Sunny Summer days

Standard

Ah, happy summer. Filled with swimming and sweating, treats and crunching snacks, sibling spats and sudden sweetness and just plain family TIME.

My favorite things.

I’ve crocheted just a little, after a nice long break to regain my bearings and rest my hands and head.

The self-striping mandala yarns –that are all the rage– proved too, too tempting and I found myself the owner of several mismatched shades. Who can resist those glorious colorways?

20170829_124150325174055.jpg

The challenge with one skein is always the dreaded question: but will it be enough?

I promise, with my favorite quick work-ups, it is. For this I used my go-to favorite toddler pattern, the French Popover. Find the link here:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/mais-oui/

I hope you are enjoying our warm days and summer season as well, or whatever your weather may be this time of year. Happy hooking!

20180619_151448

 

Advertisements

From Turkeys to Reindeer

Standard

I love Christmas.

Everywhere I look, the world has turned itself inside-out to decorate in honor of our savior’s birth. I love the music. The lights. The stories.

When I was a child, it could never come fast enough. Now it seems so short.

Blink, and we’ve gone from August to December with a major holiday per month. Goodness!

So it is with a little sadness I pack up my turkeys.

And break out the Christmas cheer!

Though I still have several holiday orders pending, I indulged myself in a day of rest– and crochet design– over the long weekend.

Inspired by an overload of classic Christmas movies, I found myself compelled to make something, anything, holiday-ish while putting my feet up one evening off. Pre-Thanksgiving grocery retail is no joke!

I found some reds and greens, a little gold, and a picture on Pinterest that suited my mood exactly, so away I went!

I started with red pentagons.

Joining as I went, because who likes sewing when you can crochet instead?

The increase and decrease was tricky! But I managed. It would need some tweaking to fly as an actual pattern, but not bad for a from-scratch first attempt.

V-stitch decrease on the inside and a granny-stripe ripple on the outer rings.

And then there was this cutie on the infamous lap.

Happy holidays from my family to yours. May your table and hearts be full. ❤

Holiday Madness

Standard

Fall is the crafter’s busy season! Savvy customers pre-order Christmas goodies. Yarn goes on sale, everywhere. 🙂 Blogs are full of fun holiday makes, and so is the calendar.

I did my first craft bazaar sales! We are sending a volunteer team to Pueblo, Mexico next summer and all funds raised pay toward travel expenses. I donated a few items and helped work the booth.

Hats, hat, hats 🙂

I’m also scrambling to finish holiday orders and keep things in order on the home front. Life is good.

Happy holiday crafting!

Twinkle Twinkle

Standard

Happy Wednesday!

I don’t know about you, but I just love it when a pattern turns out the first time.

Even better, it’s free!

http://blog.hobbycraft.co.uk/twinkle-toes-the-unicorn-crochet-pattern/

This little guy was a breeze to whip up, and is absolutely darling.

I plan to make at least a dozen more!

***

Gathering my colors, the owner-to-be requested a very specific pallette. 🙂

Just the head finished, but look at that face…

I do love a well-written pattern. No time wasted here!

And a rainbow mane, of course. He is a unicorn, is he not?

Styling tip: I used my yarn needle to separate the strands and create the hair.

And finished.

Off to his forever home with a sweet girl.

My gratitude to the generous designer of this quality, free pattern!

Yarn cuteness. And child joy.

***

Happy hooking!

All about hats

Standard

It’s craft fair season!

Business is booming here at the ‘Toad. Christmas gift orders have arrived in spades, and invites to participate in local booths and holiday bazaars.

Best of all, two nearby gift shops have asked for my work!

As I said, a busy season.

My fingers are churning out as quickly as they can around my already full family schedule. ❤ Best to keep things in order of importance, always.

Sweet, simple hats fit the bill.

Starting with the basic pattern here:

http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2013/01/crochet-bunny-hat-pattern.html

I’ve designed a half dozen cute new hats to fill our local shelves and keep precious small heads warm this winter.

A delicious cluster-stitch variety and v-stitch with removable button flower

Stripey boys hats, a spiral-space design and a pretty puff stitch version

A darling double-crochet with big-button panache and a fpdc, bpdc finish.

And a little something seasonal to finish it off! Pattern coming soon…

Phew, it’s been a busy few weeks. And warm! Cooler temperatures have finally returned and I look forward to my upcoming couch-and-yarn time.

I think this is my favorite. ❤ Until I design the next one. 🙂

Happy hooking! Until we meet again!

Little Grrr

Standard

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!

giant granny goodness entire

Standard

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!