Off my hook in 2018

2018 was a good year; a busy one with a new schedule but enough time to create a few projects.

I’m always excited to create blankets and wee hats for babies! I love the waffle stitch and used it for a few projects because it’s so simple yet it has such an impact. And I adore the classic chevron it just called to me when deciding how to use those oh so soft yarns.

I only made a few but love the amigurumi that I tried this year. Both patterns are from the same designer. A friend loved my little sleeping bunny so much she asked that I make twin bunnies for her. I’ll share more about the Abominable Snowman later. I was pleased with how he turned out but I did have to substitute a different yarn. Kudos to Spin-a-Yarn for her incredible perseverance in using the pipsqueak yarn!!

And naturally I had to make a few scarves! the off white set is sooooo fluffy it’s like having a cloud wrapped around you. The dragonfly scarf is also very soft and currently my only (how did that happen?) #wip !!

I’m very pleased to say I finally finished my sidewalk shawl. So much so that I’ve actually decided to model it to show here!

 

I’ve also made my first cardigan but the photos are hiding! It took me a while to work up the nerve to make something to wear. Since my weight loss journey was near it’s end I decided I could invest some time into a big project. I’ll just have to take some more photos and make a whole new post!

My last big project of the year was a table runner for my sister. She and her hubby go all out decorating their house for Halloween and they LOVE Disney! So when I saw this pattern I altered it a wee bit to add the hidden Mickey ❤

What is ahead for 2019?

Humm, I’ll finish my dragonfly scarf and make a few more because I love my growing collection of scarves ❤

I’ve had some black and red yarn and an idea about creating a Mickey blanket for years now. Perhaps this is the year to finally pick a design? I’ve seen a few C2C patterns that just might work!

I wish you kindness and creativity for 2019!

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A Halloween table runner and the scary hook!

While looking for something to make my sister for her birthday I found a pattern for a Halloween themed table runner.  Eeeek… it calls for crochet thread and a teeny little hook. I’ve always been a bit afraid of these types of projects. (did I mention the hook is really little?)

But she loves decorating for Halloween and I love her. As you can tell… part of this project requires black thread!

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It felt a little odd at first holding such a small hook and manipulating the crochet thread but… guess what?! It wasn’t as bad as I feared. Actually using the hook and thread was fine. Keeping track of how many ‘open’ and how many closed squares turned out to be trick in this treat of a gift! (There was quite a bit of frog’n !!)

The Stacked Pumpkin Table Runner pattern can be downloaded at the Red Heart site (here) It called for 2 balls of Classic Crochet Thread size 10 Pumpkin and one size 12 ball of Black. I found that I needed 3 balls (2 plus some) of the Pumpkin colour.

My sister and I are big Disney fans so I decided to modify the pattern a little. When I mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party_full_25199printed off (and enlarged) the graph I simply filled in a few extra spaces to form “Mickey ears” on the top pumpkin.

 

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Another modification that I did was to the border. I was tight for time and decided to just add to the checkboard edge with a scallop finish to the ends vs the tassels.

 

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Little Miss Sleepy Bunny…Working the Pattern.

A few months back a friend requested for next Christmas an Abominable Snowman be made. As I read the pattern the author suggested that we try one of her other patterns so we’re familiar with the type of amigurumi as the yarn for the abominable is a challenging fuzzy yarn.

When strolling through her patterns (they are so adorable!) I decided to make the Ragdoll Spring Bunny by Spin a Yarn Crochet.

This project was my forth amigurumi and I wish it had been my first. The pattern is clearly written and gives you quick results! I did add a touch here and there to suit my fancy. (in the assembly part). The differences a purely aesthetic.

The only thing I’d ask the author to update is: Please add the amounts of yarn needed in the materials list. [She does note the quantities in a reply to a reader who asked.] This and her tips on ear floppiness is an excellent example of why you should read not only the whole pattern before starting but the comments posted as well !!

While the pattern gives you everything you’ll need to be successful with creating your Spring Bunny, I want to share a couple notes for anyone who is not experienced with amigurumi making. These are a few bits that I discovered.

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First, use stitch markers!!!!! I can not stress how important this is! I mark the first stitch in the row and the last. I’ll move these markers as I go as this helps keep an even edge. It’s even more important in rounds! I have found that I’ll mistake the join from the previous row as a stitch occasionally. Marking the last stitch in a round prevents frogn (undoing/ripping out of rows done wrong)

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Second, take a moment to learn how to do an invisible decrease/increase. While this pattern does not specify to use invisible stitches I like the results better. I learned how from this video.

Third, as I mentioned above…. read all the pattern (and comments) before you start.

I’ll often underline key instructions and print all the numbers when the pattern says

Row 23 – 33 repeat _____

This way I can track exactly what row I am working on. I’ve been using a magnetic message board to hold my pattern and I just move the little magnet on top of the row number that I’m on.

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As I started to assemble my bunny I noticed that my ears didn’t match. Ooops! I obviously got distracted and didn’t move my row counter correctly for one of the ears. I decided the different sizes gave her a bit of character and left them mismatched.

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I also found that I didn’t like how her ears flopped. While the author offered a few tips (in replies to readers in the comment section) these tips didn’t seem to help. I ended up inserting flattened toilet paper tubes which gave the ear some more structure. The ear with the rosettes stands up but the other still flops slightly. Oh well, she’s still adorable!!

Another addition to my Little Miss Sleepy Bunny is a wee crochet heart (pattern here). As I stuffed Little Miss, in the stitches of the heart I gave her bravery and kindness to pass on to whoever she sleeps next to.

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I personalized my ragdoll bunny a wee bit by using two shades of purple for the rosettes and adding a couple leaves. I roughly followed this leaf pattern 

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One last tip to pass along. A while ago while following one of Crochet Crowd’s tutorials Mikey pointed out that many people mistakenly count the beginning slip stitch on your initial chain as a stitch. It’s important for your stitch count, especially when making the flower petals and tiny leaves, to NOT use the beginning slip stitch/knot.

 

 

 

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I am pleased with how my Ragdoll Spring Bunny turned out!

 

 

 

 

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January 2018 … Yarn & Tea

When I realize that another month had flown by I initially thought to myself “It was a quiet crafting month.” Well as I gathered photos I see that it wasn’t. Time does fly when you’re having fun 😉

If you’ve read any of my post from the last few months you may have noticed that I’ve fallen in love with the waffle stitch. It’s so quick and easy yet has a beautiful and dramatic effect. The baby blanket that I finally finished was fabulous and sooo soft. In case I haven’t said it enough I really enjoyed making this one!!

love this waffle pattern @LavendarLadi Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses (1)

I wanted to put an edge on it that complimented the geometric pattern.love this waffle pattern @LavendarLadi Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses (2) I’m not a 100% happy with this one but I had to finish the blanket before baby arrived!

 

 

I had planned to make my co-worker some lightsabers to go with her Star Wars themed nursery but I just couldn’t get them to work. I wanted to give her more than just a blanket so I found this adorable baby hat for her. I used Red Heart So Soft. While the yarn was a bit of a pain to work with I adore the silky softness, perfect for a little Jedi’s head. 😉Hat for Baby @ Croceht Stitches and Butterfly Kisses

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After Christmas and into the beginning of January I had time to work on some scarves and a hat for me. Last Fall while shopping the yarn sale for Christmas projects this yarn called to me. The colour of this one reminds me of popcorn; white with a hint of butter. And OH MY it’s soft creamy silky velvety… like have a cloud wrapped around my shoulders.

 

so soft @ Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses

so soft @ Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses

So Soft set @LavendarLadi Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses

You’ve seen that Meme? “Finds the softest yarn but no project/person is worthy!”

We’ll this scarf and hat are for me because I’m worth it. It’s my “Way-to-go-Me” to celebrate my 75lbs weight loss! (the last 2lbs came off over the Christmas holidays!)

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OH Did I share with you? For Christmas, I was lucky enough to get two yarn bowls and a yarn ‘bag’. While I adore my new ceramic one (My Aunt didn’t tell me where she purchased it.) My new wooden one is so very special. My hubby found a wooden bowl then carved the heart into it.

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I did decide to start again with the Sidewalk Shawl. I bought a new hook (the bamboo one above) and didn’t want to risk the shawl looking as if I’d used two different hooks.

I am enjoying the challenge of a more detailed pattern however it is definitely not a project to work on while watching (listening) to t.v.  I made a couple scarves because they’re quick and easy. Turns out the month that I thought I’d be resting my hook, I made three scarves, three hats (forgot to take a picture of the one I made for my mother-in-law) finished a baby blanket and started a shawl.

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Cake Scarf @ Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses (2)

Looking ahead… I saw somewhere a program that will scan your photo then tell you what colours are in it. I’m thinking of doing this with my ‘icy’ photos to start a blanket. Earlier in the month when we were still very very cold. I had to venture down by Niagara Falls to snap some photos. The mist creates layers and layers of ice that sparkle. It’s my favourite time to visit The Falls.

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Icy at Niagara Falls Canada @LavendarLadi (1).jpeg

LOL like most of you I never have just one #WIP  What was on your hook this month? Please take a moment to link here so that I can enjoy your work! 🙂

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Gifts for your Crochet Yarn Artist

20160203_093202.jpgWith Valentines Day fast approaching I thought I’d help you out. Candy and chocolate are nice but they spend more time on our hips than our lips. Jewellery is always good. 😉  Stuffed toys are cute we tend to think…”I could crochet one just like that!” Which brings me to some suggestions.

So what gifts would be great when your love adores crochet? Allow me to make a suggestion or two. (Fellow yarn artists..please feel free to add to these suggestions!)

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This is a hobby that you need more than one of various items. The most obvious is yarn. We always need (yes NEED) more yarn.

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A bit of advice. Most projects need at least two balls of the same colour (and brand) of yarn so please gift at least two. Another important reason to give multiples is in many cases the yarn is dyed in batches (called lots) so the exact shade varies slightly by lot. So if they have to go back to the store to buy a second ball they may not get a matching dye lot!

I’m sure you know we prefer to work with soft yarn. But please do not be tempted to buy the ‘specialty’ yarn. It’s often difficult to work with and/or is appropriate for very few projects.

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For example… Bunny Tail yarn is cute but I have no idea what to do with it!

Now you’ve picked a couple balls of soft yarn… What do you buy with it? A new crochet hook is a good start. Look on the back of the package of yarn to find out what size.

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Most stores have one or two types of hooks. Perhaps you’ve noticed which your yarn artist prefers?P_20180114_125209_vHDR_On

Maybe they’re like me and enjoy a variety.

There’s no “best” hook. It’s all preference. Just start with selecting the correct size (see above).

Your yarn artist now has enough to make a project. But there are a few other items that make the process more fun (and easier)

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Scissors, measuring tape

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stitch markers, darning needle

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bobby pins – mark the line in a crochet pattern

A cute pair of scissors, a measuring tape, a darning needle and stitch markers are the little things that make each project go smoother!

And while we’re making things smoother…

Jagged nails and rough skin catch on yarn. When you’re working with the beautiful soft yarn you want your hands soft too.

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The added bonus of gifting these items to you yarn artist is they will make you soft, homemade, full of love pieces.

“When you show others love, you are shown, love. When you give love, you receive love.”
― Donald L. Hicks, Look into the Stillness

Products shown are from my personal collection. I do not have any connections with the companies.

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