Crochet Design Tapestry Crochet tinahely arts group

A Lively Handbag

I have not exactly been going to bed early the last week or so and that is for a very good reason, if I may say so myself. I allowed myself to indulge in a spot of my all time favourite crochet discipline, namely tapestry crochet.

I have harboured the idea for a colourful handbag for a while but never got around to doing the number crunching to make it possible to manifest. However, the Tinahely Arts Group are having huge Culture Night celebrations on Friday September 23rd and one of the events is a group exhibition at the Riverside Business Centre and I thought my Live Life * Love Life Tapestry Handbag would lend itself to an outing for that.

There is nothing like a deadline to focus the mind and this is the result of my labour.

Life life - love life tapestry crochet handbag detail 1 by Irene LundgaardLive Life * Love Life Handbag © Irene Lundgaard 2011

Life life - love life tapestry crochet handbag by Irene LundgaardLive Life * Love Life Handbag © Irene Lundgaard 2011

Life life - love life tapestry crochet handbag detail 2 by Irene LundgaardLive Life * Love Life Handbag © Irene Lundgaard 2011

I rolled out a large ball of the wonderful Kauni Effektgarn. The colours are rich and clever – they inspire me every time I have a ball about the place. It’s actually not just the colours that inspire me, but also the coarseness of the wool and not least the wonderful scent of lanolin that emits as one works through the ball of yarn resulting in baby soft hands. The contrast colours are worked in Einband from Ístex, another one of my all time favourite yarns which is coarse too. Coarse yarns are great for stitch definition, a vital ingredient in anything I crochet.

I used simple, classical bamboo handles which I got at The Yarn Room, they are ‘au naturel’ which plays well with the yarn, while they, at the same time, are delicate enough to give the bag balance. They make the most wonderful clicking sound when one grabs the two handles together.

Oh yes, the aesthetics of a handbag…

The pattern is available in UK as well as US terminology and it is also available in Danish.

I love the material of the bag and not least the sentiment of the writing on the bag. I hope you will enjoy this bag as much as I do too!

Approx 30cm x 30cm / 12in x 12in.
100g / 4oz Kauni Effect Yarn EQ;
1 x 50g / 2oz Einband Lopi 9028 – A or single colour Kauni;
1 x 50g / 2oz Einband Lopi 1770 – B or single colour Kauni.
Approx 60cm / 24in length of rope (approx 3-4mm / 1/8 in diameter);
2 D-shaped cane handles;
Approx 100cm / 40in of leather strap in contrast colour for tying on handle.
Hooks & Notions:
2.5 mm crochet hook, tapestry needle.
Tension: Approx 26 sts x 26 rows to 10 cm / 4 in.
Special skills:
This bag is worked in tapestry crochet. The design pattern is worked from a chart only, all other instructions are written. I would classify the level of difficulty as intermediate.

€ 3.50

The pattern will be sent to you by E-mail as a PDF-file ready to print with both UK and US terminology or in Danish if that is your chosen language. It will be sent to you within 24 hours of your purchase.

The pattern is also available in my Ravelry shop and can be found here: buy now

Tapestry Crochet

Happy Handbag

Happy Handbag - Tapestry CrochetI have finally found a workaround for the handles of the handbag I started in June. I couldn’t finish it there and then as the vintage handles I had stashed were first hidden in ‘a safe place’ and when they finally showed up, they turned out to be unsuitable for the bag.

I then went through the long procrastination about how to solve the issue… I ended up using a couple of bamboo handles which I covered in crochet to get the right balance – they were too flimsy ‘au naturelle’. I made a square insert for the bottom, to give the bag a bit of hold, I used a piece of wood with holes for the handle ties in the upturn along the inside of the brim and I tied the handles on with the most delicious orange coloured leather straps.

I am a little bit in love with this bag… It’s bright and cheerful, I like bright and cheerful.

Note: The bag is worked in remnants of Lett-Lopi and Studio Donegal Aran weight yarns, it is worked on a 4.5 mm hook to give a good strong texture to the fabric.

Crochet Design

The Texture Of My Colour Pallet

I often dream of experimenting with textures in crochet but I never get much further than using pretty stitch combinations – if I even get that far. I have seen wonderful cabled garments and Afghans or blankets crochet with deep textures and even crochet cables a la Aran sweaters and I find it very pretty. I also often dream of going mad with free-form scrumble crochet a la Prudence Mapstone. As a matter of fact, I should have been at one of her workshops last year here in Ireland but had to cancel as the date clashed with one of The Irish Reef workshops at the time and I ended up never really taking flight in that particular discipline either.

I have come to realize that my true love is colour and that texture is secondary to me in the sense that the yarn will provide that, if the right yarn is chosen for any given project, that is. I feel no need to make texture in any fabric other than what is possible to do in colour. Having said that, some of the most beautiful knitwear I have ever seen was cables worked in lace-weight yarn. So perhaps my true love is fine yarn with colours or textures rather than big chunky yarn…

Muliticoloured Tapestry Crochet Bag Pretty Colours © Irene Lundgaard 2011

I was mulling all this over while I was working on a much needed tea cosy replacement for our teapot. The one we have is in a very very sorry state and should probably have been changed years ago but I also appreciate the beauty of dilapidation; I reckon you are forced to come to that realization at a certain age ;), hence the more dead than alive tea cosy state of affairs in this household.

Like most ‘yarnies’, I am fairly well stocked when it comes to yarn stash and I decided that I would limit myself to using remnants in Aran weight yarn only for the new tea cosy, I also wanted to work it in some simple tapestry crochet to utilise the thickness of that fabric and I just made up what you see above as I went along. What fascinates me is the colour pallet I had in my remnants. I never wear brown, I hardly ever wear orange or green, and have never actually knit or crochet a garment in red. But still, the colours were there in my stash. And that’s the whole thing with colour, you can’t just use the ones that you love the most, you need to use the colours that you mightn’t use normally or even ones you dislike to really get the contrast which makes the texture of colour. It really is fascinating.

As for the tea cosy, I have actually decided to turn it into a handbag. The colours and textures are just right for a handbag and I think I have some wooden vintage handles somewhere that would just make it the perfect funky bag… And yes, I’m back to the drawing board with that tea cosy, fortunately the dilapidated one is still about the place…