Colorful Crochet Bag and How to Sew in a Lining

colorful bagIf you saw my previous post  then you know I was working on this fun colorful bag.  I’m so happy with how it turned out. And I love the look of the cotton yarn. It doesn’t have that fuzzy woolly look associated with winter.  I made mine really large because I decide I wanted to use it for a beach bag and wanted it to be large enough to hold a blanket or towel, my book, water bottle etc.  I decided not to do the lovely shell edging or flowers that Lucy added to hers.  I wanted mine to have a more casual hippy look…Which is also why I chose a hippy style lining.

Funny, as I was going along with the pattern I quickly realized it is the same concept for making a beanie hat. You could actually make one with this pattern…just make it a lot smaller and don’t add the handles unless you like to look a little strange, HA!

Here are a few tips from my experience of making the bag and just wanted to reiterate a few that Lucy – from Attic 24 pointed out.

Tips for Colorful Crochet Bag and How to Sew in a Lining

The increase rows determine the width of the bottom of your bag. As I mentioned, I wanted a very large bag so I did 14 increase rows and 24 for the depth. You can stop increasing where ever you like depending on how big or small you want your bag…same goes for the row which create your depth.

For Canada and the USA this bag is done in double crochet and handles are done in single crochet.

Watch the distance between your handles. Make sure they are not too close together.  I placed mine at 4 ½ inches from the outer edge .They are 120 chains long.

Don’t start your rows in the same place; I switched sides with each row. That way it won’t be obvious where you stopped and added a new color and it gives you a nicer finish.

finishingWho wants to weave in all those ends? Not me!!   A great way to avoid that tedious task is to sew in a lining. In fact, if you are sewing in a lining it’s better not to weave in the ends because you will never get little bits of the yarn poking out of your project.

Sewing in a Lining

First make sure you sew your handles in before adding the lining. You want sewed side on the inside, under the lining.

Buy your fabric a bit larger than your project.  Fold the lining in half and lay your bag flat on the surface with the bottom on the edge of the folded end. Cut around  1 or 2 inches wider than your project and leave an extra  2 inches at the top.

cut-lining
Turn it inside out and hand stitch or machine stitch the sides together. Doesn’t matter if it is perfect or not …you won’t be able to see it.

inside lining

Place your lining in your bag inside out.  Fold over the extra fabric at the top into the bag so you have a straight clean edge showing and then pin it along the last row of your bag.

foldoverstitich

Hand sew the lining into the back loop of the last row. Your thread color should be the same as your fabric. This hides your stitches. And don’t worry that your thread is a different color than your crochet row because you are sewing in the back loop only so it won’t be visible.

edge

Well there you have it! I think this is a fun and easy pattern. You can change the look with so many subtle differences from colors to size and details.   I think you will really enjoy making one !  :)  

Click here for the pattern and my previous post. Colorful Crochet Bag Pattern

I’m off to the beach now ! Cheers!  :)

beach bag

Colorful Crochet Bag Pattern

It is way too hot to go out and play today so I started surfing the net over my morning coffee and found this beautiful colorful crochet bag to make. I think its perfect for summer and I love the little flower details on the handle.  It’s by Lucy from Attic 24.

 colorful crochet bag

I can’t get the yarn she used so I picked up these colors by Bernat in a cotton med weight (4) yarn at Michaels Crafts today. It might be smaller than the one she made as she mentioned in her blog that the yarn she used was very thick.  But no matter the size, I think it will look fabulous🙂

bernat

Tip: Michaels always has coupons but they wont tell you at the check out.  Either check their site for coupons and print or email to yourself a copy before shopping or get the Michael’s app. They can scan the coupon right from your phone. I got 15% off my purchase today using the app.

I can’t wait to get started. I’ll post a photo when finished and let you know how it went.🙂

COZY UP WITH A GOOD BOOK AND A CROCHET SHAWL THIS FALL

photo

Fall is coming in a few short  months whether we like it or not and I’m already thinking of what I can make to keep family,  friends and myself all warm and cozy.

I’m currently working on a crochet shawl for my Mom.  I used the mini tutorial by  Bob Wilson on Youtube  to get started. If you have had even just a little experience with crocheting you really don’t need more of a tutorial since all you need to know is how to get it started and it just keeps growing as you add rows.🙂

It’s all done in dc (double crochet) stitches in groups of three .  I chose Caron’s Simply Soft,  Plumb Wine and Victorian Rose yarn . I love the sheen on this yarn and it’s soooo soft.

I will be putting 2 rows of  Plumb Wine every 20 rows and finishing it with a Plumb Wine border. I might add a tie in the front with the two colors intertwined in a braid.

Boutique Yarn Red heartI was thinking of making one for myself  after with one of these Boutique Unforgettable  Yarns by Red Heart.  I absolutely love the  way the colors transition and have been wanting to make something with it for awhile.

Try out the mini  tutorial and add your style to it. Happy Crocheting.🙂

Cheers!

Catt

Ten Tips to Get You Started Crocheting

532If you saw my previous blog under my About page, I mentioned that I would give you some helpful tips. Like promised, here are ten tips with some video tutorials  to get you started that might help you avoid some of the frustrations I had when I started…

1) Don’t get overwhelmed

Don’t get overwhelmed and start thinking you can’t do it. It’s like learning to ride a bike. Once you know how, you can’t figure out why you thought it was so hard. Just stick with it and surf the net a lot. There are a lot of people out there that would love to help you…including me. If you get stuck, drop me a comment here and I will be happy to offer some advice and if I don’t have the answer, I will get it for you.😉

2) Start with a scarf

A scarf will be the easiest project to start with since it is a simple back and forth technique and repetitive and you don’t have to be concerned with it being in gauge. I suggest you do not attempt one that is “in the round” for your first project. “In the round” means you link the chain end to end and then just go around in a circle but trying to do this can be a bit of a challenge at first because it easily can twist and you might not notice until you are all the way around and have to rip it out again. I don’t mean to make it sound like it’s hard to do, it’s not but maybe try this technique after you have made one scarf…no need to add to frustrations.

3) Start with a simple single (sc) or half double (hdc) crochet stitch.

Start your first project with a single or half double crochet stitch. Learning how to “yarn over” multiple times can be hard for a beginner. Just get basic stitches down first and then try a new stitch for each new project.

4) Chose your yarn wisely

There are hundreds of colors and styles and textures of yarn. They come in acrylic, cotton, wool and various blends. My recommendation is that you choose a solid color yarn that is light or bright in color or chose white or beige. Also chose a med weight yarn (4ply) that is soft and a tightly woven strand. This is so it is easy to see your stitches. Trust me, you will need to count carefully and slowly when first starting and trying to figure out  where the stitch is when using a dark or a fuzzy yarn is like being partially blind…even if you have 20/20. And do not use a multicolored yarn. You will have just as hard a time seeing your stitches. My favorite is Caron’s – Simply Soft. It has a slight sheen to it which gives you a lovely finish and is easy to work with.
dyelot

5) Check the die lot on the yarn label. Not all yarn has a dye lot number but for those that do, you’ll want to get the same die lot so that your project is all the same shade. The label will look like the one in this photo.

6) Use a larger hook to start.

Using a larger hook will make it easier for you to see your stitches and will be easier to hold in your hand as you get accustom to crocheting. I would use 5 mm or higher. You will notice on the yarn label they will show a recommended hook size. You don’t have to use what they recommend but for starting it might be a good idea.

7) Start with a video tutorial.

Starting with a video tutorial is so much easier than trying to read a pattern when you have never crocheted before. Watch the video first to make sure it’s clear and you understand the persons tutorial right to the end. Of course, if you are just starting you won’t understand everything until you are crocheting along with the video and can see the result, but you will be able to tell if it is poorly made, hard to hear, hard to see the stitches and if it is a complete lesson.  Bob Wilson , Mikeysmail (The Crochet Crowd) , and Crochet Hooks You have excellent tutorial videos for all crochet levels. They all speak slowly and clearly and the visual and audio is perfect. And if you don’t catch something all you have to do is rewind.🙂

8) Don’t worry if you are left handed

There are some left handed video tutorials on You Tube but many are right handed. Don’t let that discourage you. The technique is the same…you are just holding your hook in the opposite hand and working in the opposite direction to someone who is right handed.

9) Count, count, count.

Counting will help you avoid having to rip several rows out after hours of work. Every row or so, check your stitch count. It can look right and then you get a few more rows done and suddenly you realize your work is crooked. If you messed up, not to worry, just rip out that row and start from the previous row.

10) Make sure you have the supplies you need.

Crochet Hooks – There is no right or wrong hooks. It’s what you feel comfortable with .  A good idea is to buy a multi-pack of various sizes

Tapestry Needles – for sewing in ends to finish your work. Best to buy a package with various sizes.

Scissors – I bought small ones that fit in my case but any scissors will do.

Stitch Makers– But you can also use another color yarn and just tie it where you need your maker to be.

A Case  – I use a make up bag . You can also use a pencil case.

I sincerely hope these tips will motivate you to start confidently and be helpful to you in creating your first project. Please let me know if you get stumped and I will try to help you.

Below are a couple tutorial videos and some links that I think will help you further…

I would love to see what you made. Be sure and post it and send me the link or drop me a note to come to your blog or site and see it.

Happy Crocheting🙂
Cheers!
Catt

Here is a very good video which explains the 5 basic stitches of crochet by Red Heart Yarns

Or if you prefer you can start here with this Basic Scarf video tutorial from Crochet Hooks You.

Crochet Crazed

crochet hatI have always been somewhat of a crafting person. Back in the late eighties I painted t-shirts and made broaches and earrings out of colored plastic and embellished them with rhinestones. I sold them at one of those vending carts in the mall and didn’t do too badly. Both the T-shirt painting and jewelry were abstract art, easy to learn and I could pump them out pretty fast…unlike my recent undertaking…crochet! Talk about a challenging thing to learn; well for me anyway. I couldn’t even hold the crochet hook in my hand properly for the first few days. When I got past that fumbling frustration, my scarves were coming out crooked, my hats big enough to fit a watermelon sized head, I was missing stitches constantly because they were hard to see with the bulky yarn I purchased. And following a pattern was like reading some ancient Hebrew script. Ugh! But I was determined to at least make one scarf straight before giving up. So I forged on in spite of my learning curve, spending hours making a scarf, then ripping it out, then doing it again…until FINALLY I got it straight. Whew… I’m not a total dumb ass after all!
crochet-blanketI was so excited to have a finished product that looked respectable enough to wear that it kick started me into a crocheting craze. Over the fall and winter I made several hats and scarves for friends and family, a throw blanket, four purses, two ponchos, several doilies and a sweater. And I can’t stop now. There are a million things to make. It’s just too fun seeing something that you created come together the way you imagined it would.
Anyway, my point to all this is not to brag about my new found ability but to say … if I can do it, so can YOU! And do not let my story discourage you from trying. I can show you some tips and tricks that will get you around not having to deal with some of the frustrations I had.
crochet purse

Stay tuned for more crochet posts coming soon …You never know how good you are until you try it.🙂
Cheers!
Catt

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