Little Spring Lamb

This sweet little lamb is a cuddly toy for little hands. The body is crocheted, the face and ears are cut from felt and sewn to the body, and the feet are tiny dollar store pompoms that are sewn on. The finished size of the toy is approx. 4-1/2” long.

MATERIALS:
Any thick and fuzzy white or off-white yarn
9 mm crochet hook
Stitch markers
A few handfuls of Fiberfill stuffing
A square of white crafting felt for face and ears
White thread and needle; black embroidery thread
4 tiny off-white pom poms for feet

BODY:
This is basically a ball crocheted in rounds. Using your white yarn and 9 mm hook:

Round 1: ch 4; sl st to make a ring; ch 1, 10 sc in ring (10 sc); use a stitch marker to mark your beginning sc from here on.

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around (20 sc)

Rounds 3-9: sc in each sc around (20 sc). Next row begins decreasing.

Round 10: sc in each of first 2 sc; sc2tog; *sc in each of next 2 sc; sc2tog; rep from * around.

Round 11: sc in first sc, sc2tog; *sc in next, sc2tog; rep from * around.
Stuff with Fiberfill.

Round 12: Continue *sc in next, sc2tog* until closed. Sl st to secure. Chain a couple more times to create a little tail. Fasten off and weave in end.

HEAD & EARS:
Cut 2 pieces of felt in shape shown for the head (approx. 2-1/2” long) and cut 2 little circles of felt for the ears (each a little under an inch).

With wrong sides together (with most felt, either side is fine), either hand sew or use a machine to sew the two head pieces together (see photos). Turn right side out and stuff with Fibrefill. Using white thread and sewing needle, sew to body. It’s a little fiddly, so I went around twice with the needle and thread to make sure it was fastened securely.

Next, starting with the first ear, pinch one end, then run the thread through it a couple times to secure the “pinch”. Then sew to one side of the head as shown. Repeat with the other ear on the other side of the head.

HAIR:
Crochet an additional little puff of “hair” for the top of its head. With your 9 mm hook and same fuzzy yarn: ch 3, sc in second ch from hook, and in first ch. Fasten off and weave end into row. Use your fingers to puff it up a bit, then sew it down to the top of the head between the ears, where the head meets the body. (You could always make a Donald Trump comb-over instead, but I don’t think that’s fair to the poor little lamb! 🙂

FACE:
For the eyes, I sewed on two black seed beads. If you prefer to skip the beads, just make two French knots with the black embroidery thread instead.

Use the black embroidery thread to straight-stitch the nose and mouth, as shown in the picture.

FEET:
Sew the four pom poms on the bottom of body (see picture).

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Handsome Otis models an ice-cream sundae hat

He’s not particularly fond of ice-cream, but nevertheless, poor Otis found himself coerced into modelling my spool-knitted “ice-cream sundae hat.”
Much to Otis’s dismay, I recently felt an urge to try some spool knitting, or as we used to call it when we were kids, “corking.”

I can remember my best friend and I learning to cork using old wooden thread spools with four nails hammered into the tops of each. Today’s spool knitters are much fancier, not that the results are any better than what we got from those old wooden spools!I had a collection of bits and pieces of old yarn ends, so I corked a long cord, then wound it around and hand-sewed it together to create the “sundae.”
Next, I used some red yarn to make a pompom: the cherry on top.
It is Otis’s plea that I refrain from using him to model any more yarn fashions.

“Get this @#%$!!! hat OFF me!”

Otis likes to keep a close eye on Backyard Bunny

He has suggested that, instead, I consider using his good friend, Backyard Bunny, as my model—that is, if I am ever able to catch him!

Soft Green Spider Web Scarf/Shawl

This delicate scarf/shawl is made with a plush yarn that makes it surprisingly warm and there is a lot of length for wrapping around your shoulders on a cool summer evening.

Materials:

I lost the label for the yarn, but it’s a bulky plush. I’ve provided a photo so you can match it as closely as possible. I used a large ball (approx. 300 yds)

6.5 mm hook

Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Large pearl-look dollar-store beads

Beading needle and thread

PATTERN:

Chain 176.

Row 1: dc in 5th ch from hook (counts as dc, ch 2), 6 dc in same st, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in next ch, ch 10, sk 10 ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, *7 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in next ch, ch 10, sk 10 ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch; rep from* across, ending with 7 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in 3rd ch of beg ch-5, turn.

Row 2: Ch 5, *7 dc in top of 4th dc of next 7-dc group, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in next dc, ch 10, sk 10 ch, dc in next dc, ch 2, sk 2 dc, rep from* across, ending with 7 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in 3rd ch of beg ch-5, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until shawl is your desired depth. Mine measured a length of 80” x 15-1/2” deep.

Once finished, I neatened up both 15-1/2” ends with one row of sc.

TASSEL & PEARL FRINGE:

Next, I made tassels with pearl bead ends to attach to the last 7-dc group of the row, as shown in picture.

To make each tassel, I cut three 24” pieces of yarn; folded them in half; cut another piece of yarn about 10” long which I used to tied them together in the center of the fold with a knot; then kept winding that remaining piece of yarn into a knot until it because a round ball of a knot at the top of the fold where I made the first knot. Then I threaded the beading needle, stuck the needle in the bottom of the big round knot and brought the thread up through the top of the big knot, added a pearl bead so it sat on top of the big knot, then brought the needle up into the bottom of the last 7-dc group and stitched back and forth a few times to make sure the pearl and tassel were fixed securely in place. Then I knotted the thread and fastened off. I repeated this process along the bottom of the scarf/shawl, attaching pearls/tassels to the last 7-dc group of each row. I hope this makes sense. Refer to the photo (and my rough drawing below!) for visual description.

Fruity coasters go perfectly with fruity drinks on the patio!

If you want to work on a quick, easy and fun project, this is ideal, and it’s also great for beginners. I found a lovely site with free patterns for Green Apple coasters, Watermelon coasters and Lemon coasters. All so cute!

You’ll find the patterns here, compliments of Christine Longe, at her Lakeview Cottage Kids website:

http://www.lakeviewcottagekids.com/2014/05/another-free-crochet-coaster-pattern.html

 

Your luggage will stand out from the rest with these pretty crocheted flowers!

I made these cute flowers to attach to my luggage to make it more identifiable on the airport carousel. You could probably also use them as key rings, attach them to sneakers or jacket buttons, etc. Whatever your intentions, you’ll enjoy making them! They’re quick to make, and a good project for beginners.I found this great pattern for Travel Blooms at the wonderful Fiber Flux blog: http://www.fiberfluxblog.com/2013/06/free-crochet-patterntravel-blooms.html

To make mine, I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton in different colours, then sewed a little pearl in the center to embellish.

My little dolly is tutu cute!

I was playing with the versatile Bernat Handicrafter cotton yarn and made this little doll, just because.

I didn’t write out the pattern as I went along, but if you can crochet in simple rounds, then you can make her too. She doesn’t have to be perfect—experiment and make her any size you like.

Materials:
• Bernat Handicrafter cotton in hot pink, orange and yellow (or any choice of colours)
• 3.75 mm crochet hook
• Yarn needle for sewing
• Scrap yellow yarn for the hair
• Fiberfill stuffing
Optional: scrap of fabric netting to make the tutu

Instructions:

Head: Using yellow cotton, ch 4 and make a ring;

Round 1: 4 sc in ring (use a marker and crochet in continuous rounds)

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around (8 sc)

Round 3: 2 sc in first sc, sc in each of next 2 sc,
*2 sc in next, sc in next 2; rep * around

Round 4: 2 sc in first sc, sc in each of next 3 sc,
*2 sc in next, sc in next 3; rep * around

Rounds 5 & 6: sc in each sc around

Round 7: start decreasing rounds: *sc dec in first 2 sc, sc in next sc,
rep * around. Stuff head as much as you can, then continue rounds.

Rounds 8-10: Keep decreasing around until you can slip stitch opening closed. When you fasten off, leave a long tail for sewing head to the body.

Body: Start out same as the head, but increase more and add more rows of sc to make bigger and fatter. I did half the body in hot pink and the other half in orange.

Legs: I used yellow for the first few rounds, then variegated pink and orange for the rest of the legs. Start out same as the head, just make sure to only increase in the first couple of rounds so you’ll make tube shapes instead of ball shapes, add more even rounds of sc to make the shape longer, and then start decreasing when the legs are long enough. When you fasten off, leave a long enough tail on each leg to sew to the body.

Arms: Same as the legs, just shorter. I made half the arm orange, the other half pink.

Use yarn needle and yarn tail to sew arms, legs and head onto body.

Hair: Using the yellow scrap yarn, I cut many lengths of about 5”. Then I started at the top of the head and, using the yarn needle, pulled a piece of yarn through and around one sc, made them even, then tied a knot around the sc. I did that with each piece of yarn until I’d covered the top and most of the back of the head. I cut shorter pieces and did the same process at the front to make bangs. Then I pulled through about 6 pieces at the top and tied a piece of pink yarn around them to make a little ponytail that sticks up. Once finished, I trimmed the “hair” so the back would be relatively even. But I didn’t expect it to be perfect, so the hair is a little choppy in areas. She’s perfectly cute even if she isn’t perfect!

Face: I used size 3 crochet cotton thread in dark grey and red. First, I used the grey to make two French knots for eyes (wound it around the needle a good three times so the eyes would be prominent). Then I used the red to stitch on her mouth.

Optional tutu: I was impatient to finish her off at this point, so I didn’t sew this as neatly as I should have. Anyway, I just cut a piece of fabric netting a bit larger than the width of her tummy. Then I folded over the top about a quarter inch and stitched it down with a needle and thread so that it left a pocket along the top that I could run a piece of yarn through. I also roughly seamed together the back ends. Then I used my yarn needle to run the yarn around the top, pulled the tutu up to her waist, and tied the yarn in a bow, which made the tutu gather at the waist.

Hope these instructions are clear enough. As I said earlier, if you can crochet in rounds, then you won’t have any problems making this doll.

Happy Easter!

 

I made an Easter egg tree with a crocheted egg pattern and branches from the garden.

Here’s how:

Picked up a glass vase from the dollar store and thought I’d glam it up with some stripes. All you need is some masking tape and spray paint. I used the masking tape to make stripes, then spray painted over it. Once dry, I peeled off the masking tape and was left with a really cute vase.Spray painted some branches the same colour as the vase.

Filled the vase with some Arborio rice that had been sitting at the back of my cupboard for the past two years, then set the branches in it.
Used Bernat Handicrafter yarn in different colours to crochet some easter eggs. Here’s a great free pattern at the wonderful Petals To Picots blog:

https://www.petalstopicots.com/2012/03/crocheted-easter-eggs-pattern/
I altered the egg pattern a bit to make two spring chicks (see photos), just for fun. I pasted google eyes on them and cut beaks from some orange felt.
I attached thin ribbon to all the eggs and chicks, then tied them onto the branches. And there you have it. An Easter egg tree to brighten up the holiday weekend!

Otis is very curious!

 

Easy Crocheted Checkerboard Cowl Scarf

I was aiming for a checkerboard look with this pattern. It was pure experimentation that turned out looking better than expected, with its interesting texture. It’s as easy as crocheting 5 single crochets, then chaining 5, and alternating your 5 sc and ch-5 back and forth for the entire length of your piece, turning, and then repeating the same steps for another 4 rows (to make 5 rows). Then you simply reverse the process over the next 5 rows by starting with ch-5 followed by 5 sc and continuing across the length of your piece. Switching back and forth for 5 rows gives you the checkerboard effect.

You can make the piece larger by using multiples of five. It’s crocheted in one piece, with the ends later seamed together to form the cowl.

So, here we go:

CHECKERBOARD COWL SCARF

MATERIALS
Worsted weight yarn (14 oz / 400g / 867 yds / 792m) one ball Burgundy
6.5 mm crochet hook
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

ABBREVIATIONS: sc (single crochet); sp (space); sk (skip); rep (repeat); ch-sp (chain space)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Chain (ch) 115 + 2.

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in each ch across. (115 sc) Turn.

THE FIRST 5 ROWS

Row 2: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in each of next 4 sc, ch 5 and sk next 5 sc, *sc in next 5 sc, ch 5, sk next 5 sc, rep from * across and end row with sc in each of last 5 sc. Turn.

Row 3 to Row 5: Rep Row 2.

Row 6: Ch 6 (5 + 1 extra), sk next 4 sc, *sc in first ch-sp of ch-5 (from Row 5) and in each of the next 4 ch-sps, ch 5, sk next 5 sc, rep from * across to last remaining ch-5, sc in each of the 5 ch-sps, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last (5th) sc to join. Turn.

Row 7 to Row 10: Ch 6, *sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 5, rep from * across, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last (5th) sc.

Row 11: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in next 4 ch-sps, ch 5, sk 5 sc, *sc in each of next 5 ch-sps, ch 5, sk 5 sc, rep from * across and end row with sc in each of last 5 ch-sps. Turn.

Row 12 to Row 15: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in next 4 sc, ch 5, *sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 5, rep from * across to last 5 sc, sc in each of last 5 sc. Turn.

Row 16: Ch 6, sk next 4 sc, *sc in first ch-sp of ch-5 (from Row 15) and in each of the next 4 ch-sps, ch 5, sk next 5 sc, rep from * across to last remaining ch-5, sc in each of the 5 ch-sps, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last sc to join. Turn.

Row 17 to Row 20: Ch 6, *sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 5; rep from * across, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last (5th) sc.

Continue alternating pattern every 5 rows until your piece is desired length. Mine measured approx. 27″ wide x 10″ deep. Once finished, seam ends together by slip stitching on the wrong side. I also did a final row of sc around both top and bottom openings for a nice, clean finish. I never bothered blocking, but you may want to.

Crocheted Victorian Lattice Poncho

I discovered the loveliest crocheted square design called Victorian Lattice Square, designed by Destany Wymor and offered free on her Ravelry page at: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/victorian-lattice-square

The minute I saw it, I decided that I wanted to use it to make myself a really lightweight poncho that’s almost more like a top that I can wear over a camisole or t-shirt. So I sketched out a rough poncho layout that had been simmering in my mind. Then I selected three colours that I love from the Loops & Threads Woolike line of yarn—it’s a super-fine yarn that I’ve fallen in love with because it’s so soft and a bit stretchy—and I began working away on the squares.

Here’s how I made my Victorian Lattice Poncho.

  • 5 mm crochet hook
  • Loops & Threads Woolike Yarn (678 yds/3.5 oz./620 m/100 g)
    2 balls Tan, 2 balls Pumpkin Spice, 1 ball Golden Yellow
  • Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Squares are 7-1/2 x 7-1/2, unblocked.

The size shown is a medium. You can increase or decrease the size of your hook to change the size of your poncho.

Following the Victorian Lattice Square pattern at the link above, I made:

4 Golden Yellow squares (GY); 8 Tan squares (T); and 12 Pumpkin Spice squares (PS).

When I started making the squares, I had a vague idea of the colour pattern I wanted to follow, so just to be able to see a visual of it, I initially tied a bunch of squares together with pieces of yarn and also tried it on over my head to make sure the neck opening would be big enough. The 7-1/2 x 7-1/2 squares were the perfect size.

Once all the squares were complete, I seamed them together, right sides facing, stitching on the wrong sides, into 6 separate strips as shown below (I used the Tan yarn for all seaming):

Two squares seamed together.

Seamed strips laid out to match final layout.

Once the strips were complete, I laid them out side by side in the pattern below, wrong sides facing up, and pinned them together. The grey square in the middle represents the neckline opening.

Then, I seamed the strips together one by one.

Once the strips were seamed together, I turned the poncho back to the right side so I could work on the neckline. I simply did one round of single crochet around the neckline in each colour—starting with one sc round of Golden Yellow, then one sc round of Pumpkin Spice, then two sc rounds of Tan.

Finally, I finished the poncho with striped edging in all three colours: first two rows of dc in Golden Yellow, then two rows of dc in Pumpkin Spice, then two rows of dc in Tan.

Lastly, I blocked the poncho by dampening it with a spray bottle of water, then pinned it to a huge piece of foamcore board. Optional: you can add tassels or fringe if that’s your preference; I was fine with just having the striped edging.

I would love to make another one using the same yarn, which is wonderful to work with, but in different colours.

This is the top and pants combo I plan to wear it with.

My Otis—A most fascinating cat!

Poor Otis. He’s a boy cat but I’m guilty of forcing him to model lady cat hats for my own selfish amusement.

So here’s the thing. He has this toy fish that was on its last legs, so instead of throwing it in the trash, I thought I’d combine it with some netting and sequins and other baubles to create a “lady cat fascinator.”

For those of you who don’t really know me—I assure you that I’m not some batshit crazy cat lady—I simply like to have some fun once in a while at the expense of my poor, beloved cat.

I wonder if he’s swearing at me right now in cat-speak?

So without further ado, here is my baby boy, who is thoroughly pissed off and trying to escape me (and his new hat) in every photo.

Honestly, it’s not as outlandish as some of the fascinators I’ve seen women wearing in photos at that Ascot event in England! (haha)

This photo is most representative of the many photos I tried to take of him. He just refused to keep still!

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