Mini Monsters

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I’ve had so much fun making mini monsters lately, I just couldn’t stop. They’re such a fun pattern that doesn’t take much time at all to make. With removable accessories, you could make 1 monster with all of the hats to change him into, or you could do like I did and make a monster for each hat. Don’t forget to check out Camp Happy Heart Fibre Arts on Facebook to see the awesome monsters she makes that inspired these patterns.

Here are the patterns for the monster, and each of the hat accessories. If you want the patterns for the super hero accessories, you’ll have to purchase the whole set on Ravelry. It’s worth it to have a pattern that you can save on your computer and easily print. I love printing patterns and saving them in a binder to keep track of the ones I’ve done and the ones I still plan to do.

 

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

inc: increase (2 single crochets in one loop)

dec: decrease (pull yarn through loop, pull yarn through second loop, yarn over and pull through all loops)

Materials needed (with affiliate links):

E (3.5mm) crochet hook

Baby yarn, or any size 3 yarn.

15mm safety eyes

Black embroidery thread

Yarn needle

Poly-fil

This pattern is worked “in-the-round”, and stitches are worked through both loops unless otherwise noted. 

Body:

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 7: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Row 8: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches, repeat from * around. (45 stitches)

Row 9: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 8 stitches, repeat from * around. (50 stitches)

Rows 10-40: Sc in each stitch around. (50 stitches)

Tie off, leaving open at the bottom.

Insert safety eyes between rows 16 and 17, with 9 sc’s in between eyes. (I like to put the poly-fil in before I insert the eyes so I can decide which side looks best for the front.) Stuff with poly-fil, and sew closed across the bottom. Using embroidery thread, sew on mouth.

Arms:

Ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Rows 4-7: Sc in each stitch around. (20 stitches)

 

Row 8: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Rows 9-18: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff halfway with poly-fil, leaving the rest of the arm empty and flattened. You can make the arms shorter or longer by adding or subtracting rows, and you can change how full you stuff them as well.

Legs:

Ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

 

Rows 5-6: Sc in each stitch around. (25 stitches)

Row 7: Sc in first 7 stitches, dec in next 10 stitches (5 dec’s), sc in next 8 stitches. (20 stitches)

Row 8: Sc in first 5 stitches, dec in next 10 stitches (5 dec’s), sc in next 5 stitches. (15 stitches)

Rows 9-13: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches)

Stop at this point and stuff with poly-fil. You won’t stuff beyond this point, so make sure it’s stuffed in there really tight.

Rows 14-28: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches)

Tie off. You can make the legs shorter or longer by adding or subtracting rows, and you can change how full you stuff them as well.

Sew legs to bottom, lining them up with the edge of the body. Sew the arms on at row 25 of the body. I usually position the arms so they’re slightly in the front, not on the sides.

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The placement of the eyes and arms are important for the hats to fit right, so be sure you count the rows and attach them where the pattern says to.

Hats

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There are 2 basic patterns for the hats, a round one and a square one.

Materials needed (with affiliate links):

Any worsted weight (size 4) yarn

I (5.5mm) crochet hook

Yarn needle

White felt (for shark hat)

This pattern is worked “in-the-round”, and stitches are worked through both loops unless otherwise noted. 

Round Hat

Ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Rows 7-12: Sc in each stitch around. (35 stitches)

Row 13: Sc in next 25 stitches, leaving last 10 stitches unworked. Ch 1, turn. (25 stitches)

Rows 14-17: Sc across, ch 1, turn. (25 stitches)

Row 18: Sc across, ch 12, sl st to first sc.

Row 19: Sc in each stitch around, working 12 sc’s into ch 12 space. (37 stitches)

Rows 20-21: Continuing working in the round, sc in each stitch around. (37 stitches)

Tie off.

Square Hat

Ch. 35. Attach to first ch to form a ring.

Row 1: Sc in each ch around. (35 stitches)

Rows 2-13: Sc in each stitch around. (35 stitches)

Row 14: Sc in next 25 stitches, leaving last 10 stitches unworked. Ch 1, turn. (25 stitches)

Rows 15-18: Sc across, ch 1, turn. (25 stitches)

Row 19: Sc across, ch 12, sl st to first sc.

Row 20: Sc in each stitch around, working 12 sc’s into ch 12 space. (37 stitches)

Rows 21-22: Continuing working in the round, sc in each stitch around. (37 stitches)

Tie off. Using yarn and yarn needle, sew across the top to close it.

Unicorn Hat

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For the unicorn hat, use the round hat pattern. I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn in white for the hat and ears. I used Caron Simply Soft Periwinkle for the horn, and other Simply Soft colors for the hair.

Ears

Ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 5 sc inside of circle. (5 stitches)

Row 2: Sc in each stitch around. (5 stitches)

Row 3: Inc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Rows 4-6: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Tie off. Lay flat and sew onto hat. I find it helpful to put the hat on the monster’s head when sewing pieces on, to be able to get them where I want them. Just be sure to only sew onto the hat and not into the monster.

Horn

Ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 4 sc inside of circle. (4 stitches)

Row 2: Sc in each stitch around. (4 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (6 stitches)

Row 4: Sc in each stitch around. (6 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (8 stitches)

Row 6: Sc in each stitch around. (8 stitches)

Row 7: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (10 stitches)

Rows 8-9: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff with poly-fil and sew onto hat. Attach hair around horn.

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Owl Hat

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For the owl hat, use the square hat pattern. I used Caron Simply Soft in Plum Wine for the hat, and cool green, robin’s egg blue and aqua for the hair and beak. I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn in white and black for the eyes.

Eyes

With black yarn, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Switch to white yarn.

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Tie off. Sew or hot glue eyes onto hat. Use yarn needle and yarn to sew on beak. Attach hair at the corners. I find it helpful to put the hat on the monster’s head when sewing pieces on, to be able to get them where I want them. Just be sure to only sew onto the hat and not into the monster.

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Bear Hat

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For the bear hat, use the round hat pattern. I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn in barley.

Ears

Ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Rows 3-4: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches)

Tie off. Lay flat and sew onto hat. I find it helpful to put the hat on the monster’s head when sewing pieces on, to be able to get them where I want them. Just be sure to only sew onto the hat and not into the monster.

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Cat Hat

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For the cat hat, use the square hat pattern. I used Red Heart w/Love in charcoal for the hat. I used Caron Simply Soft in white for the whiskers and soft pink for the nose.

Once you have the square hat finished and the top sewn shut, place the hat on the monsters head and stitch diagonally up each side to create the ears. Use your yarn needle and yarn (or embroidery thread) to create the whiskers and nose. You can add eyes to the cat hat if you want to, but I liked the way it looked without them.

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Frog Hat

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For the frog hat, use the round hat pattern. I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn in kelly green, white and black.

Eyes

With black yarn, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Switch to white yarn.

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Switch to kelly green.

Rows 3-5: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches)

Row 4: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (10 stitches)

Stuff with poly-fil.

Row 5: Dec around. (5 stitches)

Sew hole closed. Use yarn needle and yarn to sew eyes onto top of hat. I find it helpful to put the hat on the monster’s head when sewing pieces on, to be able to get them where I want them. Just be sure to only sew onto the hat and not into the monster.

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Shark Hat

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For the shark hat, use the round hat pattern. I used Caron Simply Soft Party in silver sparkle.

Fin

Ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 5 sc inside of circle. (5 stitches)

Row 2: Sc in each stitch around. (5 stitches)

Row 3: Inc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Row 4: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 6: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches)

Row 7: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 8: Sc in each stitch around. (20 stitches)

Tie off. Using yarn needle and yarn, sew onto top of hat. I find it helpful to put the hat on the monster’s head when sewing pieces on, to be able to get them where I want them. Just be sure to only sew onto the hat and not into the monster. 

Cut out shark teeth with white felt. You can sew the teeth on, or do like I did and hot glue it. Just make sure you attach the teeth to the inside of the hat.

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Don’t forget, if you want the patterns for the super hero accessories, you’ll have to purchase the full set on my Ravelry.

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Be sure to check out the patterns for my big monsters too. The mini ones look really cute with the big ones.

 

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I hope you enjoy this pattern! You’re welcome to sell items that you make using my patterns, as long as you don’t post the pattern anywhere else, and link back to my page if you’d like to. If there are any mistakes, or something is unclear, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. Or message me on Facebook. If you create any monsters of your own, be sure to post a photo on my Facebook page so I can see. I love seeing all of the things people are creating, and I’d love to see the different variations that people make of these.

 

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Photography Dos and Don’ts

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I am not a professional photographer, but I did take photography classes in college, and I learned a few things. I have always been a portrait photographer because I love taking pictures of people.

Taking photographs of crocheted items has been a bit different for me, but I’ve found that a lot of the same concepts apply as I use when I do portrait photography. If you sell handmade items, especially if you do your selling online, taking good photographs is very important. The photographs will sell your item. I put together a few dos and don’ts that I think are important to remember when you’re taking your photographs.

DO take your photos in natural lighting.

Natural lighting will always give you the best, most accurate colors without deep shadows. I take all of my pictures outside. I know it’s really tempting to snap your photos quickly in your house after you finish the product, but it really is worth it to wait until you can get good photos outdoors.

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DON’T take your photos in bright sunlight.

I find this is a common mistake people make with any photography. I often have people get a hold of me on bright, sunny days because they think it’s perfect weather to do a photoshoot. Bright sunlight will create harsh shadows on your subject.

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Cloudy days are the best for photos. If it’s not a cloudy day, find a place with some good shade. You don’t want deep shade because you still want the natural lighting, but you also don’t want bright sunlight behind your subject. Personally, I use my front porch. It faces north, and I’m in the Pacific Northwest so the sun is always behind my house, which puts my porch in the shade.

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I buy yards of fabric at Joann’s to use for backdrops, and I tack them to my window frame. This works really well for me, and I’m generally happy with how my pictures turn out.

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If you don’t have a good area you can set up a backdrop, there are lots of other options. Find a relatively uncluttered background (a wooden fence, bricks, etc) to set your item in front of.

DO frame your picture correctly.

When you’re photographing your item, you don’t want to stand above it (unless you’re trying to get it from an unusual angle), and you don’t want to be too far away from it.

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You want your item to fill as much of the picture as you can without cutting any of it off. It may mean kneeling on the ground, or even laying down to get that perfect photo.

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Sometimes, taking photos outdoors isn’t a great option. I know it’s tough for me in the winter months, or when it’s raining a lot, because it means I either have to brave the cold and wade through snow, or I need to bring an umbrella outside with me. Some people live in apartments with no real yard to speak of for setting up a space to take photographs. I know that it’s often a necessity to take photographs indoors. If this is the case for you, remember that natural lighting is always going to be best.

DON’T use a flash.

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One of the worst things you can do is to use an on-camera flash to take photographs of your handmade items. As with bright sunlight, it creates harsh shadows and washes other things out. It also changes the color quite a bit and overall just looks unflattering. If you must take photos inside, find a spot in your house that gets a lot of natural light (but not direct sunlight) to set up an area for photos.

DO work with what you have available.

I don’t have a single room in my house that gets good natural lighting because of the trees in our backyard. My kitchen is the best place, but the colors in there are terrible. Still, I use it occasionally if the item I’m photographing goes ok with the bright orange countertops.

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I try to work with what I have, and sometimes I’ll use my son’s house across the street because he has a north facing family room with lots of big windows that gets great lighting. You may need to play around with different areas in your house until you find that perfect spot, but I promise it will be worth it to get photographs that sell.

DO purchase professional lighting if you can afford it.

I’m a person who prefers natural lighting, and I’ve found ways to make it work for me. If you can afford it, and you’re willing to invest a bit of money, you can purchase lighting kits to help give you more natural lighting indoors. Here are a few examples on Amazon:

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This LED light panel is relatively inexpensive. If you have to take photographs indoors, it might be a good idea to consider getting something like this to make your items stand out better, and really show off what you’re selling.

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If you have space to set up an area specifically for photographs, this continuous lighting kit with umbrella would be ideal, and would give you natural lighting in the darkest of rooms.

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If the items that you’re photographing aren’t very big then this light box kit would be perfect. It gives you a nice background, plus lighting and some colored backgrounds. Since it’s only 16 cubic inches, though, it wouldn’t work well for most of the things that I make.

DO use nice backgrounds for your photographs.

It’s definitely a good investment to get a few different backgrounds that you like. As I said, I purchase yards of fabric from Joann’s and it works pretty well for me. I find that fleece fabrics are best for this because they don’t hold wrinkles as much as other fabrics do. Plus, you can get them in virtually any color.  I recommend you avoid most printed fabrics, because that will detract from your item that you’re trying to showcase. In some cases, though, printed backgrounds can make your items stand out more. I particularly love this set of wood designs that I purchased from Amazon.

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These are 4 foot by 12 foot rolls of paper that are designed to be put on a frame, but I just roll them out on my porch and use them. They look really nice with hats and scarves.

If you’re on a tight budget, posterboard works pretty well for backgrounds too, especially if the item you’re photographing isn’t too big.

DO show clothing items being worn.

This is important if you make and sell hats and scarves, as well as other clothing items. Pictures of hats and scarves laying flat will help show off the pattern on them, but you really need to include photos of them being worn.

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People want to see how a clothing item will look when it’s on them, since that’s why they’re buying it. If you don’t have a model handy, you can always pick up a styrofoam mannequin head. They’re pretty cheap and available at most craft stores.

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Be sure to check out my post about decorating those mannequin heads to make them stand out more.

DO use people in your photographs to show size.

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Whenever possible, I try to get a photograph or two that has a person in the photo with the item. It helps give some perspective to how big or small it is. Even if you’re giving measurements, those numbers often don’t mean anything until you see it with somebody. Even just putting the item in somebody’s hands will give the purchaser an idea of how big it is.

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DO edit your photographs.

One last bit of advice for the technical side of your photographs. You need to edit them. It’s so rare for a photograph to have perfect lighting straight out of your camera. On those rare occasions that I get a great photograph, I still open it and see if there are any edits I can do that will make it better. Even back in my days in the darkroom, there was still a lot of adjustments I had to make to get the perfect light and dark tones in my photographs.  Digital photography tends to look very flat, more so than film photography. You need to brighten up those photos, and deepen the shadows a bit to make them pop.

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I have a really nice (and expensive) DSLR camera. It takes amazing photographs. But even so, I have to edit them. In the example above, you can see the difference editing made in the top photo (straight out of the camera) and the bottom photo (once it’s been edited). The lighting and color is so much better in the edited photograph. Next, I would crop that photograph and resize it a bit for sharing.

Most people know all about Photoshop. It really is the best photo editing software out there, because there’s so much you can do with it. However, Photoshop is a very expensive program and it can be complicated for the novice photographer. (Just a side note: most colleges have Photoshop classes you can take to learn how to use the program, but just the fact that they can fill that much time with learning it should tell you how complicated the program can be.)  I’ve taken Photoshop classes, and I’ve used the program for some things, but I actually learned how to edit (and manipulate) photos using Paintshop Pro. It’s a less expensive program, and kind of a simplified version of Photoshop. Paintshop Pro is always open on my computer because I use it for everything. It’s my favorite program, and one that I’ve spent the money to upgrade every time they come out with a new version.

I know spending money on photo editing software may not be in your budget. I’m sure there are a lot of free programs out there that you can get that will at least help you adjust the lighting on your photographs. I also know that many people don’t have a camera, or even a computer anymore. Most people simply use their cell phones. With the cameras on cell phones getting better and better, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it being your main tool for photos. You can get really good photographs with a cell phone, and there are tons of apps out there that you can download (usually free of charge) to edit those photos.

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My cell phone takes pretty good pictures, but I still love taking them into Instagram and adjusting the brightness and contrast, and sometimes adding a filter to make them look a bit better. I find this fun, and often will do it just for enjoyment. If you don’t enjoy editing photos, Instagram really is a great way for you to do it because they take most of the work out of it for you.

One last thing….

DO add a watermark to your photographs.

I find this to be very important because there are a lot of people out there who don’t want to put the time and effort into taking photographs of their own work, so they’ll just steal your photos and use them like they’re their own. (Side note: If you’ve ever done this, stop right now. It’s actually illegal to use somebody else’s photographs without their permission, and it’s a pretty asshole-ish thing to do. People put a lot of work into those photographs. DO NOT STEAL OTHER PEOPLE’S PHOTOS. Use my advice and take your own.)

Your photographs are less likely to get stolen if they’ve got a watermark on them. People don’t want their buyers to know that the work they’re viewing isn’t what they’re buying, so if they’re going to steal a photo they’ll look for one without a watermark on it. Think of it as signing your artwork. You wouldn’t sell a painting without putting your signature on it, would you? Of course not. You want to make sure you always gets credit for your work.

I use Paintshop Pro to put my watermark on my photos, but there are probably free apps you can find on your phone that will allow you to do it. Take some time and search for those apps. It will help protect your work, but it also adds a bit of professionalism to your photographs.

I think that’s everything I wanted to say about taking photographs of your work. Hopefully this post wasn’t too scattered or too long-winded, and I really hope you were able to take some of this advice and use it to help advance your business. If you have any other tips that you think of, or if you know some great free apps for editing photos on phones and adding watermarks, leave me a comment or go post on my Facebook page.

Crochet Yourself an Avocado Friend

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Have you heard? Avocados are a super food. They’re super healthy and super yummy. You won’t want to eat these avocados, though, but they are super cute and super cuddly.

This pattern works up really quickly, and doesn’t take much yarn to make. The finished avocado stands about 7 inches tall. Make a couple for all of the avocado-lovers in your life.

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If you want a pattern that you can save on your computer and easily print, this pattern is available in my Ravelry shop for only $2.00. I love printing patterns and saving them in a binder to keep track of the ones I’ve done and the ones I still plan to do.

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

sl st: slip stitch

 

inc: increase (2 single crochets in one loop)

dec: decrease (pull yarn through loop, pull yarn through second loop, yarn over and pull through all loops)

Materials needed (with affiliate links):

Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn in ferntoffee, and radiant lime.

I (5.25mm) crochet hook

12mm safety eyes

Yarn needle

Poly-fil 

Black embroidery thread

This pattern is worked “in-the-round”, and stitches are worked through both loops unless otherwise noted. 

Front

With toffee, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: Ch 1, 5 sc inside of circle. (5 stitches)

Row 2: Inc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Rows 6-7: Sc in each stitch around. (25 stitches)

Switch to radiant lime.

Row 8: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 9:  *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 10: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Row 11: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches, repeat from * around. (45 stitches)

Row 12: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 8 stitches, repeat from * around. (50 stitches)

Tie off.

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Your piece won’t be round, it should have 5 sides to it like the photo above. With radiant lime, slip stitch into the end of one of those sides.

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Row 1: Sc in first 10 stitches, ch 1, turn. (10 stitches)

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Rows 2-4: Sc in each stitch across, ch 1, turn. (10 stitches)

Row 3: Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 6 stitches, dec in last 2 stitches, ch 1, turn. (8 stitches)

Row 4: Sc in each stitch across, ch 1, turn. (8 stitches)

Row 5: Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches, dec in last 2 stitches, ch 1, turn. (6 stitches)

Row 6: Sc in each stitch across, ch 1, turn. (6 stitches)

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Work 65 sc’s around the whole thing.

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Sl st to first stitch. Tie off.

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If you’re using safety eyes, you can attach them now and sew a mouth on with embroidery thread. If you’re stitching eyes on, you can wait until you’re finished to sew them on if you’d like.

Back

With fern, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: Ch 1, 5 sc inside of circle. (5 stitches)

Row 2: Inc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

 

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 7:  *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 8: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Row 9: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches, repeat from * around. (45 stitches)

Row 10: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 8 stitches, repeat from * around. (50 stitches)

Tie off.

Sl st into one of the flat sides like you did for the front.

Row 1: Sc in first 10 stitches, ch 1, turn. (10 stitches)

Rows 2-4: Sc in each stitch across, ch 1, turn. (10 stitches)

Row 3: Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 6 stitches, dec in last 2 stitches, ch 1, turn. (8 stitches)

Row 4: Sc in each stitch across, ch 1, turn. (8 stitches)

Row 5: Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches, dec in last 2 stitches, ch 1, turn. (6 stitches)

Row 6: Sc in each stitch across, ch 1, turn. (6 stitches)

Work 65 sc’s around the whole thing. Repeat this 3 times to create a “bowl” shape. You can make your avocado wider by working more rows around the back piece, or make it slimmer by working less rows around.

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Holding the 2 pieces together, sc around.

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Before you close it up, stuff tight with poly-fil.

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You could leave your avocado like this if you’d like.

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Or put a face on it and attach some arms and legs.

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Arms

With fern, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: Ch 1, 6 sc inside of circle. (6 stitches)

Rows 2-5: Sc in each stitch around. (6 stitches)

Tie off. Sew onto sides of avocado.

Legs

With fern, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: Ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Rows 2-6: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Tie off. Sew onto bottom of avocado.

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I hope you enjoy this pattern! You’re welcome to sell items that you make using my patterns, as long as you don’t post the pattern anywhere else, and link back to my page if you’d like to. If there are any mistakes, or something is unclear, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. Or message me on Facebook. If you create any avocados of your own, be sure to post a photo on my Facebook page so I can see. I love seeing all of the things people are creating, and I’d love to see the different variations that people make of these.

 

Valentine Roundup

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I found 14 fairly quick (and free!) Valentine patterns for anybody who wants to hand make some things for the holidays. Just click on the links to go check out these wonderful patterns.

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  1. Here’s a simple pattern for some heart appliques. These would be cute strung up as garlands, or you could make a bunch of them and let your kids glue them onto cards to make their own Valentines.

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2. The pop heart pattern is so unique because the heart actually has 2 different sized cups and a pointy end. It’s a neat take on a plus heart, and could be given on its own as a gift, or sewn into the arms of a stuffed animal.

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3. These heart-shaped baskets are made with t-shirt yarn, but I’m sure they could be made with any type of yarn and would turn out just as cute. They would make great decor for Valentine’s Day, or just put them around your house all year to hold little odds and ends.

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4. These daisy dum-dums are one of my favorite ideas for Valentine’s Day. My kids aren’t little anymore, but I would have loved making these for their classmates. Since dum-dums are fairly cheap, and these could be made with scraps of yarn, it’s an inexpensive way to make sure your kid’s Valentines stand out this year.

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5. Here’s another cute idea. This heart envelope would be great for those special Valentines. Stick a note inside, or maybe a treat or two, and hand them out to those you love.

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6. These cute mini treat bags wouldn’t take much time to make, and will hold all of those Valentine treats. You could even stuff a little note or card inside of them.

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7. Want something special to wear on Valentine’s Day? The Puppy Love Heart Slouchy Hat is one of my favorite patterns. It would be great to wear all winter, but especially during February.

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8. This sweetheart lace scarf is so pretty and elegant. I think it would also make a great table runner to set up for a romantic night in.

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9. These heart and sole slippers look so warm and cozy. They would make a great gift for somebody special, or crochet up a pair to wear while you sit and work on other projects.

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10. This plush Hershey kiss is so adorable. It looks like it would work up pretty quickly, and wouldn’t take much yarn to make.

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11. This funny bunny pattern is so cute. It would be great for any time of the year, especially if you just change up some of the colors.

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12. This Valentine heart owl looks so soft and squishy. I love blanket yarn because it makes such nice stuffies, but I also have a things for owls. The hearts make him extra cute.

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13. Miss Lovey looks so fun and cute. I can picture my grandkids hugging her and throwing her around.

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14. Want to make a love bug for your love bug? This pattern is quick and easy and is free on Ravelry.

I hope you found something fun to make for Valentine’s Day! I know there are a couple of patterns on here that I’m adding to my “to do” list. If you find any other fun Valentine’s Day patterns, go leave a link on my Facebook page so I can check it out!

 

Val the Valentine Girl

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Val has made some cupcakes, and she’s all ready for Valentine’s Day.  This finished doll stands about 10.5 inches tall and makes a cute Valentine’s decoration, or a toy for little hands to play with.

If you want a pattern that you can save on your computer and easily print, this pattern is available in my Ravelry shop for only $2.00. I love printing patterns and saving them in a binder to keep track of the ones I’ve done and the ones I still plan to do.

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Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

sl st: slip stitch

dc: double crochet

hdc: half double crochet

trc: triple crochet

inc: increase (2 single crochets in one loop)

dec: decrease (pull yarn through loop, pull yarn through second loop, yarn over and pull through all loops)

Materials needed (with affiliate links):

Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn in beigewhiteblack, and dusty blue. Loops and Threads Impeccable yarn in soft rose, rich orchid and soft taupe. A small amount of Bernat Pipsqueak yarn in white. (You can choose any colors you want, of course, but these are the ones that I used.)

I (5.25mm) crochet hook

15mm safety eyes

Yarn needle

Poly-fil 

Heart-shaped button and 2 small white buttons(optional)

Pipe Cleaners (optional)

This pattern is worked “in-the-round”, and stitches are worked through both loops unless otherwise noted. 

Hat:

With soft rose, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 7: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Row 8: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches, repeat from * around. (45 stitches)

Row 9: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 8 stitches, repeat from * around. (50 stitches)

Rows 10-17: Sc in each stitch around. (50 stitches)

Switch to Pipsqueak yarn.

Row 18: Sc in each stitch around. (50 stitches)

Tie off.

Make a pom-pom with the Pipsqueak yarn and attach to top of hat.

Head:

With beige, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 7: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Row 8: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches, repeat from * around. (45 stitches)

Row 9: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 8 stitches, repeat from * around. (50 stitches)

Rows 10-15: Sc in each stitch around. (50 stitches)

Row 16: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 8 stitches, repeat from * around. (45 stitches)

Row 17: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 7 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Row 18: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 19: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 20: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 21: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff with poly-fil.

Curly Hair

Using soft taupe, crochet a chain longer than you want the hair to be. Work 3 sc’s into each chain. Be sure to leave a long tail at the beginning and end of each curl to attach to her head.

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Play around with different starting chains until you get the lengths that you want.

Pull hat onto head and get it where you want it. Figure out the placement of her eyes, but don’t put the backs on yet. Sew hat onto head, then attach hair underneath hat so that it falls over the loops.

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Use the long tails to tie each curl in place. If you want eyelashes, be sure to sew them on before you put the eyes in place. Once you have the hat and hair on, make sure the eye placement is where you want it, and attach the backs. You can sew on a nose and/or mouth if you want to,  but I always choose to leave those off because it makes her expression more neutral. You can also use a bit of blush on her cheeks to give her face some color.

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Body:

With dusty blue, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 7: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Switch to white.

Row 8: Sc in each stitch around. (30 stitches)

Switch to rich orchid.

Rows 9-11: Sc in each stitch around. (30 stitches)

Row 12: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Rows 13-15: Sc in each stitch around. (25 stitches)

Switch to white.

Row 16: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Switch to beige.

Row 16: Sc in each stitch around. (20 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff with poly-fil. You can leave it as is, or you can attach white on the bottom of her shirt and sc around twice to create the bottom cuff of her shirt. Attach small buttons onto her shirt if you want to. Sew head onto body.

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Arms:

With beige, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 6 sc inside of circle. (6 stitches)

Rows 2-3: Sc in each stitch around. (6 stitches)

Switch to white.

Row 4: Sc in each stitch around. (6 stitches)

Rows 5-14: Sc in each stitch around. (6 stitches)

Tie off. Do not stuff. You can insert pipe cleaners in the arms if you want them to be poseable. You can leave it as is, or you can attach white on the bottom of her sleeve and sc around once to create the cuff of her shirt. Sew onto body.

Legs:

With black, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Rows 2-8: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Switch to dusty blue.

Rows 9-15: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff with poly-fil. You can leave it as is, or you can attach black on the top of her boots and sc around once to create the cuff of her boot. Sew onto body.

 

Poncho

With soft rose, ch 30. Sl st to first ch to form a ring.

Row 1: Hdc in each ch around. (30 stitches)

Row 2: *Hdc inc in first stitch, hdc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 3: *Hdc inc in first stitch, hdc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Row 4: *Hdc inc in first stitch, hdc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (50 stitches)

Row 5: *Hdc inc in first stitch, hdc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (55 stitches)

Row 6: *Hdc inc in first stitch, hdc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (60 stitches)

Row 7: *Hdc inc in first stitch, hdc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (65 stitches)

Row 8: Hdc in each stitch around. (65 stitches)

Switch to Pipsqueak yarn.

Row 9: Sc in each stitch around. (65 stitches)

Tie off.

With Pipqueak yarn, ch. 50. Tie off. Weave chain into the top of the poncho to tighten it at the neck once it’s on.

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And there you have you finished doll. Val looks very cute with her poncho on.

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But she’s also very cute without her poncho.

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I hope you enjoy this pattern! You’re welcome to sell items that you make using my patterns, as long as you don’t post the pattern anywhere else, and link back to my page if you’d like to. If there are any mistakes, or something is unclear, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. Or message me on Facebook. If you create any dolls of your own, be sure to post a photo on my Facebook page so I can see. I love seeing all of the things people are creating, and I’d love to see the different variations that people make of these.

Decorating Mannequin Heads

If you make hats, then you probably know that the best way to display them is on mannequin heads. Whether you sell items at craft fairs, in a shop, or online, a simple foam mannequin head will help show your hats off.

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Styrofoam mannequin heads are fairly inexpensive, but they’re also pretty boring. The other problem I have with them is, the white brightness of them can mess up a photograph, causing either your hat to end up too dark, or the mannequin head to be too bright and lose any features. If you want to spruce up those mannequin heads, it’s pretty easy to decoupage them.

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All you need is some scrapbook paper, Mod Podge (I prefer the matte finish), a paintbrush, and a container of water. Choose scrapbook paper with some simple designs, preferably in colors that won’t overpower your hats. I like choosing a few coordinating papers to mix things up a bit. I should also note that I tried this with a thicker scrapbook paper, and it didn’t work as well. The regular, thinner scrapbook paper works better for getting all of those curves.

Tear the scrapbook paper into pieces. You could also use scissors and cut the paper, but I think it looks better torn into random pieces.

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Make sure you have small pieces, especially for around the eyes, nose and mouth.

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Put pieces of the paper into the container of water. You don’t have to leave them in very long, although leaving them in longer will make them more flexible.

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Dip your paintbrush into the Mod Podge and spread it on the mannequin head where you’re going to put your pieces. Lay the pieces on and use your fingers to smooth out any curves or creases. Go over the piece with more Mod Podge.

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Continue doing this to cover the whole head. The hardest part is around the eyes, nose and mouth, but just use small pieces and be sure to smooth each of them out to form into the creases of the head.

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Once your mannequin head is completely covered, set it some place to dry. You can add another coat of Mod Podge over the top to seal it, or even use a spray sealer if you want to.

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I really like the way the hats look on decorated mannequin heads. It will make your product stand out from others, and it turns your mannequin head into a work of art.

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Try different colors of papers to go with different hats that you have.

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I really like the way neutral tones work with most hats.

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I also have to add, one of the biggest problem I’ve had with styrofoam mannequin heads is that they tip over pretty easily once you put a hat on them. Since they have a hole in the bottom of the head, my boyfriend made me some wooden bases using round plaques and wooden dowels.

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They were pretty easy to make, too. He just measured and cut the dowels, then screwed them into the round plaque. He’s going to stain them for me too. I love them. They add a nice tough to my photographs and help keep the heads from falling over when I’m trying to take pictures.

I hope this post was helpful. If you decoupage any mannequin heads, go share a photo with me over on my Facebook. I’d love to see other colored ones, and different designs.

 

Kevin the Koala

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My middle daughter collects teddy bears, but she likes koalas the best. I decided I needed to make a koala for her.

I really like using Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn for stuffies. It holds up well to being stuffed, and it’s a decent price. Plus there are so many color choices, which makes it easy to find what I’m looking for. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the right color for my koala with the Vanna yarn, so I started looking at other brands. I found the perfect color in the Big Twist yarn, which is a Joann brand yarn. When finished, Kevin is about 8 inches tall and he’s cute as can be.

If you want a pattern that you can save on your computer and easily print, this pattern is available in my Ravelry shop for only $2.00. I love printing patterns and saving them in a binder to keep track of the ones I’ve done and the ones I still plan to do.

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

sl st: slip stitch

inc: increase (2 single crochets in one loop)

dec: decrease (pull yarn through loop, pull yarn through second loop, yarn over and pull through all loops)

Materials needed (with affiliate links):

Big Twist yarn in chinchilla.

Lion Brand Vanna yarn in linen and black.

I (5.25mm) crochet hook 

15mm safety eyes

Yarn needle

Poly-fil 

This pattern is worked “in-the-round”, and stitches are worked through both loops unless otherwise noted. 

Head:

With chincilla, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 7: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Row 8: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches, repeat from * around. (45 stitches)

Row 9: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 8 stitches, repeat from * around. (50 stitches)

Row 10: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 9 stitches, repeat from * around. (55 stitches)

Row 11: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 10 stitches, repeat from * around. (60 stitches)

Rows 12-13: Sc in each stitch around. (60 stitches)

Row 14: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 10 stitches, repeat from * around. (55 stitches)

Row 15: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 9 stitches, repeat from * around. (50 stitches)

Row 16: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 8 stitches, repeat from * around. (45 stitches)

Row 17: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 7 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Row 18: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 19: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 20: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 21: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff with polyfil. Insert eyes between rows 11 and 12 with 13 stitches in between them. I like to wait to put the backs on the safety eyes until I have the nose sewn on, just in case I want to adjust their placement.

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Nose:

With black, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: Sc in first 3 stitches, inc in next 4 stitches, sc in last 3 stitches. (14 stitches)

Row 3: Sc in each stitch around. (14 stitches)

Tie off. Position on face in between eyes and sew on. You can use straight pins to hold it in place if you’d like.

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Before closing, stuff some polyfil into the nose.

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Ears:

With chincilla, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Rows 5-7: Sc in each stitch around. (25 stitches)

Tie off. Fold flat. The ears will have a slight curve to them.

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Lay ears on face so that they almost touch the eyes. You can use straight pins to hold them in place if you’d like.

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Sew on, following the curve of the ear.

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Cut pieces of linen yarn and attach them close to the ear to create the hair.

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Trim them to the size you want.

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Pull each strand apart to make them fuzzier.

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Body:

With chincilla, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Rows 5-13: Sc in each stitch around. (25 stitches)

Row 14: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff tight with polyfil.

Arms:

With linen, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Switch to chinchilla.

Row 3: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (10 stitches)

Rows 4-13: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff halfway with polyfil.

Legs:

With linen, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Switch to chinchilla.

Row 4: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Rows 5-10: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff tight with polyfil.

Tail:

With chinchilla, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Tie off.

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Sew body onto head. Sew legs onto body, making sure to keep them even. You want them slightly towards the front, but mostly facing the sides. Using straight pins to put them in place will help you to get them even.

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Sew arms on. Sew tail on back, making sure to position it low enough that it will help balance the koala. Stuff some polyfil into the tail before closing off. You can also add more linen yarn to the tail to make it fluffier.

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When the koala sits, his tail and legs should keep him balanced.

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Using your black yarn, sew on a mouth, eyebrows and “claws” on his feet. You can do other things with him too, like add felt under his eyes. I made another one using a smaller hook, so he’s just slightly smaller than Kevin.

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I like both of them, but as you can see adding the felt gave him a different look and expression.

I hope you enjoy this pattern! You’re welcome to sell items that you make using my patterns, as long as you don’t post the pattern anywhere else, and link back to my page if you’d like to. If there are any mistakes, or something is unclear, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. Or message me on Facebook. If you create any koalas of your own, be sure to post a photo on my Facebook page so I can see. I love seeing all of the things people are creating, and I’d love to see the different variations that people make of these.

What Do I Do With All of This Scrap Yarn?

If you’re a crocheter, or a knitter, then you know that a lot of the time you finish your project and you still have yarn left. What do you do with it? If you’re like me, you throw it in a bin or bag and move on to the next, fresh new skein of yarn. Eventually, though, those scraps of yarn start to build up, and it’s tough to get yourself to just throw it away. You paid good money for that yarn, and you’re just sure you’ll end up needing it the minute it’s in the trash.

I recently had a conversation with a friend about what to do with all of that scrap yarn. There are really a lot of possibilities. I found a few ideas that I love, and I thought I’d share them with you.

Donate Your Yarn

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If you have a bunch of scrap yarn that is cluttering up your house, and you know you’ll probably never get around to doing anything with it, consider donating it. Call up a local daycare, preschool or elementary school and see if they have a use for it. Call some senior centers or nursing homes. There are a lot of crafts out there that only require a bit of yarn, and some of these places may be able to put your scraps to good use. Plus, it can be tough for them to budget in art and craft supplies, so they may be thrilled to receive your donation. This post on Craftsy talks a bit about donating your yarn, but also gives a neat idea for organizing and storing your scraps.

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You could also donate it to the birds. I thought this was a neat idea, because it would help birds make strong, warm nests. Plus, it makes them more colorful. If your scraps of yarn are too small to really do anything with them, then this could be a neat alternative to throwing them away. I’m not sure how safe it is for birds, so maybe do a bit of research on type of yarn first.

Make Some Words

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If you have kids, this could be a fun project for them to use up those scraps of yarn. Just grab some pipe cleaners next time you’re at the craft store.

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With a glue gun, some scrap yarn, and a few embellishments, you can make a pretty letter to hang on your wall.

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Or you can be a little bit more elaborate and make a whole name to hang on your wall.

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You could also grab some nails and turn a boring fence into a great place to hang out, and a pretty background for photographs.

Make Some Art

Picnik collage #2

This art project would be really cute hanging in a nursery, and if you have enough colors you could even do a more detailed design. This is done with rolls of yarn, but you could easily do it with pom-poms too.

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You can turn your scraps of yarn into a pretty centerpiece for your table by gluing it to styrofoam balls.

Wrap Some Presents

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You can use that extra yarn to wrap around gifts for an extra little touch. Attach a pom-pom or two, and it will look even better.

Make Some Bookmarks

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Bookmarks made out of yarn are such a cute idea. You could really crochet pretty much anything to use as a bookmark, but I particularly liked these Harry Potter themed scarf bookmarks.

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These pom-pom bookmarks don’t require any crocheting at all. It’s a project your kids could actually do with their scrap yarn, and would make cute gifts for their teachers.

Make Some Hat Ornaments

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I thought these cute hats were a great alternative to making pom-poms. They’re easy enough for kids to do, and they’d make great decorations to hang around your house all winter long. You could even make a couple of them and add them to the top of your packages during the holidays. I make hats and scarves for everybody in the family for Christmas. I think these would be cute on top of those presents.

Make an Afghan

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There are a lot of afghan patterns out there that are designed for using up scraps of yarn, but almost any pattern will work really, as long as you don’t mind sudden color changes and no real color scheme. A granny stitch blanket works well for this because it shows off each color quite well.

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Ripple afghans also look nice with scraps of yarn because the ripples make the colors all stand out quite well.

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You could also make hexagons with your scrap yarn and sew them together when you have enough for a blanket. I think this is a neat idea if you have a bin or something to throw them in. Just grab that leftover yarn when it starts to get overwhelming and crochet up some hexagons.

Make Some Pom-poms

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Making pom-poms is my favorite thing to do with scrap yarn. I always like attaching them to hats that I make, but there are so many different things you can do with pom-poms. Go check out my pom-pom post to see a few of my favorite ideas.

I hope this post was helpful. What do you do with your scrap yarn? Have you found other ideas that aren’t listed here? Go drop by my Facebook page and tell me about it, or post photos of things you’ve made with scrap yarn.

 

 

 

 

V-Pop Hat and Scarf Set

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This is one of the coldest, and craziest, winters I’ve ever seen. With snow down in Florida, the Carolinas, and Texas, and the “Bomb Cyclone” on the east coast, I figure everybody needs lots of ways to bundle up. I love making hat and scarf sets, so I’ve been spending my time designing some new patterns.

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When it comes to hat and scarves, I like textures and patterns. I wanted something that would be textured, but would also have a pretty pattern to it. I combined the popcorn stitch and the v-stitch to come up with this V-Pop hat and scarf set.

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This pattern is made as a “one size fits most” design, but you could really adjust it to fit other sizes if you want to by changing the numbers in your starting chain. As long as you stick to a multiple of 3, the pattern should still come out just fine.

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I like hats that are slightly slouchy, but my middle daughter loves her hats to slouch more. You could add a few more v-stitch rows at the end to make this hat more slouchy if you prefer it that way. It’s a fairly versatile pattern that can be made with any yarn, as long as you adjust for the thickness. And really, just look at those textures.

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This pattern is free here on my blog, but if you want a pattern that you can save on your computer and easily print, this pattern is available in my Ravelry shop for only $2.00.  I love printing patterns and saving them in a binder to keep track of the ones I’ve done and the ones I still plan to do.

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

sl st: slip stitch

hdc: half double crochet

fphdc: front post half double crochet

bphdc: back post half double crochet

dc: double crochet

Materials needed (with affiliate links):

Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn. I did this hat in Dusty Blue. You can use any worsted weight yarn.

J (6mm) crochet hook

Yarn needle

Special stitch:

This pattern uses a 3 dc popcorn stitch. To make a popcorn stitch, work 3 dc’s into the same space.

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Remove your hook, insert it into the first dc of the 3.

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Grab the loop and pull it through.

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By going through the back, this will make the popcorn stitch “pop” out on the opposite side, which makes that the front of your hat.

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You can also insert the hook from the front to the back, which will make your popcorn “pop” out on the side facing you instead. It’s really your choice, just remember to be consistent so you have a distinct inside and outside for your hat.

Hat:

Ch. 75. (You can change the size of the hat here by changing the starting chain. Just stick to a multiple of 3 and the pattern will still work.) Sl st to first ch to form a ring.

Row 1: Ch 2, hdc in each ch around, sl st into ch 2. (75 stitches)

Rows 2-5: Ch 2, fphdc, bphdc around, sl st into ch 2. (75 stitches)

Row 6: Ch 4 (this is your first dc plus a ch 1), dc in same space you slip stitched into. *Skip 2, in next stitch dc, ch 1, dc. Repeat from * around. Sl st into the 3rd ch of your ch 4. (25 v-stitches)

Row 7: Ch 1, sc around, sl st to first sc. Be sure to sc into each dc and each ch 1 space. (75 stitches)

Row 8: Ch 2, hdc around, sl st to first hdc. (75 stitches)

Row 9: Ch 1, sc around, sl st to first sc. (75 stitches)

Row 10: Ch 4 (this is your first dc plus a ch 1), dc in same space you slip stitched into. *Skip 2. In next stitch dc, ch 1, dc to make your “V.”  Repeat from * around. Sl st into the 3rd ch of your ch 4. (25 v-stitches)

Row 11: Ch 1, sc around, sl st to first sc. (75 stitches)

Row 12: Ch 3, *dc in first 2 stitches, work popcorn stitch into next stitch. Repeat from * around. Sl st into ch 3. (75 stitches, counting each popcorn stitch as 1 stitch)

Row 13: Ch 1, sc around, sl st to first sc. (75 stitches)

Row 14: Ch 4 (this is your first dc plus a ch 1), dc in same space you slip stitched into. *Skip 2. In next stitch dc, ch 1, dc to make your “V.”  Repeat from * around. Sl st into the 3rd ch of your ch 4. (25 v-stitches)

Row 15: Ch 1, sc around, sl st to first sc. (75 stitches)

Row 16: Ch 3, *dc in first 2 stitches, work popcorn stitch into next stitch. Repeat from * around. Sl st into ch 3. (75 stitches, counting each popcorn stitch as 1 stitch)

Row 17: Ch 1, sc around, sl st to first sc. (75 stitches)

Row 18: Ch 4 (this is your first dc plus a ch 1), dc in same space you slip stitched into. *Skip 2. In next stitch dc, ch 1, dc to make your “V.”  Repeat from * around. Sl st into the 3rd ch of your ch 4. (25 v-stitches)

Row 19: Ch 1, sc around, sl st to first sc. (75 stitches)

Row 20: Ch 3, *dc in first 2 stitches, work popcorn stitch into next stitch. Repeat from * around. Sl st into ch 3. (75 stitches, counting each popcorn stitch as 1 stitch)

Row 21: Ch 1, sc around, sl st to first sc. (75 stitches)

Row 22: Ch 4 (this is your first dc plus a ch 1), dc in same space you slip stitched into. *Skip 2. In next stitch dc, ch 1, dc to make your “V.”  Repeat from * around. Sl st into the 3rd ch of your ch 4. (25 v-stitches)

Row 23: Ch 1, sc around, sl st to first sc. (75 stitches)

Row 24: Ch 2, hdc around, sl st to first hdc. (75 stitches)

Row 25: Ch 1, sc around, sl st to first sc. (75 stitches)

Row 26: Ch 4 (this is your first dc plus a ch 1), dc in same space you slip stitched into. *Skip 2. In next stitch dc, ch 1, dc to make your “V.”  Repeat from * around. Sl st into the 3rd ch of your ch 4. (25 v-stitches)

You can add a few more v-stitch rows to give it more slouch, or tie off after row 26, leaving a long tail to sew the end together. Using your yarn needle, weave the tail in and out of each v-stitch:

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When you get back to the beginning, pull the yarn tight to close up the top. You can put a few stitches into the top to close it tighter if you’d like to. Tie the yarn to one of the stitches to finish it.

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Attach a fur or yarn pom-pom to the top.

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Scarf:

Ch. 228. My finished scarf measures about 5 and 1/2 feet long, so if you want it longer or shorter you can adjust that by changing the count on your starting chain. Just keep it in multiples of 3 + 3.

For example, if I wanted it to be a bit longer, I could start with a ch of 243. 80 x 3 = 240 + 3 = 243. Just make sure you use a multiple of 3, then add 3 to it.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, turn. (227 stitches)

Row 2: Ch 3. (Counts as first dc here and throughout.) Skip next stitch. In next stitch, dc, ch 1, dc to make your V-stitch. *Skip 2. Work V-stitch into next stitch. Repeat from * across until you get to the last 2 stitches. Skip next stitch, dc in last stitch, turn. (75 v-stitches)

*NOTE* When a pattern says that your ch counts as the first stitch, that almost always means that you skip the stitch directly under that chain. In Row 2, where it says “skip next stitch” that means you also skip the stitch in front of it.

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Row 3: Ch 1, sc around, turn. Be sure to sc into each dc and each ch 1 space. (227 stitches)

Row 4: Ch 3. (Counts as first dc here and throughout.) Dc in next stitch, work popcorn stitch into next stitch. *Dc in next 2 stitches, work popcorn stitch into next stitch. Repeat from * across. Dc in last 2 stitches, turn. (227 stitches, counting each popcorn stitch as 1 stitch)

Row 5: Ch 1, sc around, turn. (227 stitches)

Row 6: Ch 3. Skip next stitch. In next stitch, dc, ch 1, dc to make your V-stitch. *Skip 2. Work V-stitch into next stitch. Repeat from * across until you get to the last 2 stitches. Skip next stitch, dc in last stitch, turn. (75 v-stitches)

Row 7: Ch 1, sc around, turn. (227 stitches)

Row 8: Ch 3. Dc in next stitch, work popcorn stitch into next stitch. *Dc in next 2 stitches, work popcorn stitch into next stitch. Repeat from * across. Dc in last 2 stitches, turn. (227 stitches, counting each popcorn stitch as 1 stitch)

Row 9: Ch 1, sc around, turn. (227 stitches)

Row 10: Ch 3. Skip next stitch. In next stitch, dc, ch 1, dc to make your V-stitch. *Skip 2. Work V-stitch into next stitch. Repeat from * across until you get to the last 2 stitches. Skip next stitch, dc in last stitch, turn. (75 v-stitches)

Row 11: Ch 1, sc around, turn. (227 stitches)

Row 12: Ch 3. Dc in next stitch, work popcorn stitch into next stitch. *Dc in next 2 stitches, work popcorn stitch into next stitch. Repeat from * across. Dc in last 2 stitches, turn. (227 stitches, counting each popcorn stitch as 1 stitch)

Row 13: Ch 1, sc around, turn. (227 stitches)

Row 14: Ch 3. Skip next stitch. In next stitch, dc, ch 1, dc to make your V-stitch. *Skip 2. Work V-stitch into next stitch. Repeat from * across until you get to the last 2 stitches. Skip next stitch, dc in last stitch, turn. (75 v-stitches)

Row 15: Ch 1, sc around, turn. (227 stitches)

Tie off. Weave in ends. Attach fringe at each end of scarf.

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I also made this set using Loops and Threads Barcelona in Onyx, which is a size 5 bulky yarn. I used a J hook and followed the same pattern, and it only came out a little bit bigger.

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I love the Barcelona yarn because the colors on them are beautiful, and the color changes really show off this pattern more.

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Eventually, I’ll try it in some other yarns to see how it works with different colors and textures. I hope you love this set as much as I do. If there are any mistakes in this pattern, or something is unclear, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. Or message me on Facebook. If you create any of these, be sure to post a photo on my Facebook page so I can see.

 

 

Pom Pom Party

I must admit, I love pom poms. I love making hats and putting pom poms on them, but I’m always wanting to do more with them. I decided this was a good time to do a post about all the things you can do with pom poms.

But first, let’s talk about making pom poms. The greatest thing about them, I think, is that anybody can make them. You don’t need to know how to crochet or knit to learn how to make pom poms. And there are so many different ways to make them too.

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You can buy yourself some pom pom makers like these. They come in 4 different sizes for all of your pom pom needs. Is it possible to have pom pom needs? I think it is.

Personally, I own pom pom makers in many different sizes. But I’ve actually never used them. I don’t even know where they are. When I want to make a pom pom, I just look for something round. A soda bottle, a paint bottle, or…..my Yoda kaleidoscope.

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It seems I use Yoda more than anything else when I’m making pom poms. It’s the perfect size, really. I wrap my yarn around it, then I pull it off of the kaleidoscope.

I put a piece of yarn underneath it and tie it tight around the middle.

Then I cut each side. Making sure not to cut the piece that I tied around it, I then fluff and trim the pom pom until it looks the way I want it to.

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I use that long piece to attach it to hats.

There are lots of other ways you can make pom poms, and most of them don’t require you to purchase anything. This video on youtube shows 4 different ways of making pom poms, and you can do all 4 with items you have around your house.

Do you have a project that requires a lot of pom poms? There are a few different, inventive, ways to make pom poms in bulk, but I think my favorite is using a chair. This video gives a quick tutorial on how to do it, but I’m actually planning on having my boyfriend make me a tool to do this using wooden dowels and a 2×4. It would be much easier for me, and he likes to build me things.

If you want to make a lot of small pom poms, this video shows how to do it using a loom. I never would have thought to do this, but I have a few looms here (that I’ve never actually used) so I might have to give this one a try.

The great thing about pom poms is that it’s a creative way to use up those scraps of yarn you have laying around. You can wrap different colors in one pom pom to make rainbow ones, or to create a theme. Grab that extra yarn, make a bunch of pom poms, and throw them in a bin. Then next time you have an idea for a pom pom project, you already have them made and ready to go.

Now that you know how to make pom poms, let’s look at some neat ideas for things you can do with them.

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The first thing I think of when I start talking about pom poms is making a pom pom rug. Me and my daughter had plans to each make one of these years ago. We bought the supplies, but then never got around to doing it. One of these days I swear I will. Go check out the instructions, including a video, for the one above on this site. And if you make one before I do, make sure you show me a picture. There are so many different types of rugs you can make.

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This website shows how they made this adorable cloud pom pom rug. I love the idea of making shaped rugs using pom poms. You could cut your base into any shape really, but I think a heart would be really cute. Imagine sitting in a nice, comfy chair with some yarn in your lap, a hook in your hand, and your toes sunk into a fluffy pom pom rug. Seriously, I will make one of these eventually to go in front of my chair.

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Pom pom wreaths are also very popular, and I love the way they look. This one from Joann’s uses a foam wreath form and hot glue, and I love the random fur pom poms that they threw in there. Now imagine this in pastels for a nice, spring wreath. You could also buy the wire wreath forms and tie the pom poms on instead of hot gluing them.

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How about a pom pom pillow? This tutorial uses a simple pillow case and hot glue. I think something like this would look cute in a nursery.

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Pom pom garland is pretty easy to make, and would look great hung around the house at Christmas time. Don’t limit yourself, though. Make some in other colors and hang it around as everyday decor. This site shows a few different ways of making pom poms, but they also show how to turn them into pretty garland.

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Imagine how cute it would be to create your child’s name using wooden letters and pom poms. I found this idea on this site, and I really love it. I might have to incorporate this into the decor in my craft space when I finally get it decorated.

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Ok, ok, I know that Christmas is over, but I feel like this tree could be used as decor all year long, depending on the colors you use. I love the bells they added in there, and the star at the top is cute. If you leave the star off, or put something else on top (a bird, maybe?) then it would make a nice spring decoration. Go check out this site to see how they did it.

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Speaking of pom poms as everyday decor, check out how simple and elegant they look just glued to some sticks and put in a nice vase. I found this idea on this site, and I really love it. It would be a fun thing to make with the kids because you could go for a hike first to find the branches you want to use, then come home and make some pom poms and glue them on.

There are a lot of other things you could make with pom poms with your kids. These fluffy snowmen would be fun, or some little chicks to set around the house at Easter time. Or how about some Sesame Street characters? You could even add a keychain or zipper pull to the string that you use to tie the pom pom.

If you want some other ideas for things to do with pom poms, Adventures in Pompom Land and Pompom Crafts are 2 great books for under $10 each that you can purchase over on Amazon.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I really had to force myself to get off of Pinterest. There are so many neat ideas for things to do with pom poms, and I think I could have kept on browsing all day. Do you have any things you’ve made with pom poms? Have you seen some cool ideas that you want to try. Head on over to my Facebook page and tell me about it, or post a picture or link. I’m going to have a tub full of pom poms here soon that I’ll need ideas for.