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Playing With Stitch Markers

I was spending a few minutes (turned into hours) reading blogs and came across a post by Katie at Creating Time about some stitch markers she made. I’ve tried making a few stitch markers from time to time but nothing I was happy with. In my day to day, I use clasp earrings that open and close easily but are secure when they are perpetrating as stitch markers. They work great, but then I saw her post and I was inspired to pull out all my little pendants I never wear because they are little and any little charms that were just floating around. I dismantled my terrible, DIY stitch markers I had made before to salvage the clasps and got to work.

DIY Stitch Markers.JPG

I pulled out my handy dandy pliers and my reading glasses and rummaged around for round circles I could use to attach my pendants/charms to the clasps. I found a little broken chain that was perfect. I’m a little concerned that the rings are too flimsy but only time will tell.

I don’t know if my handy-work will stand the test of time but they sure are pretty.

Stitch markers.JPG

Student Corner

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about the wonderful crochet projects my students were working on and I thought it was about that time. I meant to get this out before the school year ended but better late than never, right? The kids had  really been inspired and their work deserves to be seen.

Student Work

4th Graders

One 4th grade girl made a cute book cover. She asked me to teach her fancier stitches. I taught her how to do alternating single and double crochets and then alternating them in the next row. The book cover came out very cute.

Crochey book cover pouch_2

Crochet book cover pouch_1

After that, she felt ready to make a doll. She’d already tackled working in the round by making emojis so she was definitely ready. She finished the head and body and started work on the hair. She had definite ideas of how she wanted her doll to look.

crochet doll head

I let her know that how the doll looks it’s totally up to her. That’s the fun part of making dolls, they are totally unique to us.

Look at that hair! She’s good. 🙂

Another 4th grade girl has made several scarves but she wanted a pencil case for her brother. She asked me a few questions and then set out to make it.

Crochet pencil case

This will be a pencil case.

crochet pencil case.jpg

Now It’s starting to look like a pencil case! She was adding a Batman symbol to the yellow part before we left for the summer. She even sewed it together to form pencil pockets. I didn’t teach her that!

5th Grader

A fifth-grade girl wanted to try a doll as well. I taught her how to crochet in the round and I don’t doubt she’ll have her own doll pretty soon. She managed to finish the head before we left and hopefully she won’t abandon it now that she won’t be returning (5th graders move on to middle school).

I recently learned about finger knitting and I was able to teach one of my Kinder girls how to do it. With a little guidance, she was able to make herself a scarf. She was very proud of it and I was very proud of her. She wore the scarf all day. 🙂

Kindergartner

Lastly, I’d like to feature one of my transitional Kinders who has mastered the chain in her own way and is itching to move on to the single crochet.

She wants to make so many things and is frustrated that she can’t yet. So far, I haven’t managed to teach a Kinder how to do single crochet. Mainly because they are happy learning how to chain stitch and get impatient that they can’t pick up single crochet quickly. The youngest I have been able to teach that far is second-grade. Even then, that second-grader didn’t master single crochet until she was in third grade. However, this child is so determined, I think she can actually do it. If not this year, I’m pretty sure she’ll be able to do it next year. Transitional Kinders get two years of Kinder. So next year, she will still be a Kindergartner. We will both feel a sense of accomplishment if she manages to learn the stitch. She’s really sharp so I have no doubt she’ll get it.

I am soooooo proud of them all! Watching them make their projects was a revelation to me about how good they’d gotten. I’m constantly harping on about how you can make anything once you learn the basics. If you can dream it, you can make it happen, and they did! I was actually giddy when I saw how little they needed me for these projects. Sure, I guided them, but the ideas and implementation was all their own. So proud.

Freebie Friday – Crochet Puppets

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!

The Process

The body

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.

Jeffy body

I’m just a tube (in the round).

crochet puppet body

Nothing but a tube.

Continue reading

Last Crochet Puppet For Students

I’ve been trying to finish the girl crochet puppet for my clever 5th grader. I only have until tomorrow to finish it so I’m cutting it close! Most of it is done, but I still have to do the face and hair.

crochet puppet red black

I can’t see anything!

I’m taking it back to work today where I will finish if off with the student’s input.

The head came out a little smaller than I would like but hopefully she’ll look better once she has a face and hair. My student wanted her to have a tongue so I made sure the inside of the mouth had some pink. I’m getting better at making the inside of the mouth. This third attempt is my favorite.

 

New Sleeves for Crochet Bavarian Coat

I know I was supposed to set the unfinished coat aside and contemplate its sleeves at a later time with a clearer head. I was to use that time on other things and come back to it with all kinds of ideas and possibilities. That lasted 24 hours.

Bavarian sweater sleeve

I’m trying out star stitches and I’m working both sides simultaneously so I can see the progress and so that I don’t forget what I did from one sleeve to the next. I know, I know, I should be writing it down and I tried. But I’ve written things down before, only to go do the second of whatever I was making and it didn’t turn out the same. I know I wrote it down right! Sooo, I reasoned that if I do them at the same time, there’s more chance of success. I can try on as I go and if it’s not working, I can rip it back before I get too far.

I think I finally found the solution I like. They look good to me so far. Hopefully they will look good all the way to the end.

 

 

Forget the Top Hat

I basked in the glow of student adulation over the Jeffy puppet for about one whole day. Then it was back to business as usual. Back to reality and the typical way my students act when it comes to my crochet.

So, coming off my Jeffy high, came the low of being taken for granted. I finished off the emoji purse for my third grade girl and she happily accepted it and was on her way. No problem there. Seeing her happy with her purse was thanks enough (really😁).

Then, it was time for the top hat for my 2nd grade boy…but he changed his mind. He didn’t want the top hat anymore, he wanted a puppet. Well, of course he did. After hearing how much the 5th graders loved the Jeffy, he wanted his own puppet, one that looked like him, no less.

I explained that time was running out and there was no way I could finish a complicated puppet like Jeffy. It would have to be something much simpler. He said that was fine. And typical, it didn’t take him long to start asking if I was finished. I mean, he immediately started asking if I was done! By the end of the same day that he made the request, he asked if I was done. I know they think I have a magic crochet wand (hook) that I can just wave around and abracadabra, there’s a completed item. I chuckled and let him know that I hadn’t had time to even start it yet.

The next few days were like going on a trip with a child in the back seat who keeps asking if we’re there yet. I kept hearing, “Are you finished yet, are you finished yet, are you finished yet?” Continue reading

Crochet Fail – Bavarian Sweater/Coat

I normally have no qualms about ripping back work when it isn’t right, but this time, this time, I have a lot of qualms about it. I had set aside my Bavarian square sweater in lieu of other projects. Why? Because it got hot! Who needs a thick and cozy sweater when it’s bloody hot outside! Plus, I couldn’t figure out what to do with the sleeves, so it was easily abandoned.

All my other projects are complete and there aren’t any crochet fires I need to put out, sooo… I picked up the sweater and continued work on the sleeves. One of the problems of working off-the-seat-of-your-pants, on-the-fly, make-up-as-you-go type of creation, is that you don’t always get what you envision in your mind (or is it only me?). I’ve been working the sleeves separately from the main coat in Tunisian Crochet. I ran out of black awhile back and was too busy (lazy) to go buy more. PLUS, I had so much of the grey yarn I’d already used on the sweater (and spent good money on already), I thought it would be good enough. The panels themselves I like. Once I finished them (after trying out different solutions), I sewed one of the sleeves onto the sweater last night and tried it on to see my handy work. Yuck! I didn’t like it.

Tunisian crochet sleeve

Doesn’t look so bad here, but trust me, it’s no good! 

First of all, the sleeve didn’t drape right. I  was still going to make a few rounds of half double crochet with deeper decreases for the cuffs, but after trying it on and not liking the drape, I didn’t proceed with that. No matter how much I tugged and pulled on it, it still looked bad. The problem was that I needed more decreases further up on the sleeves. The sleeves were too big. Second of all, the color just didn’t work. I kept squinting and looking at it from different angles, but I couldn’t make myself like it. Fail!

The only good thing was that I only attached one sleeve. Now I needed to take the sleeve off and rip back both sleeves. That’s when the qualms hit me. I didn’t want to rip back all that work! I don’t usually struggle so much with frogging my work. I’ve ripped back entire queen-size blankets. But I just couldn’t do it. In the grand scheme of things, they are tiny panels that no one would miss (except me apparently).

Tunisian Crochet panel

I suppose it could be a skirt or top instead.

And yet…

Instead, I played with the unattached sleeve (I hadn’t removed the other one yet). I held it up to my chest to see if I could turn it into a top of some sort. I held it like a skirt. Hmmm… nope. Maybe.

I’m trying real hard to turn those panels into something else so I don’t feel like I wasted my time. I’ll probably just set the panels aside and think about them later. That way I’ll have some distance from all the work and I won’t be so torn about undoing them. In the meantime, I’ll start some new sleeves. This time, I’ll might start them straight on the arm holes, in black. I have black now. I probably should just make more granny squares for the sleeves. I was resistant to do that because the coat is already so dense. I thought it would be granny square overload. Maybe I’m over-thinking this. I’m most definitely over-thinking this.

I have until next winter to decide…😀