Monday, July 27, 2009

Crochet (and books) That Fit

I love my local library. I'm sure I've professed this before, and I'm sure it won't be the last time I do so either. :)

My latest book on loan is Mary Jane Hall's newest book, "Crochet That Fits." I've been wanting to flip through the pages all summer and decided to borrow it from the library. Only one problem: it is not a book my local branch carries. Fortunately, in my state*, they have a solution ... inter-library loan. What this means is that libraries can choose to loan books to other libraries, so people like me can check out material I'd otherwise have to drive a million miles to get! Ohhh, I love that my library participates in the inter-library loans! -- checking out books from the library is a great way to "try on" a book to ensure it is a great fit!! A play on Mary Jane's book title, perhaps. But it is true. Why would someone want to buy a book without first flipping through the pages to see if the content interests them? The library makes for a great "changing room" with perfect guilt-free lighting! :) *I'm not sure if all states do this.

I was excited when my library called to let me know they got the book in...but the timing, for me, wasn't so great. I'm already burning my candle at both ends -- and in the middle. Would I have time to enjoy the book and work up at least one pattern before I had to return it?

The answer is yes!

I needed a project that fit a lot of criteria:
1. used yarn from my stash.
2. worked up quick.
3. needed as little "thinking" as possible (my *brain juice* is being heavily taxed for other tasks)
4. could be used as a class sample
5. could be used for the Secret Crochet Exchange at the upcoming Conference.

... what fit the bill was her pattern for the "Sweater Bag!"

I decided to use her pattern, yet make some changes:
1. bump up the hook sizes (due to the yarn used)
2. stripe up the bag based upon a stripe sequence designed by Dee Jr.
3. use round wooden handles (in my stash)
4. line the bag with vinyl (because I like seeing crochet stitches on the inside too)
5. add a crocheted flower on the outside

Five hours later -- done!

What I liked about the project:
1. it was quick
2. it allowed me to go "off-roading," adding my own personal touches
3. when the handles are flipped outwards, contents are still secure. When the handles are flipped inwards, it opens like a big-mouthed Bass (type of fish)

I'm very happy with it, and I am adding Mary Jane's book to my Wish List for my personal crochet pattern book collection. :)


Sara said...

Very cute bag! Dee Jr did good picking the colors. And the five hour time frame makes me smile. Love quick projects!

robynlicious said...

I've been digging on the library for crochet books, too. I'm in a Chicago suburb. My library card works at about 15 local libraries. Talk about a big craft selection.

I've mostly been checking out books of borders. Last time I found Hairpin Crochet: Technique and Design by Pamela Thompson, which has had my mind reeling...

Julie said...

What a great bag! I'm a total library lover too. We have interlibrary loan in MD and I have been borrowing tons of crochet and knit books from all over the state!

I really enjoy your blog, you and I seem alot alike, similar tastes and things. Keep up the great work!

Drea said...

What a neat bag! I love the handles and the colors are great. I've seen other good reviews on this book and will definitely have to take a look.

Caley said...

Found this through twitter and glad I did. Great bag! I was actually wondering if you might want to do a guest feature at We are putting together a special crochet eBook. Email me at cwalsh at for more info!

Darlene said...

Don't think states have anything to do with it, it's up to the library. I think all libraries have that.