What to do with all those balls of leftover yarn?

My friend, an avid afghan & scarf creator, has more yarn than any one person has a right to own!  I feel like I’ve entered yarn heaven every time I look through her stores.  She normally makes an afghan or scarf and hoards the leftover ends to make a “scrap afghan or scarf” once she has collected enough ends.  These scrap creations always turn out uniquely beautiful even if the name sounds like something you save for the dog!  Some of her leftover ends, though, are even too small for incorporating into these projects; that’s where I come in!

My friend gave me a handful of these small yarn balls and here are some little things that I made with them.

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Shorty the Snake, Teddy and Legless (the frog)

In return for sharing, I made my friend this cute little Ladybug as these are her favorite, little creatures.

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Ladybug

This rarely used mug (with an outdated, unwanted photo) was able to become re-purposed by adding a cozy sweater to hide the unsightly photo!  Now it’s a sweet tool holder for me!  YAY!

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All of the above were created using no patterns (which is probably obvious!) but I feel I’m doing pretty good to end up with a finished product that actually resembles the object I was going for!

This morning was -26 degrees F (or -32 C), so it is still very, very frigid here and only part way through winter. 😦  Boo!  I am so ready to be warm again!  So I will be back to work on my granny square afghan!   Have a great day and happy hooking!

It’s Adventure Time!

You may or may not be familiar with the cartoon Adventure Time; a cartoon set in the post apocalyptic future. This weird show has become a favorite of mine when my daughter watches cartoons in the living room. It’s has a lot of quirky, lovable characters but would not be a show I would allow young viewers to watch. It’s not “bad” just I think young minds should have entertainment with more “substance”. But if you want to watch something off the wall and somewhat weird and funny, this could be a show for you. My daughter will be turning twenty three in a couple weeks and with her disabilities will always live with me. She collects all sorts of characters from cartoons and she really likes this show and its goofy cast of characters. Jake is a dog and is best friends with Finn the human which are the main two characters and I made Jake for Ashli’s birthday (but I couldn’t wait and gave it to her early anyway!). I have the pattern I created available for free if you are interested, but be warned I am not a pattern maker, just trying my hand at it.

Here is Jake!

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Jake is a funny, talking dog that has the power to change shape and stretch, so he could be made a number of ways. This is his “normal” form.

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This project worked up quickly and easily as you can see there isn’t much difficult about his shape!

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Ashli loves her Jake and looks forward to all my projects being completed, I think she is my biggest fan!

I have plans to make my favorite character from Adventure Time, LSP (Lumpy Space Princess) and I’ll probably make Finn so Jake won’t be lonely! So check back for new Adventure Time characters!

The Day After Valentine’s Day

Well I made it through this Valentine’s day, whew! This year it was a hectic time, to say the least. We planned a bake sale to help raise money to bring my daughter home on break from AmeriCorps on the sweetest day of the year! All day on February 13th, I baked and then baked some more! I made 15 dozen sugar and oatmeal raisin cookies, seven devil’s food and yellow and cheese cakes, seven loaves of orange-cranberry bread and a slew of chocolate covered pretzel rods! Not to mention I made a batch of Rice Krispie treats just for my family to eat! Needless to say I was wiped out!! I forgot to take pictures of the cookies, but I did take these:


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The cakes were made from recipies from my Better Homes, New Cook Book. I’ve made these recipes a hundred times over the years and they always turn out great.

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The pretzel rods were the relaxing thing I did before going to bed. Just rods rolled in almond bark and the sprinkles or nuts, super easy!

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I really wish I had two ovens! I tested the bread as I never tried this recipe before, I tweaked it a little to accommodate my available ingredients and it turned out wonderfully! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cranberry-orange-bread-4/. The tweaks I did, did not affect the ingredient list, I just didn’t have fresh or frozen cranberries. I soaked dried cranberries overnight and added crushed mandarin oranges to compensate for any moisture loss due to that change. I also drizzled a few lines of icing on top and the bread was really delicious.

The last thing I added to the bake sale fodder were these adorable little crocheted amigurumi hearts. They worked up quickly and easily and over the last week I made hearts before going to bed. I now have to find a new project just because my routine is all out of whack with no hearts to make!

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I added keyrings to them upon request and they became Valentine gifts for lots of people. The large red one, I made for my daughter and she loved it.

Small heart pattern: http://www.pepika.com/free-patterns/crochet-heart.html

Large heart pattern: http://mygurumi.blogspot.com/2009/02/pop-heart-pattern.html

On top of all of this going on, it was Homecoming and my son was on court in the running for King. Although he didn’t get crowned he is every bit a king to me! What a busy, busy couple days. Tonight will be more relaxing, I will see my son off to the Homecoming dance and finally get to go out for a romantic dinner with my hubby!

A Dragon’s Tale…

So another birthday is coming up and I got a good advanced start on this one, I am done and still have a month to go to gift it!  Yay me!  Anyway I was informed by her father that she was an avid Toothless fan, the dragon from”How to Train Your Dragon” ( a DreamWorks Animation ).  So I was happy to find this pattern:  Toothless   It is a clearly written and easy to follow pattern.

I did run into several problems with the making of this little guy however, but it was not due to anything but my own inexperience.  Let me tell you one thing I learned right away with this project….I do not like black yarn!  Possibly it’s my eyes but I had a really hard time distinguishing sewn yarn from stitches. You may wonder why this was even an issue and I answer that curiosity with the first thing I did was sew the head on backwards and had to remove it!!  NOT FUN!  It seriously took me forty minutes to decapitate it then reattach it to the body correctly!  So, word of warning, be very sure which side of your head is the face side before sewing it onto the body!!  Probably common sense there but this was a sort of odd shaped head. I think if I ever make this pattern again, I will put a stitch marker in at the row 12 increases as this is the section that builds up the “nose area”…then I will be sure not to make that mistake again!  So I not only removed his head but also both back legs because he wouldn’t sit up proper and the horns and ears fought with me at every turn!  So they too got removed and replaced a few times, you would think I would have learned to pin them or something…no, not me!  I’m stubborn like that!  Oh well, he is done now and I am glad that it turned out well!

Another thing I learned about black yarn, that I didn’t really care for, is that you can see the white stuffing. It would be nice to have black stuffing for this guy so those little white curly cues wouldn’t show up everywhere, I find them very noticeable and annoying! So before taking pictures I went over him with sticky rollers and tweezers… whew!

IMG_0096   His eyes are greener than they look in these photos.

IMG_0095 Turn to the right!

IMG_0091  Turn to the left!

IMG_0092  Back view to show the wings and tail fins.

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I do have a menagerie of various colored furry pets which unfortunately showed all their furry contributions to the project as well! I don’t think I could ever give my Amigurumi to a person with pet allergies!  Thankfully the sticky rollers removed that pretty well also! After all is said and done, this guy turned out really cute, albeit frustrating at times. I do believe he will be thoroughly enjoyed all the same when I give him to my niece.

When you say you need nothing, you get nothing you need.

How many times are you asked what you would like for a gift? Whether it’s birthday or something else some people always like to answer with “I don’t need anything.” I didn’t ask what you needed… UGH. That answer is absolutely no help at all to the gift giver who was obviously trying to get the easy answer to solve the gift giving dilemma in the first place! My mother-in-law just happens to be one of those people that never “need” anything. So there I was a week after her birthday still trying to discover just what she really would like to receive… Tick, tock, tick, tock.. I got nothing…..that is why I asked in the first place!

So now enters my new interest in crocheting amigurumi dolls, she crotchets too, but she makes hats, that is TOTALLY different, right?! Sure it is. 👍 So now, what little snuggly thing could I make for mom? Well she does likes frogs, I haven’t crocheted a frog, she admittedly doesn’t need anything AND….no one needs a frog….perfect! Now we have something! After searching, this Tree Frog is the pattern I selected.

I found this pattern very easy to follow and the only alteration I made was to the eyes. I did not have eyes as large as those used by this blogger (Roman Sock) so I built up an eyeball in red and seated my brown safety eye in the middle, it worked out quite nicely, I think.

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He came out really cute, and I love the bendy pipe cleaner legs!

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Mom enjoyed her frog and after I boxed it it occurred to me that I could have put suction cups or magnets on his feet for hanging in windows or on refrigerator! I wish I had thought of that sooner! But I finally got it gift boxed, so I was done!! Next year I will be ready, mom will have crocheted frogs everywhere!

Better watch out butterfly!

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Just another day

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So, I wasn’t going to publish this until my daughter actually received it, but I am so excited! Not that it is “oh so spectacular” but because I just know she is going to love it! I made it from looking at a picture of something she liked, it’s not exact or even perfect, but … Continue reading

My son’s challenge

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Well with me making all these cute little guys, my son thought he would challenge me with a larger project request. And in larger I mean very rotund! He requested that I make a King Slime from a video game called Dragon Quest. Not being gamer myself, I headed to the Internet to find out … Continue reading