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.
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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.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Starling Handbag Video Crochet-A-Long - Episode 4

Episode 4 covers side rows of the Starling Handbag.
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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. ;)
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Starling Handbag Video Crochet-A-Long - Episode 2

Episode 2 covers the bottom row 2 of the Starling Handbag.
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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.
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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. :)
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Starling Handbag v0.1b Is Available!

Really!  You can get it on the free downloads page.
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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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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 book.

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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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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.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007


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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?!
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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?
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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.

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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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Friday, February 23, 2007


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, 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.
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