Spreading the love of crochet

DSCF1154When I taught in Phoenix in April, my host Diane Eaton admired my crocheted bag several times, and each time she said “I want that bag” I retorted “you can crochet one, it is easy to make”. She had me convinced that she did not think she could crochet well enough, so I was very surprised when we were on our way home from dinner that she quickly pulled into JoAnn’s fabric store for some yarn to make one. I was delighted! One of the top ten happiest moments for a fiber artist is buying fiber. Another is helping someone else buy fiber.


The cool basket with yarn filling it was her booty. Lots of beautiful colored cottons and cotton blends, a crochet hook and twine. You do need a lot of colors to make this scrappy looking bag, but only a small amount of each color. So Diane will have enough yarn for several bags.

DSCF1163Another of my bags-in-progress is in the foreground. As I work on it, it serves to hold my yarns. I still have a few inches to crochet before finish it, and do the handles.

As it turns out, Diane had the basic crochet skills, and just needed a brushing up on the details. She was very motivated and in no time at all had the base of the single crochet bag finished. Her dog Humphrey seized the moment and grabbed a yummy looking ball of yarn before we had a chance to move everything out of harm’s way!

We are simply creating a single crochet spiral, crocheting over jute twine to add stiffness to the bag. When the diameter is large enough, stop increasing and the work will begin to form the sides of the bag. For more hints on a bag similar to this, go to Lucy24.

DSCF1153As you can see, Diane loves mugging for a camera, and insisted that she was actually  making a large yarmulke for her head.

DSCF1161My encouragement seems to have paid off. After an evening jump-start, Diane is thoroughly addicted to her new crochet craft. My work here is done.

Happy creative day to you ~ Karen

PS — Here is an update on Diane’s beautiful bag:

diane's bag!


29 thoughts on “Spreading the love of crochet

  1. As part of our wool club, Nola Heidbreder taught us to crochet using Noro yarn, some of making scarves, I made a purse. I had crocheted years ago, but after Nola giving me a refresher, I couldn’t stop. I thoroughly enjoyed the project and bought yarn to do another one. I plan to give these purses to my nieces for Christmas.


  2. Well this post is very inspiring as I’m making a new bag right now! Diane’s bag is going to be smashing, and such lovely colors! I’m making a version of your little birdsnest bag. I changed the pattern a bit to make it more my own, but am using your construction. I’m excited to finish hooking so I can see how well it comes together for me. Also, I’ve looked at Lucy’s pattern and may give this one a whirl. I’m not sure, but are you crocheting around the jute? Can I use just sort of a “mixed bag” of small leftovers stashed away from various projects that are all different blends. I guess I can just try and see what happens. Karen, your blog is always such a great inspiration to me, and I’ve tried out several of your ideas and patterns over the years. Thanks for sharing all your creativity!


    • hi dulcy, yes the bag is a single crochet, crocheting over the jute cording. use your scrap bag. i did stick with cotton, linen and blends of these fibers. some wool like merino blends looks very cotton-y. especially the noro yarns. i would try a scrap bag of leftovers, so go for it! thanks for commenting!


  3. Yea Diane!!!! Karen you have inspired me too!!! After several attempts I think I am getting the hang of it. Not that I need another project…but it is addicting…love the fun colors. Thank goodness YouTube has good demos!!


  4. Feel inspired to make a bag. Why do I always think I am going to have more time in the summer when I have 2 gardens to look after and visitors arriving. Oh well.

    I have a question about one of the pictures on the right. The one under the picture with the word “Inspire”. What is it? Woven metal, wool, ?? I keep looking at it and wondering but I haven’t been on your blog all that long so don’t know if you have discussed it.


  5. I was inspired by your post too several weeks back, and immediately began to make my own…the jute really allowed me to mix textures and weights of wool, linen, etc and it all worked out beautifully. It turns out that I use it to carry the ball I take to yoga classes…and it always gets positive comments. You probably have no idea how many projects you inspire. I am now working on the sweater you posted the other day. I ordered the yarn, via the web from the U.S. (I am in Canada), it arrived quickly and I am making mine now out of a lovely mossy colour. Thank YOU!


    • your comment gives me a great deal of joy! i feel like my mission is accomplished — i inspired someone to use their creative energies to make something they love! thank you for sharing your feelings today, karen


  6. I have never done crochet before. Should I get a standard book to learn the single crochet stitch and the increasing? I love the bag and want to try making one. Thanks for your inspiration and sneek away moments of joy!


  7. Hi Karen,

    Quick question. How do you use both the jute and cotton? Are you wrapping the cotton around the jute?
    I await your reply. Thank you! I bought the cotton, now all I need is the jute. Would you ever use Hemp?


  8. Karen, is there a pattern or tutorial for this bag? I did look at Lucy’s pattern but that isn’t just sc. I also would love to see how to sc over jute. I couldn’t find anything on YouTube.


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