Monday, August 31, 2020

Pumpkin Hot Pad

I'm continuing to work through the mug rug patterns in Spooktacular Crochetturning them into hot pads by crocheting an additional single color mug rug and crocheting the two together to make my hot pad.

I've recently seen more mug rug patterns so it is clearly becoming a thing. As I type this I'm looking at my mug sized square ceramic coaster and that is really all I have space for on the table. As cute as a mug rug is there really just isn't room for one and it would likely end up causing the item to fall off the table. So all things considered a hot pad is a practical useful choice for me as I love having holiday ones to use.

The pattern calls for Omega Sinfonia light a 3 sport weight 100% cotton yarn and as I mentioned in the previous post it was not easy to track down all the colors required. When I ordered the yarn for all three patterns Hobby Lobby had nothing in stock online. I checked as of writing this blog and they now have the black, yellow, and white back in stock online. I don't know what they carry in store. It's been a LONG time since I've been out to a yarn store in person. I did find all the colors required at Creative Yarn Source. If you notice I'm mentioning all sources not because I'm getting anything from the vendors but lately I've been extremely frustrated that I see a pattern I really love and then spend fruitless hours trying to find either the yarn mentioned or a reasonable substitute. If I can save someone the search then hopefully someone will know where to find the yarn I need too.

Just a note as I mentioned in the Frankenstein post if you intend to use these as hot pads and not just decorations it is important that you do not use acrylic yarn if you make them into hot pads. Acrylic will melt. Cotton is a great solution for the challenge. I know some use wool it isn't a favorite for my hands.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Bat Hand Puppet

We come to an end of the Halloween puppet sets with the bat. These were really fun easy projects to make and I'm hoping they bring some fun to what is going to be a different Halloween this year with COVID. You can find the free pattern here.

I added some sew on googly eyes that I've had in my stash for some time and have been trying to put to use this year. I thought it would add some fun to the bat puppet. I also tried to provide the fangs with a bit more shape than the pattern provided.

The yarn was a pleasant surprise too. I tend to lump my worsted 4 weights yarn together unless I know a certain brand is a lighter weight or a different texture than another. When I went looking for black yarn I found the remains of this black skein and was surprised at how soft it was on my hands. I wish I knew which brand it was as I'd like to h ave more.

I've ordered the Halloween books for this year's box so I feel like I'm making progress to get this box out before the end of September.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Make Way For Ducklings Lack

I've completed Lack the third of the Make Way for Ducklings leaving me with 5 more to make. In case you didn't remember or haven't yet read the book the names are alphabetical starting with J.

I'm hopeful that in non-Covid times the child getting this present will have the opportunity to visit the Boston Public Gardens, see the Ducklings statue and ride the Swan Boats. It's always fun to see kids who know and love the story visit the site. Perhaps she'll even bring her own duck.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Square Crow Garland

I've been adding to my fall decorations and still on the lookout for new ideas. Looking at the October edition of Crochet World I found the Square Crow Garland. Not a typo but a mash up of granny squares and scarecrow.

Crochet garlands are something I've been adding to my holiday decorations over the last couple of years. I just find them fun to make and display.

These scarecrows or square crows as the title of the pattern states are primarily made from granny squares using worsted weight 4 yarn. My one major issue with this pattern is the gauge. The pattern calls for an I hook to make a gauge of 7 dc=1 inch. The first square crow I made was adorable but far too large to be practical for a garland. I'll admit I didn't check gauge for the first one. He's now become a separate decoration. I did check gauge before starting this guy. I was at a D hook before I was even close to an inch for 7dc and I wasn't going down to a C hook.

One other note there are 3 sizes of granny squares used in this project. The largest size is used for the hat. I found the hat to be too big for my square crows head so I used the medium granny for the hat and I was happy with the fit. If that changes with the remaining square crows I will note that when I write them up. I need 7 to finish the garland.

Once you get passed figuring out the sizing these are fun and rather easy to make and I'm looking forward to completing the set so I can hang them up with my fall decorations.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


I often work on several projects at the same time. I find it helps my hands to use yarns that vary in size and texture, different sizes of hooks, and patterns that vary in the types of stitches and styles they use. I also find by switching around I finish more items when I have deadlines to meet. This summer I've also been able to sneak in a few items for myself which has been nice.

The hen is part of a birthday gift that will accompany three traditional tales Chicken Little,Henny Penny, and The Little Red Hen.

I was originally going to make the hen in worsted weight 4 yarn using variegated yarn to avoid making the color changes for the body. I did make the body that way but even with a D hook she was large. I moved on to sport weight yarn and a D hook and she was a much more workable size. Just a note the pattern calls for light worsted and a C hook. I decided my hands and I could live with the D hook making the hen just a little larger. The pattern does come with a nest and eggs but not quite what I wanted for my purposes so I chose not to include them.

The hen pattern can be found in Zoomigurumi 7

Monday, August 24, 2020

Frankenstein Hot Pad

I saw the mug rugs in Spooktacular Crochetand thought I don't have much use for a mug rug but they might possibly work as hot pads.

The first task was to locate the yarn. It is one of my constant frustrations with designers that they choose yarns that are less than easily found or substituted for with the colors you need.

Omega Sinfonia light a 3 sport weight 100% cotton yarn is not as easy to find as one would hope. It is important to use 100% cotton or natural yarns like wool if you intend to use the hot pads rather than just making them for decorations as acrylic will melt. That is why it is important to check the fiber make up of your cotton. I have some that are blends that are fine for dish cloths but not for hot pads because dish cloths aren't exposed to the same heat as hot pads.

I thank Creative Yarn Source as they were the ONLY place I was able to locate that had all the yarn colors I needed to complete the project. I had never done business with them before am getting nothing from them for stating this but I was impressed with the turn around of my order. While the website said there could be delays my yarn was here far quicker than I'd expected.

As for ordering the yarn the pattern called for one skein of each color to complete all three mug rugs. Normally I tend to order more than I need but I've ordered a good deal of yarn lately and this yarn is not inexpensive for a hot pad. With that in mind I decided to take my chances and see if I could pull together enough yarn to back the rugs to make them into hot pads.

I was rather impressed by how far the yarn went. To be certain I had enough yarn to complete all the projects I made all the pieces I needed from the orange for all three projects. I ended up remaking a couple so I had to use extra yarn. With that in mind despite making a full yarn mat from the left over orange I still had this much left over for future projects. I'm thrilled because orange is one of those sport yarn colors I often find myself in need of for fall holiday projects so having this in my stash is great. Most importantly though despite the fact I changed the pattern to add a backing for the hot pad I won't need to buy more yarn!

I'm planning on making the Black Cat and the Pumpkin Mug Rugs into Hot Pads soon.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Pumpkin Hand Puppet

This is the second hand puppet from the free Red Heart pattern set found here.

I feel like my Halloween box is coming along nicely with some fun Halloween treats for little ones who may be a bit disappointed with the restrictions this year.

These puppets work up rather quickly. For this puppet I kept with worsted weight 4 yarn but for fun I used an H hook to see how that would change the location of the finger holes for a larger hand like mine. I found the finger holes much more comfortable with this puppet than with the ghost I made previously.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Make Way For Ducklings Kack

I'm continuing to work on the amis for my Make Way for Ducklings birthday present. With Kack and Jack finished it leaves me with just six more ducklings to hatch.

I've promised myself that when I've finished half of the ducklings I will tackle either the mallard which is also found in Zoomigurumi 7 or the mother which I am planning on adapting from the mallard pattern.

I'm thinking of using this pattern for the swan cygnet unless I find a better option for The Ugly Duckling but I still have to decide on a color. More research. I have a couple of swan patterns I'm choosing between so we will have to see what happens as I get closer to making that project happen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Pumpkin Witch

Fall has long been a favorite time of year. I love the cooler weather, the fall festivals, craft sales, Halloween events, etc. Sadly this year those will not be happening but I figure this is going to be harder on the younger set than on me. So I am trying to focus my holiday boxes on bringing some of the fun inside with some holiday themed play sets. My pumpkin witch is hopefully going to be a character in a bigger village theme. We will have to see how far I get.

You can find the free pattern for the Halloween Pumpkin and Ghost here. I used the suggested h hook and worsted weight yarn. I did make some adjustments to the hat. I do think the pumpkin will fit in well with my vision for a Halloween village.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Chicken Finger Puppet

I started working on Leisure Arts Farm Box from Busy Baby Boxesand I finished all the squares. Looking at the project and seeing some other projects in progress from people who had made the box, I decided I wanted to line the squares I made with plastic canvas before assembling. The only challenge is plastic canvas is not the hobby it once was and therefore stores are not stocking it the way the once were in previous times. Therefore I will need to order it before I can continue on with that part of this October birthday project as I've depleted my supply.

So I moved on to the finger puppets. These are rather unique puppets. For the most part when I've made finger puppets they are made in sc in rounds to form the body casing. I won't give away trade secrets but these are very different and much quicker to assemble. When I finish the farm animals I want to add the princess from the other cube project to the castle I'm making for Christmas.

I used an H hook and worsted weight 4 yarn to complete this project. The trims were made with a combination of worsted and sport weight scraps.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Lots to Love 8 Inch Doll Halloween Kitty Pumpkin

I'm preparing a Halloween box to go out to a family member with kids but I like to decorate for Halloween even though we likely will not have ghosts and goblins visiting this year.

This is the 3rd holiday doll I've completed from this holiday leaflet to decorate my house. I started with Easter, I made the Patriotic doll for the summer holidays, and now I have the first of my Halloween dolls. I'm hoping to finish more Halloween ones as I have time.

While I was able to complete the Patriotic doll with Red Heart sport I tried a different type of Red Heart sport and while incredibly soft it was unfortunatly not the right yarn for this project. The costume was a bit see through when finished so I moved to worsted weight yarn with a D hook and didn't have an issue. The pumpkin already called for worsted weight yarn so it worked out well, although to make it fit I ended up using an H hook.

This was made from Annie Potter presents Holiday Babies pattern. You can purchase the leaflet here or the digital pattern at Etsy here.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Ghost Hand Puppet

As I mentioned previously I have a mix of holiday boxes and a birthday from now until Christmas and I'm trying to apply a time to each project to make sure nothing is completely neglected.

I realized I'd made a significant dent in the castle project, but now that it has been abandoned as a birthday project it slots into a Christmas deadline making it less of a finish now priority and putting it inline with a rotation of projects. I can only make one duck before needing a break to do something different and I'm at a stopping point waiting on supplies to wokr on another October birthday present. It seemed like a good time to think Halloween.

I've been on a bit of a puppet kick lately and while looking through my binder of Halloween projects I came across a free pattern from Red Heart for a set of 3 Halloween Hand puppets. You can find the pattern here .

Just a note these puppets are designed for little hands. I made mine with worsted weight yarn and a g hook and my fingers didn't fit completely into the finger holes. If your child has slightly larger hands you might want a bigger hook or you may wish to add some stitches to make the ghost wider. These are going to someone with little hands still so I don't think it will be an issue. I still have the bat and pumpkin to make to finish the set.

I am thinking with decreased outside holiday activities available having some fun indoor holiday themed play is more important than ever.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Make Way For Ducklings Jack

If you follow this blog at all you will notice a trend of making toys to go with books as presents for kids. I just find it is a great way to engage kids in retelling stories, making up their own stories, and getting more involved with books and story telling in general.

Make Way for Ducklings has long been a family favorite back to the days of Captain Kangaroo. There is a stature in Boston of the duck family and the story seems to have remained popular with families for a very long time. So it seemed a good choice for my October birthday package. Somehow I'd forgotten there were 8 ducklings. I was thinking 4, maybe 5 but no there are 8.

I found the pattern for the mallard and the ducklings in Zoomigurumi 7 and it is actually the cover pattern for the book. When I saw the cover I realized this was my chance to go forward with my Make Way for Ducklings book and amigurumi set.

Jack is the first Duck listed in the book and this is how I am keeping track of my progress. This is actually my second attempt at the duck however. This duck is made with the Red Heart sport yarn and a C hook. The first was made with worsted weight yarn and a D hook and was much too large when you realize there will be 8 of them not to mention Mom and Dad. I'm keeping the first one as an Easter decoration for my house. Mom is going to be a remake of Dad's pattern. I haven't worked it out yet, but I'll get there.

My hope to get double use out of these ducks is to make a darker one and swan and include The Ugly Duckling as part of the package. Thus making the ducklings more useful in telling stories.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Knight Finger Puppet

The castle is becoming populated as I work on other projects that are more long term to finish. The puppets are quick to make as I'm working on a October birthday present that if anything is more complicated than the castle was but I'm finding it a good challenge.

This puppet is made with worsted weight yarn and an H hook. You can find the free pattern for the set which also includes a princess I've not yet made here.


Worsted weight yarn

H Hook

I chained a handle for the shield and then still sewed it to puppet hand so it wouldn't fall off and get lost

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Dragon Finger Puppet

While a castle is certainly fun to play with one requires some characters to play in the castle. I chose to make finger puppets. First up is the dragon from the same free pattern set found here.

I used an H hook for the body as I found a g hook made a very small opening that was hard to work on. I used a g hook for the arms and legs. The puppet was made with worsted weight yarn.

I'm up to 3 sets of castle finger puppet patterns so it will be interesting to find out how many end up in the box before this ships for Christmas.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Castle Tote

I originally planned to have this project ready for the August birthday box. I had already purchased the book The Knight and the Dragonto accompany the set. Now I'm a project ahead for Christmas complete with the book.

This was a bonus pattern from Crochet World that I've had for years. It is now available for free and you can find it here. In the past I've stuck to making a castle bag pattern which I may add to this set later, but after completing a barn made in a similar fashion here I found myself thinking I'd like to try to make the castle too. If you are interested in the castle bag pattern you can find the free pattern here.

Note to myself doing this again I would wait to make the walls until I cut the plastic as it is easier to determine if the gauge is correct when you can measure it against the plastic it will be covering. My fist set of walls were too small I had to make them with an H hook to fit the plastic canvas. I also used an H for the puppets as I couldn't get a finger into the head of the puppets with a g hook. I changed colors rather than making a separate door entrance. I liked it all being one piece.

I've been working on the finger puppets from this set and I'm thinking about adding some other finger puppets that fit the theme. The storage aspect of this set makes it work out. If I add the castle bag it will also add additional storage for themed puppets.

While this is a fun play set it also works because you can store the play pieces inside. The walls are closed by two buttons on the side and there is a handle, but I'd suggest carrying it by holding it from the bottom. I suspect the handle will not last forever.


H hook

Cut plastic canvas pieces first

Metal buttons came from Joann's La Mode .88 Round Shank Button (Celtic themed)

Plum colored yarn discontinued will need to find new source

Door was crocheted as part of pattern not sewn on

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