Monday, February 22, 2010

It's still winter, but....

For Christmas this year my son gave me an amaryllis bulb. I love watching things grow, so this was a great gift for me. I planted it on Dec 26th and it grew like a weed. By the end of January it was 30 inches tall. On Valentines day the first two flowers appeared, and a couple of days later two more showed up. There is still a flower stalk that hasn't opened yet, so there should still be one or two more blooms.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Market Bag

This is a small size market bag that I made to use up some leftover WW cotton yarn. Laying flat, mine measures about 14 inches wide, by 15 inches long, excluding the handles. it is quite stretchy, so it will hold a fair amount.

WW cotton yarn:
I used approx 6 - 7 oz variegated (it was the last of one of those 14 oz skeins of peaches and cream) and 2 oz. or so of a co-ordinating plain color
G and H hooks
4 stitch markers
yarn needle

Stitches used:
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet

Starting with variegated yarn and H hook:
ch 40.
Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across. (39 sc) Ch 1, turn.
row 2-10: SC in each ch across. (39 sc in each row) Ch 1 turn.

You will now begin working in rounds.
Row 11 and Round 1: Sc in each st across. When you reach the end of the row, turn work so that you can sc across the ends of the 11 sc rows. Do not ch 1. Do one sc in the end of each row. (11 sc) when you get to the other side, sc in the loose loops of the beginning chain. (39 sc) Make a sc in the other ends of the 11 sc rows. Join to the first sc of the round.
Round 12 - 15: Ch 1, Sc in each stitch around, join the stitches of each round to the beginning sc of that round. You should have 100 sc.
(Don't worry if you don't. As long as you have an even number of stitches when you get to the mesh part, the pattern will work. Actually, for that matter, you can always fudge a little in the first row to make it work, its only a market bag after all!)

If you want a larger solid bottom, just do more sc rounds, until the solid part is a high as you want it. I would probably have done more if I wasn't worried about running out of yarn.

Start mesh pattern, continue to work in rounds:
Round 16: Ch 4, (counts as first dc plus ch 1), skip a stitch, *DC in next st, ch 1. Skip a stitch * repeat from * to * around, join in third st of the beginning ch 4, slip stitch into the space created by the ch 4. (I don't know quite how to write that, it would be like slip stitching into the ch 1 space)

round 17-32: Ch 4, DC into next ch 1 space, ch 1, *DC into next ch 1 space, ch 1*, repeat from * to * around, join into 3rd ch of beginning ch 4, slip stitch into space created by the ch 4.

Again, you can add more rounds here to make the bag taller.

round 33-35:
Ch 1, sc in each stitch around, join to beginning st
Fasten off.

Start handles:
Lay your bag down flat and mark the stitch on each side. Count out 12 stitches on either side of this stitch and place a marker in each of them. This should give you 25 stitches front and back between the markers.

Join contrasting yarn at a marker.

round 1: Sc from that marker around the side of the bag to the next marker. Ch 30. Skip the 25 stitches on the flat side of the bag, (it will be either the front or back depending on where you joined your yarn.) Sc into the next marked stitch and continue to the next marker. Ch 30 to make the other handles and join to the beginning sc with a slip stitch.

Round 2 - 6- Ch 1, sc in joining stitch and in each st and chain around (110 sc) Again it doesn't really matter if you have a different number of stitches.

At the end of round 6 fasten off.
Still using the H hook, do a round of SC around the inside (circle part) of the handles.

Using a G hook, do a round of sc around the inside of the handles and around the top of the bag. I found that using a smaller hook for this made a slightly less stretchy handle.

Fasten off, weave in ends.

Once you have made one of these bags, you will find it very easy to make a larger bag using the same general idea.

Pattern is untested, except by myself. Please let me know if something is unclear, or you find a mistake.
You may sell one or two items made from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern or publish it anywhere else. Please link to the pattern if you post a picture elsewhere.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baby Blanket

Last summer I was gifted 2 skeins of variegated Red Heart soft yarn. I started out making it into a baby sweater, but it just didn't seem to look right. Since it was a gift to me, I wanted to turn it into something special. This is what I came up with. This blanket has been donated to the local pregnancy resource center.

The pattern is simply made up of 12 granny squares. I did 5 rounds of variegated, 3 rounds of white and 1 round of pink. After I sewed the squares together, I did a row of sc in pink around the entire thing, and finished it with a round of reverse HDC.
I like reverse HDC for edging blankets because it looks good, and is way easier than reverse sc.
If you have never used it, give it a try.
I do HDC, ch 1, skip a stitch, HDC in next st, ch 1, skip a stitch,etc. It is worked right to left, rather than the usual left to right.

This is the square pattern I used.