Knit Gift Purse

A version of this pattern was previously published on Think Crafts!

The holidays are here. Need a quick handmade gift? I had a last minute gift to make and managed to crank this purse out over a weekend. If you need a gift and have little time make this purse. I wrote this pattern as simply as possible to help save you time. Plus it’s completely adjustable. Want a bigger or smaller purse? Just adjust the square and strap to your desired size.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL
Beginner knitter

Intermediate sewer (optional)

MATERIALS
Yarn -fiber and color of your choice
Knitting needles
Fabric for liner (optional)
Zipper
Thread
Buttons (optional)
Yarn needle

PATTERN
Decide how big you’d like your purse to be. Want a 12” rectangular purse? Cast on until you have 12” of stitches. Want a small square purse? Cast on until you have 6” of stitches. Then knit stockinette until you have a square or rectangle that suits your tastes. Bind off.

Knit a second square or rectangle to match the first. Decide how wide you’d like the shoulder strap to be. I went with two inches. Cast on and knit stockinette until it’s the length you want. The shoulder strap, like the purse, is completely adjustable to your tastes.

Keep knitting stockinette so the shoulder strap wraps around the sides and bottom of the purse squares. This will create space inside your bag.

Block the pieces. If you’re pressed for time can skip this step.

Seam the squares to the strap. Seam the strap ends together.

Don’t know how to sew on a machine? No problem. Just weave in your yarn ends and call this purse done!

If you can sew, then grab some fabric. Again this is a quick project so I didn’t do any measuring. I just cut a length of fabric and pinned it to the strap.

For the liner you can make it as simple or as complex as you like. Cut two rectangles of fabric and a thin strip. Sew together and call your liner done. Or you can add pockets:

I got fancy with this one and added small pockets and a thin pocket for a pen. However, this was a last minute gift for Thanksgiving so I didn’t have much time. I measured nothing! I just cut out squares for pockets, pinned them down and sewed them into place.

Sew the strap lining to the knit strap. You can do this on the machine or by hand.

Put the liner into the purse and pin the zipper into place.

Sew the zipper into place. But oh no what’s this? My zipper wasn’t long enough!

There’s nothing like a deadline to spark creativity. I just knit two small squares and sewed them in and it looked intentional!

If you’re pressed for time you can call this purse done at this point.

A handknit purse that’s lined with pockets makes a great gift.

But if you have a bit more time you can make some I-cord flowers to give it that extra flair. I made mine out of scrap yarn and buttons from my button jar. Here’s a handy I-cord tutorial:

Knit I-cord to your desired length. Then curl it around and sew down onto the purse. Sew a button in the middle. I made three flowers in different colors.

FINISHING
If making, sew flowers onto purse. Weave in ends.

Now your last minute gift is done. Wrap it up and pat yourself on the back. Craft on!

Renovare Monstrum

I’ve created a new monster pattern! This time it’s a sewing pattern kit that comes with instructions and all the materials you need to make your own monster. The precut fabric is made from upcycled sweaters. The felt, yarn, ribbon and buttons are all upcycled as well. I’ve chosen the name of this kit to reflect these materials being reused for a new purpose: Renovare Monstrum (Latin for Renew Monster).

A limited supply is now available at Salty Teacup in Portland. Future kits will be available for sale online. Stay tuned!

As always, my faithful sewing assitant supervised the design process.

Crochet Cat Bed

An earlier version of this tutorial was published on Think Crafts!

Want to make a special present for that beloved furball in your life? While this cat bed won’t guarantee your cat will stop napping on your computer (mine hasn’t) it will give your cat a special place to sleep all her own.

Craft
Crochet

Difficulty
Beginner

Materials
Fun Fur Yarn
Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Yarn
Crochet hook (Size H 8 or size needed to get desired gauge)
Craft Foam

Gauge
None. Use whatever yarn and needle you want.

Size
Custom

Notes
* Repeat pattern between * *
CH Chain
CO Cast on
DC Double Crochet
RND Round
SL ST Slip Stich
STS Stitches

Pattern

CH 6
Join into a ring, making sure not to twist stitches

RND 1
CH 3, Work 11 DC in ring
Join round with SL ST to top of CH 3 (Each round will end with this type of join.)
12 STS

RND 2
CH 3, DC into first stitch, then 2 DC into every stitch
24 STS

RND 3
CH 3, *DC around row, 2 DC into every second stitch*
36 STS

RND 4
CH 3, *DC around row, 2 DC into every third stitch*
48 STS

Continue adding an extra DC in this fashion: every fourth stitch one round, every fifth stitch the next round, every sixth stitch the next round, etc. Keep increasing until bed is desired size. If the bed starts to wrap, add a round of DC with no increases. This will help it lay flat.

Once you have reached desired size switch to the feather yarn. Crochet making rounds with no increases until desired height. I crocheted until my feather yarn strip was six inches tall.

Fold the feather strip around a strip of foam. Sew down the edge over the foam strip. Weave in ends.

Lure your kitty onto her new bed with some catnip.

Craft on!

Ruffle Bowl

This post was previously published on Think Crafts!

Invited to a party and need a gift? A crochet gift bowl is a quick project that leaves an impression. Make one in a pastel color and fill it with baby socks and pacifiers for a baby shower. Make one in a cotton yarn and fill with washcloths, fancy soap and hand lotion for a housewarming party. Or make one in your favorite color and fill it with yummy treats to pamper yourself!

This pattern is highly flexible. Want to make this bowl out of thicker or thinner yarn? No problem! Just use an appropriate crochet hook for your chosen yarn and follow the pattern as is. Want to make a smaller or larger bowl? I address that in the Variation section of the pattern.

Craft
Crochet

Difficulty Level
Beginner

Materials
Yarn: Worsted Weight
Crochet Hook: Size H//5.0mm
Darning Needle

Gauge:
16 stitches/10 rows = 4 inches

Size:
small bowl

Finished Measurements:
4 1/4″ wide, 4″ tall, 14 1/2″ circumference of bowl

Abbreviations:

CH = chain
DC = double crochet
RND = round
SL ST = slip stitch
STS = stitches
* = repeat directions between *

Pattern

RND 1
CH 6, join into a ring
CH 3 (the CH 3 will count as your first stitch for each round)
Work 11 DC in ring
Join round with SL ST to top of CH 3 (each round will end with this type of join)
12 STS

RND 2
CH 3, DC into first stitch, then 2 DC into every stitch
24 STS

RND 3
CH 3, *DC around row, 2 DC into every second stitch*
36 STS

RND 4
CH 3, DC around row, 2 DC into every third stitch*
48 STS

RND 5
CH 3, *DC around row, 2 DC into every forth stitch*
60 STS

Continue in DC until piece measures 3″, approx seven more rounds

Variation
For smaller bowls-Follow instructions until desired size. Continue onto Tie RND.

For larger bowls-DC into every fifth, sixth, seventh stitch (and so on) every row until you reach desired size. Then continue in DC until piece measures desired height. Continue onto Tie RND.

(Tie RND and Ruffle will have more stitches due to pattern alteration.)

Tie RND
This round is more “open” so tie can be woven through
CH 3, *DC one stitch, CH 1*
30 stitches

Ruffle
If using contrasting color for ruffle switch yarns before Ruffle RND 1

RND 1
CH 3, 2 DC into one stitch, *DC, 2DC until end of row*
90 STS

RND 2
CH 3, 2 DC into one stitch, *DC, 2DC until end of row*
135 STS

Cord
Cut three lengths of 25″ yarn. Tie knot, braid pieces, tie knot at end. Weave the cord into the “open row” under the ruffle.

Weave in ends

Fill with goodies and craft on!