New and Old


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!


V-stitch hat

Virus shawl blanket

Temperature blanket

Baby Snowman hat


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


Pink monkey

Finished the Chromium star

April- no crochet 🙂


Started the little lion ripple

The sea turtle afghan

Beautiful shells for a sweet baby boy

And finished the Viking!


Created the little lion

Finished the sea turtles

And the ripple

And a baby fox set


A granny hexie of scrap yarn for me

Family items that needed repair


Twinkle Toes the unicorn

And a long-legged cat


An elephant teether

Candy corn hat

Infant pretties

A toy elephant

Hats for the bazaar

And another lion, so cute!


Monkey legs

Monster hats

Finished product!

More hats for the bazaar

A little pumpkin

Phew! Nearly there…


A little leaf for the pumpkin

A Christmas tree skirt


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. ❤


All about hats


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:

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!

Grrrr, The Irrestistable Tiger Hat


Hello and Happy Friday!

We interrupt this week’s anticipated post (Circling Lovelies, part 2–  which shall appear in some other future 🙂  ) to play with tiger awesome-ness!

Summer was drawing to a close, and my darling nephew’s birthday was soon upon us. As he is quite the handsome young man, a hat was just the thing!


A tiger is sort of his special animal, bestowed upon him by his other grandma…so I was inspired to give it a go.


I used Sarah’s basic hat pattern ( and alternated two rows of orange with a row of black.


Nose (and pink in ears) is 10dc in a ring.

Cheeks are 10hdc, then a round of 20 hdc.


Outer ear is 7 hdc, 3 dc and 7hdc to make it a bit pointy.


Little Miss Cousin here is pretty sure he will like it! 🙂


A sneak peek at another work-in-progress started during tiger production. (C2C graphgan featuring Toothless) Heaven only knows when that will get a little more attention…


And the darling boy sporting his new birthday hat!


Oh, smooches to his cuteness and love from auntie!

See you next week with more on the lovely Circle of Friends pattern. ❤


Toad-ally Awesome


Hello and hello!

Today is rather momentous in our little corner of the world here at The Sparkly Toad.

It is the last of our Tuesday afternoon posts.

I have made a bit of a change, you see. This time next week, I shall wear a different hat.


You likely know (and appreciate) one or more various mothers, and all that they do. Cook, clean, garden, shop…I’ve often said that as a stay-at-home-mom it would be nice to have a cook, butler, maid and gardener! And let’s not forget chauffeur!

Nearly twenty years of it…it was the toughest job I ever loved. As they say: the days were long, but the years were short.


And so I embark on an adventure never before seen in our little family…mama is going to work. Not just a job, either…a career!

The only downside (if there is one) is that I must give up my current position as stay-at-home/daycare-providing/homeschooling mom.

As much as I have loved pouring the majority of my time and energy into my family and seeing the excellent results, I am excited to have something new for me! I am going to be a teacher.

A real one. 🙂


I am not sure I quite believe it yet. I’ve never had a career. And I have yet to determine where the ‘Toad posts fit into my new weekly schedule. I’ve been contemplating it most of the summer…narrowed it down to Sunday, Tuesday or perhaps Friday evening. We’ll see!

I make no promises. It is likely the transition will drain every creative bit of energy out of me for a minimum of six weeks. Or more.

So if you don’t hear from me for a spell, now you know.


And enough of that. Onto today’s free pattern…

Newborn Frog Hat (Eyes)

With green yarn: 12 dc

In white: 12 hdc

Black button

Sew all three layers together, then attach to hat. It can be a trick to sew pieces together, especially when you want them to stand up. I take large stitches at the base of the eye (or ear) and that seems to do it. I also curve the piece in slightly and sew along it twice, across and then back again.

Hat base: I use Sarah’s basic hat pattern for all my hats. Her pattern can be found here:


I love the clarity and simplicity of her patterns. I will warn you, I probably used half-double-crochet, not double crochet on my hat.

I do that without even meaning to.


I made this set for a friend that was headed out of the country, or perhaps I would have embroidered a pink smile on Mr. Frog. It was a bit of a rush to finish all three pieces before his flight.


Wishing every blessing on the birth of their upcoming baby…and happy hooking to all of you!

I hope to write again soon. 🙂


Completely ELF-ish {{30 Days of Christmas Crochet Cuteness}}


I confess, I love Christmas. In fact, it would be hard to find anything about the holiday I don’t like…and I work retail!

And as much as our family strives to keep Christ at the center of our home, I confess to be an absolute Rankin-Bass groupee, too. Frosty, Rudolph, Kris Kringle…I can take only so much claymation cuteness and I start craving my yarn and iPod! Now that I have developed adequate amigurumi proficiency I can actually make those adorable creatures, and more. And if I can do it, so can you! Here are my favorite ELF patterns of the season:

1. Superb ELF socks


These socks are the best thing I’ve seen yet for Christmas novelty! LOVE the slightly aztec design, and bulky yarn means they make up quickly,soft and warm. Here’s the link:

2. Stripey ELF Hat Rage

crochet elf hat free pattern  Long Tail Stripey Hat Pattern - I made up mine for Zander but I'm glad to have a starting point if I ever want to make another.

Elf hats are all over the internet! And so cute. Here is a free pattern from which you can make just about any of the designs you find online…or can dream up!

3. Throwback Elfy-Darlings

crochet elf ornaments

I love spirals! I remember playing with something like this as a child and loving the feel. What a great idea to make elves! Also available: Santa, reindeer and a snowman…so cute!

snowman crochet pattern - curly snowman ornament

4. Best Baby Dolly Elves

lilleliis - world full of amigurumi and cuteness : Kaisu-Märt, Kaisu-Kärt ja Õie-Beebi

These darlings are so precious…and you don’t even have to be able to read Estonian, thanks to Google translate! What an amazing age we live in, that we can share creativity effortlessly across language barriers. This design would make a sweet spring dolly, too.

5. Best Classic Elf Cuteness

Love these guys! She has a great balance and color in the design, and several varieties with the same simple, elegant look.

If you are like me, and refuse to pay for patterns…at least not until giving it a go on my own and learning quite a bit in the process!…here is the link to a basic rounded-limb amigurami– I love this pattern, and have made an entire zoo of animals to give as gifts. Lengthening the limbs will give you the dimensions you need for elf-ishness. She also has some great tips for sewing and lots of helpful pictures.

Little Big Feet :

grey amigurumi hippo

6. ELF Slippers! Or Are They Chili Peppers? 😀

So cute! Learning the crocodile stitch is on my to-do list for this winter. Can’t wait to give it a go. She provides a link for a good tutorial with this pattern:

Happy Hooking! May you be blessed this busy season, and find time to rejoice in life, and family. More Christmas Cuteness next week…All About Nativities!