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 Craftsy.com

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!
Blessings!
Reny

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!

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!

Blessings!
Reny

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.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Eli the Goofy Goat

I'm not sure what it is about goats, but I love them.    My friend at Grimm Acres has some of the cutest ones!  Visit her website to see some pictures of her goats and other awesome livestock!

Eli is a bit on the goofy side, but I think he is quite adorable.   I especially love the little bit of wool roving I used for his goatee.    I think it adds an aura of 'wisdom' to counter-balance the goofiness.

You can find the pattern for 'Eli' on Ravelry.




Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cozy 'Prayer Shawl'


     I made this over the  week-end!  It's the first shawl I've ever made and I was able to finish it fairly quickly once I figured out the pattern.
     It's not that the pattern was that difficult, but it was a bit confusing at first.  I do love the stitch pattern and this yarn is absolutely the softest and coziest!  I got the yarn at Caring Stitches and attended Lyn Strothers' class  to get the mojo to do this.  It was so worth it!

     The pattern for this shawl can be found here.  I hope some of you will decide to give it a try.  This would make a wonderful gift for the prayer warrior in your life.

     If you live in the Mt. Carmel, IL area, check out Lyn's shop and ask her about her awesome knitting and crocheting classes.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Giggles!




    While working from patterns is very rewarding, there is also great satisfaction in working up my own designs.  I love making cute, whimsical little creatures that bring a smile to faces.  ‘Giggles’ is one of those creations, and I offer this free pattern to all my fellow crocheters.  This little creature is pretty simple and works up fairly quickly.    I think these would make an adorable addition to an Easter basket or any festive occasion.  I may decorate my tree with them this next Christmas.

Materials:
Worsted weight yarn
G crochet hook
fiberfill for stuffing
felt for eyes (or may use safety eyes if you like)
needle and thread to sew on eyes
yarn needle for weaving in ends

This pattern is worked in rounds and I used a running stitch marker to keep track.  An understanding of basic stitches and general crochet terms is helpful.

   If you are not familiar with how to make a magic ring, here is a great tutorial to explain it.

Rnd 1:  In a magic ring make 6 sc.
       2:  Make 2 sc in each st.  (12 sc)
       3: *Sc in next st., 2sc in next st.* Repeat to end of rnd.  (18 sc)
       4:*Sc in next 2 sts., 2 sc in next st.*  Repeat to end of rnd. (24 sc)
       5 *Sc in next 3 sts., 2 sc in next st.* Repeat to end of rnd.  (30 sc)
       6:*Sc in next 4 sts. 2 sc in next st.* Repeat to end of rnd.  (36 sc)
      Rounds 7 through 11, Sc in each stitch around.
Rnd 12: *Sc in next 4 sts, sc2tog*  Repeat to end of rnd.  (30 sc)
       13 and 14  Sc in each stitch around.
       15: *Sc in next 3 sts.,  sc2tog*   Repeat to end of rnd.  (24 sc)
       16 and 17  Sc in each stitch around.
       18: *Sc in next 2 sts., sc2tog*  Repeat to end of rnd. (18 sc)
        19: Sc in each stitch around.
        20: *Sc in next stitch, sc2tog*  Repeat to end of rnd. (12 sc)
        Stuff your ‘Giggle’ and then sc2tog around until opening is closed. 
        Fasten off and  weave in the yarn end.

To make the arms and legs visit this website  for a great pictorial tutorial. 

Attach your finished curlicues to the sides and bottoms of your ‘Giggle’ for arms and legs.

Now, let your creative juices flow as you envision and create unique facial expressions.  I used felt shapes for the eyes and stitched them securely onto the ‘Giggle’.  If you decide to use safety eyes, attach them before you stuff and finish off your ‘Giggle’.  I used yarn to embroider on the mouth.  You can make the face as simple or as detailed as you like. 

Tip: I have found it easier to sew on the face before stuffing the 'giggle'.

For the hair I attached strands of yarn as if attaching fringe.  This tutorial does a great job of showing how to do this.

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I did!  I would love to see pics of your ‘Giggles’ in the comments below.

                                                                                    Blessings!

                                                                                       Reny

Friday, March 11, 2016

Necessity.....

It's true.  Necessity IS the mother of invention.
On a recent visit to my daughter and her family, she had occasion to go to a wedding.  Being a bit of a fitness buff, she always wears a fitness band tracker.  As many of you know, fitness bands are not the most attractive accessories for a formal or semi-formal affair.  Yet, there are so many steps to be counted and moves to be noted at weddings and receptions.  Who wants to lose all that fitness data for the sake of style???

Mom to the rescue!  I pulled out some fancy yarn I had just acquired and was eager to try out, and I got to work.  In a flash I created what we affectionately dubbed the 'Fit-Bling', a cute and classy cover-up for her fitness tracker.





                                                  You must admit, she wears it well!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Licorice!!!!

Lately I've been in a mood to create my own designs when I crochet.   Usually I use a cute pattern designed by someone who is wildly creative,  and I have loved making almost every item I have ever completed.  But creating my own is a new challenge that I am beginning to enjoy just as much.

This is Licorice!  When I began working with this lovely variegated yarn I wasn't sure what would come out of it.  The more I worked, the more the finished product formed in my mind.    A goat!  What perfect yarn for a crochet goat!  When he was completed  I asked my grandson Paul what his name should be.  "Licorice" was his reply.  Of course he knows another goat named Licorice and I was delighted to name my creation after the original Licorice who happens to be a pet belonging to a friend of the family with a heart to rescue animals.
So, what do you think?  I see lots of things I can improve on, but I do think he is kinda cute!  I hope Licorice inspires you to try your hand at creating some original items too.