Monday, 20 July 2009

Star crossed and Red tote

I've finished a couple of things over the weekend for you to see. It's all been knit, knit, knit for the last few days. The red star crossed beret is now finished - yay! It wasn't actually a slow knit when I got going - it was just the getting going that was the problem:-) The pattern is very easy, the yarn is chunky so it knits up quickly. You could knit it in a day or a couple of evenings at an average knitting speed - not like some of those videos I posted before! I could only find the pattern on Ravelry, I'm afraid, but if you are interested in a quick project then go join if you're not a member already. If you are, pop over and say hi - I'm tootiefruitie:-)

The other project I have been working on is a crocheted tote bag. The weather has been so rainy lately that it has been really difficult to get decent pics for you. I waited till today but it wasn't much better, so we'll just have to make do for now.

The original bag pattern was called summer sling tote, but as we aren't having enough nice weather for me to be needing a summer bag, I thought I'd knit a warm chunky one instead. The only problem is that the pattern has way too many stitches and increases so I once I got the gist of how the bag was made, I adapted it as I went for chunky yarn. I did remember to write the pattern down as I went though as I had to duplicate it for the other side of the bag:-) I'll put my notes together and write it up if anyone is interested.

As my bag was going to be chunkier, I wanted a denser fabric so I crocheted it in a smaller stitch to get rid of the holes. The pattern uses a double crochet, which I used, then realised this is a US pattern where a DC is the equivalent of a UK treble - or it that a half-treble? I'll check. No, definitely just a treble. ( Heres a handy chart if you need to convert.) - keep in mind denser stitches will need more rows to make up the same length.

The other addition I made to the pattern was to add ridges to the front panel of the bag. The ridge detail was added every 2nd row on the right side and all you need to do is crochet into the back of the chain instead of both the front and back loops of your chain. Simple. I really like the texture it gives although this chunky yarn is textured enough! A smoother yarn would show off the ridge details better.

I do love big bags and this is as big as would like to carry in this pattern but don't you think a smaller dinky tote would look rather funky? Smoother yarn, ridges, maybe stripes? Or embroidered or 3D flowers? Or knit it up with a loose stitch in wool and felt it so it shrinks into a dinky tote:-) Then decorate it!

I could play with this shape forever. It has such a nice v-curve that flows well and it is an excellent blank canvas to work on. You may be seeing more of these in the future.

And for everyone who wanted to see more than one eye and a bit of fringe, here is me modelling my nice new red tote. I must say, this is the best of a bad lot and the only reason I'm keeping this on my blog is to remind me to seriously get on with losing weight! Either the camera is lying or I'm fooling myself ever time I look in the mirror. 'Cause this isn't what i see! What is with the hair?! I softened the colour but I didn't know it looked 'washed out'!!! Back to the dye bottle and a bit of layering:-)

I'm not trying to be vain. You can feel super-confident inside and not worry too much what everyone else thinks but sometimes you need to feel good about yourself, y'know? I try to be positive in life but the one thing I really hate about having CFS is not being able to exercise much due to my lack of energy - and looking crap in photos and realising, yes, you have that extra layer, just sitting there. Sigh. And you can't do anything about it. It would be good if you could positively think it away:-) I'd patent that and become a millionaire!!!

Anyway, moan over:-) It's much better to live in the now and enjoy life (and not take too many photographs:-) And get on with the important stuff like, knitting, crochet, dyeing, spinning, embroidery, collage, buying yarn, fleece and fabrics and enjoying the making - the doing!

What are you working on just now? What is your creative passion?


  1. You look so lovely with your new bag! Is that your backyard? It's so pretty and green! Things are starting to look a little brown here in Minnesota.

    And please, if that is your little cottage then I'm just going to die from cuteness.

    I've never tried to crochet a bag before...maybe I should give it a try. I do have an awful lot of scarves...

  2. If you like crochet then the bag is really easy and fun to make - do give it a try!

    The little cottage in the background is actually my shed:-) I'm hoping to convert it into a messy dye workshop over summer but it needs a door and some windows that won't let in the rain first:-)

    And the garden is so green because we've had tons of rain all July - great for the plants but I don't feel we've had summer properly yet without lots of sun! Hey, but the garden looks good:-)

  3. You have been busy! Brilliant post Elaine and the modelling shots are great - you look fine! I love the new look blog and the new photo! :)

  4. Thank you for the kind comments Karen! The new photo was me trying to take a more flattering photo than the ones above:-)The lighting may have helped but it has assuaged my vanity for the time being:-)))))


Hello and thanks for stopping by. Do stay a while and visit. Please do leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you and be inspired by all your blogs out there too:-) elaine xx


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