Purple has always been one of my favorite colors, whether it's plum, lilac, lavender, eggplant ... you get the idea! I just love purple. (In fact, last March I colored my hair purple. Long story.) Our younger daughter loves purple too, although her girls don't seem to have a passion for purple yet.
Younger Daughter also has a passion for purses. The purse-and-shoe gene must have skipped a generation, because my mother had it and Younger Daughter has it, too -- but not me. I've already made her a quilted purse, but I decided recently to make her a felted one, too.
I've wanted to try a project with the African Flower Hexagon crochet block. This pattern got its hooks in me when I saw Heidi Bears' gorgeous African Flower animals on Ravelry. I haven't screwed my courage to the sticking post yet to try one of those -- except for little birds, my attempts at amigurumi have been only marginally successful -- but I love looking at them. (And if you're a lover of playing with string, and haven't been to Ravelry.com yet -- GO. Stock up on snacks, because you'll be there awhile, ooohing and aaahing over all the pretties.)
Heidi offers a free tutorial for the African Flower Hexagon on her blog, so that's where I started. It's an easy block to learn, and an easy block to love! By the second or third one, I had the pattern memorized and was happily hooking away. I also started looking around the Internet for a free purse pattern that uses the African Flower Hexagon, and was delighted to find Gunilla Karlsson's African Flower Purse pattern on her blog.
I did make some adjustments to Gunilla's pattern. She uses a chunky/bulky weight yarn, and her bag is not felted. I knew I wanted to felt my bag, and I was also using my favorite yarn in the world -- Palette by Knitpicks -- which is a fingering weight yarn. So instead of making 12 hexagons (2 rows of 6), I made 18 (3 rows of 6). I also shortened the top border because, frankly, I wanted to go work on something else and was ready for this project to be finished. (Patience has never been a particular virtue of mine.)
For the drawstring, I took all the colors of yarn that appear in the main body of the bag (one strand of each color) and a size K (6.5 mm/UK 3) crochet hook, and made a big fat chain. I tossed that into the washer at the same time I washed the bag, and voila! I had a felted drawstring. (The photo above was taken before I finished the knotted end of the drawstring. I had to get my photo taken between thunderstorms. It's been a rainy spring here on the farm.)
Long story short, the felting worked great, Younger Daughter loved it, and I've now moved on to making oodles of African Flower hexies -- I decided that the grandkids' bedroom needs matching bedspreads.
The colors of Palette used in this project are:
- 23724 Sky
- 24258 Green Tea Heather
- 24571 Mulberry
- 24259 Huckleberry Heather
- 24578 Bluebell