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!

***

Gathering my colors, the owner-to-be requested a very specific pallette. πŸ™‚

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!

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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. πŸ™‚

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!

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!