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Fox Rug (Pattern Review)

I absolutely adore Ira Rott patterns. She wrote the amazing pattern that I used for my elephant pillows. I actually have about 30 of her patterns, and am very slowly working my way through them. The next one I found time to work through (during my AMAZING free week according to my new organizational system!), it happened to be this super cute fox rug pattern. Now, I did not add a backing to it, because I like the idea of it being a blanket or a rug on the carpet or a photo prop, as opposed to an actual rug; but the pattern does give detailed instructions on how to add a non-slip backing to it.

This pattern worked up super quickly, I did it in 2 days or just working on it part time, and turned out SO cute. The stitches are simple, with a crab stitch and a picot being the only real “non-basic” stitches in it. And, as always, she gives detailed instructions on how to complete these stitches.

The most difficult part of the entire pattern is sewing things together. But, that is because I am super lazy and hate to hand-sew things. 🙂

Seriously, from beginner to experienced crocheters, I highly, highly, highly recommend Ira Rott’s patterns. It is all so STINKIN ADORABLE, so many options, and so easy to follow.

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Football

One of my best friends recently had a baby. They are HUGE 49ers fans. So, of course, when little man was getting close to getting here, I had to get to work on some special projects.

So, without further adieu, here is creepy smile baby in the first version of my football prop. I have done some tweeking to it since, and I actually like the new version much better. I just forgot to take a picture before sending it out.

This is not the one my friend got, she actually got the second version. The third version is the for sure keeper. But LOOK HOW CUTE CREEPY BABY IS with this little football hat.

 

 

I also decided to try making a second hat that resembled the old school football helmets. The one I sent to my friend had a stripe down the center in 49ers colors. 🙂

 

 

I actually really love the leatherhead helmet look with it. However, customers feel differently. The matching hat sells much better. It makes me a little sad, but hey, who am I to argue with what people like?

 

I am working on writing up the pattern, now that I have it fully completed and finalized a way that I like. That will go up in the Etsy shop once completed. But, life is so crazy right now, that might be a while.

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Otter Snuggie (Pattern Review)

I could have sworn that I already wrote about this afghan, but I cannot seem to find it anywhere in the archives of my blog. So, if you already read about it, suck it up and read it again. 🙂

 

Last year, coming up on Christmas, an old boss of mine asked me if I could make an otter blanket with sleeves for his wife for Christmas or Valentine’s Day.. So, of course, I took on this totally ridiculous job that I was not totally sure I was even capable of completing! But, I have always thrived under pressure, and learned best when I don’t have the option to fail…so, I started looking for basic snuggie type patterns. And I found one…and the comments made me feel badly, because it seemed absolutely impossible.

This is probably the most difficult pattern I have ever attempted. Now, the stitches are pretty simple, and really look very cool, but the sleeves, the neck, putting it all together. It was not simple. The pattern is not too specific and clear on how it gets put together. I ended up just sort of laying it out and staring at it until it seemed to match the photo.
I’ve never really worked a pattern with a strong and true RS/WS, which makes a huge difference in this pattern. You have to be able to tell the difference for them, or else it just doesn’t work. So pay close attention, because your odd rows are your RS, your even rows are your WS.

 

Now, I used a totally different yarn. I used 24 skeins of Lion Brand Jiffy and an M hook, so I had to make some adjustments. What I ended up doing was using the child count (ch 136 initially), then just adding the length to get the correct adult inches. Same with the sleeves, I used the child count to get the width, but did the length to match the adult inches. It worked out fairly well for me.

I made the neck line a lighter color, since otters have a slightly lighter face. Then, I just added in a face, tongue (totally required to be a true otter), tail, and feet. I am pretty happy with this project.

The photos show the size well. The blanket is laying on a twin sized bed. My husband is modeling it at his stunning 5’10”, and I am modeling it at an impressive 5’0″.

The good thing about this pattern, is you can easily make it longer, make the sleeves longer, make it a bit wider, whatever. It’s pretty easily adjusted. You just have to get the sleeves down. And while mine could have been better, they worked, and it was adorable. I even got a neat picture (which I won’t post because that’s rude) of her wearing it Christmas morning. 🙂

 

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H-A-double L-O-W-double E-N spells Halloween!

That was totally my favorite Halloween song when I was a kid. 🙂

Halloween is BY FAR my favorite holiday. Candy, costumes, annoying random neighbors…it is great. As a kid, I didn’t really fit in, so Halloween was like, the one time of year when no one thought I was weird or strange. I fit right in, and I didn’t even have to wear a costume. 🙂

As an adult, it is still my favorite holiday. I love to decorate for it. I love to make stuff for it. I still want to trick or treat. I still love to dress up. I love seeing little kids dressed as their FAVORITE EVER!! It is just so exciting.

Last year, I really did some hardcore crocheting for Halloween. I introduced my candy corn photo prop / costume , which you can read more about here, I made my daughter’s costume, I made a trick or treat bag for my niece (which is also where the candy corn costume came from…the costume I made for my nephew), and I made a custom stay puft marshmellow man costume!

The candy corn is my best seller, by far, as it turns out. I sold over 50 this Halloween season alone! So, next year I plan on having plenty more in stock than I did this year!

The following picture is my sweet, pressure nephew at their church trunk or treating. Isn’t he the most adorable ever?

The below picture is the costume / bag that I sent to my best friend / sister for her adorable newborn and 3 year old. Obviously, he was candy corn, and she was wearing a Minnie Mouse dress that I had snagged at Disneyland. So, she needed an awesome bag to go with it!

  

 

 

This costume was SOOOO MUCH FUN to make! It is absolutely adorable. The hat is my favorite part. It made me so happy the entire time I was making it.

  

My daughter’s costume was a beast. A nightmare. She really wanted to be Absolem, the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland…and she wanted to be the one from Tim Burton version. Well, guess what costume is impossible to find ina  child size? Sigh…so…I had promised her I would find something, and after like 2 weeks of searching and coming up empty, I said, “Don’t worry! I can make it!” Boy oh boy was that dumb. This costume took over 60 hours to make…and that is probably estimating low.

The skirt was the easy peasy part. It actually didn’t take that long, and was fairly simple design.

The hood proved itself more difficult. I could not figure out a way to make it not pointy…so, instead, she just got to be a pointy headed caterpillar.

The sleeves ended up being a little short. But, I had already made them and taken them apart like 3 times…so I wasn’t about to do it again.

I added fuzzy yarn trim to the sleeves and face in order to make it look furry. I think it turned out cool. I made a few extra arms, stuffed them, and then added suckers to her legs. I even added the bright yellow spots that he has on his sides / back. Oh, and the antennae…pipe cleaners with yarn wrapped around. 🙂

The costume went over so well. She won the costume contest at Mickey’s Halloween party. And! She won a $10 prize for best costume and best homemade costume while we were trick or treating! I try to hang this up in my booths at festivals, it definitely gets people talking.

  

I am still working on a project for her for Halloween this year (as of Thursday night when I am writing this). I don’t know if I will finish it in time, or if it will even fit…so it may end up being a project for NEXT Halloween…but, I am excited about it either way.

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Batter Up (Pattern Review – Baseball Photo Prop)

–Somehow, I messed up and posted this blog without actually writing anything in here…so, here is an actual blog about this awesome pattern.–

I have a buddy who is obsessed with baseball. He is one of those hardcore spring training type of fans, who can actually discuss players and teams and all that jazz.

So, when he told me he was proposing to his girlfriend, my mind naturally went to, “OHMYGOSHTHEYAREGOINGTOBEMARRIEDANDHAVEBABIESANDBEHAPPYFOREVER” So…I knew I had to start trying to find good baby patterns now, even though I likely have quite some time before they are needed.

I found an adorable pattern for a diaper cover and baseball cap for a newborn.  This pattern was easy to follow, worked up very quickly, and I think turned out great. Now, I didn’t add on the little chevrons on the cap, that isn’t my style, but I think it looks amazing with them as well.

Now, I have a thing about Red Heart yarn, so I substituted the Hobby Lobby Crafter’s Secret for this. Though, with baby clothes, I much prefer to use Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn. Though, ideally, I would like to use Lion Brand yarn, but I have a hard time matching the sizing when it come to patterns using the RHSS. 😦

So, it is time to get out there, pick up a hook, and play ball!

 

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Nom Nom Nom!

So, remember that really crazy friend I talked about the other day? Well, she has a few other requests. One, I have been working on for a while, one that I am still designing in my head, and this guy that I am going to talk about today. So, I have been working on this mermaid blanket intermittently, and it is sort of a pain in the butt. So, I needed a break. Well, Chris and I were heading to Disneyland about a week and a half ago, so we swung by Hobby Lobby and picked up some neat gray yarn for me to work on a different project while we were there. My friend wanted a shark blanket that a toddler could slip into and be devoured. So, off to the world of design I went.

Now, I am not your normal pattern writer, I am not your normal designer. I don’t sketch anything out, I don’t write things down beforehand…I just sort of picture something in my head and start shaping things to look like my mind thinks. It does not always work well. Well, I did know that if this turned out well, I wanted to sell the pattern, so I did keep track of what I was doing.

So, as always, I worked on it  at Disneyland, and this was result by the end of our few hours there.

I spent a couple days making this, taking intermittent photos to sort of show the progression.

The dorsal fin totally made it. It was hard to figure out what it was going to be before then.

The teeth are my favorite part. This is the part that makes the pattern a little more advanced than it appears to be. Because you are working up the side, but you are also working FLO/BLO to try to get the teeth directly over the gums. It was an interesting experience. But, I couldn’t imagine this guy without the gums!

So, I did put his tail fin on incorrectly, but I did it intentionally. I wanted the tailfin to lay flat when he was on his side, so…if you flip him on his belly, he looks funny and wouldn’t be able to swim.

All in all, I am really happy with this guy. I think his butt is a little too round, he could definitely have used some narrowing out. But, I think he looks like a shark, he looks vicious and sweet all at the same time…and I think the design really works. I give him two flippers up. 🙂

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Flippin Your Fins…

I have been ridiculously sick since last Friday. I was running a fever off and on until Tuesday evening. I even missed work Monday, and I rarely miss work. I am feeling a lot better now, but still congested, so headaches and some trouble breathing easily. But, it shall pass.

Chris and I are headed to Las Vegas (where I am from) this weekend. It is my best friend’s (the mother of the adorable blonde toddler who models my stuff all the time) birthday, and they will be home. I am glad because they moved a couple years ago, so we rarely see them. It has been a year since we last saw each other, and I haven’t even met her baby boy yet. So, that should be exciting and fun.

Our goats, did I mention we have goats now instead of just goat, are growing up entirely too fast. Clyve is nearly weaned and Mikey is getting ready to drop down to just 2 bottles a day. They love each other, and the dogs, so much. They snuggle when they sleep, and they cuddle Akai. Missy, well, they try to love on her, but she is not feeling it. She thinks they look tasty. I am hoping that will pass.

So, a while back, I mentioned a project that I was working on that would result in a new pattern in the shop. Well, I finally got my computer fixed, and our internet fixed, and was able to get to some photo editing. So, here is the completed project. It is for sale, and I even managed to score some more of the yarn to make two more if need be! The pattern will be up in a few days, as I still need to quality check it before getting it all listed.

Have I mentioned that I love Disney? All things Disney. Mickey, princesses, Pluto, villains, princes, fairy tales, romance, mystery, all of it! Well, growing up as a redhead, I always envisioned myself as Ariel. Now, Belle has always been, and will always be, my favorite princess. But, Ariel is a fellow redhead that has a thing for the ocean, and the shore. But, there are SO many Ariel dresses, photo props, dolls, nightgowns, shirts, and blahblahblah out there because she is a Disney princess. Well, what about the other mermaids? Mermaids are an important part of our ecosystem and our ocean life. They rescue sailors, they entertain fish, they provide beauty and mystique for those trapped on desert islands, and they take excellent photos. So, I thought, hey, you know what, every little girl should be a mermaid at least once in her life. So, I started trying to follow some of the hundreds of mermaid photo prop tutorials I found on Pinterest. I didn’t like any of them. They were complicated, they were incomplete, they called for really weird yarn, or they just didn’t look like a mermaid to me. So, I spent some time developing my own. And I feel head over heels in love with this pattern.

The fin is designed to only go to the waist, and the shell top has ties so that it can be easily adjusted for different babies. This, obviously, is a photo prop and infants should NEVER be left unattended while wearing it. The ties can present a choke hazard, and the lack of leg mobility can also cause issues if a newborn decides to magically start walking. This photo prop is sized for newborns, it may fit up to 3 months, but will likely be too short.

I love photo props. I think they make the coolest gifts, because you can so easily re-gift them or hand them down through the generations. Just imagine a family where all of the kids, each cousin, brother, and sister, has the same photo in the same prop? Or generations? Every girl for 10 generations is an adorable mermaid. Even boys can be mermaids, just lose the shell top.

One day, I will have a baby to torture, I mean, dress up and start traditions with. And these photo props are going to be a key element in all of this.

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