Monday
Mar242014

A New Spring Pattern to Help Celebrate National Crochet Month!

Today is day 24 of National Crochet Month (Can you tell I'm a Jeff Gordon fan?) and a month long blog tour of crochet designers sponsored by Crochetville!  To have day by day updates, please "LIKE" Bonnie Bay Crochet on Facebook, and I'll be sure you get daily reminders in your news feed of the new free patterns which will be available to you for the rest of the month, as well as other crochet news.  

The charity that we are sponsoring this year is "Halos of Hope", which is a wonderful organization that provides handmade hats to those suffering from cancer.  Should you wish to donate either money or your own hand crocheted hats, you can find the address to send them here.  If you are looking for hat patterns, you can find some on the Halos of Hope website, or choose your favorite pattern! 

Since the theme for this year’s tour is Spring, I am offering this easy “Spring Gig Bag” as a free pattern for a limited time.  Even a beginner could give this one a try!  I even have a video for this stitch here. You will need to scroll down to the fifth video on this page.  (A left-handed version is also available here.)  The pattern is below.  

I also recently posted a new video series for beginners on how to read a crochet pattern.  You can find them here.  By the end of the third video you will have read patterns to complete a matching hat and scarf set.

Also be sure to check out photos from our recent crochet demonstration at our local library to celebrate National Crochet Month.  

 

Spring Gig Bag

by Bonnie Barker

Description:  Bring in the spring with this colorful, easy to crochet gig bag!  Made of all natural, renewable materials, you will find it easy to clean, practical to use, and it won’t break your budget.  It is a great way for a beginner to learn the double stitch and crochet in the round.  Don’t forget to add a pair of stunning fused glass buttons by Diane  Irvine (diirvine.com) to really make your bag pop!

Skill Level:  Beginner/Easy

(Note:  Should you need help with any of these stitches, free instructional videos are available at BonnieBayCrochet.com.)

Materials:  2 balls of  Peaches & Cream in Bright Blue (#1742, 100% Cotton yarn, worsted weight, 120yds/109m, 2.5oz/70.9g)

Crochet hook size H (or 8) or size needed for gauge

 Yarn needle for sewing & hiding loose ends.

One pair of wooden handles (8” x 4”)

2 Glass Buttons 

Gauge:  7 sc = 2”, 4 rows = 1”

Let’s Begin...

Ch 25

Row 1:  Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across.  Turn.  (24 sc)

Row 2:  Ch 1, sc in each sc across.

Rows 3 - 6:  Repeat Row 2.  (Bottom of bag completed.)

[Note:  Row 7 will be worked around all sides of the bottom of the bag.  At the end of each row below, join with a sl st to first st of the row.]

Row 7:  Ch 1, * sc in each sc across, ch 1, turn 90 degrees, sc in same space as last sc (corner made), sc across end of rows to next corner (1 sc per row), ch 1, turn 90 degrees, sc in same space as last sc.  Repeat from * around.  (60 sc)

Row 8:  Ch 1, * [sc, dc] across row to corner.  Work [sc, dc] in next ch-1 corner, in each of next 6 sc, and in next ch-1 corner.  Repeat from * around.  Turn  (80 sts)

Row 9:  Ch 1, [sc, dc] being careful to work each sc in dc (of previous row) and each dc in sc (of previous row), thereby establishing the double stitch pattern.

Rows 10 - 34:  Repeat Row 9.  Do not finish off, but continue to handles.

 

Handles

Row 1:  Work [sc, dc] over first 24 sts.  Leave remaining sts unworked.  Turn.  (24 sts)

Row 2:  Work [sc, dc] being careful to work each sc in dc (of previous row) and each dc in sc (of previous row).

Rows 3 - 7:  Repeat Row 2.  At the end of Row 7, finish off, leaving at least 14” of yarn to sew around wooden handle.

 

 Opposite Handle

Skip 16 sts (on Row 34), join with a sl st in next st.  Repeat Rows 1 - 7.

 

Button Flap

Ch 9.

Row 1:  [sc, dc] across.  Turn.  (8 sts)

Row 2:  [sc, dc] across row, being careful to work each sc in dc (of previous row) and each dc in sc (of previous row).

Rows 3 - 14:  Repeat Row 2.

Row 15:  Ch 1, sc, dc, sc, ch 2, sk 2 sts, dc, sc, dc.  (Button hole made.)  Turn.

Row 16:  Ch 1, sc, dc, sc, [dc, sc] in ch-2 space, dc, sc, dc.  Turn.  (Button hole completed.)  Turn.

Rows 17 - 18:  Repeat Row 2.

Rows 19 - 20:  Repeat Rows 15 & 16.

Row 21:  Repeat Row 2.  Finish off leaving at least 10” strand of yarn to sew flap in place.

 

Finishing

Using a yarn needle, fold each handle flap over the wooden handle and sew to Row 34 of bag.  Sew button flap to one side of bag, and buttons on the opposite side to correspond to button holes of flap.  Hide loose strands.

Saturday
Mar152014

Celebrating Crochet at the New Gaithersburg Library!

 

My daughter's monkey pointed the way to our room upstairs.

What a wonderful day!  Not only did the sun come out and the temperature finally get out of the frozen zone, but many people came out to learn how to crochet today!  Yes, it was just about perfect, but instead of telling you all about it, I'd rather show you!

 

From the moment we started at 11:00, it was hopping!  Thankfully a couple of my crochet buddies came to my rescue and were quickly put to work.  We had around 50 people come by throughout the day.

What a gift to be able to teach the next generation.  It was such a joy to see children and adults showing so much interest in this amazing art form!

 

Lily, one of my younger students patiently instructs a beginner in making a chain & beaded bracelet...

 

Here are some examples of Lily's work...pretty impressive for a 13 year old, huh? She has also interested some of her friends in this craft.

 


The only thing more beautiful that this lady's hat is her beautiful smile!

 

This young man enjoyed making one bracelet so much that he made another!

 

My hero, Vicki C. helps another new crochet student...

 

Our "Guess the Fiber" table where guests could feel different yarn samples and learn from where the fiber comes...

 

Bonnie helps someone become reaquainted with crochet...

I want to give a special thanks to Coats & Clark, (who make Red Heart Yarn and Susan Bates crochet hooks) for donating the crochet leaflets and crochet hooks. All of the crochet hooks have a new home and hopefully will be put to good use in the days to come!  Thanks also to Roman Santillan at the Gaithersburg Library for the generous use of the beautiful new room.

Stay tuned as National Crochet Month continues, and please stop by on March 24th when I'll be offering a new and easy crochet pattern for you!


Monday
Mar032014

How to Read a Crochet Pattern Videos Now Available!

After some wrestling with my computer, a tripod, and my camcorder, I'm happy to announce that my three part series on how to read a crochet pattern is finished!  (Hey, it sure beat shoveling the 6" of new snow outside today!)  This is just one more way to celebrate National Crochet Week.  I've met numerous crocheters over the years who have never learned to read patterns.  While I still marvel at what they can do, it makes me sad to see that a barrier remained for them.  This is why I make these videos available to all for free.  It's just like reading.  You can memorize and make up stories, but there is nothing like being able to read other writers' work!  It opens up whole worlds that otherwise remain locked shut.

If you do get a chance to view these, please know that I know that they aren't exactly full of Hollywood flash! But I hope you do find a clear, easy to understand way to decode crochet patterns.  Feel free to pass these on to those who would benefit from them.  I believe that if anyone can decode even a small amount of today's "text lingo" (you know, LOL, ROFL, BFF, etc.), then these simpler crochet terms are a breeze!

The three parts are listed below, but will also be on my video page under "Right-handed Beginner".

 

How to Read a Crochet Pattern:  Part 1

 

How to Read a Crochet Pattern:  Part 2

 

How to Read a Crochet Pattern:  Part 3

Saturday
Mar012014

March is National Crochet Month!  

Today is the beginning of National Crochet Month and a month long blog tour of crochet designers sponsored by Crochetville!  To have day by day updates, please "LIKE" Bonnie Bay Crochet on Facebook, and I'll be sure you get daily reminders in your news feed of the many new free patterns which will be available to you.  

The charity that we are sponsoring this year is "Halos of Hope", which is a wonderful organization that provides handmade hats to those suffering from cancer.  Should you wish to donate either money or your own hand crocheted hats, you can find the address to send them here.  If you are looking for hat patterns, you can find some on the Halos of Hope website, or choose your favorite pattern! 

Sunday
Feb232014

A Week of Giving Thanks...in February?

 

After reading the above title, some of you may be thinking, “Wasn’t Thanksgiving a few months ago?”  Well, yes, yes it was.  But I want to tell you about my past week, mostly spent in recovery mode following a back injury.  Last Saturday night, as I was attempting to stand up I also happened to sneeze...hard.  The next thing I knew I was on the floor rolling in severe neurological pain.  Those of you who have experienced this know exactly what I am talking about.  Any thought of moving the wrong way - in any direction - results in a form of sharp, sudden pain like being stabbed by something medieval style.  Instead of further complaining of my week, it occurred to me that I needed to do something radically different:  give thanks.  The Bible encourages us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (English Standard Version).  Notice that it says “all things”, and not “just good things” or “only when I’m feeling like it and doing well.”  As a disclaimer, I must confess that this was not the very first thought that jumped into my mind and heart as I lay there on the floor wondering how I was to get off the floor, walk across the room and climb 15 stairs to get to bed.  I definitely participated in more than my fair share of grumbling, fussing, and faithless moments throughout this week.  The good news is that I didn’t stay there, by God’s grace!  When He calls us to give thanks in all circumstances, He also provides the strength to do so.  As I thought of how to do this, I was amazed of the multitude of things, big and small, that I have continuously taken for granted before the back injury.  Because of this I realized that this week has really been a gift in disquise.  At any rate, here’s my list, in no particular order, of what I am giving thanks this week:

 

  1. For the ability to normally climb 15 stairs
  2. For being able to dress myself - pain free
  3. For being able to put myself in bed without assistance
  4. For being able to take a hot shower, again without assistance
  5. For the consistent availability of electricity that makes my heating pad (and countless other things in my home & life) work
  6. For God’s wisdom to ordain Sunday (day after injury) as a day of rest
  7. For learning that I was missed by friends at church that day (this warmed my heart in a surprising way) 
  8. For a personally hand-written note from my pastor telling me that he and his wife were praying for me 
  9. For words of encouragement from other crocheters via Facebook
  10. For my sister who has spontaneously unloaded and reloaded my dishwasher this week
  11. For my husband who cheerfully helped do the things I couldn’t do, even on his day off
  12. For children who were willing to take my mom to her medical appointment for me
  13. For the excellent doctors who cared for my youngest son in the emergency room in a timely manner this week (Yes, it has been an exciting week!)
  14. That my son is getting better quickly at home and that he isn't suffering from a chronic or life-threatening disease
  15. For waiting room chairs that were tolerable
  16. For my student driver who cheerfully & safely drove us to the doctor and hospital and pharmacy and grocery store...
  17. For the gift of legal pharmaceuticals that help bring healing
  18. For a vehicle reliable enough to transport us safely where we need to go
  19. For my children who were willing to help me put on my socks and shoes
  20. For being able to find a pain free position at night time which allowed sleep (This was not my experience 8 years earlier and spinal cord surgery was required.)
  21. For being able to tell that my body was slowly improving
  22. For being able to put on my socks all by myself 
  23. For being able to cook most nights, and to be able to afford to purchase the food
  24. For the weekend visit by my daughter (who is currently away at college)
  25. For the gift of crochet, which occupied my hands and mind while the rest of my body healed
  26. For the delivery companies who delivered some amazing yarn for a publication project
  27. For the time to complete a couple of crochet projects
  28. For the local pizza companies and their gift of one of the most tasty foods known to mankind
  29. For the world wide internet which allows work and other countless forms of communication to be accomplished from the comforts of a recliner
  30. For being able to worship with my home church, pain free
  31. For the down time to be able to contemplate how seldom I take the time to be thankful for all the blessings I have been given, and the grace to change