Crochet Peacock Feather Earrings

I just put my newest crochet pattern in my new Ravelry Shop. Check it out!

These are so fun to make. I’ve used DMC embroidery floss, and also some of the cheaper brands you can get in bulk at craft stores or Walmart. I like them equally as well, each for different reasons. The DMC is kind of “crisp” and shiny, and the Iris brand I got at Walmart is a little softer and not so shiny. It’s all personal preference.

I really like experimenting with the variegated floss as well. You can see I used 2 in the picture below. I’m going to try some metallic floss too.

You can buy the pattern if you want to try it out!


A Rose—Part II

OK, here’s my second stab at free-form roses. I like these better. When I get it down just like I like, I’ll make a pattern up. But for now I’ve just been winging it. I sort of decide what to do as I go.

Free-form crocheted roses

My 2nd attempt at a free-form crocheted rose motif.

Free-form crocheted rose motif.

I think this is my favorite so far…

free-form crocheted rose motif

I’m not sure about the light pink center… hmmm…

Free-form crocheted rose motif.

On this one I added some embroidery… There are things I like about this one… and things I’m not sure about…

As always, I welcome comments… any pointers or ideas?

Thanks! Happy Crocheting.

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

I’m really excited about this project. For the longest time, I’ve been collecting yarn in all shades of red and pink, with the idea of eventually making a rose afghan for my mom. I’ve looked and looked for rose motif patterns in crochet, but have never really found what I wanted. I realized that it’s because what I want is more of a free-form look,. rather than an “equilateral” design (is there a better word than equilateral? Mirror-image? You get the drift). I actually found one pattern that I liked a lot… and made this motif:

Rose granny square

Flat Rose Granny Square. You can buy this pattern from Nicole Rodgers for just $1. Isn’t it pretty?

While I really love the way this looks, and will definitely use it for a different project (Maybe a handbag or purse? Any other ideas?) it is still not the free-form look of a rose that I really wanted. So… I decided to try out my skills on making up my own design. I had tried this awhile back after I first learned to crochet, but it was a bit disastrous. Too bad I frogged the result, or I’d show you here. Anyway, I guess I’ve gotten better, because I really like what I’ve come up with so far:

Free-form rose motif by Karen Brimhall

Free-form rose motif—the big ones are 9 inches across, and the small one is 6 inches.

Free-form rose motif in two sizes

Free-form rose motif in two sizes

Large (9=inch) crochet free-form rose motif by Karen Brimhall

Large (9-inch) crochet free-form rose motif

Medium (6-inch) crochet free-form rose motif by Karen Brimhall

Medium (6-inch) crochet free-form rose motif

Drawstring for the Mesh Bags

Drawstrings improve the functionality AND look pretty cute!

Earlier I posted about the mesh reusable grocery bags I was making. There was one problem with them, which was that when you filled them all up, then sat them down in the back of your car or on you kitchen sink, the opening would just flop down and everything in it would go spilling out. I tried tying the handles, but they wouldn’t stay tied very well.

Reusable mesh grocery bag without the use of drawstring

Reusable mesh grocery bag without the use of drawstring (There IS a drawstring here, but I’m just demonstrating what happens when it is not used. I never got a picture of this before I put the drawstrings on.)

So I just made 2 foundation chains slightly longer than the circumference of the bag. To show you how I installed the drawstrings, I have to resort to this crude little sketch—since I forgot to take pictures while I was doing it! But I think the sketch gets the job done.

Instructions for installing a drawstring.

How to install the drawstrings.

And then, voila! ( I noticed I’m using that word a lot. I’ll have to think of some alternatives…)

Cinched drawstring on reusable mesh bag.

All cinched up! No need to tie the drawstrings; they stay closed, at least with the yarn I used.

Reusable mesh market bags, cinched tight with drawstrings.

Super secure and tidy groceries in your reusable mesh bags! Notice how there are TWO jugs of milk in that one bag. And I could still jam a BUNCH of stuff in there. Sure makes hauling the bags into the kitchen from my apartment parking stall a ton easier.

Let me know if you try adding these nice little drawstrings to your mesh bags, and if you come across any pointers along the way, please share.

Happy grocery shopping!

P.S. FYI, the purple and “mango” bag is Caron Simply Soft (I tell you, I have a ton of the stuff, left over from my hexagon afghan.) and the other two are Red Heart Super Saver. You really can’t beat the cheap price, and the acrylic is super strong. Not to mention a great selection of colors. I like the look of cotton, but it is not as strong, and more expensive. Hemp is supposed to be the strongest… but a bit too pricey for my budget. (-:

I usually use my US K / 6.5 mm crochet hook.

Lacy Bunting / Banners


I made up this pattern awhile ago, and made several of the triangles… and now this project is on my list of crafts to finish! I was organizing all my crochet and knitting patterns tonight, and came across the pattern I had scribbled on a pad of paper, and thought I’d share. I really like these lacey-ish bunting triangles. Someday I’ll finish them. (:

So here is a picture of several of them that I did finish:

Crocheted lacy bunting / banners

Crocheted lacy bunting / banners.

Here is the visual pattern that I scribbled out when I created these:

Lacy crocheted bunting - pattern diagram

The pattern for my lacy bunting.

OK, I’ll attempt to write the pattern out:

I used Caron Simply Soft in Sunshine and Pistachio, mainly it was what I had. I can’t remember what size hook, but it was probably the recommended size on the skein label.

Start: Ch 30.

Row 1: Ch 2 more (counts as dc). Dc in 4th chain from end, then dc all the way across  in every ch (29 dc + the ch 2 = 30 dc).

Row 2: *Sl st in 2nd dc, then ch 2. Dc in next dc. Dc all the way across*. (28 dc + the ch 2)

Row 3: Repeat from * to *. (26 dc + the ch 2)

Row 4: Sl st in 2nd dc, then ch 2. *(Dc in next dc, then ch 1)* 11 times. Dc in next 2 dc.

Row 5: Sl st in 2nd dc, then ch 2. Repeat from * to * 10 times. Dc in next 2 dc.

Row 6: *Sl st in 2nd dc, then ch 2*. (Dc in ch 1 sp, dc in next dc.) 10 times. (20 dc + the ch 2)

Row 7: Repeat from * to *. Dc all the way across. (18 dc + the ch 2)

Row 8: Sl st in 2nd dc, then ch 2. Dc in next dc, ch 2. (Sk 2 dc, dc in next dc) 5 times.

Row 9: Sl st in ch 2 sp, dc in same ch 2 sp. (Ch 1, sk next dc, dc twice in next ch 2 sp) 4 times. Dc in next dc.

Row 10: Sl st in 2nd dc, ch 2. Dc in next dc. (Dc in ch 1 space, ch 2, sk 2 dc) 3 times. Dc in next ch 1 sp, Dc in next dc.

Row 11: Sl st in 2nd dc, ch 2. (Dc twice in ch 2 sp, ch 1, sk next dc) 3 times. Dc in next dc.

Row 12: Sl st in ch 1 sp, ch 2. Dc in next dc, ch 1, skip next dc. Dc in next ch sp, ch 2. Sk next 2 dc, dc in next ch 1 sp. Ch 1, sk dc, dc in next dc.

Row 13: Sl st in 2nd dc, ch 2.  Dc in next dc, Dc twice in ch 2 space, Dc in dc, dc in ch 1 sp, dc in next dc.

Row 14: Sl st in 2nd dc, ch 2.  Dc in next 4 dc.

Row 15: Sl st in 2nd dc, ch 2. Dc in next 2 dc.

Row 16: Sl st in 2nd dc. Fasten off and weave in ends.

When all the bunting triangles are done, chain however long you want the tails to be, then single crochet across the top of each triangle, connecting them all, then chain an equal number for the other tail. Then I like to do another row of single crochet all the way across. I believe this is how I did it when I made the bunting in my bedroom.

Voila! Let me know if you try out my pattern, and if you see any problems I will fix it.

Little Lacy Gift Pouch

Little lacey gift pouch

Little lacey gift pouch

I found this on Ravelry, called Shell Pouch and Gift Bag by Carola Wijma. (Her website is Carola Mania (you’ll have to use Google translate.) I made it with DMC perle cotton/#5, and an E/3.5mm hook. It’s a little tiny thing! The finished size is 2 5/8″ wide x 5″ tall. It’ll make a nice little gift bag for some earrings or some such.

Crocheting with sore ol’ hands

When I first started crocheting, I had real trouble crocheting with tiny yarn and small hooks. Ugh. I have big hands and felt oh so clumsy. And trying to hold the tiny thread’s tension with my little pinky was killing me. I had a little bit more luck this time around; I wrapped the thread around my pinky an extra time, and that seemed to give me more control without having to squeeze the thread—which is what hurts my joints. (Even with fat yarn I re-taught myself to keep my pinky and ring finger held out straight instead of curling them around the yarn… I was getting to where I couldn’t OPEN my fingers back up, after just a little while of crocheting! But keeping my fingers straight and just squeezing the thread between my pinky and ring finger, held out straight, seems to work—for the fatter yarn, like sport weight through bulky.)

Anyway, here is my little pouch. I really love it.


Openwork Lace #2049 Purse

A Pinterest Find

I recently got into Pinterest, and I’ve gotten addicted to it. There are so many inspiring images there, and many of them lead to great blogs and tutorials out on the WWW. I found some really great crochet patterns on a site called They are basic patterns that you can adapt in whatever way you’d like—for scarves, handbags, apparel, you name it.'s Openwork & Lace #2049’s Openwork & Lace #2049

So, I chose to try out this pattern, #2049. I just used some Caron Simply Soft yarn I had around. The pattern shows 13 rows, but I continued on until I’d done 20 rows. Then I thought hmmmm, maybe a cute little handbag? So I made a gusset all the way around 3 sides which consist of multiple rows of  9 half double crochets. Then I made the other side consisting of another 20 rows that I will slip-stich on to the other side.

Here are some pics of my progress so far:

Before blocking. I find it saves time if I don’t try to smooth things out too much while I’m crocheting… I used to get anal every few stitches and figured out that was tripling the time it takes to finish something!

After blocking—I just smoothed it out by hand.

After blocking—I just smoothed it out by hand, and pulled the clusters of 3 double crochets away from each “flower” center so the flower petals, created by the empty spaces, would show up more.

With gusset crocheted onto the first rectangle of 20 rows.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten so far… I’ll keep you posted on my progress! I have no idea yet what this will turn out to look like… I’m thinking of making an insert of contrasting fabric, maybe a cream color. To show off the pattern. We’ll see!