Life-size Crochet Doll Update

I think I mentioned that the kiddos are playing with the life-size doll a lot more this year, which means she’s getting really beat up. I don’t mind though. They seem to be really enjoying playing with her and that’s what I was hoping for.

However, her little shorts kept falling off whenever they dragged her (and I do mean dragged) from one place to another. As they were pulling her from her hair, caveman style, her shorts would go down. While they’re whipping her hair all around, she’d be losing her shorts. Enough was enough. I had to give her a little dignity. I worked up some shorts that would never fall off again. I found some yarn in our drawer and got to work. When done, I sewed them to her body. Those shorts aren’t going anywhere!

Life-size doll

Do you like my new shorts? And where’d my glasses go?!

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CYC Level 2 Certification

Initially I had planned to do separate posts about my progress on the second course of the Craft Yarn Council’s Teacher Certification program. Time got away from me, though, what with going back to work and being crazy busy with getting back in the swing of things. We’ve been back a full week now and I had a breakthrough moment with one of my 4th grade girls and single crochet, but I digress, that will be for another post.

Back to my swatching.

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Swatches everywhere!

I have completed most of the required swatches for the program and have left the required lesson plans and the sweater for last. The sweater will be considered the final exam. I won’t go into the gory details of each swatch, only the more interesting ones but I will say that I made each swatch at least 3 times trying to make them perfect. Some required a lot of undoing and redoing to get the right gauge, but in the end, I was happy with the results. Continue reading

Back at Work

I was going to write a post about how I’m doing on Level 2 of the teaching certification but I’m back at work and have spent the last week getting ready for the return of the kids on Thursday. On Friday, I got to sit down for a few minutes (and I do mean a few) and was crocheting shorts for the life-size doll. Why does she need shorts I hear you ask? Well, this new crop of Kinders really went to town playing with the doll.

life size crochet doll

You can almost see the pulled eyebrow.

Since they didn’t see me make her and since I haven’t been as concerned with her well being like I was last year, they’ve been dragging her by the arms, legs, hair and anywhere else they can pull her from. She’s about their size so I know it’s hard for them to pick her up. One of her eyebrows has been pulled out (I need to get around to fixing that). In the process of all this pulling, her shorts keep falling off. They were a little loose to begin with so I decided to crochet her some shorts that will be sewn in at the waist.

As usual, I got some curious kiddos coming over to check out what I was doing. They all want to help and so I let them. Here is their idea of helping me.

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They were unrolling the yarn for me. LOL Normally I don’t let them tangle up my yarn like that but it being the second day for my Kinders, one of my little helper was a little sad and missing her parents. It made her happy to ‘help’ me so I let her do it. It was easy to wrap it back up when it was time to put it away.

It’s never a dull moment. 🙂

 

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…

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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. 

A Nudge From Mom – Swatch Found

Yay! I found it! {Jumping up and down with glee} Where was it? I’m embarrassed to say, but I will confess. It was nowhere near where it was supposed to be. I’m also pretty sure I checked there already and didn’t see it.

See that mess that is the top shelf of my craft closet? See those clear bags with junk in them? The one on the top left has scraps of rags I sometimes use for stuffing my dolls. It’s sitting on top of the looms.  I rifled through that yesterday (among every other place in my office/craft room) looking for the swatch. And I do mean RIFLED! I didn’t find it. The clear bag on the right sandwiched  between a white bag on top and a white bag below was pulled out as well. That one has baby clothes in the event I want to make large dolls.

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The swatch was on top of and to the back of the clear bag on the top left.

Knowing it was originally in a clear pouch that had other mis-matched pieces of crochet I didn’t know where else to put (things like little flowers and bows, disembodied doll arms and legs and my mom’s swatches), I opened up my big blue bin. Continue reading

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.

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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.

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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.  🙂

The Crochet Coats – Sweaters So Far

My three sweater coats

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This was the first and is my favorite in the ‘looks’ category. I’m still working on this one.

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This is the second one and I love the star stitch but I had a few mistakes that were bothering me. This one went to my sister.

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Here’s the current one. This one is my favorite in the ‘how it feels’ category but it’s not my favorite to look at. But I do like it a lot overall. I might add pockets and I might, might I say, give this a friend who likes it.

So now I’ve finished three coats but the first of the three is still waiting to be plugged up. As a reminder, I finished that first one ages ago.

It’s the only one that had a hood. It’s the only one I bought special yarn for (and by Continue reading