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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My own “Hello Spring!” Shawl

Discovered a fabulous shawl pattern at the wonderful crochet site, Jenny and Teddy. It was one of the easiest shawl patterns I’ve made and it turned out wonderful!

Here’s the link to Jenny and Teddy if you want to make one for yourself:

http://www.jennyandteddy.com/2018/02/hello-spring-shawl-free-crochet-pattern/

For my shawl, I changed things up just a bit.

I used Lion Brand’s Shawl in a Ball (I used one and a half skeins, so you’ll need two full skeins if you want to make your shawl even larger). The colour. “Community Coral,” reminded me of a Caribbean sunset.

And I used a 5.5 mm hook, which resulted in a 60” wide x 31” deep shawl.

I love the results, and would like to call out a “thank you” to Jane for sharing her lovely pattern!

Make a Little Luv Baby Sweater using crocheted lace square motifs

I discovered the loveliest crocheted square design called Victorian Lattice Square, designed by Destany Wymor and offered free on her Ravelry page at: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/victorian-lattice-square

The minute I saw it, I decided that I wanted to use it to make myself a lightweight poncho (see the finished poncho in my March 14th post).

After making several squares, it struck me that the first four rounds of the pattern would sure make a cute little motif to put together into a baby sweater. With that thought percolating in my mind, I set aside my poncho project (no, I’m not ADD, but you would think so, the way I jump from project to project!), sketched a rough layout of a baby sweater created from squares, dug some Baby Luv yarn from my stash, and proceeded to make a pile of these motifs. Because they’re so small, they’re quick to make. It only took me a week to make the sweater from start to finish.

In case you’d like to try it, here’s how I made my Little Luv Baby Sweater:

3½” x 3½” Lace Square Motifs
Materials:
1. Any super-fine baby yarn in variegated pastel colors (I used Baby Luv, which you can pick up at Walmart)
2. 6.0 mm hook
3. Yarn needle for weaving in loose ends

How to dc2tog: yo, insert hook in space and pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yo, pull through 2 loops, yo, insert hook in same space, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook), yo, pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook), yo, pull through last 3 loops.

Abbreviations: chain: ch / slip stitch: sl st / double crochet: dc / single crochet: sc / double crochet 2 together: dc2tog / space: sp / repeat: rep / yarn over: yo

Motif Pattern: (Make 33 motifs)
Round 1: Ch 4, sl st into first ch to make a ring.
Ch 4 (counts as dc + ch 1); *dc, ch 1; rep from * 10 more times; sl st in 3rd ch of ch-4 to close. [12 dc & 12 ch-1 sps]

Round 2: Sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1 (counts as first dc); dc in same sp, ch 2; *dc2tog in next ch-1 sp, ch 2; rep from * 10 more times; sl st in first sc to close. [12 dc2tog]

Round 3: Sc in next ch-2 sp; *ch 7, sc in next ch-2 sp, ch 3, sc in next ch-2 sp, ch 3, sc in next ch-2 sp; rep from *, sl st in first sc to close.

Round 4: (Sc, ch 1, 4 dc, ch 2, 5 dc) in ch-7 loop; *sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 loop; (5 dc, ch 2, 5 dc) in ch-7 loop; rep from * two more times; sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 loop; sl st in first sc to close. Fasten off and weave in loose yarn end.

It’s really easy to connect the motifs into rows as you go, instead of having to sew them together at the end. Here’s how:

To connect motifs as you go (see the numbered photos below): Once you’ve completed your first motif, set it aside and begin working the second motif up to the beginning of Round 4. Work Round 4 like this: (Sc, ch 1, 4 dc, ch 2, 5 dc) in ch-7 loop; sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 loop; (5 dc, ch 2, 5 dc) in ch-7 loop; sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 loop; *then in next ch-7 loop (1 & 2): 5 dc, ch 1, get the first motif you finished and, with the loop from the ch-1 of your unfinished motif still on the hook, insert the hook into any ch-2 sp (between the 2 sets of 5 dc in a ch-7 loop) of the finished motif, yo pull your yarn through the loop on hook to secure, then ch 1 again, then continue with the second set of 5 dc in the same ch-7 loop of your unfinished motif; (3) sc into next ch-3 loop, then insert hook into ch-3 loop of other motif too and sc again to connect the ch-3 of both motifs, ch 1, then repeat again from * in the next ch-7 loop of your unfinished motif; sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 loop; and sl st into the beginning sc to join. Fasten off and weave in loose yarn end.
(1)
These 6 pictures demonstrate attaching motifs corner to corner.
(2) Attaching a new motif to a row. First, attach the corners.
(3) Then, attach the two ch-3 loops.
Then proceed with finishing off the last round of the motif.
Make 2 front panels: Connect a row of 3 motifs, then connect another row of 3 beside them to make the left front panel. Repeat for the right front panel.

Make 1 back panel: For the back panel, connect 3 rows of 3.
Connect each front panel to the back panel at the shoulders. Seam together on the wrong sides by slip stitching with your crochet hook. (If you’d prefer, you can also sew the seam using your yarn needle.)
Make 2 sleeves: Connect 3 rows of 2 motifs for each sleeve.

Then, as shown above, find the mid-point of sleeve and line it up with the shoulder seam of sweater. Use markers or safety pins to attach the sleeve to the sweater body. Turning to the wrong side, seam the sleeve to the body (where the markers are shown) using slip stitching.
Then do the same on the other side of the sweater with your second sleeve.
Below is a shot of the wrong side with everything seamed together.
Next, with right sides still together, fold in half at the shoulder seems and bring the sleeves together. You are now going to sew the sweater together to close the sleeves and sides. Again, I used slip stitching, but you can also sew everything together with your yarn needle, if you prefer.
After everything was seamed, I used plain pink Baby Luv yarn to crochet a border around the sleeve edges, as well as the entire sweater, using two rows of single crochet on the sleeves, and three rows of single crochet around the bottom, front and collar.
Next, I dampened the sweater and blocked it overnight so it would be nice and straight.
Since the style of it is double-breasted, I chose six ¾” buttons and sewed them on as shown below.
I also made a little matching hat embellished with a butterfly!

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