Monday, August 29, 2011

Crocheted TOTES FOR ALL REASONS



One can never have too many totes! And a day without crochet is a day without sunshine. These are two facts of life for me. So in early August, when I was home after teaching at the Chain Link summer conference in Minneapolis, and I found myself with no "have-to-do-immediately" projects, I decided to go "shopping" in my yarn stash and make something for the fall Chain Link conference in Greensboro, NC. I thought I could make a sweater to wear – but then I realized I already had 2 new sweaters finished, and two more on the hook. Well, then, what about a tote – or multiple totes – to carry my supplies to my classes? I'll be teaching 6 classes, and I'll have a lot of yarn and stuff to give away. Totes would be good. So stash-shopping I went. I found a great lime green bulky cotton. Oh – that would be perfect for a Circle Mesh tote


And then a worsted weight cotton on a cone. Oh yes, another tote. A Trellis Stitch tote.




And what about that orange worsted weight cotton in a huge skein? A shell tote – the color just looks like summer, and shells remind me of the beach. And, I love large skeins or cones of yarn best of all, just 2 ends to weave in. A Beach Tote!



Oh - what about this worsted weight pink cotton? It's a bright pink and everyone loves the color. Another tote, and I can practice a new stitch. A Puff Stitch tote.




And I have just one skein of this pink marled cotton – a small skein – so how about a tote that has mostly chains. A One Skein tote.




And worsted weight cotton in many different colors of small balls – how about a Granny Square tote? I'd have to weave in ends on Granny Squares, anyway.




 And I can use this wonderful wool bulky weight yarn that self-stripes, for a felted tote. A Bucket tote.




Wow, I thought, that's a lot of totes to design and crochet in a short time! Can I do it? And write my thank-you notes for the donations for the Professional Development Day raffle to raise money for breast cancer research? And what about all those notes to remind the donors about our raffle in Greensboro to raise money for ovarian cancer research? And what about all the thank you notes for the yarn that companies sent me for my classes to use? And I would need to write them to ask for more for the Greensboro conference. That's a lot of writing to do. And finish writing up 2 of my classes. Would I still have time to design 7 totes?
But wait a minute! I realized that I already designed the totes. And they were already in my book Totes for All Reasons – published by Leisure Arts. Whew! So I didn't have to re-design them. All I needed to do is crochet them again! And then I can bring them with me to the conference, and use them. I can also display them at the Gate City Yarns booth when I do my book signing on Saturday.
So with that decided, I started crocheting.
For the past 2 weeks I've been working on the totes. And it is interesting. I didn't remember the patterns because I wrote them a year ago when I was working on the designs. So I wanted to see if I could follow the patterns without any problems. Good news! I can!  :-)  As I was crocheting them, I realized that I liked the versatility of the designs. Each one is different. And, I was able to use just about any yarn I had on hand. For the book, I made each of the totes twice, in 2 different yarns – one was in yarn that you would get from a craft store (we call it a big box store), and the other was in yarn you would get from a local yarn store. So no matter where you shop, (even in your stash), you can find yarn for the totes. And most of the yarn is interchangeable (except for the 2 bulky yarns), so with one worsted weight yarn, you have your choice of 5 totes to make. They didn't take me long to crochet, either. And it's not because I'm a fast crocheter (although I am pretty speedy!) I still have 2 more to finish, but they're nearly done. They are all quick projects. One of my students bought my book and she's making at least 2 totes a week. And she's a fairly new crocheter, too. She is also working on a sweater at the same time. 
These totes are some of my favorites, and include some of my favorite techniques. Granny squares are my passion. Felting is my passion. Heck – crocheting is my passion. So I hope you will find your passion in these totes. Remember – you can never have too many totes!
And, if you post a comment on this blog, telling me which tote you want to make first and what yarn you're going to use, your name will be entered in a drawing for a copy of my book Totes For All Reasons. I will pick 2 winners, by a random number generator. You have until the end of the blog tour to win. That's September 5, 2011, at midnight, eastern time. (The tour is over September 4th.) And don't forget to check out the other tour stops, one each day. Many of them will also have drawings for copies of the book.
Here are the blogs and dates for the rest of the tour:

August 29: Marty Miller (this is me, and here is where you are) http://bit.ly/Tote-Book-Tour-Day1
August 30: Ellen Gormley http://bit.ly/Tote-Book-TourDay2
August 31: Drew Emborsky http://bit.ly/Tote-Book-Tour-Day3
September 1: Kimberly McAlindin http://mybuttonjar.blogspot.com
September 2: Doris Chan http://bit.ly/Tote-Book-Tour-Day5
September 3: Vashti Braha http://bit.ly/Tote-Book-Tour-Day6
September 4: Kate Steinke http://bit.ly/Tote-Book-Tour-Day7

29 comments:

Ruth H said...

I'm thinking I'll make the trellis tote for my daughter in college. I have some lovely moss colored worsted weight cotton that needs a purpose. Love your designs and would be happy making any of your bags except the felted one. Haven't gone there yet.

Gretchen said...

I want to make the tote on the cover in a lovely chocolate brown to use as an errand-running tote! I love the size!!!

Stitch 'n Frog said...

I LOVE the totes you have shown in this blog post! It is not easy to say which I would like to make first, but finally narrowed it down to the Trellis Stitch tote.

I like the shape & overall look of that one, and know it would get a LOT of use in our home! With two crocheters living here, we will probably need two of them!

DebbiH said...

Love the totes....ALL of them! I think I'd use up some cotton yarn that's in my stash to make the Puff Stitch tote in bright bright yellow! Thanks for the chance to win!

n7lqk said...

I love the bucket tote, but since I can't work in wool, I won't be making that one. I would start with either the shells or the trellis totes and the yarn would be either Beach Ball cotton or the rainbow cotton, or possibly that purple varigated I just bought. There are also those new varigateds just out that are just asking to come home with me...

CrochetBlogger said...

How fun! It's so neat that you were able to rediscover pleasure in your own designs.

I'd probably start with the one skein tote because I have a ton of just-one-skeins around here that I haven't used for anything. Not sure which of those skeins I'd use for it - maybe my Crazy Zauberball.

Margo said...

I think the first tote will be the Circle Mesh Tote. I'm not sure what yarn I will use. I have some Sugar'n Cream in a variegated colorway that I may use.

Barbara said...

I would have said the bucket tote but I think I would have to run out and buy yarn. So maybe the one in pink ww cotton. I have several cones of that in a couple of colors

Mrs.Place said...

love the trellis tote and that one-skein tote looks interesting. will have to wait until the weather turns... still need to finish installing my bedroom floors and a few outside projects. then need to buy your book [must admit am not a fan of felting or grannys].

Tammystreasures said...

Your book and all the bags look fantastic Marty! I know the perfect person you could make the orange one for :-)

Alia said...

I have a 14 oz skein of natural cotton with color flecks that would make a great Trellis Tote!

carrie said...

I'm thinking that I might make the granny square tote First with all of my scrap red heart yarn.

Lisa said...

I have some beautiful wool yarn that I would use to make the bucket tote. I've never felted before so this would be a great one to start with!

j. barrett said...

tour, great idea. i'm involved with one and some romance authors. it works :} i also have a bag for every time i go out the door. i have different projects stored in them depending on how long i'll be gone for and whether or not there will be daylight. i have 'dark projects also that i really liek th emost cuz i don't have to see to be able to do them. mostly charity laprobes for nursing home or the hospital. thanks for the tour :}

Knittingdancer on Ravelry said...

I think I would make the Circle Mesh tote out of some demin blue Sugar'n Cream cotton.

Lisa said...

I'd make the beach tote in I love this cotton in a natural with flecks color.

Lorene said...

Hi! Love the totes. Since I haven't done a felted tote yet, I think I'd start with the bucket tote. I don't have any bulky wool on hand but have some nice variegated worsted so would probably use that and just make it a bit larger.

Hebertella said...

Probably the Puff Stitch tote first, since I have some burgundy cotton languishing in my stash and puff stitches are fun, but I loooove self-striping wool despite a lack of appropriate projects for it, so then the Bucket Tote as soon as the right yarn comes along for it.

Nancy said...

Since my mother calls me (affectionately!) the Bag Lady, this book seems to be made for me! I love the shells tote, it would be awesome to use for so many things! I also love that Granny Square tote, who doesn't adore Granny Squares (the very first thing I ever learned to crochet!)

Kath said...

The Trellis has been calling my name through this whole blog tour. I have several cones of S&C so will probably make several!

Kimberly R. said...

I'd love to make the Puff Stitch Tote in some Lily's Sugar and Cream Twists (Blue) from my stash :)
Thanks for the great giveaway!
kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

Shebandowan said...

I love all of the totes, but would pick the bucket tote first. I have a large supply of Mary Maxim bulky yarn in assorted colours to use up.

Janet

Mary Jand said...

Love all of those totes. I've got some great looking Fantasy cotton naturale in several color including a wild combo of yellow, oranges and reds. Would make a spectacular Shell stitch tote or Trellis stitch tote. It would be hard making a decision as to which tote I should make next--why not crochet two at the same time!!

Mary Jand said...

Love all of those totes. I've got some great looking Fantasy cotton naturale in several color including a wild combo of yellow, oranges and reds. Would make a spectacular trellis stitch tote or a shell stitch tote. It would be difficult choosing which tote to start with -- why not crochet two at the same time!!

dancingdamsel said...

Would love to make the Trellis tote for my 7 year old for her swimming gear. I have some organic cotton yarn put away that would be perfect for this and we are coming into swimming season down here. Loved the look of all the totes. Not expecting to be able to entre your comp, though as I live in Australia.

dancingdamsel said...

Would love to make the Trellis tote for my 7 year old daughter to carry her swimming gear to school. I have some organic cotton put aside that would work well for this, and she needs a carry bag as we are about to go into swimming season down here. I am not expecting to enter your comp as I live in Australia, but just wanted to say I loved all the totes displayed on your blog. Thank you for designing them.
Diane - Australia

Susan said...

I definitely want this book, wonderful designs.
I'd make the tote on the cover first, I already have the yarn for it.
Susan jdprkr@pacbell.net

Lethalmay said...

I love your totes. I'm thinking that making one with 3 strands of #10 cotton and changing colors one strand at a time for gradual color changes would be gorgeous!

Lethalmay said...

The shell-stitch tote in 3 strands of #10 cotton would be gorgeous. I could change colors one strand at a time for gradual color changes! Sounds fun to me!