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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Loom Knit Pumpkins

 

Hey there!

Isn’t this weather just delightful?! I’m super excited nowadays since Daylight Savings Time kicked in here in the US, though once darkness falls, it’s hard to tell what time it is–is it 6pm or 11pm?

I’m glad you’re here! It must mean you want to learn about loom knitting your very own pumpkins! The crochet ones have rightly been all the rage this season, but I wanted to throw some loom knitting love into the mix! If you’re looking for some delightful crochet pumpkin patterns, I tossed together a great lineup over here for inspiration! This is my second loom knitting pattern that I’m sharing up here on the blog, the first being my Black Cat Hat. If loom knitting is a new venture for you, welcome to the party! There’s a variety of experience levels for loom knitting, but these are a really nice and easy pattern to work with on the knitting loom, and should take less than an hour to make!

Whaaaaaaaat.

I love quick projects.

They’re nice and dainty looking and a whole basket of them would look very nice for all of your fall holidays! These pumpkins will fit right in with your witches and baskets of candy, but will also be a perfect touch of crafty goodness for your Thanksgiving cornucopias and little pilgrims, so they’re really versatile in terms of your fall crafting and an excellent décor staple. They can be made in a variety of colors, so you don’t have to stick with the traditional orange pumpkins if you don’t want to. If you feel so inclined, you can also make your pumpkins in cream! Or brown! They look very nice, and can work with a variety of home décor. My suggestions would be cream pumpkin + brown stem and brown pumpkin + cream stem, which might sound odd, but are quite cute!

 

The whole mix of pumpkins together can be really eye-catching and very homey, but those are just my suggestions! I’ll provide the pattern, do what inspires you! Thanksgiving is coming upon us quickly, and time’s running out, but you can whip these up in no time at all.

 

My dad completed this deck for my mom recently, so I thought I would take advantage of the new photo spot! But let’s get this pattern cracking, we’ve got no more time to waste, the holidays are here. (I’m sitting in a Starbucks right now making candy cane covers I saw from Sewrella and listening to Christmas music over their radio system)

Materials:

*1 Ball of Orange yarn
Cream or Brown if you wish
*Small 24-peg round loom
*Loom knitting tool
*Small amount of worsted weight (4) brown yarn for stem
Or cream
*Crochet hook (anything K or smaller)
*Poly-fil fiber
*Tapestry needle
*Scissors

 

With your Main Color (MC) of yarn, slip knot onto your first peg.
Foundation round: Leaving a long yarn tail, e-wrap all pegs. Loosely wrap once around your first peg, then a second time. Using your loom knitting tool, pull the bottom/first loop over your second loop. Continue across to complete the round.
Round 1: Knit 5, purl 1, knit 5, purl 1, knit 5, purl 1, knit 5, purl 1
Round 2-20: Repeat previous row
To remove from loom, cut a long tail from your working yarn and thread it through a tapestry needle. Working the needle underneath each peg’s stitch, thread through each stitch, pulling the stitch off from the loom as you work your way around. Once all of the stitches have been removed from the loom, DO NOT cinch the piece closed yet!
Flip it over and thread the beginning tail through a tapestry needle, stitch it through each loop from your foundation round and cinch it closed. Work the yarn around the cinched closure, ensuring it will not open, and pull it in through to the inside of the pumpkin. Knot it closed!

Now, stuff your pumpkin! Make sure to stuff it really well if you want a sturdy pumpkin, but if you want a plushier kind of pumpkin, stuff it to your heart’s content. Once it has been stuffed to your liking, cinch it closed! But wait, what about the stem? No worries, my friend.

Now for the stem! Because these are dainty sized pumpkins, I didn’t want to go over the top with a huge stem, so you can do it your own way, but here’s what I worked with for mine:

Using a K hook (whaaaat, a crochet hook? Yesss), take your worsted weight brown yarn and chain a small number, like 8 or 10. You can vary the length because it is going to be doubled over. Then, take each yarn end and thread it through the top of your pumpkin, bringing each all the way through to the bottom. Have both yarn ends close together, and knot them tightly. Because you have the stem at the top of the pumpkin, this is going to give it a little bit of that flatness through the center that pumpkins tend to have. With the ribbing created from your knits and purls, your pumpkin will be perfect! Once you’ve created your knot, tuck the yarn ends into the pumpkin and you’re ready.

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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Hygge Coffee Sleeve

 

 

Happy Monday!

 

Today, I’ve got a super cute and cozy pattern for you, my Hygge Coffee Sleeve! If you’ve been following for a while, then you know I LOVE coffee sleeves! The versatility and customizable quality of them is wonderful and I swear by them. If you haven’t been following, then welcome! You can keep up to date with my free patterns by subscribing (you can find the sign-up on the right of this post) and come on the adventure!

I’ve really been loving working with chunky yarns lately, there’s just something really wonderful about squishy yarn, and Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick has been such a delight! I keep making tons of scarves to get ready for the impending holiday season–both as gifts and for craft fairs–and can’t help making dozens of them! Here’s a smattering of them here:

 

 

Don’t they look like the have the most delightful squish to them? Answer: they definitely have a delightful squish to them!

If you like the look of those scarves, I adjusted the pattern to this cozy goodness from Make and Do Crew, so do take a look! I had leftover yarn from the projects and wanted something extra cozy, so for my latest addition to my ongoing Project Scrap Yarn, I whipped up this project. I wanted to come up with a name to convey the coziness of a wool blend coffee cozy and the feeling of crisp winds and warm drinks but without it being over the top or generic. One day, I kept seeing the word hygge floating around the web and decided to look it up.

Oxford Dictionary defines hygge (HUE-ga) as: A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).

And that sounds pretty darn appropriate to me.

I feel comfortable and cozy with a nice beverage and hanging out with friends, and felt like this squishy coffee sleeve will give that extra touch of cozy near a warm fireplace in the fall and winter months. I’ve already started using mine and can’t wait for the cooler weather to come (and stay!) here in Southern California. But in the meantime, it’s been wonderful for my iced coffees!

 

I hope you enjoy!

 

Materials:

L hook
Chunky yarn (I used Wool Ease Thick and Quick)
Tapestry needle
Scissors

Terms Used (US):

ch = chain
DC = double crochet
sl st = slip stitch

 

Instructions:

With your L hook and chunky yarn, chain 23. Slip stitch to the beginning chain, forming a loop.
Round 1: Chain 3, double crochet into each stitch of the beginning chain, and slip stitch to the 3rd chain of the ch 3
Round 2: Chain 3, DC into each stitch, sl st to the beginning of the round
Round 3: Repeat Round 2, bind off. Weave in the ends

 

Simple, cozy, and effective!

 

Until next time,

Gilliane

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

If you enjoyed this and wanted to take a gander at some of my other coffee cozy patterns:

1. Santa Belly Coffee Sleeve 

2. Frankie Crochet Coffee Sleeve

3. Top of the Class Pencil Coffee Sleeve

 

Like this pattern? Don’t forget to pin this article for later 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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Frankie Crochet Coffee Sleeve

 

Boo!

 

Halloween is going to be here before you know it, and it’s always fun to have new ideas for the holidays! But I’m sharing this with you today because it’s Frankenstein Day!

 

What’s Frankenstein Day? It’s a holiday celebrating Mary Shelley‘s birthday, the author of the novel Frankenstein (you can find it at Barnes & Noble). I’ve always thought it was interesting how the idea of Frankenstein (who’s *actually* not named Frankenstein!!) has evolved to what he is nowadays in the collective cultural mindset. He’s actually a really tragic character in the novel, which if you haven’t read the novel and happened to have stumbled across the film version with Helena Bonham Carter and Robert De Niro you’re going to be SO blindsided by that fact and sit there surprised and crying like I did. Because you had no idea when you came in!

But that isn’t what this post is about!

 

This is a happy post about crafting! I’m here to share a pattern for a coffee sleeve with a family-friendly Frankenstein’s monster (and I’m calling him Frankie) which is really cute and very simple. If you don’t already know, I’m a HUGE fan of reusable coffee sleeves! I love that they are helping me cut down on wasting paper (though I need to remember to bring my reusable coffee cups and that is an ongoing issue for me), and that they are wonderfully personal and able to be personalized! It certainly makes it much easier to figure out whose cup is which, so you can make your mark and stake out your drink, rather than stare at the straws trying to figure out who was wearing which lipstick or lipgloss!

I hope you enjoy working up your cute sleeve and I’d love to see your creations, so please share your finished pieces with me on Instagram or Facebook! Happy crafting, everyone!

And watch that movie if you get the chance because it’s actually very interesting, but I’d suggest you have a box of tissues right next to you because it is probably going to hit you hard in the feels like it did to me!

 

 

Materials Needed:

*H crochet hook
I used Boye
*Worsted weight yarn (4) yarn
Green
Black
*2 black buttons
*Tapestry needle
*Scissors

 

Terms Used (US):

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


Instructions
:

With Green, chain 32 and slip stitch to the first chain, forming a circle. Ch 1
Round 1: Work 1 sc into the slipped stitch and sc across. Slip st to Ch1, ch1 (32 sc)
Round 2 -6: Repeat Round 1. At last of Round 6, color change to Black with slip stitch, ch 1 (32 sc)
Round 7-9: With Black, sc into each stitch in the round, sl st to beginning ch, ch 1. In final round, end with the sl st to the beginning ch and bind off, weaving in all ends

With your tapestry needle, sew on the 2 black buttons in the green section of the sleeve to create the eyes—make sure you’re certain of where you want the eyes to be before you stitch them on or you’ll have a googly-eyed sleeve!

…Or maybe you want that? It’s yours to customize!

 

Final step: Enjoy your drink, whether it’s hot cocoa, coffee, cider, pumpkin spice lattes, or tea!

 

 

Do you like coffee sleeves and want other ideas? Check out my Top of the Class Pencil Coffee Cozy and Santa Belly Coffee Sleeve for more coffee goodness!

Like this pattern? Don’t forget to pin this article for later 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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Happy National Granny Square Day!

Happy National Granny Square Day!!

 

Wait, what?

 

Yes! Today is National Granny Square Day!

I know that there is a ton of “national” days, but I think it at least keeps things interesting, even if you can’t use it as an excuse to call in sick from work…

 

Me: *cough cough* “Sorry boss, can’t come in today, I’ve gotta celebrate National Granny Square Day”

 

Man, that would be awesome, though.

 

So today I’m here to share with you some of my own curiosities about the granny square and some of my favorite patterns that include them! Come along with me on this journey, it’ll be a fun little jaunt!

 

I was curious as to why it was called a “granny square” and unfortunately there really aren’t that many reliable resources to help answer the question as anything further than it “looks like something your granny would make”, which is a little bit of a letdown that it might be something so stereotypical. So it seems like another one of those “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop” questions…the world may never know.

Another thing the world may never come to a definitive conclusion is when it got started. It’s about as murky as the question of when crocheting really got started as a fiber craft. Some reports say early nineteenth century but, as mentioned by The Sunroom, the earliest references are from books from Victorian England, in which are rather complicated patterns, suggesting a longer history than even that. Want to know more than you possibly wanted to about granny squares? I humbly suggest further reading this article by Crochet Concupiscence, it’s pretty wild and thorough!

But from whatever humble beginnings it originated, it has had an enduring relationship to crafters all over! It enjoyed a renaissance in the 60s and 70s and hasn’t ever completely faded, continuing to grace runways even today.

And there are all kinds of granny squares!

Little ones:

These are 2 3/4 in squares from Crochet Again!

 

Chunky ones:

Chunky granny squares from Designs by Phanessa

Simple ones:

Simple square design from The Spruce

Complex ones:

Leaf Stitch Granny Square from Craftsy User Jyneffer

You have plenty of opportunities for creativity with these!

There are several kinds of motifs you can use as well. You can go for a floral motif:

Click for the YouTube tutorial

Or even some cute animals! Maria’s Blue Crayon does some really adorable wildlife granny squares!

Maria’s Blue Crayon’s Woodland Afghan series
And here’s her Ocean Granny Square Afghan

The “granny” style motif isn’t all, either!

You can also do granny stripes:

Granny Stripes pattern from Attic24

And granny chevrons!

Granny chevron design from Bella Coco

The sky’s the limit!

And even I myself have made some cute stuff using the design! It’s such a nice and simple way to make things and really opens you up to different ideas!

I have my Granny Gone Chic fingerless gloves, these are done in Gryffindor colors:

And my Granny Goes to the Beach applique bikini top:

 

 

 

I just appreciate the wild amount of variety you have as a crafter when it comes to the usage of the granny square motif. I think it’s just a really cool way to add pops of color to things, whether you want something super vibrant, or subtly delicate in creams. It’s also a fantastic way of busting up your stash of odds and ends of yarn, which everyone has! So I hope you enjoyed reading this little foray into the magic of granny squares, I certainly did. If you want to get into the fun and action of the day, be sure to scroll about through the Instagram tag #nationalgrannysquareday or #nationalgrannysquareday2017! Everyone will be posting up close pictures of their individual squares to create a delightful digitally composed afghan, let’s hope it figuratively covers the globe!

 

Until next time,

Gilliane

 

Enjoy this article? Be sure to pin to your Pinterest boards! And I’d love to see what you’re up to with all of those granny squares, find me on Facebook and Instagram! Happy National Granny Square Day!

p.s. Enjoy all of these patterns, but be sure to share the love and link them back to where they came from. Be kind, and don’t claim the patterns as your own!

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Project Scrap Yarn

Hello! Welcome again, here’s a new blog post!

I wanted to share some clarification with you about a hashtag and series of pictures you have probably seen on my Instagram for quite some time now: #ProjectScrapYarn. I also tag it as #PSY, not to be confused with the pop icon who gave us Gangam Style, but I hope he doesn’t mind. So what is Project Scrap Yarn? It’s my foray into breaking down my stash of yarn that I’ve accumulated over the years and making different kinds of projects with them, big and small. I realized that I had been hoarding my yarn in different places, colors stashed all over the place, small balls of yarn here and there, scraps tucked into all different kinds of boxes and jars. It was frankly getting out of control and made me feel like I was grossly unorganized.

 

And I was. I was really unorganized. I felt gross looking at my workspace because no matter how often I thought I was reorganized the area, it was never enough to clear anything up! And it was frustrating.

 

But how could I fix my organization issues and feel less bad about having dozens of small tidbits of color floating around my workspace? This project of knocking down my stash of scrap yarn and making something productive from them! Last year I created myself a really wonderful granny square blanket with several partial and half-balls of Charisma yarn, and I feel so proud and happy every time I look at it because it turned out so beautifully. Look at it!

But, as always happens with yarn and crafting, the scraps re-accumulated. And as much as I’d like to create more blankies, I wanted the challenge of doing different projects. So occasionally I’d look at my baskets of yarn bits and think of what colors I could pair together. Which has led to me to some really fun projects like a pencil scarf that looks like a pencil, dozens of coffee sleeves, headbands, coasters, scarves, and more!

Some of the patterns that you will see me post will have been influenced by this self-imposed project, and has led to a lot of illuminating lightbulb moments, it’s been such a cool adventure. So if you see my hashtags floating around on Instagram, I’d love it if you wanted to join in on the social media fun and show me what you’re doing in terms of your own stashbusting!

P.S. Organization of yarn is an ongoing issue for me, I’m sure you have your own, but more on that another day!

~Gilliane

 

 

Like this article? Don’t forget to pin this article on Pinterest!
And I’d love to see your finished projects of your own Project Scrap Yarn! Please share with me on Facebook and Instagram! Use #ProjectScrapYarn so I can find you and you can always @ my handle!

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