Fingerless Fun

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Happy Tuesday!

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It snowed! And due to the short holiday week, I had a weeee bit extra time for some crochet magic on our snowy evening. I was feeling the need for something especially simple. These will make such nice gifts.

So…
A free pattern today, just for you…fingerless gloves!

Super simple and such lovely stripes.
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Shown in Parrot.

Redheart Boutique Unforgettable, size H 5mm crochet hook
Small-med size teen/womens

First, make a rectangle.
Ch 30.
Row 1: Dc in the 3rd st from the hook and across. Turn, ch 2. 28 st
2-10: repeat row 1
11: 12 dc, ch 4, sk 4 st, 12 dc (thumbhole)
12: dc across, working 4 dc in ch 4 sp.
13-14: repeat row 1. Do not cut yarn.

Edging:
Ch 2. Working down side, make 2 dc in ea dc post space.
At corner, ch 2, then work sc,dc,sc in every other space btw st across the bottom.
At corner, ch 2, then make 2dc around ea dc post up the side.

Note: to make a larger size, turn and repeat edging once more.
(Sc across bottom first time, then shell sc,dc,sc the second time)

Join:
Working in back loops only, sc the two sides together.
Turn.

Ruffle:
Sk 1st st. 5hdc in next st. Sk next st, sl st in next. Repeat across. Finish off.
Sew buttons in middle of each shell made. Enjoy!

I made a set in Cappucino as well…and raided my stash of Great-Aunt Sarah’s antique buttons for finishing. I love them.
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Happy Thanksgiving!
May you be blessed with extra family time this week.
We are looking forward to it here!

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Den Lille Havfrue: The Little Mermaid

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It is all about dolls, here. I should be busy with holidays and studies (I am homeschooling two middle schoolers!) but those few free minutes find me working on four dollies for my daughters and a friend.
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Partly inspired by the arrival of my new book
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And also this adorable free pattern
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pink-little-lady—free-amigurumi-crochet-pattern
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I found this one half-finished in my pile the other day, stuffed her and sewed the arms.

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My littlest is asking for a mermaid.
One of the downfalls of my last few attempts at doll-making has been the face.

So this time we did a little research! We watched these videos together to learn to make hair and a cute mouth. For eye placement I guessed from the pictures in the book.

http://kandjdolls.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-embroider-mouth.html

I really like the wig cap hair method!
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It grew too late to finished her hair…but we will split the strands to create waves. My daughter wanted to help…so perhaps afterschool?

The video above mentions wrapping wood dowels and baking the yarn in the oven to create ringlets…I have got to try that!

Now, something else I have been longing to try…a crocodile stitch mermaid tail.

http://www.mooglyblog.com/the-crocodile-stitch/
I used this tutorial from Moogly to learn the basics, and I am sooo pleased with the result.

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Now I must get back to my day…I look forward my next little piece of free time!

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Happy hooking!

Snowbound Psych

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Hello, hello and happy Tuesday! We are into the cold and damp here, but thankfully (unless you LOVE snowdays like I do) the ten to twelve inches of white stuff passed north of us and we have nary a flake. My dream of a day of snuggle on the couch with my family around me will have to wait for another day.

So it is business as usual, babies and diapers and checking math lessons (eww) and musing on my next projects…of course!

My third daughter has been asking for a neon star blanket, after I made stars for daughters two and four…and since I had made two already, a change in pattern was in order! Tired of five points? Then how about twelve?!? I do love a challenge. After considering several versions I chose this one.

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rainbow-ripple-baby-blanket

I have seen dozens of different color combos come through my media feeds, as folks shared their latest work, and one that stuck out as most striking used “blacklight” bordered with black!  She wanted bright, so hey…

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Here it is:
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I love it! And so does she. Just the orange to go, and the border decisions…

My second project to share is from my birthday treats! I received not one, but THREE crochet books for my birthday with an okay from my sweet husband.

I am so excited to make things from this one:
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I love crochet dolls, and amigurumi–though I hate sewing!– and hope there is much more doll-making in my future than I have time for at present. Often when a find a free minute I am browsing the latest doll art:
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And collecting patterns (to hopefully make) in my Ravelry favorites.

Of course my daughters request new dollies quite regularly! Friends and neighbors too…so here is the start of the pattern from my new book:

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I had read comments that the instructions were not for inexperienced crocheters, and I must agree…the free patterns I write have better explanations than the one that is published in this book. I am using the stitch counts, but for actual placement, I went by what I learned from this lovely free pattern when I made the mermaid dolls last year:

http://kandjdolls.blogspot.com/2010/02/pink-little-lady.html

I hope to make three that are already claimed– brown, pink and blue/green-skinned with curly yellow hair…don’t you just love children’s imaginations? 🙂

Tantalizing Textures

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It began with Pinterest. Doesn’t it always? 🙂 That clever photo that caught my eye…similar to this one:
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The “moss stitch”, it was called. Sc, ch-1…how simple. Using a different color each line gives a woven, almost tapestry look. Here is my messenger bag in moss stitch stripe.

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That was more than a year ago…

Vintage is in. Clever old stitches are rediscovered and put to new use. “How did you do that?!?” is a byword amongst creative types, wouldn’t you say?

So I began a little rabbit-trail journey.
How many variations were there? What were they called?
If sc, ch-1 looks that way, what about hdc, ch-1? Dc, ch-1? What if I skip two stitches? Or three?

One day I saw the spider stitch! And wanted more…
I began to hunt seriously then. Don’t you just love google?

I began to experiment, chasing down stitch names, cross-referencing patterns and trying different combinations. And it was fun. 🙂

Most of these stitches have more than one name, or several variations. They all have cool textures and endless possibilities. You can make a cowl, or neck scarf, a washcloth, or a darling elfin baby bonnet…or a sampler afghan….the sky’s the limit!

I’ve included the basic stitch combination for each of the following. If you need information on multiples for chain length or turning, type the stitch name into your search engine for more detailed instruction. And don’t be afraid to experiment! Happy hooking!

The Spider
*(Sc, ch 1, sc) in the same st, sk next st, repeat*
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I saw the most darling baby bonnet made out of this a while back. I didn’t know what created the effect, at the time. Now I do! It looks amazing in white cotton. I shall add it to my to do list for spring. ❤

The Wattle
*(sc, ch 1, dc) in same st, sk next st, repeat*
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I love the spiky fans in this. Such a neat effect! And simple…this is excellent in variegated yarn, too.

The Grit
*(2sc in same st), sk next st, repeat*
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Repeat Crafter Me has a gorgeous daisy applique afghan done in grit stitch squares. It works up quickly and gives such a nice texture. I used it on my pink camo baby afghan. (No pictures until that has been received! 🙂 Sorry!)

Crunchy Stitch
*hdc, sl st across*
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This one has a fun diagonal cross bar. I like the modern look. Somewhat masculine, too. Great effect!

Texture (Not Quite A Bobble) Stitch
*(sc, 2dc) in same st, sk next 2 st*
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This would make nice washclothes, or a cozy infinity scarf. It almost looks like a bobble stitch, but works up quickly, unlike the popcorn stitch in the bobble, which is more time-consuming.

Airy Shell
*(2dc, ch 2, sc) in same st, sk next 3 st, repeat across*
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I don’t know the name for this one, really…I came across it searching “textured crochet stitches” and liked it. It is strikingly similar to a C2C or Corner-to-Corner afghan (those are fun to make too!) but again, just that much simpler.

And…
There you have it!

Quick, easy stitches that look harder than they are 🙂 and make a fascinating array of textures for gifts, clothing, accessories and more. Great for stocking-stuffer dishclothes or beanies, too!

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Until next time…
I’m off to finish my projects! Dare I say it? Christmas is coming!