The crochet days grow longer

Each year I look forward to the winter solstice because I know that my crochet days will once again be getting longer, and I will have more of the precious daylight I love to work by.

Aware that I would have at least couple of seconds more to my crochet day, I did not want to waste any time dilly dallying around, so I asked my youngest son if I should work on A) embroidering pieces for my now 2017 North Carolina State Fair crochet project, or B) finish the sangria crochet flat bag based on Square C-1 from the Better Homes & Gardens Granny Square Sampler.

In his infinite wisdom, he chose B, and with that decision made, I gathered the materials I needed to bring this crochet project to fruition.

The first thing I needed to do was make a template for the lining.

I started by wading into the no-man’s land that is the floor of my pantry. After navigating past the dog food, the cat food, and some potatoes, I reached my brown paper bag stash and selected one:

Trader Joe's paper bag
A reusable recyclable paper bag from Trader Joe’s

Next, I gathered together a pair of scissors that can be used for cutting paper, a large, clear ruler, and the two crochet granny squares that form the front and bag of the future bag:

making a template for a purse lining pattern
Everything I need to make a template for the lining of a crochet bag

Then being careful to measure twice:

measuring for a template for a lining for a crochet bag
Measuring a crochet granny square to make a template for a purse lining

I made a template (which I forgot to photograph) that can be placed on the fold of the fabric I am using to line the purse. The resulting lining will require just one side and one bottom seam, and two little bitty seams along either corner to give it just the hint of a gusset.

With the lining well on its way to being done, I then turned my attention to the zipper I am planning to use as a closure:

two granny squares for a crochet bag
Two granny squares and a zipper for a flat crochet bag

A good crochet friend had recently sent me a video which showed an interesting solution to inserting a zipper into a crochet project, so I attempted to replicate what I saw in the video.

I started by counting the number of crochet stitches across the edge (and including the corners, and got 32.

Then, using straight pins, I marked 9 points along each side of the zipper:

zipper ready to be attached using crochet
Guide pins to sew the stitches needed to attach the zipper using crochet

those 9 points created 8 spaces, and I felt that that was close enough for me to be able to free hand four sewn stitches into each space. Unfortunately, I used a dark purple dual use thread which is, under the circumstances, difficult to see:

zipper ready to be joined with crochet
Zipper with 32 stitches on each side

With the zipper ready to go, but with a lining still to be done, then turned my attention to some strap/handle solutions. I had already crocheted a length of Romanian Point lace, but I want to have several different kinds of cord, so after studying several tutorials on how to make twisted yarn rope, I did exactly that using CraftSmart fuchsia and Red Heart Soft tangerine.

Here is a detail of my efforts:

Twisted cord for a crochet purse strap
Details of a twisted cord for my flat sangria crochet bag

and here is the overall effect:

Twisted cord for a crochet purse strap
Twisted cord for my flat sangria crochet bag

There is still a lot of detail work yet to be done, but I will move forward as I always do: one stitch at a time.

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