Take me out to the ball game… with my new Toronto Blue Jays crocheted tote bag

Have I mentioned that I’m a Toronto Blue Jays fan? So why not make myself a tote bag that screams my allegiance whenever I’m at a game! I crocheted 16 squares in the team’s colours, used red fabric for lining, and stitched everything together. For the strap, I attached a plastic shower ring to either side of the bag, crocheted over them in team colours, then crocheted a wide shoulder strap.

For embellishment, I traced the Blue Jay logo onto white fabric (which I believe is ok, as long as it’s just for personal use and not being sold), as well as the Ontario logo and Canadian maple leaf. Then I coloured them with fabric markers and sewed them onto some of the squares.

No matter what MLB team you root for, you can make yourself a tote bag; just switch up the colours.

Here’s how…

Materials

  • Worsted weight yarn in white (colour A); royal blue (colour B); red (colour C)
  • 5.5 mm crochet hook
  • Yarn needle for weaving in ends
  • 2 round plastic shower hooks (purchased at Dollarama)
  • A large enough piece of matching fabric for lining + needle and thread or sewing machine

Optional: Coordinating thread and sewing needle; thin, white fabric for tracing logos onto; fabric markers

Bullseye Square (Make 16)

Using colour A, ch 4 and slip stitch to make a ring.

Round 1: Ch 3; 11 dc into ring (12 dc)

Round 2: Ch 3; dc in same space; 2 dc in each st around (24 dc) Fasten off colour A and join colour B.

Round 3: With colour B, ch 3; dc in same sp; *2 dc in next sp; dc in next sp; repeat from * around (36 dc)

Round 4: Ch 3; dc in same sp; *2 dc in next sp; dc in each of next 2 sps; repeat from * around (48 dc)

Round 5: Ch 7 (counts as ch 4 + dc and makes the first corner); 2 dc in next sp; *dc in next sp; hdc in each of next 2 sps; sc in each of next 4 sps; hdc in each of next 2 sps; dc in next sp; 2 dc in next sp; ch 4 (next corner); 2 dc in next sp; repeat from * around. Sl st in third ch of ch-7 to close. Fasten off colour B and attach colour C.

Round 6: To make red border, sc in each dc around, with 3 sc in each corner space. Fasten off and weave in end.

Assembly Instructions
Fasten squares together, following layout and using red yarn to slip stitch squares together on wrong side.

Lining
Fold lining fabric to double, then lay tote on it, with tote bottom lined up to fabric fold. Cut lining about half-inch larger than tote, then seam (quarter-inch) both sides of lining together on sewing machine. I then stuffed the lining into the tote bag, and used a needle and thread to secure the lining to the tote bag, just inside, around the top of the lining. I’m not very patient with a needle and thread, so yours may look much neater.
Shoulder strap
Next, I attached a shower ring to each side of the tote bag, through the corner spaces. Once clipped on securely, I then did a round of sc around them until the rings were completely covered. I did one ring in the colour B, and the other in colour C.
I made the strap two-toned, one side in colour B, the other in colour C.

Using your 5 mm hook and starting with colour B, ch 9; sc in second ch from hook and in each across (8 sc)

Turn, sc in each across. Continue back and forth for an even 8 sc in every row until the blue part of the strap is approx. 22 inches. Fasten off and attach colour C. Then continue crocheting rows of 8 sc until you’ve finished another 22 inches in colour C. Fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing.
Next, attach the red end of the strap to the blue ring, and the blue end of the other end of the strap to the red ring.

To attach, simply fold the red strap end around the top of the blue circle, and using your yarn needle and the tail, sew the edge to fasten, just as it looks in the photo. Then cut a a piece of blue yarn long enough for sewing, and do the same with the blue end of the strap and the red ring.

Embellishing
I pulled up a Blue Jays logo on my laptop screen, used my magnifying glass tool to make it the right size to fit in the center of one of my squares, set the white fabric over the screen and held the sides in place with masking tape, then traced the design onto the fabric with a pencil, right from my screen. The computer screen is actually like having a light table—you can trace anything from it.
Once I’d traced 4 copies, I just coloured them in with fabric markers, then ironed over the fabric to set the colour. I did the same with an Ontario logo and a Canada logo.
Then I cut around the logos and used a needle and thread to just sew them onto alternating squares.
Go Jays Go!

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Make a playhouse for your feline friend using cardboard boxes

I discovered the most adorable book at the public library for cat owners. Even owners of small dogs could work with these ideas. Hey—even little kids would love playing with these! The book is called Cat Castles by Carin Oliver.
The book provides step-by-step photo instructions for all kinds of easy projects that are totally inexpensive because you make them from cardboard boxes that you can pick up for free at the supermarket. And the finished results are as adorable as your little pal!
Make an airplane…
a castle…
a couch…
a food truck…
a club house…
a house…
a locomotive…
a pirate ship…
a rocket…
a submarine…
a stepped condo…

There are other projects too; all so easy to make if you have a pair of scissors, cardboard boxes and adhesive.

I plan to make Otis the stepped condo so he can look out the window when I’m in my office.

It’s a great book. I highly recommend it and guarantee that both you and your feline friend will be pleased with the creative ideas inside and the very clear and easy step-by-step instructions.

Soft Green Spider Web Scarf/Shawl

This delicate scarf/shawl is made with a plush yarn that makes it surprisingly warm and there is a lot of length for wrapping around your shoulders on a cool summer evening.

Materials:

I lost the label for the yarn, but it’s a bulky plush. I’ve provided a photo so you can match it as closely as possible. I used a large ball (approx. 300 yds)

6.5 mm hook

Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Large pearl-look dollar-store beads

Beading needle and thread

PATTERN:

Chain 176.

Row 1: dc in 5th ch from hook (counts as dc, ch 2), 6 dc in same st, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in next ch, ch 10, sk 10 ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, *7 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in next ch, ch 10, sk 10 ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch; rep from* across, ending with 7 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in 3rd ch of beg ch-5, turn.

Row 2: Ch 5, *7 dc in top of 4th dc of next 7-dc group, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in next dc, ch 10, sk 10 ch, dc in next dc, ch 2, sk 2 dc, rep from* across, ending with 7 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in 3rd ch of beg ch-5, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until shawl is your desired depth. Mine measured a length of 80” x 15-1/2” deep.

Once finished, I neatened up both 15-1/2” ends with one row of sc.

TASSEL & PEARL FRINGE:

Next, I made tassels with pearl bead ends to attach to the last 7-dc group of the row, as shown in picture.

To make each tassel, I cut three 24” pieces of yarn; folded them in half; cut another piece of yarn about 10” long which I used to tied them together in the center of the fold with a knot; then kept winding that remaining piece of yarn into a knot until it because a round ball of a knot at the top of the fold where I made the first knot. Then I threaded the beading needle, stuck the needle in the bottom of the big round knot and brought the thread up through the top of the big knot, added a pearl bead so it sat on top of the big knot, then brought the needle up into the bottom of the last 7-dc group and stitched back and forth a few times to make sure the pearl and tassel were fixed securely in place. Then I knotted the thread and fastened off. I repeated this process along the bottom of the scarf/shawl, attaching pearls/tassels to the last 7-dc group of each row. I hope this makes sense. Refer to the photo (and my rough drawing below!) for visual description.

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