A Little Clutch For Fun

I am going to try to start updating my WIPs (Works in Progress) weekly; however, this week has been kind of hectic. I’m only working two jobs right now, but I have four deals in real estate; plus it’s the end of the school year in two weeks, and I have to pack up my whole room. Add some unsolved family illness last weekend and trying to guide other loved ones through their life-changing decisions and coordinate Mother’s Day plans…needless to say, my stomach was upset today from my frenemy stress.

Ah stress! It can help us complete last-minute projects, induce fight-or-flight responses, and it can create hives, cold sores, upset stomachs, and even heart-attack like symptoms! Fun! Truthfully, I know for me the cure is exercise (I’ve been eating healthy), but I just need to survive the next couple weeks. We’ve all been there. I’m in survival mode. But crocheting helps. It distracts. It soothes me. Crochet now, exercise later. (I just don’t think I’m coordinated enough to do both at the same time. Imagine walking on the treadmill, stitching away lol).

Meanwhile, I have quite a few projects going on. Some are top secret (shhhhh…) so I will reveal them after I give them to their new homes. Others I am just trying out to learn new stitches or have fun. IMG_20170512_213143One of my experiments is this free summer clutch pattern that I found on Pinterest and Ravelry. Ravelry brings you to the author’s website, so I’ll take you directly to it here at Tangled Happy..

I first fell in love with this pattern because the clutch looks vintage and romantic. Then pattern was super easy; you just need to know a single crochet, double crochet, half-double crochet, and slip stitch. You end up with these adorable little clusters that kind of look like flowers. Another reason I love this pattern is its versatility; it could be a make-up bag, a pencil bag, a paint-brush holder etc.

 

I bought this button on clearance at Joann’s.

I followed the pattern with relative ease and then added a classic looking button and a button hole. Next, I want to add a fun fabric to the inside. I think it’s cool that in one project I learned: how to make a button hole, how to tie on a button with yarn, how to do a simple cluster stitch, and (soon) how to line a crochet project with fabric. That’s so cool!

Side note: I looked most of those things up- only the cluster stitch is in the pattern.

Looking back on this project, I think orange was a really bold color choice. Next time, I will pick a softer color like purple or blue or a neutral like oatmeal or gray and then use a daring color as the border.

Otherwise, I would recommend this project because it’s easy, and the clutch would make an adorable gift to give someone (or to sell). It probably only took me an hour or two in total; I did it here and there, so I never counted how much it took. It was a cinch to carry this around in my purse and work on a row or two during my lunch or while waiting in the car to meet a client.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep the blog more updated with projects. I imagine that I’ll have more time in about two weeks to crochet more. Also, I should be delivering some gifts soon so stay tuned :).

 

From Market Bags to Coasters

Call me crazy, but I love crocheting in the round. My absolute favorite thing to make right now is this market bag from Daisy Cottage Designs. I made one for myself for the Farmer’s Market (see image). Then I made a coral-orange one for my mom for her birthday (but I didn’t take pictures because I wasn’t planning a blog at the time!).

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The picture does not do this justice!

Now, I really like making gifts for other people with my new-found skill. So last weekend I made a small rose scrubby for my friend’s house-warming party.  And instead of making a bunch of scrubbies, I thought I would finally check out Moon Cookie Gallery in downtown Kankakee and buy some of the homemade soaps I’ve seen posted on  their Facebook page.

Guys, I love small businesses so I might be biased, but this place rocks! It has so many pieces of art and homemade goods! I could live there. Just being in the place was inspiring, but then talking to the owner Natalie was even more inspiring!

I know Natalie’s dad, Scott, from real estate (I sell; he inspects), and the two of us are talkers. I happened in on Moon Cookie’s one year anniversary so Scott was there. So he started showing me some of his work that she is selling, and I showed them my work on my phone, and one thing led to another, and Natalie said she would sell items for me if I want. How cool is that?!

I really like the idea of selling market bags there because they are my favorite thing to make, but I also want to try new things. Natalie said that people often look for coasters in her shop-probably because there is an amazing artist that sells pottery there (planters, stoneware mugs, plates, bowls, candles). So the wheels start turning…

Next stop (same day) is my friend Allysa’s house-warming party. Her mom was showing someone her crochet hats and…she and I started gabbing about crochet. By the way, her hats are really cute. Maybe someday I’ll blog about her :). Anyway, we started comparing work and techniques, and she showed me how she used the magic circle on her hats.

Trust me, I had looked up the magic circle before, I had watched videos, and I had blew it off. Pfffff…my circles were small enough. But when I looked at her work that night, I thought…ehh maybe I should try it again. Her circles were definitely better than mine!

If you are following along, someone mentions coasters, and I need to work on the magic circle… leads to I should make coasters to PRACTICE my magic circle. Light bulb! So Tuesday night I made some coasters using this pattern from Where the Sidewalk Ends and Life Begins (what an awesome name for a blog by the way). So this is how mine turned out.

Cue failed trombone: wamp wamp wamp waaaamp. They weren’t flat. So I checked back to the blog. Yep, hers were flat compared to mine. My boyfriend said, “Maybe you crocheted the outer part too tight.” After googling and another attempt, it turns out that he was right. Problem solved. Easily fixed by pulling out the blue yarn and re-doing it.

So then I thought, it’s almost summer, and I pinned some cute watermelon coasters on Pinterest. And I had some pink and green yarn from Easter projects that I never made. I looked up my pins, and they all called for a lighter yarn than what I had. So I thought why don’t I just use this pattern that I know how to do (above). Instead of the final slip

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Fixed coasters left. New watermelon coasters right.

stitch (Round 5), I added an extra half-double crochet line of green and then slip stitched around. I added a couple stitches as I went in the new Round 5, and it turned out great! Tomorrow I get in my black crochet thread to add seeds; I can’t wait!

So I’m making coasters and mastering the magic circle, and chatting with the boyfriend. And we got to talking about what kind of coasters his mom would like. She has a beach theme in one room; and I consult my trusty Pinterest board. Of course I have sea shell coasters pinned- I mean, of course!

I thought, “I’m on a roll, why not try it?” (…okay  really I was sick with a cold and after three naps…I picked up a hook). The seashell pattern that I liked was difficult to find (lots of coasters for sale or visual patterns which are not my strength). However, I did find this simple sea shell coaster pattern from Ramsi Leigh Crochet. The pattern called for two strands of yarn, so I tried to be fancy (first pic). I thought it was cool, but my best critic said it didn’t look like a shell. So I tried it again with only one color of yarn and used stitch markers because I was admittedly a little sketchy on stitch counting with the first one!

I loved the way these turned out, and I think they will make great gifts for people! So I’ll make sets of four of all these coasters, and maybe some lime slice coasters too. I also really liked using two different yarn strands together, so I’m going to play around with that. Maybe blue and pink or lime green and blue. I still don’t have anything to sell for Natalie (or my future Etsy store), but I’m becoming a magic circle master and having fun, and for now that’s enough!