Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I have a new child to crochet for...Lanie the American Girl Doll

My DD got an American Girl doll for Christmas and while she told me she did not want any crochet for her doll, I ignored her and made Lanie some PJs.   I think they are adorable.   Slippers will be coming shortly!

I orignallly tried to noodle through this PJ pattern and was totally stumped by the pants.  Then I found another pattern by the same poster and I think she just did a lot of shorthand on that last pattern, so this one had more detail and made more sense to me.   I missed a row on the pants, so i added the ruffle at the bottom for length and kind of messed up the shirt a bit, because my stitch counts were way off, so I added a row of picot at the top for kicks and giggles.   I used this heart for the applique, but the yarn coloring makes it look kind of like a plum.  Still cute.

Note the huge yarn beast that is my purple yarn.   I can't believe I willingly chose to battle that monster just to make a doll outfit.   Blech.  

Lanie was spending the night at Gramma's house so I was hoping it would fit when she returned this morning.   It does!   It's a bit snug, but my daughter is happy and in the end, that's all that matters.   Score 1 for the mom!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Sometimes you need to take a break from the crocheted nativity to make a Shaggy.  

I played around with starting and stopping him for awhile before I decided to go with the pedestal for his legs.  This way he stands and will be much more fun to play with.  My 2yr old is a huge Scooby Doo fan, so stay tuned for pics of the rest of Mystery, Inc. now that I finally have a template (in my mind, of course) to work from.  

Monday, December 6, 2010

Look Ma, no pattern!

I'm pretty proud of this guy, even if he does sort of resemble Beaker from the Muppets in a Nutcracker suit.   In an effort to save my wooden Nutcrackers from the destruction of a careless Clara (and her copycat little sister), I looked online for a crochet pattern and did not find anything.   Not even for purchase.

So I set about using techniques I have garnered from other projects to create my own Nutcraker, using one of my wooden dudes as a model.   I think he turned out pretty good.   Especially since I just "wung it" through most of the project.  I may try another (def need to work on the head to clothing transition as well as the Craxxy Eyes) but knowing myself, I'll probably just move onto the next project in my queue.  Or something unfinished waiting around patiently like the gingerbread house or the puppet scarves. 

He even stands if you balance him very carefully.

Close up of his Beaker face...

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Magnum Opus: Stella the Wonder Dog

Sometime this summer, after completing MoJo JoJo for my friend, I decided to make Stella the Wonder Poodle for another friend from the same pattern creator, Delicious Crochet.    I thought it would be a quick and simple little dog that would crochet up fast and easy and I'd present it to my friend at our next book club.

See, this friend has a "sister" named Stella, who is a black standard poodle.  I have never met Stella in person, but I so love the stories, many of which chronicle how her parents love Stella more than her, so I just knew Stella needed to be made.  

Enter the loop stitch.   Whew.   What makes crochet so wonderfully appealing to me is the quickness of the stitch and that I only need to use one hand.   Loop stitch is a pull and a loop around, and pull back and a twist and a jump to the left and bring your knees in tight...oops sorry.  Got carried away.   Suffice it to say, loop stitch is a complete PITA but it makes a damn good poodle fur.

Then add in the fact that this pattern makes a GINORMOUS dog.   And that its 99% in one color.   And for things like legs...you need to make 4(!) of the same thing.   Bleh.  This is called ADHD Crochet because I get bored easily.   So Stella was put down, sometimes for months at a time.  Picked back up.   Put down.   Cursed at.  Locked away in a cabinet.   Picked back up again.

But finally finished.   I love her!    My daughter thinks she will be getting a white poodle soon.   I think I might tell her the pattern got lost in a forest fire or something.   


She is supposed to stand, but I don't think I stuffed her legs enough.  So tip to the wise if you attempt this pattern, stuff the legs very well! 

What a cute face!

Funny story about crocheting poodle legs with loop stitching at the ankle.   While happily crocheting a leg in the waiting room at a carwash, one might just happen look down and see what looks very much like an acryllic, black, crocheted model of a male organ. 

Come on...tell me you see it?   I was horrified when I realized that it looked like I was crocheting a sex toy, in public, while my 2 yr old played happily nearby.   (I mean, I usually save *that* kind of crocheting for after bedtime, amiright?)

But through it all, Stella is now done and I can feel less guilt that the poodle is out of the cabinet and now I shall happily move onto the angel, puppet scarves, ornaments, star wars guys, gingerbread house, nativity, scooby doo guys, powerpuff girls v.2 and the nutcracker that are waiting in the queue.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


In my continuing efforts towards my 20 christmas ornaments, I made a super cute gingerbread man and another "fancy ornament" (this time with fancy, gold trimmed yarn!). 

Then I decided I absolutely must make a heart shaped German lebkuchen ornament.   I found the heart pattern, winged it on the chain stitch writing and used some of the techniques from Gingey above to finish it out.  I think its cute.   My Oma might also think its cute, but she also might not admit it came from her 37 yr old granddaughter (looks more like my 9yr old made it).

And here's the obligatory pic of my daughter with real Lebkuchen in real Germany during a real Weinachtsmarkt.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My thoughts on Yarn Snobbery

You spend enough time in the fiber arts, you definitely come across the concept of Yarn Snobbery.  Those who will not even touch anything acryllic or GODFORBID something you can purchase at JoAnns!  

My first experience with it came early on.   I knew for my last birthday I wanted to take a crochet class.   So I told my husband that if he and the kids wanted to wrap something for me, they could go buy me a couple hooks and a skein of yarn.   He tells of walking by the yarn display at Walmart and my (then) 4yo daughter leaping over and grabbing this one skein and declaring "this beautiful yarn is for mama!"

Well, it sure was colorful.   Hot pink, sky blue and purple Red Heart super saver yarn...nice and scratchy to the touch!  I practiced a few rounds on it, made a few Barbie towels and went onto my class at the Local Yarn Shop.   When I pulled out my hooks, still tangled in the brightly colored yarn the instructor said "ew, definitely dont touch that stuff" in a way that made me think she expected I was planning on crocheting with fresh baby seal entrails.   Properly chastened, I moved onto wools and fancier yarns.   But as my craft led me to amigurumi, I learned that the cheaper, stiffer yarn worked so much better for dolls and toys (as a very floppy headed Blossom Powerpuff doll can attest).   So I now have a nice supply or pretty yarns, acryllic yarns, cotton yarn and Red Heart Super Saver yarns.

I recently stumbled up on this pattern that tweaked my interest and made me drop everything to start.   Puppet scarves!   My daughters must.have.these for Christmas.

And what better brightly colored yarn to use for my older daughters scarf than the one she picked out to start me on this journey.   So I have been crocheting with the pink/purple/blue mess and the more it comes together, the more I love it.   Woven into each stitch is the image of my daughter's smiling face, memories of her standing there proudly as I unwrapped it...now hopefully worked into something that will make her smile when she unwraps it.  This obnoxious, not soft, not wool, not expensive yarn has endeared itself to me.

(WIP, mixed with pink, since I didnt have enough of the original yarn to make the scarf long enough)

Down with Yarn Snobbery!  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More Christmas

Who knew, scarves can be fun!   For someone who cant stand blanket crocheting, I am shocked at how much I have enjoyed both the broomstick lace scarf and this latest creation.  I love this Spring Scarf because its a repeating series of 8? rows that all have their own interest and it goes fast!   Pic doesnt do the purple yarn justice, but it's very deep and has shades of reds and blues woven through.   Perfect for the recipient who loves purple. 

I decided to try to modify the fingerless mitts pattern from my last post to incorporate the "flower" design from the scarf and it was decidedly easy!    Now I just hope it fits someone with more delicate hands because they sure dont fit my giant paws.

Pretty, pretty, pretty!   I need to go make a dinosauer or something.   Too much pretty around here lately!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One gift for Gramma, one scarf missing

Well, I decided to try my hand at fingerless mittens.  Not being one who ever has cold hands, I was skeptical about their effectiveness, but I have been assured by cold handed moms in my "focus group" that these are awesome!   So with my daughters speech therapist and my mother in law in mid, I went to trying out a pattern.   It's a great, easy pattern that crochets up fast, as long as you get a handle on the front/back post stitch.  It's actually a fun stitch!   I wanted to make a matching hat for my MIL but didnt have enough pink yarn and wanted to use only from existing stash, so I made a white/pink stripey hat from this basic pattern, with a ribbed brim to match the mitts.   I added the flowers to the hat and the mitts just to spruce it all up.  I hope she likes them!

For a swap I was in,  I made this fabulous broomstick lace scarf and a matching hat.  The hat was a bit wonky, but the scarf was so pretty with the stitch and the fall colors, I had hoped it would make up for the hats' shortcomings.   Alas, by the time I finished the hat, the scarf went missing.  Gone.  Nowhere to be found.  I have torn every inch of this house apart and cannot find that scarf.   All I can think is that it ended up in a goodwill box and some lucky stiff is running around with my swap partners intended scarf for the low, low price of $2.92 (or half off on Wednesdays).   Sigh.   But here she is for posterity.

So for my ever patient swap partner, I decided to finish up the baby shells ear warmer.  I also love these colors and while its small and not as impressive as a scarf, it probably took me longer to make it, since it has so many color changes and eleventymillion ends to weave.   I hope she likes it. 

I'm also throwing in one of my snow dudes and a turkey butt for her.   :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

5 down, 15 to go!

After the Turkey Butt diversion, I got back into Christms ornaments.  I took another crack at a snowman ornament and, while this one is cute too, neither are ornament sized.  (I started with the Bo the Snowman pattern, but ended up going my own way again.)  One of these days I will make a snowman small enough to hang from a tree.   I used safety eyes instead of buttons and added a flower to his hat.  Not sure which eyes I like better.  Here are both snowdudes side by side for comparision.

Below the snowmen, is Fancy Ornament in Blue.   I added bells for a little flair because I wasn't sure Fancy Ornament was fancy enough.   But my daughter was thrilled with Fancy Ornament and declared that she wants it for her teacher and 2 more Fancy Ornaments for her other teachers.   Luckily, Fancy Ornament crochets up in record time, so I think I will knock one child's teachers' gifts out before the weekend!  

Finally, I made a gingerbread house ornament.  It wasn't too time consuming, I got the bulk of it done during our nightly pre-bed Little Bill episode, but its a bit picky with all of the small parts and the sewing.  I may do one more of these and attach all of the "candy" before I sew the two pieces of the house together.  I think that will make it go much smoother. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What, what, Turkey Butt???

I stumbled across the Turkey Butt pattern early on in my crocheting "career" (like in March LOL) and knew I would be making them come November.   But much to my dismay, the link to the original pattern was broken everywhere I looked.   Thanks to the wonders of the Way Back Machine, I was able to find a cached version and voila...turkey butt magnets.  

I whipped up 4 during naptime and added the magnets with a glue gun after the kids were in bed.  Easy peasy!   I love these guys! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Christmas: 2 of 20

My goal is to create 20 different small ornaments/figures for Christmas to use as gifts for teachers, therapists, bus drivers, friends, etc.   Maybe coupled with some homemade treats.    Since I love small quick projects and variety, this should be right up my alley. 

The poinsettia was deceptively long and tedious.  I wanted to make the second row of red petals but I couldnt stomach the thought of 6 more repetitions, so I assembled.   Its still pretty cute.  

The snowman, I love!   He is so cute, I just want to snuggle him and keep him myself.   I started following this pattern, but their head was about the size of what I wanted for the body, so I just pretty much worked the rest of it out myself.    (The red on both looks a bit orange, but they are bright red.)

18 to go!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why hello, Kitty!

Is this purse adorable or what?  I needed something cute, simple and quick for Elly's pre-K BFF's birthday party this Saturday.  Quick being the operative word because I have a killer test this Friday.  This fit the bill, with the minor exception of the lining that was kind of a PITB since I hate hand stitching, but in the end, even that only took 30-40 mins for both sides, including cutting and looking for fabric.

I have a few trinkets to fill it with (lip gloss, hair ties, etc) and voila...perfect gift for a 5yo to be! Made mostly from current stash (I could not find the hot pink in cotton, so the strap & bow are acrylic).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tis the season for...Pumpkins!

As soon as I saw it, I just had to make this adorable pumpkin hat!  Then of course I went crazy and made 4 - two for my girls, two for my friend's little girls.   The "toddler" size ended up being perfect for the bigger girls, ages 4 and almost 5, as well as for my younger munchkin, age 2.5.   This pattern is super easy and I love the ridges/texture.

(If you wonder why my children are not wearing clothing, you are obviously childless and I envy your ability to sleep in)

Ben didnt want a pumpkin hat, so I decided to make him something to coordinate with the girls for pumpkin patch pictures.  I whipped up this scarf (basic HDC, 12 across) and used up the last of my orange yarn on pumpkin appliques.  I based those loosely on this pattern

I'm not 100% thrilled with the scarf, but he likes it (even if I made him crazy trying it on him 1000x to get the length right...yeah, I lost my measuring tape) so I guess we'll give it a whirl for fall pics. 

Finally, now that it's been gifted, I can show off one of my favorite sets:  The Giraffe.

Baby tee by Target.   Hat design my own.   Giraffe pattern here.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

15 min snake

It would have been 10, but my white yarn was hopelessly tangled. 

The girls were fighting over our one remaining crocheted snake (we lost one to our wool-eating dog) so I decided to whip up a new snake.   Found this pattern and it was done in no time.  

Next time I might use a less obnoxious color to make it look more snake like, but this is what happens when you let the 2 yr old choose the palatte.

He is quite cute all twisty like that.  Even when he's nom-noming the teddy grahams and terrorizing the Polly Pocket picnic. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Last Minute Baby Gift

I have been procrastinating on the baby gift for the last mom I will be supporting at work, mainly because her baby has been procrastinating on arriving.   After 3 false alarms, her baby will be here this weekend as she has agreed to an induction (that I couldnt talk her out of if I tried lol), so I realized I needed to get on the stick making a baby gift.   I have coordinating boy outfits with a lion, a bear, a frog and a whale and I decided to go with the whale motif, using this pattern (with slightly less crazy-eyes).

Coupled with a $1 clearance three-piece organic cotton baby set and its a great last min gift.

I just finished another adorable baby set, but I don't want to risk the recipient seeing it, so those pics will have to wait.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Utterly Redonkulous

This is one of those hand made gifts that went a bit too far, I think.   My neighbor will either love it or just nod and smile politely and pack this hat away for perpetuity.   But she is expecting a girl after already having a boy, so maybe she'll be down with the deliciously, syrupy cute stuff. 

It started out ok, with this super adorable little outfit and a matching cupcake toy/rattle.   (loosely based on this pattern)

But then I decided it needed a hat.


Here's the hat as modeled by life sized newborn doll, baby Jack.   I made it a tad big for Jack's head, since the outfit is 3-6m.  

I am veering dangerously close to crocheted-doll tissue box cover territory here....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Under attack from UFOs

UFO = UnFinished Objects

Yeah, I have been enjoying my break from school by starting umpteen projects and not finishing them.   I also failed at a baby hat.   Started a giraffe that was supposed to be a baby toy and will end up being the size of said newborn.   And bought a pile of baby clothes to coordinate crocheted critters with.   Said critters that I will never have time to make in the week before school starts. 

As for completed objects, I did finish this adorable mouse set for a friend's new baby.  I love him to pieces and think I will definitely be making more of these guys.   He's white because that's what I had on hand and I used cotton yarn which made a nice sturdy doll for little baby hands.   He also has bells inside.  I tried to put some scrunchy material in the cookie and its just barely audible.  I'll have to experiment more with this concept.

I also made this cute rattle.  It started as a ring, but I didn't like how the rings were coming together, so I just attached the tube to this star and threw in a couple bells.   Bells, bells, bells.  I love bells!  Can you tell?

Now back to my pile of UFOs before they abduct me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Last Minute Birthday Gift

Between a week of shuttling my son an hour each way for his special needs summer daycamp, discussing a potential move Down Under with my husband, finishing up the demands of my summer semester of college work and my regular life....I realized late Wednesday that I needed a gift for a Friday morning birthday party, with no time for a store trip.

Then I remembered I know how to crochet.  I have been wanting to try my hand at playfood, so I tried out a hodgepodge of patterns for my friend's 4yo little girlie.   Since it was such a mashup of foods, I threw it all in a Whole Foods grocery bag and hoped it would be well received. 

Ice cream cone...it came out a tad large for my tastes.  I'll probably try to make it more kid-sized next time.

Cupcake w/ cherry.   Super cute, maybe next time slightly less psychedelic frosting.

Carrot.   This pattern confounded me, so I just started to wing it and I think it turned out a bit lumpy, but we'll just call that "handmade character."

Oreos.   How cute are these?   So simple, too!

Strawberries, got a bit confusing on the greenery but I think I pulled it off.

Next time I might plan better and do a more coordinated gift, like a dozen assorted cookies, fruit salad or a picnic lunch.   Lots of potential for cute kid gifts though.   As long as the kids and parents don't mind a little "character."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Baby Gift, Sweat Catcher and Swap Package!

Been busy, but wanted to wait to post pics til the recipient received her baby gift.  This is one of those gifts that looked better in my head than in finished form, but it was still cute enough to send.   I didn't get it done before baby J arrived, but it should still fit at 1 week, even if she was 9 lbs at birth!  I think in the future, I'll stick with premade appliques and just working the hat, booties and toy around it.   My hand sewing skills leave a lot to be desired.

Close up of critter:

Next up, I was working on Soap Savers for a swap package, at the same time I started Couch to 5K, and realized that the soap savers would make a great iPhone holder.   Done in cotton, it works well to contain the inevitable sweat that accumulates from my unglamourous attempts at fitness.   Better than shoving the phone in my sports bra strap at least.   Plus it crocheted up in <30 mins.

And finally, the dreaded swap package.  I joined a friend's surprise Swap Craft thinking I can make something cute for kids or babies, but the person I was matched with wanted something for the home.  Ugh.  I stressed, I searched, I pondered, I asked... I even briefly considered the crochet doll toilet paper cover.    But in the end, decided to go for bath goodies - 2 oversized washclothes (round and square), 2 soap savers (see pattern link above) and my standard gift of the bath mitt.  I added some pretty posies and a bar of handmade soap and hope the recipient likes. 

And all prettied up for mailing:

Next up, can you guess what this is supposed to be?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

That Goldfish Ate mah Baybee!

I bring you installment #2 in my "Amigurumi + $3 Walmart Onesie" project.    Except I do believe the fish is a tad big.   But he's just so cute! 

Here's another perspective to show how he will compare to the size of the newborn baby he just may devour.  I should probably make a smaller fish, but as you can imagine, I'm ready to move onto the next project.   And the embroidery...blech. 

I think if I added a third eye, he would make a cute Simpsons Fish.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I will destroy you with yarn. You will be destroyed, by me, with fibers of acrylic.

My crowning acheivement...MoJo JoJo from The Powerpuff Girls.   The consummate villian, a genetically altered, repetitive talking mutant chimp.   Perfect for the desk of my BFF Karen, who may or may not be genetically altered herself.  But she does have desires to destroy people. 

Starting with a Chuck the Monkey Pattern, I tweaked his legs, changed colors, dropped the tail, designed some clothes and added the hat.   Of course, I also had to make two of these at the same time, since my daughter would never allow me to send the finished product off to Aunt Karen without a fight.   Because of my ADHD tendencies, I forced msyelf to create 2 (or 4) of every piece.   I know myself well enough that if I made it to completion, it would be very difficult to force myself to start over at the beginning.

One more pic of the back.  I think the cape could have been longer, but by that point, I was all about *finishing*!

Now onto my next big project!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Teacher gifts!

Whew, good thing B only has 4 "teachers" to Thank this year.  In years past, its been closer to 12, with all of his therapists, aides, regular ed teachers, special ed teachers.   He's only been at his school for a month, so we don't know everyone yet.

So I crocheted up some bath mitts with cotton yarn and flowers to make them pretty. 

Note that I got turned around somehow and the orange one turned out lefty.  Still not sure what happened there, but I have asked B to find out if one of the four is a Southpaw.   Let's hope!

Then I added some delicious soaps from one of my neighbors and voila, pretty presents!  

The girls wanted in on the act, so I also whipped up a Monster Mitt that I think is adorable, but E has decided she is scared of it and will not allow it near her.   Eh, I could make scarier.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

A quickie

Well...until I had to make 3 of them! 

Here's a cute headband pattern from Crochet Spot.  Its a paid pattern but the basic band is available for free.    Its super quick and I made one for E (my test) and one to add to her friend's Bday gift.   Well, of course Little Bit also insisted on her own headband.    But she does look rather adorable in it, no?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Now this is right up my alley

I'm always looking for cute, portable, unique and practical but not time consuming baby gifts for the moms I work with (homeless expecting moms in a residential program).    I stumbled across these cute onsies for $3 at Walmart and decided to crochet a toy to go with the applique.   Perfect!   Absolute cuteness and it only took a couple hrs of crochet time.   The octopus has a bell in the body and small bells in the legs, so he is a rattle, too.   I also picked up a few more onsies with other various sea life forms on them.

(And yes, I am still working on Birthday Gift, Baby Gift and Birthday Gift #2)