The Hawaiian Volcano


Midsummer, next to chill, dark winter days, is my favorite time to crochet, cool and quiet in the air conditioning. All the extra sun I’ve been getting increases my energy level significantly…and the creative juices are flowing!

I was working on two or three other projects the other day, chatting with my neighbor who had dropped in, when I suddenly dashed into my office– otherwise known as the yarn cave– and began pulling out armloads of skeins.

In a sudden fit of color-coordination I had decided I needed to make something in an ombre rainbow of hues– immediately!

To my neighbor’s amusement I began to lay the skeins out on the floor, muttering to myself and springing between rooms as I would think of another box or bin that had just that wanted, next certain color.


I stole shamelessly from the five foot laundry-sorter that holds the skeins for my worsted-weight rainbow Sophie. See her here:

Goodness, has she been lying neglected since March?

I shan’t apologize a bit when I go to the store for more yarn for her! The VOLCANO is worth it!

Here are my gathered shades:


And her humble beginnings:


The pattern is known in some circles as THE mypicot. There are a few patterns on the mypicot site, but this one seems to be the most popular, or perhaps it was the first?

It can be a bit confusing, but the pattern is here:

If you have trouble finding the download link, here is a clue…Find the words in BLUE that say “How to follow a crochet diagram” and click on the phrase AFTER that, in italics.

Better yet, use the ravelry link, it is much simpler. 🙂


I worked on this one on and off all month, while my oldest sweetie was gallivanting about Italy on a scholarship. I missed her, and worried not a little, so it was nice to have a project!


I showed my latest projects to her upon her return as we were exchanging all sorts of stories catching up, and she exclaimed over this rainbow beauty.


She declared it tropical and said, “The middle looks like a volcano!”


And so she was christened, my tropical delight.


It’s fun to start this sort of blanket, but it begins to wear on me as the rounds get longer! It takes over an hour to go around her now, making shells.


I put in a good crime show DVD and double-crochet away.


Just the lavender left and then I must decide…do I start over? And with which color, pink or brown?Or white?


She’s about 3×3 ft now…I’d like her to be a bit more than that, but not double the rows of color? And then there is my yarn stash, which is SERIOUSLY depleted by my summer color craziness.


In fact I am hoping to get to the store later this week.


I must decide which project to bring on vacation soon.

Never an easy choice for me!

I will definitely need more yarn. 😀

Oh sorrow, cresting the halfway point of summer…the second half slips too quickly away.

Happy hooking!

Update (November 2015):

The Hawaiian Volcano has been donated to a cancer charity auction benefit to help raise funds for expenses. Please take a moment to read abut this worthy cause, donate and say a prayer or two, thank you!

and follow the story on Facebook:


Giant Granny Goodness, Part II


Hello, hello and happy…well, you know. 🙂

My giant grannies are coming along nicely! In fact, I am on a bit of a crochet jag and have started a dozen projects– or more– in recent weeks. Oh, my, I am having fun! And I haven’t skimped on the housework; in fact, I am also on an organizing crusade and attacking areas that have been neglected for, well, maybe years?

I am simply on a color spree: combining, mixing, matching, layouts, rainbows, ombre, triads, contrasts…it is a good thing I have a bit of a container fetish, because my cleaning frenzy means more empty bins to collect my color nonsense and project dreams.

Here’s the one for the grannies, rounds 7-12 or so:


I tend to be a bit matchy-matchy…so the challenge of putting dissimilar colors adjacent entertains me particularly.

The lovely afternoon sun…my favorite time to crochet.


A trio of riotous color contrast:

IMG_4951 IMG_4952 IMG_4953

And the real challenge begins! A preliminary layout:


The burning question…how many more rounds???


I like it as is, but it isn’t very afghan-size, yet…only about 3×3.


Twenty rounds– my original plan– will be too much?

Perhaps fifteen. And then a kitschy border, for certain!    😉


The more garish color to chew, the better! So rainbow-y and satisfying.


And just for fun– my little crochet-hinderer, below. I was able to complete my latest set of rounds because she went off to the neighbor’s and asked to bake something. 🙂 My sweet neighbor was happy to comply and home she came, several hours later, with yummy chocolate treats to boot. Happy summer!


An update on another project, too…the edge is finished, and the little gift set sewn!


For blanket information, see here:

And for the dress pattern:

Happy day!

11 Little Stockings



I am enthralled with this pattern. Everytime I finish one…or sometimes halfway through(!)…I think of another color combination. And then there are the embellishment possibilities…hearts, stars, holly, colorful buttons…and embroidered names, too!
Merci, Angie!

Giving Thanks and Baby Hats


Hellooooo Monday! Always nice to get back to my routine of cleaning and cooking after a weekend busy with outings and retail. The holiday shopping is picking up, for sure! I am busy with custom orders for the holidays and loving every minute.

Today’s feature is two of my favorite designs from my Rescue Hero series: the police officer and firefighter photo props. So cute! And their recepients were delighted. While the actual patterns are not yet written up for publication, I am including several tips below that will have you whipping up your own version, in no time!



The Little Police Officer uses a standard diaper cover pattern (basically an hourglass shape with one end wider than the other to overlap for buttoning). The donut– so much fun to make!– was a free pattern I googled…sorry, I don’t remember which blog or I would share the link! Maybe next time…there is so much cute crochet food out there, enough for an entire series, fun!

The hat. Ah, the hat. I spent several hours researching police issue shapes to determine just the look I wanted. I ended up using a pentagon top, increasing each round until reaching the diameter I wanted. I then began the sides by crocheting in back loops only, and decreasing at each corner. Once I achieved my desired height, I switched to black and did 4-5 rounds of sc. The design of the brim I borrowed from a free newsboys cap on ravelry.

The shield is just a circle crocheted in the round with a second round of well-placed triple crochets and slip stitches for shaping. A little felt for custom lettering, and there you have it!

Screenshot_2013-11-23-00-24-03 So sweet!

 I think he likes it! Now…




The Little Firefighter: the hat is an octogon with fpdc at the corners for ridges, increasing proportionally each round. I switched to triple crochet at the back for the elongated brim, turning for a last row or two just on the back.

I used acrylic worsted weight yarn and an H hook.

I hope this inspires you to try your own designs!

Happy Thanksgiving! I am excited to post my tabletop turkey later this week, I hope I finish in time for the holiday! 🙂

Today is the day!


So kind of you to visit! Welcome to The Sparkly Toad. My enthusiasm for crochet design has been building for the past several years and become a bit of a business. I love the inspiration new ideas bring and have created this blog to pass on my favorite discoveries! Look for a new free pattern posted weekly, as well as samples of my latest work. Find me on Facebook, too! And Ravelry designers, as soon as I get my first pattern uploaded. Happy crocheting!20131016_131741 1380942327305 20130918_103118 20130918_154126