The Whole Knit & Caboodle

Barely coherent ramblings of a yarn-obsessed stay at home mom

Ready for Christmas fever?

On AmigurumiBB’s blog!  Check out these adorable Christmas ornaments!  I’m SO in love with the snowmen, I NEED to find time before Christmas to make them!  Free patterns!  Go check them out!

Ready for Christmas fever?.

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Farmyard Friends Pattern Release!

About a month ago the pink yarn in my yarn stash was calling my name.  I decided that I needed to make a pig ami that looked like a piggy bank.  Later that evening a pig was born!

Because the patterns I write are often customer requests, my allllllmost 3 year-old daughter doesn’t usually get the first finished item from any specific pattern.  I tucked the pig away and decided I would give it to her the net morning.

Well.  She was in LOVE!  The very first thing she did when I gave it to her was turn it around so he was facing her and rub his nose on her nose.  Then she turned him over on his back and tickled his tummy.  “Oh mommy!  I wuv um!!” she kept saying.  It was seriously one of the cutest things I’ve ever been witness to.

I decided that the pig (who I named Hamlet– blame the English Lit nerd in me) needed some friends.  Before too long I had added a sheep (Lanolin), a horse (Charlie), a cow (Havarti), a chicken (Scratch) and a duck (Quackers).  They’re all soft, fat little animals, perfect for little hands.

Yesterday saw their debut on Ravelry and Craftsy and they’ve received quite a warm welcome!  I’m so proud to see these little guys going of into the crochet world!  What do you think of them?

Farmyard Friends patterns, available on Ravelry and Craftsy now!

Farmyard Friends patterns, available on Ravelry and Craftsy now!

The patterns are available individually for $3.50 each or all 6 patterns for $15.00.  That’s only $2.50 a pattern!  You can grab your copy/copies in my Craftsy Store or my Ravelry Store!

Aside from the pattern release, I’ve got more awesomely amazing news to share!  I’ve got a tutorial in the Fall Issue of Too Yarn Cute eMagazine!  They were looking for someone to do a tut last minute so I expanded on my mattress stitch tutorial- you can now learn how to quickly and easily join clothing panels and afghan blocks- and it’s exclusively available in the fall issue of the eMag.

Along with my tutorial, there are *23* different crochet patterns from some of the most talented designers out there!  There are great articles, a featured designer- all for $4.99!  When is the last time you got 23 patterns for less than $5?

I got my copy, you can grab yours here:

http://transactions.sendowl.com/products/29736/DAB4E762/purchase?r=3659
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Free Cupcake Pin Cushion Pattern

What are your bad crafting habits?  Do you leave  yarn tails all over?  Do you start a project only to abandon it when you find something new and exciting to work on?  I’m not going to confess all my crafting sins but one of my biggest (and most hated by my husband) is that I stick pins in the arm of the couch.

Yesterday I decided to change this.  Here’s my solution:

Cupcake Pin Cushion Bracelet

Cupcake Pin Cushion Bracelet

While I don’t see the cupcake bracelet catching on as a fashion accessory anytime soon, it’s perfect for keeping pins close at hand at wrist when you’re sewing or assembling a knitting/crochet project.

This is a great project to use up leftover yarn and it works up very quickly.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

A size F5/3.75mm hook

Approx. 8 yds of worsted weight yarn in your choice of colour for the “”frosting”.

Approx. 4 yds of worsted weight yarn in your choice of colour for the cupcake bottom.

Approx. 6 yds of worsted weight yarn in your choice of colour for the bracelet.

A 3/4″ button

Yarn needle for weaving in ends

A small amount of polyester stuffing.

Gauge isn’t terribly important.  Using a F5/3.75mm hook I ended up with a cupcake that is about 2 1/4″ wide and 1 1/2″ high.

Cupcake:

Rnd 1: Using frosting colour, make a magic circle.  Ch 1.  Work 6 sc in circle, pull tail to close circle tightly.  (6)

Rnd 2: Work 2 sc in each st around.  (12)

Rnd 3: *Sc in next st, 2 sc in next* repeat ** around.  (18)

Rnd 4: *Sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next* repeat ** around.  (24)

Rnds 5 & 6: Sc in each st around.  (24)

Rnd 6: Ss in each st around.  (24)

Rnd 7: (For each st of this rnd you will be inserting your hook up under both loops of the slip stitches from the previous rnd, NOT the single crochets into which you worked your slip stitches.) *2 sc in next st, ss in next* repeat ** around.  Finish off, weave in end. (24 sc, 12 ss)

Rnd 8: Join cupcake bottom colour in any of the sc stitches from rnd 6.  Ch 1 (counts as a sc).  Sc in each st around.  (24)

Rnd 9: Sc in each st around.  (24)

Rnd 10: *Sc in next 2 sts, sc 2 tog* repeat ** around.  (18)

Rnd 11: (Working in back loops only)  *Sc in next st, sc 2 tog* repeat ** around. (12)

Stuff cupcake firmly.

Rnd 12: (Working in both loops).  {Sc 2 tog} x 7.  Finish off, weave in end.  (5)

Bracelet:

With bracelet colour, ch until you reach desired length.  I chained 34 and got a bracelet of about 7″.

Tr in 5th ch from hook and in each ch across.  Finish off and weave in ends.

Sew bracelet to underside of cupcake.

Before attaching the button, stitch together two of the triple crochets at one end.  This just reinforces the material beneath the button.

What I like about the bracelet is that it is adjustable- you just put the button through the spaces between the triple crochets and make it as tight or as loose as you’d like.

If you use pins with the coloured plastic ends, they look like sprinkles! 😉

I made a few cupcakes for my daughter (minus the bracelet and the pins), she loves them!  They’re great “desserts” for tea parties!

**You are welcome to make and sell items from this pattern as much as you’d like, but please don’t sell this pattern or claim it as your own.**

*Pattern updated March 4/14 to correct error in round 10*

 

Copyright © 2013 Sarah Horrocks

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Hooked on Clay!

The last few evenings when my hands are sore from crocheting stuffies I’ve been playing around some more with polymer clay.  It’s been a nice break for my hands and it’s a lot of fun.

For the longest time I told myself that I couldn’t use a crochet hook with a handle because I bought a foam one on a whim one time and it was awful!  It covered the thumb rest and part of the throat of the hook, it made holding the hook feel awkward.  It was change.  And I didn’t like it.

I’ve been drooling over some of the amazing hooks put out by a couple of the pages I follow on Facebook and decided that my poor Red Heart hooks needed a facelift.  I decided not to sculpt anything for them- I wanted a slim, streamline handle that I would be comfortable holding for a long period of time.

After some smooshing and mashing, wrapping and rolling, here’s what I came up with:

I think I may be "hooked" on polymer clay!

I think I may be “hooked” on polymer clay!

 

I should get close-ups of some of my favourites- I really love them and they’re actually really comfortable.  The designs on some of them are really pretty and I know I’ll never be able to duplicate them, they sort of fluked into existence.  Maybe with a little practice I’ll be making clay canes like a master and I’ll be able to create some really remarkable ones 🙂

 

On another note, I released my Shy Pig (Piglet) pattern last week and the response was astounding!  In my short time as a designer who sells her patterns I’ve had the pleasure of being on Craftsy’s top 20 leaderboard a couple of times.  Usually around #14 or #15 but it’s always a thrill to be up there with established designers such as Bonita Patterns and Frayed Knot.  

When I released Shy Pig, he was #1 for about a day and a half!  #1!  It was amazing.  I even took a screen shot (photos or it didn’t happen, right?)

 

The #1 Pig!  For a day and a half!

The #1 Pig! For a day and a half!

 

Sure, he was on intro special while he was #1 but I’m still so proud of the achievement.  When hubby came home from work that evening he insisted we order sushi in celebration (though I think he just wanted sushi 😉 ).

 

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Gotta catch ’em all!

Phew!  Less than two weeks from Christmas and I’m still hard at it!  I still have lots of orders but I know I’ll have them all finished in time.  I’m very lucky to have so many trusting (and patient!) customers.  I’ve been crocheting/knitting so much that my hands/arms/shoulders are sore but there’s no rest for the wicked right?

I don’t think I’ve watched an episode of Pokémon since I was a teenager and was babysitting kids who watched the show but I was asked to make a couple of Pokémon hats- a Pliplip (penguin) and a Teddiursa (bear).  Don’t ask me what they do because I honestly couldn’t tell you.  I’m very pleased with how they turned out though.

With most of my character hats, I do the faces in appliqué.  This is what makes them look so clean.  It takes more time but it appeases my OCD.. haha.

Gotta catch 'em all!  (And yes, I googled that.. haha)

Gotta catch ’em all! (And yes, I googled that.. haha)

This order will result in two happy little girls with very warm heads this Christmas! 🙂

Other than orders there’s just been a lot of the usual- tree decorating, card addressing, gingerbread house decorating.. although I think “On Top of the Microwave Dive” is a bad area of town, one of the gingerbread men has gone missing  (perhaps he was enjoyed with a glass of eggnog) you’ll be seeing his face on little gingerbread milk cartons before too long!

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“Making” Friends

I’ve been crocheting hats for two years now, since my daughter was born.  I’m quickly becoming well known in town as someone who does nice work and the orders start pouring in around the beginning of September.  Living in a semi-arid climate (read: desert-like climate- there are times when you actually see tumbleweeds blowing around), I don’t get too many hat orders from April to August and I was wondering what I could make when the weather is too warm for them.  Recently I found the answer.  Plush toys.

I had a request for Pascal from Disney’s Tangled (the little chameleon guy) and after taking a peek around Ravelry and Etsy I couldn’t find a pattern I really liked. Come to think of it, this seems to be a recurring theme in my adventures in crochet.  I think I’m going to stop looking for patterns all together.  It will save me a step and I’m always happier when I come up with a pattern of my own.

Pascal almost seemed like a fluke.  He worked up so easily and I don’t really remember having to “frog” anything while working on him.  Before too long I had the pattern written up and it’s now one of the best sellers in my Craftsy shop.  Here’s a picture of the little guy:

Don't you just want to hug this guy??

Don’t you just want to hug him??

He was really fun to make.  A few months back I had someone ask me to make them a Toopy and Binoo plush set.  Toopy and Binoo are characters of a French-Canadian children’s show called (what else?) Toopy and Binoo.  I had been planning and pondering them for a little while, working on them on and off (a nice break between hats/rush orders/family/life).  The customer who ordered them has the patience of a saint- she said she was not in a rush for them, she just wanted them for the end of the month.  I was up until 2 the other  morning working on them and YESTERDAY- the very last day of the month- I finished them.  I’m really quite happy with both of them but Toopy took the most work and figuring.  He stands about 15″ tall and though I’m not a fan of the show, I REALLY love him.  I don’t have a picture of Binoo that I’m happy with so I’ll add one later.

Toopy- from the front and from the side

Heeeeeeere’s Toopy!

Whenever I make something I’m particularly proud of (always for someone else of course), there’s always a fleeting moment where I think “I want to keep this!!” I have no idea what I would do with a 15″ plush mouse- it would probably end up going to my daughter who has too many toys as it is.

Anyway, he took a long time to make but looking at him now I’m glad I took the time, paid attention to the little details (ie the french knots by his nose) and really worked to make him as true to the cartoon as I could.  Plus the lady who ordered him is THRILLED which really is one of the best feelings I can imagine. 🙂

***************

Just thought I would come back and post a photo of Toopy and Binoo together.  I was able to get them to stand up together (the other photos I had of Binoo had him propped up with a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… haha.  My customer stopped by to pick them up and her reaction to them in person was AMAZING.  Definitely one of the highlights of my day! 🙂

Toopy and his pal Binoo

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