Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Starling Handbag Pattern Now Available in Italian

I can now offer the Starling Handbag pattern in Italian.  The translation was completed by crafteemom (crafteemom on ravelry), who volunteered her time.  I've updated the Starling Handbag Ravelry page and my free downloads page to include the new version.
» read full post

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Starling Handbag Pattern in French and German

I am so excited about being able to offer the Starling Handbag in French and German.  The translations were done by two amazing people, Ambre and Laura, who volunteered their skills.  I've updated the Starling Handbag Ravelry page and my free downloads page to include the new versions.

This is actually part of a bigger project.  I completely redesigned and recoded my free downloads page.  The updated look and feel is accompanied by a completely new delivery engine that should eliminate the problems some people had trying to get my downloads.  

I figured if I was going to release the writstlet pattern soon, I had to update that page to work for everyone or I would drown under  the "I can't get the pdf" emails once it's out. :)
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Perrin's Starling - Part 1: Blocking a Starling Handbag

Now that I'm done with the Fennec Fox, I've picked my new featured craft project, Perrin's Starling Handbag.  I got to know Perrin through my site.  Instantly, I could tell she was the kind of direct, open, and passionate person that I get along with.   I just love Perrin. :)
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Starling Handbag Video Crochet-A-Long - Episode 5



Episode 5 covers handles of the Starling Handbag.

Here is the foundation single crochet bridge tutorial.

When you're done I have a tutorial for sewing a fabric lining and sewing that lining into your bag.
» read full post

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Starling Handbag Video Crochet-A-Long - Episode 4



Episode 4 covers side rows of the Starling Handbag.
» read full post

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Starling Handbag Video Crochet-A-Long - Episode 3



Episode 3 covers the bottom row3 and beyond of the Starling Handbag. Be thankful I hadn't lined up any jokes for this one. ;)
» read full post

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Starling Handbag Video Crochet-A-Long - Episode 2



Episode 2 covers the bottom row 2 of the Starling Handbag.
» read full post

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Starling Handbag Video Crochet-A-Long - Episode 1



Episode 1 covers the foundation row and the first row of the Starling Handbag.

Download the Starling Handbag crochet pattern for free.

Learn foundation single crochet (video and photo tutorial).

Here are all of the Starling Crochet-A-Long videos.
» read full post

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Anyone that Know English and Thai?

... and knows how to crochet?  I have a sweet reader that has a question about the Starling Handbag pattern.  Let me know if you can help. :)
» read full post

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Peepshow

Look what people made with my patterns ...
» read full post

Friday, September 04, 2009

Crochet Diagrams Are Going To Blind Me

I just started working on the crochet diagrams for the Starling.  OMG!  I think my eye balls are going to explode.  I might be easier to come over to your house and help you out when you have questions.
» read full post

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Starling Handbag Question

Before I knew the glory that is foundation single crochet (fsc), I made the Starling Handbag handles by starting with a chain bridge.  For the small, medium, and large I made them all the same - chain bridge with 5 rows on over that.  It seemed delicate enough for the small and sturdy enough for the large.
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Starling v1.0 Release

It's been almost a month and over 1300 downloads, and only a couple of minor changes have been reported for Version 0.1 Beta of the Starling Handbag.  I've decided to go ahead and release it as Version 1.0 and drop the Beta.  Yay!
» read full post

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Starling Handbag Now On Ravelry

I just added the Starling Handbag to Ravelry (free sign up required).   So, if you're a Ravelry-er you can now add the Starling Handbag to your Queue, Favorites, or Projects!  There are already two Starling Handbags in Ravelry.
» read full post

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Starling Handbag v0.1b Is Available!

Really!  You can get it on the free downloads page.
» read full post

Monday, June 15, 2009

Crochet Pattern - Update 7

I PICKED A NAME!
» read full post

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Alice's Fingers In HD Blog

Around the time I posted the foundation single crochet tutorial, some coworkers went to my blog for the first time.  One of them commented that instead of calling my blog "futuregirl" I should call it "Alice's Fingers In HD Blog."  Ha!  I guess when you have no idea what the fingers are doing, you'd focus on them instead of the crochet they are holding.
» read full post

Friday, May 29, 2009

Crochet Pattern - Update 6

Here's the aftermath of me taking a million and one photos and several videos for a foundation single crochet (fsc) tutorial supplement.  It's to demonstrate how to make a fsc bridge in the middle of a crocheted piece.  It's how I do my handbag handles.
» read full post

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Crochet Pattern - Update 5

I just have a couple little loose ends to tie up before I release beta version 0.1 of the handbag crochet pattern.  Yay!

The biggest pain in the ass loose end, though, is the name.  I'd resigned myself to calling it the Futuregirl Handbag, but when I went to make a Flickr group for it, I just couldn't do it.
» read full post

Friday, May 15, 2009

Crochet Pattern - Update 4

The feedback has started to come in from my wonderful (and patient) pattern testers ... and the feedback is phenomenal!  They have some of the best ideas for making my pattern clearer, easier to follow, and, erm, typo-free. ;)
» read full post

Friday, April 17, 2009

Crochet Pattern - Update 2

I'm so excited that you are so excited about the pattern!  I have 114 un-replied-to comments waiting patiently in my inbox.  I have the best of intentions to reply to them ... although I'm not sure I'll get to it soon.  You guys have the best ideas and the best suggestions!
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Thursday, April 09, 2009

What's In A Name?

The response has been overwhelming.  I'll be starting with the handbag pattern.  I've already started on the pattern testing, as some details need to be worked out before I can start writing the pattern.  One of those details is the name of the handbag.

What should I name the handbag pattern?
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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Crochet Pattern - Update 1

I'm going to document the process of publishing my first crochet pattern here.  Yay!  Along the way I'll be asking for your input, critiques, and encouragement.  I'm not sure how long this is going to take, so please be patient with me. :)
» read full post

Friday, August 15, 2008

No Time For Love Dr. Jones, Part 2

I've been missing crochet so much.  After making a whole handbag on Saturday, I didn't want to stop.  I decided to make one that could be lined with the awesome fabric Veronica sent me December 2007.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

No Time For Love Dr. Jones

After getting the box o' yarny love from Shannon last weekend, I *had* to do some crocheting.  The package contained a wonderful variegated yarn that I really wanted to see as a handbag.  There was some major blue-pooling when I was doing the base which I wasn't loving.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Crafting In The Spaces

In the space between putting on my shoes and leaving to see a movie this flower got attached to this bag.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Black & Pink Handbag

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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This blog-reader found me when she was Googling something (I didn't think to ask what), and emailed me to see if I would make her a handbag.  She was very specific.  She wanted Barb's handbag with black, pink, and white replacing the blues and ecru.  She even verified the dimensions, the presence of pockets, etc.  She is a detail-oriented woman after my own heart.

The resulting handbag is adorable.  I had to buy new fabric for the lining (HAD to ... really).  I couldn't decide between getting this print in white on black or black on white - so, I bought them both!  I used the black for the lining and the white for the pocket.

At first I didn't know why I loved this fabric so much, but when I got home I realized that it totally reminded me of the wonderful Japanese designs in Japanese Patterns, which Andrew bought me for my last birthday (over a year ago).

Do you see all those bookmarks?  That's only the right half ... there are more on the left half.  The plan is to embroider these designs.  I'd really love to tackle the dot designs in French knots.  But it might be another year before that project moves to the top of the list.
» read full post

Friday, September 14, 2007

Set Sail

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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I'm not just churning out overly-serious posts about lists over here ...

This handbag is ready to travel to it's final destination.  I added some leaves to the tulip label and whipped up a new one for Germany.  I love the little beer stein on the Germany label - it even has a hinged lid.  Just in time for Oktoberfest!

Here you can see the world map fabric Elizabeth picked out for the lining.

» read full post

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Daisies

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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This special request handbag is for Marietta's sister.  Her only requirement was that it include at least one daisy.

I futzed around with daisy ideas before settling on these simple felt ones.  Crochet daisies just weren't "daisy enough" for me.  If you're interested in making your own felt daisies my daisy tutorial is available exclusively on Whip Up.

Whip Up's theme for this month is Simple Crafts. These daisies certainly fit that bill.  Whip Up is looking for article and tutorial submissions. Check out their submission guidelines.  Maybe there is something you could write up for them.

Once I figured out the daisies, I knew they'd only look right to me on a blue handbag ... daisies against the bright blue summer sky.  I put two daisies on each side of the bag.

I didn't think I'd have the right lining fabric in my stash ... but when I looked I rediscovered this great print.  How perfect is it?!
» read full post

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Handbag For Barb

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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I made this handbag for a previous co-worker.  She noticed that I made myself a handbag, and saw me crocheting all the time, so she asked if I'd make her one, too.  She took me out to lunch a million-and-one times in exchange - which was fine with me. :)

As you can see, I based the stripe and dash pattern on the fabric I chose as a lining.  I love the blues in the fabric.  I just happened to have just enough teal yarn left over from another project to use for this handbag.  Yay for stash-using.

I have a thing for stripes in a big way.  It's totally accidental.  I never think about it, I'm just drawn to them.  Years ago a friend pointed out that over half the shirts hanging in my closet had horizontal stripes on them ... I'd never noticed.

I didn't make a label for this handbag because I never told Barb about my craft blog.  In fact, I never told anyone at that job about it.  Is that weird?  Do any of you not-tell certain people about your craft-blog-self?
» read full post

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Pulling Threads To The Back

In the last day or so I stumbled across a blog post where the person was talking about quilting.  Instead of back tacking, she pulls the loose thread ends through to hide them.  I tried to find the post, but it's not in my Bloglines archive - any of you know who it was?  I'd love to link to the post. **Edit:  Alex is right, it was Pink Chalk Studio.**

My reaction was, "WHAT?!?"  The "what" was half "why didn't I already know about this?" and half "OMG! I wish I'd never learned about this."  I realized right away that there were going to be countless instances when I would *have* to pull my thread end through because back tacking would no longer be OK.

Today I'm working on a purse, and I was back tacking the day away *until* I got to the label.  This is the first time I've ever pulled my thread ends through.  This is what I did:

1) Leave long thread ends at the start and end of each stitching line.

2) Thread a needle with a thread end on the front of the piece and pull it to the back of the piece.

3) Hand-tie the front and back thread ends on the back of the piece.  Trim.

Below you can see the (terrible) before and after photos of the corner of a label with back tacking and today's hand-tied label.  It makes a *huge* difference. The "before" isn't that bad, but it's not as clean and smart looking as the "after" label.


» read full post

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Nautical Handbag

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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Elizabeth, a wonderful web-friend, who blogs at Crafts of Destiny contacted me months ago (March, actually) because she wanted a handbag for her Mom's birthday in June.  She gave me a couple themes to choose from and asked me if I would like to design something.  The nautical theme captured my imagination right away.  After doing some google searches, I discovered that nautical flags actually stand for letters.  Part of me thought it'd be really cool to spell something out in nautical flags - like a secret message for sailors.  Another part of me thought I was out of my mind.  When I emailed Elizabeth about the idea, it was exactly what she already had in mind - perfect!

The flags spell "Margaret," which is Elizabeth's Mom's name.  I cross-stitched on 22count Hardanger (I didn't make the smallest possible X, but I liked the tighter weave of the 22-count fabric).  Originally, I wanted to use metallic gold where the light blue is, but the metallic floss was a bitch to use.  It pulled funny, broke apart, and was generally finicky.  It also didn't look as cool as I thought it would as the ground for the flags.

I made a simple felt square key chain to match.  Anchors are a great nautical image, and it was fun stitching this little one.

Now that I've become familiar with nautical flags, I'm seeing them everywhere.  Even though I only know the letters m-a-r-g-e-t, I can figure out words sometimes.  Last time we drove to the shore*, I realized the flags flying across the roof of the Atlantic City Convention Center spelled "Atlantic City."  I'm so smart! ;)

*In South Jersey (or the southern part of New Jersey, as everyone else would say), the beach is not the beach, it's the shore.  You even see this on the highway signs when driving south out of  New York.  There are all sorts of exits for "Shore Points,"  meaning cities along the coast.  I've lived a lot of different places in this country, and I always enjoy learning the colloquial language of an area.  It helps me feel at home.


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Saturday, March 10, 2007

WIP - Dustpan Alley Bags

I've finished embellishing the birdcage and flower handbags that I'm making.  Earlier this week, I finished embellishing the three teal bags.  Six of the nine "handmade by futuregirl" labels are done.  Next I need to cut, sew, and install the linings.
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Friday, February 23, 2007

Dreamy

This handbag, for Bethany of Bitter Betty, started as a dream. I awoke one morning with the image of a cream and black striped bag floating in my head. It'd been months since I decided to make her a handbag, and I'd been waiting for the perfect inspiration.
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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Handbag - 7 of 7

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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This is the last of the 7 handbags I made for my mother-in-law to give as holiday gifts to her employees (and a niece).

When I bought this yarn, I had no idea what I was going to do with it.  I just loved the color.  Actually, that's how I buy most of my yarn.  So one day I took all these different colored strands of yarn to the fabric store and tried to find matching fabric to use as linings.  When I found this burst fabric, I about freaked.

First of all, I'm silly for dark grey.  It's one of my favorite colors.  So, to find a fabric with a dark grey background was cool.  When you add  bursty flowers in blues, electric lime green, and white, it becomes irresistible to me.  This is another bolt that I pulled off the shelf and dragged around the store so no one else could take it.

Strangely, there is no absolute teal in the fabric when you get up close, but somehow it matches the yarn perfectly.

At first, I tried embroidering directly on the handbag, but you really need the dark grey background to make those colors pop.  The lime floss was just swallowed by the teal yarn.  As you can see, I ended up cutting out charcoal felt circles and embroidering on them.  In the middle of the two big circles are stitched-on  sequins.  Then I added in some of my favorite sequins  to balance everything out.

Making these seven handbags for my mother-in-law was a great learning experience for me because I discovered several things:

-- I have a much more solid feel for what does and doesn't work for me.  I'm going to be much more confident when picking out fabrics and choosing embellishments in the future.

-- Making these handbags feels good in a way that most jobs never will or could.  I am going to do everything I can to keep this part of my life growing.

-- Even though I have a full-time job, I can get a ton accomplished when I'm focused and motivated.

Completing this craft-challenge has given me the determination to be more ambitious.  I'm excited about my crafty plans and I can't wait to see where all of this leads.
» read full post

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Handbag - 6 of 7

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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I love this fabric.  When I saw it, I immediately grabbed it off the shelf and carried it around the store until I bought all that was on the bolt.  Sadly, there was less than two yards left.

I love graphic, flat-color designs.  I love brown and orange and red and cream and weird mossy green.  I love leaves with curlicue veins and flowers with spots and bursts.  I LOVE this fabric.

It's a thick fabric (bottom wieght, maybe?) that has a tiny bit of stretch (I'm guessing 1% lyrca or spandex).  This makes it very nice as a purse lining.  It feels sturdy and durable.

The fabric made embellishing the bag super easy ... I have about 20 cool looking flowers and leaves to choose from.  When I dropped off all the handbags, my mother-in-law picked this one up and said, "I want one of these. A large one." :)

I know exactly how she feels.  I'm going to make one of these for myself, too.  I have my summer-walk bag, but I need one of these for everyday use.  Oh, I can't wait!


» read full post

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Handbag - 5 of 7

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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This bag was already finished when my mother-in-law asked for seven bags, so it worked out in my favor.  I have lots of the birdcage fabric, so I will be able to make plenty more.

The birdcage bags are the most popular ones, by far.  Everyone seems to love them.  I'm stunned by them, too.  They look exactly how I want them to look.  I love it when that happens.

I've tried to make a bunch of different bird shapes on the bags I've made.  I built up a little library of bird body templates.  This bow-legged cutie is one of my favorites.


» read full post

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Handbag - 4 of 7

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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This bag is lined with paisley fabric, and I originally planned on adorning it with paisleys.  But, after the purple paisley insanity, I decided to try something else.

The fabric has great, simple graphic flowers on it.  I found myself doodling at work (that's the back of a client questionnaire - see the doomed paisleys?).  I picked the two sketched flowers (under the bags) to put on the bag.

First I attached the sage yarn with embroidery floss. Then I created circle flowers like the ones in the fabric.  I was on the fence about them - something didn't seem right.  Quality Control (aka Andrew) helped me decide to nix them when he said, "I think it's staring at me.*"  He saw the flowers as google-eyes and the stems as a nose.   Alrighty then ... back to the drawing board.

I still wanted to go with flowers.  As a test, I traced the top of a spool, cut the petals freehand, and embroidered the centers on two flowers.  They were perfect, so I ended up using the test ones. Yay!

It's funny that using simple, normal flowers makes me feel a little guilty, a little like a slacker.  I always feel like I need to kick it up a notch or I'll look unoriginal or lazy.  Not just in crafting, but in life in general.  I was the girl who always did all the extra credit homework - and loved every second of it.  But sometimes, simple and normal is exactly what is called for.

The brown of this yarn is very rich and warm.  I really like it.  I only had a fat quarter of the maize paisley, so I'm going to have to hunt down a bolt of this stuff, because I love it paired with the brown yarn. They are like chocolate and caramel.

* I want to take the opportunity to say that Andrew is my biggest source of encouragement.  He's the first person to see my stuff and is always supportive and helpful ... and, even when he accuses my bags of having google-eyed stares, it's with a smile.
» read full post

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Handbag - 3 of 7

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
* * * * * *

This purple handbag was made from the yarn left over from the super bad bag.  I don't usually go for lavender, so this color presented a challenge to me.



The paisley lining matched perfectly, so I thought I would go with paisleys for the outside.  Ugh, they just didn't look right on the bag: too many purples, no color harmony going on, and the tiny paisleys looked microbial and contagious.  On their own, they are supercute, sadly I made them too late to send off for the embroidered patch swap.

Next, I started a super elaborate paisley, thinking the microbial thing was the problem.  A couple hours into the stitching (no joke) I started to panic because I didn't have the time to spend hours and hours on one (one!) paisley.  Plus, I was starting to have second thoughts about the colors and the purple felt backing.

Freak out time.  What the hell was I going to put on this bag?  I pulled out my "stuff to put on other stuff" drawer and started to sift through the sequins, beads, and ... stuff.  That's when I stumbled across these sequins ... again (I used them on the aqua bag, too).

The Story of the Sequins

I rescued these sequins from a sweater I bought last year.  They were cute on the sweater, but my long hair was constantly getting tangled in them.  I carefully cut them out of the sweater and saved them (like the little hoarder I am).  Now they have become my absolutely favorite sequins and I can't find anything like them at the store.  My casual hunt is going to become a determined and focused hunt as I use them up.  If anyone has sequin finding tips, let me know.  I've already scoured AC Moore, Michael's, Joann's Superstore, and Pearl.

Attaching the sequins to the handbag was super easy.  Three rows looks great to me.  The turquoise/pink shimmer on the lavender yarn is really pretty and it matches the lining fabric really well, too.  Glittery, yet subtle.

I'm drawn to Earthy, Autumny, Deep Jeweltone colors. As a green-eyed, redhead who was born in October, those are the colors that make sense to me.  Eventually, when I have more time to play around, I want to explore color combinations that I'm not comfortable with (lavender, pastels, bright colors).  It always seems like people do the neatest and most inspiring work when they reach out of their depths.  Of course, I could also end up with Springtime Handbags that come with their own antibacterial hand wash.
» read full post

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Handbag - 2 of 7

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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This is the one Mini Handbag of the bunch.  I originally made a yellow one, but I didn't have the right fabric to go with the yellow.  I thought a trip to the fabric store would do more to harm my deadline than just making another in ecru.

I decided to line this one with the freaky stripe fabric, but I was afraid that elaborate embroidery would overwhelm such a small handbag.  I decided to embroider simple, multi-colored dashed lines across the top of the bag.  Next time, I'll make sure to put the yellow yarn on a bump-row, because it's a little swallowed up on the valley-row.

I like the effect of the alternating dashes, and all the colors hint at the crazy lining.  This one is going to be a gift for my young niece.  I think she'll love it.

In this last picture, you can see the crisp bottom corners of the lining.  After I sew the square bottom, I iron on stiff stabilizer. Not only does the stabilizer flatten out the bottom of the handbag, but it helps the lining fill-out the bag instead of looking loose and bunchy.  It's a small thing to do, but it makes a big difference.
» read full post

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Handbag - 1 of 7

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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All seven handbags are finished and ready to go to Thanksgiving dinner with us tomorrow at Andrew's parent's home.  I know! ... I can't believe it either. :)

I'd like to thank my mother-in-law (the. best. ever.) for commissioning these handbags.  It was great to have the freedom to try a bunch of different and new things without having to worry if they'd sell.  Because of this project, as I go forward, I'm going to be more confident in my fabric choices and embellishment designs.  Thanks, Elaine!

This is handbag 1 of 7.  The designs and colors in the striped lining fabric are way-crazy.  It's overwhelming - in the best possible way.  When I first got it, I cut a strip the length of the repeat (24 inches) and I just stared at it for days while I worked on other crafts.  Each stripe is mesmerizing, ecstatic.  It's every curtain, wall paper, rug, and embroidered dress I had growing up in Kansas - all rolled into one fabric.

I was tentative about making a striped bag.  Especially with such a crazy color combo, but I plunged in.  Then, it just seemed right to use the yarn, itself, to do the embellishments.  I did a fairly simple cross-stitch-y design that echoes the fabric.

If I actually try to think about the color combination and the stitching, I start getting lost in all the colors and stripe widths, but when I just look at it, it looks *right* to me.  I love it.  I can't really explain why.


» read full post

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bag Photo Shoot

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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I finished one of each size of my bags in ecru cotton yarn so I could do a comparative set of photos.  I think the ecru works perfectly for generic purses.

Starting from the left, Mini, Slim, Small, Medium, Large.  The Slim bag is in half-double crochet and is flat when it's empty.  The rest of the bags are in single crochet and have flat bottoms so they easily stand on their own.

Andrew picked up a huge roll of white paper (25 yards of 36" wide Sign Writers Bond, 20lb.) that works perfectly for a backdrop.  We took a bazillion group and single photos.  I'm really pleased with them.  Next step, photo editing.

Yesterday we went to dinner at the best steakhouse in South Jersey with Andrew's parents.  I'm not a big meat-eater, especially when there are bones involved, but I absolutely *devour* the end-cut prime rib at The Library.  At dinner my mother-in-law asked if I'd make 7 bags for her to give as Holiday gifts!  I'm determined to get them done by Thanksgiving.  I've already started!
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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Large and Medium Bags

The tiny bird bag is all grown up. I've been crocheting up a storm.  The large bag is 13" across at the top, 7.5" high to the bottom of the handles, and 3.5" deep across the flat bottom.  The medium bag is 11.5" across at the top, 6" high to the bottom of the handles, and 3" deep across the flat bottom.  I'm working on a small version right now. They'll be like a set of Russian nesting dolls.
» read full post

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The littlest birds, sing the prettiest songs

This tiny seamless bag is in single crochet.  It measures a mere 4" wide, 7" tall, and 3" deep.  I engineered a new "single crochet no-seam" technology, so this one has less of a bump at the slip stitch join than the Super Bad bag.  I used single crochet to make the bag more rigid to help it stand up on it's flat bottom. Single crochet also produces a relatively flat ground for embroidery and applique. For the embelishments, I more or less just copied the bird cage and bird from my new uber excellent bird fabric.  The little bird came out unbelievably cute!

Being a prototype, I made it tiny.  It's easier to frog a tiny bag over and over (and over).  Plus, I was obsessively counting each stitch during the flat bottom development so I wouldn't wank up the corners of the rectangle.  If there are too many stitches to count, I end up having to count out loud so I don't lose my place.  Am I the only person that skips double numbers (like 33) or jumps ten numbers (28, 29, 30, 41, 42)? Probably.

The bag isn't lined yet ... it's barely big enough to hold a soda can, so I'm not sure how practical it is.  I'm definitely going to make a human sized bag.  I think it would be cool to line the bag with the bird fabric.   I'm also dreaming of a zippered pouch/wallet to match, but the idea of tackling zippers - ugh.

If anyone knows about any great zipper tutorials or zipper help, let me know (I'll be googling when the time comes).  I can get away with not joining crochet pieces, but I won't be able to avoid zippers forever.

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P.S.
The title of this post, The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs, is borrowed from a Jolie Holland song. She is incredible. Her music is described as "spooky American fairytales" - I couldn't have said it better.  I encourage you to at least give her a listen.
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