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]