Granny Square Messenger Bag

When my Aunty visited in late summer this year she saw some of my crocheted creatures and told me that she’d seen a friend in Folkestone who had a groovy granny square bag.
I gamely commented that it would probably be EASY to make one and told her to wait and see what Santa brings.

Since then I’ve been learning how to crochet granny squares (I used the gorgeous Summer Garden Granny Square pattern from the amazing Attic24 blog), also trying to work out the best (easiest) way to construct the bag.
So, 12 granny squares later (6 for the back and 6 for the flappy top bit) I decided to crochet the front in just a plain, one colour half treble (UK) just to speed up the construction a bit.

That worked out fine if slightly uneven ( must have dropped a stitch somewhere along the line!) which just left the strap, which would also form the sides and bottom.

Again, I went for simplicity and crocheted a super long 10 stitch wide strap in double, which seemed to take forever! I added an old buckle on one side to fasten and adjust the strap, and also tied some little tassels to finish it off.
Then I had to tidy in all my ends (baaad fadgirl!), join my squares, then sew it all together with yarn.
The actual construction was a piece of cake really and I love that when i’m sewing with yarn I don’t feel the need to be super neat, good enough is good enough.

I then very quickly sewed some scrap polyester into a lining with a pocket and a shaped base to give the floppy crochet bag some structure.
I added a length of grosgrain along the strap to strengthen it and prevent stretching:

This looked a bit tatty, so I folded the strap in half lengthways and sewed it together, which looks much, much better.
The final, finishing touch; a little loop from grosgrain for hanging keys:

Ta da!
Obviously I don’t want to send it to my Aunty now as it’s been such a labour of love, but it’s wrapped and addressed and hubby’s taking it to the post office tomorrow for me, just in case I can’t go through with it myself.
Success I think, let’s hope it’s well received and well used, oh and that it doesn’t unravel and spill purses and lipsticks and tampons everywhere the first time it’s used!

Useful Crochet Gift

I’ve just finished crocheting these cute little dishcloths and scrubbies as a gift for my grandma who has gone all modern in her kitchen with gorgeous, bright red colour accents with a new kettle and toaster, etc.
She’s not really able to crochet now due to failing eyesight mostly, but she’s delighted that I’ve taken it up.
I just know she’ll love and use these simple made-with-love gifts and am going to pop to the post office before it closes for the weekend so she has them on Monday.

I followed two free Ravalry patterns by Bearsycat: Scrubbie Dots and Simple Stripes Dishcloth. I love the stitches on the dishcloth and both designs worked up quite quickly, for a newbie like me.
Ravalry is just one of many wonderful free crochet resources I’ve been enjoying since I took up hooking. I’ll try to put a post together tomorrow with a little list of my favourites.

A New Fad is Born

Oh dear, I’ve resisted this particular fad for a while as I thought, 1. I’ve already got plenty of creative fads in my life, and 2. I’ve honestly never been hugely successful with a needle and thread.
However, while I was mooching around Abakhan last weekend (actually for yarn, but it’s be rude not to browse, right?), I happened to see a shelf bursting with teeny, tiny little mini cross stitch kits. I mean, how could I not when there was one there of a little piggy (I love pigs madly) and it was only £1.28. That’s just crazy cheap for a crafty taster.
Today, having finally put my crochet cupcakes on the shelf (literally) I decided to chill out (not literally as it’s boiling hot here again today) and learn a new fad, er, I mean skill.
Here are a few ‘in progress/can you tell what it is yet’ shots:
First stitches, yikes, easier than I thought!

Second colour added, going well, no major problems so far…

Oh, yeah, I can see a definite pink creature outline there, exciting!

And the finished item, complete with slightly boxy back stitch outline, but adorable nonetheless:

Now, what shall I do with my small but perfectly formed first cross stitch? It’s only about an inch square, I don’t think I have any picture frames that small! Ooh, but that’d be cute wouldn’t it?!
I can definitely see this becoming a fave fad for me, it’s so gentle and relaxing and untaxing, but also really addictive and enjoyable. I love cross stitch!
Now, aren’t I glad I bought a pack of 32 embroidery threads last week!