More wedding stuff!

So as I anticipated in my last post, this year I have been invited to four weddings!
It surely is exciting that so many people are in love and decided to get married, a little less thrilling is the fact that three of these wedding are concentrated within three weeks and are divided between two countries.

I am also maid of honour for two of the three, so I had my work cut out for myself. I already attended a wedding in April, in Rome and it was simply a delight; now I am preparing for a three week intense wedding attendance (first in line is tomorrow).

Two of the brides asked me to make them a personalised wedding ring pillows, and I gladly accepted.

Lisa’s wedding colour scheme is going to be lilac, Tiffany blue and silver. In my head it was something looking like this:

I considered my options and I decided that for her wedding ring pillow the best choice would be Lilac with a silver brooch. She will add a Tiffany blue ribbon when I give it to her. As Lisa likes simple, but pretty things I decided to use my most classic design. This is the result:

Once I finished it I was really pleased with it (and so far she is too, at least from the picture I sent her through Whatsapp). I can only hope that next week, when she will have to use it for the cerimony, she will still be.

Lisa has been a very close friend of mine since I was 7 years old, we really went through a lot together and since now I live in England and she is back in Italy, I didn’t have the chance to be there to help her through the preparations for her big day.

Moved by the desire to make something special and unexpected for her, I decided to also make her a bridal bag. Lisa does crochet and knitting as well, so I am pretty sure she will appreciate this kind of gift 🙂
I wanted something small enough not to bother her during the wedding, but at the same time big enough to store her phone and some other small objects.

There were many options of patterns out there, both on Ravelry and on other blogs, but nothing really spoke to me. After trying and failing, I decided to create something new and inspired by her.

This is what I called Lisa’s wedding bag. I used some Italian cotton I had in shade white and lavender, but Rico Design Crochet Essential Cotton DK white and violet would do just fine.

The bag is about 13.5 cm tall and 13 cm wide at the base. As you can see I also applied a little rose on the side which I found on the Lion Brand website as an embellishment for another bridal bag. If you want to make it you can find it here, just sign up for the Lion Bran website to access their stunning patterns.

I also had some beads, small little pearls that I thought could really add some extra spark to the bag. I used them at the end of the cord.

As I carried the two colour yarns along the inside really looked tidy, without many loose ends to weave in, but something was missing. A beautiful satin lining!

I am not seamstress, I can sew my crochet or knitting together, but sewing (by hand or with a sewing machine) is definitely not my trade.

[*Begin of a little digression on my private life. I was recently gifted a sewing machine by a wonderful lady who knew I wanted to learn, but at the moment I am still reading the manual and this project was definitely not one I wanted to sacrifice to the Gods of learning.*End of digression on my own private dreams and missing achievements*]

Luckily for me I am surrounded by very talented and skillful people, and this time it was Eve who came to the rescue. She not only lined the bag for me, but she also showed me how to do it (with the hope I could replicate it on my own on a different project).

The lining was the perfect final touch, it also gave the bag the support it needed. Thank you Eve!

The othe bride of mine *giggles* is Italian but now lives near me here in England. Having her close meant that I could be more involved in her wedding preparations.

She went for a more traditional colour scheme, Ivory and Red. A classic and fancy choice. Since I knew a little bit more about her choices for the venue and the wedding I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and try to add some beading to my crochet. I took one of my wedding ring pillow design and I modified it a little so that I could place some pearls on the front. This is how it turned out.

I honestly cannot say who was the most excited, if the bride or me when I finished it. She has it already (hers is the first wedding of the September season) so I am positive she really liked it. [*Phew*]

As she saw the bag I made for Lisa’s big day she pulled out her best puppy eyes to me and asked me if I could make her another one in the colours of her wedding. One week more or less to her wedding and I took my crochet hook out and whipped out her own version of the bag.

This time I used thicker yarns (Sirdar Soukie gold dust, Patons Smoothie red, and some doubled Anchor Artiste Metallic silver) as she wanted those specific hues in her bag. I had to modify the pattern but I believe the result is beautiful nonetheless.

So today here I am, ironing the last bits of our dress and suit to start this wedding season. We start tomorrow and it will be a long and exciting September month.

If you liked my bag, keep an eye on my Ravelry shop page, the pattern for Lisa’s wedding bag will be published there soon 🙂 Simply Yarn on Ravelry.

*** UPDATE ***

The pattern to make your own Bridal bag  is available for digital download on Ravelry, click here.

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Purses, purses, and more purses (crochet and knitting).

My mom recently asked me to make her a small purse for her house keys that she could keep in her handbag. She requested something small, flat enough not to be bulky in the handbag and resistant enough so that it would not get ruined by the keys.

I decided I was going to make a small purse measuring 13 cm  x 8 cm, but I didn’t want to settle for a plain single crochet pattern. I love to learn new techniques and try my hand with new stitches. So I went online trying to find inspiration, and I discovered the Crochet Stitchionary and the Knitting Stitchionary.

I started scrolling through the website and I selected the one that I considered perfect for my project: a ribbed pattern using  the front post double crochet stitch. I used a 4 mm hook and Stylecraft Cotton Classique in red (the button comes from a recycle stash), the base is a 20 chain long foundation worked on both sides, and with one increase at each corner (44 sts). I worked 3 rounds in sc, then 1 round in dc and then I started the ribbed pattern.

This is how the purse looks like.

purse red

If you don’t know how to crochet a front post double crochet there is a fantastic video tutorial here. I also sewn the two side ribs together (1 st at the 2nd row from the bottom and 1 st after another 2 rows) to keep it flatter (and please my mom).

After finishing this project I realised I was really intrigued by all the other stitches I had seen on the Stitchionary… so I went back to it. The purse frenzy had begun.

Using again Stylecraft Cotton Classique in beige and a 4 mm hook I made this:

beige purse

This stitch is called Modified Sedge Stitch (tutorial here) and it usually requires to turn the work. I modified it, as I worked it in round (same number of stitches as the red purse), and I love how it turned out.

The third purse caused me a little headache… I chose to use the Uneven Berry Stitch because it is simply lovely. I made the purse in Stylecraft Cotton Classique in ivory and I tried to modify it in order to work it in round. My purse turned out to be wobbly and bumpy. See below, and judge yourself.

white purse

Unsatisfied with the result (I think I have a mild case of OCD) I hooked on another one in yellow (sunflower), this time following diligently the instructions (Uneven Berry Stitch tutorial here). It paid off, since after making the two panel and sewing them together, I got this:

yellow

After all these successful attempts I felt confident enough to attempt even a bigger project…. I wanted to turn a granny spiral potholder into a satchel purse!

I selected my shades for the spiral (green, seville, beige) and set to work. After the spiral was completed I had to improvise a little .. I mixed rounds of sc, hdc, sc in the lower row… I honestly tried to write down some instructions (after I had finished it) but it was confusing also to me. Maybe this is meant to be a unique item… or maybe on my next try, I will write down some notes as I work it.

green1

green2

After all these crocheted purses,  I felt the need to knit something.

I had done a fully knitted Satchel Mini Purse (see my previous post here) that I loved, but I was eager to try and mix a crochet base with a knitted bag. I am not even trying to hide the fact that at the moment I am obsessed with this plum color…

So for this bag I made a simple base of 6 sc in magic ring increasing until I got 60 sts. Then I picked up 60 sts with my 4 needles and I worked the Simple Grill pattern alternating plum and white. Again, since I like working in round, I had to modify the instructions to fit with my technique. You can find the basic tutorial for the Simple Grill pattern here.

ribbed

I was so happy with the result that I hooked/casted on another one. I had so many different shades of Stylecraft Cotton Classique that I just had to experiment and enjoy the ride.

This purse is really simple, but I love the way it turned out. It is an Autumn color scheme, really warm and soothing. Again I made a crochet base (6 sc in magic ring, then increase each round until I got 60 sts), I picked up the stitches on my 4 knitting needles and I knitted it in round alternating the colors. I made a ribbed edge to hide the cord, but this time I turned it outwards so that the opening for the cord is in the front.

beige1

beige2

 Ta-dah! This is what kept me occupied in the last weeks… if you have any question about some of the purses or if you want to share some of your creations I will be delighted to see what you came up with.

Happy knitting /crochet!