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).

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.

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.

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.

How to like exercise, believe it or not

As is evidenced in my New Year’s Resolutions post, I’ve been fighting to stick to an exercise routine for the better part of my life, while the Demons of Sedentary cackle in my face as they pat down a fluffy couch in front of the TV for me to lounge on.

healthy-person-woman-sportJoin the gym. Avoid the gym. Do 30 walking lunges. Take 30 steps toward the instructor and lunge at his throat. Get moving. Screw moving. Year in. Year out.

At 58, I’m SO done with this tug of war.

It was a tug of war because exercise was always about the goal of looking hot. Exercise to be skinny. Exercise to banish cellulite. Exercise to sculpt long, lean legs. Exercise to show off bikini abs instead of having to hide your gut in a suit that looks like a body bag from the county coroner’s office.core-exercise

Joining the age 55-60 club changed my life on so many levels. When they say, “you’re not getting older, you’re getting better,” what they should be saying is, “you are getting older, but that’s a gift because you’re also getting smarter.” Suddenly, I don’t give a rat’s ass whether or not I look hot. What I desperately care about is doing my best to remain on this earth for many, many more years while enjoying the best of health, being able to fend off the aches and pains that so many in my age group and older have to deal with on a daily basis, being here to watch my future grandchildren grow up and being able to roll up my sleeves and play with them without pulling something.

The kind of exercise I need to do to be hot, involves a pricey gym membership, using machines that I don’t really enjoy using, working with an instructor who’s going to force me to do stuff I hate doing, joining classes where everyone moves like professional dancers while I stumble over my feet like an idiot. Never liked it. Don’t like it now. Will never like it. Ever.

BUT. I’ve discovered the kind of exercise that rewards me with the health benefits I need to extend my life, sleep well, raise my serotonin levels, strengthen my lungs and heart, burn some calories, grease my joints and muscles, and give me an overall feeling of well-being.

walking-1449015412a6dIt’s called walking. And I don’t mean going for an afternoon stroll through the park.

Since last fall, every single day, no matter what the weather is like, I dress appropriately, hook on my Sony Walkman that’s loaded with 800 of my favorite tunes, and I walk briskly for 45 minutes or so. I try to keep pace with the beat of the music, which gives my heart and lungs an excellent workout, and gets the blood flowing. The nicest bonus is that it’s not just about the exercise. I’ve also discovered the joys of being “in the moment.” While I walk, I’m also absorbing nature’s gifts—flower gardens and trees, blue skies and sunshine, rain pattering against my hood. I’ve never appreciated the seasons more since I’ve started walking with all of them.

I’ve also never felt better. Once I’d gotten into the habit of going every day without fail, I’ve actually begun to crave this feel-good midday break, and look forward to hearing the tunes that are up next on my Walkman.

The key here is that taking a brisk walk while listening to music is the one activity that I really enjoy. I’m not pushing myself to do a daily workout that I really don’t feel like doing. I’m doing something that makes me feel good on several different levels and that I look forward to doing. Am I going to look like Heidi Klum a year from now? I’ve never looked like Heidi Klum and I never will. But I’d say that I look pretty damn good enough for my age, and that’s good enough for me.

If I can live a good, healthy life in the years ahead by choosing to participate in an activity that I enjoy, and that helps make me a happier person—well that’s what I’d call hot.

hoodie-scarfA CROCHETED HOODIE PATTERN FOR WINTER WALKERS

My daily exercise walk has made me realize that I actually prefer walking in the winter months, a time of year that I used to despise. And why is that? Because of the awesome hoodie scarf that I crocheted to keep me as warm as a mug of hot cocoa with melted marshmallows.

It’s easy enough for a beginner to make, and if you use a soft, bulky yarn, it will keep you warm in any weather. Here’s the pattern:

bear-in-hoodieMy Warm & Fuzzy Hoodie Scarf

Approx. 8″ x 80″

3 balls of soft, chunky yarn; 6.5 mm crochet hook

Scarf: Chain 22

Row 1: (dc, ch 2, dc) in 4th ch from hook, *sk next 2 chs, (2 dc, ch 2, sc) in next ch, repeat from * across, turn.

Row 2: Sl st in next ch-2 sp, ch 3 (counts as first dc), (dc, ch 2, sc) in same sp, (2 dc, ch 2, sc) in each ch-2 sp across, turn.

Row 3-120: Repeat Row 2. Fasten off at end.

1Hood Assembly: Fold scarf in half with wrong sides together. To make the hood, starting at top of fold and on one side only, use yarn needle and yarn to sew through both thicknesses for about 10 inches. This creates the back of your hood.2

Hood Front Edging: Place a marker in 15th row down on each side of hood front.

3Row 1: With right side facing, join yarn in end of marked space on right side, ch 3 (counts as first dc), (dc, ch 2, sc) in same sp, *sk next row, (2 dc, ch 2, sc) in next row, repeat from* around to other marked space. End in last marked space with (2 dc, ch 2, sc).

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Optional: Add fringe to scarf ends if desired. Here’s a link to an easy fringe tutorial at wikihow: http://www.wikihow.com/Add-Fringe-to-a-Crochet-or-Knit-Project

Colorful and cute, fast and easy—Crocheted Pincushions

pincushion_rosie & tiny squares1If you want a really quick, easy and fun project to work on when you need a break away from a large project, try your hand at one of these little pincushions. They’re a great way to use up scrap yarn, and they also make sweet gifts for your stitching pals!

So simple…

PRETTY PINCUSHIONS
Materials for both versions
Yarn: various colours of Bernat Handicrafter cotton
Crochet hook: 5 mm
Bit of Fiberfill stuffing
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

pincushion_rosieROSIE PINCUSHION
Pincushion front:
Chain (ch) 14

Row 1: single crochet (sc) in second ch from hook and in each ch across. Turn.

Row 2: ch 1; sc in same space; sc in each sc across. Turn

Repeat Row 2 five more times, or until you’ve got an even square. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Pincushion back: Repeat above (I used a different color for the back, just to change things up.)

Take your two squares and place the wrong sides together (right sides facing out). Use a contrasting color of yarn and sc to seam the squares together (this kills two birds with one stone—seams the squares together plus adds a pretty border around the edges). Once three sides have been seamed, stuff with a bit of Fiberfill, then continue to seam the last side closed.

Crochet a couple of little roses and leaves (lots of patterns available online!) and sew them to the top to decorate your pincushion.

pincushion_tiny squaresTINY SQUARES PINCUSHION
Using different colors of the same yarn, make four two-round granny squares. Mine were about 1-1/2” squares.

Then seam two strips of two squares together using the same border/seaming instructions as above. Next, seam the two strips together along the non-bordered sides.

Set your square of tiny grannies aside, and make a backing square in a contrasting color.

Then, place the wrong sides of your squares together (right sides facing out), and seam edges together/stuff with fiberfill as per the instructions for the first pincushion.

All done! Have fun making them in all the colors of the rainbow. For those of you with kids or grandkids, they would also make adorable cushions for Barbie dolls!
pincushion_rosie & tiny squares2

My “Hate Winter” hat and infinity scarf

Anyone who knows me even remotely also knows exactly where I stand on the subject of winter.

shovellingI HATE*:
(1) Snow. (Especially when gale-force winds blow it in my face and it melts all over my glasses as I trudge from the parking lot to the mall doors, so then I have to dig through my purse to find a tissue that I can use to clean the lenses so maybe I’ll be able to see again, but dammit, the glass is smeared and starts to fog up just as I put them back on, and I am halfway through cursing a long string of expletives when I realize that lots of people have stopped shopping to stand and stare at me and some are even crouching behind clothing racks.)driving in storm
(2) Ice. (Except when it’s in the stiff drink I’m going to need by the time I get home since I’m trapped in my car behind a bunch of dimwits who have suddenly forgotten how to drive on Canadian roads in winter, so their cars are all upside down in the ditch while the rubberneckers ten miles ahead slow down to gawk, which means I’ll be idling in traffic for what is going to feel like a week. Maybe two.)
winter boots(3) Boots. (Unless they’re on a cowboy that looks just like Clint Eastwood in his prime.)
(4) Frozen ears, hands, feet, arms, hair, eyelashes, brain
bare tree(5) Dead foliage. (I’ve been housebound for so long, I’m beginning to act like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, so I talk my husband into risking our lives to go on a Sunday drive. How picturesque the scenery is at this time of year: dried up brown farm fields, tree trunks and branches stripped bare of all growth, evergreens that will never again be green because they are now the colour of dried blood. It’s all so stunning, I feel inspired to go home and write poetry. Not.)
dirty-snow(6) Brown snowbanks. Or even worse, yellow. (Double worse if you fall in it.)
(7) Being trapped behind that confounded snowplow blocking both lanes as it moves at 1.5 km/hour. (I swear I can hear that prick of a driver laughing his face off at the masses stuck behind him, all of whom are cursing the ground that he plows on.)
(8) Slush. (Unless it has “fund” after it and fills a box in my cupboard). driving in storm2
(9) Salt. (Not the kind we eat. The kind that eats holes in everything we own, from the boots that I hate having to wear to the freezing car that I hate the thought of having to go out and get into right now.)
(11) Grey skies. Grey landscape. Grey skin. Grey mood.

(12) Sneezing and coughing people. Everywhere. (And why can’t you cover your mouth?? I’ll bet you can’t be bothered to use your car indicator either. Is it really that much trouble to lift your hand?? I’ll bet your kids are the ones that always have snot oozing from their noses—why bother lifting a finger to pass them a tissue when they can just use their sleeves, right??)
(13) The gazillion dollars I pay Enbridge to barely heat my house. (My pleasure, Mr. CEO—mi dinero es su dinero! I just hope you’re able to get by this year on your 12+ million payout!)
sleeping-bear(14) Snowflakes. (I really don’t give a flying puck how pretty they are).
(15) It’s night when I get up for work. It’s night when I get home from work. (No wonder bears sleep all winter. I am so coming back as a bear in my next life.)
(16) Goddam snow. (It’s no surprise that there’s never quite enough to force employers into giving us a snow day but always just enough to wreak havoc during rush hour.)frozen birds
(17) Having to wear layer upon layer upon layer of fleece-lined clothing to keep from turning blue. (Of course, the multi layers make me look like I’ve scarfed every box of chocolates that pretty much everyone I know gave me for Christmas—damn them—which, ok, I did because I have no willpower (resolutions? what resolutions? they were blown all to hell on Jan 1st), so now I’m dreading spring since I’m going to look like a great big hot-dog cart sausage when I try to squeeze into my clothes from last year. But seriously, what the hell else is there to do but eat bonbons when it’s cold enough ouDocument2tside to get hypothermia just by walking across the street to the mailbox.
(18) Hat hair. (Why waste time and energy brushing my hair when I know it’s just going to look like Kim Jong Un’s by the time I get wherever I’m going?)
(19) Anybody and everybody with plans to travel south. (May you bump into Jaws at the beach.)snowman
(20) Fucking goddam snow. (Whether it falls gently from the sky, spreads like vanilla frosting over hill and dale, or becomes a cute little snowman on your front lawn—I HATE it.)

*I know. HATE is a strong word. But in my case, it’s warranted.

Anyway. While my daughter was shopping at Christmastime, my miserable face sprung into her mind the moment she spotted this hat, and she just couldn’t resist buying it for me. In only two words, it sums up everything I feel in my heart at this time of year, and even though it makes my hair look like crap, I love it so much that I crocheted a wacky looking infinity scarf to wear with it.

Without further ado, here’s the pattern:

scarf_infinity black & hot pink2“Hate Winter” Infinity Scarf

Materials
Yarn: one ball black fun fur; one ball black chunky worsted; one ball hot pink worsted
Crochet hook: 10 mm

Pattern
Using fun fur, chain 112.

Row 1: Single Crochet (sc) in 2nd chain from hook, and in each chain across. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 1 and sc in same sp; sc in each sc across; fasten off and attach black worsted.

Row 3: Using worsted: ch 1; sc in first sc; sc in each sc across. Turn.

Row 4: Ch 1; *Double Crochet (dc) in first sc; sc in next sc; repeat from * across, alternating dc and sc. End with a dc in the last sc.

Row 5: Ch 1; *sc in first dc; dc in next sc; repeat from * across, ending with an sc in the last dc.

Repeat Row 4. Fasten off and change hot pink.

Using hot pink, repeat Row 5. Fasten off and change to black worsted.

Using black worsted, repeat Row 4.

Repeat Row 5.scarf_infinity black & hot pink1

Repeat Row 4. Fasten off and change to fun fur.

Using fun fur: ch 1; sc in each st across. Turn.

Ch 1; sc again in each sc across. Fasten off.

Finishing
Using black worsted, seam together both ends of scarf on the wrong side to form the infinity style.

(SIDEBAR)
On the other hand, here’s what I love about winter:

 

 

 

 

 

The Cat in the Christmas Tree Hat (is not a very happy cat)

If you’re a knit- or crochet-a-holic and you share an abode with a cat, you may have discovered that your cat delights in watching you work your magic with your needles/hook and yarn.

xmas tree hat for catBut if your cat is like my Otis—strongly averse to being dressed in tiny outfits with matching accessories—certain needlework projects have the capacity to make his back arch, his fur stand on end, and cause a mighty scrambling of paws as … away he flies like the down on a thistle.

And what sort of project would prompt that kind of reaction?

wearing his new xmas tree hat5

Giving me a dirty look.

If you guessed a cat hat, you’re absolutely right!

So now guess what I made for Otis.

I discovered the most adorable crochet pattern for a tiny tabletop Christmas tree at a really cool crochet and craft site called Pops de Milk. But instead of using it as an ornament, I imagined instead how festive it would look on top of Otis’s bare little head. 🙂

wearing his new xmas tree hat4

If cats could swear…

You can find the SO easy-to-make pattern at this link: http://popsdemilk.com/crochet-christmas-tree-buttons-2/) I used emerald-green worsted weight yarn and a 4 mm hook, and left it hollow instead of crocheting a base. I finished the bottom edge with one round of single-crochet in red yarn, then chained a strap just long enough to fit under his chin and button up on the other side to keep the hat from falling off. (Until it’s been stubbornly shaken off, that is.)

Then after digging through my cupboard of notions for some buttons and a string of tiny decorative Christmas lights, I sewed everything onto the tree. The entire project was completed in an evening.

Otis was only very briefly willing to model his new Christmas Tree hat, and I had to pay him afterward with treats. Monkey is now the new owner.

wearing his new xmas tree hat3wearing his new xmas tree hat1xmas tree hat on monkey

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