Category Archives: Crochet


I’ve been trying my best to create more balance between my fiber habit and my other responsibilities. I have been trying to finish projects before more get started, tend to my yarn stash and craft area to keep it manageable and at least be aware of how much time I spend doing what.

Having said that, Ravelry is really not helping. 🙂 I’m sure many of you know about it already, but for the non-fiber-frenetic among you, it is an online community of fiber folks that is really revolutionizing the way people connect on-line. It has something for every knitter and crocheter. It starts with a place for each user to collect finished projects and include details like yarn choice, needle or hook size and overall happiness with the project. From there your project is in a huge database that you can browse to see any other users finished product, work in progress, or any comments they have in general. You can browse the database of patterns according to the type of item you’d like to make, the yarn you have, or search by pattern name. If you don’t have the yarn you want for the project, Ravelry will tell you where the local yarn shops that carry the yarn are and also list some on-line sources.

And if all that weren’t enough to spend a lot of time on the computer, they also have groups. Any user can form or join any group and there are TONS of them. I find myself looking at 2 or 3 pages of new groups every week just to see if there is one I might be interested in joining. And even then I miss some good ones.

Some dedicated users have formed a group called “This week in Ravelry” which puts out a newsletter/forum just to make people aware of what other people are doing with Ravelry. This is where I found a description of a group called “Picto Create“. This group has a great concept. Every Monday, a photograph is posted. The members of the group then use that photo as inspiration for creating something fiber related. I just thought I would browse, but when I saw the photo, I just had to make something.

Here is this week’s photo.

Barrel Cactus

and here is my inspired work:

Claude the Cactus

Claude on the move

Claude the Barrel Cactus

Edit: I’ve written the crochet pattern up in table form. For now it can be found here as a spreadsheet.

ETA: Use this pattern for personal enjoyment only, please do not sell your work or claim the pattern as your own.

Made with leftover Lion Brand Fun Fur and Yarn Bee Icelandic Jewels, this guy took 3 hours to make. Perfect for someone like me, who can’t keep a cactus alive, Claude will join the other crazy toys until he finds a better home.

As you can see, a 3 hour diversion brought on by an exploration of Ravelry is a fairly regular occurrence. If you haven’t found it already, you’ve been warned.

Now to start picking up the house…

Happy Birthday!

Whew, another frenzied gift making time nearly wrapped up. I’ve been out of touch but definitely busy making gifts for a string of birthdays at the end of February and beginning of March.

Today is my brother Brian’s birthday and he got his gift on Friday.

Bender Bending Rodriguez

It was Bender Bending Rodriguez crocheted from the pattern here. He’s in worsted weight yarn, so he is roughly 22″ tall, rather than the 13″ that the pattern author got in DK weight. Big enough he can hold his own beer. 🙂 I sewed a small round “pillow” out of scrap fabric that i filled with poly pellets for his bottom. I’ve had trouble in the past with the pellets falling out of the crochet holes, so I figured this was the safest approach. There are no poly pellets in his feet or hands.

I’ve also fallen head over heels for Shrinky Dinks (plastic that shrinks to 1/3 of it’s original size with 9 times the thickness) and made this card with a magnet on front by tracing a screenshot from Futurama onto a sheet of Ruff n Ready Shrinky Dink that I purchased at Michaels.  I played with pre-printed Shrinky Dinks as a kid, but only recently sought them out for general crafting.

Shrinky Dink card/magnet

For my Mom’s birthday on February 27th, I knit a small purse from a kit (called Lissa) I purchased at Stitches in Baltimore from Swallow Hill Creations. Stringing the beads and knitting on 000 needles probably make this a one of a kind project. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the purse and the card, so hopefully I can update you with a picture from my folks.

For Scott’s Grandma’s birthday on the 24th, I made a little melon ball kitty from mercerized fingering wt. cotton from this pattern, and free-styled a cupcake container. I also made a Shrinky Dink card.

Littlest kitty Shrinky Dink birthday card

The first birthday was my Aunt Carolyn’s on the 21st. and she got a melon ball kitty named Whimsy in his cupcake house. This was based on the idea that everyone needs a little whimsy on their birthday. He has a Shrinky Dink name tag.

Whimsy and his cupcake house

I’m also working on a sweater for Scott out of Cascade 220. I’m hoping to get it done before it is too warm for wool, but since I’m working without a pattern, it could be a trick.

At the prospect of winding all the yarn I would need for his sweater, I decided to invest in a yarn swift and ball winder. In addition to being fun, it has already saved tons of time that I would have spent winding balls by hand. As you can see it doesn’t clamp on every table, but I managed to find a place to use it. 🙂

Swift and Winder

I haven’t been very good at writing a narrative and I do hope to improve, but in the mean time, I do have lots of pictures. 😛

I have not forgotten the improved knitting bag sewing instructions, but the day I was working on that, I was called by a recruiter for an interview and things have been crazy ever since. I hope to have some time in the upcoming week to get that finished and posted.

A little bit of..

It has been a little while since I have posted, and I don’t have finished objects to show for it, but I will fill you in on what I have been up to.

I have been doing a little of this:
Elefuffle construction
Making another Elefuffle to verify the pattern and take pictures of the steps.

and this:
Fuzzy bookmark
Knitting swatches from the Barbara Walker Treasuries ( with my very fuzzy bookmark near by)

and using this
Rowan Yarn Company Soft Tweed
To make a new knit jacket (wip)

and this:
Messenger bag prototype
Prototyping a messenger bag for knitting. I made my first zipper pocket in the lining of this bag using this tutorial.

and this:
Valentino's surprise birthday party
Dancing in a NYC club for Valentino’s birthday party ( he’s the one on the right). Valentino is Scott’s office mate and his wife really surprised him for his birthday. She had a Decoy party on Friday night to make him think that his birthday celebration was over. Then she managed to get him to the club where all of us were waiting. Not a very good picture, but it was 2 am, after all. We had a hotel downtown NYC for Sat. night, so we danced until about 2:30 and took a cab home. I could have danced ’til dawn, but Scott made a little too much use of the open bar in the first hour to last that long.

I also saw Larissa after her trip to AZ and she brought me this:
Yin and Yang yarn
Yin and Yang Yarn from Southwest Trading company. Ideas are marinating in my brain on the best way to use these. Until then, into my stash they go.

As you can see, I’ve been occupying my time with a variety of things, but haven’t had the determination to finish any of them.

I will finish them eventually, but until then,


Floppy Elephant

Floppy Elephant

Originally uploaded by Stellar Babble.

Here I decided to try a standard body, but the challenge was to attach all parts without sewing. As a result, the legs are floppy but crocheted in. The ears and tail are also crocheted with the main body.
The only sewing was to embroider the eyes and weave in ends.
I’m not sure how I would explain what I did to attach the legs, but I’m willing try.

Good Idea or Amigurumi gone wrong?

After a conversation with my Mother-in-law about the Bath Puffs I gave her for Christmas being good size and shape for young kids to use as balls, I had this idea.

“Why not crochet a little animal with a puff for a body that could be used as a toy? I’ve never made an elephant before, so I’ll try that.” This is what I came up with.


When you are sitting at home dreaming up things, it is hard to know if what you’re making is cute or crazy. The ladies at knit night seemed to not think I was crazy, so my question to you is, if I were to write up the pattern would you be interested in it? Would you buy one of these little guys if you don’t crochet? I am trying to gauge whether it is worth the time, or if I should work on something else. The pattern would definitely have better pictures. 🙂

Thanks in advance for your comments/e-mails.

Sited: Long Lost UFO

(That’s UnFinished Object for the non-fiber folk)

This blanket has to be the longest I’ve let a project go in quite a while. And even worse, I am making it for the daughter of a friend in Texas who sent me the yarn in July! I had to come up with a second yarn to go with the fluffy pink and purple yarn that was just fingering weight, but I should have done it sooner. At least she should get it for Christmas.

The yarn is Dream Girl by Yarn Bee (Hobby Lobby Brand) in color “cordelia jane” with Caron Simply Soft in white. I think I used 6 skeins of the Dream girl and 2.5 of the simply soft, and the final dimensions are 42″ square. I used a simple Double Crochet Shell Pattern like the Happy Baby Blanket from Lion Brand.

The request came after I made this blanket as a baby gift for the newborn, and big sis wanted a baby blanket after her original one was lost. Hopefully this will make her happy. 🙂

Paige on Blanket

It makes me happy to get it off of the To-Do list.  I am hoping to have all projects currently in my mental queue completed before the end of the year and spend a little time thinking about what I want to make next year, rather than the purely impulsive cast-on behavior that has been dominating my knitting for the past few months.

I hope to at least have a mix of planned and unplanned knitting.  🙂  I’ll let you know how that goes.

A Horse of a Different Color

A little while back, Larissa asked me to crochet a couple of toys for friends with new babies. The first one I finished right away. It was this dragon based on a pattern for the Baby Snow Dragon by oldbaglady on Crochetville. I added more spines and a pair of wings, and he flew off to his new owners right away.

The second one took longer. I was trying to create an original cat pattern, but finally gave up after every attempt looked more scary than cute. I settled on making a horse, since I hadn’t before and have good memories from childhood of a stuffed horse named Morris. I used a pattern from Katrina’s Crochet Creations for Amara the Unicorn. I sewed the legs on so that they are fixed and used yarn for the eyes and nostrils, rather than glue on beads as suggested. The tail was put on with the same “latch hook” method rather than one tassel.  He will be trotting off shortly.

Other projects are racing along, but will not be revealed until the packages are opened.