Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Simple Crocheted Amulet Bag

This is a simple and basic amulet bag. It has a long string so that it can be worn as a pendant. For the bag I used a combination of white crochet cotton thread size 60 and silver embroidery thread. For the strap and fringes I used a combination of white crochet cotton thread size 10 and size 8.

I used steel crochet hook size 1.24mm. I also used a bead threader. This is a needle-like thing that is made of plastic or nylon material. A crochet friend gave this to me and I have found this to be a very useful tool for threading small beads.

The beads I used as small glass beads and small wood discs, and one large glass bead.

The bag body is crocheted in one piece, folded, then crocheted along the side seam, along the bottom, then the other side seam, then the flap is crocheted. The strap is attached and crocheted separately.

The amulet bag measures 2.25" tall and 1.25" wide, with the flap measuring 1.75" long.

Amulet bags and the like have been around for centuries and they are getting quite popular in current times. For example are these amulet or medicine bags from Free People (photos below). To make your own, feel free to modify this pattern and use other colours, beads and yarns.


Using a collapsible or plastic bead threader, thread 150 glass beads onto the silver thread and cotton thread held together. Ch 11.

Row 1: (Right Side) Sc in second ch fr hook, sc in each of next 9 ch. 10 ch made. Ch 3 (count as 1 dc), turn.

Row 2: (Wrong Side) Slide bead, sk first sc, dc in next sc, *yo hook once, slide bead, insert hook in next dc, yo and pull loop through (3 dc made at this point including the 3-ch which counts as 1 dc); slide bead, dc in next dc; yo hook once, slide bead, insert hook in next dc, slide bead, yo and pull loop through; slide bead, dc in next dc; rep fr * in remaining sc (10 beaded dc made); ch 1, turn. (Note: All beads should be facing the back of the work).

Row 3: Sc in each dc (10 sc made); Ch 3 (count as 1 dc), turn.

Row 4-18: Rep rows 2-3, omitting ch 3 in the last row, instead, ch 1, turn.

Row 19: Sc in each dc. Now work along the seam of the bag, joining the two sides together as follows:

Ch 1, sc in side of sc, *ch 1, slide bead, ch 1, sc in side of dc, ch 1, slide bead, ch 1, sc in side of next sc, rep fr * along side of bag; when you reach the bottom of bag work the same stitches in every other stitch, then work along the other seam of the bag similarly. End with sc in side of sc at last row, then work the flap of the bag as follows:

Sk first sc, sc in each of the next 8 sc, ch 1, turn, sc in each of next 8 sc, ch 1, turn, *slide bead, sc in next sc (bead sc made), rep fr * in all 8 sc; ch 1, turn, sc in each of the next 8 sc, ch 1, turn, sk first sc, bead sc in each of next 6 sc, ch 1, turn, sk first sc, sc in each of next 4 sc, ch 1, turn, sk first sc, bead sc in each of next 2 sc, ch 1, turn, sc together the two sc, ch 1, turn, bead sc in sc. Fasten off.

Using needle and thread, sew the large glass bead and two wooden discs to tip of flap. See photo for detail.


Thread 25 wooden discs onto the white crochet thread size 8 and size 10 held together. Leaving 3" tail, join with sc to side of bag, slide disc, ch 3, slide disc, ch 5, slide disc, ch 3, slide disc, ch 7, slide disc, ch 5, slide disc ch 9, slide disc, ch 3, slide disc, ch 12, slide disc, ch 5, slide disc, ch 7, slide disc, ch 15, etc. Make strap 30" long then join with sc to other side of bag. Cut leaving 3" tail.

Using needle join more thread to end of the strap to make a fringe. Trim the fringe with sharp scissors.

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why I Love Making Halter Tops

If you want to crochet a garment, I think a halter top is the best, most satisfying and easiest for a beginner. At first I thought that a skirt has got to be the easiest. But I was wrong.

A skirt actually requires more skill. It needs good shaping otherwise it would look stiff or would bring out a lot of bulges. A skirt, even a short one, uses a lot of yarn too. A halter top, however, use less yarn and involves simple shaping.

Here's a halter top that I started yesterday afternoon and finished today. I used 6-ply cotton yarn, 3.5mm hook and three plastic buttons.

Work begins with a schematic of the halter top with my measurements. Then there's the stitch pattern and a gauge swatch.

 I'll use this lovely stitch pattern (below) to make the top. The top requires some shaping and this should be easy to do with the stitch pattern. The notes in the drawing above (notes A and B) indicate how the shaping may be done.

However, while crocheting, I realised that I didn't really need much shaping by increasing stitches for the body of the halter top. It was just a difference of about 2 inches from the waist to the bust. So all I really had to do was use a smaller hook (3mm) in the first several rows from the bottom, then switch to a larger hook (3.5mm) towards the top.

Here (below) is the work in progress. I have just reached the section over the bust and shaping begins at the sides. Shaping decreases towards the neck so I had to had to skip 3 stitches at each side.

Here (below) is the finished halter top. I am yet to weave in ends and sew on the buttons. The strap is four strands of the same yarn, but I added two strands in lighter colour.

The buttons are sewn on here. The holes in the crochet fabric serve as buttonholes.

Here are photos of the finished garment. It is so easy to make. A simple crocheted halter top like this can also be embellished with beads and the like. Different colours of yarns may also be used.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ala Miss June Desert Bag

Some of you are probably familiar with this lovely crochet bag from Free People. I thought maybe try make one- not exactly like it - but just the idea of using a doily pattern for the bag.

The doily I chose is from Magic Crochet magazine that a crochet friend gave a couple years back. I chose this doily because it's big, beautiful and doesn't have too many large holes.

I am using 3mm hook and 6-ply cotton yarn. The bag will need a lining for sure.

A couple of modifications will be needed later - first, to make the shape, the bag seems to taper towards the top and bulge at the bottom, is there a gusset? Second, to make the scalloped trim flap and figure out how the bag closes (I see a drawstring at the opening). Third, to make the fringed accents along the bottom of the bag, and Fourth, to make the bag strap.

Let's do it! :)

Ala Miss June Desert Bag