Tag Archive | handmade

Crochet Fires

Was it me that foolishly uttered I didn’t have any more crochet fires to put out? Yep, yep, that was me. What a farce! I spoke too soon. Luckily, they’re just little fires, easily put out.

I failed to notice (or conveniently forgot) that a bunch of kids were close to our Ultimate Prizebox. Lucky for me, I had a few crochet emojis and a Pokeball already in there.

emojis

These were all in the Ultimate Prize Box plus another heart and small crochet purse. There are only two left.

But one little boy wanted a Popular MMO figure. Those aren’t that hard and I said I’d try but I had to concede defeat.

IMG_0975

This is one I gave to another student last year. H e was already played with by the time  took the picture so he was a little beat up.

He wasn’t technically at the ultimate prize box, he was past it. So technically, he missed his chance to get a custom made crochet piece. He chose something else at the time. So I didn’t feel so bad about directing him to something else. He chose the Pokeball.

red-pokeball

Then, two more kids made it that wanted something custom. I stressed it had to be easy (and small!). One girl picked an emoji purse. As long as she’s not expecting something big, that’s doable.

The other student asked for a hat or a beanie. Phew! That sounded easy. I asked what kind he wanted. He said a top hat. I laughed. A top hat? I asked him to draw it because I wanted to make sure I was thinking the same thing he was. Uh huh, I was. He’s a second grader so he could be thinking anything. Lol I guess I’m making a top hat đŸŽ© for a second grade boy. 😁

We’ve got two weeks left of school. I’m going to be busy! Again! LOL

Finger Crochet

I have very rarely thought about finger crochet. I know what it is. I’ve seen it around. I considered learning it to show my students who had a hard time with a hook. In fact, it was my more experienced students who reminded me about it’s existence a few years back. I was having trouble teaching my Kinders how to do the chain so I left them tangling the yarn on a hook (they seemed to enjoy that) when lo and behold, I came back and they were using their fingers to make the chain. One of the older kids taught them how to do it. I was very impressed. Since then, when a child has trouble using the hook, I show them how to use their fingers  instead. Once, one of them asked me if they could crochet with their fingers beyond the chain and I said I didn’t think so. I couldn’t imagine how it could be done. Boy, was I wrong!

On my last post, I was asked by a blogger I follow (STROKE(d)) if I knew about finger crochet and if it was easy. Aside from the chain, I didn’t have enough experience about it but I assumed that yes, it was probably fairly easy to do. I was intrigued enough by the question to look it up. I should know about this and how to do it, right? What kind of crocheter am I if I don’t know how to do this? A bad one! Furthermore, I should be teaching the kids how to finger crochet, right?! Especially for those who get frustrated but still want to crochet. I should know this!

So I researched in order answer the question with some knowledge. Here’s what I found:

  1. Craftsy has a pretty good tutorial on how to do it.
  2. How to arm crochet the right way: If you know me, you know I love Tunisian crochet (I should probably do more posts on it) and this shows how to do it without a hook! Who knew? Not me, but now I do.

My Own Observations

It is so much easier working with chunky yarn. I tried with regular yarn and you get really lacy results. That’s not a bad thing if that’s the look you want but it’s also harder to work with the yarn, at least for me.

I find myself using my fingers in different ways to work the yarn. Sometimes I poke my finger through the fabric, using my finger like a hook and sometimes I push the yarn through the back of the fabric, through the whole and then place the loop on my finger. I haven’t completely found my ‘groove’ yet but all that means is that there are different ways to accomplish the same thing.

I found it very easy to pick up finger crocheting. I think anyone who already crochets will find it easy as well. However, I’m not sure how easy it will be for someone completely new to the craft. As I was doing it, I realized it might seem confusing to someone who has never crocheted before. I shot a video showing what I’m doing and then I watched it and I probably need to shoot it again, keeping in mind that a true beginner needs me to be very clear on what and how I’m doing it. I kept alternating between using my finger as a hook and pushing the yarn form behind. I will shoot it again showing clearly how to do one way and then the other instead of just alternating on a whim.

Examples

Single crochet

finger crochet sc

Tunisian Crochet

I had to give Tunisian crochet a try. There are obvious limitations to pursuing this style with your fingers. Namely, your finger is only so long so you can’t fit that many loops on it but I was able to fit about seven or eight loops, enough to make small projects.

finger crochet sc_1

Yes! I really did this with my fingers!

I hope to have my videos done by the end of the week for my Freebie Friday post. I’m showing how to do all the basic stitches: single crochet, half double crochet and double crochet. I’m really enjoying this and am looking forward to trying more complicated stitches, like shells and bobbles. I wonder if I can do the crocodile stitch or the start stitch?!

Thanks Akuokuo for pointing me in this direction. Hopefully I will be able to help you pursue finger crocheting. 🙂

 

 

Freebie Friday – Crochet Graduation Cap

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.

Blue graduation caps

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.

graduation cap

Here’s a video showing the process.

Headless Crochet Jeffy the Puppet

Jeffy arms and legs_2

I had to share what happened with the headless Jeffy puppet. I took the unfinished puppet to work to finish up the head. I had the WIP in my crochet bag. When the older kids got out of school, my fifth grader who requested the puppet walked in. The first thing he asked me was if I had started the puppet. I told him to go look in my crochet bag, hoping he would like what I had so far. I was dispensing snacks so I became distracted. Next thing I knew, he was playing with the headless puppet! I guess he liked it! LOL He even tried to make him a thingamajig with a pipe cleaner so he could move the arms. I helped him make a better one with a wooden dowel I had in our craft closet.

It always feels good when you make something for someone and they truly love it. Meeting someone else’s expectations can be daunting, even if it’s a fifth grade boy’s expectations, especially if it’s a fifth grade boy’s expectations! Let’s see what happens when the head is done.

Progress Last Minute Crochet Projects

The Crowns

The crowns are done and my queens loved them. They picked really cool yarn colors that worked out really well. They keep trying to convince me to let them wear them now. Nope. They have to wait until it’s their week to be queen. Cruel, I know. 🙂 But in the meantime, the doll gets to wear them.

Crochet Tiara

I get to wear the crown!

Crochet Tiara 2

I might keep this one.

Jeffy the Puppet

Jeffy the puppet

This is what I’m working with. (Image courtesy of Pinterest) My version of Jeffy will have no diaper or pencil shoved up his nose. I refuse!

I started work on the easiest part of the  puppet, his t-shirt. I made a yellow tube in single crochet and embroidered his name on it. The yellow yarn I picked might not be exactly right but I think it’s close enough. In some pictures of Jeffy, the shirt looks bright yellow but in others, the yellow has more of an orange cast. I don’t think my student will complain about the color of the yarn.

My first attempt at the shirt came out a little wide so I ripped it back and tried again. I made it smaller, was happy, added the name, and then realized the first attempt was better. 😂 Oh well, I’m committed now.

Jeffy body

The arms and legs came next. I didn’t feel like stuffing arms and legs, so I crocheted rectangles and rolled them up. Gives it dimension without having to stuff. I probably should add hands but I’m not sure I will yet. I guess it depends on how much time I have. He is supposed to have shoes but that might not happen either.

Jeffy arms and legs_1

Don’t be alarmed by my headless body! It’s in the works.

I’m leaving the head for last. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it yet. Different ideas are marinating in my head and I’m almost ready to get started. I’ll probably take this part back to work with me and finish the head there. That will give the student the chance to say something about the hands and shoes. If he doesn’t, it stays the way it is. 🙃

 

 

Freebie Saturday – Crochet Emoji Video

Lately, I’ve been making quick projects that I know I can finish in a work day. Now that the life-sized doll is done, I want to take a break from the big projects. I like showing the kids the different items they can crochet, from the big elaborate ones, to the quick and easy ones. Here are some quick and easy ones I made this past week.

emojis

We have a star-chart as a reward system in our after-school program and the very last section has morphed and changed over the year. At first, I tried gift cards as the last gift, but it being a new incentive, I hadn’t worked out all the kinks. Later, I only gave certain, nearby choices or instead of that, the option to get two items from the prize-box. Then, it morphed again when I saw that many of the students were still asking me to make things for them (even though they knew I wasn’t doing that anymore). Instead, I started crocheting the items they were requesting and putting them in what I started calling The Ultimate Prize Box. The emojis are always popular and the kids started picking those pieces right away even though I don’t have many items yet. But I hope to have a spike in inventory now that the projects are quicker and easier. Continue reading

Life-Size Crochet Doll is done!

Life size crochet doll

It’s done! It’s done! I had to take her home to finish her legs because I just didn’t have enough time at work. During our Spring Break, I worked furiously. When the legs were done and attached, with a jolt, I realized I wouldn’t be working on her anymore. There’s a lot of energy expended when creating, and suddenly, there’s nowhere for that energy to go. But that feeling didn’t last long (there’s always another project waiting to monopolize my time).

Once I got her dressed, I left her on my bed until I was ready to take her to my car. What a surprise to walk back into the bedroom to find my hubby pumping her legs up and down like she was running and then playing patty cake with her. He looked at me with a huge grin and I burst out laughing. What a scene! I had a good belly laugh. He kept right on playing with her. Wasn’t this the same man who knocked her over and threw a jacket on her so she would stop scaring him every time he walked into the house? Well, he did say he loved her even though she scared him. 😁 Continue reading