Thursday, July 22, 2021

Bottle Carrier



We are starting to return to outdoor activities and I am remembering that even prior to COVID more places had restrictions on bringing bags into places. I understand the restrictions but one thing I miss about our backpack to carry our stuff was the water bottle holders on the side of the pack. Whether you can bring water in or you have to buy your water at the venue I still can't finish a bottle on opening. I like being able to walk around an hydrate as necessary. I tend not to finish a bottle if I have to carry it for long in my hands.

On our first longer outing in the heat this issue came back to me. At home I can have as much water as I want so hydration hasn't been an issue. However walking around outside seeing the sites recently I realized just how much I missed my backpack with its drink holders.

When I came home I was thinking about a solution to my challenge and my husband mentioned drink holders I had made for family members for Christmas a few years back. I pulled up the blog posts for information and sure enough back in 2017 I'd made a bunch for Christmas gifts. The pattern comes from All About Cotton Leisure Arts (7055) and along with the bottle pattern I've made several of the kitchen and bath items. One of the things I love about this blog is it does remind me of what I made and where to find the patterns I used.

I've been on a kick to use up yarn I have on hand so this carrier is made with Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn, Hippi that I had on hand as I tend to stock up on the larger sized Bernat Cotton when I can find it on sale. Therefore when I go hunting in my stash I can almost always find one color from that brand.

This pattern worked up for me according to directions without changes. I'm working on a second one for myself and I'm thinking of a longer handle so I can wear it like a cross purse rather than a shoulder purse just to give myself a little more support. I'll post it when finished.

These easily fold and can be carried in my purse when not in use. You can see through them and they really only have room for the bottle so they satisfy the requirements of most of the outdoor venues we plan to visit so I'm pleased with my project.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Pumpkin Man



Since I do the holiday boxes each year I'm always looking for new patterns to try. Pumpkin man was on my pattern birthday list and I was very pleased the pattern arrived on my birthday. You can purchase the pattern here.

The pattern calls for Yarn Art Jeans. I've been working on the goal of using up yarn on hand when ever possible. This isn't a huge hardship as I've got a large yarn supply but I often find I don't have the specific brand and colors called for as I begin new projects. I chose Omega Sinfonia cotton sport yarn for this project and used a B hook. The buttons are some of the new ones I've purchased to use with Barbie's outfits.

One change I had to make to use safety eyes rather than sewing on beads for the eyes as suggested was to not have the eyes sit in the pumpkin ridges. I love the look of the ridges but they are made after the pumpkin is stuffed and I needed to place the safety eyes before closing the pumpkin. It was the right trade off for me, others may make a different choice.

This ami is onn the edge of being small enough to fit into last year's Halloween Village that I'm hoping to add on to for this year with additional houses and Halloween villagers.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Monkey Finger Puppet Blue Overalls



I finished the second finger puppet to go with the Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed book that will be going out with the October birthday box. You can purchase the pattern here.



I used Aunt Lydia Size 10, Natural, Peackock, and Fudge. Peackock was not a pattern choice but as I mentioned in the previous post I decided I'd use colors on hand for the puppet's clothing.



I had an issue with the straps last time so I made them shorter and I crossed them in the back. This seemed to make it easier to join them.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Bewitching Sloth



After sending off the summer birthday box it became time to start the fall boxes. I've already posted a couple of the October birthday projects, this is the first of the Halloween box items.

I'd been looking for a sloth pattern to go with Eric Carle's "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," said the Sloth that I'd picked up during the Christmas sales. I hadn't planned on a Halloween sloth but after seeing this pattern I decided to put sloth and book in the Halloween box even though the book was not a Halloween themed title. For those of you who are interested, you can purchase the Bewitching Sloth pattern here.

I've been trying for some smaller Halloween figures that would fit into a growing Halloween village that I started last year. With that in mind I used a D hook and worsted yarn for the sloth. When I did this I found I needed to use sport cotton for the hat and cape to make them fit using a B hook. I continued this trend with the Pumpkin. If I make this again even for a village I'd make the pumpkin with larger yarn as it was a bit smaller than I'd anticipated.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Lil Cutesies Variegated Set



I made a second outfit for the JC Toys Lil Cutesies 8.5" Baby Doll using Shady Lane's Crochet Gingham Tote Tykes Pattern set 411. You can purchase a digital copy here or a printed copy at the website here.



I used Bernat Baby Sport Yarn, Ombres, Baby Baby and Bernat Baby Sport Yarn, Baby Pink with an f hook to complete this outfit.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Squirrel Nutkin



I made Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit for the Easter box. I wanted to continue with the series and next up is The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin which appeared in the supplement of Simply Crochet issue 110. You can purchase a digital copy of the magazine that includes the supplement patterns at Ravelry here. The supplement includes four Beatrix Potter patterns Squirrel Nutkin, Jeremy Fisher, Tom Kitten, and Samuel Whiskers.



While the pattern calls for a UK brand of DK yarn I chose to use Vanna's Choice Rust and a D hook as I am determined to use up as much yarn on hand as possible for my projects. It took almost a complete skein to finish this project.



As this is a UK magazine the terms are UK crochet. However, since the stitches don't change, I didn't have to write down any changes. I was able to easily remember the dc was the US sc. I tend to get more confused when the pattern moves between stitches and I need to keep converting as I'm working through a pattern.



Thursday, July 8, 2021

Monkey Finger Puppet Yellow Overalls



During the Christmas book sales I'd picked up a copy of Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and put it away for this birthday box.

At the time I had a different finger puppet pattern in mind for the box. It was on my wish list but when I went to buy it the pattern was gone. As luck would have it I was looking through e-pattern central and found one I liked even more as these puppets had clothes and I had limited experience clothing finger puppets. It seemed like a fun challenge. You can purchase the pattern here.



This pattern requires size 10 thread and with my ever growing thread collection I had the colors I needed for the monkey in my stash. I'm choosing clothing colors from my stash. This is a brighter yellow than suggested but I'm happy with the color.

I was concerned I'd get the tail hole placement on the overalls wrong but instead my mistake was following the directions for the back right strap. I'll watch this more carefully on the next monkey. I'll also decrease the number of chains as I found the straps to be a bit long for the pants.

This was a unique construction pattern that allows the pants to be open for the finger portion of the finger puppet. Most of my finger puppet patterns are finger tubes with perhaps heads and arms. Only a few like this one include additional features like legs and tails that extend below the tube. It was fun to see how it came together. Only 4 more to go. I will be spreading these out with other birthday, Halloween, and doll projects.

I used an Etimo Steel 1.8 mm Crochet Hook for the monkey body and clothes. The facial features were made with a Tulip Etimo 1.25mm Steel Crochet Hook. I was able to use safety eyes because I crocheted the eye sections before decreasing the head and then placed the saftey eyes through the crocheted eye sections with their backings before finishing the decreases.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Orca



The July birthday box started the journey to its new home last Friday. The Orca was the last ami to make it into the box.



The Orca pattern comes from Bathtime Buddies. I used Schachenmayr Catania sport cotton with a C hook to make this a smaller ami. I chose felt for the accents.



This was a fun project and I kept finding more projects I'd like to make at some point. However, it was time to mail this project off and get started with my fall birthday box and Halloween.

I know many of you are thinking but we just finished July 4th. I'm not looking to rush celebrating Halloween but I have 2 boxes to finish before October as well finishing off the doll donations by end of November. These are summer projects to be enjoyed in the fall and winter months. That doesn't even include the Thanksgiving box and the Christmas boxes. You can expect to see some fall decorations creeping into the blog in the not to distant future.



Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Narwhal



One of my goals when working on this ocean/sea themed project was to add some characters that aren't always found in traditional ocean/sea sets. The Narwhal was a good fit for that goal. I even included I'm a Narwhal to provide a little more age appropriate info about the Narwhal.



There are so many more patterns I'd love to add to this set but my time is winding down. I have one more ami to finish and then I have to wrap, pack and put the birthday box in the mail in order for the box to arrive on time.

The Narwhal pattern comes from Bathtime Buddies and I chose to make it in Schachenmayr Catania sport cotton with a C hook. I also chose to use felt instead of terry for the white features. This was a much better choice than what I did with the swordfish.

Monday, July 5, 2021

My Life Chevron Skirt and Summer Blouse



This was a unique fiber challenge for me. Both projects suggested using size 10 crochet thread for their respective patterns. In the case of one I ended up using the smaller size 20 crochet thread. In the other I was able to meet a goal of using up some Spud and Chloe sock yarn I'd won as a door prize from a fiber event years ago and have been slowly targeting for doll projects.

I purchased the Chevron skirt pattern from e-pattern central during one of their many sales. When I checked back today the pattern was no longer available. However if you are interested the designer still is selling it at Ravelry here.

I tried making the skirt with size 10 cotton thread and went down to my smallest steel hooks with no luck. This could be my issue as it looks like at least one other person has completed it on Ravelry with size 10 thread. However, I decided to try an experiment and started the skirt with size 20 thread I had left over from a Barbie project and used my Tulip Rose Steel Crochet Hook-Size 4/1.25mm. The skirt quickly showed signs of fitting better but I had to order more size 20 thread from Creative Yarn source so I put off finishing the skirt until my thread arrived.



With the right hook and thread this was actually a fairly easy pattern to follow and I like the look of the finished skirt.

While I like sending separates because the child gets to mix and match outfits to create a fashion pleasing to the child it creates a need to find more patterns. I turned to ABC Knitting's Doll Crochet section for the Elgegant Summer Blouse. You can find the free pattern here.

As I mentioned earlier this pattern also called for size 10 cotton but when I'd tried it earlier it had been too small. I remembered the sock yarn and decided it was worth a try. I used a size B hook with the sock yarn and am pleased with the fit. This might not be a bad way to use up more of the yarn and give myself tops to use with skirts and pants.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Hermit Crab



I love to combine children's books and toys in gift packages. Sometimes I look for books that fit the theme and other times I look for patterns to fit books that I want to gift.


In this case when I thought about doing an ocean/sea themed package I thought of both Eric Carle's House for Hermit Crab and Bill Peet's Kermit the Hermit.

One of my disapointments recently with Eric Carle's books is that book sites are only selling altered versions of his original picture books. The hardcover versions and picture books are not the tradtional children's book formats many fondly remember of Eric Carle's books. Most of the paper versions have been converted to "leveled" readers. While many publishers have added board book offerings the current hardcover offerings are not what you expect when you buy a hardcover book.

I've been searching through homeschool sites and other book sites for new copies of the traditional sized picture books and I am pleased to say the Hermit Crab will be heading out with traditional sized copies of both Eric Carle and Bill Peet's books.



If you are interested in the traditional picture book sized copies of Eric Carle's books I suggest you check the book measurements. While one expects a smaller version of the book when ordering a board book, I know I have certain expectations when I order a hardcover picture book that used to be a full sized book.

Some of the newer hard cover publications of Carle's books are closer in size to a Beatrix Potter book than a traditional hardcover picture book. If you want the larger sized books try homeschool sites and other book sellers. Some still have the regular picture book sized books in stock.

The pattern for the Hermit Crab comes from How to Crochet Animals: Ocean.

I didn't have the appropriate sport cotton colors and the lighter acrylic I had didn't hold the shape. Thus I went with wosted acrylic yarn and a D hook to have some control over the size of the crab. I used beads for the eyes that I'd recently purchased for Barbie clothes.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Barbie Clothes donation



I've been following the beautiful Barbie designs at Shasarignis Blog and had commented on her work. We began talking about my doll donation project. She offered to send me doll clothes and before I knew it a package had arrived with 3 beautiful Barbie outfits on Wednesday.



While I of course ame thrilled with the beautiful clothes what makes me the happiest is knowing this will make some little child very happy on Christmas morning. Barbie is getting quite the wardrobe to head off to her new home this Christmas. I'm always amazed and thrilled at the generous spirit of people to give to others in need.



Thursday, June 24, 2021

Easy Peasy Doll Blanket for 2021



I have some wonderful friends at Crochetville who send me doll blankets each year for the doll donation. However, I still make a few to add to the supply each year. They are relaxing projects and a great way to target yarn I want to finish off from my stash. This Lion Brand Yarn Ice Cream Yarn, Tutti Frutti has been hanging out in my stash for some time.

I always end up buying more than I think I'll need for a project and when I was done with the baby blanket I made with this purchase the remainder went to live in my stash. I finished off a ball and have another ball I started on but recently I thought I saw another skein hiding out. That being said a dent has been made and another doll blanket is ready to go out with this year's donation.

I used the Easy Peasy Seed Stitch doll blanket pattern from Annabelle' Afghans set which you can purchase here. I used an I hook for this project.

I just started the Tisket a Tasket pattern for my next doll afghan. I keep a doll blanket as a "travel" project. I don't travel much these days but I do find if I have to wait in the car before going into an appointment or I'm on a zoom call these are easy patterns to work on while waiting.

The one adjustment I made this time around is to list the stitch count in my phone notes so I didn't have to carry the pattern with me at all times. In the car it was easier to check my phone for the stitch count than it was to reach down and dig through the bag to find the pattern and read the notes about the stitch count for the row. I don't remember stitch counts when I haven't seen a project for a while so a quick refresher maximizes the time I work on the project.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Seahorse



I wanted a seahorse to send along with Eric Carle's Mister Seahorse for July's birthday box. I chose the pattern from How to Crochet Animals: Ocean and I found the pattern to be easy to make. I used worsted yarn and a D hook. I'm thinking about making a second one with sport yarn and a c hook to fit with the size of the rest of the ocean animals.



Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Swordfish



While I've added a number of ocean creatures that are common to ocean sets I've also tried to find some uncommon ones to include as well. The swordfish comes from Bathtime Buddies which I've used to make some of the other creatures for this project.


I found a ball of blue I wanted to use up and realized later this was Red Heart Sport yarn and thankfully I had another skein as I didn't have quite enough to finish the project with the original ball. I've been working on keeping these creatures smaller so I used a D hook for this ami.


The pattern gives you options for using terry towel material or felt for certain animals in the set. I'd never used terry so I wanted to try it. For the rest of the animals in this set that require cloth, I'm going to use felt. While I liked the textured look it creates, I didn't like the way the terry sheds.

I have some other creatures I need to finish in order to match up with the books I've included in this birthday box so you can expect to see those soon along with more doll clothes as I continue to prepare for the Christmas donation.

Monday, June 21, 2021

My Life Scrubs



This is another Adoring Dolls crochet pattern. You can purchase the scrubs or the scrubs with medical coat set. Mine has the medical coat and you can purchase it here.

I'm working on some additional ocean creatures for the July birthday, but my hope is my next doll project will be the medical coat.

Notes:

I used an H hook for the mask and I'd continue with that change. I used a D hook for the straps and I would continue with this as the mask fit behind the ears. While I don't know how long it will stay on during play I do believe the smaller chains helped it to fit on the rather small ears.

For the shoes I changed to an I Hook.

The scrub hat was made with an I hook I'd experiment with an H.

The pants were made with an H hook and this was a good choice.

I used an I for the top, I'd try an H next time. Both sleeves were done in H a g might work.

The pocket was made with a g hook.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Ken Slacks and Shirt



I mentioned when I wrote about Ken's Ski outfit back in May that I was waiting for an order of size 20 yarn from Creative Yarn source to complete another pattern from Crochet Wardrobe for 11 1/2" Fashion Dolls(Including a complete Wedding Ensemble and Trousseau.) The thread arrived and I finally got around to trying it out. I'm working with 2 variables in using this pattern set, first the patterns were written in 1982 and second this is a considerably smaller Ken than other models. I've read this comment from others so I know I'm not alone out there as I'm fitting clothes to him. To make this outfit fit I used a Tulip Etimo Steel Crochet Hook-.75mm with the size 20 thread.

I had bought some micro buttons but they proved to be too small and slipped out of the double crochet holes. I did however have a container of mixed buttons that had small white buttons that worked for this shirt. Sometimes you get lucky with stuff you have in your stash.





While the slacks fit with no adjustments other than the ones mentioned above I did have to remove some rows from the shirt as it was too long for this doll. The pattern calls for 11 shirt rows I only did 7 before splitting to front and back sections. I added ss rows to the arms and the legs of the pants to keep them from fraying.

I have an 18 inch doll skirt pattern that proved to be too large in size 10 cotton so I'm eager to see if I can make it work with the size 20 cotton and a smaller hook. Then I'm looking to order more colors of size 20 yarn to work on the patterns that have been too large for Barbie and friends using the size 10 thread. At the moment I'm working on a yarn project for the My Life doll. It's good to rotate between the smaller and larger hooks as the smaller hooks can be harder on my hands. I also have an ocean ami I'm trying to complete.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

My Life Madison Maxi Dress



I haven't made anything to donate for the My Life Dolls since March so it seemed like a good idea to get back to it again. I haven't stopped making Barbie items but I do need to continue on with the other dolls as well. You can purchase this pattern from Adoring Doll clothes here.



One of the advantages of working with the same designers clothes on a frequent basis is you have a better feel for guage when you stick with the same dolls. For this project it meant I knew I was going to go up in hook sizes to make the clothes fit before I started as I have experience making clothes with this designer's patterns. I used an H hook for the skirt and an I hook for the Bodice. I used an I hook for the headband and shoes. I went with a C hook for the first 3 flowers and realized in making the last headband flower I should have moved up to an e. I mention that for future projects.

If you look at the skirt you will notice the V's going sideways instead of up and down in the traditional V stitch. I'd not done this before and I won't give away the designer's secret but I enjoyed learning a new method for creating a skirt for a dress that I'd not used before.

This is a fairly quick dress to make. The shoes fit and I didn't find them falling off which is sometimes a complaint about crocheted shoes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Sea Turtle



This is another pattern from the Ocean Tower play set you can purchase here. She includes more sea creatures in the pattern but this is the last one I'll be making as there are other patterns I want to make for this bithday box and the deadline is creeping closer.


This is a quick turtle pattern and the directions are clear and easy to follow. I've been making my creatures smaller to save space, so this was made with a D hook and worsted weight yarn. I also chose to use safety eyes instead of sewing eyes on the turtle.


Monday, June 14, 2021

Skipper Tennis



I mentioned when I wrote about Barbie's tennis outfit that I was working on one for Skipper as well. I finished up the skirt from the 1995 Leisure Arts Fashion Doll Leaflet Vacation Fashion Doll Wardrobe but the top was proving a more difficult fit. I put Skipper aside and finished off some other projects.

After finishig Ken's tennis outfit I decided it was time to take a crack at finishing off Skipper's outfit and made a very simple top alternating HDC and sc rows measuring to make sure the top fit and adding increases and then decreases to make sure the shirt was a good fit. I added chains for the arm holes and then crocheted into the chains into the next row and finished off with crocheting around the ends to finish off the top. I used snaps to close the back of the shirt.

I used the same method I did for Ken's head band I measured the distance around her head, cut 1/8" elastic, sewed it together and then crocheted around the elastic finishing off with a second row of slip stitches.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Barbie Beach Accessories



When possible I try to add accessories as well as clothing to the doll donations. I think it just adds some fun to the doll experience. Giving Barbie and Ken beach bags and a beach ball seemed like a great idea to add to their swim suits.



The pattern for the beach bags, towel, and beach ball are found in the same Summertime Blues Fashion Doll pattern set designed by Lori Zeller and found in Crochet World June 2009 that I used for Ken and Barbie's bathing suits.



The added white stripes in the beach ball made it easier to join the pieces together. I tried another beach ball from Annie's Fashion Doll His and Hers and without the additional seems mine didn't end up round and I decided to frog it and move on to other projects. Ken, Barbie and the rest of the family will have to share. I'm still hoping to get the rest of the siblings into bathing suits before the donation deadline.







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