the “winged-it” purse

Operation stash bust is in full swing, and this red/gray crocheted handbag is the result of my latest yarn closet raid. Ignoring the fact that I had a sizeable yarn stash of my own, my sister decided to gift me the entirety of her stash. (Could you say no?) So, little by little, I am chipping away at my towering mount everest of odd skeins. A couple days ago, I picked up a deep red skein of some sort of workhorse acrylic yarn (no label to be found) and began crocheting these pretty triangle motifs from my Reader’s Digest stitch encyclopedia. Two triangles turned into 4, then 6, then 8. I’ve got this strange habit of working first, then figuring out what I’m making later. Before the second hour was through, the yarn spoke — and it said it wanted to become a handbag. Fine, I said. So I stitched together my red triangle motifs into semi-circular shapes, picked up another unidentifiable skein of yarn (gray in color) and continued working the semi-circular body by adding rows of shell stitch and double crochet. When it came time for a handle, I braided together 9 crocheted chains and stitched them on. Lining? Used some gray woven material from my fabric stash and added a couple of inner pockets. Finally, I threw in a button loop and one of my freshly made polymer clay buttons to take care of fastening duties.

I dig how the purse’s body juts beyond the straps on either side — as if its wings are unfurled and ready for flight.  Perfect, given how I winged the design from start to finish. 😉

I’m considering writing this all out as a proper pattern and posting it here — but that requires far too much planning for the likes of me.

ornament today, afghan tomorrow

I’m in the early stages of my first granny square afghan (my first because I’d never before had the patience for the undertaking!) and wanted to be able to display these delightfully colorful crochet flower motifs right away. It being the holidays, the answer was staring me in the face — deck the tree with them, of course!

I’m sure they’d make a beautiful garland if sewn together at the corners, but I’ve just hung them up as is. The crocheted snowflakes are from this pattern and the mini sweaters are from various free patterns I Googled a while back. Happy Holidays. 🙂

warm things for winter

img_5387_2I was that high school slacker who pulled caffeine-fueled all-nighters banging out term papers begun just that evening but due the next morning…and my lousy grades reflected my habitual lack of planning. After much determination and effort to put that all behind me, I’m proud to say that I’ve learned to get (most) things completed way ahead of time—including taking care of my Christmas list before the holiday crunch. This year, pretty much everyone’s going to get a knitted/crocheted item—but of course I’ll try to throw in a sewn one here and there as well.

So, needless to say, every free minute I’ve had for the past couple weeks has been spent knitting gifts, as my goal is to have them all completed no later than December 15th. We’ll see how I fare!

So far, I’ve made this crocheted Peruvian style earflap hat using this pattern…

 

…a basketweave stitch scarf (not pictured), and some neckwarmers…

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…using this very pretty lace scarf pattern, free here. I cut the scarf in half lengthwise (cast on 17 instead of 34 as the pattern calls for) as the lace pattern was repeated once on each row, and I used a thicker weight yarn — and I love the result!

Last but not least, get a load of this ultra kitschy 70s-style clutch, complete with pom-poms, that I made with some leftover yarn. knitted it up on a whim just this evening, but I’m not sure if it’ll get stuffed into any stockings this year. Think the kitsch factor might be too high on this one to consider it a serious gift!

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comfy house socks

Yeah, I know that it’s the wrong season to be making warm, chunky, almost knee-length house socks but my fingers were itching to do some crocheting. I’ve been sewing so much these days that I feel I’ve been neglecting my yarn stash, so I figured I could make these socks now and stow them away ’til winter comes. I just love the cozy look of aran fleck yarn.

first, there was a yoke…

During my heavy crochet phase, I made this yoke with a star motif on the back, intending to use it for a dress or top. I hadn’t decided yet. I also needed some matching fabric for it, which I didn’t have. So I set it aside and almost forgot about it entirely–that is, until Dane decided to do a big spring cleaning of the bedroom yesterday and I found this old polka dot skirt I bought years ago that I don’t really wear anymore. And then I had a lightbulb moment…

I so love the idea of recycling/reinventing old clothing, so I’m particularly proud if this creation.

happy hooking

A few years ago around Christmas, my sister started crocheting these terrific scarves for people as gifts (I love mine!). Now, my sister has a list of friends longer than my arm and both my legs, so she got in way over her head and found herself crocheting into the wee hours of the morning to finish before Christmas Eve. I so do not have the same problem as I can list all of my friends and acquaintances on one side of a folded paper napkin.

Anyway, I always said that one day I’d teach myself to crochet, so a couple months ago, I did. I’m not doing anything fancy (I’d like too soon) but I’m making lots of simple, practical things that I can actually use like handwarmers, neckwarmers, small purses and chunky house socks (my favorite!). No pics of the socks, but I promise to post some soon.