Capri Cactus

 

 

Hey there!

 

Today, I wanted to share with you a brief review of a new yarn I ran across in Michael’s PLUS a short and sweet pattern for an adorable cactus! Everyone has their go-to yarns, and I’m no less susceptible to this. Sometimes, when you work with the same yarn, you run the chance of getting into a craft rut, and nobody likes that.

And it’s so easy to do sometimes. You get used to buying particular brands of yarn or, if you’re like me, you craft things for different seasonal craft fairs and create a bunch of similar-looking items and get into your go-to patterns. It’s for this reason that I usually get trapped into the mindset that I can only do fairs in the fall and winter because in my state, most people aren’t going to want a hat or a scarf in May, it’s just not going to happen. I don’t usually even bother looking into spring and summer fairs–I received an email from a place I regularly do a Christmastime fair with asking if I’d like to join their Spring fair and had to decline the offer.

I simply don’t have enough items in stock to justify doing a springtime craft fair. And I wondered why that was, that I struggled with making items in a big enough quantity to do my work year-round. I have dozens of hats and scarves (some of which you’ll find here on the blog!) and I make them year-round saving them for fall and wintertime. And in my case, I realized that part of my problem was that I was in a yarn rut, not expanding my fiber horizons to make something new! I was walking into Michaels pretty regularly, but walking out without having purchased any yarn at all, I just “wasn’t feeling it”.

 

I was in a rut.

 

And then one day, I walked into Michaels and stopped by an end-cap in the yarn section of the store and saw these adorable small balls of yarn:

 

Produced by Loops & Threads, these cute little balls finally caught my attention. I’d passed by them in the past, disregarding them and assuming they were just smaller cuts of other varieties of the brand. Curiosity getting the better of me, I squished one of them.

And it was such a splendid feeling!

I got confused because they weren’t just another acrylic yarn like I had initially assumed, so I checked out the composition on the label to find out that this delightful blend was:

 

57% Cotton
28% Nylon
15% Polyester

 

I was also surprised to find that, unlike lots of other yarn labels, this one had a RANGE for hooks that could be used with the product, like so:

 

The reason for the range is that the material composition creates a springy quality to the fiber, so you can make it tighter or looser, obviously, but the elasticity gives it a wide range that makes it equally applicable across the hook sizes that it suggests.

 

It caught my interest and wound up in my cart! I knew I couldn’t make a hat or a scarf with it, unless I bought quite a few balls of it (since it’s 87 yards/ball), so I wanted to be more outside of the box and come up with a new type of item I could set aside and keep in mind for (next) spring and summer! Well, how about a cactus? Very simple, and the color seemed perfect! You can make several of these if you’re getting ready for a craft fair, need quick gifts for the office, or maybe even wedding favors?

 

“Gilliane, stop, give me the rundown of the pattern”
Okay!

 

Materials:

Ball of Capri Yarn by Loops & Threads
(I used Kelly Green)
G 4.0 mm Hook
Tapestry needle
Scissors
Small clay pot
Small amount of polyester fiberfill

 

Terms Used (US):

ch = chain
sc = single crochet

 

Instructions:

[Note: Leave a length of yarn before your starting chain for sewing in later]

Chain 13
Row 1: Sc into 2nd ch from hook, sc across, ch 1, turn (12 sc)
Row 2-18: sc into back loop of each stitch across, ch 1, turn (12 sc)
Row 19: sc into back loops of each stitch across

Fold over your rectangle, and slip stitch your working loop through the loops of both your starting chain and your last worked row. You have the option of slip stitching across the length of your tube, or single crochet! Bind off, leaving a length of yarn for sewing.

You have a small green tube, now what? Thread your needle with one of the lengths of yarn on your tube (no matter which one) and cinch one end of the piece closed. Turn your tube inside out, so that your seam will disappear into what will be your cactus. This will also take care of the length you used for cinching it closed, because it will be tucked away into the body of the cactus! You’ll then stuff it with some polyester fiberfill to give it body–the amount you want to tuck into it is up to you, but if you overstuff it, then the fill is going to peek out from your stitches. So find a happy medium 🙂

Once you’ve got it properly stuffed to your liking, thread your last remaining yarn end with your tapestry needle and cinch the last of your tube closed. Another way is to run your stitch around the opening and *then* stuff it, so whichever way you feel is the right way on this.

Cinch it closed, run a few more stitches over the cinched/puckered part, slip stitch it off and thread your remaining tail into the body of the cactus. I like to run the needle through the whole thing and pull it out through the other side, then cut the excess so that the tail will be in the middle of the all the fiber fill.

Isn’t it adorable? Stick a needle in it, it’s done! You can use it to decorate your desk, and even use it as a functional pin cushion, the sky’s the limit! I hope you enjoy working this pattern, I had a great time making it, and I think it’s the push I needed to come up with more warm-weather things! Let’s get the crojo flowing!

 

Until next time,
Gilliane

 

Like this pattern? Don’t forget to pin this article on Pinterest!
And I’d love to see your finished projects! Please share with me on Facebook and Instagram!
Finished items made from this pattern may be personally sold on your Etsy and at craft fairs, but please share the love and credit the pattern back here! And please don’t copy and paste this pattern as your own!

 

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The Everybody Hat

 

Hey guys!

 

Welcome back to the blog!

 

Today, I wanted to share with you my latest design, which is super simple because I love simple (doesn’t everybody?) and super chunky. If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that I’m a Californian and, as a Californian, we love to talk about the weather.

 

Because it’s either beautiful, or hot, or 3 days of rain that leave various areas in pandemonium.

 

I love California.

 

So I think this will have to be the last of my cold-weather items for the next few months? I want to re-focus the energies on looking forward. I’m thinking more summery items and planning ahead for fall holidays. I happen to also be planning my wedding right now (I just started dress shopping the other day!!!), so the more I can do ahead of time, the better it will honestly be for me in the long run! Heyyy. I thought I would break out this little gem of a hat which might be helpful for those of you in actually cold parts of the world: The Everybody Hat.

Why is it called The Everybody Hat? Because everybody can wear it and it’s simple enough that everybody can make it. The construction of the body of the hat is so incredibly simple and the sizing is very straightforward, a beautifully unisex hat. Without further ado, let’s go!

 

Materials:

Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (5)
– I used Emerald
P hook
Tapestry needle
Scissors

Terms Used (US):

HDC – half double crochet
BLO – back loop only

Instructions:

Ch 23
Row 1: HDC into 3rd chain from the hook and across
Row 2: Ch 1, HDC through both loops of first stitch, HDC into BLO until last stitch, HDC both loops of last stitch
Row 3-desired length: Repeat Row 2. Aim for your work to be about 20 inches, it’ll stretch! You can also use your head as a reference for the circumference!

Once you’ve reached your desired length, chain 1 and fold your piece in half. and single crochet* your 2 halves (starting chain + last working row) together. Leave a long tail and bind off. Then, use your tail and needle to cinch your hat tube!

And of course, weave in your ends. Luckily, there are only 2!

 

You can either wear your hat slouchy, or you can double it over, creating a brim!

 

And that’s the Everybody Hat! I hope you’ve enjoyed this pattern, I’m hoping to get more summer-friendly posts up soon, so stay on the lookout for that! Also, please feel free to subscribe to the blog, you can find the link off to the right hand side of the page!

 

Until next time,
Gilliane

 

Like this pattern? Don’t forget to pin this article on Pinterest!
And I’d love to see your finished projects! Please share with me on Facebook and Instagram!
Finished items made from this pattern may be personally sold on your Etsy and at craft fairs, but please share the love and credit the pattern back here! And please don’t copy and paste this pattern as your own!

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Brain Slug Inspired Headband

Hey there, guys and gals!

 

This post today comes from a project that I had completed over the summer which I really enjoyed. San Diego Comic Con was coming up and I wanted to come up with a variety of pieces to wear for each day, just for fun. I really enjoyed seeing other yarny crafters’ ideas, showing off their skills and love of pop culture. You can check out my recap with this post! One of the projects that I myself had put together was a headband that looked like one of the brain slugs from Futurama. I wanted something simple that I could put together for the event that wouldn’t be too obtrusive and I think that this one fit the bill.

It’s a nice quick project and I think you’ll enjoy it. With the convention season off to a strong start (WonderCon, in Anaheim, CA, was just this past weekend!), perhaps you’ll be looking for something simple but also nerdy and funny. So enjoy and let me know how it turned out for you!

 

Materials:

4.5 Crochet Hook
Worsted weight yarn in a green color
(I used Big Twist Premium in Sprout)
White felt
Green felt
Permanent marker
Hot glue gun (I’m sure crazy glue would work as well)
Headband (find a similar set here)
A small amount of poly fiber fill for stuffing

 

Terms Used (US):

sc = single crochet
st/sts = stitch/stitches
trbl = treble crochet
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain

 

Your slug is going to be done in a couple of pieces that will be assembled together. The pieces will consist of the Body, the Base, and the Antennae. We’ll start with the Body since it’s your largest piece of the puzzle.

 

 

Body:
With your yarn, start with a magic circle

Round 1: Ch 1, 12 sc into magic circle. sl st into beginning ch 1
Round 2: Ch 1, 2 sc into each stitch around, sl st to beginning ch 1
Round 3 – 13: Ch 1, sc into each stitch around, sl st to beginning ch 1
Bind off

 

Base:
Start with another magic circle
Round 1: Ch 1, 12 sc into the magic circle and sl st to the beginning ch 1
Round 2: Ch 1, 2 sc into each stitch around and sl st to the beginning ch 1
Round 3: Ch 1, sc into each stitch around and sl st to the beginning ch 1
Do not bind off

 

You can begin attaching the Base to the Body with a sl st to connect the pieces. Ch 1, sc into the sl st, and single crochet matching the scs from each piece, creating the seam between the two pieces. Work half of your seam, and then start stuffing your Slug. It’s harder to stuff the body and THEN try to seam your pieces together, so at least get them lined up and halfway stitched together, and then start stuffing! Like so:

 

 

 

Once you’ve stuffed your Slug and feel good about its fullness, then continue to finish the single crochet seam and sl st to the beginning ch 1. Don’t bind off

This will cause a small pucker to form at your base and will give you the launch pad for the little tentacles, which we will be working in scallops.

Scallops:
Ch 1, skip 1 stitch, 5 trebel crochet into the next stitch, sl st the next, sk st, 5 trbl, and continue to the end of the round, sl st and bind off.

These will form your little undulating “legs” for the Slug!

 

Now let’s put some antennae on this guy!

 

Antennae:

(You’re going to make 2 of these)

Leave a small beginning tail and ch 7, then 3 sc into the 2nd chain from the hook
Sc back around to the beginning chain
Bind off with a bit of a tail and stitch it into the top of your Slug, wherever you’d prefer. Tie your ends into a nice knot and tuck your ends into the Body of the Slug!

 

 

He’s looking more alive now, but now he needs an eye!

 

 

Remember in the materials list when I said you need felt? The time has come! I’ll give you an approximation of how big the rounds of felt should be, but I literally just used some appropriate lids to trace circles for them. You’ll need one circle of white felt and another circle of the green felt.

Let your glue gun heat up while you’re tracing and cutting out your felt if you’re using one. I felt a glue gun would be the most effective option, but you can go with the type of adhesive you feel the most comfortable with or have laying around the house.

The white felt circle will need a dot in the middle of it, which you can draw in with the permanent marker. This is going to be the eye of the Slug. The green one will be going underneath the Slug and help you keep it on the headband.

Glue your white felt onto the middle of the body of your Slug where you’d like the eye!
Take your Slug and place it on the top part of your headband where you’d like it to go. In the show Futurama, which directly inspired this project, they’re situated off to the side of the person’s head, as you can see in this image:

 

 

And that’s what I went with with my headband, though you are free to place it where you’d like. Once you’ve picked where you want it to go, lather up some glue on the bottom of your slug and some on your green felt and sandwich your headband between the 2 pieces. It’s slightly chunky for the headband on its own and the felt on the bottom gives it extra stability. (I’ve suggested green since it would more readily blend in with the green of the Slug itself, though you could just use another piece of the white felt and make sure it didn’t tuck out too far of your Slug body.

 

Once the glue has cooled down and/or dried, you’re good to go! You’re ready to join the Brain Slug Party! I hope you like working with this pattern and I’d love to see your work, so feel free to tag me on the Internet!

 

Side fun:
Here’s a shot of me at San Diego Comic Con in 2017 wearing my Slug while working on some other projects in my downtime.

 

Conventions can get wild and it’s necessary to decompress from the madness! I’ve shared the patterns for the projects in the past here on the blog. I’m holding a pair of Ewok inspired ears, which you can find on my Crochet Animal Headbands post, and on the table is a pair of gloves worked up from my pattern Granny Gone Chic Gloves!

 

 

Until then,
Gilliane

 

 

Like this pattern? Don’t forget to pin this article on Pinterest!
And I’d love to see your finished projects! Please share with me on Facebook and Instagram!
Finished items made from this pattern may be personally sold on your Etsy and at craft fairs, but please share the love and credit the pattern back here! And please don’t copy and paste this pattern as your own!

Continue Reading