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Announcing Our Next Crochet-Along Featuring the Half Medallion Bag, Designed by Dora Ohrenstein

Home/Crochet-AlongAnnouncing Our Next Crochet-Along Featuring the Half Medallion Bag, Designed by Dora Ohrenstein

Announcing Our Next Crochet-Along Featuring the Half Medallion Bag, Designed by Dora Ohrenstein

Calling all crocheters! We know you’ve been waiting patiently all season for our next crochet-along to start, and now the wait is over! Right on the heels of our Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover Knit-Along, we’re starting our NEW crochet-along NEXT THURSDAY!

What’s a crochet-along, you ask? A crochet-along is a virtual event in which hundreds of crocheters all make the same project with the help and support of each other–and our expert crochet-along host. New blog posts go up each week, here on the Lion Brand Notebook, with hints, tips, and advice on working on the next step of your project. Follow along or work at your own pace. No need to sign up–just read the posts and let us know about your progress by leaving comments!

For this crochet-along, our host is none other than the designer herself, Dora Ohrenstein (pictured below left). She’s the author of Creating Crochet Fabrics and the upcoming Custom Crocheted Sweaters. Want to know more about her? Listen to an interview with her on our podcast, YarnCraft, by clicking here [MP3]. (Fast forward directly to the interview by going to 17:20.)

Dora has created this exclusive Half Medallion Bag pattern for us, with bobbles and front post stitches for added interest; click here for the pattern! It features our Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Extra Soft Wool Blend.

We’ll be talking about selecting your yarn, getting gauge, and all that good stuff next Thursday, so be sure to come back then! In the meantime, be sure to join our Ravelry group.

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  • Gorgeous! I usually stick to the Knit alongs, but think I’ll make an acception for this Crochet along!

  • Looks great! But I’d like to see the pattern first 🙂 its too bad that we don’t get a little more advanced notice about these K/C alongs, I would like to know with a little more time so I can budget to get my yarn

    • I’ve just put up the pattern (early!) so you can see it here:

      If you’re not ready to get yarn this week or next week, you can always start when you’re ready to go, as all of our crochet- and knit-along posts stay online here on the Lion Brand Notebook.

      • Great do know that they stay online! 

  • I would like to see a link to somewhere we could order those purse handles, since they look great with this design and fit perfectly. Thanks for choosing a pattern that doesn’t require a whole lot of expensive yarn.

    • Hi Txcatgirl, we’ll talk about places to buy purse handles when we get started making the bag. There are a lot of good resources out there.

    • I love the purse pattern, but am I the only one who finds the wooden handles too heavy?  Any suggestions from artist or community on alternatives for the wooden handles?

      • Hi Lori, there are also plastic handles in this style that you can find at a notions store or crafts store near you. Just be sure that the slotted opening is the right width (12″).

  • Wow! This is fantastic! I’ve been waiting for a CAL. I knit but, very little and still get lost at it and I crochet a lot, over 64 years. I also have a wooden purse handle I bought at Joann’s a while back. Love the look. Thanks, Birdie Gee

    • Glad you’ll be joining us, Birdie. Don’t forget that we alternate between knit and crochet-alongs, so there are usually at least two a year here on the Lion Brand Notebook. Plus, there are some great ones on other sites too!

  • This looks like a great bag- will it be ok for someone who is an advanced beginner-which is what I kind of consider myself?? LOL I have made other purses-so I’d like to try this one!

    • Hi Elise, I would suggest that you read through the pattern and see if you feel comfortable following along. If you understand the general gist of it, I say come and join! I think it’s always good to challenge yourself with each project, since that’s a great way to learn new skills.

      A few tips: Be sure to read the pattern notes and the stitch abbreviations if you’re not familiar with the terms, and remember when you’re reading the pattern online, all the stitch definitions at the bottom of the pattern are links that you can click on for more info. Hope that helps!

  • I have hit the wall lately and havent done anything for weeks ( not good with Chrismas sooo close ) I  love this bag and think this is just the thing to jump start me!! as I know others will be doing it too. It will be in cream so it looks antiqueish or maybe a tweed or a fleck. cant wait till next week!! ( I just might make Christmas ofter all )  

  • When will this start?  The time next Thursday.  I never did a crochet along so not sure how this will work.

    • Hi there, the blog post will go up around 9 am Eastern time, but again, all blog posts will stay up, so feel free to come by any time to read it.

  • I’m excited by this project & can’t wait to start!

  • I’m “IN”!  I made the mesh raglan – actually TWO of them – and really enjoy CAL’s!
    Looking at the pattern, it’s not totally clear to me:  Does it require 2 skeins?  

    • Hi Jennifer, that’s right. You’ll see under the “materials” list that it says “2 balls” next to the Extra Soft Wool Blend. So glad you enjoyed the Mesh Raglan Pullover. Welcome!

  • What yarn do you recomend for someone who is allergic to wool? Also is this going to be dificult for a beginning crocheter? I hope not because I am going to attempt this if I can find the subsutition yarn that you suggest.

    • Hi Jeanette, we’ll be talking about substitutions this week, but I would recommend Vanna’s Choice as a good substitution. This is not a beginner pattern, but personally, I do feel that it’s always good to challenge yourself in order to learn new skills. Read through all the terms in the pattern (test them out on a practice swatch, if you wish), and if you feel comfortable, follow along. Remember that the blog posts stay up after they’re posted, so you can always work at your own pace.

  • do you need the handles to start the project or can one get that later  and where is the pattern link again?  I can’t find it at

    • Hi again, Jonasangel1! No, you don’t need handles to start; you can definitely get them later. For the pattern, you can use the “click here for the pattern” link in the blog post, type “Half Medallion” into the search box at, or go directly using this link:

      Hope that helps!

  • I’m also a beginner and have never done a CAL, how does this work?
    I would like to attempt this. What time on Thursday, and for how long?

    • Hi Neeham3, just come by the blog ( each week (blog posts will be published Thursday morning, but you can come whenever you wish) and read the newest blog post for tips from Dora. Follow along and work on your project. You can work at your own pace, or you can use the blog posts as a guideline to move ahead. All blog posts stay up after they’re published, so you can always refer back to them. Feel free to leave comments and/or ask questions as you work. Hope that helps!

  • Which yarn would a crocheter on a TIGHT budget use?  And can it be found at Wal-Mart?

    • Hi Jen, I would recommend our Vanna’s Choice (2 balls) or Pound of Love (1 ball), both great values and both available at Wal-Mart.

  • I don’t see the question but I got an email asking about wooden handle being too heavy to use.  Why not check out the plastic ones that look like wood?  I have seen them.  I am going to check them out at Hobby Lobby on Tuesday if they have any I will let you know. 

    • Hi Jonasangel1, great suggestion about plastic handles! There are definitely ones available. Also, if you would like to change your settings so that you don’t get emails about each comment on this blog post, you can do so at; it’s completely up to you if you’d rather follow up in your email or just on the blog.

  • I’m a little confused on the 2-3rd row… Hope I figure it out before thurs…

  • I found the yarn for the purse at Jo-Ann, on sale for $ 5.61 a ball. Also have the wooden handles 30% off.

  • I went to Jo-ann last night and they have Vannas choice on sale two balls  for five bucks thats what Iam using, and  as White5415 said purse handles 30% off.  

  • i started playing w/this pattern to see if i could follow along and i made it to row 5, but only have 19 stitches. i’ve counted a number of times and still only have 19 and not 21. i am anxious to know what i’m doing wrong :/

    • hmmm, 🙂 i just finished row 7 and i have the right number of sts again. so maybe row 5 should end w/19?

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