serious things, rarely a caricature (he should have been an artist but he doesn’t really know it) and occasionally little notes he leaves for me.  I usually doodle ideas and inspirations.  I love writing down quotes I hear so I can look them up later.  I sometimes write down blog post ideas.  Sometimes even things I just randomly think I should know more about.

Needless to say we both love pencils, 2B old fashioned pencils.  When I was in school, I’d shave the paint off of them using a knife and either leave them bare or color them according to my own mood.

A couple of days ago I had this idea that I should make pencil toppers.

Let me correct that, I had this idea that kept popping up in my head driving everything else out.

So I drew a little kitty pencil topper.

Isn’t that cute?

Don’t you just love square paper?  I do.

After a little bit of experimenting and fiddling around I made a cat, bunny and a Chucky like pencil toppers.

Bunny and Cat crochet pencil toppers

Having decided to start selling the stuff that I design and make I thought to myself maybe I shouldn’t be sharing these patterns.  But my self answered back that that would be selfish and mean.  I mean at the end of the day I just do all this because I love doing it.

They also make really cute finger puppets if you have teeny tiny 2 year old fingers :-).

I have to be honest here.  I don’t like embroidering the eyes and faces on, because mainly I am really bad at it and need so much more practise.  But being someone who has decided to face all fears and obstacles even if that means embroidering cute smiles onto cute kitty cat pencil toppers then so be it.

Crafting really does bring out the fearless person in me.  :-))

Here is how you can make your own:

Things You will needYou will need:

  • A small amount of yarn  ( I used some sports yarn held in a double strand)
  • An appropriate hook (4.5 mm hook)
  • Tapestry needles
  • Scissors
  • A little bit of micro fill (I have a pillow that I steal from)

Notes: This is worked in a spiral, there will be no turning.  Also note that you have to repeat the stitches in between the asterisks.

There are two ways to start this off.

Round 1: Chain 2 and 6c in the second chain from the hook or by doing 6 sc in a magic circle.

First Row 6 sc

Round 2: *1 sc increase each sc *(12 scs)

Round 3: *1 sc increase next sc, 1sc in next sc* (18 scs)

Round 4 – 6 : *1 sc in each sc* (18 sc)

After row 6Round 7 : *1 invisible decrease, 1 sc in next stitch* (12 scs)

After row 9Round 8: 6 invisible decreases. You should now be left with six scs

Insert micro fill

Fill it up with the micro fill and sew it shut using the back loops only.

Round 9:  6 sc in the front loops.  This is the first round in the kneckSew shut through the back loops only

Round 7 and 8. 6 scs

Finish off and weave ends

3 More rows and you have a kneck

Embroider the face.Add the face

Make two ears.

Chain 2, 3sc in the second chain from the hook.  Turn and chain one.

*1 sc increase in each stitch* 12 stitches

Finish off and weave in ends

Sew on the ears

Make the ears

And voila! You have yourself a pencil topper.And we're done

For the bunny ears chain 6, turn and sc 5 in the chains.

And now I have some very cute companions for my pencils.  Who knows? They might even boost my creativity.

Framed!

Scrap Yarn

What do you do when you have lots of scrap yarn that can’t really be used to make anything but you still can’t really throw away?  You can throw them around and create a tangled mess?  You can put them in a bag and wait for something to come up.  You can use them to make colorful headbands, but having only one head that many headbands isn’t really useful.  You could make baby headbands so your 2 year old daughter can wear them for 2 minutes then throw them in the trash.

-OR-

You make magnetic photo frames!  And then you make more photo frames.  And then you think about posting about it because you are a crazy yarn obsessed chic who also happens to love blogging.  Then you decide to post about it AND write up a tutorial.

Crochet Magnet Photo Frames

Yes, I blurred the photos because I wouldn’t want other people posting pictures of my daughter without telling me first, but trust me they were sooooo cute. :-)

Materials NeededYou are going to need:

  • Scrap yarn (you can always use a new skein but then it wouldn’t be a stash busting project).  I used DK Acrylic yarn in green.
  • A pair of siscors
  • 3.5mm hook.
  • A tapestry needle
  • Magnets ( I have the kind that just stick on but you might need glue too if you just have regular magnets)
  • And some felt

How to make them:

The pattern is for a standard photo size 15 x 10 cms.  You can customize it to fit any size photo.

Make a slip knot and chain 86.  I got to 86 by chaining until the chain was 8.5 cm long and that was my first side and it took 17 chains, then I chained until it got to 13.5 cm and that took 26 chains (86 = 17 + 26 + 17 + 26).   You want the frame overlap the picture a bit because there is no plastic to keep the photo from falling out.  If you want to  change the size or if you are using a different sized hook or yarn weight just figure our your own starting chain length, just keep in mind the number of chains it took for the lengths to be right.

Round 1: Join to the first chain with a slip stitch, chain 1, single crochet in the next 16 stitches (this creates your first side), single crochet 3 in the next stitch (this creates your first corner), single crochet in the next 25 stitches (this creates your second side), single crochet 3 in the next stitch (this creates your second corner), single crochet in the next 16 stitches (this creates your third side), single crochet 3 in the next stitch (this creates your third corner), single crochet in the next 25  stitches (this creates your final side), single crochet 3 in the next stitch (this creates your final corner). [94 stitches in total]

Round 2: Join to the first single crochet with a slip stitch, chain 1, single crochet in the next 17 stitches, single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 27 stitches , single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 18 stitches, single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 27  stitches  single crochet 3 in the next stitch, single crochet 1. [102 stitches in total]

Round 3: Join to the first single crochet with a slip stitch, chain 1, single crochet in the next 18 stitches, single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 29 stitches , single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 20 stitches, single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 29  stitches  single crochet 3 in the next stitch, single crochet 2. [110 stitches in total]

Slip stitch into the first sc to join.

Now you have yourself a nice rectangular frame.

You can finish off and weave in ends or you can go on to add a picot edge or a bobble edge.

To make the bobble edge:

Lucy at Attic24 has this really amazing tutorial on how to make bobble edging.  Just slip stitch 10 between each bobble, you will end up with 10 bobbles along your edge.

To make the picot edge:

*Chain 3 then slip stitch into the sing crochet where the chain comes out from, slip stitch 3*.  Repeat what is between the ** until you reach the very first slip stitch, finish off and weave ends.

Make the back:

Cut out a rectangular felt piece 18 x 12.5 cm. I snip off the corners to give it a cleaner finish.   Using the tapestry needle and the same yarn you used to make your frame whip stitch the felt to the crochet.  Make sure that the felt is straight. If for any reason the felt is a bit larger than your crochet piece you can trim it.  Sew only three sides leaving one of the wider sides open so you can insert pictures easily.  Stick the magnets on.  I used five because 3 were not enough.  Voila!  Insert photo, stick on your fridge and enjoy.

Other tips:

  • You can use iron on interfacing to make the back sturdier, I tried one that way but decided it was not worth the hassle.
  • If you have stronger magnets you can use two pieces of felt and glue the magnets inside for a cleaner finish, unfortunately my magnets did not work underneath the felt.
  • You can sew on a loop and hang these on a nail on the wall or use paper backing instead of felt and use blue tac on the wall.
  • Experiment with different edges and color combinations.