Lilycobweb’s Tiny Holly & Ivy Purse

Tiny Holly & Ivy Purse

Designed by Lilycobweb.

The Holly and Ivy purse is a versatile item, making a perfect gift bag for a pair of earrings or a ring. A dozen of them would look great as Christmas tree decorations, or they can be filled with cinnamon and orange-scented  cottonwool to create a seasonal aroma in your house or your car.

This takes a little over an hour to make, trust me. If you know basic crochet stitches like the half-treble, treble and slip-stitch, you’re good to go! Study the pattern and try it out in any old double-knitting yarn to ensure you have the general idea. This is worked in circular rows, increasing and then decreasing, and then increasing again for the wide frill at the top. You can do this intuitively, watching the increases and deciding when it’s time to shrink, decrease for a bit until the neck is narrow enough and go nuts with the increases again for two rows. That brings you to the last two rows, one of shell stitch (very easy), another finishing row with a fine-thread green double-crochet edging to make the shells look pointed like holly leaves.

All year round. I make (and sell) an even tinier version of  the yuletide one. The pattern for both is the same, the yarn thickness giving the different sizes. Pictured below, the teenytiny one is less than an inch long and is made in two strands of  fine multicoloured crochet cotton, finished with 3mm satin or organza ribbon.

These are the cutest things and very quick to make. If you are planning well ahead for next Advent season, make the required number in many colours, pin them to a long, 6mm wide swathe of ribbon, and you have a lovely Advent calendar. Don’t forget to fill them up with surprises! Customers often ask me to put brooch backs on these, as they make an unusual and pretty corsage.

Materials and where to get them:

By far the best place to buy crochet cotton is on the internet. This great seller, Lalana of Yarnstick, has an Ebay shop and a website you can purchase from also. She’s my best-kept secret!! www.yarnstick.co.uk

The red cotton I used for this project was bought in Lidl, who occasionally stock some. Colours are limited but quality and price are excellent. Crochet cotton has a firm, smooth feel and is slightly sheeny. Wool or acrylic yarn is not normally strong or stringy enough for this project but you can always experiment.

You will need:

  • 50g of red crochet cotton. This is like 4-ply yarn. (Try Circulo Anne or Clara Moda size 3 from Yarnstick).
  • 50g of dark green crochet cotton(No.20) This is like sewing thread. (I buy Rubi or Aquarelle from Yarnstick)
  • 3mm crochet hook
  • Half a metre of 3mm organza or satin ribbon (green or red)

Abbreviations: sl.st (slip stitch), htr (half treble), tr(treble), dc double crochet, ch(chain) Pattern written using British crochet terms.

The Pattern:

Work the green and red threads together:

Row 1: Ch.6, sl.st. into 1st. ch from hook to make a ring.

Row 2: 2ch, 1 htr into 6ch ring, 8 more htrs into 6ch ring. Join with a sl.st. (9htrs)

Row 3: 2ch, 2 htr into 1st htr of previous row, 2htr into top of each htr of previous row. Join with sl.st. (18htrs)

Row 4: 2ch, * 2htr into 1st htr of previous row, 1htr into next 2htrs of previous row, 2htr into next htr stitch** Repeat from * to** . Join with sl.st. (24 htrs)

Row 5: 2ch., #2htr into 1st htr of previous row, 1htr into next 3htrs of previous row, 2htr into next htr stitch## Repeat from # to##. Join with sl.st. (33 htrs)

Row 6: 2ch., 1htr  into each stitch of previous row. Join with sl.st. (33 htrs)

Now the decreasing rows start…..

Row 7: 2ch., @Skip 1htr, 1htr into next 3 sts.,@@ Repeat from @ to @@ to end. Join with sl.st.  (24 htrs)

Row 8: 2ch., %Skip 1htr, 1htr into next 4sts.,%% Repeat from % to %% to end. Join with sl.st. (20 htrs)

Row 9: I htr into each st. to end. Join with a sl.st. (20 htrs)

Now you come to the ‘neck’ of the bag. This is the row you will thread the ribbon through.

Row 10: Ch.3, 1 tr into 2nd st from hook, +ch.1, skip 2st., 1tr into next st, ch.1, skip 2st., 1 tr into next st++ Repeat to end. Join with sl.st.

Next  two rows are the ‘frill’, so lots of increases…

Row 11: Ch.3., 3tr into the first 1ch space of the previous row, 3tr into every 1ch space. Join with sl.st.

Row 12: Ch.3., 2tr into 1st st., **1tr into next st.,2tr into next, 1tr into next st.***  Repeat from ** to*** to end of row.

Now for the edging….

Row 13: Sl.st into 1st ch from hook. Into next ch, work the following group of stitches (1dc, 1htr, 1tr, 1htr, 1dc). This is one ‘shell’. !Sl.st into next 2ch. 1 shell into next chain !!. Repeat from ! to !!. Join with sl.st.

Row 14: With No.20 green thread, work 4 dc into every top of every stitch in previous row. Fasten off.

Thread 3mm satin ribbon through spaces in Row 11. Pull and tie in a bow.

Teenytiny purse:

The pattern is the same. Just work 2 strands of No 20 thread together. Use 1.75mm hook.

Let me know if you need any part of this pattern clarified. It looks scary on paper but is really easy when you start. It can be made without stitch counting. Just decide how wide you want your purse and increase. Then, decide how narrow, and decrease. Increase again for the ‘frill’ but don’t make it more than two rows before you start the edging. I love making these. They are quite addictive! Hope you give it a try.

Crochet is something Lilycobweb has studied and developed since she was a child. She loves its endless flexibility and sculptural qualities. You can contact Lilycobweb at www.lilycobweb.etsy.com (Photos taken by Maryam Roohipour)

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