New and Old

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I think I can breathe again.

Holiday madness (both work and at home) gave way to birthday festivities for two of four children and the gaggle of teens has just left the building…

My few hours of quiet are welcome. I thought they might never return. 🙂

Goodness knows we all need a bit of quiet and time of reflection; what better way to ring in the new?

New year, new hopes, new possibilities…

It was a good year here at the ‘Toad! Business gained traction and I learned new skills, gained many happy customers and found time to enjoy my day-job and family as well.

So here we are…the year in pictures. ❤

*Note: pattern links are not included. Many of my items are reverse-engineered, meaning I looked at a picture and made up the pattern myself. Photo captions include the necessary key words to Google a similar pattern, if you would like to make your own!

January

V-stitch hat

Virus shawl blanket

Temperature blanket

Baby Snowman hat

February

Beginning the Viking (had to design my own horns!)

The mermaid tail

Bumblebee baby gifts

Chromium star

The car blanket

More Viking…the beard

And the helmet

March

Pink monkey

Finished the Chromium star

April- no crochet 🙂

May

Started the little lion ripple

The sea turtle afghan

Beautiful shells for a sweet baby boy

And finished the Viking!

June

Created the little lion

Finished the sea turtles

And the ripple

And a baby fox set

July

A granny hexie of scrap yarn for me

Family items that needed repair

August

Twinkle Toes the unicorn

And a long-legged cat

September

An elephant teether

Candy corn hat

Infant pretties

A toy elephant

Hats for the bazaar

And another lion, so cute!

October

Monkey legs

Monster hats

Finished product!

More hats for the bazaar

A little pumpkin

Phew! Nearly there…

November

A little leaf for the pumpkin

A Christmas tree skirt

December

Monkey hat!

Kitty and a panda

Pastel monkeys

V-stitch bun hat

A Labrador retriever

And a baby white-tailed deer set with removable ruffle and bow ❤

Well, that’s a wrap, folks! How nice to see the year in review, as I often feel I haven’t accomplished much crochet time. I’d best get to work, as I have more monkeys to make!

A blessed New Year to you, and happy crocheting. ❤

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From Turkeys to Reindeer

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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

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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

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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!

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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.

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Happy hooking!

All about hats

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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

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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!