I am working in a new crochet pattern called the Spiderlace Bag! I took all the design elements of my award-winning Spiderlace Dress and combined them into a small functional fashion item that can be enjoyed independent of body size. The pattern will be released in a few weeks time and is designed for intermediate to advanced crocheters, so if that's you, stay tuned!
My original Spiderlace Dress was made with Scheepjes Maxi Sugar Rush, so when I thought about designing the bag, my go-to was the same yarn and I chose this super-luscious colour: Ginger Gold 383. I estimated somewhere between 2 and 3 x 50 gm balls would be used and it only used 2 balls in the end.
Maxi is 100% mercerised cotton giving it colourfast sheen and a hardwearing character, so its perfect for things like bags, though it requires a fairly small hook (and 100g produces a small phone plus keys sized bag). Another yarn that fits this bill in the Scheepjes arsenal is the ever popular Catona! Making the Spiderlace Bag in Catona uses a bigger hook and creates a significantly larger handbag which is useful to carry things the size of a book (old tech) or a mobile tablet (new tech)!
Some of you might remember my Spiderlace Maxi Dress. It was the first crochet dress I designed, and I was pulling out all the stops in an attempt to win over the judges of the Crochet Guild of America Crochet Design Competition in 2018. My competition dress is lined with silk georgette and is embellished with Swarovski crystals. I am very happy to say I was successful and my dress won some awards which gave me the confidence to venture into social media and blogging, (huge YAY!!) but its a tricky piece of stitchery and I did not design it with the ease of writing or sizing (grading for a fitted bust - difficult!) in mind...
I have written part of the Spiderlace Maxi Dress pattern but have hit a stumbling block or two. I hope to eventually be able to publish the dress pattern - but "life" may have other plans for me (not sure), and at least I will have the Spiderlace Bag published either way! If I do eventually achieve my dress-publication goal, the Spiderlace Bag using Maxi Sugar Rush could serve as a run-up or a small sampling of what is involved in making the Spiderlace Dress. The same principles and skills are employed on a much larger scale. But that is a question for another day!
My Spiderlace dress had Swarovski Crystals sewn in the centre of each Spiderlace motif, but I decided to go with glass seed beads instead for my little bag. I am not sure where I got these seed beeds in the above photo exactly - they were in my general craft stash from one of my annual shopping trips to the Perth Craft Show. Not everyone will want the bling of course, and the lace is also lovely without it (see below).
The concept of the bag is an edged lace panel on the front and a solid panel on the back, with a pocket, decorative straps and a bit of bling. It does need a fabric lining behind the lace panel and my pattern will show how to make a simple bag lining and how to sew that in too. (Of course, if you are a sewist, you might whip up a multi-pocket complex inner bag lining instead - the world is your oyster there!)
You can get a feel for how things are shaping up with the photo below. I chose some beautiful linen to line my Spiderlace Bag and love how its coming together in this pic.
I have finished this particular bag but I wont show you it quite yet. Pattern testing is underway - I asked one of my testers make it with Catona and I am part way through my larger Catona Spiderlace Bag at the moment to confirm yardage and complete a second round of testing of the pattern. It's a small project but its also quite intricate. I am striving to make it the best pattern I can publish!
So here are the key materials for my second Spiderlace Bag, Catona-style....
I already had the linen you see above, and I chose the Catona in 248 Champagne to match. (The Bag requires just under 250g according to the first test sample - I am working on confirming that). Again, the seed beads are random-craft-show-shopping-stash to help make it sparkle a little, and I am going for a refined-neutral kind of a vibe here. The seed beads for the Catona Spiderlace Bag are bigger than those I used for the Maxi version though, so they better align with the larger scale of the bag.
The back of the bag is complete and the front is in progress - not long to go now before I can show the finished bags and get this pattern published! Better get busy...
I am really loving the Catona version, I think it will be a really useful size and keeping it a neutral colour means lots of use! You can source Catona or Maxi Sugar Rush from Scheepjes retailers worldwide and a comprehensive list can be found here.
Wool Warehouse and Caros Atelier are affiliates - if you choose to purchase via these links then I receive a small percentage of the sale (thank you for supporting my design work). Perth locals can easily source Scheepjes products from Yarns For All and Stitchcraft and Wizardry - its great to support local family business!
Check back in a few weeks for photos of the finished bags with more details about the pattern launch, or subscribe if you don't want to miss a post!
As always, happy stitching!
Thank you to Scheepjes for yarn support of my designs.
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