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. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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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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 Lacy Goodness

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I made the most beautiful little blanket for a baby gift.

Using self-striping yarn, there were almost no color changes and few ends to weave in. Such a good thing!

I used the most delicious new yarn, even the name is yummy…Lion Brand Ice Cream.

I think it was a 5mm hook, though it might have been a 6.

The free pattern is all the rage: it is simple, but looks complicated.

My favorite traits!

It started out as a triangular shawl, and someone clever adapted it into a square.

Here is the link to her blog:

http://www.jonnamartinez.com/2015/11/blanket-pattern-and-worked-up-by-jonna.html?showComment=1458925569857#c873061720421579173

Once you have the center made, there isn’t a need for the pattern, as the repeats are quite easy to remember.

The parents-to-be were quite delighted with the lovely gift.

I so look forward to meeting their new little blessing!

Just a few more weeks. ❀

Happy crocheting!

Autumn Beauty

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I confess, I’ve started another project…

No, I didn’t finish any of the others, yet. πŸ˜‰

It’s just that I had the most brilliant idea for a glorious autumn afghan. So of course I had to try it before I forgot…

I actually took apart separate sections from another old project…it was sitting there looking at me. I decided I didn’t like it and it had to go. Besides, I needed those exact colors for this one!

You can see those mitered squares (from before I unraveled a few) here:https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/mighty-mitered-crochet-squares/

Don’t worry, there are lots left! Who knows what else I might decide do with those eventually…

This design began with a picture I saw on the internet, of course. Pretty pretty daisies in a mitered granny. It was easy to make!

The hardest part was deciding whether to make the centers of the flowers all the same color? 

It was a yes. And then the colored rows…same, or different? Two, three or four colors? I hope you like what I decided!

The same center, subtle color variations in a pretty autumn range of tones. Beautiful colors for a special October baby to be. ❀

I got to work making the squares, fall comes quickly here!

Then came my favorite part, laying them out.

This way? Or that?

I studied several photos to determine what I like so well about this particular design…and decided it’s the border.

The white makes it color so beautifully.

Halfway done, but I need to get busy on another long-legged amigurumi. This one will be a monkey!

Until next time! Happy crocheting.

Bed of Roses I

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I’ve been making the bed!

This lovely, silvery gray is a dream to work with and the photos don’t do it justice. Caron Simply Soft in gray heather and my favorite H5mm hook.

I started with an old pattern I dug up, sc/hdc/DC in each stitch.

It makes a fun texture.

I chained 90 or so to start, and it is just a little blanket, maybe crib or stroller size? Perfect for my new niece, due to arrive in October!

Now to work on the edging…

I am adapting a chart and the corners will be a bit of a trial, I think. We’ll see!

Wish me luck!

The days are hot, but we are nice and cool in our newly repaired air conditioning. And we have spent many a lovely afternoon at the beach! Autumn is breathing down our necks, even if it is ninety degrees during the day.

Happy crocheting!

Glorious Mini Rings

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Glorious is the word for it. Sultry summer days, long and lazy. Cool a/c and family movie nights. Weeks of camp, and camping, and just plain family time. Lots of it.

It’s almost too hot to crochet. Only almost!

I’ve been meandering around multiple projects and finishing nothing.

But it’s nice to have the time to enjoy it!

I did finish this little gem today.

She’s Frank O’Randle’s Mini Rings of Change, a free pattern on Ravelry.

Here’s the link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rings-of-change

The baby nursery colors were lavender and green, lovely! But I couldn’t resist adding the aqua and coral. They are just too trendy right now. I love this quadruple brights combination.

The pattern is a delight. Easy to follow, just challenging enough to keep my interest, and a lovely, lacy look (which is my favorite, as you know!)

In other fun, my daughter had a special day of sewing with a dear friend, and finished her darling monkey quilt top. Now to find a backing!

I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am mine.

I shall have dozens of nearly-completed projects to show by this fall; I look forward to sharing them with you. ❀

Happy summer! And happy crocheting.

Owl Obsession Oblivion

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You know the rules!

The Sparkly Toad does NOT buy patterns.

Sure, she hopes to SELL them someday…but not today…

I love, love, love Owl Obsession by Marken of The Hat and I.
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/owl-obsession

And I confess, she has me beat. πŸ™‚ There are some parts to the pattern I can’t quite manage. Yet!

The most perplexing matter was joining the owl motifs to the solid colored background.
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I made several attempts, but the backside came out lumpy, bumpy awful.
Not nice for a sweet baby gift.

So we invented our own version! And used applique instead of joined motifs.

Here are the first hexie attempts:
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I like the pattern so much! It needs a name. Something with SNOW, I think. It almost seems a pity to sew anything over it. I may make another and leave it plain.

One to go!
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And now with the owls…
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That’s as far as we are today! It was a lovely holiday weekend.
β™‘ Thank you to my sweet husband who has been in service to our country for over 20 years.

I spent last evening perusing edging options. I’ll keep you updated!
Happy hooking!

Update…the triangles are in! Still contemplating the edging.
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