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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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

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Place Markers

Look what I made... STITCH MARKERS!!! :) I just had to try and make my own. With a total cost of $3.00 and a little fine work, I think they are just right. Knitting all those bags, and with most patterns I mark each corner as I knit, these will come in handy! Although they look big in the picture, they are able to needles to size 15.
 Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Knitter's Block

Now that the 'E' bag is finished and I have time to decide what project to start next, I seemed to be unable to decide just what I want to do. As a writer, this often is called 'writer's block'. But in knitting, I'm not sure what it might be called. I do have many ideas bouncing around in my head. I went to the library today to do some researching and came home with a TON of books. As soon as I decide what that might be, and when I get a clear picture in my mind I'll be sure to post it. :) Trying to create and at the same time trying NOT to let a bad tooth get me down has really kept me away from the computer. I'm praying that soon the antibiotics will kick in and relieve my pain until I can have that nasty guy pulled O-U-T, but until then all I seem to be able to do is sleep, sleep, sleep. Well, that's all for today. Just keep checking back because I think my next project might be interesting to you. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Finished At Last!

Today the bag is finished. Because it was so extremely long, I decided to cut some of the bag off. I like it now at the size that it is: 14" x 12" wide (kind of, since the bag has a round bottom, it isn't perfectly measured). Over all experience: one of learning. I enjoyed following the pattern and watching the bag come into being, but it did take longer than I am use to in its completion. It also took a lot more yarn than I thought it would. The pattern calls for 440 yards. The Patons Classic that I used comes in skeins of 220 yards. And I've used 3 full skeins and a good deal of the other. This is going to be a great tote bag. It's big enough for a small notebook, a paper back, and of course, all those other things that we carry. :) Posted by Picasa

Day 5 (part 2)

Day 5 The end is near (part 2) Well, the bag has now been felted, I'm afraid to leave it in the hot water any longer. It has shrunk width wise (which in the picture is from the top to the bottom) but it hasn't shrunk much length wise. It measures 19" from the top to the bottom of the bag. This, to me, doesn't look right. The widith of the bag is 12" diameter or 24" around the bag. At this point I think I'm going to cut some of the top off. It's just too tall and too heavy. Posted by Picasa

Day 5 (Part 1)

Day 5: The end is near (part 1): This is a picture of the bottom of the bag. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Day 4

Day 4 of the entrelac bag: when will it end? :)LOL I have just finished the 9th row of rectangles and will be starting the decreasing rows tomorrow. You can see that the bag measures 19" before felting. I am using a larger needle for this bag than the pattern calls for. I can't remember what the pattern says, but I'm using a size 11 bamboo needle. Well, it will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings as far as getting the bottom design right. :) Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 05, 2006


Day 3 of the entrelac bag: funny how things look different when the sky is filled with clouds :) It's a rainy day today here in the Great Northwest, and when I picked up my knitting, I decided that I didn't want to use the color scheme that I had planned yesterday, so I changed my mind (dh says that's what seperates the females from the males... we (females) can change our minds whenever :)LOL Any way, as you can see, I decided to add a couple more rows of white and the 'new denim' The bag is very large now and the pattern calls for 9 rows of rectangles. I don't think I'm going to make that many. Right now the bag has 6 rows and I'm on the 7th with the 'worn denim' (light blue) It is extremely heavy and cumbersome to work with. I am thinking maybe just one more row of the flected denim (the original triangle row). I think by the time I add that row and do the bottom it ought to be a nice sized bag once I felt it. But, again, we will have to see what tomorrow brings.  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Day 2 of the entrelac bag: choices, choices, choices! What color should come next? I am enjoying this bag a lot, but am some what at a lose as to what color I should choose next :) I am using Patons Classic Wool. I love the way it felts, but have never felted the far right yarn before, so I am not sure how it will look felted. I have this thing about order so my plan tonight is to follow this last row with a row of the twisted yarn (far right) followed by another new denim (dark), then worn denim (light), and lastly another twisted row. But we will see what tomorrow brings. Life may look different by the light of a different day :)LOL Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I've Decided

After so much has been said, and so many bags have been created using this technique, I decided to try my hand at making an entrelac bag. I thought it might be fun to watch as the bag takes shape. The pattern comes from the following link:
I'm not sure if the picture that goes with the directions is one before felting or after the bag was felted. I may be modifying this bag as I go along. But so far, the directions are crystal clear and have been very easy to follow. I haven't had to 'rip' anything so far (I say keeping my fingers crossed :) LOL)Posted by Picasa

One of my First

This little tiny bag is one that I designed off of a leather bag. I really love the shape, but when I make it again, I will make it a little bigger. It's just the right size of a teen, or when you don't need to take too many things with you. I will be adding a button soon.  Posted by Picasa