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Free Pattern Friday: Granny 1/2 Square Bag

28 Jan

Remember that Half Granny Square Tutorial I did earlier this month?  Well, I ended up with this:


It's a sting ray!

Which, if you fold all three corners in towards the middle and whip stitch them, ends up looking like this:


OMG cute, right?

I added a little handle and a velcro closure (which I reinforced by embroidering that little extra bit of light green you see in the middle — velcro needs something to stick to!), and mailed this off to the second official recipient of my 2011 Handmade Pay It Forward Campaign (Want to get involved?  Use some form of electronic communication to contact me & I’ll tell you all the cool details).

Here are the official pattern directions:

1. Make a 1/2 granny square 15 rows big (look HERE for a refresher on how to accomplish this).

2. sc around the entire 1/2 square & FO.

3: Fold any two adjacent corners in toward each other until they are touching and whip stitch them together through the sc’s (The whip stitches are white on my bag).

4. Fold the last corner in & whip stitch it into place. TURN YOUR BAG INSIDE OUT, making the inside the outside. Or, if you like the way the stitches look, just leave the bag the way it is!

(side note: I just realized I was supposed to switch the laundry two hours ago.  Oops).

5. Where the three corners meet, embroider a little oval or rectangle-y bit to even out the top edge and give some support to your velcro, should you decide to add some.

6. Chain a chain about the size of the circumference of your wrist, FO, & sew to the side of the bag.  VOILA!  (did you say “voila”?  Seriously.  It’s ever so much more satisfying if you say “voila”).


the back of the bag, which is also totally cute. Maybe it should be the front... Hmm...

Aahhh! The cuteness! It hurts my eyes! It's TOO cute! It's just TOO CUTE!!!


Obviously you can make as many rows as you’d like – the bigger the 1/2 square, the bigger the bag.  This size (which I made with a G hook, btw), is the perfect size for make-up.  Or snacks.  Mmmm…snacks.  I love snacks…  })i({



Free Pattern Friday: Granny Bag

14 Jan

There may or may not have been a post going around Facebook last week wherein people pledged to make hand made items for the first five people to comment on their post.  I may or may not have reposted this, thereby signing myself up for five surprise projects.  I may or may not be listening to NKOTB and wearing a side ponytail right now.  *Ahem.* Anyway.

I’ve had this in my Ravelry queue since, oh, I don’t know, October, and thought now would be the perfect time to give it a whirl:

...hangin' tough...

Isn’t it cute? To make one with a flap like this you’ll need to make:

-4 granny squares

-1 granny half-square

-a strap the length of your choice (I did a chain & then dc’d around both sides)

– a button or some velcro

It goes together quickly –  you can look at the pictures to see how to fold yours, then just start sewing!  I added a button closure to mine, and because Husband was very concerned that whoever gets this bag would need to carry tiny things, an inside pocket:

for to carry your teeny tiny things

The inside pocket is just a rectangular swatch of dc’s sewn in… easy peasy!

I suppose this is less of a pattern and more of a general idea, eh?  If you’re interested in more details, stop by these websites or send me a message!

Vallieskids Granny Bag Blog Post

Granny Square Tutorial

I posted a Granny Half-Square Tutorial here, so you can pop back over to that if you need a refresher!

Happy Hooking!  })i({

Eleventy Billion Bits of Awesome

1 Jan

Well friends, I did it.  I survived another holiday season.  Boring old January is here and I’m thrilled.  I’m settling in for my long winter’s nap with the following bits of awesome:


a curious little kitten


an actual TV stand & coffee table (Thanks, IkeaSanta!)


my favorite Christmas gift: a pillow made from the fabric of my parents' first couch!


eleventy billion cups of tea (thanks, Dennis & Holly!)

and this hat I made.

Husband’s bits of awesome all came in one package this  year, but I think it’ll keep him occupied:


This one tastes like really old, velvety bandaids.

I will also, of course, have this to keep me company:




Do you think I have enough warm fuzzies to last me until spring?  })i({


Freecycling is the Coolest!

25 Oct

Friends,  please enjoy this article by Amy, the Queen of Freecycle and author of With Duck and Goose:

I was first introduced to Freecycle.org when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Norah (affectionately known as “Duck”.) I was flipping through the pages of a pregnancy magazine on my lunch break at work, and in one of the articles about going green, it mentioned Freecycle.

Freecycle is an international organization that is run completely by volunteers. The goal of Freecycle is to keep unwanted (but usable) items from being thrown in the landfills by offering them to someone else who may have a use for them. Alternately, if you are looking for an item, someone might be giving away what you want. All of this is, well, free, hence the name “FREEcycle.” By participating, not only are you helping out the environment by keeping things out of landfills, but you’re also decluttering your own life and possibly receiving items you need/want without spending a dime.

Almost every county/city/town in the United States has a local Freecycle chapter, and of course, membership is free.

Shortly after the first time I had heard about Freecycle, my pregnancy got a little complicated. I was put on bed rest and my employer fired me – and yes, that’s illegal, but I was in my 90-day probationary period, so there was nothing I could do about it. Duck was planned, but losing my job wasn’t. This, of course, wreaked financial havoc on my family. I was distracted by this and forgot about Freecycle for a while.

We went from a double income family to a single income family almost instantaneously – and while we had savings, they weren’t enough to get us through for very long. We were still newly weds at the time (4 months in) and we didn’t even have all the essentials we needed for us.

My bed rest restrictions were still in place, and my husband was still working very hard, but we just weren’t going to be able to afford things for our baby that we needed like clothing, toys, storage, bedding, and furniture.

Bearing this in mind, I said a whole bunch of prayers and my husband continued to look for a better paying job. As I was looking online one day for work-at-home jobs, I came across a familiar organization. Freecycle! There it was again. This time, I signed up.

Long story made short, we eventually got almost everything we needed for Duck. We got a changing table, toys, clothing, a bunch of storage containers, decorations, bedding, and more. In the process, we also gave away a bunch of things we no longer needed (no one needs 6 toasters!). And all of it was free. Without Freecycle, we probably wouldn’t have made it at that point in our lives.

Ultimately, my husband did find a better paying job (he’s still there, almost 3 years later), and although we’re doing just fine now – I’m still a highly active member of our local Freecycle group. I am so thankful to have found it; to be able to help others and receive things that we want and/or need.

Here are some of the cool things we’ve gotten on Freecycle over the years:
A huge bookshelf/toy storage unit:

coutresy of withduckandgoose.wordpress.com

A beautiful stand-alone fireplace:


courtesy of withduckandgoose.wordpress.com

A professional grade massage chair:

courtesy of withduckandgoose.wordpress.com

Our bed:

courtesy of withduckandgoose.wordpress.com

I highly recommend that you check out Freecycle.org and join your local chapter. I can almost guarantee you that you’ll be glad you joined!

Author of With Duck and Goose

thanks for the warm fuzzies, Amy!  })i({