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Coraline Crochet Doll WIP

After finishing up the blue crochet doll for the ultimate prize-box, I started my attempt at a Crocheted Coraline doll. She came about because of the kids. They urged me to turn the other doll into Coraline because I was using blue yarn for the hair. Naturally it had to be Coraline! I almost succumbed before I came to my senses and stuck with the original plan, but I did promise them I would make the Coraline doll.

So here goes:

I wasn’t sure if I wanted crocheted, embroidered, or button eyes. I tried crocheted and embroidered and hated both, so I went with buttons (it was the only real option but I had to try the others).

Crochet Coraline WIP.jpg

The mouth was another question mark. Some illustrations looked creepy but I wanted to keep the flavor of it so I went with this. I thought it still looked cute. Some of the kids said it was too creepy and others loved it. I think it’s just the right amount of creepy. 🙂 Continue reading

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Crochet Backpack

I’ve lost my Tinkerbell backpack. I always used it when I went to Disneyland. It was just the right size and fit comfortably. I have no idea where it went. I think it’s around here somewhere ready to be found. I thought about buying a new one. Then I spied all those crochet squares I made for the Craft Yarn Council course I took. An idea took hold.

What to do with all those samples has been on my mind off and on since I finished the course. A blanket? Nah, I have lots of those. Purses? Maybe… A backpack? Yes! I started rummaging through what I had, thinking I could mix and match, but when I actually tried to put pieces together, I was disappointed. Why oh why did I use so many different colors and types of yarn?!

I managed to pull out 8 squares that were the same color red and lilac. I made two groups of four and crocheted them together. Then I made a long strip of tunisian crochet for the middle part of the backpack.

crochet squares wip

I’m currently working the top with red Caron One Pound Yarn.

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Not sure how I want to finish the closure yet. Zipper? Flap? Or pull top? We’ll see.

Freebie Friday – Habitat Cardigan

Habitat Cardigan

That yarn (Red Heart Unforgettable in Tealberry) for the first cami kept calling to me. It’s so pretty, and now that I purchased more to finish the cami, I had extra. I had one full skein and one slightly used skein. I racked my brains about what I could make with it that I would actually wear, when I found a pattern for a nice looking cardigan. It’s the Habitat Cardigan and it looks easy to make. The site has a video and links to the printed pattern. Bonus!

Crochet Habitat Cardigan

Not my photos. I got them from her site.

My yarn isn’t the one called for so I’m hoping it works, but so far, I like how it looks.

Crochet Habitat Cardigan Wip

This stitch reminds me of scales and waves. I might use it for another mermaid costume.

I knew I didn’t have enough yarn to finish this project so I hunted down a coupon that was 50% off one item and it was only good for one day! I figured out I needed 8 more skeins. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have started the cardigan with just one full and one partial skein of yarn. I realize it’s a dangerous thing to do. What if Michael’s runs out or the yarn gets discontinued? To add insult to injury, hubby loved how the pattern for my cardigan was working out. At the stage it was in, he said it looked like the kind of scarf he wanted. He said the colors were perfect. Ok, so now I needed enough yarn to make him a Continue reading

Crochet Charizard

I’ve  been pretty crochet lazy around the house. I haven’t crocheted much of anything at home, but I’ve made a few things at work for the kids. Before Christmas, a student wanted me to make a Charizard for him. He had made it to our Ultimate prize-box and I told him I would try but that there was no guaranteed time frame. He ended up picking something else and I thought the need to make the toy had passed.

However, his little brother, who is an adorable little transitional Kinder, kept asking (pestering) me to still make it. I told him I’d try. Eventually, he wore me down, so I pulled out some orange and yellow yarn. I had it in my work bag but I didn’t start right away, even though he asked me about it every time I turned around. I told him I was thinking about how to start and that I needed time. Yep, I was bargaining with a four-year-old about needing more think time.

Did I want to make an applique, a simple amigurumi, or something a little more complicated? How did I want to actually go about making it? I ditched the applique idea. I looked at many pictures and finally gave it a go… and hated the results. I had the head done and half the body when I decided to frog it back. My little kinder was on me again about where it went. I explained I was going to try again. He sure is tenacious for a four year old. I’m always surprised that he is so focused on my crochet. It probably didn’t help that he thought Charizard was for him, even though I kept telling him it was for the prize-box.

I took more time to rethink my strategy and started again. I finished the head and was happier with it.

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GRRRR

I took a new direction with the body as well. My first attempt was working it in the round and this second time around, I worked it in panels. Then I put it down for a long time. I wasn’t sure I was happy with this new direction.

charizard.jpg

Languishing away!

I left it in this state for a loooong time. The kids, and especially the kinder who started it all, were super excited about it. I was worried it didn’t look like a Charizard but they seemed to recognize it. I was close to ripping it back again but left it alone instead. I worked on other things while I waited for inspiration.

Duly inspired,  I got this far.

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Don’t frog me back! I look like Charizard!

Then I dumped him again. Another student made it to Ultimate prize-box and he wanted an emoji puppet. I should have made him wait but I didn’t need much of an excuse to put the Charizard down again. A parent that probably doesn’t know I crochet saw this guy sticking out of my bag and exclaimed, “Is that Charizard?!” I was super happy he was recognized without any introduction so I guess he’s coming out fine.

I’m still finishing up the puppet but once I’m done, there will be no more deviations. This guy is going to get finished!

Craft Yarn Council – Level II

So I just received my email instructions for level II of the Craft Yarn Council’s program. Umm…it looks tough! I just glanced over the assignments and there are a few things in there I’ll have to learn in order to complete the swatches. Like what’s a Flame Stitch? I looked on YouTube and it doesn’t look at like the diagram in the assignment sheet! The instructions are confusing too. That’s ok, I think I figured it out.

Then for the final assignment, I need to follow the pattern for a baby sweater without deviating from the pattern and making sure the measurements match. I think that’s the part that has me the most nervous. I hate following patterns. Their is a second option: making your own design making sure to include all the requirements. Normally I would choose this option but making clothes isn’t my strength in crochet.

I can make clothes but I usually just measure off of my own body or the body of the person I’m making clothes for (which isn’t very often) so I don’t think I want to do that. I can follow a pattern so I will do theirs. I just need to make sure I follow gauge and we all know I hate doing that. LOL

I’ll probably have to buy yarn because the pattern and some of the swatches call for yarns I don’t think I have. I don’t think I have baby yarn in my stash, although I might actually have some. How sad that I have so much yarn I don’t even know what I have! If you know me, you also know I hate wasting money and although I love buying yarn, I hate buying yarn to make something I have no use for. {What a whiner}. I will make the baby sweater and then make a big baby doll to put it on. Or better yet, I will pick the size that fits the life-size doll at work. She will now have a new sweater. 🙂

Overall, I’m excited to start this level. It looks like it will push me to learn some new things and test my skills.

Here goes…

Swatches.jpg

Confession time, I already started! That’s the flame stitch in the middle. That one gave me some trouble. The one on the left is giving me trouble now. I can sort-of cross stitch but the way they want me to do it is new to me. It’s a learning curve for sure. The bottom one is my practice swatch. I kept having to undo the cross stitches. I think I have it figured out now but we’ll see. 

Freebie Friday – Double Crochet Reversible Square Pattern

My mom used to love making us all (my siblings and I and our children) beautiful crochet blankets. We all have a variation of one in particular. It is a reversible blanket that looked like a series of little squares made using double crochet where the posts are interlocked, woven, interlaced or what ever other language you want to use.

When my mom passed away a few years ago, I kept a little swatch of this pattern in case I ever wanted to try to make it.

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Mom’s swatch

I had made one of these blankets with her guidance 29 years ago.  I was pregnant and I was trying to get it finished before my baby was born. It was one of thee most frustrating experiences of my crochet life up to that point. It’s a super simple pattern to make once you get going. After all, it’s just double crochets. But if you mess up, it’s like ripping back two blankets because of how it works up. Equally, it took me a long time to make it because it’s like making two separate blankets at the same time.

So it took me forever to make it and when I messed up, it hurt even more to rip it back. And it was only a baby blanket so it wasn’t that big. Admittedly, I was a lot slower then than I am now and I didn’t know how to fix my mistakes. All I knew how to do was rip back to fix a mistake. Now, I would finish much more quickly and I would know how to fix it and keep going without having to rip.

Needless to say, I felt on the verge of tears when I was working on it, thinking I would never finish it in time. I did though. I didn’t give up and I finished it right before my daughter was born (I think she still has it lying around somewhere). The satisfaction I felt when I finished it can’t be described but lets just say I was extremely happy it was done and I never made another one.

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This is my daughter’s blanket. It’s a little beat up because it’s 29 years old!

Fast forward many years and my mom started making them for everyone. My daughter got several new ones and my son got one.

Alex square blanket.jpg

This is my son’s. He loved orange and picked the colors. He was about eight or nine. He’s 17 now and he’s still using it. 🙂

We all loved (and continue to love) them. When mom passed, I had no desire to make any. I’ve since figured out how to make other blankets she’d made but not the ‘squares’ one even though I have the swatch.

More recently, I’d say within the last two years, I went on an internet search looking for the pattern. I tried all kinds of language looking for it and never found it. I always told myself I could probably figure it out from her swatch but I wasn’t 100% sure I could. What if I undid her work in an effort to make one and couldn’t? Her work would be unraveled and I wouldn’t have the swatch anymore. Then it would be lost! So I never undid it and kept searching the internet.

Then one day within the last six months or so, a blogger I follow wrote a post about that same pattern! I was so excited. The name for it was so simple that I thought I would never forget it. I was going to respond but I got distracted and forgot about it. Then when I remembered, I couldn’t remember which blogger it was. I spent hours and hours searching through all the blogs I follow looking for it and never found it (if you’re that blogger, let me know who you are!). At first, I searched the ones I thought most likely to have posted it and then I searched through all of them going back months, to no avail. I finally gave up and tried to remember the title she used to describe it. It was something like interwoven double crochet but that didn’t bring up what I was looking for.

Then a couple of days ago, I tried searching the internet again, using as many descriptive words as I could and I found one video on YouTube! It’s mostly the right pattern and I got busy working up a swatch.

square swatch.jpg

My swatch

Then I went looking for my mom’s swatch to compare and I couldn’t find it! Oh no! At least I know it’s here somewhere. I must have put it someplace safe, so safe I can’t find it. Heh! But at least I know how to do it now. Luckily I took a picture of the swatch and used that to compare to my swatch.

Mine is slightly different. Mom’s edges look better and neater. I need to find her swatch so I can make the adjustments. I think she started her’s a little differently than what I found.

I am so grateful for that video but I think I’m going to make my own version. Her video is very long and I think I can make one that is a little more condensed but still useful. I also want my video to match my mom’s pattern (as soon as I find her swatch). Plus I worry that the video could disappear and I  would be out of luck again. At least if I shoot my own, I’ll always have it. It certainly can’t hurt to have more than one tutorial on the pattern.  🙂

Crochet Goals For July

July is here and I can’t believe I’m halfway through the summer already. That means I only have one more month to finish all the goals I had for the summer before I go back to work. Having said that, I did accomplish a lot so far, crochet and otherwise. I have ticked off a bunch of tasks off my summer list (like getting the leaky outdoor water faucet fixed), so I’m very proud of myself.

Now, I just have to get the house painted, get a new fence installed (our backyard fence is literally breaking apart and is on the verge of tipping over!), re-organizing our garage, getting our sprinklers repaired and getting some plumbing issues taken care of. I think that’s all of it! Wait, I need to clean up my desktop and back up everything. That’s actually a monumental task. Oh, and lose 15 pounds. Nah, I’ll leave that for when I go back to work.

On the crochet front, I want to finish the first level of the certification course this week and have it sent off by Saturday. I’ve finished the last project in lesson five. I needed to find or design a beginner project to go with the three lesson plans I have to turn in. I was going to make some slippers but slippers don’t quite reflect my personality. Instead, I wanted to make a toy. I decided one of my square rag dolls would fit the bill.

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He’s ready to go!

There’s quite a bit of sewing, so hopefully that doesn’t disqualify it as a ‘beginner’ project. It’s nothing but single crochet squares and rectangles. If I pass the course, I’d like to sign up for level two and maybe finish that off before I go back to work in August, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

I finally started the mermaid puppet while in San Diego last week.

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This might be a project I do for level two of the certification course.

Continue reading