May The Force– free lightsaber pattern

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It is rare to get a new pattern right on the first try! But always fun. Sci-fi fan that I am, albeit a closet one, when I saw the crocheted light-saber online last week, I knew I had to have a go at THAT!
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My dear friend has a little boy that would love one. Being a boy, I knew the cardboard tube I planned to insert for stiffness wouldn’t last long during battles, requiring it to be “reloadable”– or allow for inserting fresh cardboard. So the handle is hinged, with a button attatchment!

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And it came together so nicely. No frogging required! It was a nice change from the hat pattern I slaved over earlier this week…seven attempts at the first dozen rows and it STILL didn’t lay nicely.

Here she is:

CROCHETED LIGHT-SABER

*Note: I prefer half-double crochet. One of my many quirks. This pattern can EASILY be converted to using single or double crochet if you prefer, so I have included measurements, as well as stitch counts.

Crochet hook: 5mm
Worsted weight yarn

Circle Tip (end of saber)

In color of choice, ch 2 (counts as first hdc)
Rnd 1: 8 hdc in 1st ch, join. 9 hdc
Rnd 2: ch 2, hdc two times in ea st around. 18 hdc– 1.5 inches

Cylinder Sides

Hdc around for 18 st, working in back loops only. Do not join.
Working in both loops, continue to hdc around until saber measures approximately 11 inches long.
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Handle

Rnd 1: Changing to black, hdc in each st around (18 st). Join. Ch 2.
Rnd 2: hdc around in BACK loops only. Join last st to first with sl st. Then sl st back one row, under first front loop from rnd 1. Ch 1.

Rim: working in Rnd 1 again, two hdc in ea front lp around. Join.
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Button-holes: ch 5, sl st in 1st ch to make loop. Sl st in next 3 st of rnd 2. Repeat ch 5, sl st to make second loop. Finish off.
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Second handle piece: make as circle tip and cylinder sides of light saber, using black. Crochet in continuous rounds to about 2 inches long.

Whipstitch pieces of handle together, leaving a quarter to a third of it open. Sew buttons in place to fit loops.

Insert cardboard tube of desired length (I taped together a toilet tissue tube and one from a roll of paper towels and was just about perfect!) and fasten buttons. Give to child of choice, or display proudly on mantel.

Replace cardboard tube as needed. Enjoy! 🙂

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May the Force be with you. 🙂
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Cake Style– Rocking the Eighties

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It was a bittersweet week. The dark, long winter days are nearly over.  The clocks have sprung ahead. The first day of spring arrived– at least on the calendar, as we did have snow last night, hopefully for the last time this season. Soon the rush of summer will be upon us.

I can be a little thoughtless about birthdays. I didn’t used to be. It is one of several things I let go when I left my pursuit of perfectionism. Too much pressure to have fabulous, expensive parties. So now we just eat a little cake. And maybe give a gift.

But the Sweet Sixteen is special. It snuck up on me a bit, but still, we managed to pull it off. Two parties– a dinner and a dessert reception, diamond earrings, and a converse tennis shoe- themed decor. 🙂

How to make cake look like a sneaker…
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My attempt at pink camoflage cake batter in a 9×13 pan.
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Cutting and stacking.
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Carved and crumb-coated.
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Marshmallow fondant.
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Trimmed and water-spritzed.
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Trim and frosting laces.
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Voila. Sneaker cake! Pinterest was a great help, and fondant makes everything easier.

I couldn’t help adding cookies on a stick to make it just that much more festive.
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It was a lovely party.

And so fitting that our vivacious eldest was born on the first day of spring. She is a constant delight, a breath of fresh air in our lives.

Happy spring!

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Little Star Afghan

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I have been a bit naughty lately…quite a few pending crochet orders sitting here, and instead, I find myself doing other things that stir my creative juices. Like this weekend…

My youngest had a tiny tummy bug early Sunday, no church service for her! It was rather nice to snuggle in front of the tv instead…her film of choice for the morning? Her new dvd, American Girl Doll McKenna (the gymnastics one).  Halfway through, we were inspired to make her a STAR blanket, based on the necklace in the movie. I knew I had seen a pattern for one…

A quick google search was all it took. The result was fabulous, and she was thrilled. Great instructions, easy to follow and really quick to make. Enjoy!

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Pattern? Here it is:
http://www.angelfire.com/va3/heartfeltangels/littlestarafghan.html

And just for fun, a shot of the photo shoot. We had several older children here that day, and they enjoyed helping me set up. Teaching marketable job skills, that’s me!

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Another daughter has requested one in pastels…so pretty! Hoping to start today.

Happy hooking!
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Family Fun– Going Up!

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Just one nice day so far…out of the last ten or so…the temperature has been hovering right around freezing, despite our longings for spring! Projects help to keep us busy, for certain.

One of our neighbors offered us a loft bed she no longer needed. At first I dismissed the idea, since most days I feel a bit overcrowded with furniture as it is! Six seats at the table, six in the family room, six beds, six dressers…books, toys, craft supplies…the house seemed larger when we moved in three people ago. 🙂

But the loft bed, as I was saying…my second daughter took a liking to the idea, and her father gave the go-ahead. Just one obstacle left: it was a fire-engine red, and her room is the colors of the seashore– gentle aqua, cliffbank brown and golden sand. The red must go. And I am a busy mama, with no time to paint in the foreseeable future.

But then we had our one glorious spring day, and I said they might have a go at it while I did a few things. I made sure they all had old clothes on, and sent them out!

Bed-Painting, Take 1:
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Then my poor husband called and pointed out we have plenty of tarps, after seeing the picture online of his poor garage floor…

Bed-Painting, Take 2:
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They missed a few spots, to be sure, but overall did pretty well. Daddy and I set it up over the weekend, to their delight.
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That remaining red triangle makes me laugh! I’ll paint it when I get a chance…once it is warm enough to open windows! One of my favorite things about being a mother of four is how relaxed I have become. Children bring such clarity to life– they remind me constantly of my actual priorites, and regularly humiliate me out of my foolish pride in appearance! They bring such joy and truth to life.
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Here’s a shot of our one spring day! Snowing again now, but the weather will turn soon, we hope!
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Shamrock-a-licious

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Holidays are irresistable to the avid crocheter. The sky’s the limit when it comes to designing your own holiday wear.

Here are my St. Paddy’s Day favorites:

1. The Shamrock- like other traditional shapes, the four-leaf clover has its challenges. I prefer my appliques to have nice definition, and I do a lot of baby items, so I need a smaller option.

Here are my two top picks:
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http://www.niftynnifer.com/2014/03/free-lucky-shamrock-four-4-leaf-clover.html

And the tiny ones:
http://www.theexperimentalhome.com/luck-make-tiny-crocheted-four-leaf-clover/

2. The Leprechaun! Amigurumi never ceases to amaze me. The search results for this one blew my mind. Here is an adorable free pattern from Red Heart.
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http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/kitrick-leprechaun

3. Irish lace
Irish crochet is on my To-Learn list. Here is a pretty beaded doily that brings that to mind.
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http://www.momsloveofcrochet.com/ShamrockDoily.html

4. The Beard Hat
These are so funny! An Irish top hat and red beard make it seasonally appropriate.
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I have yet to find a free pattern for these…maybe I’ll write my own. I made one a couple weeks ago and it turned out on the first try!

5. And a couple more spring designs I love…just for fun. Add a shamrock, if you like! 🙂
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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sweet-baby-hoodie

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http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/us/pattern.php?id=5983&lang=us

There we are. Just in time for the holiday. Irish blessings to ya!
http://www.crochetspot.com/crochet-pattern-four-leaf-clover/

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