All tied up in stitches

Walk with me as I journey my way through life using the crafts of knitting and crocheting as tools to help me make my way.

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Location: Bellingham, Washington, United States

I'm like a butterfly emerging from it's cocoon, trying to find who I am in the midst of a total life change. At times its exciting. At times challenging. At times a little scary. But something I know I have to go through in order to fly.


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Monday, August 28, 2006

I've MOVED!!!

Due to circumstances beyond my control my blog has moved. :( You can now find me at: Be sure to follow the link and bookmark the new site. This one will soon be inaccessable to me. Can't wait to see you there!

Monday, August 21, 2006


I created this bag with two special ladies in mind, both named Lori. One is my sister-in-law. She is a very strong lady who is fighting even now with a medical condition that has put her in the hospital. We covet your prayers for her in that soon the doctors will find what is ailing her and they will be able to address it. The second Lori is the mother of my step-daughters. I thank God for her every day in that she has raised 2 very special young ladies. We live far from them and Lori has done a great job with Sabrina and Jackie.

I am hoping to try to do some needle felting on this bag since I just felted up (that picture isn't up here yet). This is the first time I've used Lamb's Pride Bulky yarn and although I didn't use the correct sized needles, I LOVE the yarn. The bag has a little 'fuzzy' appearance, but not so bad that I would do anything to it. I plan to leave it just the way it is. It's so SOFT yet so sturdy. I will use this yarn again in the future.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

John C Campbell Folk School

You've got to check this place out if you're already thinking about a vacation for next year or in the fall. What a neat place to learn something new! Be sure to check out the knitting classes offeredJust click here to be taken way to another place and time :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

I limit myself to yarn shopping once a month :) And this month I thought I would share what I got (if you click on the picture, you can see better the beautiful colors). In looking at all the yarns, it looks like I'm in a purple fog. But I really am not.:) I choose these colors because I want to capture what I see as I drive on some of the back streets of Bellingham. I've fallen in love with all the different colors and types of wildflowers that seem to line the streets I travel most frequently. The colors in the yarns are the colors I see wherever I go. I love them and want to make some things that remind me of this time of the year. Here in Bellingham the summers are so mild and pleasant (especially for a lady going through a "BIG CHANGE" in her life, if you know what I mean). Any way, I have an idea for a bag, if it works, I'll let you all know. It will be a felted one... it has to be with all this wool :)LOL

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Finished Brea

I know, I know... another bag :)LOL I honestly thought this bag would take me days... but obviously it didn't. I thought you all might enjoy seeing how it turned out.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Last night we got word that my dear sister-in-law is extremely ill and was admitted to the hospital. I had just started working on a new bag, but found it too hard to concentrate, yet, knitting gives me something to do that is constructive when I'm under stress. I didn't want to create while I prayed for Lori. I wanted someone else to guide me through the creative process. So, digging through all my free patterns I found this one. I thought it would be challenging enough to keep me busy, and to be honest with you I thought it would take days to complete. But as you see, it's mid-afternoon here and the front is done. It wasn't near as complicated as I had thought and the directions were very well written. You can find this pattern here on the Berroco site. Be sure to check back to see the bag once it's completed. And please remember LORI in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


This bag was made with my niece, Emily, in mind. She is a very sweet girl with such a kind and gentle spirit. She is a published author at the age of 10! Her story even made the front cover of their local newspaper. I wanted to somehow make a bag that had yellow in it, since that is her favorite color. You have to look really close (click on the picture to see a larger version), but the verigated yarn that runs through the denim does have yellow, light green, white, and soft blue. This is a crocheted pattern, so for those of you requesting that I make something for you. Here it is :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Help in designing patterns...

A few of you have asked for copies of a form I used in designing bags, so, I thought it would be nice to share. It's really not that big of a deal, but you're more to use it if it helps :) The link is to the left under "pattern form".

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Patterns are NOW available

Just to let everyone know, 6 of my patterns are NOW available for a donation. All proceeds will go to the following ministries: Billy Graham, Operation Blessings, The USO, St. Jude's Children's Medical Research Center, and Hour of Power. The only monies that will be kept is the $.43 it costs to use Paypal. You can find the patterns at the Schaefer Design Studio. Thank you all for your support. Remember Luke 6:38. :)


Well, Jackie is finished. I was right about making the back using a double strands. It does make the bag more sturdy. I am pleased with how it turned out, but it is a little bigger than I thought it would be. It's a great size for books and things you need to take to work or a ballgame. :)

Friday, August 11, 2006


I just can't wait to show you what I'm working on now. This is a bag for my step-daughter Jackie. She's always been a joy. She is always so happy. When I asked her what colors were her favorite she said "black and pink". A few days ago I was in Joann's and I saw this wonderful yarn by Patons. The name of it is Twister. As soon as I came around the corner of the row, I saw it and BAMB!!! that had to be some how made into Jackie's bag. I thought about felting, but decided not to because I couldn't find a matching pink wool. But I did find a perfect match in a worsted weight. When I sat down to start this bag, I just let my imagination run. I wanted something really young looking, but still something that would say "I'm growing up" (Jackie is a preteen) So, I thought about this design... based on a quilt design, making the center square out of the Twister. I also wanted to add some embelishments, so I played around with the flower until I came up with the ones on the bag. I also bought a few hot pink heart buttons that I also want to put somewhere on the bag. When The front was done, I thought "what about the back?". I decided that I wanted to use 2 strands so that there would be some body or strength to the bag. The front is knitted with size 11 needles (which are a little big for the worsted), so it's not too sturdy. But as I work the back I'm finding it to be strong. I think it will be just fine when I sew the sides up. You'll have to come back and see it when it's done.

Where do they come from?

I've been asked by a few people where do the ideas for your bags come from. And I would have to say that I am inspired when I see a certain color or feel a certain texture. I also 'see' a bag when I'm thinking of a certain person. I can't explain it more than that. Once I get a picture in my mind, I work out the math... size, # of stitches, type of yarn, and the over all design of stitches. Then I make a drawing in my journal and I just go from there. I've almost come to the end of my first knitting journal and I was a little upset about that because I love the size of this book. It's just right for tucking in my bag so that I have it if I'm 'inspired' while out. BUT, when I went to get another one at the Dollar store... NO MORE! I was sad and thought what to do now? I've got to be able to record these things, or I will surely forget. Then yesterday I stopped in a different Dollar Store and as soon as I saw this one, I had to have it... how appropriate! There's a purse on the cover :)LOL It must have been sent from above ;)

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I'd like to introduce the first backpack that I've designed. The bag is named Jeana, after my wonderful sister-in-law. She's a great preschool teacher who works with special needs children. I have to admire her for getting her education, having a family and raising her own children, and is now back in the classroom. I thought of her when I was knitting this bag because, being a teacher, I know all the stuff she must carry with her to school. This bag is big enough to hold a lot. It's 12" wide x 14"tall x 3" deep. It is a felted bag. I used double stands of Patons Classic Merino Wool. I also incorporated a 'furry' fun yarn. Eyelets were made around the top to make it easier for a cord to be pulled through. I did put store bought, cotton cords in the bag. I need to get the metal closures for the ends of the tie which closes the bag.

I have 5 more bags to design and this collection will be done. I'm half way finished with my next design which is one that started out to be for my preteen step-daughter, but the more I work on it the more I want one :)LOL. Be sure to check back soon!

Monday, August 07, 2006


This is my latest bag that I designed. I'm naming it after my sister who is always giving to others. I wanted to do something with cables and create a bag that was unusually shaped. I also wanted to incorporate a grab handle as well as a strap. The short strap makes it fit snuggly beneath the arm. I will be offering this pattern through Schaefer Design Studio. Be sure to check it out.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Dedicated to the one I love...

Hope you enjoy this Hawaiian love song that is for my hubby :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

This is it!

Well, after a lot of praying and talking with my best friend, my hubby, I decided to do something so radical that I'm sure I will get plenty of emails. I've decided to go through with offering my designs on the internet. They will be downloadable in pdf files. And they will be bought by making a donation, not a traditional purchase. You can read more about it all at The Schaefer Design Studio. I am starting with 3 of my favorite designs and hope to add at least 1 every 6 weeks. PLEASE read why I'm doing this. It's important to me. I hope you will join with me in "give and it will be given unto you".
I also want those of you who have written to me about designing some crocheted bags, I do plan to do that in the near future, so be sure to bookmark the site :)

They say blue is the color...

How important are colors when you knit? I find myself trying to think outside the box when it comes to patterns that I'm going to follow. I love to mix and match colors and I read somewhere that women see blues better than men, where they see reds better than women. It has to do with rods and cones in our eyes. Well, I saw this test on the net and just had to take it and share...
You Are Periwinkle

You're very intuitive and sensitive. You often know other people better than they know themselves.
You're also quite optimistic, and you think well of yourself and others. You know your dreams will come true.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


This bag is one that I made with my step-daughter in mind, thus the name Sabrina. She is a very artistic young lady and the beautiful yarn that runs through the felted yarn reminds me of her.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


I forgot to post this bag earlier. It's one for my mom. It's called the Patty Bag. It is more like a carpet bag. I used a wool yarn that I had gotten at the Goodwill Store and although it served it's purpose, I'm going to make this bag again using a different yarn. I think that the gold yarn might have been too old. It didn't felt near as well as newer yarn does and when I was knitting with it there were like little cuts throughout the skein. I thought at the time that it might have been 'seconds' yarn. But the more I think about it, I'm wondering if it might not have been exposed to moths. Any way, this is one that I will re-work for my Mom. I think it's big enough for all the 'stuff' she has to carry on a daily basis. Love you Mom :)

Mailing List

Hey Everyone,
I wanted to add this option of a mailing list on my blog for those of you who'd like to know when I've posted a new bag or info on the blog. I hate taking up people's tme on the boards just to let people know that I've completed a new bag. This way, you will be notified first thing when I post a picture or a link. I think this is going to come in handy when I start selling the patterns. Hope you sign up so you will know when I've posted something you might be interested in. :)

Friday, July 28, 2006


While I was knitting this bag I was thinking about my niece, Laney. She's a very beautiful active teenager. I thought this bag could go any where, so I'm naming this one after her. The bag measures 12" long, 10" high, and 3" wide. It was knitted using Cascade 220 two strands held together. One a soft red and the other a pink.

I also included in the picture a little coin purse that I crocheted and then felted. I've never tried felting anything that I crocheted, nor have I actually seen anything. I thought those of you who crochet might like to what it looks like.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bluebell Bag

I'm sorry that I've had to remove the picture and information about the Bluebell bag that I just finished designing. But I guess it wasn't in my best interest to post it this early in the possible publishing game. You see, I've had a few contacts from people and businesses asking about my designs. I haven't really taken any too seriously because there are such great designers out there that I'm new at all of this and to even be considered as having any talent over whelms me. But after posting a brief message on a couple Yahoo groups I became aware that this bag may be one that I could benefit from, so taking the advise of others who have gone through designing bags, I've removed the picture. Maybe some day soon this bag will be published. Thank you all for your emails, and words of encouragement.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

My first UFO

I'm having to lay the Victorian bag aside for a while due to the fact that I can't get the stabilizer that I'm wanting to include in this bag. I'm told that it should be in soon, so until then, I have my first official UFO. And for an obsessive compulsive, that's a little nerve racking. :)LOL I usually will not start something new until I've completed a project that I'm working on. BUT... the ideas are always there... so I'm not sitting idly, but I am working on a bag that might be done before I get the stabilizer for the Victorian. If that happens, I'll be sure to post it. It will be a felted bag. And it is another one that I designed myself. So, be sure to check back!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Victorian Crazy Quilt Bag

This is my current work in progress. I am inspired by a Victorian Crazy Quilt that I saw in a book. I love it so far. There are over 100 tiny seed beads on it. I'm not sure what the colors look like on your screen, but they are deep chocolate brown, burgandy, thyme, and navy. I am playing with the shape of the bag right now as far as the sides. It will be one that will be stitched together. So, check back at the end of the week, and hopefully it will be put together as I see it in my mind :)LOL Posted by Picasa

Sue Schaefer's Noro Bag

After so many requests for the pattern for this bag (last one posted below), I've finely figured out how to make a pdf file for you all :) Just remember, I'm new at writing the patterns, so if you run into any problems, PLEASE let me know and I will re-work it for you. Thanks!
Sue Schaefer's Noro Kureyon Bag

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Hey everyone, I just figured out how to make this slide show and I had to test it out. The pictures you are seeing are a few that we took as we made our way from Hawaii to our home here in Bellingham, WA. We had to get here via Ohio where we picked up a car. Thanks Mom & Dad! You will see a picture of what we saw from our window in Pearl City, Hawaii and then another of what we see now. Both are very different and both are very special :) enjoy!


Aloha everyone. I just wanted to let you all know what I'm up to. I am working on a totally new design of my own. I have never seen a bag like the one that I'm working on. It's very detailed and will take me a while to complete, but I am so excited about this one! In the mean time, please drop by frequently to check out my blog. I have had many requests for the last bag that I posted and as soon as dear hubby goes back to work on Tuesday, I will try to get that posted for you :) He's a big flight simulator enthusiast so he 'has control" most of the time. He deserves that, he works hard. I've also been trying to post a few of my favorite Hawaii pics... I guess I'm a little homesick :) I love this picture. It's a vintage that is very popular in Hawaii right now. The plane is called the China Clipper and it started flying in '35 from California. It was the first commercial plane to fly to Hawaii. It was a mail plane on it's way to Manila. It was a Pan Am plane. Sorry, to get off on a tangent, but what a beautiful place to go :) a hui hou (Hawaiian for "until we meet again") Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 10, 2006

Noro Kureyon Bag

This is an original bag of my own design. I wanted to try using the Noro Kureyon yarn. I love how the colors became muted. I also wanted to try felting a flower. The flower pattern is from a 'freebie' pattern that I picked up and the leaf pattern is from a book. All pieces of the bag are felted.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Inside of Sushi Bag

This would be a great bag for a laptop! It measures 15" by 13", but could be made to the size that someone would need. It is from a book that I got at the library, I will need to back and find out what the title was if anyone is interested. I just love the whole theme of the 'sushi' :) The Japanese writing on the fabric is done in gold. This is NOT a felted bag, but because it is made from 100% acrylic, it is very very sturdy. Posted by Picasa

Sushi Bag

Before I made this bag, I was looking through fabrics that I brought with me from Hawaii. I saw this cute 'sushi' fabric and thought... I've GOT to make something using this as a lining. When I saw this pattern I just knew the two would go together. The bag has all been knitted, giving it that kinda bumpy look. To me, it looks just like the outside of a sushi roll. :)LOL  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Fourth of July 2006

In honor of the celebration of this 4th of July, I thought I would post a picture that we took one day when we decided to get out and take a drive up to Canada. We are about 15 minutes from the Canadian border. It was a beautiful day... the sky was clear... the mountains in view... so, we jumped in the car with a picnic lunch and headed north. Funny thing about this adventure is... it took us about 5 minutes to get into Canada and then about an hour and a half to get back into the US. This is one time that I wished that I would have brought my knitting :)LOL. We had to sit that long at the border. I'm not complaining, I'm thankful for the wait, I was just a little surprised that it took that long. But any way, I pray that you all have a safe, fun filled holiday (dear hubby has to work, so I'll be knitting away). Let's not forget all those military serving our country around the world and please remember their little children in your prayers. For most of my 23 years of teaching, I taught military children. People forget those preschoolers during times like these. They miss their mommies and daddies. They hear the news. They hear people around them talk about how wrong the war is. How must that make them feel? Remember them, remember their parents, and be thankful that they are serving because it could be our own children over there. Have a great 4th! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Western Ho

This is a very fast knitting bag that I just made last night. I haven't lined it yet, but the fabric that I will be using in below the bag in the picture. I loved the buttons and that is why I made this bag. On the back there's a cowboy boot, a hat, both in silver, and more country hearts. On the side are two pale blue star buttons. This bag isn't felted. I'm not sure if the stitch would show up if it were felted. Now... on to another bag... so many patterns, so few hours in the day :)LOL Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Painted Desert

Since my forced retirement from teaching, I wanted to find something to do that would enable me to use my creative talents and I think I've found it! I've decided to start making these bags for upcoming fall craft fairs. Since I really love this type of bag, I've decided that I'm going to build a business around them. This is my second bag that I've crocheted and this one is even more sturdy than the one below. I love being able to mix and match the colors. Now, that I've decided what to focus my work on, I can get busy and work to create enough bags before the Christmas season. I think this is going to be the BEST therapy that I could have ever gone through to help me deal with a big life change. :) By the way, I'm calling this bag "The Painted Desert" after the name of the yarn. I'm also thinking about adding additional rings on the inside of the bag for an optional shoulder strap. This bag has not been lined yet, I need to find just the right material. I think I'm going to make them with and without the lining, charging more for those that are lined. What do you thing? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Inside Hawaii Bag

This is the inside of this crocheted bag. I don't know how it looks on your computer, but in 'real life' all the colors really blend nicely. Whenever I look in, I will remeber Hawaii :) Posted by Picasa

My Hawaii Bag

Well, I decided NOT to felt this bag because I didn't have enough of the olive yarn to make it big enough to compensate for the shrinkage during felting. But I LOVE THIS BAG just the way it is. It's very sturdy and just my size :) I did change the pattern just a bit. I love these type handles versus the shoulder strap. So, I went ahead and created these from common sense. The picture above shows the bag lined.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 19, 2006

Aww... Hawaii

See what I'm working on now :) I decided I wanted a change, so I got out my crochet hook, read about felting crochet work, got a pattern, found some Hawaiian material that I brought back from Hawaii when we left and thought...WOW!!! This will make a great bag. I'm going to line the bag in the fabric to the left of the bag. I have more to crochet on the bag... I need to finish the top and the strap. When that is done, I will decide if I'm going to try to felt it or leave it as is. Be sure to keep checking back to see the progress. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A little something for you :)


11" long, 4"tall (not including strap), 2 1/2" wide
1 skein of Cascade 220 100% wool (I did not use the whole skein)
Size 11 circular, 29"
Blunt ended needle.

CO: cast on
K2tog: knit 2 stitches together knit wise
K2togtbl: knit 2 stitches together through back loop
BO: bind off

Cast on 40 stitches.
Rows 1 - 22: knit.
Pick up 11 stitches on the short side of the rectangle that you just made. Place marker. Pick up 40 stitches along the cast on row. Place marker. Pick up 11 stitches on the next short side of rectangle. Place marker. Knit 40 stitches. Place row identifying marker (I use a different color or a different kind of marker so I know when a new row is started). Total of 102 stitches on needle.

Rows 1 - 6: knit.
Row 7: Decrease row: Knit to marker. Slip marker. K2tog. Knit to last 2 stitches before next marker. K2togtbl. Slip marker. Knit to marker. Slip marker. K2tog. Knit to last 2 stitches before next marker. K2togtbl. Slip marker. Knit. Total of 98 stitches.
Rows 8 - 12: Knit.
Row 13: Repeat decrease row. Total of 94 stitches.
Rows 14 - 18: Knit.
Row 19: Repeat decrease row. Total of 90 stitches.
Rows 20 - 27: Knit.
Row 28: Strap: Knit 5. BO 30. Knit 5. Remove marker. Knit 5. Remove marker. Knit 5. BO 30. Knit 5. Remove marker. Knit 5. Total of 15 stitches for each strap.

Note: The strap is knitted directly off of the bag. And then is knit together using the Kitchner stitch. See below for more information about this stitch.

At this point, you will be knitting each part of the strap separately.
Turn your work.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: K2tog. Knit to last 2 stitches K2togtbl.
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: K2tog. Knit to last 2 stitches K2togtbl.
Row 6: Purl.
Row 7: K2tog. Knit to last 2 stitches K2togtbl. Total of 9 stitches.
Rows 8 - 30: work in Stockinette Stitch beginning with a purl row.
Row 31: BO OR leave on circular needle to work the Kitchner stitch.

Repeat this procedure for the second part of the strap left on the circular needle. You will need to attach your yarn at the base of your work to begin.
To join strap: You can either use the Kitchner stitch or you can simply sew the two ends together making sure each stitch is stitched together. It is best to lay your work out flat in front of you with the right sides facing. Then use a blunt ended needle and a long piece of yarn to do the sewing.

TAB for closure:
Row 1: Count from the base of the strap, across the CO stitches, 13 stitches and attach yarn. Knit 5 stitches. Turn.
Row 2: Purl.
Continue in stockinet stitch until you get the size tab that you want. Remember it, too, will shrink.

I used a white net zippered lingerie bag that I got at the Dollar Store.
-Put the purse in the bag and zip.
-Wash using the hottest setting on your washer. I set the washer on medium.
-I usually add 1 cup baking soda and some liquid castille soap.
- I stay close to the washer and start checking for felting (by stopping the machine and carefully lifting the bag out of the water. BE VERY CAREFUL THE WATER IS HOT!) about 6-8 minutes after the agitation starts.
-When the purse has gotten to the size that I want. I take it out of the machine. Pressing gently to get any excess water out. But I do NOT wring or twist it in any way.
-I then shape the bag using balled up plastic bags.

Sew button to bag at the place where you desire it to be. Cut straight opening in Tab just big enough for the button to slip snuggly through.

This is my first attempt at writing down a pattern that I�ve created. So, please let me know if there are problems. Enjoy!

© 2006 by Sue Schaefer. All rights reserved. This pattern may not be sold, or posted to any website, or electronically transmitted, or copied in any way, without the written consent of the copyright owner.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Appliquéd Tote/Brief Case

I had dreamed about this bag for a long time. But deciding just what I wanted to put on the bag, coming up with the correct dimensions, and then finding the materials that I wanted to use took a few days. I think the wait was worth it. I love the colors and hope to make another one with another design soon. Today I found some really cute buttons that I want to design another bag around you will have to visit again to see what I'm 'dreamin' up this time. I will give you a hint... it's an old west theme... :) Posted by Picasa

Inside of Tote

This is the inside of my newest designed bag. I love the bright colors against the black. :) Posted by Picasa