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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

Good Enough to Eat

I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of our local library.
I think the whole concept of free book lending is wonderful and inclusive and probably something we all take for granted more than we should. Until the council starts to talk about closures, and then we suddenly notice how much we love our libraries!
So, I’ve been borrowing stacks of crochet and knitting books from my local library and found a gorgeous book perfect even for beginner hookers like me.
It’s called love… Crochet 25 simple projects to crochet by Carol Meldrum, here’s the cover:

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I’d already made the crochet hook case project (blogged earlier) and found it really easy to follow. So I stepped up my game with the crochet cupcakes project on page 108:

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My idea was to make them and scent them too, so they smell AND look good enough to eat.
It took me a little while to decide on the colours, particularly after I splurged on a new yarn stash at Abakhan last weekend, too much choice can be as difficult as not enough!
It took me a week, mostly crocheting during my lunchbreak at work, with a final push to stitch them together and scent the stuffing on Thursday night during our weekly Craft Club, then I just had to sew on some cute beads yesterday and we are now proudly displaying these handsome fellas on our kitchen shelf:

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I used lemon extract for the green swirl cupcake, vanilla for the ‘chocolate’ one and almond extract (yum, marzipan!) for the white cupcake. Gorgeous!
The only problem is that we have to keep them up high on a glass shelf in the kitchen because our greedy spaniel thinks they’re real food and he sooo wants to eat them!
Well, as I’ve mentioned him I may as well end the post with a pic of His Royal Cuteness. World, meet Woodley the sprocker:

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