Friday, March 26, 2010

Free Crochet Pattern: Hot Potato

Here's a quick pattern for a potato to add to your child's play food collection or use it for a game of hot potato!

- Worsted weight acrylic yarn in brown or taupe and off-white
- Size E4 crochet hook
- Polyester fiberfill
* Optional: bean bag filler or polypellets (to give the potato a little more weight)
- Yarn needle

single crochet (sc)
single crochet together/decrease (sc2tog)

The potato is worked in continuous rounds without joining.
With brown or taupe yarn
Rnd 1: 6 sc into a double loop start and pull the loop closed (6).
Rnd 2: [1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc] 3 times (9).
Rnd 3: [1 sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc] 3 times (12).
Rnd 4: [Sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc] 6 times (18).
Rnd 5: [Sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc] 6 times (24).
Rnd 6: [Sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc] 6 times (30).
Rnds 7-19: sc in each sc around (30).
Rnd 20: [sc in next 3 sc, sc2tog] 6 times (24).
Rnd 21: sc in each sc around (24).
Rnd 22: [sc in next 2 sc, sc2tog] 6 times (18).
Rnd 23: sc in each sc around (18).
Rnd 24: [sc in next sc, sc2tog] 6 times (12). Stuff.
Rnd 25: [sc2tog] 6 times (6).
Finish off leaving a 6” tail. Weave tail through rem 6 sc and pull up firmly to close hole. Weave in ends.

To make an “eye” on the potato:
Cut a 12” length of off-white yarn
Using a tapestry needle, insert the off-white yarn into the potato, leaving about 4” sticking out of the potato, pick up a stitch on the opposite side of the potato and pull the needle back out near the insertion point. Tie the loose ends into a knot and trim. Repeat in random spots around the potato.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba!

My sons love the show Yo Gabba Gabba. So when I found these patterns I knew I had to make them. I started with Brobee and Muno because they looked the easiest. I don't usually make dolls so I was a little intimidated, but the instructions were really easy to follow. I saved Plex for last because he looked the most complicated. But it was actually pretty easy to make him and he is definitely my sons' favorite (although I used a softer yarn for him and I should have stayed with the Red Heart Super Saver so that he'd hold his shape better).

Allison at CraftyIsCool was so nice and I have to say that some of her crocheting techniques are genius. From how she formed the thumbs and feet to her pattern for Plex's ears and antenna. I just couldn't put this project down and was up until 2 a.m. almost every night last week working on these cute monsters.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Shake Your Shaker!

I can't take credit for this cute little shaker. One of my sons' friends has one and I decided to make a couple for my sons.

-empty can with a removable lid (I used a small container of Planter's peanuts)
-beads (or anything else that will make a noise when you shake it)
-1/4 yard fur fabric
-1/4 yard felt (in same color as fur fabric)
-glue gun
-glue sticks
-googly eyes

First, I washed and dried the empty peanut can, filled it with beads and hot glued the lid onto it. I didn't want to fill the shaker with rice because that seemed a little unsanitary to me. Does rice mold? I'm not sure, but I don't want to find out.

Then, I cut out 2 circles from the felt that were about 1" in diameter larger than the top of my can. I hot glued one felt circle to the top of the can, folding any excess felt over the side of the can and hot gluing it into place. I repeated this process on the bottom of the can.

Next, I cut out a piece of fur that was about 2" taller than the can and about 1" longer than I needed to wrap it around the can. Warning: the fur fabric will really shed if you have any unfinished edges. I laid the piece of fur on the table and centered the can over it. I folded over the edges about 1" on the top and bottom (so that the fur would be exactly as tall as the can) and hot glued the "hem" in place. Then I wrapped the fur around the can, hot gluing it to the can as I wrapped it around, folded over the excess fur and "hemmed" it using hot glue. I hot glued on the googly eyes and viola -- you have a shaker!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Idea: Gardening Play Set + Vegetable Garden

Maybe some of you crafty gals have already thought of this, but it occurred to me last night that the potted flowers from my Gardening Play Set pattern would look cute "planted" in the planter box from my Vegetable Garden pattern. So I made some of the potted flowers last night and I think I was right -- they are cute together!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Free Crochet Pattern: Polly Wants a Cracker

The moment I presented the finished pirate set to my sons, they informed me that "Polly needs a cracker." So here it is:

Worsted weight acrylic yarn in off-white
Size E4 crochet hook

Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Slip stitch (sl st)

Side 1:
Ch 7
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, ch 1, turn (6).
Rows 2-6: sc in each sc across, ch 1, turn (6).
Sc evenly around. Finish off.
Side 2:
Ch 7
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, ch 1, turn (6).
Rows 2-6: sc in each sc across, ch 1, turn (6).
Sc evenly around. Do NOT finish off. With wrong sides facing, continue to slip stitch Sides 1 and 2 together by [sl st, ch 1, sl st in the same stitch] around.
Finish off and weave in ends.

I also thought the parrot could look more pirate-y so I gave him a bandana and eye patch.

Worsted weight acrylic yarn in red and black
Size E4 crochet hook

Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Slip stitch (sl st)

Eye Patch:
with black yarn
Ch 2.
3 sc in 2nd ch from hook.
Finish off leaving a long tail for sewing and sew over one of the parrot's eyes. Weave in ends.

With red yarn
Rnd 1: 6 sc into a double loop start and pull the loop closed (6).
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12).
Rnd 3: [1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc] 6 times (18).
Rnd 4: [1 sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc] 6 times (24).
Ch 8 and sl st back down the ch and in the sc you started in. Sc in next 2 sc. Ch 8 and sl st back down the ch and in the sc you started in.
Finish off leaving a long tail for sewing. Tie the two chains you just made into a knot. Sew the bandana to the parrot's head. Weave in ends.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Getting Organized

When I first started my Etsy shop, one of the first things I purchased was a tuck and roll organizer from coyotecraft. I take my project bag with me everwhere I go and had been using *gasp* a plastic baggie to hold my hooks, etc. I absolutely love this organizer because it is compact, holds all of my hooks securely in place and is much more stylish than a plastic baggie :)

Bean was a pleasure to work with and everything was very well made. She let me pick out my fabrics and she even made me a matching needle book so that I had a place to store my sewing and yarn needles. It's probably the only thing I've bought from Etsy that I use everyday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

National Crochet Month

I was surprised to learn that March is National Crochet Month. Wow, yes crochet gets its own month! I feel like such a bad crocheter that I have been enjoying this hobby for so many years and had no idea about this.

To celebrate, I've decided to have a sale in my shop. Buy one pattern and receive another pattern (of equal or lesser value) 1/2 off now through March 31st. Just put the patterns into your cart, enter the discount code NCM in the notes to seller when you checkout and pay through PayPal. I will issue a refund to you for 1/2 off the least expensive pattern(s) through PayPal.

Happy hooking, fellow crocheters!

Pattern Update: Just Desserts

My Just Desserts pattern is one of my best selling patterns. But I thought that I could improve on the cake so that "stuffing" it was easier and so that the cake wasn't so tall. I also made the cupcakes a tad smaller than they were before. If you purchased this pattern from my shop prior to January 28, 2010 just send a convo to me through Etsy and I'll happily send the revised pattern to you for free. If you could please include your date of purchase in your convo that will help me locate you in my records. Thank you :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pattern Update: Mailbox with Mail Bag

I wasn't completely happy with the flag on the mailbox so I decided to make some changes to the pattern. While I was at it, I added a pattern for a package.

If you previously purchased the mailbox pattern from my shop and want the updated pattern for free, just send me a convo through Etsy. And if you could please reference in your convo the date you purchased the mailbox pattern that would help me find it in my records. Thank you :)

Wood Grain Pillow

I have to admit that I never buy Crochet Today magazine. But when I saw this pattern I ran to my nearest store to buy the Jan/Feb '09 issue. The pattern was really easy to follow and I love the way the pillow turned out. I gave it to my sister-in-law this past Christmas and she loved it, too.

The pattern says that it makes a 20x20 pillow, and this turned out to be larger than I was expecting. Maybe one of these days I will find time to convert it into a pattern for a 16x16 pillow. I think it would be really cool to make the pillow dark brown with off-white grain. Hmmm, maybe I will try that when the basement remodel is finished.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Crocheting for Charity: Cat Toys

My sister-in-law volunteers at a local cat shelter. I wanted to get some cat toys for them, but the shelter doesn't allow toys with cat nip. Could you imagine 166 cats going wild on cat nip? Otherwise, I definitely would have bought quite a few of these. They are so cute and look extrememly well made.
So, I decided to make some cat toys using this pattern and this pattern. I just used some yarn I had around the house, some jingle bells for the mouse's tail and some mylar windows from junk mail envelopes to make the sardines crinkly.

The mouse was super easy and worked up quickly. I wanted to make sure that the jingle ball was secured to the tail very well, so instead of following the instructions, I chained 15 stitches, then switched to a tiny hook (1.9 mm) to insert through the loop at the top of the bell, pull the yarn through and slip stitch. I then switched back to the size G hook and slip stitched back up the remaining chains and sewed the tail to the mouse.

The sardines were easy to make too, although there weren't many instructions for the tail. The instructions tell you to make a circle by crocheting in the round and then attach it to the sardine, but the photo didn't look like there was a circle hanging off of the sardine. So I finished off the circle leaving a long tail, folded the circle in half and sewed it along the edge so that I had a semi-circle. I then sewed the round edge of the semi-circle to the last round of the sardine. I hope the kitties like them :)