National Handmade Day ~ April 7

I haven’t been able to find out just which country this is originating in but I’m all for celebrating National Handmade Day ❤

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Here are a few favourite pieces of my yarn art.

 

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What have you made that brings joy to you?

 

 

 

 

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Yarn & Tea… March Break

It was another slow month but a productive one! My Little Miss Sleepy Bunny was finished over our March Break and I have an order for two Sleepy Bunnies. These bunnies will have pink skirts. I wrote a post about Little Miss, you can find it HERE.P_20180323_101357_vHDR_On

I had to take a wee break before working on them because I’ve promised my hubby that I’d make a cushion cover for him. He was given a Christmas themed pillow which he loves but wants it more all season.

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I love the waffle stitch as anyone who’s read my posts over the past several months knows! I’m glad he does too because it’s such a relaxing pattern. CrochetStitchesButterflyKisses (3)

I adore the Sleepy Bunny but she requires a tight stitch with a heavier yarn. My hands needed a break before continuing on with the pink skirted bunnies.

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During my lazy lovely week when I needed to pause from making the sleepy bunny I coloured. Such a relaxing thing to do. And, well, I can’t leave the book uncoloured! 😉

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I’d love to see what you’ve been up to in March. Please feel free to link here so we can see.

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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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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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Off my hook in 2017

It was a busy year of crocheting for me. Yarn sales and coupons allowed me to create with those “expensive” yarns which make my fingers and heart happy.

Some projects are still in progress. I put them aside because they are for me and I wanted to get gifts done. One project has been abandoned because I really do not like how it was turning out. Several pieces of my yarn art were greeted with joy and others were met with silence.  It’s in those moments your heart cries a little then you think “I should have used the scratchy yarn.”69f7e046f65dafdcc92196132ba10fe8

Oh well. I did enjoy making all but one of my projects this year!!  Please… join me as I look back.

 

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To start 2018 I’m going to pick up the Sidewalk Shawl again. The yarn is so soft and the pattern is beautiful. I think I may just FROG it {frogging your work, a verb that’s all about how you rip it, rip it, ribbit out those stitches!} because I think I’ve lost the hook I was using and it’s been many many many months since I worked on it.

Happy New Year 

I wish you a year of good health, kindness, soft yarn and projects to fill the scope of your imagination.

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