Keepsake Pouch

The pouch when the drawstrings are tied.

During the previous year’s Christmas enthusiasm, I was planning on making small pouches to give away some of our gifts, but the inexperienced crocheter I was, I underestimated the time it would take to finish the pouches.

To start with, I chose the wrong crochet thread for my pouch – it takes a lot of time to crochet a decent-sized pouch with cotton crochet thread! I also got caught up with stuff and couldn’t even begin it in time!

So, instead, I decided to make it for myself. No hurry at all, though when it was almost over I couldn’t help trying to finish faster. The gestation period was just so long!

In the end, it has come out rather nice, and has interesting texture. I am including a basic pattern that can be modified as you go along.

With the drawstrings open

The pouch was crocheted in variegated cotton thread with a 1.75mm steel crochet hook. I tried to incorporate most of the stitches I’ve learnt in the past few months including single crochet, double crochet, shell stitch,  and crossed double crochet. Also, included was a small design in beads.

There wasn’t any specific pattern followed for the pouch, but for the base at least I’ve stuck to the basics of increasing in the the round.

Pattern
The bag is worked in rounds, with the base in spirals.

Materials
Crochet thread/yarn – I used a size 10 thread with a 1.75mm crochet hook to end up with a bag that is about 11cm tall
Appropriate crochet hook
Beads
Stitch marker – if you don’t have one, a simple paper clip will do.
Tapestry needle.

Method
I’ve used the magic ring method to begin. If you want to try this or the foundation chain method, Crochet Me  has a good tutorial.

If you are including beads in your design, now is the time to do so. For my concentric circles I added 8 black, followed by 1 in a contrasting colour and 8 more black. It is very important to add the beads in advance if you plan to work them into your design.

The base. You can make out the spiral.

Round 1
To begin, chain 2. In 2nd chain from hook, work 7 sc. Insert stitch marker. (7st)
Round 2
2 single crochet (sc) in each stitch around (14st). Move stitch marker.

Round 3
*2 sc in 1st, 1 sc in next sc*. Repeat from * to* around (21st). Move stitch marker.
Round 4
*2 sc in 1st, 1 sc each in next 2sc*. Repeat from * to* around (28st). Move stitch marker.
Round 5
*2 sc in 1st, 1 sc each in next 3sc*. Repeat from * to* around (35st). Move stitch marker.

Similarly, keep on increasing the base using the above method till it is wide enough for you. I stopped when I had 98st (Round 14 – *2 sc in 1st, 1 sc each in next 11sc*. Repeat from * to* around)


To create the sides
sc in each st around. Move stitch marker.
Continue this till the bag’s sides start to take shape and you are ready for the detailing.


Crossed double crochet round
Chain 3. This will be your first dc. Skip the 2nd st, dc in next. Do a dc in the skipped stitch. For details check here. Repeat this all around till 1 st is left. End with a dc and slip st to the 1st stitch.

A closeup of the bead design

Single crochet round
Sc in each st across

Double crochet round
Chain 3. Do a dc in each stitch across


Single crochet round
Sc in each st across till you are halfway around (49st). Now is the time to introduce the first bead. Insert hook in st, yarn over including the bead, making sure the bead is on the outside and is not pulled through. Complete the single crochet. Continue to do a sc in each st across till the end.

Alternate the rounds with a double crochet round followed by a single crochet round.

Add the beads on the single crochet round. 
The stitch count is as follows
From the bottom upwards:
Single bead: sc 49, sc with bead, sc 48
Two beads: sc 43,  sc with bead, sc 10,  sc with bead, sc 43
Single bead: sc 49,  sc with bead, sc 48
Two beads: sc 46,  sc with bead, sc 4,  sc with bead, sc 46
Five beads: sc 40,  sc with bead,  sc 3, sc with bead, sc 3, sc with bead, sc 3, sc with bead, sc 3, sc with bead, sc 41

After the last crossed double crochet round

Two beads: sc 46,  sc with bead, sc 4,  sc with bead, sc 46
Single bead: sc 49,  sc with bead, sc 48
Two beads: sc 43,  sc with bead, sc 10,  sc with bead, sc 43
Single bead: sc 49, sc with bead, sc 48


After the beads are in stitched in, do one double crochet round, followed by a single crochet round and then a crossed double crochet round.

After that, it is time to make the notches for the drawstring. 
Chain 5, skip 2 st, *dc in next st, chain 2*. Repeat from * to * around the pouch till at last you end with a dc and 2 unworked sts. Chain 2 and slip stitch to the third chain of the first Chain5.

Next, do one single crochet round, followed by one double crochet round, and a single crochet round.

Close-up of the scalloped edging

For the scalloped edging
We do the shell stitch.
For this, chain 3. This is your first dc. Do 8 more dc in the same stitch as the chain 3. Skip 5 stitches.
*Do 9 dc in the next stitch, skip 4 stitches*. Repeat from * to * till the last shell.
We are left with 5 unworked stitches. Skip it and join last shell to 1st shell and fasten off.

Drawstring
For the drawstring, I created a chain that was 2 times the circumference of the bag and then crocheted in the back ridges. It was completed by knotting the edges after putting it through the holes.

I thoroughly enjoyed my bag and I’m currently using it to store my headphones.

As usual, I hope this makes sense!  Thank you!

Copyright Rohini Joseph

Beaded Crochet Necklaces

Purple = mine!

As mentioned earlier, I used to love playing with beads. I was looking for a way to marry my love for beads with my new-found love for crochet, when I came across this Easy Beaded Crochet Technique by Amy Solovay. I used that technique and created a few necklaces of my own.

Materials used:
Beads
Nylon thread for the base
Crochet thread for the accent
Appropriate crochet hooks
Clasps/hooks

A close up of the thread work.

Though the technique shown largely used thicker thread, I stuck to using finer thread as it let the focus remain on the beads rather than on the thread. I am going to try it with thicker thread in case I use the same technique for an applique or something similar.

The first one (purple beads) took me about 2 hours to make as I was learning and refining my technique as I went along. The beads are purple, with black thread work as accents. I was rather happy with it, though I regret that it is a little short.

For mommy!

The second one I made for my mom. She loves all things red and I hope she likes the chain I’ve made. Plus, her birthday is coming up in a few weeks and this will go wonderfully with the material I bought for her. She has already seen the material, so this should be a surprise. The beads were translucent and real shiny. The colour is best represented in the last pic – where Nemo is modelling it.

I realized that the necklaces look very different with different bead types. The purple beads were largely oval in shape with some shaping on the surface, while the red ones were square beads.
I even tried it with circular beads, but the crochet chains tend to slip off the bead and bunch up together.

Close up of the red chain

The thread work was best visible with the square ones and also stayed well on either side.
Lesson: Beads with flatish sides work best to showcase the thread work.


Even then, my husband asked me to pick up beads of the first kind for his sister. I shall post the pic of the completed necklace as soon as it is done. I was making this to make up for another project that I had started for her and finished even, but the final size was rather small; it would barely fit a child’s hand.

Hope you liked them!

Copyright Rohini Joseph

Just strung – Beaded keychains

The ‘V’ is only prominent in the light. Perfect for a guy.
Before I took up crocheting, for a very long time I was an avid beader. I haven’t done much beading in the past few years, but still carry my bead box wherever I move. My projects were usually based on patterns and I’ve made a bunch of earrings, chains and bracelets and even a few purses. I’ve even made a few original chains which I shall put up pics later.
Anyhow, to the topic at hand: We had people visiting in Jan this year and with only one week to go before they left for home, I realized that while I spent considerable time and effort for the kids’ gifts, I hadn’t really given the couple anything!

We were looking for some small keepsake that could be personal, and even wouldn’t take up too much space. Too tied up with work to go shopping to look for things, I suggested that I make them small keychains that could be personalized. At that time I was optimistic that I’d be able to finish them in time (mind, I still had to assemble the kids’ scarves, besides the regular household chores and work).
We chose white and red for my sis-in-law and shades of blue for the bro-in-law.
The keychains were supposed to be in brick stitch, which allows lovely shapes as long as you get the technique right. The keychains would be rectangular, with the person’s initial in the centre. The letters were inspired from the picture on this page.
The first one I made for my sis had to be cut up as I found an error in the letter. However, I only have pictures of that combination as I finally finished the keychain while waiting outside their place, just before I presented them!

 The blue one I managed to get pictures of after I completed it.

To finish the keychain, I attached one end of the rectangle to the key ring and fastened it by going round the two a few times. 

I was rather happy with how they turned out. I plan to make a few more as and when I get the time! 

Copyright Rohini Joseph

Puppies! (and a scarf)

The finished scarf

The final in my series of animal inspired scarves is this beautiful Weiner Puppy Neck Warmer by Randomheartx at Craftster. After seeing this scarf, I was actually inspired to start making scarves for my nieces. (I am including my modified pattern in the post.)
I love puppies and thought this was just cute!
However, I can rarely do something without adding my own twist to it. And that’s just what I did. Though, my final scarf looked a little like a mouse. The intended niece even asked me if it was a rat. I managed to convince her that it was a puppy because of the collar!
I’ve largely followed Randomheartx’s pattern, but just added a few more rows and changed stitches a little bit for texture.
My modified Puppy Scarf
Craft: Crochet
Level: Beginner/Easy
Body detail
Materials:
2 skeins of brown 8-ply wool
A little bit of a contrasting colour for the collar
Buttons/safety eyes for the eyes, nose
5 mm crochet hook
Tapestry needle
Note: You can use any weight of wool/yarn as you like. Local shops here do not really know the different types and stock them mostly as 4-ply/8-ply etc. Luckily, the yarn I got for it was the softest thing around and even though it was a little wide, the scarf sat just beautifully around the neck.
Stitches/Abbreviations used:
Stitch (st)
Single crochet (sc)
Double crochet (dc)
Decrease/Stitch together (2tog)
Fasten off (FO)
Gauge: Gauge is not important in this pattern we can adjust the length of the feet accordingly at the end. The length is determined by the number of rows that you crochet. Decide for yourself what length you want your own scarf to be. Mine was about 4.5 feet (138cms).

Pattern

We start from the base of the face and continue in one piece till the tail.
Face
To begin: Chain 2
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 1 and turn (1st)
Row 2: 2 sc in 1 sc, ch 1 and turn (3st)
Row 3: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 1, 2 sc in last sc, ch 1 and turn (5st)
Row 4: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 3, 2 sc in last sc, ch1 and turn (7st)
Row 5: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 5, 2 sc in last sc, ch1 and turn (9st)
Row 6: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 7, 2 sc in last sc, ch1 and turn (11st)
Row 7: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 9, 2 sc in last sc, ch1 and turn (13st)
Row 8: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 11, 2 sc in last sc, ch1 and turn (15st)
Row 9: sc in each sc across, ch2 and turn (15st)
Row 10: dc in each sc across, ch2 and turn (15st)
Repeat Row 10 till the scarf reaches the desired length.
You are now ready for the puppy’s bottom and tail
Bottom & Tail
Row x: dc 2 sts tog, dc in next 11, dc 2 sts tog, ch2 and turn (13st)
Row x1: dc 2 sts tog, dc in next 11, dc 2 sts tog, ch2 and turn (11st)
Row x2: dc 2 sts tog, dc in next 11, dc 2 sts tog, ch2 and turn (9st)
Row x3: dc 2 sts tog, dc in next 11, dc 2 sts tog, ch2 and turn (7st)
Row x4: dc 2 sts tog, dc in next 11, dc 2 sts tog, ch1 and turn (5st)
Row x5: sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (5st)
Row x6-13: sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (5st)
Row x14: sc in 3 sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, ch1 and turn (4st)
Close up of the face
Row x11 x15: sc in 2 sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, ch1 and turn (3st)
Row x12 x16: sc in 1 sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, FO (2st)
Ears – make 2
To begin: Chain 8
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each sc across (7st)
Row 2-7: sc in each sc across, ch 1 and turn (7st)
Row 8: sc in 6 sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, ch1 and turn (6st)
Row 9: sc in 5 sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, ch1 and turn (5st)
Row 10: sc in 4 sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, ch1 and turn (4st)
Row 11: sc in 3 sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, FO (3st)
Nemo’s stamp of approval on the collar!
Strap
On the back of the scarf, there is a strap to tuck the tail in.
To begin: Chain 6
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each sc across (5st)
Repeat Row 1 till the strap is two rows longer than the width of your scarf. FO
Collar
Pick a contrasting colour and repeat the instructions for the strap (Chain 6, sc in each across) until it is long enough to wrap around the widest part of the scarf. FO
Stitch the two ends together to create a band.
For the eyes and nose, I used fancy buttons and stitched them in place. I used white thread for the eyes and black thread for the nose.
Sew the ears in place. Note: The ears have to be pasted at an angle.
Attach the strap to the back of the scarf and make sure to go over the collar. This allows the collar to move like on a real puppy and also keeps it in place.
And you’re done!
Get back to me if you have any questions.
Copyright Rohini Joseph

A scarf is requested

Ready for the wearer!
After making those scarves for my nieces, my husband requested that I make him one too. Considering all the running around he did with me while we bought materials and approved/rejected designs for the earlier scarves, I decided he ought to be rewarded. The fact that we were currently going through a cold wave also helped things in his favour.
He ideally wanted a simple single crochet scarf (yes, he sort of knows the difference!), but I wanted to experiment.
After a lot of searching I settled on the Paul’s “Sweet Guy” Scarf at Wolfcrochet!

I couldn’t really follow the pattern to a T as after chaining the prescribed number, it was only 2 feet long (all because shops here do not follow the weight method for defining yarn!). Instead, I kept adding chains till it was the desired length and then went on to row 2.

Trying out colour combinations
It is Long!
My scarf had lesser rows as he didn’t want something too wide.
After a lot of setbacks – we ran out of colour, the shop didn’t stock that type of yarn anymore, etc – I finally finished it about 2 weeks later. The final length was about 5ft (152cm) and width about 8″ (~21cm).
I also added a border along the breadth in the last colour, more so to cover my mistakes than anything else! 🙂
Needless to say he loved it! Though, he hasn’t worn it as yet, as it is back to being hot here. Hopefully he’ll use it at our upcoming trip.
Copyright Rohini Joseph

Presenting Ms Kitten

I am finally putting down the pattern for the kitten scarf. It is very similar to the piggy scarf I’d posted earlier. I’m still waiting to get better pictures of the scarves as I have already gifted them.
Before ends were tucked in

Feel free to point out any mistakes that you find.
The pattern is listed below:

Craft: Crochet
Level: Beginner/Easy

Materials:
1 skein of yellow 8-ply wool (Main colour; MC)
1 skein of orange 8-ply wool (Contrasting colour; CC)
button/safety eyes for the eyes
A little bit of black wool/thread for the whiskers/mouth

5 mm crochet hook
Fabric glue
tapestry needle

Note: You can use any weight of wool/yarn as you like. Local shops here do not really know the different types and stock them mostly as 4-ply/8-ply etc.


Stitches used:
Single crochet (sc)

Crocheting in the round

Slip stitch (sl st)

Gauge: Gauge is not important in this pattern we can adjust the length of the feet accordingly at the end. The length is determined by the number of rows that you crochet. Decide for yourself what length you want your own scarf to be. Mine was about 3 feet (91cms).

Pattern
We start from the base of the face and continue in one piece till we split the body at the end for the legs.

Face
 To begin: Chain 6 in MC
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in ea of next 3 chs, ch 1 and turn (6sc)
Row 2: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 5, ch 1 and turn (7sc)
Row 3: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 6, ch 1 and turn (8sc)
Row 4: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 7, ch 1 and turn (9sc)
Row 5: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 8, ch 1 and turn (10sc)

Row 6: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 9, ch 1 and turn (11sc)
Row 7: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 10, ch 1 and turn (12sc)
Row 8: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 11, ch 1 and turn (13sc)
Row 9: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 12, ch 1 and turn (14sc)
Row 10: 2 sc in 1 sc, sc in next 13, ch 1 and turn (15sc)
Row 11-23: sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (15sc)

Body
The body of the scarf is basically alternate bands of yellow and orange. This continues till just before the feet.
We now change colours. I usually carry the colours with my work, by working it into the side. You can always just cut it at the end of one band, but in the end you will have a lot of ends to tuck in. The page at Crochet Cabana has good tips on changing colours.
Row 24: Using CC, sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (15sc)
Row 25: Using CC, sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (15sc)
Row 26: Using CC, sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (15sc)
Row 27: Using CC, sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (15sc)
We change colours again.
Row 28: Using MC, sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (15sc)
Row 29: Using MC, sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (15sc)
Row 30: Using MC, sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (15sc)
Row 31: Using MC, sc in each sc across, ch1 and turn (15sc)
Continue Rows 24-27 and Rows 28-31 till the scarf just about reaches the desired length and you are ready to make the feet. Note, your last band should be a combination of Row 28-31.

Feet
For the first foot: Continue on the body of the scarf already made using the MC
Row 1: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 2: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 3: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 4: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 5: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 6: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc) 

We now change colours
Row 7: Using CC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 8: Using CC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 9: Using CC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 10: Using CC, sc in 3sc across, sc next 2 sts tog , ch1 and turn (4sc)
Row 11: Using CC, sc in 2sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, ch1 and turn (3sc)
Row 12: Using CC, sc in 1sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, fo (2sc)

For the second foot:

Start on the same side as the first foot and skip 5sc after the first foot. Start on the 6th sc.
Alternatively, you can count 5sts from the other end and start at the 5th sc.
Note: make sure you start on the same side you did the first foot so that the feet are symmetrical.

Row 1: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 2: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 3: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 4: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 5: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 6: Using MC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc) 

We now change colours
Row 7: Using CC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 8: Using CC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 9: Using CC, sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 10: Using CC, sc in 3sc across, sc next 2 sts tog , ch1 and turn (4sc)
Row 11: Using CC, sc in 2sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, ch1 and turn (3sc)
Row 12: Using CC, sc in 1sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, fo (2sc)


Ears – make 2
The whole thing is done in 1 colour.

To begin: Chain 6 in CC.
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in ea of next 4ch, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 2: sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 3: sc in 5sc across, ch1 and turn (5sc)
Row 4: sc in 3sc across, sc next 2 sts tog , ch1 and turn (4sc)
Row 5: sc in 2sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, ch1 and turn (3sc)
Row 6: sc in 1sc across, sc next 2 sts tog, ch1 and turn (2sc)
Row 7: sc next 2 sts tog, fo (1sc) 

Nose
I use the magic ring method to crochet in the round. You can find a tutorial for that at Crochet Me.

To begin: Chain 2
Round 1: 5sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl stitch to 1st sc. FO
Pull the tail and draw it closed.
Attaching the pieces using the tapestry needle
For the mouth and whiskers
Close up of the face
Cut 4 strings of the black wool/thread (6-8 inches each). Tie them together in the middle with a knot. Find the centre of the scarf on the row above where the face has finished widening (2nd row of 15 sc). Stick the knot at the centre identified above. Use the lower most string and bring it below to form the mouth. Stick it in place using fabric glue. Stitch the nose over the knot.

I hope the picture helps demonstrate what I mean.

The ears can be placed last. Align them with the eyes.

Hope this makes sense!

Please tell me how you like it by leaving a comment!
Thanks.

Copyright Rohini Joseph