Monday, December 26, 2016

New Years Goal, Make More Books

Happy New Year!   I have a New Years Goal (or resolutions if you prefer) this year to make more coptic stitch books!  I know this is not exactly in keeping with the varmint theme of this site, but I also know that most crafty people indulge themselves in more than one craft.  So this post is for my paper crafting friends.
If you've never made a coptic stitch book HERE is a link to an excellent video to get you started.  The procedure is actually quite simple with SeaLemon's awesome step-by-step instructions.

Once you have created your covers and folded all the pages and grouped them into 'signatures' you will want to go to THIS video to learn the actual stitching procedure.

I made this simple cover with Christmas wrapping paper just because I thought it was pretty.

One of the best features of a coptic stitch book is that when opened it lays flat making it easier to journal or sketch in it.

This particular little book has cut out silhouettes in it of the Nativity and the story was dictated by my seven year old grandson Sam, and hand lettered  onto the pages.

As you can imagine, the possibilities for one of these handmade journals or books are just endless.  I hope you will give this a try.  Bet you can't make just one!


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve and everything is done!

Merry Christmas Varmint lovers!  I hope your holiday preparations are all done and you are relaxing in your favorite easy chair right now.  At our house all is ready for Christmas.    The Christmas crochet projects are tucked in the tree and awaiting notice by 2 awesome boys who are expected to arrive here by Christmas evening.  We are so excited!

This Green buddy and dragon are quite a big larger than most of my own designs, but they were too adorable to pass up.  The link for the Green Buddy can be found in my previous post.

Here is the link for the dragon.  And here are the two of them together in MY favorite easy chair!


This will be my last post of this year, so I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Crochet Green Buddy is a Winner for little Hulk lovers!

Crochet Green Buddy...Wow!  What a winner for any little guy who admires the Incredible Hulk.  This doll is about18 inches tall and perfect to be a pal to my grandson.


This is the finished project taken from this free pattern by Mary Smith.

 He took about 24 hours total to make, but I tend to crochet slower than most.  Many of my crocheting friends would have finished this in less time.

So my next project is a dragon of a similar size for another grandson.  Gotta be fair, right?!

Normally I make smaller items because I get impatient with large projects.  But these are sooo cute!  I just couldn't resist giving them a try.

Check back in a week or so to see the finished dragon.  I think he might be quite impressive.  At least I'm hoping so!  The pattern looks awesome!

So back to my work!  Must get dragon done before Christmas!  Would love to hear your thoughts on this Hulky guy!  Meanwhile, Happy Holiday Hooking!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hulk Inspired Crochet Doll...An Adorable 'Green Buddy'.

With just 2 weeks until Christmas, I'm busily working on an Incredible Hulk  crochet doll for my grandson.

Paul loves Super Hero's, and especially the Incredible Hulk.  I searched Pinterest and found this adorable free crochet Hulk 'Green Buddy’ doll pattern.


So over to Ravelry I went and downloaded the pattern.   This pattern prints out to 16 pages complete with detailed pics.  So I was pretty sure this would be a piece of cake  project.

Now, three days later with at least 6 hours a day spent with hook in hand, I am about 50% finished.  This is going to be an awesome gift for my grandson, but wow!  There must be a gazillion stitches in this  thing!  While this hulk crochet doll doesn’t look that difficult in the pic, the pattern has quite a few little details that absolutely make it rock!  The tattered look to the shorts, the toes and fingers, the ears and the hair are all extras that add cuteness to the appearance of this doll. 

The size is perfect at about 18-20 inches tall.  The hair is done separately like a wig and is then attached to the head.  The face has some slight needle sculpting to help give it definition.   And the ears are just adorable!

The big eyes and sweet little smile on this crochet doll  take away from any Hulk scariness and make this a buddy that kids can relate to in a kind and gentle way.

I have learned several new techniques from this crochet pattern and have had to brush up on an old skill or two.  So far the challenge has been totally worth it!

So, I'm not finished with this guy yet, but when completed I will post a pic of the finished project.  Be sure to check back in a few days to see if my Hulk resembles the pattern pic.

In the meantime, Happy Hooking!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Crochet Cat Bag Holder that is Fun and Functional

 Crochet cat grocery bag holder. Stripes in gold, blue, yellow and lime green.

This  crochet cat bag holder is adorable and ranks among the most fun projects I have made!   I love it when I can take an old idea or pattern and give it a new twist!

My daughter used to keep a grocery bag holder over her baby changing table back in the days when her life consisted of babies and diapers.  It was convenient to have the bags right at hand when she changed the baby, and the monster theme bag holder she had was a fun thing for the baby to look at while being changed.  This is what gave me the idea for this crochet cat!  Who doesn't love a goofy cat hanging around that makes a baby coo and smile?

The original idea for this project actually came from Pinterest which links to this Ravelry page.  I initially made the pattern as written to hang over my grandson's changing table.  It was cute, but after a bit of thought, and giving free reign to my love of bright colors, this adorable crochet cat began to form in my imagination.  And I just love it!

I'm thinking that this project could be easily adapted to any of my yarn varmint patterns.  What could be cuter than a crib softie and a matching bag holder as a baby gift?!    And if you are really motivated, how about a matching baby blanket?  Or perhaps you know of someone who would just love to brighten up that little corner of the kitchen or utility room with a fun character bag holder.

I hope this post will inspire you to  get your creative juices flowing!   There is still time to make this cute projects before Christmas.  It only took me a few hours.  If you make this crochet cat bag, I would love to see your comments and pics of your finished project in the comment section.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Playful Christmas Cards for a fun Greeting!

I'm feeling very excited this year as I design and make  playful Christmas cards for the people I love this year!  It all began as I made cards for a couple of my grandkids who do not live near us.  As I worked on these cards, I could just imagine the smiles and giggles.  Of course this thought just spurred me on and I continued this theme on nearly all the rest of my cards so far!

I can make some pretty hefty dimensional greeting cards, and I have learned form past experience that the post office likes to get more postage for heavy, thick cards.  So in the spirit of my playful attitude, I endeavored to make these cards adorable without too much bulk.

[caption id="attachment_955" align="aligncenter" width="225"]playful Christmas, Gorilla, Christmas, Card, greeting Playful Gorilla handmade Christmas card.[/caption]

I know gorilla's get a bad rap sometimes, but this one is just having some fun!  I think he will bring a smile to my grandson Paul's face, and that is my goal.

[caption id="attachment_954" align="aligncenter" width="225"]playful Christmas, cat, mischief, handmade, greeting card This cat is into some serious Christmas mischief. You can just tell by the look on his face.[/caption]

Keeping with the theme, I made this card for my grandson, Sam.  To add to the playful Christmas fun, I included a short true story about cats and Christmas trees from his Mama's childhood.  In case you don't already know, cats and trees can make for a very playful Christmas indeed!

I just can't tell you how much fun I am having making these cards!  If you've never tried making your own greeting cards, I highly recommend it.  And if you're like me, you'll be sitting at your craft table with a silly grin on your face as you look over all your playful Christmas designs!


Friday, November 18, 2016

Only Five more weeks till Christmas!

Time is winding down  and Christmas will soon be here!  Like most households, there is always a flurry of activity here at this time of year.

Now I realize that we still have a major holiday coming up before Christmas.  And I totally adore Thanksgiving!  But while there is a certain amount of hustle and bustle that goes along with Thanksgiving, it seems to be mostly centered around meal preparation.  And since the Thanksgiving meal is essentially the same every year, it is a bit more simple to pull off.

But Christmas.....!  There's the cleaning, the decorating,  purchasing or making and wrapping gifts plus all the meal preparation and readying the house for overnight guests in many instances.  In addition to that, many of us still like to send Christmas greeting cards, especially to friends and family who do not live nearby.  What a wonderfully busy season!

I enjoy the busyness of this time of year.  But I do try to keep things from getting hectic and stealing the joy from the holidays.   So as Santa makes his list and checks is twice, so do I.  My 'to do' list that is.

This is the time of year that I get to double my satisfaction, making lists, even if only in my head, and  checking things off as they are completed.  And I  love the satisfaction of sitting back and gazing at the multitude of finished projects.  It gives me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

So my latest crochet project is finished, and I am so happy with the way it turned out!  I have fallen in love with the Big Head Doll patterns,  If you  haven't seen them I encourage you to go to Pinterest and look them over.  They are sooo adorable!  Here is my finished project, and a closer look at the booted feet I substituted for the feet in the original pattern.

[caption id="attachment_944" align="alignleft" width="200"]crochet, christmas, big head doll, handmade, red, black, white Christmas themed Big Head Doll[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_947" align="alignright" width="218"]crochet, handmade, feet, boots, black, christmas, doll Crocheted booted feet for Big Head Christmas Doll[/caption]


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Crochet Angel Free Pattern for a Merry Christmas!

[caption id="attachment_935" align="aligncenter" width="300"]handmade, crochet, free pattern, angel, stuffed toy, decoration, ornament Cute little crochet angel perfect for the holidays![/caption]

I have been working on this free crochet angel pattern for a couple of weeks now.  Crochet and frog (unravel), crochet and frog.  I have remade the head about 5 times before I was happy with the size and shape.

The wings on this  angel were an even bigger challenge.  The first set was too small.  The second set, while a nicer size, were too plain.  But the third try finally seemed right.  Not too flashy, but not to plain.

I chose a sparkly acrylic yarn for this pattern, and while I am usually drawn to multiple vibrant colors in my creations, this one just seemed like it should be mostly one color.  I did add a sweet crochet halo in gold yarn just for fun.

With the holidays sneaking up on us it is a good time to get those holiday projects done.  This crochet angel pattern is intentionally simple and works up fairly quickly.  Picture several of these as a table centerpiece, or add a hook or loop and hang them from your tree.

This little angel would also make a cute toy for your own little angels.

To change the size, use a lighter weight yarn and smaller hook for a smaller version of this crochet angel, or a heavier weight yarn and a larger hook to make a bigger one.

This pattern can be found as a free download in the Varmint Market.



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Free Crochet Pattern, Monsters that will make you 'Giggle'

Free crochet pattern alert!  This is my very first crochet pattern design and it has received such a good response that I have decided to place it as a free pattern in my Varmint Market.

I absolutely adore bright colors and funny expressions.  Here at Yarn Varmints we call it the 'cuteness factor'.  It is what I strive to achieve in all my varmint creations.  At times this means making several tries before it meets the requirements.  But the satisfaction of finally getting it right is so worth it!

These little monsters are about 3 inches tall and are just the right size for little hands to carry around.  And I wish I could describe to you the delight we see in every child that has received one of these.  Big smiles, audible giggles as they toss them up in the air or hug them close to their little chests.    The wonder is that such a simple little monster could elicit all that.

So I invite you to  enjoy this free crochet pattern.  I suggest you make several for adorable Christmas gifts.  And keep some extra's around for little visitors.  I try to do this and it is such a great help to parents when their child has something special to play with during the visit.  And then I send it home with them!

All you need to make this free crochet pattern is some bits of leftover yarn, stuffing and some felt for the eyes.  Be sure to attach eyes, arms and legs securely if you plan to give one of these to a baby.

So get your pattern today and get started on your little of monsters right away.  Really, they are addictive!  Once you have completed one, it's hard not to make more.  And the more you make, the more delighted your child will be!

[caption id="attachment_96" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Colorful little crochet monsters with silly grins and funny eyes. Cute little crochet monsters that will make you 'giggle'![/caption]

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Crochet Patterns for a Happy Holiday Trio


[caption id="attachment_888" align="aligncenter" width="300"]crochet pattern of reindeer, christmas tree and snowman       Holiday Fun with Yarn and Hook[/caption]

Crochet patterns have been a great help to me in my crochet journey.
I just love having a written page of instructions in front of me as I crochet, and I have been intrigued by the creativity  of so many crochet pattern designers.  I wanted to give it a try myself so I began designing my own patterns about a year ago and have been busy ever since creating crochet patterns for others to enjoy!

These crochet patterns started with a rather obscure idea that evolved as I worked on them and I still have ideas swirling around in my mind.   These patterns are original one-of-a-kind creations that are designed for use as decorations or toys.   The patterns are intentionally simple to  crochet so even a beginner should be able to understand and crochet them.

I crocheted these patterns from yarn I had in my stash, so you can see that very little yarn is needed.  Each one takes just a bit of yarn and a handful or two of stuffing.  The tree was make from yarn left over from a crocodile stitch project, and I was so happy to be able to use more of it. The black and white yarn are some that I always keep on hand.  And the brown and tan are also  pretty much a constant in my yarn closet.

These holiday varmints are so cute, and your little ones will love playing with these fun characters!  They also  make adorable decorations for the mantle or the tree.  Add a hook or loop to the top and hang them as ornaments!

These crochet patterns can be purchased individually or as a set (read bargain).  And the original crochet creations can be purchased as well.  Check out the Varmint Market for listings of all of my whimsical original designs and patterns.  Start early to finish your holiday projects in time for Christmas!



Friday, October 21, 2016

The Varmint Market.....The Sweetest Little Store !

Hello Friends!  I thought I would take a moment to explain  the Varmint Market.  All the varmints in my market are handmade originals designed and crafted by me.  The varmints themselves are the prototypes which I created for the patterns.  If you wish to buy one of these Varmints, the price  includes all shipping and handling costs.

The patterns in the Varmint Market are downloadable PDF's with instant delivery.  They are designed to be easy to understand and if there are any questions, I am always happy to help.  Just email me.

[caption id="attachment_96" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Varmint Market includes varmints of all shapes and sizes to crochet.' Adorable little Varmints for your little ones![/caption]

Since Christmas is fast approaching,  I want to offer an additional gift with each Varmint purchase from now through November.  I will include one 'Giggle' monster with each varmint purchase!  (This does not include pattern purchases.)  Your 'Giggle' will be a variation of one of these pictured.  If you have a preference, just message me and let me know and I will  create a 'Giggle' in the colors and style you like.

I also want to remind you that when you sign up for my monthly newsletter,  you will receive my free 'Giggles' E-Book which includes the pattern to make these cute little 'Giggle' monsters.

The holidays will soon be here and you don't want to be caught desperately trying to get your crochet projects finished at the last minute.  Plan ahead, and make your holiday season a time of joy and peace!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tigger in His Crocodile Costume!

I love the way 5 year old boys think!  They have fascinating minds.  My Grandson, Paul, is no exception.  Watching me stitch the crocodile stitch at a recent visit to his house he was intrigued!  Now this boy loves costumes!  He's Batman!  He's Spiderman!  Now he's Ironman!  Next, the Hulk!..And sometimes all of them at once.  So to him, a crocodile stitch simply means another costume.

My plan was to make him a crocodile blanket perhaps for Christmas, so I started it during our visit.    As he played at the table where I was working, he noted my progress.  After I had completed several rows, he disappeared briefly and then returned with his stuffed Tigger.

"Tigger needs an alligator costume,"  he informed.

"Well, I think you may be right, Paul."  I replied.  So I added ties to the already perfectly sized crocodile stitch cape and tied it around Tigger's shoulders.  Need I mention that Paul was thrilled?  And so was I!  That crocodile stitch blanket was going to be a time consuming project, but Paul just let me off the hook (no pun intended) at least for the time being.

So here is Paul in his Batman hoodie holding the batman "made out of yarn".


And here is Tigger in his new costume.


I think they are both just too cute!



Thursday, October 6, 2016

Crocodile Stitch Fingerless Gloves......

Here's a perfect gift idea for the ladies on your Christmas list this year!   Fingerless gloves or wrist warmers as they are sometimes called are cute, warm and cozy and leave the fingers free for driving, texting ( not while driving please.) or doing little tasks like crochet or what have you, that requires fine motor skills.


I purchased this pattern from  It is a great pattern that works up easily.  I tweaked it a little in the length of the gloves to make them a little longer. (My sister wanted elbow length) but done up just as the pattern directs makes a perfect size to the wrist.


If you don't know how to make the crocodile stitch here is an excellent tutorial to show you how.

Once you learn this awesome stitch there is no end to the beautiful things you can create, from house slippers to mermaid tails to dragon blankets!  So treat yourself to a new stitch this week and add a whole new dimension to your crochet artwork!

I would love to hear from you and see pics of your projects!  Just post in the comments.  If you have questions, feel free to email me.



Monday, September 26, 2016

A Special Gift Idea for the Holidays....

Christmas is coming!  It's time to get those handmade gift projects going.  This post is for all of my pet loving friends, (which includes almost everyone I know).

To make a special gift, turn a fun and easy pattern into a whimsical rendition of any beloved pet.  Just follow the pattern and use the colors of the pet you have in mind.

Now if that pet happens to have more that one color on it's furry little frame, I would suggest cutting shapes of felt to resemble spots and sew them on.  If it's a leg or paw or an ear, simply crochet in the corresponding color.

Now, your crocheted pet will not look realistic, although I have seen some yarn artists do this with amazing results.  But your pet will be adorable and fun and will elicit smiles and giggles by the score!

We no longer have a pet, but we do have a frequent visitor to our home that we have claimed as our part-time pet.   file-sep-26-2-07-45-pm

I thought Sadie deserved a bit of recognition for her faithful visits to us.  The crocheted version was made using my 'Danny Ray the Dog' pattern.  I did make a few simple changes to give her a little more height and longer ears.  3 additional rounds of  single crochet were added in the center of the body and the ears were also lengthened by adding several rounds of single crochet.

Almost all of my patterns are easily adjusted to accommodate your desired finished product, and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about this.

So, I hope this helps with some ideas for easy, but unique gifting projects.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Money tight? Have you considered reclaimed?

Most of the people I know are on a budget, and yarn can be pricey.  Especially if you are looking for something soft and pleasing to the touch.

I have quite a yarn stash which I raid on a regular basis for the little varmints I create.  But I also like to browse the occasional yard sale or resale shop just for fun.  Sometimes I run across a crocheted or knit item that just feels so good, or is such an unusual blend of fibers or colors that I cannot resist as I let my imagination run on.

Some of these items are perfect to unravel and reclaim to create a new unique item.   That is exactly what I did with this little bear.  His body and ears are from a cool sweater I ran across in a sweet little family owned resale shop  and the pink was at one time part of a discarded baby blanket that had obviously been handmade for someone.    I think he is quite a cute little fellow!  I've been hoarding the variegated brown yarn for just the right project.  He looks like chocolate confetti!

Now, if you are thinking of reclaiming yarn, there are some things that must be considered. This site will walk you through the necessary steps to unravel and prepare that yarn for reuse.  You will also learn which types of garments are best to reclaim.



As i was creating this little guy, i began to think of how many of the handmade crochet or knit items that babies soon outgrow could be later repurposed into an adorable keepsake toy that will give even more years of pleasure to that little one.

I hope this post will inspire you to reconsider donating or tossing that sweet little handmade sweater, cocoon or baby blanket.  Reclaim that item and turn it into something huggable and lovable for your toddler.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Monster Scarf for Child....Free Pattern

Monster Scarf

The Holidays are coming!  And if I'm right, you are already planning your holiday handmade projects!  This adorable little scarf is easy to make and will make a great Christmas gift!  Make a matching beanie to go with and you have an adorable set to give to that special toddler or child in your tribe to keep them warm and snuggly this winter!  Make a stack of them in different colors to sell at your favorite craft show or bazaar!  Yes!   You have my permission to sell the finished products from this pattern.  No strings attached.  It's my gift to you.  Enjoy!

This is a fairly simple, but cute project that will delight your little ones.   I love how the edge just naturally curves into a  kind of non-discript scallop; very gender neutral.  If you are not familiar with some of the stitches or techniques, just click on the highlighted links to see the tutorials from some very talented yarn crafters!

Stitches used:
Single crochet (sc)
Foundation single crochet (fsc)
double crochet (dc)
standing double crochet (sdc)
Magic circle (mc)

Sport or baby yarn in desired colors
Size G crochet hook
Small bit of fiberfil  (optional)
Yarn needle

Row 1.  Make a foundation single crochet of 20 stitches.  Chain 2 and turn work.
Row 2 and beyond.  Make a standing double crochet in the first stitch, then dc in each additional stitch across.  Chain 1 and turn work.
Repeat row 2 until the scarf is as long as you would like it to be, making color changes as desired.  If you like fringe on the ends,  feel free to add it. 

HORNS: Make as many as you want on your scarf.
1. Make 3 sc in a magic circle or ch.2 and make 3 sc in 2nd ch, from hook.
2. Make 2 sc in each st.(6)
3. Sc in each st. around.
4. *Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st.* (9)
5. Sc in each st.
6. *Sc in 2st., 2 sc in next st.* (12)
7-8. Sc in each st. around. Fasten off leaving a long length of yarn to sew horn to scarf.   Flatten each horn and sew to scarf.

1. With black yarn make 6 sc in a magic circle.
2.With contrasting color for iris, make 2 sc in each sc. (12)
3. With white yarn, make 2 sc in each st.(24)
If you want your eye to be larger, just add another round of sc making 2 sc in every 3rd stitch.
Sew the eye to the center of the scarf under the horns.  If you wish, you can add a bit of stuffing under the eye to give it a little dimension.

  Make a foundation single crochet of 20, chain 1 and turn.
 Sc in each stitch.  Fasten off leaving a length of yarn to sew mouth to scarf.
 Position as desired and stitch mouth to scarf under the eye.  If you want your mouth to be a bit thinner, just go with the first row of fsc and eliminate row 2.

Your scarf is finished!  If you have a sweet beanie pattern,  you could easily make a matching beanie by attaching horns, eye and mouth to the beanie for an adorable gift!

I hope you enjoy this simple little pattern!  I would love to hear from you and see pics of your Monster scarves.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

So, just what is Amigurumi?

Wikipedia says amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, usually cute stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures".  Yeah, I had to look up anthropomorphic and it means ascribing human traits and emotions to non-human things.  Think Lightning McQueen and Towmater.

Amigurumi are generally constructed using single crochet stitches and  basic shapes and connecting them together. Spheres, cones and tubes are pretty much the foundation of any amigurumi with a few variations here and there as needed, (or wanted).

While there are many incredibly awesome amigurumi patterns available, I try to keep my patterns simple and cute.  Most of my patterns can be completed within a few hours.  Who has time to spend days creating one little varmint anyway?

[caption id="attachment_62" align="aligncenter" width="300"]"Will you be my friend?" My Grandson, Paul, calls this varmint a "bumblebee bear'!  He may have something                                      there![/caption]




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Handmade Yarn Varmints, Gifting Ideas for Little Elves....

Hello again varmint lovers!   The holidays are steadily creeping up on us  and I have had some questions about the sizes of my handmade yarn varmints. Some ofyou are wondering if they would make good stocking stuffers.   The answer is 'Yes',!  Yarn varmints can be made in virtually any size you like!  The trick is to use different weights of yarn and/or size of crochet hook.  The lighter weight the yarn and the smaller the hook size, the smaller the finished varmint will be.  And, of course, if you wish a larger handmade yarn varmint, use a bulky weight yarn and a larger hook.  So, as you can see,  they would make great stocking stuffers, or baby crib toys, or party favors or whatever you can imagine using a yarn varmint for.  

[caption id="attachment_96" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Handmade yarn varmints crocheted of yarn in bright colors Yarn Varmints 'Giggles' Free E-Book with Pattern[/caption]

If you sign up for my monthly Yarn Varmint newsletter, you will receive my free 'Giggles' E-Book which includes the pattern for the original Giggle monsters  I designed. These little guys are approximately 4 inches tall when crafted using worsted weight yarn.   

Make varmints in a variety of sizes and dress them in festive holiday hats to line up on the mantle or tuck under the tree!  I would love to hear from you and see pics of your varmints.

So let's get crafty and have those holiday projects done early this year!  And don't forget to include a pack of handmade yarn varmints in the mix. Just imagine the delighted giggles when the little ones see these cute little monsters!


Friday, August 26, 2016

The Blanket is Completed!

Well, I didn't quite make my deadline on this blanket, but I did get it done in about 1 week.  The caterpillar was kind of an afterthought.  Without him it's just another baby blanket, don't you think?  I also added a sweet scalloped edge to give an even softer look.  Oh, and did I mention that this blanket Is super soft and cuddly?  I think my friend will love giving it!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Holidays are Coming....

Have you been thinking about the holidays yet?  Thanksgiving!  (Yum!)   Christmas!  That special time of year when we gather with those we love and celebrate the goodness of God and all His blessings?   What wonderful memories are made during those times!

But if you're thinking of handmade gifts, then it's time to get serious about your gifting plans this year.

Because we live in a DIY culture these days, many of you will be looking for some simple, but awesome projects to make.  By starting early you can avoid the last minute crochet marathons that we have all experienced at one time or another.

Rather, lets get our gifts completed early so we can truly enjoy the most important things about the holidays, family and friends!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

How fast can you make a baby blanket?

"My neice is having a baby shower next week",  she said.  "Can you make me a baby blanket for her in time for the shower?"

Well, that's my friend.  She isn't a yarn addict like I am and has no idea of what goes into a project,  But she loves everything I make and gives me tons of encouragement.

Still the question teased my competitive edge.  Could I make her a blanket in less than a week?  I don't know, but I'm going to give it try!  I think I may be able to.  We'll see....

This is two days work so far.  Let's see.......Four more days to finish it.

I did not design this pattern, but I love the bumpy softness of this design!  And it is working up fairly quickly I think.  You can find the free pattern  here. .

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Welcome Summer!.... and new projects!

Whew!  It's been really busy lately what with visiting kids, etc.  But we're back home and getting into our summer groove.   We had a great trip to the Cleveland area to visit kids and grandkids.  We didn't get to see everyone, but maybe next trip.

Of course I took a crochet project or two.  I was able to finish this sweet little summer vest for my daughter.  She makes such a great model.   Sorry, I didn't get a close-up of the stitches.  But still, you can get a general idea of what it looks like.

I also finished this little crochet clutch after I got home.  I just needed something small and understated to carry to a wedding.  This was perfect.  I love the vintage button closure and the smart shell-stitch.

I love this little clutch purse and will probably use it often.  I may even make one in bright colors and add a shoulder strap for a cross-body bag.  Have I said these are really fun to make?  The free pattern can be found here.

Friday, May 20, 2016

For the Love of Cats....

I know, I know!  I've been missing in action for a few weeks.  Truth is, I've been pretty busy and my crochet hook has been hot with activity.  I have crocheted 2 shawls, 2 pair of wrist warmers and twisted headbands and 1 adorable fat cat for a wonderful cat-loving friend.

I don't have pics of all these things, but I do have a pic of the cat for you.  While I did not actually use a pattern, I did get inspiration from this awesome Etsy shop.  Her cats are definitely
the cutest I've ever seen and this one doesn't come close to capturing the cuteness factor of hers, but I do think that he is kinda cute anyway.

I hope my friend will like him.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Seeing Stripes...

Making a crochet zebra look authentic is quite a challenge.  Lucky for me that my characters are not supposed to look authentic!  They just need to look cute and be easily identified as the animal they are meant to represent.   The fun thing about 'Giggles' is that they are intended to look goofy, silly, colorful and happy.  I invite anyone making these little critters to let your imagination run wild and make something unique!

While I intended the arms to be striped, they turned out to look more checkered.  Interesting.  I did single rows of single crochet on the arms and used 2 rows together on the stripes of the body.  I must remember this in the future.  That checkered effect may come in handy on a different project some day.

I love the googly eyes on this one!  He's a bit cross-eyed on purpose.  It just adds to the 'giggle' factor.

However, I'm just not quite satisfied with him.  Let's see if I can make him look better.  I'll shorten the ears and change the arms.

                    Hmmm,  still not exactly what I want.  Think, think, think!    Oh, I know!

There's just nothing like a big toothy grin to elicit a giggle from even the most somber being.  Leave a comment and let me know which one you like the best!

The pattern for this guy can be found here at Ravelry or at

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Gorilla, Gorilla.....

Whew!  This guy really gave me a challenge.  The challenge was to keep him simple enough to be easily done and detailed enough to make him resemble a gorilla.  I repeated the pattern in full twice to be sure my pattern was correct, and repeated different parts of the gorilla several times before I was satisfied with the result.  The giggle criteria was finally met.  He has all the whimsy of my original 'Giggles' and the features of the wild that we expect in a jungle animal.  And with his silly grin, we couldn't help but smile.  'We' refers to my hubby (Mr. Loving) and I.  Mr. Loving is my main 'Giggle' critic and advisor.  His specialty is the 'cuteness factor', and no Giggle pattern get's published without his final approval.  He also helps with the pictures, as photography is not my gift.   Oh, and did I say he is also my main admirer?! Thanks, Loving, for your help and encouragement.   I don't know what I would do without you!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Mischievous Menagerie...

     The invasion of zoo animals continues!  My goal is to design a new amigurumi pattern each week.  Is that too lofty?  Perhaps, but I think I'll still give it a try.

     The stripes on this little guy make him quite handsome!   I hope his friends don't tease him too much for looking a bit like a bumble bee.  ;-)    He looks so cute and innocent, but I do believe he has a mischievous streak.  And I know some of his friends are little pranksters!  I hear strange noises in the night and I suspect this gang may be responsible.

     I'm not sure I trust that Lion and Elephant to behave themselves.  Things may get interesting around here!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Here's a Happy Little Hippo for you!

In keeping with my crocheted 'Giggles' characters, this week I have created the cutest little hippo!
The ears and nose were a little tricky and required a couple of redos, but I am satisfied with the end result.  I really love the color combination on this one!  The pattern can be found here at Ravelry and on Craftsy by searching Hippo 'Giggles' Amigurumi.   So, I now have 3 jungle animal 'giggle' patterns published.  What should I design next?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Wacky, Lovable Lion 'Giggle'

Another silly little 'Giggle' has emerged from my hook this weekend.  He is wacky and lovable and was re-done several times before I was satisfied with him.  Every amigurumi teaches me new things.  This guy taught me several things and almost made me give up!  Putting on the mane was quite a challenge.  I actually removed every strand at one point and started over.  There were also several re-dos on the facial features.  Finally he made me smile, and I knew he was done.   All my 'Giggles' must meet smile or giggle criteria!

So....What do you think?  And what should I attempt next?
This pattern can be found on Craftsy and Ravelry.  Check out my patterns there and leave me some feedback!

Bathroom Set..... Now a contour rug?

I'm so glad I decided to go ahead with
two colors on this.   I'm afraid  the Mandela effect
would have been lost with just one color.
Finished the seat cover over the weekend.  It turned out great!  But now I think I need to make a contour rug for the toilet.  That may be a greater challenge.  I'm afraid there is no end to what I could make for our tiny bathroom.  Window valance, shower curtain, but it would be easy to overdo it because the room is so small.

This rug looks a odd shaped because of the angle.
Still working  on my photo skills.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Finished my bathroom rug!  WooHoo!  I like the way it turned out.  Now to figure out a way to make it non-slip.  Next bathroom project will be a seat cover.  I'm thinking of doing a Mandela type pattern, but all in one color to coordinate with the rug.    It should be interesting to see how it comes together.

Here is the finished rug.

The blue rounds are actually a darker blue than the pic shows.  I love the scallops around the edge!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

So Much Yarn......So Little Time!

Well, I've been quite busy the past week with several projects.  I have planned for some time to to crochet a new rug for my bathroom.   I was set on making an oval rug and finding the right pattern has been a challenge in itself.   While this pattern is close to what I wanted, I had to tweak it in several ways to make it suitable for the spot where it will live.  Of course, I started this rug from my yarn stash, but have made 2 trips to the yarn shop already for just the right accent color.  But I believe the finished rug will look great with my brown and blue decor.

Not quite finished, but coming along!

Another project I have been working on in my mind for some time, but am now getting ready to publish as a pattern is this cute little 'Elephant Giggle'.      His trunk is actually posable.  I have it twisted for this pic to show that.    It's amazing how much time and energy goes into even a simple pattern. ( I do try to keep my patterns simple so that even a beginner can make them).  I must have remade those ears half a dozen times to get the effect I wanted.    In keeping with the design of the original 'Giggles' he had to be small, (he's a little over 4 inches tall), colorful and cute enough to elicit at least a smile, if not an outright giggle.   I don't know how many different patterns I will make, but I do have a few more ideas swirling around in my mind.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Road Trip Scarf

     The first time I saw this scarf on Pinterest, I fell in love with it!  I love the open weave of the stitch, the unique scalloped border and the dainty flowers with the added twisted braids on the ends.  While most triangular scarves are worn with the point in the back, this one is designed to wear the point in the front with the two ends wrapped around the back of the neck and draped to the front as well.
     I finally got around to making my own.  I just happened to have a remnant of yarn, so I got to work.  As often happens when I try to use up some of my stash on a project,  I didn't have enough to finish, so had to go buy more.  Luckily, Walmart still had some to match.

                          Many thanks to Zooty Owl for sharing her design and free pattern.

Monday, March 28, 2016

More Headbands...

     I made several trellis headbands this weekend.  I think I like the results.  These headbands tie in the back (or wherever you want the tie to be) to close.  They are handmade and because of difficulty with patterns I had to come up with my own.  I'm eager to make this headband in different yarns, fibers and colors.  I think it will be a versatile accessory.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring headbands anyone?

This week I got a request for some spring headbands for little (and big) girls.  I really haven't made many headbands, so it's a new project for me.  Here's what I have come up with so far.  I'm still thinking on the 'big girl' headbands.  There are lots of patterns out there to choose from, but I would love to come up with something original.  I'm thinking of something boho/hippie style.  We'll see if my boho mojo kicks in.
Flowers and butterflies.  

Love the sweet little rose on this one.

This one is my favorite so far.  Love the
adorable little daisies.  This one is for
my sweet great-granddaughter, Maddie.