Sunday, October 28, 2012

I need a Mascot (Fantastic Finds)

I know you must be thinking: "You don't need a mascot! You have one- Ringo is totally your mascot!"

Well... I don't think Mr. Starkey is all that interested.

Yeah, nope.

Ringo seems more interested in being mascot of the backyard. I occasionally carry my crochet out to the picnic table, and am met with Ringo, face to face. I think he disapproves of my less than adventurous spirit.

So since Ringo is the wrong animal for the job, I've taken to pondering Amigurumi sheep. Every now and then I go searching for the perfect pattern. Usually I find cuteness abounding. But I want something more than cuteness in my mascot. I want personality.

And so I discovered Bob and Daisy.
Bob and Daisy, The Sheep - Amigurumi Pattern
Bob and Daisy The Sheep via irenestrange

Are they not the most perfecterestest Amigurumi sheep you've ever seen? I'm completely smitten by their charming little selves.

I'm buying the pattern as soon as I click the orange "Publish" button on this post. Maybe in my reckless excitement I'll forego proof reading. 

Oops, I kinda just bought it without even finishing this post.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2 of 4 Lace Slouch Hat (Finished!)

These lace slouch hats certainly take it out of me. The first one took a couple of weeks to complete, but this lovely lady (it's a girl) took me, what, nearly two months? Easily 6 weeks of work.

Honestly though, they're worth it because they're *gorgeous*. The pattern is a must-have for anyone who gives handmade gifts or likes to have pretty, luxurious things themselves.

Before you scroll down, let me fill you in.
I'm crocheting items for charity.
The lace slouch hat is one of them.
This is the original post on the lace slouch hats (swoon!).
This is the first - 1 of 4 - completed hats.

You now have my blessing to scroll and meet 2 of 4 in Emerald Green.

So pretty. :) I'm definitely planning to hoard the yellow one for myself. So, technically, only 3 will be available for Charity-Fundraiser purchase. BUT if I wear it out and about and people *ask* me about my hat, it gives me a nice opening to talk up Meal-a-Day. Plus, it's sunshiney yellow, and I need all the sunshine I can get this time of year.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Darling Diamond Fingerless Gloves (Free!)

Like free stuff?

Here ya go, a free (and fabulous) pattern!
These are the Darling Diamond Fingerless Gloves

(once called "wristies", but that name is trademarked
and therefore these are *not* "wristies",
because I might be sued for suggesting they are.
Yeah. Really.)

Here's how you can make your pair.

1 skein worsted weight yarn in color of choice
2 buttons (5/8" worked nicely)
yarn needle
5mm crochet hook

Foundation Row:
Ch30, hdc in 3rd row from hook. Hdc in each across.
Row 1: fphdc in each across. Ch1, turn
Row 2: blhdc across. Ch1, turn
Row 3: fphdc across. Turn
Row 4: ch5, sc in 3rd from starting ch. *ch5, skip 2 st, sc in 2rd st. Repeat from * across. At end of row, ch3, sc in last. Join w/ sl st to starting ch to form a round.
Begin working in rounds.
Rnd 1: Ch1, sl st into next ch. Sc in 5ch lp. *ch5, sc in next ch lp. Repeat from * around. Join with sl st to initial sl st.
Rnd 2: Sl st into first 2 ch of lp. *ch5, sc in next ch sp. Repeat from * around. Sl st into starting sc.
Rnds 3-10: Repeat Rnd 2. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Thumb Hole:
On opposite side of cuff opening, choose chain diamond that thumb comfortable fits in.
Rnd 1: Join yarn to middle of ch in diamond. *ch3, sc in next center of ch loop. Repeat from * 2x around. Join with sl st.
Rnd 2: Sl st into 1st ch of ch lp. Draw up sl st through middle of ch lp. *Ch3, sl st into next. Repeat from * around. Join w/ sl st to starting sl st. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Button Loop:
Join yarn to first stitch of first row. Ch5, sl st into first st of 3rd row. Fasten off, weave in ends. Affix button to opposite side of cuff opening.

Make two and wear the darlings with joy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Free Patterns!


You've know found *all* of my free patterns!
(aka, your new happy place)


Sunburst Granny Square
Birthday Bunting
The Granny of All Bags (how-to!)

Owl Make a Motif

Frilly Flower Motif

Star Flower

Sweet Sunshine Motif
Nesting Bowl Trio
Darling Diamond Gloves

The Flower Pot Series No. 03: African Violet

African Violets can be fickle. Not too much sun, not too little. Don't over water, but don't under water either. Pinch the dried up flowers to keep them flowering. Don't get the leaves wet. Give it special plant food *just for African Violets*. Whew. They are surely not a plant for the botanically timid.

Fortunately, there's a hardier version...

Inspired? Perfect. Make your own African Violet and check out the whole Flower Pot Series! It's growing (pun intended).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Flower Pot Series No. 02: Portulaca

I'd never heard of portulaca until I moved to Illinois. I got out of my car and noticed low growing ground cover popping up where my tulips had recently wilted. A few weeks later, small blossoms appeared in a variety of colors (pink, yellow, orange, white! woohoo!!). Investigation was required. I stooped down and snooped through the tangle of winding stems to discover that, contrary to what I thought, this was one plant - not a multitude.

Since that time, portulaca has become a favorite. My window boxes are crammed full of them. The pot hanging outside my house is stuffed as well. And even the terracotta pots, left over from the herb garden, are filled with portulaca.

If you're a fan (or maybe I just convinced you?), check out...


Flex Your Creativity (Inspiration)

I never considered myself a creative person.
Enthusiastic about crochet, yes.
Willing to learn and experiment, always.
Desiring to create, usually.
But creative? Oh, no. It's not like this stuff comes naturally to me.

Over the years, as I've read what other people I deemed "creative" had to say, I've come to realize: creativity is not exactly some innate gift that you either have or you don't. None of us are solely Left Brained or Right Brained. People don't fit neatly under the titles and subtitles society has created for us. We just don't.

Here's some fun videos to pick your brain a bit (I love a good brain picking). The first is a link to Sir Ken Robinson's Ted Talk: Schools Kill Creativity.   And another ted talk from Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius.

So maybe, creativity is not necessarily something we're endowed with at birth. For most of us, it's a skill we develop, a muscle we flex, a method we study. And for every finished item, work of art, thing of dazzling beauty, are dozens of dead ideas and stalled projects. I imagine that's a reality for everyone attempting to make.  For every masterpiece there is a lifetime of work, both before and after.

So to you, whoever you are: Be enthusiastic. Be willing to learn and experiment. Desire to create. Then: flex your creativity.