Monday, 18 August 2014

From UFO to FO!

I've been good in the last few days and, as I said in my last post, I've applied myself to finishing off a couple of unfinished works in progress.

First off, was the quick job of finishing off a wash cloth.  This was made using the remains of the ball of light pink soft cotton I used when I made wash-cloths to go with bars of nice Italian soap that DD1 gave to some of her friends last Christmas.

This isn't quite square as I ran out of yarn, but it's a decent enough size for face-washing.  To make it, I chained a length to the width I wanted (usually 7" or 8" or thereabouts).  Then, I crocheted a row of Trebles (UK - US DCs), then a row of Half-Trebles (UK - US HDCs) and repeated until I ran out of yarn.  I worked each stitch between the stitched of the row below, which gives a more open look to the Trebles, which I find makes the cloth softer and also has the benefit that it dries more quickly than working the stitches into the top V of a row.

Next up was finishing off a bag.  I'd kept the various small amount of DK acrylic yarn from various blankets I've made, so started off with holding two yarns together and then joining in another yarn once one had finished (knotting them together and crocheting over the ends so there was minimal end-sewing-in to be done at the end).  Once I'd run out of leftovers, I made two magic-balls of yarn from my DK acrylic stash and just carried out, not really knowing how the colours were going to play out, but knowing it would certainly be colourful.

The pattern is the Easy Peasy Crochet bag from Laughing Purple Goldfish.  It's very simple to do.  First, you make a chain the depth you want your bag to be, then do rows of DC (UK - US SC) until the base is the width you want your bag to be.  Then, still using DC/SC, you crochet around the base of the bag and keep going round and round in a spiral until it's the height you want.  The original pattern then has you do a decorative stitch at the top and then make two handles which are sewn on afterwards.  I wanted my bag to be a hand-held one, so once the bag was the height I wanted, I worked out where the middle of each side was and then skipped 8 or 9 stitches either side and then , on the next round, crocheted the same number of stitches over the chain before going round and round for another 4 or so rows.  I finished the top of the bag with crab stitch (reverse DC/SC I think it's also known).  I started off doing the crab stitch with two strands of the same colour, but it was a bit too bulky so I undid it and started the finish again, this time using just one strand of yarn, which looked much better.

I've made a very similar bag before, but smaller in size, using various needlepoint wools I'd got left over from various projects.

I decided that I'd line this bag.  I didn't with the first one of these bags that I made and I find that if I use it as a project bag, my knitting needles stick through the crochet!

I've got a smallish stash of fabrics, so got those out and cut strips of varying widths.  Next, I reacquainted myself with my sewing machine and sewed the strips together.  After that, I ironed the sewn strips and then ironed on some Vilene interfacing so add a bit of weight to the lining.  I carefully made a base from some cardboard* and covered that with some stripy fabric, using PVA glue to attach it.  I then measured around the base (twice - to make sure I'd got it right) and then sewed up the bag lining before sewing it around the edge of the base.

One side of the lining:

Other side of the lining:

On Friday evening, I sat down and sewed the lining to the bag.  It looked a bit baggy, but I thought that might be the crochet relaxing, so I hung it up by the handles with a couple of soup tins in it.

Saturday morning, I decided I was deluding myself, so took the lining out and reattached it.  Halfway round I decided that the lining was now too short (I hadn't cut off any excessive fabric, fortunately) as the crochet was now puckering.  There may have been bad words said!!  Feeling a bit cross with myself, I decided that there was no point in cutting corners, so I put tacking stitches through the lining and crochet, starting at the base and smoothing crochet and lining upwards before I put in the next row of tacking stitches.  Once I was happy with how it looked, I pinned and tacked the top of the lining to just underneath the handles and sewed it in place with small stitches.


And this is how it looks:

I'm not sure about the inside rim of the bag though.  I might make a strip of fabric to go round, or I might buy some binding or grosgrain ribbon that's the right width ---- or I might just leave it as it is.

Overall, I'm pleased with it and think it's a nice size for a scarf project bag, possibly even a sweater.  It'll definitely fit a 100g skein of yarn, pattern and the bag I use to hold my stitch markers, tape measure, scissors, etc.

* What I didn't take into account was that using cardboard as a base (I thought I was being so clever at the time) means I won't be able to wash the bag.  If I make another one, I'll use plastic instead.

Onwards now!  I took my 'upstairs' socks with me to knitting group today and I think I've got about ten rounds of the leg and the ribbing to do on the second sock and then they'll be finished.  I also brought my black Puffin sweater downstairs yesterday and before I went to work I managed to work out where I'd got to.  My clickable row counter had got left in the bottom of another bag and must have got clicked a few times because I hadn't done as many rows as the counter was showing.  Fortunately, I realised that pretty quickly, so I'm back on track with that and even managed a couple of rounds and I think I've got about ten rounds to go before I'm at the waist.


  1. They both came out very nicely, Christine. Doesn't it feel great to finish projects? It's a highlight of my life these days. :)

  2. I love your bag, it looks brilliant. It was definately worth fussing with the lining, and I can see how some grosgrain ribbon would strengthen the top edges.

  3. Your bag is so lovely! I have not seen anyone crochet one before in this "flat" style, and I really like it! xx