As Spring approaches, I have been fascinated with the crocheted art of amigurumi. I started with the sleepyhead dolls which are my granddaughter's favorite. As I have noted in previous posts, the sleepy head doll, her baby, is a constant companion at home and at her day program. I mastered the basic style and experimented with stripes and decorations. From there, I moved on to teddy bears and other critters. I am amazed at the skill level and creativity of my fellow crocheters who have shared their projects and patterns with the crocheting community. With spring approaching, I decided to try my hand on a variety of rabbits. The English pattern that I completed after last week's post was interesting, but like several of the patterns in the book, it was long and lean, rather antique looking. For the length of time involved, I was minus the wow factor. When I came upon Easter Bunny Amigurumi by Craft Passion, I knew I would have to try it out
The rounded baby bunny was designed to make mother and child smile. As with many patterns, I had to adapt the instructions to my style. Instead of the DK yarn (#3) and an E hook (3.0mm), I used my favorite worsted acrylic (#4) with a G hook (4.0 or 4.5). I prefer yarns on the thicker end of the #4 spectrum, and I achieved different looks with the the thinner or thicker worsted yarns. Each of my bunnies is slightly different as I worked on the measurements to get the look I wanted. The first bunny was pink. It had a larger, longer head and a thinner body. I crocheted an aqua bow for one ear and a heart for the chest. The pompom tail was made by weaving yarn about the tines of a fork. I maintained the same color as the body. My adapted bunny stands about 10 inches tall from the feet to the top of the ears.
The second bunny was pale yellow, crocheted from a standard commercial weight yarn. She turned out shorter and plumper, and I was rather pleased with the result. Since my figure was larger than the bunny in the pattern, I added stitches and rows to the ears, arms, and legs. I changed the pattern to crochet the figure in one piece, Using standard increases for the head, i increased to create a circle of 48 stitches. I remained true to the pattern for the head until I got to the neck. I stopped decreasing at 12 stitches to create a more substantial neck than the 6 stitches in the pattern. The pattern has the crocheter making a separate body piece. I continued down from the neck with standard increases until I got to 36 or 40 stitches instead of the 24 in the pattern. I really like a plumper bunny. After a few rows at the same circumference, I decreased in succeeding rows until I fastened off at the bottom. I fashioned a small rosette for the ear that was the same color as the embroidered nose and mouth.
The third mint green bunny used yarn I had on hand. The thinner yarn made for a thinner rabbit. I crocheted a white flower with a yellow rosette center for the chest and attached a yellow rosette to the ear. This little one was finished off with a mint green pompom tail that matched the body. The directions indicate that it takes about 4 hours to make one bunny. Once I get the procedure correct without having to frog because of my experimenting, I will come closer to that time frame.This basic style allows the crocheter a lot of flexibility in design and creativity. By changing the ear to a triangle and switching the pompom to a longer tail, the crocheter can easily make a kitten.
A completely different rabbit figure was created by dragonfly.com. The starburst body is built up with concentric circles of granny -like stitches to yield a sunburst design. For the front and back of the bunny, the crocheter can change the order of the colors to make a unique design. When both sides are done, the pieces are crocheted together and stuffed. Then muzzle, nose, eyes, and ears are added. The pompom tail is made using a fork. This creature is great for using up scraps. Since you are changing colors and stitches, the little rabbit takes longer than one would think for a rabbit this size. There are no arms or feet. The basic circle is 4 inches in diameter, with an extra1/2 inch to give shape for the nose and eyes. The ears which are crocheted in the round and attached to the body are about 2 1/2 inches. These bunnies would make an excellent mobile for a baby's room. They can also be lined together to create a wall decoration.
The folks at The Green Dragonfly have created an excellent step-by-step tutorial for building the bunny. The directions for making a pompom from a fork are included in this pattern.
I have had so much fun crocheting and experimenting with these amigurumi. The only thing that stopped me was that it was time to stop crocheting and start writing this article for the blog. With spring fairs coming up, I hope that the moms, dads, grandparents, and kids know that they have to give a bunny a home. In addition to being a doting grandmother, I will soon be a step-grandma to an adorable, engaging 2 year old. One of my bunnies will be perfect for the holiday season.
I call these adorable huggables stuffed animals, but more experienced crocheters call them amigurumi. Once I started adapting the sleepyhead doll for sale and gifts, I decided to branch out to create teddy bears, and other animals. The possibiliites are endless . My cuties tend to be more rustic, but I am in awe of the fiber artists who create and execute beautiful and technically perfect pieces. For me to move my skill level up a few notches, I have to research and practice, practice, practice. Last week, I made a sleepy head doll for the grandson of a dear friend. She was quite happy with the doll for the 8 month old until she saw one of my chubby teddies. So there she sat at the desert table, hugging them both. I have known her daughter since she was a preteen, and the sleepy doll was gift to her young son. However, my friend was not about to let the chubby teddy go. She offered to pay for him, but I decided to make the teddy s gift as well. I told her that she could pay me for the next one or commission a gift when needed. I was glad that I had thought to take a photo of the little fellow before I showed him to my dinner guests.
With spring craft fairs coming up, I need to offer pieces that would be tempting for warmer weather. The teddies and other stuffed animals seem to call out to shoppers, "Take me. Give me a home." The chubby teddy was crocheted from the legs up to the neck and completed with the larger head in one piece. Then the arms, ears, and face were added. Many crocheted animals call for thinner yarn, cottons, or lighter worsted. I prefer the heavier weight worsted, but I use a G (4.0 or 4.5) hook so that the stitches remain close and the stuffing does not poke out. When I first tried this teddy, I was able to download and print out a collection from Amigurumi Crochet Patterns: Baby and Animal Friends, collated by Veronica Kay. Unfortunately, while I can locate the pictures on Pinterest, the link is no longer operating. The pictures are helpful in designing my own figure from other sites. A similar body type can also be located on Ravelry using the term Big Head Baby Doll. This pattern is also out of print. The search goes on.
In my search for suitable teddies, I found the following sites which may be helpful. Please note some of the patterns can be read electronically, but the printed version must be purchased.
With the original pattern I tried a ballerina with a flowered cap. My granddaughter immediately adopted her. I also had fun with a purple owl with blue wings.
Once my teddy with the turquoise overalls was gone, I knew I had to replace him. When I worked with a thinner yarn, the resulting bear was smaller. On a second try with thicker wool, I made a larger more cuddly bear. This time he had blue denim overalls. I added his bowtie and stitches on the suspenders. I also made these corrections on the bear with red overalls.
The Cuddle Me Collection offers designs for many animals. This kitten starts from the head down and tends to be thinner.
The dog has 24 stitches across the chest. I like the plumper purple kitten better. This one as 36stitches across the chest and 18 stitches in each leg.
Like many of my readers, I like free on-line patterns. However, sometimes a printed collection strikes my fancy. Crocheted Bears and Other Animals by Emma Brown (Cico Books, London, 2017) offers such a collection of unique designs, clear directions, attractive photos, and all in a story-like setting.For my first project I chose a tall take-charge bear, "Ronnie, the Ranger." He is wonderful company for his shorter plumper brothers and sisters from other sources. I am finishing up a rabbit, "Hodge," in a striped sweater. If I waited until I finished this spring bunny, it would take me forever to finish and post this article. I will probably complete this rabbit tonight. With her, turquoise, pink, and white colors, I think I will add some blossoms for a feminine edge.
I also pickerd up Zoomigurumi 6 from Amigurumipatterns.net. This volume is the most recent of a playful series of amigurumi collections, I couldn't resis "Txerri,' the piglet.Ican't wait to try "Bo," the panda.
With my sleepy head dolls and my 'crocheted critters" I should have plenty of stock for a couple of spring to summer fairs. I just have to keep my husband from giving away my inventory.he just found another baby who just must be gifted with one of my pieces.Amigurumi is fun, creative, and can be artistic as well. Best yet, all those that seethe creatures leave with a smile on their faces even if they don't have a creature in hand.
My family of sleepyhead crocheted baby dolls is growing. As I explore new color combinations and decorations, I am excited by the infinite possibilities this doll provides. Actually, when I gifted the first pink babydoll to my granddaughter months ago, I had no idea how attached she would become to it. At first it joined her many other dolls and loveys that she played with on her play area mat at home. However, increasingly she would select the doll and carry it off to nap time. By the time she entered her 3 day a week nursery and day program, pink "baby" was her constant companion. My daughter requested a new red baby for school, but my granddaughter held on to her precious one. On the first day, she presented the "baby" to the other children and adults, but clearly chirped "mine" to establish ownership in no uncertain terms. At first, she kept one hand on her doll with the other on new toys. Now she uses the doll in the morning to transition in and for naps since she feels secure enough to explore more of this new environment and all it holds.
The sleepyhead doll is ideal for the beginner, but the more advanced crocheter can embellish the simple design with decorations, appliques, and even hair. Some may even choose to personalize their doll with the baby's first initial. The doll basically consists of a pear shaped rounded bottom section, a head, and two arms. The hat may be the long sleep hat or a cap. Closed eyes, nose, and mot, are embroidered on. The following link provides a reliable and easy-to follow-set of directions as well as a video for building your dolls. Many other crocheters and bloggers show their own dolls, but most of these refer back to this post: Type in http://www.lanasyovillos.com/en/amigurumis/sleepyhead. Some versions are in Spanish, but you should be able to find the English pattern here. The video tutorial is helpful to a beginner, learning how to make amigurumi parts.
I like to add flowers,hearts, stars, bows, and other decoration to my dolls to make them individual and to add interest. The pompom at the send of the sleep cap is such a playful bit.
Yesterday, I decided to make a sleepyhead doll with a striped body. This is an excellent way to use up those scraps of yarn we all moan and groan over. Besides you are being extra creative.
These rustic dolls are inviting to cuddle and do not require much care. When dirty, toss in a mesh bag or old pantyhose and throw in the washing machine on delicate or actionwear. You can put them in the dryer to get rid of the extra water, remove them while damp, and then leave them to air dry. I am not finished making baby dolls for the spring season. There are a few real babies, I would like to present with a baby doll. Also each time my granddaughter sees me making a new doll, she anno0unces "mine." I think I will have to hold her off a bit if I am to have anything to sell by fair time. I also found a pattern for a two legged babydoll that offers other possibilities. I will be following this post up with that article.I will be posting this article and photos on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. I hope you will follow metherere andleave your photos, ideas, and feedback. In the meantime, "Happy Crocheting!" I would love to see your unique interpretations of this basic pattern.
In celebration of the first anniversary of www.lilcreates.com, I am posting the Free pattern for my signature fingerless gloves. Although I have posted 4 personal designs in the past year, this design has proven to be the most intricate and yet rewarding of them all. By writing down the directions, my crocheted pieces are consistent and correct. When I follow the pattern that I have created, I do not forget necessary steps and the each glove in the pair is true. This is my favorite pattern above all. I really enjoy crocheting these gloves. Since I sold out of all of my grey to black tone gloves during the last holiday season, testing the pattern affords me the opportunity to fill in my inventory as I work out any kinks. As I crochet, I am trying to make the directions clear enough that someone trying the pattern for the first time will know what to do.
This FREE version may appear rough. I am working on a future pdf pattern that I will offer for sale on Ravelry or another online sale platform The pattern will need to meet my standards and answer two questions. Do I understand the directions? If I follow the directions carefully, will I be pleased with the finished gloves? As you follow this new pattern, please note any sections that puzzle you. I would appreciate your feedback so that I can make corrections. This pattern is for your personal use only and may not be copied or sold. Gloves made from the pattern are also for your personal use or for gifts. If you post your interpretation of this pattern, please refer back to the source at lilcreates.com. Although I sell these gloves at fairs and as personal commissions, I may be selling them on the Internet in the future.
Crocheted Fingerless Gloves: Mismatched Coordinated Handwarmers by Lillian Malkus
Published In: www.lilcreates.com
Category: Fingerless Gloves
Date: February 21, 2018
Suggested Yarn: Sweet Roll by Premier Yarns or other suitable worsted self striping or varied colors
Yarn Weight: Worsted Weight (#4)
Hook size: 5.00mm H Hook; 4.00mm G Hook
Size: Circumference 7 inches; Length 10 inches
Top comes just above knuckles and reaches to mid forearm
Fingerless Glove fits average adult woman
Skill Level: Beginner to Medium Level
Abbreviations: ch: chain; sc: single crochet; hdc: half double crochet: dc: double crochet; granny cluster: 3 double crochet in same space; ss: slip stitch; blo: back Loop only
1 skein of Sweet Roll by Premier Yarns or similar alternative self-striping worsted weight yarn. Crocheter may also substitute 3 colors of worsted weight yarn from same manufacturer or yarn type. Worsted weight yarn can vary widely. It is important to use consistent weights to achieve desired effect in finished gloves.
5.00mm H hook; 4.00mm G hook
Chain 13. HDC through back loop only (blo) to end of row (12 stitches)
Repeat until you have a strip with 11 ridges. This should encircle the wrist. Do not cut at this point.
Fold cuff so that short sides are touching. Single crochet ends together to form a circle. With crocheted seam you will have 11 ridges.
I like to leave the crocheted seam facing out to the right.
Row1: HDC around cuff to form a base for the clusters in hand. Start just after the seam and continue around. You will have 24 stitches. This will take you back to the beginning.
Row 2: Crochet 1 double crochet stitch in first apace after the seam. Crochet 2 additional DC in the same space to make you first cluster. Skip two stitches and make the next space. Continue around until you have 8 clusters. Join at top of first
Row 3: Slip stitch (ss)2x until you get to the first space made by the skip 2 from the previous line. Start your first cluster
and continue around for a total of 8 clusters and join.
Rows: 4-8 Continue with cluster rows. You will note that with each row you are slip stitching andf making clusters one space over at the end of row 8, do not join. Turn work.
Row 9: (starts thumb space) DC into first space between clusters. DC 2 more times in same space to make first cluster.Continue around until you have 8 clusters. Chain 3. Turn work You will be leaving a space the width of one cluster for the thumb hole.
Row 10: Chain 3 to make a Double crochet into first space. Crochet 2 more DC in same space to make you first cluster. Contine until you have 7 clusters. DC into last stitch.
Row 11: Slip stitch into chain. Crochet a cluster into the space made by the chain 3. Continue around until you have 8 clusters. Do not join.
Row 12: Repeat Row 10 Row 10: Chain 3 to make a Double crochet into first space. Crochet 2 more DC in same space to make you first cluster. Continue until you have 7 clusters. DC into last stitch.
Row 13: Repeat row 1w. Row 11: Slip stitch into chain. Crochet a cluster into the space made by the chain 3. Continue around until you have 8 clusters. Join to cluster at beginning of row. This will close the thumb hole space.
Row 14: SS over first few stitches until you come to open space. Start making cluster stitch. Continue around making clusters. You will have 8 clusters. Join.
Row 15: ss over first few stitches. Make another row of clusters. At this point you you will have two rows over the thumb hole.
Row 16 Sc around the clove in each stitch and into space between stitches.you will have 24 stitches.
Alternative one. Switch to G hook and HDC around the glove for a simple straight edge.
Alternative two: Switch to G hook. SC around the glove to make a base for the scalloped trim. Crochet a scalloped edge around the top of the glove. SS to join and fasten off. Cut and weave in ends.
Make a second glove following the same directions. With the self striping yarn, each glove will be different but coordinated. In the pair I crocheted to work out the final steps for this article, the first glove started with a light gray and melded into a darker gray.
The second glove started with the darker gray and moved on to a charcoal color for the hand before ending with the lighter gray for the scallop trim.
Examine your yarn to see which color bands to see which color will provide the right contrast to the gloves. Although the gloves are different, I sometimes like to use the same color for the flowers on both gloves.For this pair I selected the lighter gray.
I use a 2 layered 6 petaled flower. As I did not create directions for the flower,I refer you to Maryjanesmaryjanes.com (Three Layer Flower from Crocheting the Day Away) or to Mango Tree Crafts (Six Petal Flower Free Crochet Pattern and Photo Tutorial). There are also several choices FreeCrochet.com. Some crocheters find it helpful to play a YouTube video until they get the sequence right. Make sure you leave a 12 inch tail for attaching to the gloves. You will only need to follow the patterns for two layers so that the blossoms fit squarely on the glove. also, I am working on the directions for the flower that I use most often. I hope to publish the pattern and ways to use the flower in a future article.
Sewing on Flower:
Place your gloves on a table so that the thumb openings face one another. This will be the top of each glove. It may be helpful to tie a bit of yarn on each top side so that you do not forget which side is which when you start sewing. Imagine that you are playing the piano. You want to make sure that you are sewing the glove to the top of each hand. once you have made an error, it is a messy job to cut out the flower and resew it on the reverse side.Place the flower so that the top of one petal lines up with the middle scallop. I like the top of the flower to lies at the base of the scallop, Make sure tghat the flower aligns vertically.
Thread the yarn tail through a tapestry needle and bring it up through the center of the flower. Stitch the flower through one of the petal spaces and bring back up through the center. Continue until you have a star design in the middle of the flower.. To secure the flower, you can also stitch around through each petal as well. Weave in ends and cut the yarn.
With a regular sewing needle, sew a decorative button into the center of each flower. Try the first glove on to make sure that you are happy with the placement of the flower and button before sewing on the second.
Adaptation to Regular Worsted Yarn
Select 3 coordinated or complementary colors of worsted yarn.
Glove 1: Cuff: color A,: Hand: Color B; Upper Cuff: Repeat Color A; Flower Color C
Glove 2: Cuff: color B: Hand: Color A; Upper Cuff: Repeat Color B; Flower Color c
After you join the ends of the cuff, you will cut off yarn. Join next color at seem and HDC around and follow directions for glove hand as written above. Switch to first color for trim and third color for flower.For the second glove switch colors as noted above. You can use the same color for the flower for both gloves, or try a combination like the gloves featured below.
For those who prefer a solid colored glove, just use the pattern without any color changes. The cream pair of gloves above show how the stitches and design are highlighted when the color is stays the same.
I hope that you enjoy creating your own fingerless gloves from my pattern. I would appreciate any feedback. I will posting notice of this article on Facebook and Pinterest. If possible, I would love to see photographs of your interpretation of my design. Happy crocheting.
February 18 marks the first anniversary of my blog, www.lilcreates.com. Happy Birthday to me and get ready to celebrate. It has been a wonderful year of creating, learning, and sharing. I have published 58 individual pieces, brought in over 40,000 page views and reached over 21,000 different readers. Through a variety of Facebook groups and Pinterest Boards, I have had delightful "written conversations" with so many supportive and talented crocheters and knitters. I am so proud of this achievement and am ready to take on the challenges and goals for the following year.
When I first set out on my journey of discovery, creativity, and reflection, I aimed to crochet and knit " art you can wear." To date, most of my pieces have followed through on that theme. I love both crocheting and knitting, but find myself crocheting more. I learned many new stitches and techniques as I explored new patterns and found ways to expand on my favorite blankets, headbands, baby sweaters, scarves, shawls, and fingerless gloves. I still find most of my yarns at the larger craft stores, but am frequently inspired by special fibers at my local independent shop. While I am learning every day, my wonderful readers inspire me with their creativity and skill.
My host at Weebly.com offers stats that enable me to track total viewers as well as readers in a particular month for particular blog posts. I wish there was a way from this platform that I could track total views for a specific post over the long term. I learned that most articles reach their interested audience in the first four days after posting. However, I was pleased to learn that new readers discover articles on topics that have been published earlier in the year. Popular articles continue to pay viewing dividends. Crocheting articles reach a wider audience than knitting articles Fiber artists love free patterns. A picture is worth a thousand words, especially those of my smiling, adorable granddaughter, modeling one of my creations. My favorite articles have not always been the most popular, and I have had several unexpected, pleasant surprises. It still puzzles me when group members on Facebook don't go ahead to seek the actual link to my blog where they will find all the necessary information.
To plan this year, I went back over my list of published articles to answer two questions. Which articles were my favorites? Which articles attracted the most readers? In rereading them all, I gained a renewed appreciation for the writing process and my evolution as a fiber artist and as a blogger. The most popular articles were:
My personal favorites were not necessarily among the most popular articles. However, these articles marked a new avenue for project development or a different way for me to get inspiration or to reflect on my crocheting and knitting journey.
http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/fingerless-gloves-mismatched-coordinated-handwarmers launched my favorite style for sale, gifting, and personal accessorizing. A pattern for these intriguing and versatile fingerless gloves has long been in the works. A partner anniversary blog posting will include the pattern to celebrate my one year anniversary. I could have waited forever to put together a perfect pdf pattern. Instead, I decided to go ahead with a rougher free pattern and invite feedback. This is my first step. Hopefully, I will have the pictorial formatted pattern ready as a paid pattern before long. Keep a lookout for my next post.
Articles featuring my adorable, smiling, granddaughter as model and inspiration will always be among my favorite pieces. Some of these articles are:
http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/a-little-girl-grows-up-a-year-in-sweaters chronicles the development of my granddaughter from the hospital through her first year. These knitted garments were an essential and varied part of her wardrobe. They kept her warm and were admired by many. I wrote that retrospective during the holiday season when many creative folks had other things on their mind than reading my blog. Besides these knitted pieces seemed to reach a narrower audience. Since that time, I have crocheted the blushing pink jacket and a denim blue ombre cardigan. I continue to look for crocheted pieces that will have the softness and smooth texture of my knitted garments Many thanks to my daughter and son-in-law who continue to dress her in these pieces of "art you can wear."
Another pair of unsung favorites was:
Fellow crocheters and knitters, if you have been following this blog for some time, or even if you are new to www.lilcreates.com, please leave your favorite title with me. Hopefully, this article has peaked your curiosity. I invite you to discover or reread articles of interest. I want to make this blog interesting and relevant to my readers. Please list any skills or topics that you would want me to write about that would keep you reading.
Here's to another year of www.lilcreates.com bigger, better, and even more creative in 2018. Let's raise our glasses in a toast to to all of us in the fiber arts communities.
Creating a floral display on a crocheted garment has been my goal for quite awhile. I have used single flowers on my gloves and hats for some time. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/crocheted-flowers-everythings-coming-up-roses) While flowers and leaves would decorate the front of the piece, I dreamed of creating a more elaborate surprise on the back of the garment. When I closed my eyes I could see the garden images. The question was how to translate the mental picture into a crocheted floral arrangement arrangement. I also needed a solid simple vehicle to showcase the flowers, stems and leaves. When I found the Wee Vest Pattern (Crochet) by Lion Brand, I knew I had found the perfect vehicle for my floral art.
The vest pattern comes in sizes that range from 6 to 24 months. Since this project would involve a great deal of detail work, I wanted to produce a product that would be worn for some time and chose the 24 month size so that I could gift it to my granddaughter next year. If I am lucky, I may find another toddler to model the piece in the mean time. The designers used Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice for the vest. However, I had 2 large skeins of Studio Classic by Nicole (AC Moore's house brand) in a mint green and decided to try the hooded vest with this worsted (#4) yarn. The directions call for a J hook and are executed in a Half Double Crocheted Stitch. The pattern is a free download from Lion Brand #70778AD. I initially found the pattern by scrolling through Pinterest. The vest itself worked up quickly. The flowers and the garden took just about as long to complete. The next time Vanna's Choice goes on sale, I will try the designated yarn to see if it makes a difference.
with leavesI chose pastel colors for the flowers and a sage green for the stems and leaves. Since I did not want the vest to be too heavy for a child, all of my flowers were only one layer. I would add a color accent with decorative buttons for the center once the flowers were fixed onto the garment. Simple 6 petal flower patterns can be found at
The link for a simple green leaf is :
Five floral motifs with leaves decorate the front of the vest.
The back of the vest was a true labor of love. I played with the pastel colors, adjusted the heights and used a chain stitch to make the stems. The leaves were arranged so that they fit best into the open spaces. With all of the flowers, stems, and leaves, there was quite a bit of weaving in. The floral parts of the project took me two days, but it was well worth the effort. The floral arrangement on the vest is relatively simple. In the future, I hope to take on more challenging designs. I am eagerly awaiting the time when my granddaughter will be able to wear her own flower garden vest.
The vest pattern is very versatile. I am sketching out another project that will involve bunny or kitten motifs. I plan to crochet the back of the animal on the back of the animal and face on the front. However, I have some time to think about it.
How do you use flowers to enhance your crocheted work? Please share your experiences and photos on Facebook.
Life happens when you least expect it. You all probably remember my handsome hunk husband from my Man Shawl post. He is a wonderful guy who loves the outdoors and taking care of his family. However, on January 15, he was dealt a cruel blow when working in the garden with a friend. His boot lodged between two logs, his body twisted, and he has been laid up with a broken leg. Surgery went great, and he is on the mend, but there were lots of caring tasks for me to do in the early weeks. He is on the mend, and a full recovery is expected. We are both glad that he is regaining independence. At the same time my adorable granddaughter was spending a great deal of time at our house as her mother was returning to school. Unfortunately, blogging could not be my first priority. I was able to get in a could of short knitting posts, but a larger crochet project had to wait. Since many of the groups on Facebook and Pinterest where I share my work, are restricted to crocheting, many of my readers have not seen my posts for several weeks. Last night, I kept Bert company during the Superbowl, and managed to finish the shawl that was destined for Threads of Love. Before bed, I blocked the piece, and today, I am ready to share with my readers. I am so glad to be back.
When I saw the large skein of acrylic chunky dusty rose yarn that had been donated to our group, I knew that it could be transformed into a stylish and comforting shawl. I had already completed several triangular Granny Stitch shawls, and I was looking for a pattern that offered some variety. AS soon as I found the Amorous scarf, designed by Katja Loffler, I knew that this was the pattern for me. The pattern is available through Pinterest and as a FREE download from Ravelry. (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/amorous-2 The pattern (available in English, German, and Swedish)includes a photograph of the shawl, written instructions, and a crochet chart.
My interpretation of the pattern was somewhat thicker and less draping than the original design that called for fingerling yarn and a 5.5mm I hook. To use the donated yarn, I went up to a 6.0mm J hook. The completed project is 70 inches wide from tip to tip and 25 inches deep from neck to bottom. I included a row grey yarn and a row of off-white yarn to provide interest and contrast. Since I was running out of rose yarn, I did my final row of the v-sides in a Half-Double-Crochet to provide a pleasing edging. I also used 2 HDC stitches in each opening along the top. I was pleased with the finished edge.
The last row of the repeating pattern calls for a Front Post Double Crochet in all stitches except for the center. Throughout the scarf, the crocheter makes 2 Double Crochets, Chain 2, 2 Double Crochets in the center space. From one side, the shawl is generally flatter. From the other side there is a ridge every four rows, produced by the FPDC. Either presentation is attractive. I look forward to our next collection meeting where members share their finished works and prepare them for gifting at Yale New Haven Hospital.
Why are you attracted to the independent yarn store when the large mega craft stores offer such an array of yarns and frequently post sale prices? For me it is the promise of discovery, the opportunity to find an unusual yarn, a knitted or crocheted sweater. scarf or hat. These pieces that are constructed by the owners show me what I can do with my unusual find. On my last trip I discovered the Chunky Blossom Yarn and a basket full of Top This packages. IN my last post I knit up the Chunky Blossom Cardigan. I still wanted another small project because of my busy schedule, taking care of my husband and babysitting for my granddaughter. The sets of TOP THIS by DMC Creative World each consisted of a ball of 3 continusous textured yarns, just enough to make a baby or child's hat. What was unusual was a adorable animal head that would be attached to the completed beanie.
I selected a black, white, and black-white varigated skein with a panda for the the animal topper. The directions on the back side of the wrapper were easy to follow. They called for a 16inch #9 circular needle with double tips to finish off the crown. After the cast on I knit approximately 2 inches of 1x1rib and followed with stockinette stitch. the spiral crown called for decreases until I reached the closing. The turquoise and purple owl hat was made for the infant.
Neither of these hats was the right size for my granddaughter. the panda hat was too large, and the owl hat was too small. However, I had a sizable scrap from the Chunky Blossom Sweater. I increased the number of cast on stitches and added rows to the height of the hat. Since I did not have a stuffed animal head for the head, I created my own. I crocheted a small teddy bear head with a G hook and added a bow over one ear of the bear. If you have double pointed needles, you can knit the ball. The hat matched the sweater perfectly. I knew that I had a wonderful accessory for future sweaters. For inspiration on head designs, look for lovey designs on Pinterest. For a one year old, I did not want to make the head too big and only increased to 30 stitches. I made the head a bit shorter than the lovey head as I did not want the hat to be too top-heavy.
The DMC Corporation has come up with a wonderful idea for hats that would make any boy or girl smile. For the knitter or crocheter, beanie styles are endless. "Top This" has their own copyrighted designs. These toppers are made with a plush fabric, and the facial features are fixed with a sewing machine. However, the knitter can use his/her own creativity to come up with original animal, floral, or superhero pieces to sew on top of a hat. As a matter of fact these hats can be a great use of scrap yarn with two solid shades and one varied band. My tiny infant beanies have flowers on top of the crown.
Picture this: two toddlers on riding musical toys traveling up and down the hall, two teenagers emerging from their bedrooms to replenish their food supply, 5 adults conversing in the kitchen and living room, and my injured husband sleeping in the bedroom with the effects of medication from a broken leg. Needless to say, knitting, crocheting, and blogging were not exactly at the top of my list this past week. Even when the company went home, there was so much more care taking to do and countless trips up and down stairs. When I finally got Bert somewhat more comfortable, I was able to think about myself for a while. For my frequently readers, you may remember my husband, Bert, from my Man Shawl post in September. Doing tree work with a friend in our garden, he managed to wedge his food between two logs and twist. We were relieved that the surgery went well, but now the long slow part continues. It is really hard for an active guy to be sedentary. I was able to get out to go for groceries and necessities, but I did not want to leave him stranded during the beginning for any length of time. As any of our fellow knitters will tell you, this is when that knitting stash comes in handy. I had been mostly crocheting for awhile, but I had enough of a special yarn to knit a cardigan for my granddaughter. This Baby Blossom Chunky by Hayfield Knitting Essentials is 70% Acrylic and 30% Nylon. It is a a#5 weight yarn that is knit with #9 and #10.5 needles (using USA scale). There are several selections of pastel banding yarn color combos. What makes this yarn special is that one of the bands has shorter strands of green and dark pink strands in the background color. When knit into a sweater, you get the effect of blossoms and leaves.
Hayfield publishes an easy paid pattern (Baby Blossom Chunky #4677)for birth to 7 years, but any pattern for a chunky yarn will work with this yarn. Both round neck and v neck styles are offered. The cuffs and neck band are knit with a #9 needle. The body of the sweater is knit with a #10.5. The design is easy to follow, and the chunky yarn knits up quickly. This was a fortunate choice for a busy week. Since my granddaughter is a slender 1 year old, I selected the 1-2 year old size. It fits now, and will carry her through the spring, but I will have to make the larger 2-3 year old size for next season.
One feature I like about the cardigan is the the button and button hole banding. They are knit right into the sweater without picking up rows of stitches. The buttons that I chose for the piece were pastel flowers that coordinated with the pastel bands in the cardigan.
Now that I have blocked and photographed the cardigan, my granddaughter can wear it for winter into spring. As soon as I have time I will pick up one of the other color combinations for next year. Although this is a custom yarn, it does not cost too much to knit. I was able to knit the 1-2 year old size with two 100 gram balls. The 2-3 year old size will take two balls as well. Since I have yarn left from the smaller sweater, I will make a matching hat or headband.
Have you discovered a special yarn that makes you smile when you knit or crochet with it? Please share your recommendations and photos of any projects using the yarn.
I first tried out the sleepy head amigurumi in pink, and my granddaughter liked it well enough to snuggle with it. However, she got really excited when I handed her the red and white sister version. The body and head are crocheted with a g hook with worsted weight yarn. The body and hat are crocheted separately and stuffed before joining. Then the two crocheted arms are attached. The cap is crocheted and attached at the end. I decided to add a contrasting heart applique for Valentine's Day. The doll is simple to crochet and can be made in one or two sessions. The following link will lead you to the pattern. Go to MaryJane's Mary Janes and scroll for Sleepy Baby Doll.The pattern is also found on Pinterest.
The bunny amigurumi pattern tutorial allows the crocheter to use infinite color combinations. The crocheter starts with a
magic circle and continues to build a series of several concentric circles. The same colors can be combined for several variations. The resulting doll is whimsical and is easily carried along for a nap time Valentine pal. By using soft pastels, the same pattern can be transformed for Easter. https://thegreendragonfly.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/crochet-bunny-free-pattern-11.jpg. If you have difficulty finding the url on your tablet or phone, go directly to The Green Dragon Fly and scroll for Easter Bunnies.
or Kids love to interact with puppets. Pick a basic pattern and change the color and features to make a set. You can carry out your valentine theme or change them for other holidays. This design by Jenni Catavu, allows for a wide range of emotions The puppet is crocheted in worsted weight yarn using an H hook and a Double Crochet stitch.
By making an opening for the mouth and stitching in a contrasting patch, you add a lot of personality to the little creature. The eyes and hair are easily altered to create a puppet family. http://byjennidesigns.blogspot.ca/2015/05/free-crochet-pattern-little-cs-silly.htm If you have trouble on your tablet, look for byjenni designs. Then look for Free Crochet Pattern: Little C's Silly Hand Puppets. I found this bunny on Pinterest at https://pinterest.com/pin/58265388910120628.
One of my favorite baby and toddler toys is the teddy bear lovey. Crochet a 12 inch square Granny Stitch square Crochet a ball for the head, two arms, a pair of ears, an optional snout, flowers or bows, and you have a toy and a security cuddler. I wrote about these "lovable loveys" in a previous post, but I could not resist the temptation to change the colors for Valentine's Day. My little girl purses look great in red and white. http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/what-makes-a-lovey-loveable
I am still making hats. The first beanie model with my signature flower is crocheted with a v stitch. and a border that alternates front and back post double crochet.. Over the Apple Tree offers a free pattern that is easy to follow. http://overtheappletree.blogspot.com/2015/11/v-stitch-winter-beanie.html?m=1 If you have trouble finding the site on your phone or table, go directly to Over the Apple Tree. The winter beanie is listed as a free pattern under Ravelry
Hats with ear flaps are still a favorite. Hoffee and Nuffin offer a tutorial that enables you to make a hat like the original "Hello Kitty." I changed my hat up a bit to follow a design I found on a pair of socks that I gave to my granddaughter. By chaining with several strands of yarn I am able to make ties that are neater than the braided versions. Look for Hoffee and nuffin.blog.blogspot.com and scroll for Hello Kitty Cat Ears Tutorial or go to Pinterest. https://www.Pinterest.com/pin/174233079307180093
Don't forget the little girls' purses that were reposted with valentine colors last week. Toddlers just love to take their own purses when they go shopping like mommy. http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/crocheted-girls-purse-free-pattern
There are so many delightful pieces we can create for our little lovelies for Valentine's Day. Don't forget the headbands, mittens, and flowered hair clips. Young men, I promise to devote a column to you before long. However, for now, I am focused on my littlest princess. What is on your hook for the holiday? Please share your photos and ideas.