giant granny goodness entire

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She is finished!

It’s a nice feeling of accomplishment, when you consider the piles of WIPs everywhere around here… actually completing something…

It started here: 

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/giant-granny-goodness/

And then grew to here:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/giant-granny-goodness-part-ii/

Inspired by the lovely colorwork of this dear designer:
http://lemondedesucrette.com

She grew, and grew, until it was time to join…

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/flat-braid-joining-technique

And now she graces a place of honor, our marriage bed.

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” ~Keats

My color tips:

She started out as a stash-buster, so I used various odds and ends and combined as I liked. After ten rounds, I needed a significant amount for each round, so had more limited options. I also wanted to bring the colors together somehow, without looking too contrived.

So the final five rounds match the first five, in each square. It gave nice continuity but didn’t appear overly planned.

Nothing easier than a granny square! And I love the vintage look.

I used worsted weight yarn and an h hook.

Happy hooking!

Swashbuckling Adventures

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T is only Monday, and here I am, about to post…

I literally forced myself to sit down and type up the pattern for the Viking/Skyrim horn. The weather is gorgeous and my garden calling.


It’s been so long since I shared one of my own patterns, it was well-past time. πŸ™‚

Without further ado, here it is:

Free Horn Pattern by The Sparkly Toad

Notes: This horn is worked in both single and double crochet.

INC means make two stitches in the same stitch.

INC in this pattern are worked in DC.

Work in continuous rounds, do not join.

Mark your place with a stitch marker as needed, although some rounds may overlap.


Ch 2. 

1: Make 6 sc in the chain farthest from the hook. (6 st)

2: DC-inc x3 (two dc in each of the next three stitches), 3 sc (9st)

3: Sc around (9st)

4: DC-Inc x3, 6sc (9st)

5: Sc around (12st)

6: (DC-Inc, DC)x3, 6sc 

7: Sc around (15st)

8: (DC-inc, DC) x4, 7sc

9: sc around (19st)

10: (DC-Inc, 2DC) x4, 7sc

11: sc around (23st)

12: (DC-Inc, 2DC) X5, 7sc

13: sc around (30sc)


At this point, there will be no more inc, just sc and dc stitches, so all remaining rounds have 30 stitches.

As long as you keep like stitches approximately lined up, your horn will turn out fine!


14: 21DC, 9, SC

15: sc around

16: 20DC, 10SC

17: sc around

18: 19DC, 11SC

19: sc around

20: 18DC, 12SC

21: sc around

22: 17DC, 13SC

23: sc around


Continue to desired length. 

Next week, the links to the complete design: helmet and beard.

Happy hooking!

O Glorious Pinpricks of Light

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Happy Wednesday!

The sun has come out again, after days and days of flooding gray clouds, constant dripping, and dank, bleary chill.

Perfect crochet weather. πŸ™‚

A sweet friend requested today’s featured project. She spotted it online and simply had to have one for her mother.

I finished just in time​, as Mother’s Day is right around the corner!

The best part? Her mother’s name is Star. ❀

The pattern is a dream. Simple enough to remember after the first few rounds, but such a clever desgn: both the peak and the valley stitch are the designer’s personal creation. I love it, and will definitely be making more.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chromium-star-blanket

Just starting out:

Growing larger:

Too big to shoot:

Almost finished:

Pretty rainbow colors:

It was a delight to make and my friend loved it. 

I loved discovering a great new pattern.

Happy hooking!

Sweet Monkey Business

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Today’s post feature another one of my favorite projects: an amigurumi.
Thanks to the great free patterns available on the internet, making your own crochet stuffed animals can be a breeze!

I had a custom design request for a little monkey to match  a sweet girl’s bedroom. Her grandmother had a Sparkly Toad creation for each of her other grandchildren, so of course she needed a gift for this child as well.

I love repeat business!

And I love crochet design, as you know. πŸ™‚
Pinks and greens were the colors, so I choose some of my favorites from my stash and set to work.

All the parts disassembled make me feel a bit like Frankenstein…In a good way!

Once I passed a quiet afternoon in sewing, she was ready for her pictures.

I felt a little something extra was needed…So I added a sweet flower embellishment.

She is my own original pattern…I used my long-legged giraffe and a dragon head…Caron Simply Soft and an E hook (3.5mm)
There are several free patterns on Ravelry for long-legged amigurumi that have been published since I designed mine, or you may use the design I used for my original inspiration, found here:

http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/one-skein-bunny.html

I found this pattern came out too big for my liking, so reduced the stitches to make it smaller for my original giraffe. That one was made with Red Heart and an H hook, so this one is even smaller than those made with the heavier worsted weight yarn.

 And there she is. The little girl loved her.

And that is why I do what I do. 
Happy hooking!

break out

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It’s been a dozen days of no crochet!

The US Capitol

I’ve been a-travelin’.

Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks for lunch, yum!

I joined our local school and took a little trip to our nation’s capitol for spring break. You haven’t lived until you’ve taken a seventeen-hour bus ride with a class full of eighth-graders…

 πŸ˜€

My daughter and I had a wonderful time.

Gettysburg, PA

The weather was chilly some days, but the crisp blue skies made for great pictures. And we had one nice day in there, too.

The Liberty Bell

The history was so meaningful. The last time I visited, I was thirteen myself! So it was fun to go with my daughter at the same age.

Smithsonian Air and Space

Now I am back, recovered, and caught up on household things…On to finishing my chromium star project for a friend! I just love how it is working up.

MLK Memorial

Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

Cherry blossoms

Chromium Star 

Three colors to go! I better get crackin’.

***

Happy hooking!

Vroom, Vroom II: The Afghan

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Remember the darling car diaper set? 

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/vroom-vroom/
The sweet mother loved it so much she queried whether I would consider making an afghan to match. It was before Christmas, so I said I be delighted, after the new year.

I had a field day with the design. I do love that part of the process!

I wanted the grid look, but on steroids…So I started with this:

http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/roadway-throw

It was relatively simple and fun to make! Mine is slightly different from the pattern linked above, I sort of winged it. πŸ™‚

Oh, dear, the picture is so dark…We had such a stretch of rainy gray days. All the better to crochet!

I love those playmats for little toy cars, you know the ones? 

My blanket needed a town. And a beach! I could see it in my head…But would the yarn cooperate?

Adding the sky worked out pretty well. So far so good!

A simple shell stitch in browns, then blues created a beach. Sigh. I could almost smell the salt air.

A few dozen ends, and the mat was complete! Now for the applique.

The first house!

Ends, ends everywhere…Time to sew!

And the finished product:

Success! At times like this I feel like a true artist and it feels so good.


Happy hooking!

Maddy’s Dragon

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And now for a trip down memory lane…

It was the dog days of summer. Hot and sunny. We loaded up the in-laws minivan and headed south, then east, to grandpa’s old stomping ground.

His cousin has spent the better part of two years planning afive generation family reunion!

And here we were.

Each branch of the family tree had been assigned a color, so we topped ourselves off in red t-shirts and headed to the hall to help set up.

My husband’s sweet cousin was expecting her first child. ❀

She had messaged me months ago with the cutest little dragon Ami picture, and asked if it was something I could make?

How could I refuse? I love a challenge, and I love taking requests. πŸ™‚

Imagine my delight when I discovered the pattern was free, on Ravelry, and my further delight when it was one of those rare gems of pattern that one so rarely finds: well-written and of the “it looks so complex but is really quite easy to make” variety.

It was a triple blessing at that point– a new baby, and a free, quite do-able pattern.

Add in a trip to actually visit relations and deliver the gift in person, and life is good!

She wanted a little dragon in pink and green…And here it is.

It turned out just darling.

Here’s the pattern link:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bb-dragon
Now for those of you who are curious, I love the in-process photos, as the creature is becoming…

We begin with the parts:

And then a few more…

Now to sew. I love this little ridgeback!

And then the arms, the legs

The eyes were amazing. I really didn’t think I could do it…And then I couldn’t believe the difference they made, once attached, in bringing the little guy to life. I confess, I hot-glued them in place… Usually I hand-stitch everything, so the item is washable.

Now for the rest: ears, horns and… nostrils! Again, it was truly amazing as this character took shape in my hands. Each detail added so much.

And finished!

What a marvelous fiber adventure.

May you be blessed and crafty today.

Happy hooking!