Saturday, July 26, 2014

Notes on the Bucket Bag

    After publishing the pattern, I realized you should know about the mistakes too. The pattern is fine, it's all about yarn choice. I found some pretty variegated wool in my stash, and wanted to make a bucket bag with it. I had a lot, so I doubled it up and used 2 strands at once. It makes for a thicker, more heavy duty bag.

    I crocheted the bottom, and made it bigger than the one in the pattern photo. That one turned out kind of small. Here's what the bottom looks like on the finished bag:

    After picking up the stitches around the circle, I quickly realized why a variegated yarn isn't good for the bottom of the bag..... Here's what the rest of the bag looks like:

    The colors on the crocheted bottom are in blocks, due to the way double crochet works. Then the stripes on the body of the bag are from knitting in the round. I was dismayed, but I still love this bag! As you can see, I ran out of the variegated wool before the bag was tall enough, so I finished it with a denim wool, from the same company. I believe it was Patons Classic. This bag remains one of my favorite project bags, even with the weird color splotched bottom.

    So, dear readers, my advice to you is if you choose to make this bag, save your variegated wool yarn for the body, and use a solid color for the bottom!  And remember, you can make the base as big as you want, and the body as long as you want!

    In all actuality, the bag in the pattern photo is kind of small for my taste. I've made all the other ones bigger. And this bag would make a cool purse, just get a magnet or some other kind of clasp and use it to connect the long sides together.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Bicraftual Bucket Bag Pattern


Kim Scheffler

This bag starts with a crocheted circle which forms the bottom of the bag, then the stitches are picked up and knit in the round for the body. Then it's felted.

Tools needed:

U.S. Size K - 6.5 mm crochet hook
U.S. size 11 - 8 mm circular knitting needle, 24 or 29 inches long.

2 skeins color 1 wool
1 skein color 2 wool  (due to variants in felting, both colors should be the same brand, Patons or Lion Brand would be best for this project)
Of course, if you make a bigger bag, you'll need more yarn.


To start - ch 4, sl st in beg ch to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 2 (counts as first dc here and throughout), work 11 dc into ring, join with sl st in top of beg ch — 12 sts.
Rnd 2: Ch 2, dc in same st, 2 dc in each st around, join with sl st in top of beg ch — 24 sts.
Rnd 3: Ch 2, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next st, 2 dc in next st; rep from * around, join with sl st in top of beg ch — 36 sts.
Rnd 4: Ch 2, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st; rep from * around, join with sl st in top of beg ch — 48 sts.
Rnd 5: Ch 2, dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st; rep from * around, join with sl st to top of beg ch — 60 sts.

After the first few rounds, you can pull the yarn end from the ch 4 tight to close the circle, or you can use the Magic Loop method to start.

Keep going as established until Rnd 11 is done, and you have 132 stitches around.


At the end of last crochet round, use color 2 to join to 1st stitch, cutting 1st yarn and knotting 2 yarns together.

Slip loop from crochet hook onto knitting needle, and pick up a stitch through the top of each double crochet stitch around the circle. Place stitch marker after last picked up stitch.

Knitting in the round, K 1 round with color 2. Switch back to color 1, and continue knitting in the round until bag body is approx. 14 inches, or more, tall. Put a stripe of color 2 in wherever you like. You can make it as wide as you want, even make more than one stripe. You can play with colorwork here too, if desired.


When you come to the stitch marker, slip it, then K13, BO 40, K26, BO 40, Knit 26. Take the 26 stitches that aren't attached to working yarn and put on stitch holder. You will now work back and forth to create handle. You can remove the stitch marker while knitting the last 26 stitches.

Row 1, and all odd rows, Purl all stitches.
Row 2 and all even rows, K2, K2tog, K across to last 4 stitches, K2tog, K2.

Repeat until there are 12 working stitches left. Knit in stockinette until approx. 18 inches long.

Note: Do not slip first stitch here, after felting it cups, and isn't flat. Learn from my mistakes.

Cut yarn, put these stitches on a stitch holder. Take other stitches off of holder, and work the same as 1st side, but only making it 5 inches long.

Now it's time to join the two together. If you know how to do the Kitchener stitch, have at it. I don't know how, so I did a three needle bind off, with the ridge on the underside of the handle.

Tah-Dah! You're all done with the hard part. Now, you just have to felt it. I use my washing machine, very hot water, cold rinse, with three tennis balls in for extra agitation. Some people tell you to let it air dry on its own, but I am not the most patient of persons. I throw it in my dryer, on high heat, along with the tennis balls. It will probably take more than one cycle. Although I recently discovered that throwing a dry towel in the dryer with the wet felted item totally speeds up the drying time!

When it's dry, you can use a sweater shaver to clean up the fuzz. I usually prefer to do this. I just like the way it looks, more finished, not so fuzzy.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Funny Non-Crafting Story

    A while ago, there was a big fuss on the internet about giving dogs ice or ice water. It was cleared up, it doesn't hurt the animals. Well, I thought this fuss was much ado about nothing, since we regularly give our cat ice cubes to lick. He insists on them. He'll walk into the kitchen and meow while sitting at the refrigerator. That's my cue.

   Well, the other evening, he did his usual meow for ice, so I put some in his bowl, and walked back to the sink where I was < gasp > washing dishes. I had just walked up to the sink, when I heard Ozzy let out a kitty scream. I turned in time to see him shake his head, and start running into the living room, with two ice cubes attached to his mouth! He shook his head again just inside the living room, and the ice cubes fell off his face. He ran and hid somewhere.

    I picked up the ice cubes and put them in the sink. I was laughing, even though I knew it was mean. Poor Ozzy. Later, I told Hubs this story and added the thought that I doubt Ozzy would be asking for ice any more....

    But he actually has asked for more! Just yesterday he let me know he wanted more ice. I asked him if he was sure, and he just continued to rub on the fridge.

Monday, July 7, 2014

My adventures with the 10 stitch blanket....

    As you know, I caved to peer pressure and started the 10 stitch blanket. I read so many posts about it on the facebook knitting group page. So many people were having trouble with it, I decided to give it a try. ( I never realized that knitters were so prone to peer pressure)

    I told you about all this yesterday. Well, I didn't have any problems with that first double corner. When I read about the people having trouble, I think to myself that they should do what I tell my good friend Bonny to do.... Just do what the pattern says. Don't overthink it.

    So my first adventure was deciding to find a circular needle to use instead of the bamboo double points. (which I should say, worked perfectly fine) I searched through all my needles and couldn't find a single size US 8. I finally found one is my unfinished stash, so I pulled whatever was in progress off that needle, and used it. Unfortunately, it was only 16" long. After a couple of rows, it was driving me nuts. It wasn't long enough. I wished I had found a 24". So I went back to the bamboo double points. They really do work best.

   Then I decided to search mystash for more Amazing. Now, I have seen at least a couple more balls while searching for other stuff in my stash. It should also be noted that there is no organization whatsoever of my stash. The best I can say is that most of it is contained in three of those giant Ziplock things, the ones with handles, that are the size to go under your bed. Unfortunately, none of them are actually zippered closed.

   But I kind of like it this way, it makes every stash dive an adventure, as I never know exactly what I will find! I love that kind of surprise. Anyway, it took a while, but I went through all three containers, and a few bags as well. I found two unused balls and one ball that was being used for a crocheted hand warmer thing. Evidently I didn't like it, or I would have finished it. With those in hand, I got out my ball winder, and began to frog the hand warmer.

    That was an adventure in itself! Amazing yarn is fuzzy, and like all fuzzy yarns, it does not like to be frogged. It sticks to itself horribly. I managed to get about 3/4 of the ball frogged and wound up neatly. At one point the yarn broke because I was pulling it so hard. That's when I quit. The rest of the yarn in the warmer just wasn't worth the aggravation. It's in the garbage. If I have to, I will buy a few new balls.

    So now to the TA-DA moment! Here is my progress so far, and I just took this photo before I sat down to write this.

    I went back to Ravelry, and downloaded the free pattern again. This time, I was logged in, so it was saved. I moved it into my documents on my laptop, and then was able to move it onto a USB memory stick. That is where I keep most of my patterns now. That way when I want a particular one, I can just print it out.

    I believe that yesterday I mentioned that I didn't read the pattern, I just watched a video on youtube and followed along. It was a great relief to read that I had done the corners correctly.

    The ladies of the facebook knitting group are right, this pattern *is* addicting! I am already picking out yarn for the next one.....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Project Updates with PHOTOS!

    Sometimes I hate myself. I joined a knitting group on facebook, and so many people are doing the 10 stitch blanket. So many of them are having trouble with the beginning, and it finally caught me up. I decided to see if I could do it. At first I tried with Lion Brand Homespun. Big mistake. I couldn't even tell where the ridges were. I frogged it after only a few ridges and went to look for something else to use. I finally found one skein of Lion Brand Amazing. AHA! This will work, and I know I have more skeins around, stuck in different bags in my stash. Here's my progress on that as of yesterday afternoon.

    It's actually quite a bit bigger than this now. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but I opted not to wrap and turn the corners. I like the holes.

    Next is a photo of the blanket I'm making for Owen.

    And a close up of the stitch pattern.

   And lastly, here's my progress on the knitted strip for my yarn bomb.

    I have three more now. I went to a BBQ at my friend Bonny's house yesterday, and she gave me two really long strips that she had crocheted for me! As you can see, I am using Sugar 'n Cream cotton.

    P.S. For the 10 stitch blanket, all I did was watch the video on you tube. I did go to Ravelry and download the free pattern, but now I can't find it. Just like the pattern for the slouchy hat I paid good money for.....

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yarn bomb planning and a visit to mom's

    I don't know what's wrong with me. For over 20 years, I have had the perfect canvas for a great yarn bomb right in my back yard! And it's only now, that we are fixing and upgrading, that it suddenly occurs to me. The chain link fence around our pool! I want to wait until the new fence is up, but that gives me plenty of time to make 2" wide strips. Some of my friends are even chipping in to help!

    I have one crocheted purple strip done, I'm estimating it's about 12 feet long. I am currently knitting a strip, and also have another crocheted strip in progress. All this, as well as working on a new knitted blanket for O.G.

    The blanket for O.G. sprang from that wrap project from a few posts ago... As I was knitting it, I thought if I put a garter stitch border on it, this would make a cool blanket, and after a while I couldn't resist the call any more. So the wrap is in a time out, along with all my other projects that I got bored with.

    This past week, I went to visit my mom. We had a lovely visit, but it's funny how these visits bring up childhood memories that you think you've forgotten. One of the strongest memories for me is once I was sick, in bed, and mom brought me a glass of apple juice. As I drank it, I got a mouthful of apple juice mixed with dish soap.

    Now, it was a very insignificant event, in general, yet it affects me to this day. Whenever I'm at mom's and take a glass out of the  cupboard, I habitually put the glass to my nose and sniff the inside. You know, to make sure it doesn't have any dish soap residue in it....

   It goes without saying that to this day, I will not drink apple juice either. But the most significant consequence of that little episode is that it's made me what I call a "Super Rinser". When I wash dishes, I rinse them so well, there couldn't possibly be any dish soap residue left in there to dry and mix with anything in the future, saving future generations from the trauma.