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.

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

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
Stitch marker – if you don’t have one, a simple paper clip will do.
Tapestry needle.

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.

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:
Nylon thread for the base
Crochet thread for the accent
Appropriate crochet 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