7/23/2014

Rosie Roly Poly

This summer has been the summer of bugs... OK, maybe the summer of isopod crustaceans to be more precise. My daughter (the Little Miss) has been obsessed with finding all sorts of critters -- from daddy long legs to lightning bugs to the perennial favorite, roly poly bugs. Of course, we've had more than one discussion about why her new friends are NOT allowed to sleep in the house and more than one pout about having to return her newly-captured critters to the outside. I figured it was time to take mercy on her plight and give her a critter that was truly cuddle-worthy, and Rosie was born.

Despite her huggable size, Rosie is just a baby roly poly (or "pill bug," as we used to call 'em when I was a kid). The pattern is relatively short and works up in a couple of hours. You can choose to add the optional bow, or leave it off to make a boy roly poly -- even spice up the world of isopod crustaceans by making a one-of-a-kind colord roly poly -- the options are limitless!

As usual, the pattern file is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy (please bear in mind that you'll pay a little more on Etsy to offset the cost of selling in that venue -- but you can take advantage of the instant download and credit card processing [no PayPal] there). Find out all about the new pattern here, or head to one of my shop sites to get started hooking your own "Rosie" now!

7/09/2014

Sewn!

That's it. The last piece is sewn... the ends are woven in... and my massive undertaking of a granny blanket is FINALLY in one piece!

What started out as a year-long undertaking, became the worst WIP anxiety I've ever had, and resulted in 360 individually-pieced, 4-inch granny squares is finally a blanket.

Now to decide how to edge it........

7/07/2014

Gifting: Spa Sets

We've been hosting a foreign exchange student for about a year now and have decided to keep her another year. After going back and forth with the natural family, it was decided that our Korean "daughter" would just stay with us for the summer (instead of flying home and back). Economically, it makes sense -- and with my own Little Miss home for a whole three months, I can use the extra pair of hands to help out. But it's pretty clear that the family back in Korea misses her.

I wanted to do something nice for our exchange student's mum ("oma." in Korean) -- to let her know that she's being though of and that we appreciate the faith she has in my helping to raise her child. So, we decided to send oma a happy box. We picked out a pretty new blouse and to top it off, I wanted to send something handmade that mum would appreciate. After a bit of searching, I settled on a spa set.

The wash cloth is a fan stitch pattern developed by RusticThreads on Etsy. I really loved the double-sided texture and they worked up super quick with about 75 yards of cotton yarn. With a little bow on top, they're the perfect gift!

I decided to add a set of six make-up scrubbies for oma too. At first, I considered making plain round ones, but eventually found a free little flower pattern on the Diva Stitches crochet blog. If you check out the link, she even has a coordinating pouch pattern that looks super cute.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with how things came out -- and I'll definitely be stashing a few spa sets away for teacher gifts and whatnot.

What's your favorite gift pattern?

7/02/2014

Gifting....

Despite the fact that I really want to get my blanket done, I can't ignore the fact that I'm getting a little overdue for some gifts.

One of the nicest thing about being a hand-crafter is that I can whip out the perfect last-minute gift in no time. Of course, finding "perfect" after you've been whipping out wonderful hand-crafted gifts for more than 20 years can get a little challenging -- have I done it already? How many more amigurumi does aunt Sally really need? And the msot challenging question of all... can I whip it up quick so that I can get back to all the other WIPs laying around my craft room???

This time around, I'm settling on "spa sets." The first one will be for our foreign exchange student's mum back in Korea. Then, I have my best friend's birthday coming up, some little end-of-summer-camp thank-yous, and a raffle prize for the nonprofit I work with. I found the most yummy stitch with fellow Etsian, RusticThreads, and while I had to modify the pattern slightly to get the size cloth I wanted, I'm pretty happy with the results (for those of you who want to know, I changed the foundation chain to 36 stitches).

I'd also love to do some coordinating make-up removers to go with the wash cloths, so if anyone knows of a good pattern, please let me know!

And along those lines, I would LOVE to know what your favorite gifting patterns are... I've got a BUNCH more birthdays coming up and it'll be Christmas before we know it (yikes! teacher gifts!).

Happy crocheting!

6/27/2014

Oh, Invisible Seam... How I Love/Hate Thee

Being rather adventurous... and/or insane, I decided that I was going to try something new with this latest project. I have always wanted to try an invisible join and now I absolutely know why I never did it before...

It. Takes. FOREVER!

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, I invite you to take a like at this YouTube video. Note that the woman in the video is seaming a pair of bulky-weight granny squares. Me? I used sport weight yarn on my project and have no fewer than 330 squares to seam... each with 20 stitches per side. That, my friends, is a lot of sewing!

It's not all a loss, though. When you gently pull the yarn you're using to sew your squares together, the seam magically disappears. Seriously. For me, Every. Single. Time I do this -- it's magic. I just can't believe the black yarn is gone!

The other thing I love about this technique is how beautifully the colors can play together. There are no ugly stitches in some contrast color to draw your eye away from the two squares... only turquoise, and yellow... and pink... and...

And honestly, for those 20 stitches on each side of each square, I really get to just enjoy how the colors go together. As I stitch, I think about the colors -- if I've seen them together in nature... what they most remind me of... if I would wear an outfit that had those two colors in them. It's actually kind of fun.

So, tell me. Do you use the invisible seam technique? Do you love it? Hate it? Both? I'd love to hear your experiences!

6/23/2014

WIP Anxiety

I joined up on the Crochet Mood Blanket project earlier this year and have been dutifully making my squares. OK, not so dutifully... I get behind -- then I hurry up to catch up, then I get behind again... lather, rinse repeat. In fact, I've notice that I haven't been able to enjoy my other projects quite as much because I'm worried about getting behind on my blanket.

Sigh.

And so, it was through this project that I learned a little something about myself. I have WIP Anxiety.

Unfortunately, I also have a lot of other projects in mind that I want to work on, but instead of that, I've spent the last month making these:


And now that these are all done, and I've laid this out:


... I have a MOUNTAIN of sewing to do. But at least I won't have WIP Anxiety anymore.

2/24/2014

One-Piece Amigurumi Baby Bunny

Even though we're in the middle of yet another polar vortex, I can't help but to keep wishing and hoping that spring is just around the corner. I miss my lawn, the flowers, and the adorable baby animals -- especially my favorites, the sweet baby bunnies!

for some reason, the bunnies like to nest in our yard, and it's such a treat to discover their tiny little fluffy bodies, all snuggled up under the grass. I always want to scoop one out and snuggle it!

With spring (and Easter) fast approaching, I decided that this year, I would be ready for my bunny snuggling cravings -- with an adorable nest of my own. I wanted something simple enough that I'd be able to whip us a batch for my daughter to share with her friends, and spent several tries coming up with the perfect one-piece pattern for you. These bunnies are completely NO-SEW! Just add a few embellishments and you're ready for a snuggle full of squee!

The best part about the bunnies is that if you use an E hook as the pattern directs, you should easily be able to hide them in the larger-variety plastic Easter eggs.

The pattern is full of step-by-step photos and the clear instructions you've grown to love. Work up your own nest of bunnies for just $1.00 or pair it with my free Lil' Ducky pattern for a super Easter treat. You can't go wrong!

You can get all the details on this pattern from the pattern information page, or check it out on Ravelry.

I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I do and cannot wait to see your bunnies. Happy crocheting!




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