Archive | March 2016

Crochet Cell Phone Cases

I make a ton of crocheted pieces but I don’t actually use many of them. I tend to give them away as gifts. I love making beanies but I can’t stand having things on my head. Most of my dolls have been sold or given away. Even the blankets I’ve made have been given away. But one thing I do use religiously is a cell phone case. When I’m at work (after school program) I get many calls or texts from parents so it’s important that I have my cell phone on me at all times. I usually wear shorts or jeans so I have belt loops. When I first started working there, I realized I needed a solution for my phone that would keep it near, keep it safe, and keep it accessible. In the beginning, I bought phone cases that had a clip but they would constantly slip of. I tried putting the phone in my pocket but sometimes I didn’t have pockets or it felt awkward in there. Worst of all was when I would sit on it because I forgot it was there! I decided I could make something that would work much better. I made my own cases with flaps and a button for closure (so the phone wouldn’t slip out) and attached a lobster claw key ring so I could hook it onto my belt loop so it wouldn’t slip off.

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I have made several phone cases over the years in colors that match the colors I wear most often. The kids really like it when I switch them up. They always comment about the cases when they notice I’m using a different one.

Here’s a sampling of some that I have made over the years. My older cases are too small now since phones keep getting bigger! I’m trying to repurpose them for other uses. They’re also starting to show signs of wear so I think it’s time to make up some new ones.

phone cases

My favorites are the black one and the orangie one on the top right. My students tend to favor the rainbow one.

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More Crochet Rag Dolls in Progress

I have two more dolls I want to make at work before the end of the school year. I’m hoping they’re my last two student requests. I guess I should say I’m planning to stop at these two dolls because the request never stop coming. But I might get suckered, I mean convinced, to do more. ūüôā One is a Mario rag doll from Super Mario Brothers. I’ve been putting off doing this one because it seemed more complicated. Not the doll itself but getting the face and the hat just right so that it looks like him. The other request was for a Spiderman¬†doll and I almost started on that one because it’s not that hard to make it LOOK like Spiderman even if it’s not perfect. But I put Mario off too many times and I finally went for it.

I looked at different sources to find a look I wanted to¬†work with. I actually combined different looks from different sources. I used Minecraft versions, Lego versions, and the actual image from the game. The trick is to go as simple as possible, at least with these dolls because the idea is to get them done quickly while still clearly recognizing what they are supposed to be. If the child doesn’t think it looks like the character, then they are disappointed. So far, I’ve been pretty successful with student happiness but this one had me worried for some reason.

The progress so far.

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I thought  a lip on the cap would make it more recognizable.

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The emblem had me worried but the kids knew what it was right away. Phew!

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Not sure this looks like Mario but the kids seem to think so.

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Freebie Friday – “I’m Batman” Crochet Rag Doll

So one of my students reached prize box and couldn’t find anything he wanted in there. I asked him if he wanted a jumbo candy (another prize point on our chart) instead and said he couldn’t have candy. I asked him if there was something in the prize box he wanted before and that I could buy and he said no. I asked if there was something he wanted me to make and he said Batman! I obviously walked into that one but I did offer so I went off to do some research.

Turns out if you look up a character and attach the word Minecraft to it, you can find a Minecraft version of almost anything. I did just that and found this:

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I showed it to my student and he liked it. I looked at a few other options for reference but this one worked best as a guide since it lends itself so well to my square rag dolls.

Most of my rag dolls are made from squares and rectangles. The head and body are made with two square panels and some color-work. The arms and legs are made from one square (or rectangle) and folded over. I sew up three sides. Then I assemble my doll by sewing the pieces together.

All rows in all the pieces for this doll had 10 single crochets per row.

The back of the head was done with 10 rows all done in black. The front was done with 7 rows in black and 3 rows in beige (or tan). I made the eyes before sewing and stuffing the head.

The body was done with 5 rows of grey, 2 rows of yellow, 1 row of black, 2 rows of grey, black, grey color work.

Here is my version before assembly:

Batman

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Freebie Friday – Crochet Bunny Square

Oooh!!! I’m so excited about today’s Freebie Friday. I’m always on the look out for super simple crochet projects that my students can try. A friend on Facebook posted a video for making a cute rabbit from a knitted square. I knew right away that a crochet square would work too. If I wanted it to look knitted (I’m a terrible knitter), I could make the square using Tunisian crochet. I couldn’t wait to try it out so I could show my students. The original video can be found here but there are examples of crochet versions too.

Here is my first bunny.



I made the square using 26 single crochets across with 30 rows using an H hook and medium worsted weight acrylic yarn. I originally thought it would be 26 rows because I had 26 stitches but it didn’t  form a square so I kept adding rows until I got a square.

Next, I think I’ll play around with color changes. Mabe half the rows in one color and the rest in a different color? That way the body and the head can be different colors. I also might try stripes for the body.

Instagram, Finally!

I love visiting with family. My daughter and sister were over this weekend and my son and his cousin were trying to destroy each other (and possibly my house) with their rough housing between bouts of destruction on their game consoles. They were having fun and exercising at the same time. Win win.

In the meantime, I was talking to my daughter about her Instagram account and how she used it because I wanted to get my account¬†going but hadn’t gotten around to it.¬†I must admit that I am often confused by all that is out there in the social media world. It hasn’t been long since I’ve become somewhat proficient at using Facebook and I’m a recent convert (more like addicted) to Pinterest. Meanwhile, Instagram has totally eluded me even though everyone was telling me I should be using it. I had a Flickr account where I posted my crochet projects (that was hardly getting any notice) so I wondered why I should bother with yet another outlet for pictures. I understood the general idea of Instagram¬†but it seemed so redundant. I did, however, open an account and posted one picture. Then I lost interest and abandoned it. My daughter showed me what she was posting (her beautiful art and wonderful photography) and it inspired me to become more active. She asked (insisted) I¬†show her my¬†¬†account and she looked at it. As I said, I had one post. She started laughing when she saw I had posted it 32 weeks ago! I never said I knew what I was doing! But I’m always willing to learn. :-).

Mini Me instagraming

That’s me Instagaming and¬†my daughter making sure I knew what I was doing. (The roles were played by Mini Me ¬†and Frankendoll).

I decided I would have a go at it while my kiddo was visiting me so she could save me from myself in this Instagram world. In no time at all, I was posting some images of my crochet projects (mostly dolls) that were on my phone. I already had a few followers (all family members that took pity on me even though I only had one post). I started getting likes right away (from my loyal family ūüôā and I got super excited when I got my first like from a stranger. When I got my second like, my son said I was trending! We all had a good laugh at that but I was super excited. Now I’m posting a little everyday. Social media can be very time consuming and sometimes intimidating. I’m trying to balance it with family, work, blogging,¬†and life ūüôā But I’m happy I finally got on board. I’m finally Instagraming! That’s not a real thing, is it. Heh!

If you’d like to follow me my Instagram name is: yochetcrochet

You can also click the button below.

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The Little Mermaid Crochet Doll

One of my co-workers had finished two small crochet squares at work that she abandoned in our unfinished pieces box. She was learning to crochet and had picked it up pretty quickly. I asked her if she was interested in making one of our rag dolls and she gave it a try.¬†I don’t think making toys is her cup of tea so she didn’t return to the project.

I had finished making all the promised dolls I needed to make and saw those two lonely squares just sitting there begging to become something (or someone :-). I asked them (I speak to my pieces all the time) what they wanted to become and they both said they heard a lot of the girls mention the Little Mermaid. Perfect! Those two little squares would become the Little Mermaid.

I picked them up and noticed that one was smaller than the other so I added a few more rows to it. I wasn’t sure what hook size my co-worker¬†used and she couldn’t remember so I just grabbed a G hook. After I finished, I realized the G hook was probably the wrong hook¬†but it didn’t really matter. It’s a toy and no one would notice. The square wasn’t as wide as the other one either but I keep telling the kids the squares don’t have to be perfect. I don’t want them obsessing about a perfect match and that being why they don’t finish their own doll. So I didn’t obsess about it either and went with what I had. When done with the doll, I could also use it as an example of how the doll could still look good even though the squares were slightly different in size.

I made the face, sewed my pieces together with a whip stitch, leaving an opening for stuffing, stuffed it, then sewed it closed. Next came the red hair. This project got so much attention from the kids, boys and girls alike. Before I said anything about what it was supposed to be, they kept asking me if it was the Little Mermaid. I was glad they were recognizing her. It meant I was on the right track.

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My Weed Garden

Not to long ago, my sis-in-law and friend was gazing¬†out to my patio through the sliding glass door. She cocked her head and exhaled, “Huh, I never noticed that all your plants were the same.” I giggled ¬†sheepishly because they were indeed all the same. I blurted out, they’re the only plants I can’t kill!” She laughed with understanding. She said they looked nice. I wasn’t sure if I should believe her.

Many years ago, someone, I can’t remember who because it was so long ago, commented that she (I’m pretty sure it was a she) hated¬†this plant we saw in someone’s garden. It’s a succulent that has these big, shiny, tear drop shaped leaves. She said she hated them because they were the weeds of the succulents world. I didn’t say anything because I had some of those in my own garden. I was embarrassed to admit that I actually liked them. I didn’t know they were equivalent to weeds!

I have a black thumb when it comes to plants. I can pretty much kill anything except weeds. That hasn’t stopped me from trying to have a pretty garden , albeit with various degrees of success. I finally had to come to the conclusion that gardening just isn’t my thang. I know I can learn if I really wanted to but I just had to admit that I obviously didn’t want to.

My mom had once attempted to beautify my back yard with these lovely little flowers she¬†bought for me. I looked at all those trays ¬†of flowers and thought, “Oh no! death!” I politely told her that maybe planting those at my house wouldn’t be a good idea since I couldn’t be trusted with their care. She completely disregarded me and said all I had to do was water them. I thought but didn’t say, “If you say so….” My mom happily started digging and planting and sending me off to do various tasks, one of which was to water all those trays of flowers. I quickly did her bidding and asked what else I could do. When she was ready to start planting, she lifted one of the potted plants and said, “Didn’t I ask you to water these? They are still dry inside.” I replied that yes, I watered them. She saw me do it. She shook her head and said in Spanish, “These poor little plants. They were so excited to come to your home to be planted and now they’re thinking, why did you bring us here to die.” I just crookedly smiled and shrugged and she laughed. She said, “No wonder your plants die if you water them like that.” She kept planting them and told me to water them properly from now on. I’m sure nobody is surprised that they didn’t make it. Since then, I’ve tried different things, all mostly failures, until…

I decided I wasn’t going to be embarrassed for liking the weeds of the succulent world! How silly of me to let one person’s opinion color how I felt about certain plants. I chose to embrace that plant and used it all around¬†my house! I couldn’t kill it no matter how much I neglected it. In fact, I could just cut off a stem, a leaf, or any part of it, stick it in some dirt, and voila! It grew. I loved it. It didn’t care if it only got watered when it rained. I even started wondering if I could do topiary with it. If I messed up, no harm no foul. I felt loved back by this plant because it refused to give up and die no matter what I did to it. Today, I saw I bunch of broken stems and leaves on the ground outside because we had some strong winds. I grabbed them, found a cute pot that’s been rolling around outside and put some dirt in it, some pretty rocks and those broken bits plus I cut some more and shoved them right in. I put it on my kitchen counter by a large window.

Succulent

The plant that will not die!

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