Wednesday, September 30, 2020


I finished off the houses for this year and now my task is to make as many villagers as I can before the deadline to send the Halloween box. While Halloween isn't until the end of October I want the kids to have plenty of time to enjoy the toys before it is time to put them away after the holiday is over. So there will come a time when it is important to close the box and send it on its way.

The scarecrow is made from a collection of Holiday Little People than can be purchased here. I've been slowly collecting her Little People patterns as they are fun for little hands to play with and she has a variety of themes. I made the Candy Corn girl in cotton sport weight yarn. Do to color choices and yarn on hand I went with acrylic sport weight which is a little heavier for the scarecrow..

While the pattern calls for an H hook and worsted weight 4 yarn I went with a D hook to match my lighter yarn and the size of the other little people in the village.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Busy Baby Box Farm Activity Cube Side 1

I finally got around to crocheting and sewing on the pieces for the first side of Leisure Arts Busy Baby Boxes Farm.
You may recognize the chicken finger puppet. I made that back in August as a quick project in between other projects. I will likely not get to the rest of the finger puppets prior to finishing the farm. However, the cow will go inside the barn doors in the yellow pocket. I am hoping to post the finger puppets in their new homes as I finish them.

My mailing deadlines are coming up so I do need to get a move on for this birthday box and the Halloween one if I hope to get them there with time to spare.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Ghost in a Haunted House

Laura Sutcliffe has a whole series of affordable pattern designs featuring various creatures in various types of homes, blankets, etc. I made the Rabbit in the Carrot for Easter. She also designed the pumpkin house I made for the Halloween village.

She's become one of my favorite designers for quick holiday themed projects and I even have some of her non-holiday projects on my to do list for future packages. The haunted house was the most detailed one I've made to date. I haven't done much embroderiery on crochet but this was fun. I'm not a huge fan of spiders in general but they were necessary for this project and I like the way the came out.

Yarn can be tricky for project choices. She suggested using DK I wanted worsted 4 but the yarn I chose is a lighter worsted and my project was slightly smaller than I'd envisioned which meant less room to add the details for the project. Sometimes color becomes an issue. I loved the color for this project and I had nothing in a heavier weight that equaled it and I was not buying more yarn.

The results were less room for the details of the house. I ended up using sport weight cotton for most of the details on the house other than the door. I loved the bat motif and I could easily see this appearing in other Halloween projects. It is easy to make and looks better than others I've tried making.

I was least pleased with the windows. I just couldn't get them to work out the way I wished. I loved the spider web which I made with size 10 cotton rather than sewing thread. It made it easier to see. The only other change I think I'd make is use a smaller hook or perhaps sport weight yarn for the ghost. While I do love him he ended up slightly larger than I'd expected. He's a good size for the little one he's headed to so I'm not overaly concerned.

I made a backing for the house following the house directions and joined it with sc to the house pattern. I waited to add the roof and used the roof to join the top of the house. This solved 2 issues for me. It cleaned up the back of the house stitching so it wouldn't be seen and it also made a more solid house for a child to hold. The single house is a little light for the ghost not to fall out of or for a child to hold. It is quite easy to add a back and doesn't change the product overall.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Candy Corn House

This is the final house for the Halloween Village this year. I'm going to concentrate on making villagers and finishing the October birthday presents so I can get both boxes in the mail before the beginning of October.
This house was made by adapting a free Christmas house pattern found here. When I saw this pattern something just spoke to me about making it into a candy corn house to go with the candy corn villager.

Just a few notes about this pattern, first it is written in UK crochet terms it looks like it was originally part of a crochet kit possibly found in a UK magazine. 

There is no specific yarn specified but the designer suggests a 4mm hook which led me to worsted 4 yarn as I had the colors I wanted for the candy corn idea. The g hook made a HUGE house, far too large for the village I'd made. I pulled out what I'd crocheted and continued with a D hook and the worsted 4 yarn. The yarn is all different brands, the windows are Caron Simply Soft Ombre Gold that I had left over from an old project. I wanted something different for the windows.

This would make a cute Christmas house should I attempt a Christmas village at some point. It goes together relatively quickly and simply.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Make Way For Ducklings Nack and Ouack

The end is truly near. I can feel it. I'm now making them in pairs. Only two more and the ducklings will be done, with just Mrs. Mallard to complete the set for Make Way for Ducklings and I think I'll make the deadline with room to spare.

The pattern for all the ducks in the set can be found in Zoomigurumi 7I plan to adapt Mr. Mallard's pattern to make Mrs. Mallard.

If you need a duck pattern these do work up remarkably quickly. I know ducks are often popular at Easter. The ducklings are made with sport yarn and a D hook to get them to this size. I tried worsted weight yarn but the first one I made was too too big for a set of 8. I do plan on using him as an Easter decoration.

One thing I do love about this design is other than the beak and the wings it is all one piece so it limits the amount of sewing I have to do later. This is a huge consideration when you are making 8 ducklings and 2 adults.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Busy Baby Box Farm Activity Cube Frame

I made the squares for Farm box found in Leisure Arts Busy Baby Boxes back in the summer but while the pattern doesn't call for it I wanted to back the squares with plastic canvas to make the box a little stronger. This required ordering plastic canvas and that took me longer to get to and thus I finished the frame for the box this week and wanted to post my progress and notes for future reference.
I edged the plastic canvas squares before sewing them to the squares. I learned this trick when making the castle I wrote about earlier. Plastic canvas has a way of edging through crochet sometimes but if it is covered in yarn it isn't an issue. Sewing them on was not an issue from there. I did not line the roof pieces. The roof is the one area of the busy box that doesn't have any attachments. The red loft area does have some windows, but I'm not worried about these needing additional backing. I believe the structure should be solid with the base provided.
The premise of a busy box is that it provides young children with activities on the box to keep them amused. Each side generally has something different for the child to explore. The one exception as I mentioned above for this box is the roof side. Most of the boxes I've seen are flat on all sides. One of the things that drew me to this project was that it was more than a box. The farm theme has been popular and I thought sacrificing one activity side was worth it to continue the farm theme.
After sewing the plastic canvas to the sides I was concerned about assembling the box but that proved to be easier than expected. The directions are clear and used for both boxes in the pattern set.
This leaves me with five sides of the box to decorate and five puppets to make as I made the chicken over the summer. I think this is doable with my deadline. The big hurdle was finishing the box.

My box is not as wide as the box pictured I believe because of the plastic canvas which I preferred. I wasn't crazy about the overstuffed look in the book's pictures.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Gingerbread Man Ornament

I kept seeing this ornament on e-pattern central here and something about it struck me as familiar and thus kept me from buying it even though I wanted to make it as one of my Christmas ornament patterns to go out with the Christmas box this year.

When I got the October 2020 Crochet World magazine there were several patterns I wanted to make and decided to see if I could print the pages for the patterns I wanted from the magazine from the website rather than flip back and forth through the magazine as the patterns are placed through the magazine. Not only was I able to get the pages I wanted from the current magazine but I realized I had digital access to my account going back to 2009 when I originally subscribed.

I began to look through the magazines and was able to locate several patterns I'd been considering purchasing through e-patterns as well as ones I had purchased previously. From now on I know to check my digital magazine account first. I love that e-patterns offers out of print patterns. I've been able to find many out of print patterns I'd only previously found at second hand sites at considerably higher prices. This is just a reminder to myself to check my Crochet World digital account before buying again.

For those of you interested this appears in the December 2018 edition of Crochet World. I've listed the link for e-pattern central if you want to purchase the pattern from them.

I generally prefer yarn to thread but I really wanted to make this project for the Christmas box. If I make it again I think I would use the sport weight cotton I've been creating ami's with lately. The project would still be ornament sized and I'd be more comfortable working with the slightly larger yarn.

The pattern called for Lizbeth size 10 crochet thread and I couldn't find any when I searched when I started the project. Oddly I had trouble finding the brown in Aunt Lydia's in a shade close to what I wanted. I eventually tried Hobby Lobby's artiste size 10 cotton thread in hemp and it worked out well. I had the red, green, pink, and off white Aunt Lydia's size 10 on hand from previous projects.

The two other items I didn't have on hand and had to find were beads for the eyes, which I also ended up ordering from Hobby Lobby and felt which is used as stuffing between the two pieces of gingerbread.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020


For a village to be fun to play with someone must live there. So far we have a Pumpkin Witch and a Candy Corn villager. Now Frankenstein moves to the Halloween Village.

Frankenstein was created using the Halloween minis pattern which can be purchased here. This is one of the most detailed pattern sets I've ever purchased. I will warn you the set is 47 pages. The directions and pictures that accompany them are amazing.

Lately it appears my hobby has been yarn hunting. This designer uses Schachenmayr Catania Originals yarn. The only place I was able to get most of the colors, the orange appears to be unavailable, was Love Crafts. I hit them at a crazy 50% off sale and items were disappearing from my cart as fast as I could order. However, I did get most of what I needed for the set. That being said while I will finish up the yarn I ordered I think I'll be sticking to the Sinfonia from now on. This yarn splits more than other and I found it more frustrating to work with over all. My ami's may end up being slightly larger but that isn't a huge issue for me.

I will be picking up more patterns from this designer. In fact she has a new book coming out in December Mini Kingdom: Crochet 36 Tiny Amigurumi Royals! that will be on my Christmas wish list. I'd love to see a collection of her holiday patterns in book format.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Pumpkin House

I was actually looking for another pattern by the same designer for the Halloween box when I came across a folder that I'd failed to file away in the appropriate pattern binder after I received it as a gift. I'd forgotten about this pattern and it works perfectly into my Halloween themed village. You can purchase the Pumpkin Pocket Pal pattern here.

This pattern didn't specify yarn or hook size for the pattern. I started with a g hook and worsted weight 4 yarn and I found my pumpkin was smaller than I wanted for my village theme. I moved to an I hook and worsted weight 4 yarn and was happy with the outcome.

There is no requirement to sew a hinge on the pumpkin stem to attach it to the pumpkin. I did this because I figured it less likely to be lost if it was partly attached and it still allows figures to go in and out of the house.

This is the only house I will be making this year that has the option for the figures to enter the house. I have other patterns that provide that option but those hopefully will appear next year when I have more time for assembly. This year the pumpkin house will be the only interactive house.

The pattern has two options for figures for the house, the pocket pal of the title. There is a doll like figure which while cute didn't quite fit my Halloween villager theme. However the designer also gives directions for making a ghost using the same directions and that fit my theme much better.

I did start by using worsted weight 4 yarn and a g hook for the ghost however, I mistook the ghost bottom for the face and needed to begin the pattern again. I put the pattern aside went to bed and approaching the pattern the next day I decided I wanted to try it in sports cotton. I added an additional bottom row to make the ghost a bit wider as it was considerably smaller once I switched from worsted 4 to sports cotton 3.

You may have noticed in the first ghost picture he lacks a smile. I realized when I took the picture I'd forgotten to sew his smile. I chose not to retake the house pic but I wanted an up close picture of the ghost completed.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Square Crow Garland 3 and 4

Well this puts me through the half way point as I need 7 square crows to make the garland. When I finish 3 more I can start to assemble the garland and finally get to enjoy the fall decoration.

I realized I was reaching the point of wanting to finish this project when I made these two together rather than as individual projects as I had with the first two. These two I made in more of a assembly line format. First the bodies for both, then the heads, sew the faces, and so on until I had two completed motifs. I think I'm going to try to finish the last 3 the same way and finally be able to put this together as a garland. It's not that I don't love the project, I just want to enjoy the finished item.

The pattern for the Square Crow Garland is found in October 2020's Crochet World Magazine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Make Way for Ducklings Mr. Mallard

You may have been expecting another duckling if you've been following my progress with my Make Way for Ducklings project. After all there are still four more to make. However, I made a promise to myself that when I reached the half way point of making the ducklings I'd make the father duck who in the story is called Mr. Mallard.

This pattern also comes from Zoomigurumi 7 and in fact is the cover pattern.

I started out using the suggested e hook but the duck was a bit larger than I wanted. I went down to a D hook and was happier with my outcome. The pattern uses worsted weight 4 yarn for this pattern and while I'd considered going down to sport weight yarn the colors made that a bit of a challenge as I didn't have the yarns on hand in sport yarn.

I actually couldn't quite find the warm brown yarn the pattern suggests for the bird's body. I went with the closest I had on hand. I changed the wings by making a complete blue stripe on row 9. I didn't like the partial look so I went with a full blue stripe.

I have some brown variegated yarn I'm going to experiment with using this pattern to create Mother Duck or Mrs. Mallard as she is known in the story. However, in order to get to that I have to finish the last 4 ducklings. I want to be able to mail this package by the end of the month for an October birthday so I do need to keep pushing on because September seems to have crept up so quickly. I really thought I was ahead on these fall deadlines but it appears I will be racing to finish as always.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Halloween House 2

I've been writing for some time now about my quest to create a starter Halloween village to go out with the Halloween box at the end of this month. I've only seen a few Halloween themed crochet house patterns and I've already made one of them. The other 2 I have require more construction than I have time to commit to this year. I have hopes that they might become part of next year's offering. However, with some creativity I realized Christmas actually is more promising for crochet houses than I'd realized.

One of the reasons I make such a point of noting where I find patterns when possible is I'm so grateful when someone leads me to a solution to a pattern hunt. Recently I came across a reference for a different pattern from repeatcraftme and thought I should check out the website. While there I came across something I'd never seen before a free pattern for a gingerbread house made all in one piece. If you read my blog at all you know I love to limit the amount of sewing I have to do so this really intrigued me.

As I realized I was looking for more simple houses to add to the Halloween village I wondered if this could be converted to a more Halloween style house. The is not only one piece but one color. I wanted a different color roof so I wanted to see how easy it would be to figure out where to make the color changes for the roof. It is actually fairly simple. The roof pieces for the slants are created through increases there is also a rectangle section of roof. What they all have in common is they all start with increases. If you change color at these areas and follow the really great pictures the designer has included of the one piece flat house section prior to being sewn together it is amazingly easy to figure out where to change colors.

To create the look I wanted I pinched the roof and house edges sewing them in place. I also crocheted a door and windows. The gingerbread pattern uses holiday buttons. I actually wanted more Halloween themed buttons but I just haven't been out to find them. I did add a few pumpkins I had left over from previous projects. I also crocheted a chimney to add to the roof. It seemed to need one.

I found another free Christmas house pattern I'm hoping to convert. We shall see what happens.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Black Cat Hot Pad

This is the last of the mug rug patterns found in Spooktacular Crochet but I'm not sure I'm done with this pattern yet.

I've heard from several people about how they use mug rugs and I appreciate that but these have made wonderful hot pads by just adding a back layer to them and I'm seriously considering expanding my collection by finding additional holiday motifs and sticking with the basic mug rug pattern. I'll post if I proceed with this idea.

Whether you make these as mug rugs or add a back and create hot pads these are quick fun patterns to make. As I mentioned in the previous posts I was able to locate the cotton sport yarn for this pattern at Creative Yarns. I've not received any offers from the company, but as I've written before I am not a fan of having to play hunt for the yarn when I fall in love with a pattern. So if I can help someone else locate the yarn, I mention it when I can. I know have a nice selection of Halloween hot pads. Looking forward to making some additional holiday ones.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Square Crow Garland 2

This garland requires 7 alternating colored square crows and I've now got two finished. I've been alternating my square crow work with the fall birthday and Halloween box projects. I'm hopeful the garland will be ready to hang before I put up my Halloween decorations.

I tried an experiment with brown yarn for the face with this one but I'll be going back to black for the rest of them. I wasn't as happy with it as I'd hoped but not enough unhappy to redo his face. After all I still have 5 more to experiment with and see what I like best.

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