There's a discussion going on right now on the CGOA members' yahoo group about this very stitch pattern (a.k.a. "Woven Shells" in Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet p.170; also in the Harmony Guides vol.6). The "brush strokes" come out shiny and padded in this yarn and the rhinestones nestle nicely among them.
Over on Crochet Partners they're talking about yarns that we miss; I miss this yarn, Berroco Quest. Yeah, it's a weird one and yeah, I have a thing for weird yarns, but especially this one because it shows off crochet stitches so beautifully. I think of this as more of a crocheter's yarn than knitter's yarn. You just never know 'til you swatch. It also has incredible drape. I wrote a thorough rave of this yarn back when CGOA members' started doing yarn reviews for the guild newsletters.
For the Helping Hands Silent Auction I had a hard time deciding whether to offer this bag or this one. I ended up wearing this one to the auction instead. If the model in the 3rd photo looks familiar, it's because I blogged about this special crocheter earlier.
A few months back the International Freeform Crochet group discussed how to recharge or get past a crochet slump and I described going through my swatch pile to find a swatch that I could quickly turn into a small usable gift to myself. I chose the original swatch I did for this bag and it was the right size to cover a smallish notebook; I just glued it to the notebook and crocheted a shoulder strap right onto it and now I wear it to every conference for keeping notes. It makes me insanely happy.