Tote Bag Trio

I try to make sure all the kids have a little something special just from me under the tree each year. I decided on tote bags for the 7-9 year old girls so I could match their personalities but keep the gifts on an equal level. So I headed over to my Pinterest board in search of inspiration and I found a pair of perfect patterns!!

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The Candy Colors Tote and the Rainbow Tote were made using the Simple Stripes Tote Bag pattern which is available on Ravelry.

 

The Purple Passion Tote was made using the Give Me Variety Tote Bag also available on Ravelry.

I used Red Heart Super Saver that was leftover from some other kid-related projects. Now I’m thinking about making each of them an ornament with the same colors, maybe start a new family tradition!

As always, you can see more of my work at http://www.facebook.com/acountryyarn

 

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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I am thankful for having found such a diverse group of creative and wonderful Internet friends. I hope that each of you has a day filled with whatever makes you happy.

Kids’ Jackets Round Up

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that I’m a self-taught crocheter. I first picked up a hook in February of 2013, and I’ve learned everything thanks to the huge number of tutorials and patterns that are available online. My two girls, Sarina my youngest daughter and Regina my oldest granddaughter, are two of my most willing models and testers and my favorite collaborators (and Pop Warner cheerleaders). Because of their interest and enthusiasm in my art I’ve created theses jackets in less than a year’s time!!

I am particularly proud of the Sarina Hoodie which is an original pattern. Sarina chose her yarn and the colors and helped design the pattern. I’ve written down enough notes to recreate my work so I can offer custom orders but I have yet to write out the actual pattern.

This jacket is absolutely Regina’s favorite pattern in her favorite color. You can read more about our variations on this one in this post.

I made both of these last Spring when the early mornings were still nice and cool but the temps were up in the 80s before lunchtime. Sarina chose the Cotton Cardigan which I scaled down to fit her smaller frame. Regina’s jacket is a version of the Bouvardia Hooded Jacket.

This was the first serious “you can wear it in public” jacket I ever made. I had the yarn in my stash and we knew we needed something to go with those red boots! You’ll find the details and a link to the pattern in this post.

The Second Version

I’ve been crocheting for just under four years,  and, as a result of my endless need to practice, my girls have piles of handmade wearables and no two items are the same. I try to make each girl a part of the planning process by having them browse patterns and choose the yarns I use, but sometimes I just grab what’s on hand and start making something without any input from either of them.

My granddaughter Regina isn’t into fashion or following trends. She’s really into comfort and she knows what she likes. And she really likes the Bouvardia Hooded Jacket.

The first version I made with cotton Sugar and Cream yarn that I had bought only because the colors are pretty and it was on sale. I made this one in the Spring and left off the hood. Our South Florida weather is moody more than cold and windy in April. I also shortened the sleeves so she wasn’t constantly pushing them up at school.

I really like the stripes of color around the front and bottom. They give the jacket a kind of hippie chic flair.

When it was time to start thinking about cool weather again, Regina knew exactly which jacket she wanted. We walked the yarn aisles at the nearest craft store for nearly 20 minutes before she chose a variety of purples!  And with the inevitable cold fronts looming in very near future, I made the jacket with the hood.

Because the fabric feels more like a blanket than sweater, I added length at the bottom and the sleeves for an extra snuggle feel. I finished it yesterday and she took it home just in time for the low-40s temps this morning!

You’ll find the original pattern here. I’ve seen comments that some people found it difficult or found errors but I didn’t have any trouble adapting it to fit a child.

Is there a favorite pattern your friends or family request? Leave me a link in the comments.

Spa Quality Wash Cloths

I finished a special order of my 8″ spa cloths today. My pieces will become part of a gift set along with handmade coffee scrub by another local crafter!

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This is a set of 10, 5 each of two styles done in two colors. I use Creme de la Creme 100% cotton and LB Collection Cotton Bamboo yarn for my “spa style” wash cloths because they work up smoothly and feel more luxurious than the other cotton yarns I’ve used.

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Over the years I’ve developed some go to patterns for making washcloths and I thought I’d share them with you.

As written, each pattern should produce an 8″ wash cloth including the edging. You can increase the size of your cloth by adding a multiple of 2 to each starting chain or decrease by 2s for a smaller cloth. To tighten the corners of your wash cloth, skip over the stitches just before and just after each corner as you work the edges.

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Bumpy Moss Stitch 8″ – yellow

Ch 30 with 4.5 mm hook
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, (dc in next stitch, sc next st) across ending with sc in last chain, ch 1 and turn
Row 2: standing dc in both loops of first stitch, (sc in front loop of dc in previous row, dc in back loop of sc in previous row, sc in front loop of dc in previous row) across, ending with dc in both loops of last sc, ch 1 and turn
Row 3: (sc in front loop of dc in previous row, dc in back loop of sc in previous row) across, ending in sc, ch 1 and turn

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until square is formed
Edge with sc around, sc, ch 1, sc to form corners. Complete 2 rounds.

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Bumpy HDC 8″ Wash Cloth – Coral

Chain 37 with 4.0 hook
Row 1: HDC in 3rd ch from hook and in each chain across, ch 1 and turn
Row 2: HDC in first stitch, (HDC in front loop of next stitch, HDC in back loop of next stitch), repeat across ending with an HDC in both loops of last stitch, ch 2 and turn

Repeat row 2 until square is made to within 1/4 inch.
Edge with sc around, sc, ch 1, sc to form corners. Complete 2 rounds.

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Striped Moss Stitch – green

Ch 31 with a 4.5 mm hook
Row 1: sc, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, (skip next ch, sc, hdc in next ch) across, ch 1 and turn
Row 2: sk first st, sc,hdc in next st, (skip next st, sc, hdc in next st) across, ch 1 and turn
Repeat Row 2 until square is made to within 1/4″
Edge with sc around, sc ch 1, sc to form corners. Complete 2 rounds.

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Skipped Stitch pattern 8″ square – blue

Chain 38 with 4.0 mm hook
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, *ch 1, sk next st, sc in next st, repeat from * across remaining chains, ch 1 and turn
Row 2: sc in first st, ch 1 and skip next st, (sc in front loop of st, ch 1, sk next st, sc in back loop of st, ch 1 and sk next st) across, ending with sc in last st, ch 1 and turn

Repeat row 2 until square is made to within 1/4 inch.
Edge with sc around, sc, ch 1, sc to form corners. Complete 2 rounds.

 

 

Dragon Scale Texting Gloves

Some time back this Bored Panda post showed up in my Facebook and I immediately filed the images away in my mental “to do” basket. For the few weeks following, members of the crochet groups I belong to were posting the photos and asking for help finding the pattern, as some crafters often do. I personally prefer a bit of detective work, so I ventured into the internet and came across several different types of crocodile stitch fingerless gloves, like this one from Meladora’s Creations and this one by Thanesprayers over on Tumblr.  I filed some more ideas in my “to do” basket.

Fast forward to yesterday evening. I was kicking around ideas of what might be a “hot” seller in our area in the coming weeks when some part of my brain kicked over the “to do” basket and right there on top were all the gloves and mitts!!

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I also happened to have 8 balls of self striping yarn just waiting for the right project. And because I don’t already have enough going on, I started working on my own variation of Dragon Scale Texting Gloves! I’m pretty excited because my yarn seems to represent the sea, fire, the earth and the sky so I’m going with a limited production “nature’s elements” theme,

 

I’ve made lots of slippers using the crocodile stitch, so I was able to do the math and create the right size cuff using my favorite technique. I’m taking notes as I go, so if my gloves are a success I’ll try to write up and share a useable pattern.

Sleeping Buddies

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Isn’t she cute!? I just finished her today for our granddaughter Milena who lives in Germany. The doll is 8″ tall and stuffed with poly fill and dried lavender. I added a few drops of lavender oil to a cotton ball in her head and she smells divine!

Now that I’m familiar with the Sleeping Buddies pattern, I plan to make up some in festive holiday colors. I think they’d make a fantastic stocking stuffer for baby’s first Christmas.

 

Do you have a favorite small toy or doll to crochet? Share a link in the comments below!