Monday, 2 March 2015

SHELLED BLING SLING


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SHELLED BLING SLING


A really cute sling bag that you can easily *bling* up !  I saw a really neat lacy, shell-like pattern that was irresistible – so I didn’t bother resisting.. and as you’re here too, guess this has piqued your fancy as well.

Inspired by one of those wonderful free floating freebies over the net and using the pattern chart as basic inspiration, I am, as usual, writing down my notes, and am sharing them with you. J
Of course, I have , as usual, had my bag lined with lovely silky satin to give it this finished end product.
(For finishing in India, do contact Mr. Suresh via text message on +91 91675 76825 or find him on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Suresh-Novelty-Craft-n-Thread-Store/764751610239578?fref=ts)

The Inspiration


Materials used : Polyester silk purse yarn in cones  ~two cone , with a 4 mm crochet hook for crochet hook ; two black wooden buttons for the flap and a few silver beads to add bling. 
General material info : Polyester silk purse yarn is available only in India.  It is a 4-ply thickness.
You can use any yarn with a suitable hook to work on this project.  You can make it to any size

Stitches used :
fdc : Foundation Double Crochet : This is a unique way of starting a project directly with a row of double crochet stitches.  This makes your whole project neat and even.. in a way that you need to do once, to agree!  If you are familiar with fsc, you’ll wonder why you never used this start before !

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3,I’d like to introduce a lovely way of starting a double crochet row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using this chainless dc start.



How to make a rounded cord for the handle : View the video link below for a really simple way to make a rounded cord handle for your handbag.  http://vimeo.com/88972371

How to make an I-cord : A neat way to make an I-cord in this video by June at http://www.planetjune.com/blog/how-to-crochet-an-i-cord/

Abbreviations used :
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                            sc : Single crochet
dc : Double crochet                                sp : Space                                           
sl-st : Slip stitch                                                            fdc : Foundation Double Crochet
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                                           hk : Hook
yo : Yarn Over                                                            ch : Chain


Instructions : (Using U.S terminology)
So let’s quickly analyse what we’re going to do here.  
We start our project at the bottom (base) of bag and then work our way up to the top.  
We will then work a flap and two straps for our bag, before adding bling (if you so feel like it).  

As mentioned before, you can make this to any size.  Just work your project in multiples of the stitch count given, and work it to any length and width you desire.

Our stitch count is in multiples of five.

Start with as many fdc as you need for approx one inch short of the length of your bag, in multiples of 5.
This one inch short is to accommodate the 3 dcs each that we will add to your last dc, and thereby add to the length of your bag.

Note : I urge you to try the fdc start for a good finish, but if you are still struggling with it, start with chains in multiples of 5 plus 2 and work the 1st dc in the 3rd ch from hk.  Ensure that at the end of that first row, you count your stitches and have the stitch count in multiples of 5.

Right, so we will now round off our base by working first on the top of this first fdc row ; 
then going around the sides of the fdc / dc; 
 and then bottom of the same fdc ; so that at the end of the next row,  we make this into a round.  
So say you start off with 10 fdc - you will work these 10 fdc, then turn 90°and work 3 dc on the side (or horizontal stem of that last dc), and then then turn 90° and go around to the bottom of the fdc and work dc’s all along this length too and then turn then turn 90° for the last time and work 3 dc on that 1st st again.  Thereafter we will work our project in rounds.

Base Round 1 : dc in the 1st dc and each dc till end ;
then turn 90° and work 3 dc in that end dc ; 
then turn 90°again and work dc along the bottom end of each dc till end ; 
then turn 90° for the last time and work 3 dc in that end dc again.  
Join with a sl-st to the 1st dc.  You now have your first round.

Note : Now our pattern is in repeats of five – so before you move on from this round, please check that your stitch count matches – else tweak it just a bit and add/remove stitches to make up the required number of stitches.

Base Round 2 : dc in the 1st dc and each dc till end.  Join with a sl-st to the 1st dc. 

Continue working in rounds till you have a base that is wide / high enough for you.  I worked about till my base was about 2.5-3”.
Note : Now for my base, during lining, I made my base flat (adding a stiffener and then lining it) so that the bag ‘sits’ flat ... So just an idea before you complete this base bit.

For convenience, I am restarting counts from Round 1 for the pattern now.

Pattern Round 1 : dc in the 1st 2 dc ; 
*ch 2,  sk next 2 dc, dc in the next 3 dc* ; 
rep *to* till last 3 dc ; 
ch 2, sk next 2 dc, dc in last dc.  Join with a  sl-st to the 1st st.

Pattern Round 2 : sc in the 1st dc ; 
*sk next dc, 5 dc in the next ch-2 sp ; sk next dc, sc in next dc* ; 
rep *to* till end.  
Join with a  sl-st to the 1st sc.

Pattern Round 3 : sl-st into the 1st dc ; dc in the next 3 dc  ; 
*ch 2, sk next 2 dc and sc, dc in the next 3 dc* ; 
rep *to* till end ; 
ch 1 and hdc, sk next 2 dc,  join with a  sl-st to the 1st st.  
(You are now in the centre of that last ch-2 sp, and we will start right here for next round)

Pattern Round 4 :  5 dc in the 1st ch-2 sp ; sk next dc, sc in the next dc ; 
*sk next dc, 5 dc in the next ch-2 sp ; sk next dc, sc in next dc* ;
 rep *to* till end.  
Join with a  sl-st to the 1st dc. 

and can you believe that you have finished one pattern repeat already? 

and 
Rep Rounds 3 and 4 till you have a project of the length you desire, ending with Round 3.



To end off and give that edge some stiffening, the designer has done 2 rounds of dc – so if you would like that finish, you will work 1 dc in each of the 1st 3 dc, and 2 dc in each ch-2 sp all around, joining with a sl-st to the 1st dc.  In the following (last) round, you will work one dc in each dc all around.

Now I’ve made a slight change here, and done 5 finish rounds.. so the first 2 rounds as above, then in the next round, I’ve skipped every 5th st and done a ch-1 there, to give small ‘holes’ all around.

In the next round, I’ve done a dc in each dc, and 1 dc in the ch-1 sps all around, and finally topped it all off with a dc in each dc till end.

In that 3rd round (where I’ve made my ch-1 holes), I’ve run my strap / handle / cord through. (Links on how to make cords given above).
Of course, you could just get yourself a nice shiny blingy handle as well and save yourself the bother of a cord. J



Now the designer has made a flat strap – so you’d like you can make that too.. with a long fdc chain to start (depending on the length of strap / handle) you desire, and then dc in each dc till end ; repeating dc rows till you have a strap width desired.  You will need to make two such straps.
One can also start with say 5 fdc, and then just work on these dc’s all the way up making the strap this way, 5 dc’s at a time – but (a) I feel there will be too much stretch in this type of start, and (b) no matter how neat and experienced you are, the edges of the 1st dc’s on each alternate row stick out.
That said, these are the options for you .. so have fun and be creative.

The designer has then used belt buckles to join her straps down, but once again I’ve decided to tweak it a bit – so options and decisions for you yet again. J

FLAP :
For the flap, we’ll work it as a separate unit and then attach it to one side of our bag.
We start with the semicircular end, and then work up the flap to make the rectangular bit.

Start with a 7 dc in that circle.  Turn.
Do not pull tight and do not make it a circle – allow it to stay semicircular and we’ll now back and forth in rows.

Row 1 : dc in the 1st 3 dc ; 5 dc in the next dc ; dc in each dc till end.  Turn.

Row 2 : 2 dc in the 1st dc ; dc in the next dc ; 
*2 dc in the next dc ; dc in the next dc* ; 
rep *to* 2 times ; 
3 dc in the next dc ; dc in the next dc ; 
rep *to* till end ending with 2 dc in last dc.  Turn

Row 3 : dc in the 1st 2 dc ; 2 dc in the next dc ; 
*dc in the next 2 dc ; 2 dc in the next dc* ; 
rep *to*  2 times ; 
(dc in the next dc ; 2 dc in the next dc ; dc in the next dc ; 2 dc in next dc) ; 
rep *to* till end.  Turn.

Row 4 : dc in the 1st dc ; 
*2 dc in the next dc ; dc in the next 3 dc* ; 
rep *to* 3 times ; 
(2 dc in the next 2 dc ; 3 dc in the next dc) ; 
rep *to* till end.  Turn.

We’ve done our semicircular end, so now to work the other part of the flap, we’ll turn and work in a rectangle.

Next row : Turning your work at 90°, evenly pick up dc’s all along this end. (which is the flat portion of the semicircle).  So I picked up 2 dc’s in each dc, and then 1 dc in the ‘magic circle’ bit.   Turn.

Next row : dc in each dc till end.  Turn.

Rep this dc row till you have a flap of the length you desire.

Fasten off and weave in ends.
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Finish off your project by attaching in the straps, or weaving in the cord (if you’ve done the ch-1 sps like I have) ; attaching the flap and then maybe blinging it by attaching some buttons onto the flap.  For further bling, I’ve attached on flat silver beads in the centre of each ‘hole’, accentuating it. 

Check the top of this blog for lining, adding zipper and making a bag cord instructions.

I have a few beads left and am wondering if I should add on a few to the strap.. hmmm.. let’s see... and let's get a quick dekho into the lovely interior of the bag...

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