Crocheted Beaded Bag.

Q: Life is just full of lessons. For months, I've skipped past all the posts regarding beaded crochet, because I wasn't interested in that medium. Yesterday, I was gifted with....guess what...a half-finished bead crocheted evening bag. It appears to be from at least the 1940s - Filet crochet in a nice deep blue. Started as a circle, then up in a cylinder about 4 l/2 - 5 inches across.

A: Most seem to be drawstring tops, with a crocheted cord (or sometimes a twisted "drapery" type cord) for the drawstring. If the basic pattern is filet crochet, try about 2-3 rows of solid double (or whatever stitch you are working in) crochet with no open squares, then an all open square row (for threading the drawstring) then solid again. Go back to beads for the top edge of the bag if you like. http://www.seafore.com/ Click on the Crochet A-H button, then scroll down to bead crochet http://home.inreach.com/marthac/totes.html This site gives links to all kinds of crocheted bags - some of them beaded. I usually make a drawstring closure on the round bags, and a zipper closure for for the flat/rectangular bags (sew the zipper in after finishing bags). I have a couple of "snap" closures, but haven't figured out how to use them yet... For finishing the top on the drawstring type, I make a "ruffle"/shell edge. I haven't used handles, but straps can be crocheted, with or without beads; or using a satin cord, or a braid of rattail. Bead crochet can be "solid" beading - a bead (or loop of beads) on every sc, or can alternate with non-beaded stitches/rows. Motifs can be made with beaded stitches on a "plain" ground. 'Lacis' publications have two wonderful reprints of turn-of-the-century beaded bags. The first is called "Bead Work" and the second, which has more crochet, is called "Beaded Bags and More." I highly recommend them. ...I may go lurk at the local yarn shop and see if they have them to peruse. I can tell you that after 10 rounds or so, I don't think this medium is mine. I seem to have infinite amounts of patience for off-loom beading techniques, even with the tiniest of beads, but this is driving me nuts. Maybe it's that it's not from my own creativity, but someone else's. I can't wait to finish this to get back to what I do best.