Work in Progress Wednesday – Amian Bag Accessories

Amian Coin PurseSince I have a decent amount of yarn still leftover from my Amian bag, I’ve decided to make a few little accessories to go with it. I’ve started off by making a coin purse (so I don’t have to carry my whole purse around). I’m using the same pattern as the Amian bag, but cutting it down to size. Since it’s a simple repeat of 6 stitches, I just have to decide how long I want to make it and then I can do pattern repeats till it gets to the size I want. In the picture you can see it’s wide enough to hold a checkbook (not that I usually carry one around) and it’s a bit wider than my current coin purse so it’ll be able to hold a bit more.

And since this is my project bag, I’ll probably also make a case for my double pointed needles (and any other needles or hooks that don’t already have their own case) and I’ll be making a book to hold my scissors, darning needle, and stitch markers that will have a fabric lining with pockets.

Anyone have ideas for other accessories I can make with my left over yarn to go with my project bag?

Work in Progress Wednesday – More Felted Bowls

Pre-Felting, Bowl in Patons SWS Natural VioletI started crocheting this bowl on Friday. It’s all done in single crochet so it feels like it’s taking a lot longer to make when it’s currently about the same size as my largest blue bowl. I’m using the same brand and type of yarn as before. This time my ball was already wound up into a cake. And I’m currently going through the second ball. I don’t think I have too much left on the pattern at this point. Maybe about another dozen rows.

The yarn is Patons SWS in Natural Violet. It’s the same 70% wool, 30% soy blend as before. My favorite part of this yarn is the green streak running though it, though it’s very hard to see in the picture. I wish that the yarn didn’t switch colors so quickly in this ball. The natural denim had a much slower progression. I’m guessing my last set of balls in another color (which I can’t remember off hand) will have the same progression as the Natural Violet.

The pattern I’m using can be found here. I’m choosing not to put in the carbone ring as I don’t plan on using the bowl for holding yarn. So where it says to stop the continuous rows, I’ve just kept going around.

I’m hoping to do the next bowl with knitting needles, but I’ll need to purchase some double pointed needles as I don’t own any. I also need to figure out what to do with the leftover yarn from the current bowl as I’ll have a decent amount, but not enough to make any sizeable bowls.

Anyone have any ideas on what I can do with the leftovers?

Work in Progress Wednesday – Felted Bowls

This last week I finally started making some felted bowls. Since most of my yarn is feltable wool I was going to try making some bowls. So far I’ve only tried one of a few patterns I’ve bookmarked.

Patons SWS in Natural DenimI tested the initial pattern with a wool soy blend so it doesn’t felt quite as quickly or easily as pure wool. It is Patons SWS in Natural Denim. The blend is 70% wool and 30% soy. I really do like the color combination and look. I’m planning on trying to felt it a bit more than I have so far.

Felted BowlsThe second bowl hasn’t been felted yet and is made with a larger bottom and I made it slightly longer. The felted bowl also has a few more rows than the pattern called for. I’ve got enough yarn to do one more bowl, so I’ll end up with a set of three.

If you are interested in the pattern it can be found here.

Crochet Thread Everywhere

Crochet FlowersIn college I used to wear crocheted flowers in my hair. It was my little bit of uniqueness. Flowers also only take a few minutes to bust out if you’ve got a rhythm going. I still have most of the flowers I made and a lot of them still have bobby pins attached, even though I don’t wear them anymore. Now, if I wear them it’s probably because I’m doing some sort of Halloween event and I’m dressed up as a fairy.

At one time, when people used to complement me on the flowers and say how they’d love to have some, I started making them to sell. As a result I ended up with a pretty decent stash of cotton thread. I also started experimenting with different flowers and even made a few leaves. However, despite all things, I only actually ended up selling a few of the flowers.

And like all other things, my mother ended up passing a long of bunch of her own thread since she had stopped crocheting doilies, so she didn’t need the smaller balls that she had left.Crochet Thread She also had a collection of tatting thread, but she never ended up actually doing any tatting. Tatting is also something I haven’t done, but it is on my list of things I liked to learn (along with Tunisian crochet and needle felting). I have some plans to make some crocheted lace bowls with the thread. And hopefully I will start tatting. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the thread I used to make flowers, so it might sit around for a while and be used to embroider any amigurumi I make.  But before I really do anything with the thread I’m going to have to invest in a set of steel hooks and a tatting shuttle since I have neither.

Amigurumi – Cat!

Orange CatThe first thing I actually made and finished this year was a small cat that I made as a gift for my friends that were having a baby.  Being cat lovers and having lots of family members that loved making baby blankets, I decided that this would be the best option.

I browsed pinterest for a while looking for some cat patterns, but I eventually pulled out my copy of Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet and thumbed through the patterns.  I used the baby lion pattern as the base and then embroidered the face as I felt like and just did a simple tail.  I also gave him a little chain ribbon that I tied in a bow around his neck.

cat2One of the main reasons I ended up embroidering the face instead of using buttons or even safety eyes, is that it was a present for a newborn and I wanted to make sure that nothing used would be able to be pulled off or get broken.  I also didn’t have any safety eyes at the time, and in an effort to spend a little less on crafty things, I used part of the plethora of cotton thread that I own (a picture of which I will share at some point in the near future as I think I have located all the bits and pieces I have.)

I’m planning on doing some more amigurumi in the future.  Do you have any amigurumi patterns you like or things you want to see made?

Work in Progress Wednesday – Amian Bag

In an effort to make sure that I work on my projects more than just twice a month during Knit & Crochet night at Yarnivore, I’m going to share my progress weekly with all of you!

I started the current project back on July 25th (before I even finished my potholders).  I haven’t worked on it a whole lot for a variety of reasons and hopefully I’ll be fixing one of those reasons within the next week or two.

Breeze by Brunswick in Azalea and Silver GreyThe yarn I’m using is a discontinued yarn called Breeze by Brunswick in Azalea and Silver Grey.  It’s a very knobbly yarn that I was given by my mother.  I think her original intention was to make a sweater out of it, but I’m making a bag with it.  Because of the knobbly nature of the yarn, I almost put it in my donation pile, but the colors really drew me in, so I decided to use them up before they languished too long and I decided to get rid of them after all.

So, without further ado….  This is where I’m at:Work in Progress Amian Bag - Top ViewWork in Progress Amian Bag - Side View

So far I’ve repeated the main pattern of the bag twice.  Each repeat of the pattern is 4 rows and I’m just starting on my third repeat in the picture. I have no idea how big the bag will end up being, but I do have the number of skeins suggested (in fact I have an extra of each), however the length is not listed on the skeins so I’m just hoping that because the skeins are the same weight it’ll end up working out without being too big or too small.

I’m using a modified version of the Amian Bag.  The pattern calls for a leather bottom, which I don’t have so I crocheted it instead.  And the pattern is also meant to be done from the top down, however I decided to try it from the bottom up as I didn’t really want to sew the bottom and top together.  I’d much rather work it in the round all the way.

I’m planning on putting a fabric lining in the bag when I’m done and using it to hold my current projects.  I’ve got a couple different bits of fabric and I’m hoping that one of them will be big enough to fit the bag when it’s done.

Potholders

After moving into my new apartment I realized I didn’t have any potholders (something as a lover of baking I couldn’t live without).  I knew that I had some at one point that my mother had made, but I couldn’t find them in any of the boxes I had initially brought with me.  So I decided that I would make myself some.  I figured it would be a quick weekend job.  I mentally went over my stash of cotton yarn, eyed the Michael’s ad, and then did something I really shouldn’t have.  I went and bought some new yarn even though I had decided that I was going to work through the yarn I had before buying anything new.

The only justifications I can give are that the yarn was under a dollar a skein and that I was going to use it right away.  All of which meant I spent less than $4 on the four Lily Sugar’n Cream skeins of cotton yarn and that I would be making that initial chain right way.

And to be honest, I also wanted to use colors that I would enjoy for years to come.  So I ended up with Warm Brown and Red.  If the store had had more than two skeins of the Warm Brown in the same dye lot, I probably would have bought enough to make a couple dishcloths, placemats, coasters and so on.  Although the only things I’d probably end up actually using would be the dishcloths and potholders.

So, the day after acquiring the new yarn I set to work. My quick weekend project ended up turning into a three month ordeal. Having only recently gotten back into crocheting, my hands weren’t quite up to the task.  I finished two within a week, but the last two took quite a bit longer.  I also visited my mother, found a box I had missed which contained the four potholders she had given me in college, and then I found out one of my friends and his wife were moving into a new place.  So, being as I actually wanted to use up my stash, I brought over all the other Lily Sugar’n Cream yarn I had and let them pick their colors.

Lily Sugar'n Cream Hot Blue and Mod Green potholders
Lily Sugar’n Cream Hot Blue and Mod Green potholders

It took me about a three weeks to finish off their potholders.  But I had a nice deadline to push for, so I didn’t dally as much as I had been with mine after finding my old potholders.  I was also happy to find that this new set of potholders was a much more consistent size then the two I had made for myself so far.  And it meant that I now had 4 less skeins of yarn in my stash. They are also the second gift I’ve made from my yarn stash since the beginning of the year.

Lily Sugar'n Cream Warm Brown and Red Potholders
Lily Sugar’n Cream Warm Brown and Red Potholders

I eventually did end up returning to my own potholders after I found out about the knitting and crochet group meeting twice a month at the yarn shop near my new apartment.  I’m happy to say that I finished them, love the colors and was able to show them off at my birthday party over the weekend.  And now I really wish that I could have bought more of those two colors so that I could deck out my kitchen in these beautiful colors.

If you are interested in making your own potholders, I mainly followed Miss Abigail’s pattern, but I used the starting chain of 31 since I wanted a slightly larger potholder.  These potholders are extra thick as you are crocheting through a loop from the current row and the previous row.