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Today’s post is more announcement than crochet.

It has been a banner season for the ‘Toad. A good one. And after a flurry of activity, growth and profit, what is a business owner to do?

A bit of a rest is in order.

The well of creativity is run nearly dry. A brief sabbatical will fix that right up!

So the ‘Toad will be on hiatus pending several factors.

First, I shall treat myself to several neglected personal projects.

My 2017 Weather Afghan:

2) Several Sophie’s Universe

3) And something with these beauties

I shall begin at least one new project– probably more! 🙂

And finish a few special requests for friends, as gifts.

Last, but not least,

I shall reflect upon and evaluate the nature of my business.

Creativity, or profit? Design or production? Will I finally publish a few patterns? Or perhaps take the blog a new direction? We shall see!

Happy crocheting!

Let it snow. ❤

Jingly the Christmas Elf

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I’m always so pleasantly surprised when a project turns out. You would think I might have more confidence in my skill at this point, wouldn’t you? Ah, but you haven’t seen the totes-full-of-failures in my basement, now have you? This blog is a bit like Facebook, just the best ten percent of my successful work.And here is today’s featur:e

My darling girl said we needed an elf. I’ll save my anti-Santa rant and dislike of the threatening-repeating parent (cf. Love n Logic) for another blog, or even another lifetime…Let’s just say our elf is NOT a spy. 🙂

So the elf. We perused Amazon, Pinterest (holy hilarious antics!) and, as usual, I found my answer on ravelry. Love that site.

Here’s the pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/elf-on-the-shelf

I thought PINK, but my sweet girl wanted red. So it began.

Fortunately, I had some cute colored eyes left over from an Etsy order I placed eons ago! I really like the blue.

We began the hair.

One of my favorite parts of the pattern is the white picot collar! I decided to use it on the hat also, instead of leaving it plain.

Added a little pink mouth, and began to sew…I used a needle to separate the strands of yarn and give her pretty curly locks.

Decided I REALLY liked the picot collar and added trim to the sleeves as well. 🙂

Then, she sat in waiting for a week or two. It gets busy this time of year!

Finally, I found the time, and motivation, to stitch on those cute, skinny arms and legs.

And she was darling!

At my daughter’s request, I even found time to make her a little baby elf friend. 

The hair is a bit comical, and she didn’t like the eyes, so perhaps I will redo those…

But still, cute n all!

Have a blessed week-before-Christmas, and may you be surrounded by much love, now and always.

Happy hooking!

Oh, Nativity

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Hello and Happy…!

I know that I promised you a mini-stocking this week.

But I gave them all away and forgot to take a picture. My hope is to make more, and do a cute photo shoot– but it IS Christmas week and I will have to see how the time goes.

In the meantime, my husband and I ran away to our favorite BnB (bed and breakfast) this week for a little RnR (rest and relaxation). 🙂  I have found that a short get-away significantly increases my enjoyment of the holiday season and finds me much more peaceful during the inevitable stress and family squabbles.

We had a fabulous twenty-four hours, and capped it off with a little antique-ing, browsing several local shops and enjoying the time spent.

And I found something so marvelous! I entreated my sweet husband to capture it on film so I could share it with you. Well, digital, anyway, since he has a smart phone…

The most fabulous crochet nativity! And in such colorful thread…I love nativities, and every year I browse patterns and consider making one. I haven’t found the time yet, but one of these years…

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I had him take several close-ups so that I can reverse-engineer the patterns. I love Mary’s braids!

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I think the angel is my favorite. I love angels.

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A detailed close-up of the angel halo and wing. A simple wagon wheel and shell.

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And the sweet babe, wrapped in a solid granny square, on a double granny cushion.

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Not crochet-related, I also had him capture the lovely embroidery on this old lampshade. I often add a bit of sewing detail to my projects.

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And last but not least, the special project I have been working on instead of making more mini-stockings– a last-minute request for a one-of-a-kind Christmas dress for a real-live little angel.

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I used this Bernat pattern as a base

http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/i-heart-my-dress.html

but worsted-weight yarn (Caron Sparkle) and an H hook (5mm). Since the pattern called for an E hook and sport-weight yarn, it ended up coming out as a size 18-24 months when I followed the instructions for the 6 month size. Perfect!

For the trim (hem and sleeves), I used the edging found here:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/mais-oui/

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I also made the flower pattern listed in the blog above for the accent rose. I gave it a Christmas-y twist by chaining 2 or 3 stitches mid-petal (3hdc, ch-2, 3hdc) for example. This made the petals a bit pointy, more like a poinsettia.

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I can’t wait to see pictures of her in it! I love making dresses.

May you have a blessed Christmas, and be surrounded by love, regardless of circumstances. I am grateful for the Babe that came.

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Until then, happy hooking!

Oh Dear and Aha!

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I’m having one of those moments.

A bit sheepish and disgruntled.

I just had the most marvelous idea…about a project, of course…but the beauty of sheer simplicity means I have wasted dozens of hours crocheting work I will now proceed to rip out.

I can do it.

I will forgive myself and move on…

I mentioned in this post

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/the-perfect-all-hallows-eve/

I was planning to rework this afghan

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/the-lovely-african-flower-afghan-part-iii/

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And then tonight, sorting pictures, I realized that THIS photo (below) looks exactly like the blanket I was making in my head.

 

Instead of adding rounds of granny color

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All I needed to do was single crochet the strips together.

Argh.

 

I shall do so directly.

Let the holiday season begin.

Please feel free to chime in your opinion as to colored granny stripes or no…

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I have the most fabulous mini-stocking ornament pattern to share with you next week.

On a personal note: my beloved grandmother passed away last week and we will be celebrating her life with family and friends tomorrow. I thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

 

Grrrr, The Irrestistable Tiger Hat

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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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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…

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And the darling boy sporting his new birthday hat!

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Oh, smooches to his cuteness and love from auntie!

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