Little Grrr

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It has been a month of family time, and little crochet!

July is like that.

And now we are counting down the days til school begins.

I do love fall. But not quite yet.

Today’s project share is my own design! I love custom commission work.

It started with a grandma. And a baby that wasn’t quite here yet. ❤

A lion, she said, and his name would be Leo.

I really couldn’t be more pleased with the results! But I did have a false start at the beginning.

I thought to chain and length and work around both sides in a bit of a rectangle. But it didn’t work the way I wanted, so I referred back to the pattern I was thinking of and started again.

There. A round bottom, that was better. Then I followed the pattern more closely for arms and legs. He worked up quickly.

Sewing them on is always a bit scary: a crooked or backward appendage can mean starting over, ugh!

These came out just right on the first try, happy day!

Now for the fun part, the MANE.

I knew I wanted to try the loop stitch, something I’d seen but hadn’t yet explored. Could I do it? Yes, thanks to YouTube. I found an excellent tutorial and away I went. I soon had a darling cap of curls for my little lion.

The face is another crucial stage. Every stitch affects the end result and expression. I chose a quiet afternoon and formed my design slowly.

Darling!

Now to manage attaching the head to neck. That one is tricky too!

Success! Now where did I put that hair?

Here it is! Sweet little lion. I felt a bit as if I had given birth.

Such a pleasure to create.

If you’ve stuck with me to the end, I’m happy to share the pattern used as a jumping off point! It can be found here, in a previous post:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/maddys-dragon/

The only thing I changed was the head. I made another bottom instead of a dragon snout, then added a face, hee hee.

And the family was so kind as to send me a picture, once it had been gifted. What a darling boy!

Next week, the matching blanket! It is nice to fall back into routine after a busy, fun-filled summer. Ahhhhhh.

Happy hooking!

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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. 🙂

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!

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. 🙂
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!

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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!

Sunny Days

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What a difference a few days of sunshine can make!

We’ve had an ice storm nearly every week this winter, and spring seems farther and farther off, instead of nearer.

It has been nice to stay indoors and crochet, I miss that in the summer months!

I took advantage of a break in the storms yesterday, and gallivanted off to town with a friend. 🙂

I had heard there was a new yarn shop in town…

We browsed a lovely collection of artistic goods

It was a fun little place

And I came home with a few new friends for my collection. More yarn! 😀

Then we found a lovely, sunny spot and had a delicious lunch.

It was the perfect outing before my evening shift.

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I had been “busy as a bee” crocheting orders this month! I look forward to sharing cute new designs with you as soon as they have been delivered and/or gifted. ❤