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:
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”
Ball of Capri Yarn by Loops & Threads
(I used Kelly Green)
G 4.0 mm Hook
Small clay pot
Small amount of polyester fiberfill
Terms Used (US):
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
[Note: Leave a length of yarn before your starting chain for sewing in later]
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,
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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!