Monday, April 4, 2016

Crochet Projects I've Made for Easter

Egg-Shaped Easter Candy Bags

I made these egg-shaped Easter candy drawstring bags for my kids Easter baskets this year.  My goal was to make a drawstring bag with continuous loop string instead of one that can slip out and be eventually lost.  I also like the idea of the drawstring serving as bag handles. My son's is made in aqua/mint/orange/yellow in a notched stitch pattern, and my daughter's is made in lavender/yellow/pink chevron stripes. I had fun adding the appliqued bunny faces with 3D ears, bow ties and button noses/eyes.  They love their bags!

Bunny Ear Warmers & Hat

Last year, I made these bunny ear warmer headbands & beanie hat for the kids' outdoor Easter egg hunt.  It was a snowy day, and I wanted their little ears to stay warm and festive.  :)  This year, they enjoyed wearing them around the house and during their indoor early morning egg hunt.  The ears on the headbands are able to stand up with the aid of inserts made from cut-out plastic milk jugs (two cheers for re-purposing & re-using!), while the beanie cap includes floppy bunny ears per my son's request.  These were a lot of fun to create, and I'm glad that my kids will get years of use out of them.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Crochet Lacy Daisy Octagon Granny Baby Afghan

I have been busily working on a new pattern and am so happy to say all the finishing touches are complete!

I designed this original pattern for a lacy daisy afghan made with octagon grannies.  My new baby girl was on my mind the entire time.  She's due to arrive around the time daisies will begin blooming here in Western New York, which was my main inspiration for this pattern.  I also really enjoy baby items made in non-pink hues, so that's why I opted for an aqua/lavender/yellow color scheme.  Don't get me wrong.  I like pink.  I just think baby girl items can be made in other colors just as well!  Besides, purple is my favorite color anyway.  The pattern can be found HERE in my Etsy shop.

The octagon grannies are made with white daisies in the center, a lacy circular pattern surrounding them and lacy white borders on each.  Inside the square/diamond-shaped spaces between the octagons are smaller yellow daisies with white borders surrounding them.  The exterior of the afghan is adorned with a slightly ruffled lacy border.  It's definitely a very feminine pattern perfect for a sweet, new summer baby girl!

Just for fun, I made a coordinating lacy daisy sun dress, headband and peep-toed Mary Jane booties for my new baby girl to wear this summer.



Because my oldest daughter loved her little sister's set so much, I made her a matching dress.  Big sister was so excited to wear hers that she wore it to my baby "sprinkle". Then on one gloriously sunny summer day, we had an impromptu backyard photo shoot with all three of my little ones.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Crochet Amigurumi Stuffed Animals

The Rainbow Unicorn

I first got the idea to create this Rainbow Unicorn when a customer contacted requested me to make one for her newborn daughter.  She sent a photo of what she had in mind, and I Googled it to see if there were more photos online to get a better view of the design.  That's when I found this pattern from One Dog Woof for the "Rainbow Cuddles Crochet Unicorn".  Although I didn't use the creator's original pattern, I did reference the design to create my own version, which is a little more plump and shorter than the original.  This guy is also made in off-white (instead of bright white) with a mane and tail in softer colors (instead of the original version's bright colors).

My customer is very pleased with her daughter's unicorn.  She will be taking monthly milestone photos of her daughter and pudgy unicorn friend.  She was sure to send me a copy of the first photo with her baby girl gazing at it and told me they've named it "Rebecca" after it's creator.  How sweet!

While making this little guy, my children "oohed" and "aahed" over it.  I just knew they'd want snuggle buddies of their own made by mommy, and they certainly did.  Sure enough, they made their own requests, which I will share here as well.

The 2nd Rainbow Unicorn Made for My Daughter

My daughter's rainbow unicorn is finished! Her name is "Penelope, the Purple-Horned Unicorn". For this pudgy bedtime pal, I wanted to create a different and more mature-looking unicorn compared to the first I made. 

Instead of a straight yarn fringe mane in pastels, she has curly-cues in bright rainbow hues. She also has lavender hooves and a muzzle (instead of light pink), a sparkling purple horn (instead of yellow) and button eyes and nostrils (instead of appliques/embroidery). My daughter is very pleased.  She couldn't wait until I was done making it, so she slept the first night with it when the mane was only half finished.

The Dragon Made for My Son

My son's dragon is a completely original design created by me.  This pudgy little dragon may not be perfect, but my boy loves him.  He has claws on his feet & paws, wings, horns, ears, buggy eyes, a mouth that opens and closes with pointy teeth, a long tail, spikes from the top of his head to the tip of his tail and a flashy flame applique on his chest instead of coming from is mouth (because my son didn't want him to be always be a mean, fire-breathing dragon).

The Super Fuzzy Teddy Bear

This fuzzy, little teddy bear is an original creation made by me using my favorite luxury yarn, Bernat Pipsqueak.  He measures 8 inches tall and 12 inches around, which is the perfect size for a small child's nap time snuggle buddy.  

He is super cuddly-soft and embellished with detailed features.  He has appliqued blue eyes, an appliqued nose, a shaped muzzle, an embroidered mouth, embroidered paws and appliqued heart-shaped pads on his feet.  He can be found in my Etsy shop HERE.

Snuggle Bunnies

The Pink Snuggle Bunny

The first snuggle bunny I made was for my new baby girl, who is expected to arrive this summer.  I made a super soft chevron baby afghan using Bernat Pipsqueak yarn and decided to make a coordinating snuggle bunny buddy to accompany her during nap times. 

The second snuggle bunny was made to coordinate with a cream, blue, green and brown chevron afghan for a little boy.  This afghan and snuggle bunny set is available in my Etsy shop HERE.

These snuggle bunnies are embellished with fuzzy ears from the same yarn used in the coordinating afghans, embroidered sleepy eyes and mouth, a heart-shaped noses and bow tied around each of their necks.

The first bunny, the pink bunny, was the first I made and was an experiment. I created the head with a 3D puffy-cheeks appearance and used the same fuzzy yarn as the afghan to line the interior of the ears and to add a fluffy bunny tail. Then I appliqued a pink heart-shaped nose onto the face and embroidered the sleepy eyes and mouth in grey. 

These were the 3rd and 4th amigurumi crochet projects I've made without a pattern. I'm starting to love amigurumi when it used to seem so intimidating. I've found the key to creating seamless body pieces is working in a spiraling round. It's also important to keep tight, uniformed stitches and undetectable increase & decrease stitches. It takes practice but gets easier with each experience.

Crochet Newborn Baby Mermaid Cocoon and Headband with Starfish, Seashells and Pearls

This Newborn/0-3 Month Size Baby Mermaid Tail Cocoon is an original design created by me in super soft satin yarn. This would be so adorable for a baby's first photo shoot, as a show-stopper baby shower gift or both!  Find it in my Etsy shop HERE

My Little Mermaid

The set includes the Mermaid Tail Cocoon made in my personally-designed texturized scale stitch in shades of peach, dark coral, strawberry pink, ivory, Heather grey, mint green, aquamarine and buttery yellow. 

The grey top of the mermaid tail is created in a delicate, feminine shell stitch with lacy edging and adorned with two starfish, a conch shell and pearl beads. A newborn baby can snuggle down into the cocoon with the top pulled up beneath her underarms.

The bottom of the mermaid tail includes a mint green tail fin.

The set also includes a lacy headband made in grey, peach and mint green. It is also adorned with a starfish, two seashells and pearl beads.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Crochet Little Man Chevron Baby Cocoon & Newsboy Hat Set

If we were having a baby boy, I would be keeping this Little Man Chevron Baby Cocoon & Newsboy Hat Set. That's how much I adore it.  When I create something new or make something special for a dear person in my life, I always make it with the thought that if it was made for me, I would want to keep it.  I always put tremendous thought, care and detail into my projects.

My Little Model

The Set

This Little Man Chevron Baby Cocoon and Newboy Hat Set is my own original design.  My vision for this cocoon was to create a chevron baby cocoon in soft colors with the top opening in the style of a folded-down collar and button enclosure similar to a men's Henley top.

I also wanted to achieve a more practical cocoon design that would not only be adorable as a newborn photo prop but for everyday use. The button-down front adds to the practicality because it makes it easier for baby to be placed into and taken out of the cocoon.

Because the color pattern of the cocoon is so busy, I made a simple matching ivory newsboy cap and added aqua buttons to match the cocoon.

The Set with the "Collar" Turned Down

The Set with the "Collar" Turned Up

This set would be perfect for a baby boy or could even be considered gender-neutral by those who don't mind blue as a girl color.

I have written the PATTERN for this set and am also offering the FINISHED SET for sale in my Etsy Shop.



This is an intermediate-level pattern, which includes detailed instructions and photos to create this adorable cocoon and hat set.

Supplies Needed

  • Size “I” Hook (for the satin yarn)
  • 10.5 oz. (3 skeins) Vanna’s Choice Baby Yarn (4 Weight Yarn) in “Lamb” (Ivory)
  • 3.5 oz. Vanna’s Choice Baby Yarn (4 Weight Yarn) in “Aqua”
  • 3.5 oz. Vanna’s Choice Baby Yarn (4 Weight Yarn) in “Duckie” (Yellow)
  • 3.5 oz. Vanna’s Choice Baby Yarn (4 Weight Yarn) in “Mint”
  • Yarn Needle
  • Sewing Needle
  • White Sewing Thread
  • ½ Inch White Buttons (6 total)
  • 1-Inch Aqua Buttons (2 total)

Stitches Used

  • Chain
  • Slip Stitch
  • Single Crochet
  • Half Double Crochet
  • Double Crochet
  • Half Double Crochet Two Together
  • Double Crochet Two Together
  • Triple (Treble) Crochet

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Crochet is Not a Dying Art

One of my favorite crochet communities on Facebook, The Crochet Crowd, posted something recently that I found spot-on.  Here's what Nancy Withers of The Crochet Crowd had to say:

I totally agree with Nancy.  Crochet IS NOT a dying art. I've said many times throughout my life that I was crocheting when crocheting wasn't cool.  Years ago, it was very rare to happen upon a fellow crocheter by chance. However, as the years have progressed, now there are many more crocheters out there (and knitters too--can't forget them!).  Now there are crochet clubs, classes at craft stores, crocheters working their yarn magic during their work lunch breaks, etc...  I think it's safe to say there are also many daughters and granddaughters carrying on the tradition that their grandmothers and mothers taught them as well as perpetuating through their own children, friends, nieces and nephews.  Furthermore, a few years ago, it was unheard of for males to be crocheting or knitting.  However, now there are quite a few men and boys picking up hooks and yarn.  It's a yarn-working revolution out there, folks! 

Nancy is also correct about the discounting of our time, creativity and materials costs. I've actually had people purchase my Mermaid Tail Pattern on Etsy for $5.50, thinking it was a finished product and expecting free shipping.  One customer even went as far as to say that she felt "deceived" and that I had wasted her money even though she received a full refund.  Wow...

I've also had people ask why I crochet things when I could just go to the store and buy them for a small fraction of the cost. They just don't understand that it's more than money and time... It's creative expression, it's therapy (as Nancy emphasizes), it's doing something nice for someone else, it's anxiously waiting for someone to open a gift you've lovingly made and melting when their appreciative eyes meet yours and so very much more! 

I suppose there will always be someone out there who doesn't understand why we do what we do. The same could be said of other artists, whose work isn't appreciated by those who have no idea what goes into it or why. But we crocheters and knitters press on nonetheless!  I will work my hook and yarn skills until my fingers are knobby and misshapen and can work no more.  I will teach my children when they ask to learn as well as friends and relatives who express interest.  I'm a CROCHETER FOR LIFE and am darn proud of it!

Thanks to Nancy Withers of The Crochet Crowd for the writing inspiration.  :)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Crocheting for Our New Baby Girl

The Reveal

When my husband and I first discovered we are expecting our third child, he left it up to me to decide whether or not we know the gender early.  I was quite determined to wait until "birth" day.  However, when the doctor asked if we'd like to know, I caved.  I don't have enough willpower to wait.  Silly me...

So of course I had to crochet a little something for our new baby girl!  I made her a tiny, ruffled romper and headband for her to wear during one of her first photo shoots. Can't wait to meet her in July!

Boy or Girl?

Before the big reveal, I had also made a gender-neutral baby afghan.  I still love the colors and know we will put it to good use.  I wanted to create a unique patchwork-style afghan involving squares with puffy, two-dimensional stars in the middle of each square.  I used lightweight yarn for our summer baby and loose stitching for breathability. 

My little sweetie loves snuggling with her very first blankie!

The Super Fuzzy Chevron Afghan & Snuggle Bunny

I finished my baby girl's afghan today and made a matching stuffed snuggle bunny to complete her future nap time ensemble. I love the luxurious, soothing smooth texture of Bernat Pipsqueak yarn and am sure our little one will find it comforting as well.

The bunny was an experiment. I created the head with a 3D puffy-cheeks appearance and used the same fuzzy yarn as the afghan to line the interior of the ears and to add a fluffy bunny tail. Then I appliqued a pink heart-shaped nose onto the face and embroidered the sleepy eyes and mouth in grey.  I look forward to seeing my baby girl snuggled up with her little nap time buddy one day. 

The Lacy Daisy Set

In another blog post I shared the Lacy Daisy Octagon Granny Baby Afghan that I made for my little one.  

I also shared family photos with my baby girl wearing the matching sundress set and my oldest daughter wearing a matching sundress.  Here are the photos again just for the sheer fact that I love seeing them over and over!

The Lacy Chevron Baby Dress Set 

First, I just have to share a photo of my sweet, smiley baby!  After all, her smile is contagious!

I originally made this set for my little lady to wear as a hospital homecoming ensemble.  However, she wasn't born quite as large as the doctors thought she would be.  So... this set had to wait for another day.  When she was six weeks old, it finally fit.  And just in time!  One week later, it was a bit too snug!  I can't believe how fast she's growing!