Adorable Crochet Crocs

 

I am a crochet addict.  And a pattern addict, if I am being honest.  When I see cute patterns, I simply must have them.  And while my intentions are good, I don’t always get around to making everything I purchase.  I have countless patterns sitting in limbo just waiting for a reason to be made.  Several of these said patterns are for baby booties.

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I have always loved little baby feet in adorable handmade booties.  Unfortunately, I learned to crochet well after my children were past the toddler stage. Although I have made them slippers in the past, it really isn’t the same as making newborn booties, and let’s be honest, not many teens and pre-teens are too keen on wearing mom’s handmade wearables.

Despite the fact that I had no one in mind when I saw theese super cute crochet crocs from Crochet Oasis, I knew I needed this pattern.

I would classify this pattern as an intermediate pattern, although it uses basic crochet stitches, you must be comfortable in making several stitches in the same stitch on various rows; for example, the white and beige edging shown in my pictures.  The band of the croc is done using a knotting technique called macreme.  While it is a very simple technique to master, people that are new to this may struggle with the knotting at first.

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The pattern itself, is written beautifully in terms that are relatively simple to follow.  There are a tonne of pictures for those who prefer visual learning.

For this project, to obtain the correct gauge for the newborn size, I used my 2.75mm and a 2.25mm Clover Amour hooks. The soles of the shoe were created using a beige Needle Crafters yarn and the tops and band were made with Bernat Softee Baby.  I chose the option of non-moveable straps for my booties, since I did not have anyone to test the size on (the pattern recommends that you size the strap according to the child’s feet if you are making a moveable band).

I enjoyed this pattern immensely and have gotten many compliments on the finished product.

Happy Crocheting!

 

 

 

 

Crochet Cuddler: Unicorn

Next to amigurumi, my favourite things to crochet are infant security cuddlers and lovies.  Cuddlers and lovies are a cuter version of a security blanket.  Cuddlers have a kawaii pillow look.  Unlike traditional crochet stuffies, these Cuddlers are lightly stuffed so that small arms can wrap around them easily.  Lovies, on the other hand are part security blanket  and part stuffie – with a crochet stuffie head (and sometimes arms).  As both items are intended for toddlers, they are small in size.

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I knew I wanted to start creating Cuddlers right away when I stumbled across 3AM Grace Designs a few weeks ago.  The ladies at that site have created so many adorable (and free!) patterns.  If you are interested in showing support, the ad-free, printable versions of the patterns may be purchased for a small fee.

The first design I was drawn to was, of course, the unicorn.  This pattern, written in standard US terms, was very easy to follow.  Pictures through out made the addition of the snout, ears and horn a breeze.

I did not test my gauge prior to starting this project – which is not uncommon for me when creating non-wearables.  Using the required 5.0mm hook, my completed Cuddler measured 12.75inches from horn tip to neck base and 9.5inches across, from snout to the back of neck/mane.  For the eye, I used a large shank button (I am unsure of the actual size) rather than the safety eye that the pattern called for.  Also, I did not use a popsicle stick for the horn, I simply stuffed the horn slightly firmer than the rest of the Cuddler.

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I am so happy with how this project turned out – I do plan on making several more versions of this magical Cuddler!

If you have attempted a Cuddler as well, I would love to see it – tag me on social media.

Happy Crocheting!

 

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Tuesday Tips: Getting Started with Crochet

I am a self-tauTeaCupght crocheter.  Actually, I am a self-taught crafter in general.  I am frequently asked how to get started in crochet and how to learn the various stitches.  I do not use “proper form” when crocheting, so this makes it a bit more difficult for me to teach others the basics of crochet but I can point you in the right direction.

My advice to anyone who is wishing to get into this craft is to drive right in!  Surround yourself with YouTube tutorials. There are several crafters willing to share their techniques with others.  Two of my favourite YouTube crocheters are SimplyDiasy and Naztazia.  Both of these channels have videos on crochet basics for absolute beginners.

The internet is your friend and is an invaluable resource when learning a new craft. There are so many free crochet patterns, anyone just learning will not have to spend money on patterns right away.  New crocheters should join Ravelry.  This website is an amazing community.  In addition to both free and paid patterns (both knit and crochet), you can connect with other crafters (almost similar to Facebook, but for yarn artists).  I have been a part of several groups over the years, including crochet-a-longs, Crochet Swaps and more!  If you are a member of the community, please feel free to friend me (I have been slacking in updating my profile and projects there, but that is on my To Do List today).

Ami4Do not spend a fortune on a craft you are just learning.  Give yourself time to learn the stitches before buying expensive yarns and hooks.  Read some free patterns, check out the YouTube videos.  Crochet can be a very affordable hobby to start.  Dollar stores sell both yarns and hooks.  I suggest that you learn the basics before upgrading to more costly hooks and supplies.

Do not overwhelm yourself with your first project – start small and work up to a more difficult project.  This is advice I did not take – as my first project was an amigurumi cupcake.  I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my crafts and as soon as I learned the basic stitches, I jumped into amigurumi.

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out?  What was your first crochet project?

Next week, we will dive into the stitch basics.

Happy Crocheting!

Father’s Day: A Success!

Birthdays, holidays and special events are the perfect time to give the gift of homemade items.  During these times you can practice and really perfect your craft before selling things to the masses.  I always struggle with gifts to make for my father, but with the aide of my new Cricut Explore Air 2, I feel like I really knocked it out of the park this year!

The first step to creating the perfect Cricut’d gift is to either create the perfect SVG or purchase one.  Caty Catherine is one of my favourite websites to visit for SVG files.  Great prices and excellent quality files will make this a favourite of yours as well.  I nabbed an amazing full alphabet file.  The possibilities really are endless with this one.  The first shirt I designed was relatively simple to create and adhere.

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I also purchased a file from Greedy Stitches on Etsy.  I just couldn’t decide on which design I liked best, so I made both styles.

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Friday Freebies: Chunky Throw

Is there anything more comforting than a soft and thick homemade blanket?

It seems I always have the best intentions when I start an afghan pattern, but in all honesty, I usually lose interest pretty fast.  I am the type of crafter that likes to complete projects in one sitting.  I have had this pattern saved on my Pinterest board for quite some time… I just love the textured stitches.  Perhaps this summer, I will commit to it.

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This gorgeous crochet throw blanket can be found at LeeLeeKnits.  If you prefer, you can also purchase a PDF format of the pattern for a small fee.

Do you crochet blankets and afghans?  Or are you like me and perfer quicker projects?  Either way, I’d love to see your creations, drop me a comment or find me on social media.

Happy crafting!!

Celebrating Diversity

DIversity3As I am sure you are aware, June is Pride Month – a time for the LGBTQ community and their supporters to join together in a stance against discrimination and violence and a time to promote and celebrate equality and diversity.  The month of June was chosen to honour and remember the 1969 Stonewall Riots that took place in Manhattan.  These riots were a turning point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.

Our family is from a very small Canadian community and up until very recently, my children did not know any members of the LGBTQ community.  I always taught them to be respectful, loving and show acceptance towards anyone regardless of their gender, race or who those people love.  Love has no boundaries afterall.  We are now proud to say that we have a cousin who is openly gay and one of my daughter’s best friends is transgender.

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Our school recently celebrated Diversity Day.  Each student was encouraged to wear rainbow colours and share how their family was unique and/or diverse.  Of course, being the crafty mama that I am, I had to make at least 2 of the children new shirts (my third is in high school and isn’t always a fan of shirts made by mom).  If you are interested in the SVG for these shirts, let me know in the comments and I will get them added to my freebies page. I attended the assembly at the elementary school and the video one student made was truly touching.  It was wonderful to see so many teachers and students supporting Pride.

I’d love to see your rainbow and Pride crafts – feel free to tag me on social media!

Happy crafting!

 

Tuesday Tips: Finding the Right Crochet Hook

In order to crochet, you need to start with two things: yarn and hooks.  Without the hooks, you would basically be doing  macrame. Even a novice crocheter will quickly learn that all crochet hooks are not created equal.  Over my crochet career I have used many hooks and I will share with you my favourites (and the ones I absolutely hate!!)

Metal Hooks

These will likely be the hooks new crocheters start with, and the ones that are frequently gifted.  On the plus side, if you misplace any of this type of hook, they are inexpensive and can be found at any store – from dollar stores to big craft stores.  It did not take me long to discover that plain metal hooks are my least favourite.  Although they are insanely study and conveniently colour coded, I found holding them for long periods of time caused my hands and fingers to ache.  Eventually, I ended up donating the majority of my metal hooks to the local schools for their crochet clubs.

pippa.pngBamboo Hooks

For the majority of my crochet career, I have used and loved my bamboo hooks.  The bamboo seemingly molds to your fingers.  I found comfort in these hooks.  There are several downsides to using these hooks.  If you have pets, be prepared for your puppy to eat your hooks.  I went through countless numbers of hooks when my Chihuahuas were small.  Because the hooks are carved, certain yarn types my catch on the hook angles.  If you crochet tightly, the hooks may also break during stitches (i had this happen a few times while making small, tight amigurumi stitches).   I have also recently discovered that sizing differs with the Bamboo hooks…  a 3.5mm bamboo hook is not the same as a 3.5mm metal hook.

The Hooks I Currently Use

I was recently gifted with a set of Clover Amour Crochet Hooks.  It really was love at firsthooks use.  These hooks are aluminum with a soft rubber handle.   They are light weight and are the optimal shape for smooth crocheting.  The ergonomic rubber handle (which is colour coded) provides comfort for finger placement during projects.   The only downside that I have discovered is that when I am making amigurumi, I tend to use the back end of my hook to push the extra threads into the center of my project after tying off (most people sew their threads in, this is just a preference of mine).  The rubber coating that I love on these hooks does not allow for me to pop the yarn through the stitches.

 

With so many hooks on the market, it may take time to find a version you love.  I suggest to try as many different hooks as possible to find the right fit for you.  It is important to note the pros and cons of each type of hook when making your decision.

Happy crocheting!