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!

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.

Pretty Pretty Baby Cardi

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Hello and happy weekend!

I hadn’t a minute to spare for weeks. Then, after careful list-making, diligent stick-to-it-ive-ness and just plain hard work, I finished the rest of my must-do’s in time for a few blissful hours of crochet.

Such a sweet reward for my efforts.

I had left off working on a baby cardigan when I crocheted last. Round yoke, pretty lacy look, free pattern here: http://www.justcrochet.com/pretty-coat-usa.html

I had my usual issues with the pattern, yarn weight (called for sport/dk and I prefer worsted) and tension (goodness, must my stitches be twice as large as the average every time?) 🙂 Fiber art problems…

My first attempts at the collar turned out lovely, but huge, and stiff. Time for a larger hook to keep the yarn soft! And pattern alterations to reduce the size…

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Adding a little pink as I arrived at the shell skirt portion of the cardi.

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Lovely, but entirely unsuitable.

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My second attempt, using just 30 stitches to start, and increasing every stitch — it curled so much it looked like a flower! 😀 Definitely too many stitches in that second row!

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My third attempt looked promising.

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But a little too wing-ed. I pulled out the last two rows and recalculated my sleeve  divisions. So excited I mastered that formula! Divide by six then add two for the back…I’ll have to explain that better in a future blog. 🙂

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Such a pretty shell and v-stitch pattern from http://www.justcrochet.com/pretty-coat-usa.html

I will be using it again! It would make a pretty matching hat, too.

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This yarn is delicious! Lion Brand Ice Cream in cookies and cream. ❤

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The self-striping color work came out nicely for the skirt, but gave me a time when it came to the sleeves! I ended up cutting after a few rows, switching back and forth between sleeves until they came out even.

Success! A pretty little flower for a pop of color and I have the perfect sweet baby gift.

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The larger hook size kept the yarn snuggly soft: 5mm was the magic size for me.

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So pretty and sweet. Now to play with my starting chain length and make one in
a larger size. This one is about 0-3 months.

Happy hooking!

The Matching Hat

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Hello and happy weekend! Remember the lovely dress and my promise of the soon–to-be-coming hat pattern to match?

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I have that hat pattern for you today! :mrgreen:

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Thankfully it worked up the way I remembered, so I quickly jotted down my notes.
It is for a size 6-12 months, worsted weight yarn and a 5mm hook and matches the sweet dress pattern found here:
https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/mais-oui/

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Hat to Match the French Popover Smock
Rnd 1: Chain 3, DC 10x in chain furthest from hook. SL St into top of CH 3. (11 St)
Rnd 2: CH 4 (counts as first DC, CH 1), then DC, CH 1 between each  St around. Sl st to join at 3rd CH of starting CH 4. (11dc, CH 1)
Rnd 3: SL St to next CH 1 space. CH 3, DC, CH 1 in CH space, then 2dc, CH 1 in each CH space around. SL St to join at top of CH 3.
Rnd 4: SL st to CH 1sp, CH 4 (counts as dc, CH 1 of first v-stitch), then DC again in same St. (V-stitch made). Make DC between 2dc of previous round. *Make v-stitch (DC, CH 1, DC) in next ch 1 space, then DC between 2dc from round 3. Repeat from * around, join with SL St the 3rd CH of beginning CH 4.
Rnd 5: SL St to CH 1space, CH 3 for first DC, then DC, CH 2 2dc to make first shell. Make shell (2dc, CH 2, 2dc) in each CH 1 space around. Join with SL St to top of CH 3.
Rnd 6-9: repeat round 5.
Rnd 10: make 8dc in each CH 2 SP around, SC-ing between each shell from Rnd 9.
Finish off, weave ends.

For flower, see link above.

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And there you are! I have a dozen crochet projects to get to, and only an hour or so to spare this evening. I wish you happy hooking!

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Off to more crochet adventures I go!