Wouldn’t you hate it if one of your friends went on and on about the most awesome new anime, but never offered to lend you the DVDs? It does no good for someone to ramble on to her fellow geeks about something incredible, but then keep it all to herself. So, over the next few months, I’m going to share some wonderfully geeky craft projects with you all, so everyone can partake in the crafty goodness. These are all projects I’ve created myself, and are the sort of things I make for my friends and family, as well as to sell at cons.
Now, as much as I would love to sit down with each and every one of you and teach you how to crochet, embroider, or sew, I can only prepare so many teleportation spells each day, and there is that miss chance if I’ve never actually been to your house before. And while crafts can be taught over the internet, GDG is not a craft website.
So I’m writing this article (and will write all future craft project posts) as if you already know the basics of the craft. I know that’s likely not the case, so I will also provide some links with good tutorials and info which will hopefully be enough to get you started even if you’ve never set foot in a craft store before. And please, feel free to e-mail me with any questions you might have. I’ll be glad to help!
Enough with the introductions – let’s get started, shall we? Behold, adventurers! The geeky craft project you are tasked with conquering this week is a mini dice bag.
Mini Dice Bag, CR 1, 400 XP
To a gamer, a good dice storage system is nearly as important as the dice themselves. You need a way to get them to and fro, and keep them safe and warm (What? Don’t dice deserve to be warm?). Having a dice bag as personalized as your dice would be awesome, wouldn’t it? But it’s hard to find the perfect bag in the perfect color. Well, it won’t be so hard anymore – I’m going to show you how to crochet one yourself!
This mini-bag easily holds 3 or 4 full sets of polyhedral dice, making it the perfect size for your traveling dice (the ones you take to a friend’s house or to a con). The finished size will vary slightly based on your tension and the yarn and hook used, but it should stand about 4 inches tall and have a diameter of about 2 ½ inches.
Equipment List (Supplies Needed)
Yarn: Stick to a simple worsted weight yarn. I prefer acrylic for its easy care, but if you want cotton or wool, have at it. You don’t need much for this little bag.
A little bit of yarn in a contrasting color, some ribbon, or some cording: For making the drawstrings.
Crochet Hook: If you’re already an experienced crocheter, use a hook one size smaller than you would normally use with worsted weight yarn. You want the bag to stand up on its own and be tightly woven, but not so tight that it loses its softness. If you’re new, use the hook size recommended on the yarn label. I make my dice bags using a size I (5.5mm) hook.
Yarn Needle: For weaving in the ends when you’re all done.
Stitch Marker: To keep track of the first stitch of each round. If you don’t have stitch markers, a bobby pin or French wire or lever-back earring will work too!
Scissors: For cutting.
Measuring Tape: While size doesn’t matter too much on this project (if your bag turns out a little smaller or bigger than intended, your dice won’t mind), it’s nice to know if you’re in the ballpark.
Optional: Two large-hole beads for decorating the ends of the drawstrings.
Prerequisites (Skills Needed)
You need to know how to start your yarn on the hook with a slip knot, chain stitch (ch), slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc), triple crochet (trc), and join rounds.
If you’re new to crochet, or just need a refresher, here are some great sites to help you get going:
Lion Brand Yarn’s collection of illustrated instructions and videos
More instructional videos by a talented and generous crocheter named Teresa
Prefer a book? My favorite instructional crochet book is Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting by Kim Werker and Cecily Keim.
Roll For Initiative And Let The Battle Commence! (What To Do)
Once you have your slip knot on the hook, we’re ready to roll! The bag starts at the bottom, which is a flat circle (and is why it stands up so nicely!), then works up the sides.
Here is the pattern:
Ch 3, connect with sl st to form a ring.
Rd 1: Ch 1, 6 sc into ch ring (mark the first sc of each round with your stitch marker so it’s easy to find). Join with sl st in 1st sc.
Rd 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each sc, join with sl st in 1st sc (12 sc total for the round).
Rd 3: Ch 1, 2 sc in 1st sc, 1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, repeat around, join with sl st in 1st sc (18 sc).
Rd 4: Ch 1, 2 sc in 1st sc, 1 sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, repeat around, join with sl st in 1st sc (24 sc).
Rd 5: Ch 1, 2 sc in 1st sc, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st, repeat around, join with sl st in 1st sc (30 sc).
Rd 6: Ch 1, sc in blo (back loop only) of each st around, join with sl st in 1st sc. (This is what creates the edge so you start working up the side of the bag.)
Rds 7-20: Ch 1, sc in each st around, join with sl st in 1st sc. (You should have 30 sc in each round. Count a round every so often to make sure you aren’t adding in or missing a stitch.)
Rd 21: Ch 3, trc in next sc, ch 1, skip next st, trc in next 2 sts, repeat around, join with sl st in 3rd ch at beginning of rd.
Rd 22-23: Ch 1, sc in each st around, join with sl st in 1st sc. Finish off at end of rd 23 and weave in the ends.
Now the bag is done and you need drawstrings. If you have some ribbon, ric-rac, or cording lying around your craft room, feel free to use some! Just cut two pieces about 30 inches long, and weave them through the spaces you created in round 21 in opposite directions. Knot the ends of each piece together and you’re done.
Or, you can take a contrasting color of yarn and make the drawstrings yourself. Chain 75, fasten off (make sure to leave about 6 inches of yarn tail at each end), and repeat to make the second drawstring. Weave them through as described before. You can also add a cool bead to the ends of the strings, but it’s not necessary. I do suggest tying a small knot in each tail of the yarn to prevent fraying.
And that’s it! You’ve just made a way-cool dice bag!
(You are more than welcome to print out this pattern for your own use, but please don’t print it out for others. If you want a friend to see this pattern, send them a link to this post. Copying and pasting just isn’t cool, yo.)
I Want Your Feedback!
Craft project patterns are a new thing at GDG, and it’s a new thing for me to try to write them for other people (my own notes make perfect sense to me…). I need to know what you thought of this post. Were the instructions clear enough? Too many pictures, or not enough? Let me know!