Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Happy Crafty New Year.....

     It has been a great holiday season!  Lots of time with family and friends, good food and a general feeling of joy and peace!

      But it's a new year with new ideas and creativity.   I wish I could find more time to work on my crochet projects!  Yes, I am retired from my job, but I have so many things I would like to make!  My Pinterest boards are full of potential projects!  Where to begin?  

     My latest original YarnVarmint creation is pretty cute.

This pair of mischievous raccoons took a while to  design.  I ended up changing several of the features and still think I like the eyes on the left one better than the right.  But overall, they turned out pretty good.  They are both made using the same pattern with just a few minor variations.    

     I like that they are not overly big, but just a good size for little hands to hang on to.  Of course they could be smaller just by using a smaller size crochet hook.  This pair were crocheted with a #4 or G hook.  In a sitting position they are about 8 inches tall.

     If you would like to check out my original patterns, visit my Etsy store at: 

     Also, check out my Facebook page at:

     Right now I am working on a couple of projects, one that has been in progress for several months, a kimono for my grand-daughter. It is crocheted in Cleo cotton yarn and has a gorgeous diamond pattern worked into the fabric.  It will be one of the finest garments I have made yet.  The cleo yarn has such a beautiful drape and sheen to it!  I will try to post a pic when it is finished.

 The other is this cute stuffed Pikachu for another grand-daughter. He was a bit of a challenge, even though the pattern is easy to follow.  I have made a couple more of them since this one, and they do get easier and better with each one.  I must say, though, that the tail is quite unique.  It has an armature of plastic canvas to help it keep it's shape.

 Since I have 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren you can understand why those Pinterest pins will have to wait.  

     All in all, I don't see myself running out of projects any time soon.  But that's OK with me.  I love blessing these kids!  It's my function!

     So I hope your new year will be filled with fun projects and lots of love.  Have a Happy, Crafty New Year!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Yes... I'm Still Here!

I haven't posted for a while, but I have been very busy with yarn and hook!  Here are some of the projects I've completed since my last post.

 Pet the cat is always a popular gift!  Paired with one of Pete's story books, he is an instant hit!  I have made several of these for gifts and for my Etsy Shop.

 This adorable Teddy Bear came about from an impulse buy of a cake of Bernat Blanket yarn.   My great-grandson loves balls, and I had hoped to make a 'pull-apart bear' constructed entirely of balls.  The idea was to sew velcro to each ball so it would stick to the main body of the bear, giving him a sort Mr. Potato Head type of toy and still lots of balls to play with.  Sadly, this type of yarn does not stick to velcro, so that didn't work.  But this bear turned out pretty good.   I may still try the pull-apart toy later just to see if I can make it work with a different type of yarn.

 These little sheep ornaments were an instant hit with many people!  They are easy to make and the pattern can be found here.  I sold out of these at my local craft shows!

 This awesome horse was made for my grand-daughter, the horse lover.  I did not design this pattern, but it is awesome in it's detail and the precise shaping of the horse.  I'm thinking of making a white horse in the future just because I think it would be a beautiful piece.  I found this pattern on Etsy.

These are my latest project.  I was asked to make a sheep for a nursery.  I made one in regular yarn and the other in fuzzy yarn just to see the difference.  I like them both, but the fuzzy one is a bit more cuddly.  This pattern can be found in my Etsy shop here.

At this point I'm just winding down a bit for the holidays and thinking on what I would like to do in 2018.   So, if you don't hear from me until next year, I want to wish you all a
Merry Christmas
and a very
Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Oops! This Crochet Amigurumi Still Needs Work!

I have looked all over the internet for a pattern to make this adorable little amigurumi, but could not find it anywhere.  .  I saw the original picture on pinterest, and I did see it on a foreign social site during pattern search, but no pattern.    So I did what any ambitious crochet artist would do.  I created my own pattern.

The picture above is my first pattern attempt.    Isn't it adorable?  But some of the pieces are just not to my liking.  I crocheted this one from acrylic, and it just doesn't hold the form like I want it to.  So back to the drawing board, or in this case, back to the hook and yarn.

I am  making the next one from mercerizes cotton yarn and tweaking the  design just a bit to hopefully get a nice form and a toy that will stand up to some rough and tumble play and still be able to stand on his own two, er four, feet.

I did get into a bit of a hurry since so many people expressed interest in the pattern, and I listed it in my Etsy shop only to deactivate it within a few hours  due to my dissatisfaction with some of it.  My apologies to anyone who has been trying to get the pattern.

Once this pattern meets with my satisfaction, I will re-activate it with the improved pattern and a new picture.    Please be patient.   I promise you it will be a better pattern.

Check back often to see what I am up to and feel free to leave me a comment.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

The 'Star Stitch' How Pretty!!!!

I've been eyeing this stitch for some time now.  It looked kind of complicated and I just wasn't ready to try it until now.  But this week I've done 2 projects using this very pretty and elegant looking stitch.

I've been in need of a new coin purse for a while now and just haven't found any I cared to purchase, so I decided this week to just make one.

This is the front with a cell phone pocket that I added later.  The star stitch isn't very prominent here.
This is the back side and you can see the star stitch easily here.   This is the first coin purse I've ever made, and it's not perfect, but since I was in a hurry I was aiming more for the functionality than aesthetics.  And it is very functional!  Soft and lightweight, it feels good in my hand.

My second project was this wash/dish cloth.  Once again, pretty and functional!

I may make several of these just because I can.  I'm thinking of a couple of variations using this stitch, so who knows what I may come up with.  Check back later to see.  But for now, I think this stitch is a winner!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Crochet Wreath MakeOver!!!! So cool.....

A few years ago I ran across a sweet website called Attic24.

This colorful wreath totally caught my attention.  I love bright colors!   I had this for a couple of years when my Dad had to go to an Alzheimer's unit nearby.  Reading about this disease I found that these patients are drawn to bright colors, and since my Dad was having trouble identifying where his room was, I placed this wreath on the door to his room in the hopes that it would help.

Alzheimers is a strange disease.  You can't really tell what is going on in the mind of the afflicted person.  Dad did many strange things, and one of them was that he would move and hide things.  So the colorful wreath would disappear at times only to resurface in a closet or a drawer.  One thing I realized is that Dad knew it was HIS wreath, and that brought me comfort.

Dad left this world this past February.   I don't think I'll ever stop missing him.  But I did keep the wreath.  Sadly, in his adventures, Dad had broken the inner wreath form which was made of styrofoam.  The wreath was still usable, but looking a little shabby.

This week, after having the wreath on my door for a few months, I decided it needed a facelift.  But I didn't want to lose the memories of my Dad that went with it.

The new base is made of a pool noodle duck-taped into a circle. (Where was that idea when I needed it?)   I crocheted a new cover for the noodle and decided to just add a few of the flowers from the original.

The idea came to me to use velcro to attach the flowers in case I wanted to use the same wreath for a different occasion sometime.  (Think Christmas or Easter with appropriate holiday decorations.)  I added a ribbon with which to hang it.

I really love the look of this wreath, and I still think of Dad each time I look at it!  I think it's a win-win!

Maybe this will give you some ideas as well.  I hope it inspires you to re-work some of those precious items that may just need a little facelift to proudly take a prominent place in your decor again!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Who Doesn't Love an Adorable Doxie Puppy?.....

I just finished this pattern for my Great-grandson's first birthday.   I wasn't sure if I would get him finished in time to mail, but found that this pattern worked up fairly quickly.  Within two days of intermittent crocheting,  I was done!

Just look at that cute little tail!
This pattern was designed by Jenna Wingate.  I happened across it on Pinterest and just fell in love with it.  Jenna has many awesome doggie designs, and I love them all!  If you are a pet lover you may want to visit her website and see if your favorite breed is featured in a crochet format.  You can find her site here

I often tweak patterns to suit my taste as I crochet them, but I changed only one thing on this pattern.  I made the nose a bit bigger and rounder.  All in all, this is a great, fun pattern!  I will try her patterns again when I need another lovey blankie for a toddler or baby gift.  Thank you, Jenna Wingate for your awesome designs!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Dusty the Donkey Crochet Pattern Review

Last week I crocheted this pattern by IlDikko.  You can find this paid pattern here.   This is such a cute little animal!  He was also quite a challenge.  He is the first crochet animal that I have made that has a wire armature.  The armature gives him a better form and more stability.  A delightful benefit is that it also makes him pose-able.

The pattern comes as a download and is 19 pages long with a load of good pictures if you decide to print it out.  While there are no fancy crochet stitches in this pattern, it does help to follow the pattern step-by-step.  First, I crocheted the nose  and lower lip and stitched them together.  Then I attached the grey yarn to the nose and crocheted the head.  Before stuffing and closing the head, I had to cut and form the first part of the wire armature and insert part of it into the head.  Then I stuffed and closed the head, but with part of the armature sticking out for future use.

I then continued to work the pattern in the steps  as written.  I must say that working around the wire armature was a bit awkward at first, but I soon learned to bend the wires out of the way and up close to completed portions of the donkey until I was ready to use them.

Actually, the pattern was pretty simple to follow.  The most difficulty I had was crocheting the donkey's behind, which started in an oval and progressed to rounds of the body.  The tail was incorporated into this portion of the donkey so it seemed a little tricky for me.  Also the holes for the leg wires seemed to be a bit off, so I tried to compensate for that by moving them over a few stitches to what I thought might be a better position.  Upon completion, I realized that I should have stuck with the pattern, as I ended up with the back legs slightly off center.  However, It was not noticeable enough to unravel and redo the entire body.  Lesson learned.  The patterns are usually right on.

The hooves were also a bit tricky with multiple stitch changes.  I like to watch TV while I crochet, but I finally had to turn everything off so I could give my whole attention to  the hooves.  As I put the final touches on this project, I mused that it would have been nice to have had some measurements for the leg lengths.  I felt like the back legs were a bit longer than they maybe should have been.  But with a little posing, I made it work.  If I do this project again, I will likely make the back legs a round or two shorter.

The pattern includes some extras which I chose not to do at this time.  There are baskets for the donkey to wear across his back and also a sweet little carrot for him to eat.  They do add to the donkey's cuteness, but I wanted this guy to just be a barnyard donkey.

I never fail to learn new things when I work up someone else's pattern!  And this donkey taught me to be patient, follow the directions as written and how to use an armature in a crochet project.

All in all, this was a great pattern, and I would not hesitate to purchase another pattern from this talented designer!

Hope you enjoyed this pattern review.