There’s one guarantee in life and that is if kids can take the clothes off a doll, they will. I don’t want to get into the kind of trouble the kids in our program get into with that. Instead, I try to make sure all the dolls have permanent clothes. If I find a naked doll (yes, this is a thing), I put it away until I can properly outfit her with locked-on, can’t-take-off, clothes. Even THEN, if I don’t make it fool proof, they find a way.
I was rummaging through an old drawer when I stumbled upon several naked dolls that I must have confiscated over the years. I’m sure I had every intention of making them clothes, or at least, permanently sewing on their original outfits. These dolls are so cute and the kids absolutely love playing with them, so I pulled them out and took them home.
I didn’t have time to make them outfits at work before school let out but I was scheduled to work a week of our summer program. The majority of the kids in the summer program are not kids I know. They are from our sister school. I figured making crochet outfits for dolls would make a nice ice-breaker with them while introducing them to crochet. It worked beautifully. I pulled out the doll and started making her an outfit and I had a circle of kids crocheting with me in no time.
I was only there one week but I was pleasantly surprised that quite a few of them (three Kinders!) picked up chaining fairly quickly and I had two older girls trying out single crochet. It was a lot of fun. They wanted to help dress the doll so they made her a necklace and a bracelet.
The school year is over, and on the last week we have a party for our 5th graders as we send them off to middle school. It has become a tradition that I make them all a small crochet graduation hat as a keepsake.
This is from the tutorial I posted on YouTube
The caps I gave away last year
I made the little caps again but couldn’t decide how I wanted to present them. In the past, I have placed them on top of a stack of supplies like pencils and pens. I have dangled them from a candy wreath and sometimes I just handed them over. Candy is always a hit, so this year, I filled a baggie with Skittles and tried to make it look like a little face. I stuffed the bag into the hat. I wasn’t sure it would work but the kids loved it.
The latest round.
The face isn’t very artistic but the kids loved it.
Around this time of year, I get more views and questions on YouTube about the graduation hat. A few times, someone has asked me how to adapt it to make a real hat. Well, you can do the same thing as in the video but just make it bigger but after thinking about it, a few minor adjustments might be needed to make it sit right. I realized some might appreciate a video on it and as I have no other pressing projects, I started working on a wearable version.
So far so good
I plan to make a YouTube video on it if it works out. So far, the head part seems to fit just right. I’m practicing with some yarn I had on hand which is why it’s grey, but once I have the pattern ironed out, I’ll pick a school color. I’m seeing a lot of red/burgundy and blue so it will probably be one of those colors.
The end of the school year is coming, and the kids are amping up their crochet requests. Many are making it to the prize-box and I’m feeling generous. I’m granting their requests if I think I can finish them in time. One 5th grade boy has gone around the prize chart three times and he didn’t want anything from the regular prize box. He earned two prize-box items and asked if he could trade them for something I could make. He just wanted a Pokeball. That was doable.
After the small turtles, a bunch of the Kinders asked me to make a bigger turtle, so I did some stash-busting and finished a rainbow turtle.
It’s already reserved for a little Kinder. She begged me not to let anyone else have it since she was only one star away. I agreed and discovered she was four stars away. She’s a little Transitional Kinder and they often make that mistake so I agreed to keep it for her, but she has to work hard to get those stars before the end of the year. She only has ten more days!
Before I even finished the turtle, another Kinder made it to Ultimate Prize-Box and she wanted a crochet cupcake. I’d never made one before but I thought I could whip one up.
She told me exactly what colors she wanted and it had to have yellow sprinkles. She was over my shoulder asking me again and again if it was done yet. Clearly it wasn’t done! But then it was, and she wasted no time playing with it. It’s always the best when they see me finishing something up. I think it makes it more special for them.
Happy camper. 🙂
Someone else asked for a turtle but I can’t remember who. I’m pretty sure it was a boy. He better make it to prize box soon so I can get it done. 🙂
My coworker was showing me some photos of a crochet turtle she saw while she was out shopping for succulents. She showed me a picture and I asked if she wanted me to make one. She very enthusiastically said yes, if I would be so kind. It was the least I could do. The only reason I have any plants in my backyard is because she gave me all the cuttings I wanted from her garden (and I wanted plenty). I was very glad I could give her something in return.
I’ve never made a little turtle before (or a big one for that matter) so I wanted to make a practice one. I had just finished making the crochet Voltorb, so I had black and red yarn in my bag, so a black and red turtle it would be.
It turned out ok but it came out flatter than I wanted. I showed it to her and told her she could keep it if she wanted it but that I would make her a new one in colors she liked. She chose to keep it and I started the next one. I was much happier with it.
I like the head better on the red one but I like the rounder shape of the green one. The kids really like them so I’ll probably make a few for the prize box. Maybe they’ll even get a tail. 🙂
I know, I’ve gone Pokemon crazy. I do tend to get on themes until they fizzle out, only to be abandoned forever (for the moment). Remember my emoji craze (this one lasted a while)? How about the puppets? Sweater coats anyone? This current one is probably my last in this craze. A little Kinder wanted a Voltorb for Ultimate Prize box. It’s just a ball with eyes so it was an easy enough request to grant.
Hey, I can do a ball with eyes, no problem. Child’s play.
I’m looking at you!
My little Kinder didn’t lack a plethora of suggestions (he never does) and we worked the eyes until we were both satisfied. Everyone is happy. 🙂 He was literally standing next to me as I was closing up the bottom asking me if I was going to let the stuffing fall out. What am I, an amatuer? Didn’t he trust my crochet skills by now after all the things he’s seen me make, much of which were for him? Of course I didn’t let the stuffing fall out!
When I closed it up completely, he started jumping up and downing, narrating how I was weaving in the ends. Can you tell he was excited? As soon as I finished cutting the last tail, I handed it to him and he scampered off with it. It was all very cute. 🙂
I’m still looking at you!
Wish I could show you his face because he is adorable. He was even wearing a Pokemon shirt and yes, he was smiling that much. 🙂
Now I can move on to other things, like a crochet turtle for my co-worker, a backpack out of my samples from the Craft Yarn Council course I completed, and finishing up the plugs on my first sweater. Yessss, I’m still working on that! LOL
I’m almost done with my crocheted Habitat Cardigan and am getting really excited about it. It’s looking so pretty. I love patterns that are easy but look great and this one fits the bill. I’ve made the sleeves. I just need to attach them.
Colors are a bit off but when I’m done, I’ll give it a proper photo shoot.
At work, after finishing Charizard, I moved straight into making Jigglypuff. One of the kids had this huge sheet with all the Pokemon characters, so I looked it over hoping to find one that was easy to make. There were a few, but I settled on Jigglypuff because it looks like a pink ball with arms and legs.
Who couldn’t recreate that?
Here she (he?) is!
Big eyes make anything cute.
I forgot to add the hair, but the kids haven’t noticed yet so I may leave it off (lazy!). 🙂
Here they both are in the cabinet, waiting for someone to make it to Ultimate Prize-box.
I finally got the Pokemon Charizard done. His legs took me forever.
I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go but I finally settled on an idea after much trial and error.
When I attached his arms, the kids went nuts and wanted to play with him, but alas, I had a critic. A third grader told me he was too cute for Charizard. “Charizard is NOT cute,” he said. I didn’t aim for cute, I aimed for fierce, but I got ‘cute’. I can live with that.
Grrr, I’m not cute, I’m fierce!
It was the same for the wings. Thinking and frogging. This has NOT been one of my favorite projects. I honestly don’t know why my heart wasn’t in it. I’ve been trying to get him done since before Christmas of last year! I made him at work so I’m limited by time constraints. But still… It has more to do with motivation. I did a lot of ‘thinking’ on this one and it’s awful hard to think when managing 40 kids (excuses!). I started and stopped constantly. I frogged back quite a few times too.
I would get started, didn’t like how he looked, tried a different approach, stopped again and then picked him up days or weeks later. I even got easily diverted by a crocheted puppet. Normally when I have a project going, I tell the students they have to wait until I’m done before I even consider their project, but not this time.