I’ve been thinking about mermaids lately. I want to make a really cool crocheted mermaid. There are lots and lots of pretty crochet mermaid patterns out there but I want to create my own. Hey, maybe a mermaid puppet! Anyway, that doesn’t stop me from admiring what’s out there. While I was ogling the available pictures, I came across a few I couldn’t resist sharing.
These are NOT my patterns. They are courtesy of a Google search.
Adorable! And if you’re mermaid crazy too, here’s the link to these mermaid patterns.
I assume not everyone has a need for a crochet puppet, but since I was entrenched in puppets, I thought I’d share how I make them. I plan on making a video for a puppet or puppets soon, so if this post looks too wordy (I know it does to me), you can just wait for that. It will eventually happen, but if you want to get started right away, read on!
I start with a tube that fits around a hand. Sometimes it comes out a little tighter and sometimes a little looser than I like, but it doesn’t really matter as long as it goes over your hand.
The tube can be made up of any color and any kind of yarn. This will be the shirt (or top part of a dress) and can be made out of any stitch or color combination. I’ve only made three puppets so far and they were made for my students so I kept the tube portion simple. I’m all about simple. I used single crochet in the round for two of them. For the third one (red and black puppet), I made a rectangle of single crochet rows and then sewed up the side to make a tube. You could even make two squares and sew up on two sides. I haven’t tried this yet.
I’m notorious for telling the kids that if they want to learn something, they need to keep trying, even when it seems super hard. It will get easier.
I’m not a knitter. I wanted to learn, though. I tried, got frustrated, tried again, failed again, and vowed to become the best crocheter ever! Nope, I didn’t follow my own advice. I gave up. The irony wasn’t lost on me. I guess I didn’t want to learn that strongly or I would have followed my own advice. But a good thing came of my failed attempt and that was a deeper love of crochet and a desire to keep honing that craft. Thanks failed knitting attempt!
Then I stumbled upon this video tutorial on how to finger knit. Finally, knitting I can do! It’s also something I can teach the kids. This is the kind of project I think they can all do. I might save it for the next school year but I definitely want to introduce it to them.
In the meantime, I did introduce it to one of my Kinder girls and she got so excited because she learned how to do it all by herself. When it was time to go home, she didn’t want to put it down. I didn’t have the heart to force her to stop so I let her take the ball of yarn home so she could keep working on it. She wanted to make a scarf. I can’t wait to see it and share in a future post highlighting student work.
But just because I think it would be great for kids doesn’t mean it wouldn’t also be great for adults. Have a go at it and see what you think.
I’ve been experimenting with finger crochet lately. Mainly, I like a new challenge. I wanted to see how many stitches I could make just by using my fingers. Turns out, it’s a lot! I started with the basics like single, half double, and double crochet. I then moved on the Tunisian crochet trying out the simple stitch and the knit stitch. Those are the Tunisian stitches I use anyway. Then I tired the star stitch and it came out pretty. I only made one round of it but since I’m using my fingers, that round was pretty big. I turned it into a phone case.
Which brings me to my next point. What the heck am I going to do with this technique? I’ve seen people make all sorts of things with finger crochet, but nothing that I would want to make with this method. I feel like I’m in a maze, wondering in which direction to go (I knew I could sneak the word for the daily prompt in there!). Which path will lead me to make the best use of this style of crochet? The phone case is cute and it was fun but what else?
I don’t have much chunky yarn, so I decided to use three strands of regular acrylic yarn (medium weight). I have plenty of that to work with. Well, after doing a few rows of single crochet with it, my finger started to hurt. What’s going on here? It didn’t hurt when I was using the chunky yarn. It was hurting now, though. It felt like I was irritating my skin. Was all that finger crocheting finally starting to irritate my skin or was it the rougher yarn that was the real culprit. I’m still not sure, but I think it was the rougher yarn coupled with trying to manage three strands of yarn on the finger. I was pulling the strands on the top of my finger versus the side of my finger when I use the chunky yarn. Looks like the top of my finger is more sensitive and more prone to irritation. Either way, it slowed me down a bit. Today I tried it again with the chunky yarn and that’s when I noticed I was pulling the yarn over from the side and there is no pain. I’ll have to consider that before I use the acrylic yarn again.
Single crochet in the back loop done with three strands of yarn
I think I want to make a doll or toy next with finger crochet. That’s my thing so I’m going to brain storm. Until I come up with something, here are my quick videos on how I finger crochet.
At the end of every school year, it’s become a tradition that I make our 5th graders little crocheted graduation caps in our schools colors. It’s their last year at our school as they are ready to move on to middle school. The year has flown by and we are at the end once again. I made five little caps this year and I thought it would make a nice Freebie Friday post.
How I make them
The caps are super simple to make and the kids love receiving them. The hat is just a square and a rectangle sewn together.
I use a large hook size like an I or a J. I grab whatever hook size feels good with 2 or 3 strands of yarn.
The top portion of the hat is just a small square. I eye-ball it every time but usually end up with about 5 or 6 single crochets per row.
I make the same amount of rows as I have in single crochets per row. For example, if I have 5 single crochets in each row, I make 5 rows as well. I fold it corner to corner to check that it’s a square.
On my last row, I leave a really long tail so I can sew around the edge of the square. It gives it a little finishing touch. Sometimes I single crochet around the edge.
Then I make the lower portion. Again, I eye-ball it but usually end up with about 13 or 14 single crochets per row and I make 3 rows. I sew the ends together and then sew the tube to the top part of the hat. I add a button and a tassel and I have a hat.
It’s always such a nice surprise to discover something my mother made that I had never seen before. Inevitably, I want to figure out how to make it, even if I never plan to, you know, actually make it. I go about this by looking at the piece to see if I can figure it out myself, and when I fail at that, I look it up online. That has various success rates. Sometimes, I’m lucky and I find a pattern, but most of the time I don’t. This is because I’m looking up the pattern based on how the item looks to me. The pattern might be out there in cyberspace but I don’t have the right search words to find it.
True story (mostly, it depends on who you ask)
Sibling rivalry is real. It is alive and thriving with my siblings. Whilst visiting my sister, she regaled me with a story about how she discovered a bag underneath her bed. A bag that had been there for so long, she didn’t even know how long. For one reason or another, she pulled it out wondering what was in there. That’s when she found a blanket that my mother gave her that she hadn’t looked at in years. Turns out, it was double-sided and very thick and pretty. She had made it for one of this sister’s kids.
The picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s heavy and stretchy and prettier than it looks.
So I don’t have an actual pattern for this crown but I’m free-ly sharing my process and ideas for the crown and am still (loosely) considering this a freebie.
Yesterday, I shared some beautiful crowns from the web and my bright idea to make one of my own for Ren Faire. I had plenty of yarn, a bag full of shells and vague ideas waiting to get out. I was planning to wear my mermaid outfit made out of crocodile stitches. I guess I should have tried on my outfit first, before I started the crown. As usual, I jumped in feet first, got the crochet part of the crown done, and then tired on the outfit. After all, it should fit, right? Why wouldn’t it? Maybe because I put on a little weight? Well, it fit, but I wasn’t so sure I looked good in it anymore. Oh well. I had started the crown and I was still going to finish it. I can wear it even if I don’t wear my mermaid costume, which I haven’t completely ruled out yet.
To begin, I needed to make a crochet crown to act as a canvas for my creation. After I did that, I stared at all my shells and looked in my jewelry drawers for sparklies I could use. I pulled out all my beads and buttons and stared at those, too.
Below is my first attempt at adorning my crown. I had small, pearly beads I liked. I added them after and not during the crocheting. I sewed them on, nestled in the picots. I also added a zircon I had. I added the pointy conch-shells by making two rows of single crochet and sewing it onto the back of the picots with little pockets for the shells. They kept falling out but once on my head, they stay put.