L’il grab-n-go crocheted envelope purses

bag_brown & cream envelope & otis

Otis loves the colours I used for this purse! 🙂

These little bags are ideal for those times when you need to run an errand and just want to grab your debit card or cash, car keys and phone, without having to lug your entire purse along.
pursesSo simple to make, you just (1) crochet a granny square, (2) fold the corners to make an “envelope” shape, and (3) stitch up the seams. To finish, you just crochet your desired length of shoulder or around-the-neck strap, and then attach a button on the front for fastening.
bag_brown & cream envelope3Depending on the tightness of your stitches, you may want to line the square, in which case you will simply cut a fabric square in a complimentary colour, the same size as the granny square, and sew it onto the wrong side before you do your folding and seaming.
bag_envelope taupe & cream2Use a small crochet hook to make a tiny purse, or increase your hook size to increase the size of your square. No matter the size, it’s a make-it-in-an-evening kind of project.
bag_navy envelope2There are countless designs online for crochet square patterns, so the endless choices mean that you can have a lot of fun making these purses in just about every colour imaginable. I just used a basic granny square to make most of the bags here.
bag_rainbow envelope2My mom and I are both major Toronto Blue Jays baseball fans, so I just had to make a Blue Jays bag using their signature colours for my mom to carry to games down at the Rogers Center. For the logo embellishment, I traced the Jays logo onto a piece of white fabric, coloured it in using Sharpie markers, and then stitched it onto the bag. I was so pleased with the results that I plan to make another one for myself. I’m sure that no matter what team you’re cheering for, you can use their team colours to make a cute bag for yourself.
bag_blue jays2If you want to use the same design that I used to crochet my Blue Jays bag, you’ll find the pattern called Half-n-Half 12” Square, by Melinda Miller at this Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/half-n-half—12-square (Thanks for sharing, Melinda!) It’s a really flexible pattern—she’s used it to make a variety of different-looking squares just by changing up the colour sequences.
bag_blue jays1

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Colorful and cute, fast and easy—Crocheted Pincushions

pincushion_rosie & tiny squares1If you want a really quick, easy and fun project to work on when you need a break away from a large project, try your hand at one of these little pincushions. They’re a great way to use up scrap yarn, and they also make sweet gifts for your stitching pals!

So simple…

PRETTY PINCUSHIONS
Materials for both versions
Yarn: various colours of Bernat Handicrafter cotton
Crochet hook: 5 mm
Bit of Fiberfill stuffing
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

pincushion_rosieROSIE PINCUSHION
Pincushion front:
Chain (ch) 14

Row 1: single crochet (sc) in second ch from hook and in each ch across. Turn.

Row 2: ch 1; sc in same space; sc in each sc across. Turn

Repeat Row 2 five more times, or until you’ve got an even square. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Pincushion back: Repeat above (I used a different color for the back, just to change things up.)

Take your two squares and place the wrong sides together (right sides facing out). Use a contrasting color of yarn and sc to seam the squares together (this kills two birds with one stone—seams the squares together plus adds a pretty border around the edges). Once three sides have been seamed, stuff with a bit of Fiberfill, then continue to seam the last side closed.

Crochet a couple of little roses and leaves (lots of patterns available online!) and sew them to the top to decorate your pincushion.

pincushion_tiny squaresTINY SQUARES PINCUSHION
Using different colors of the same yarn, make four two-round granny squares. Mine were about 1-1/2” squares.

Then seam two strips of two squares together using the same border/seaming instructions as above. Next, seam the two strips together along the non-bordered sides.

Set your square of tiny grannies aside, and make a backing square in a contrasting color.

Then, place the wrong sides of your squares together (right sides facing out), and seam edges together/stuff with fiberfill as per the instructions for the first pincushion.

All done! Have fun making them in all the colors of the rainbow. For those of you with kids or grandkids, they would also make adorable cushions for Barbie dolls!
pincushion_rosie & tiny squares2

What to do with nine crocheted squares? Hmmm…

Sometimes, you just want to play around with a couple of colours to see what evolves, so you decide to crochet some squares with no real project in mind.

By the time you’re on your ninth square, you begin to feel bored. You’re not in the mood to continue making squares until you have enough for a big old afghan because summer’s almost here and afghans remind you of long winter nights and that’s the last thing you want to be reminded of right now.

You stare at your nine lovely squares. You line them up into one big square and stare at them some more. They do look pretty together. But a block of nine 5” squares makes…what? It’s either a massive washcloth for Shaquille O’Neil or a bath mat for one of the Little People.

Suddenly you get a brainstorm. You recall seeing pictures on Pinterest of the cutest lovey blankets for babies, which are about that size, that have a teddy or dolly or puppy head sewn into the middle square, that a baby can cuddle up with during her nap.baby_blanket lovey bear1

Your nine squares would make the perfect lovey blanket! All you need to make is a cute softie head for the center square.

And that’s how I came up with my Teddy Bear Lovey Blankee.

You can use any square design of choice to make this project. To make my squares, I used a 6 mm hook, and chose a variegated yarn in Neopolitan ice-cream colours (vanilla, strawberry and chocolate) for the first two rounds and a mocha yarn for the rest of the square. Here’s the pattern:sample circle in a square1

R1: Chain (ch) 3; 12 double crochet (dc) in third ch from hook. Slip stitch (sl st) to join. (12 dc)

R2: Ch 2; 2 dc in each dc around. Sl st in top of ch-2 to join. (24 dc)

sample circle in a square2R3: In same space, (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc). *Ch 1; skip (sk) next 2 dc; 3 dc in next dc. Ch 1, sk next 2 dc, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next dc. Repeat from * two more times. Ch 1; sk next 2 dc, 3 dc in next dc. Ch 1; sl st to top of ch-3 to close.

R4: Sl st over to the first ch-2 space. (Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in space. *(Ch 1; 3 dc in next ch-1 space) two times. Ch 1; (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in corner ch-2 space. Repeat from * two more times. (Ch 1; 3 dc in next ch-1 space) two times. Ch 1; sl st to top of ch-3 to close.

To attach my squares, I first laid them out then hooked them all together with markers (or you can also use safety pins). Then I chose a matching pink yarn, and I used single crochet to seam them together on the right side so the pink would act as a border around each square, as well as a border around the entire blanket.baby_blanket lovey bear2

For the softie head you can use pretty much any animal or doll pattern of your preference, following just the head instructions in the pattern. Just make sure the size of the head is compatible with the size of your blanket—you wouldn’t want to use a tiny two-inch amigurumi animal head, but if you want to make the head from an amigurumi pattern, just increase the size of your crochet hook to one that’s a few sizes bigger than the hook that the pattern calls for.

Once you’ve made your softie animal head and stuffed it as per your pattern instructions, just use a yarn needle and matching yarn to sew it to the center square of your blanket.

For my teddy head I used mocha/vanilla variegated yarn and worked single crochet in rounds (increasing and then decreasing) to make a ball that I stuffed with Poly-Fil. Then I crocheted two triangular shapes in the same yarn to make the ears, and stitched them onto the ball. Then I crocheted a couple of rounds in vanilla yarn twice to make the eyes (and sewed a brown button in the center of each eye). Then I did a few rounds of vanilla to make a big circle for the muzzle. Then I used the pink border yarn to make a small pink triangle for the nose, and when everything was sewn into place on the head, I used a bit of pink yarn to stitch a mouth onto the muzzle under the nose. As a finishing touch, I weaved a few baby_hat pink brim1strands of yarn into the top of the head to look like a bit of hair and tied a piece of pink yarn around them into a bow.

Voila! A teddy blankee that any baby (or stuffed bear) would love to cuddle with.

Of course I got so excited about the blankee, I just had to make a littlebaby_hat pink brim2 hat to go with it. I just made it up as I went along and forgot to write down what I was doing, so I’ll try to figure out what I did and then share it in a future blog post.

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