Friday, 29 April 2016

How to make a bag to keep your yarn tidy. Free instructions

I keep most of my wool upstairs but I keep my current yarn like this. As I am making rainbow granny squares at the moment I need lots of colours but when you rummage about the balls unwind and you get a mess.

Here is a quick idea for making life easier. It is based on our free adjustable bag pattern. ( look in the free patterns section above) I used t-shirt yarn and a 12mm hook for the base with a 10mm hook for the sides (to give them stiffness).

Throughout this pattern use dc instead of the tr  recommended in the bag pattern.
Make the base of the bag pattern using the 12mm hook, just keep going until the base is about 30cm in diameter. TIP if the base starts to go frilly do a row with no increases. If the edges start to curl up put a few more increases in the next row.

When you are happy with the diameter of the base change to the smaller hook and work a row in the back loops only for one row. During this row decrease 4 times - once at the start, once a quarter of the way round, once half way round and once three quarters of the way round. You decrease by dc 2tog  and it really isn't critical exactly where .

 Work rows of dc until the wall of the bag is about 15cm tall. Count your stitches and divide this number by 2 eg stitch count 60 divide by 2 answer is 30. Take away 10 answer is 20 ( this is the number of dc between handles). The numbers here are only examples yours will probably be different because they depend on how big you decide to make your bag.

Handle row : using the example numbers 20dc chain 30  miss 10 stitches, 20dc, ch30 miss 10 stitches. dc in first dc of this round. The red numbers will change according to the number of stitches you have.

I can hear people saying but I've got an odd number of stitches. So here is an example of what to do; number of stitches 61, take away 1 = 60, divide by 2 = 30, take away 10=20. Now you work the handle row as above but in one of the miss 10 stitches you miss 11 stitches and nobody will ever notice.
Last row. work 1dc in each dc and approximately 35 dc around the chain handles.

It seems an odd thing to tell you approximately in a pattern, but T-shirt yarn is never a nice uniform thickness and sometimes you will need a few more or a few less stitches to fill the handles nicely. You can see this in the handles of the blue bag, I didn't do enough dc and so you can see the underlying chain.

Tidy up any ends and then fill your bags with delicious yarn ( this is stylecraft special dk)

You can see the colours easily, the tension caused by the slight stretch of the bag prevents any unwinding and the longer handles mean you can hang the bag out of the way - I am going to make more - different heights for different size balls.

The green bag is made from shop bought tarn whereas the blue one is made from our worn out t-shirts. It is funny that the blue bag is made from recycled materials and so is green whereas the green bag isn't.
Lynn and Victoria.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Crochet wraps the World

After researching mandalas last time I came across this lovely free pattern for a queen mandala CAL.

Already 13 weeks of instructions have been published and I think the plan is to end at week 17. I am on week 8 and my mandala is 90cm across. I am using Stylecraft special DK but you can buy packs of really beautiful cotton on the site.

The pattern is published in at least three languages that I know of and one of the best things about doing this is feeling that you are crocheting with the rest of the world. You can look at the lovely mandalas made by cocheters all over the world by following the link above.
I have never done one of these global projects before but I am really enjoying it and still learning new techniques and ideas after nearly 60 years as a crocheter. I don't think Vicky would be too pleased if I gave the impression that she has been crocheting for 60 years but it did occur to me that we will soon have 100 years of crocheting experience between us. I think we should have a party .
Lynn and Victoria.