Friday, 4 October 2013

"Time, Mrs T!"

Autumn's bell has been calling "time" on me. Or more accurately it's been calling "time" on some of my unfinished hooky projects.

You know, those lovely summery projects that bud on a quiet, sunny afternoon in the garden, perhaps unfurl properly when they travel on holiday with you and almost reach their full bloom as Summer draws to a close, but Not Quite. Or perhaps you are more disciplined than I am about finishing one thing before beginning another!

I have several of these unfinished summer projects and I felt that with the arrival of October I had better do some finishing off and put them to happy use before embarking on too many more new starts.

The first, apart from my Sea-Ripple, was my version of a Blossoming Bag from Sandra of Cherry Heart's beautiful pattern. You  can read Sandra's engaging post about the emergence of this bag here and you can buy the pattern in her shop here. I wanted to make this as a nice, discrete project to take away with me for my week's holiday in France, in July. After a few false starts, before departure, with the wrong yarn,  - the first was too thin and the second was too thick, like Goldilocks' porridge -  I hooked blossoms all the way through France on the train and it grew nicely. I didn't have any of the Bergère de France Ideal yarn Sandra recommends for the pattern so in the end I used some Noro Silk Garden Lite yarn, of which I'd bought a couple of extravagant balls back in the Spring. Although Noro Silk Garden Lite yarn is expensive, I am not sure it didn't work out substantially cheaper than buying lots of balls of a cheaper yarn in single colours.* And the advantage of using a variegated yarn while travelling is major - you don't need to cart the bulk or weight of umpteen balls of yarn in different colours around with you but neither are you stuck with a project all in one colour. Good news for those of you who, like me, like a bit of colour change to keep you happy. And the effect of using variegated yarn, although rather different from Sandra's lovely prototype, is pretty, I think.

*In fact it worked out at almost exactly half price because you only need two balls of the Noro yarn instead of eleven separate colours - thrifty or what?! (I know, I know, let's not go there!)

I finished the flowers in Provence under the shade of the wisteria on the terrace of the Mas, where we were staying.

At the end of the week, the bag - and it was already a bag, because the blossoms are joined-as-you-go - came home with me and waited patiently for a lining. A rummage in my fabric stash produced two suitable oddments of cotton fabric for the lining - one with tiny, lime-green polka dots on a cream background and a deep, rose pink one with a subtle pattern of darker pink flowers and leaves, traced on top.

The bag design cleverly uses two fabrics for the lining so that you can choose a relatively neutral fabric to show through the gaps of the trellis of hooky flowers of the bag's outside and a more dramatic fabric for the inside. I really like this feature.

The handles are plain D-shaped wooden ones which I got from here and they are easy to attach to the bag - you simply make the border deep enough to wrap over the base of them and sew in place.

Simple, neat and secure. I do like well-thought out designs like this.

This point got reached by the end of August and the bag was almost complete. All that remained was to hook up a few extra blossoms to attach to the handle by way of a little extra decorative touch. Took me to October to get round to them, but never mind! They make it, as so often finishing touches do and I love the result.

Perfect, as Sandra says, for when you want to pop out with a purse and keys and not a whole lot of other clobber.

It occurs to me that such a bag might make a good homemade Christmas present -  not too big or complicated to make and, unless you are as dilatory as Mrs T, nice and quick to complete!

Now with the loose ends from one project tidied up, I must move on to the next one so that I have a clear field for some new ones! Tee hee!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

I shall be finding a way to give my newly completed Blossoming Bag a little outing, 
... even if it's only to work!

E x


  1. wow E it's gorgeous, I love the colour way through the yarn so much, you must be really please with and itchy to take it out and about. Happy October
    Clare xx

  2. That's so pretty E, you are good, knuckling down and getting the job done!
    I loved your little slippers in the last post too - very exotic looking!

  3. Your bad is beautiful. I absolutely love the way you combine colors.

    I never got around to telling you that on your last post, your Cinderella slippers were such an inspiration to me that I actually found the pattern you crocheted and have downloaded it, and then went to YouTube to ensure knowledge of the Hdc method. You are a star!

  4. Dear E
    That is another stunning completed project and well worth taking time over, I feel! The colours are beautiful.
    Best wishes

  5. I'm always starting things, very easily distracted that's my problem! It's beautiful, and now you've finished it, you can use it! :) x

  6. It's very beautiful indeed - how clever to use Noro and take advantage of those colour changes!

    I love the word "dilatory". For some reason it always makes me think of Mr. Bennett in P&P. :)

  7. So pretty! I have been avoiding my unfinished crochet projects, but this time of year does call me to finish them up:)

  8. What an elegant and nicely-done project! I like how the variegated yarn ended up working -- each row seems to have its own color scheme, but each works gradually into the next. And what lovely foreign memories to have of when you made it!

  9. Very pretty and beautifully executed. That Noro yarn is a bit addictive isn't it? On a recent trip to John Lewis I was standing in front of the Noro display like the proverbial child in the sweetshop - too overwhelmed by choice to know where to begin. I bought one skein of silk garden light - will have to check out Ravelry for a one skein project. I also saw your post on the completed ripple blanket - it's beautiful and inspiring - I'm about halfway through my ripple blanket and seeing yours has given me the will to continue. I've got my 'WIP' list down to 12 - I've promised myself I'm not starting anything else until it's down to 3 - well perhaps winter hats for the boys may creep in before then.....

  10. Oh it's fab! It's a clever idea to use a colour changing yarn and it gives it a really different feel doesn't it? Love your lining fabric too, just right for your bag. Thanks too for all the lovely shout outs, so kind! :)

    S x

  11. What a beautiful bag. The variegated yarn works very well in that project and I can see the benefits in using that sort of yarn when travelling or out and about. I daren't buy any Noro yarn as I expect I'll fall in love with it and never want to use anything else ever again. x

    1. Just wanted to pop back and say I did get your email, and thank you, and that I replied last week - just wondering if it reached you and hoping that it did and you don't think me very rude for not responding! x

  12. I'm happy you finished your project. I think I remember you experimenting with yarn for this project when I was visiting. I have way too many unfinished projects lying about and need to finish up some wintery items before the cold weather sets in. I have half of a long vest done in Noro yarn and need to complete it. The yarn is so gorgeous. All the best.

  13. What a beautiful bag, I'd forgotten how much I love Noro

  14. Gorgeous bag, I love that you used Noro, it really was a fantastic idea. I loved seeing this bag on Sandra's blog.

  15. Your bag is gorgeous. How I love Noro. Carla

  16. This is the second bag I have seen and it looks great. I love the strong colours - Stride out with your bag Mrs T. My first visit to your blog today and I loved it. I am crocheting too at the moment. Jo x

  17. Dear E - What a stunning bag!!!! Perfect for those 'nipping to the shops' type outings!!! Thanks also the link to the place where you got the handles ... now I can make all the bags I had on my 'to do' list!!! Sending love as always. x


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