Huntley Gift Bag

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If you love to crochet, head on over to Little Monkeys Crochet , a blog full of cool patterns in all sorts of categories. The one that caught my eye is this pretty bag, made with about 275 yards of  medium weight cotton using a couple of stitches on a size H hook. It’s a free pattern, and Rebecca gives permission to sell things made with her free patterns so long as credit is given. The finished bag is 9″L x 3″W x 6″H. It looks easy enough to make larger or smaller.

This looks like a perfectly portable summer project, especially for a plane trip. No needles to scare security. One summer I lost an $18 pair of knitting needles at Charles deGaulle Airport checkpoint…. Now I bring plastic. Or crochet.

Sigh. Here’s the pattern. Thank you, Rebecca!

Natural Curls Tote

Having naturally curly hair,  alternately the bane and joy of my existence, the title of this stylish bag caught my eye. It’s a free crochet pattern from Italian designer Nicoletta Tronci, featuring lots of single crochet to make the fabric sturdy, and some whimsical topstitching to fancy it up. It would probably look great in any color, but I really like the purple.

Beach Bag

Image of Beach BagIf this bag doesn’t shout “summer!!!”, I don’t know what does. Love these colors, and the design of the stripes (it isn’t easy to get stripes right, I’ve found). This great bag is from Lion Brand. It requires 5 colors of Cotton-Ease, and a size G-6 (4 mm) crochet hook. The fabric makes up tight enough to eliminate the need for lining. Love it! If you’re like me, you can never have enough bags and totes…..

Knitted Market Bag

Bags, purses, sacks, I just can’t have enough of them. Most of them are full of yarns, incomplete projects, patterns, and books. This one looks a lot like the crocheted market bag I posted a while back, only this is knitted. I like to crochet, but LOVE to knit. Anyway, here’s the latest great bag pattern I’ve found.

This is free, but you might have to sign in to download. Membership is also free.

pattern

Bands of Beads Tote Bag

This pattern comes courtesy of The Snuggles Project, which was founded a few years ago to provide nice soft beds for animals kept in cages in shelters. This is a volunteer project, and the website lists dozens of patterns for snuggle beds in knit, crochet, and sewing. Clicking on the link below the picture will lead you not only to the bag pattern, but also to this compassionate organization.

Love the way the beads dress up this otherwise basic bag.

Worsted weight cotton, G crochet hook.

pattern

Felted Recycled Cell Phone Case

One of the hottest fiber crafts around these days is making felted items out of thrift shop wool sweaters. A few months ago I visited our local GoodWill store and actually had trouble selecting which ones to buy, there were so many fantastic 100% wool sweaters! I left with 7, some in solid colors and others with patterns, having left behind only $16.00. All of these sweaters were like brand new. I put them all in the washer and felted them together, and they came out great. Here’s how I did that part:

felting instructions

Since this was my first adventure in recycled felting, I started out with small projects, cases for cell phones, ipods, or just little purses. I made three cases but have since sold one. The other 2 are pictured here. Because I’ve worked with garments for such a long time, I was able to cut these without measuring or using a pattern, but if you prefer, you can certainly do that. Here are the steps:

  • With a pair of sharp scissors, cut the sleeves off the sweater. (Yes, it’s true, you can actually cut felted wool without raveling problems.)
  • Select the portion of the sleeve, which is a tube, with which you want to form the body of the case. I used the part right above the cuff because I liked the way it tapered.
  • Cut to size.
  • Sew bottom seam. On the blue case, I used blanket stitch on the outside. For the green case, I did an inside seam that doesn’t show.
  • Choose a closure method. I used a loop and button on green, and a drawstring, for which I cut very small slits, on blue.
  • Make a strap or cord. I braided heavy multicolored yarn for both.
  • Trim as desired. I left the blue case plain, and made an extra long cord for the green one so I could trim the sides with it, and frayed the ends for tassles.

These unique little cases make terrific gifts. Have fun with this! Use your imagination and get creative. Using recycled sweaters saves so much knitting time!