Crocheted infinity cowl scarf with a surprise pocket

I bought some fine yarn in grey and two shades of purple, and had an urge to use it to make some squares. This infinity cowl scarf is what evolved. I made 14 Box in a Box squares (pattern below) and one Flower in the Middle square (pattern also below) which I placed on top of one Box in a Box square to make the pocket. To be honest, I’ve found the pocket to be a bit awkward while wearing the cowl, so if I were to do this again, I’d just skip adding the pocket. Or it may work better if you added a couple of snap closures so it stays closed.

You can choose to make your cowl using 14 Box in a Box squares; or instead, use 14 Flower in the Middle squares; or you can mix things up and use 7 Box in a Box and 7 Flower in the Middle squares together. Whichever ones you use, I guarantee it will look nice when you’re finished.

Here are the square patterns:

Box in a Box Square

  • 5 mm crochet hook
  • Craft Knitting Yarn (picked up at the Dollar Store!) (3-4 mm/100 g/100% acrylic)
    2 balls Grey, 1 ball Dark Purple, 1 ball Light Purple
  • Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Square is approx. 6” x 6”, blocked.

Pattern:

Using dark purple, Ch 4, join with a sl st to make a ring.

Round 1: In ring: ch 3, 2 dc, *(ch 3, 3 dc), rep from * 2 more times, ch 3; use sl st to join.

Round 2: Ch 3, sk next dc, dc in next dc, (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in corner, dc in next dc, sk dc, dc in next dc; rep around; sl st to join. Fasten off purple and attach grey in same sp.

Round 3: Ch 3, dc in each of next 3 dc; *(2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in corner, dc in next 3 dc, ch 1, dc in next 3 dc, rep around, sl st to join.

Round 4: Ch 3, dc in next 5 dc, (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in corner, dc in next 5 dc, ch 1, dc in next 5 dc, (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in corner, rep around, sl st to join.

Round 5: Ch 3, dc in next 7 dc, (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in corner, dc in next 7 dc, ch 1, dc in next 7 dc, (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in corner, rep around, sl st to join.

Round 6: Ch 3, dc in next 9 dc, (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in corner, dc in next 9 dc, ch 1, dc in next 9 dc, (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in corner, rep around, sl st to join, fasten off and weave in end.

Seam together 2 rows of 7 squares each, alternating the dark and light purple centers. Then seam the 2 rows together, also taking care to alternate the colours. To make it an infinity, seam both ends together.

Optional Pocket: Make one Flower in the Middle square using the pattern below. Using a yarn needle and grey yarn, sew it along three sides over top of one of the squares in the upper row of your scarf, so that it forms a pocket.

Flower in the Middle square

Same materials as used for the Box in a Box square

Pattern:

Using dark purple, Ch 4, join with a sl st to make a ring.

Round 1: ch 3 (counts as first dc), 15 dc in ring. Sl st to join. Fasten off and attach light purple in any dc.

Round 2: ch 4, sk 1 dc, sc in top of next dc, (ch 3, sk 1 dc, sc in top of next dc) 6 times, ch 3, sk 1 dc, sl st to close.

Round 3: (hdc, dc, 2 tr, dc, hdc, sl st) in first ch-3 sp, rep in next 7 ch-3 sps. Sl st to close. (8 petals made) Fasten off light purple and attach grey in middle tr of any petal.

Round 4: (ch 7, sl st into tr of next petal) around, sl st to close.

Round 5: sl st in first ch-7 sp, ch 3, (5 dc, ch 2, 6 dc) in same ch-sp, 6 hdc in next ch-7 sp, (6 dc, ch 2, 6 dc) in next ch-7 sp, rep around, 6 hdc in last ch-7 sp, sl st to close.

Round 6: ch 3 in ch-sp, (dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in same ch-sp, dc in next 18 sts, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch-sp, rep 3 times, 18 dc in next 18 sts, sl st to close.

Round 7: ch 1 in same st as sl st, sc in next st, (2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc) in ch-sp, sc in each of next 22 sts, (2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc) in next ch-sp, rep 3 times, sc in each of next 20 sts, sl st to close. Fasten off and weave in end.

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Happy New Year to all!

Otis and his human look forward to a productive year ahead: lots of crafty projects for the human, and lots of new toys to play with for Otis!

Merry Christmas to all

And the best of wishes to all of you
for a happy and healthy new year ahead.

Happy #TRT – Tummy Rub Tuesday (Week 170)

Check out Otis and all the other lovelies in this week’s Tummy Rub Tuesday!

Source: Happy #TRT – Tummy Rub Tuesday (Week 170)

My children’s story has been published!


When my daughter was little, we would make weekly trips to the public library to borrow stacks of picture books for bedtime reading. The story that Jennifer loved best of all happened to be the one that I had written just for her. It was about a little sprite of a girl named Abigail Bugsby, and we read it together many, many times over the years.

Contributor’s section

When Our Canada magazine, published by Reader’s Digest, called for submissions of children’s stories, I dug my Abigail Bugsby story out of storage, dusted it off, and sent it in. Lo and behold, the editor at Our Canada chose to publish it in their August/September 2017 issue, complemented with artwork by their talented illustrator, Bill Suddick.

If you would like a printed copy of Abigail Bugsby to read to your kids or grandkids, pick up a copy of Our Canada magazine, which you’ll find on newsstands across Canada this month. I have a subscription for a variety of digital magazines through Texture, and it’s in there too. Here are pictures of the original version I wrote (and illustrated) for Jennifer. My drawings were quick and rough, so it was a real treat to see Bill Suddick’s visual interpretation of Abigail!

What moves you?

It’s a typical day.

Same old. Same nine-to-five routine. Same rush-hour headaches, same group of maniac drivers on the road… when… all of a sudden, my attention is gripped by the sight right in front of me—mother nature’s magnificent ink pots of ruby, magenta, russet and amber spilling to stain the deep blue of the sky—right there before my eyes, waiting patiently to be noticed. In awe, I detour away from the traffic to a quiet road, park my car, and sit in worship of such a perfect sight.


When I see something that moves me like this, I am compelled to stop and take notice… and write about it. Everything about a sunset—the amalgamation of colour, the serene sense of peace it represents, the powerful expanse, the pull of it—is all too special not to be noticed and revered.

Writers have an all-consuming need to translate what moves us into words. When we see something that stirs our feelings, we simply can’t keep quiet about it. If we see something that makes us happy, we must write about the source of our happiness. If we see something that makes us sad—oh woe is the story we’ll write. If we see something that makes us angry—well, let’s just say it’s wise not to mess with a writer because you just might find yourself the subject of a very spirited editorial in a newspaper or other venue. We don’t just see things, we feel them to the core. Which drives our need to write.
If you’ve been down with a case of writer’s block or caught in a mood rut, perhaps you need to rub your eyes and take a fresh look around. It’s all too easy to lose sight of the simple yet astonishing beauty blooming in front of our noses every day, when our sights are ever-focused instead on the hustle and bustle of daily life.

A fat black and yellow bumble bee darting into and out of a clump of blossoms; the metallic flecks that sparkle in an otherwise plain stone; a lone ripple on the calm face of a pond made by the paddling of a mallard duck and her babies; the bouncing pigtails of a little girl playing hopscotch; cream-puff clouds on a blueberry sky. So simple, so precious, so easy to miss.


How many sights do you pass by each day without taking notice—sights that have the power to move you?

Open your peepers. There are miracles everywhere.

Otis the cat meets Robo Fish

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).

Happy #TRT – Tummy Rub Tuesday (Week 147) – Katzenworld

Click on the link and then scroll down to see Otis on his bed!

Source: Happy #TRT – Tummy Rub Tuesday (Week 147) – Katzenworld

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!

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