hoot!

 

 

owl

Took a while to figure this one out. I initially just wanted to make a flat owl shape, but thought it would be nice to give it some texture. I tried incorporating the v‑stitch but it didn’t look quite right… so I thought I’d try the loop stitch again and I think it looks rather fluffy and cute! It looks like the loop stitch is becoming one of my favourites (I’ll have to show you a larger scale project that I just finished, involving hundreds of loop stitches). Hope you like it as much as I do!

By the way, I found a slightly different way of making the loop stitch on We are Knitters, which seems a bit more secure. The video tutorial can be viewed here (nice music too!).

So! The pattern!

I used:

Worsted weight yarn in 2 shades of yellow and blue

3.5 mm hook

Needles for sewing and embroidering

Blue and orange thread for embroidering beak and eyes

A bit of white felt for eyes

Two black round beads for eyes and black thread for sewing on eyes

Body front:

Notes: it’s worked from top to bottom to accommodate the direction of the loops, then reattach yarn to crochet the head. For the 2 different shades in the body, MC is main colour and CC is contrasting colour. Carry the colour that is not in use up the rows when switching colours.

With MC, ch 8

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn.

Row 2: ch 1 (turning ch 1 does not count as a st), lp st (loop stitch) in each sc across, turn.

Row 3: change to CC, ch 1, 2 sc in first st, sc in each st across until second last st, 2 sc in last sc, turn.

Row 4: ch 1, lp st in each sc across, turn.

Row 5: change to MC, ch 1, 1 sc in each st across, turn.

Row 6: ch 1, lp st in each sc across, turn.

Row 7: change to CC, ch 1, 2 sc tog over first 2 st, 1 sc in each st across until last 2 st, 2 sc tog over next 2 st, turn.

Row 8: ch 1, lp st in each sc across, turn.

Row 9: change to MC, ch 1, 2 sc tog over first 2 sc, 1 sc in each st across until last 2 st, 2 sc tog over next 2 sc, turn.

Row 10: ch 1, 1 sc in each sc across, fasten off.

Now we make the head.

With MC and wrong side facing you, attach yarn to the first row of body.

Row 1: ch 1, 1 sc in each st across, turn.

Row 2: ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sc across, 3 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sc across, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in the bottom of last sc just made (i.e. in the first sc of previous row), fasten off.

Back:

Note: back is worked from bottom to top in one piece and with MC only.

ch 7

Row 1: ch 1, 1 sc in each ch across, turn.

Row 2: ch 1, 2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each sc across until second last sc, 2 sc in last sc, turn.

Row 3: ch 1, 1 sc in each sc across, turn.

Row 4: Repeat row 2.

Row 5–7: Repeat row 3 (i.e. work even).

Row 8: ch 1, 2 sc tog over first 2 sc, 1 sc in each sc across until last 2 sc, 2 sc tog over last 2 sc, turn.

Row 9: ch 1, 1 sc in each sc across, turn.

Row 10: work even.

Row 11–12: Repeat rows 1–2 of head. Fasten off, leave long tail for sewing.

Wings (make 2):

Leave 3–4 inches of tail for sewing, ch 4

Row 1: 2 dc in 4th ch from hook, turn.

Row 2: ch 3 (turning ch 3 counts as a stitch), 2 dc in next dc, dc in top of beginning ch 3, turn.

Row 3: ch 3, 3 dc tog over next 2 dc and top of turning ch 3. Fasten off, leave 3–4″ of tail for sewing.

Assembly:

Cut 2 circles for eyes. I cut mine about 1/2″ wide, but you can make them smaller or larger if you like. Owl plushes with giant eyes are very cool-looking too.

Sew eyes on the head of owl with blue embroider thread, if you like that look.

Embroider beak.

Sew on black beads to complete eyes.

Sew front and back together. I made two small loops at each ear while sewing but that’s optional. If you’re making an ornament you may also want to make a loop with a ribbon and sandwich it between the front and back and sew it all together.

Attach the wings by tying the yarn tail at the top of wings to the top corners of the first row of loop stitch, and the bottom of the wing to the bottom corners of the last row of body. This sounds more complicated than it is — you will easily get it by looking at the picture :)

And we’re done!

Here’s the owl and me with an owl shirt on :D

Photo 2014-09-23, 10 18 31 PM

I love how fluffy he is :D

Would be fun to make it with different colour combinations. And if I were to make another, I would probably try to make the loops a bit smaller.

It would be so exciting to see the different owls everyone makes!

Until next time — happy crafting!

 

mighty acorn

acorn 5

Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” ― David Icke

(and yikes, I have really dry hands…)

 

3rd pattern in the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures (and Their Favourite Things)! Today we have the squirrels’ favourite things — Acorns!

The mighty acorn would make a mighty oak, or a mighty good snack for the woodland creatures. Either way it’s going to do good :D

An extra small acorn makes a wonderful necklace. Simply attach a jump ring at the top and put a chain through — voila!

acorn 1

 

Fun~ So I thought I would write the pattern for both the mini acorn and the regular acorn. They’re very similar, just slightly different stitch counts.

For the acorns I wanted to use a sock weight yarn in my stash that has very rich shades of brown, so I’ve used smaller hooks. But if you’re using worsted weight yarn you can just use the 3.5 mm hook as usual, and you would end up with a slightly larger acorn.

I used:

Sock weight yarn in brown and green

2.25 mm hook

Scrap yarn for stuffing

Red embroidery thread (optional)

Needle for sewing and embroidering

Pattern:

Note: instructions are for mini acorn [regular acorn in square brackets]

Cap:

Round 1: ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch (you’ve just made the stem), ch 1, 8 [10] sc in next ch, sl st in first sc to join.

We’re basically crocheting a circle with the stem in the centre, so when joining you will have to go behind/around the stem, like so…

acorn 3

 

Round 2: ch 2, dc in same sc as starting ch, *dc in next sc, 2 dc in next sc*, repeat from * to * to end, sl st in top of turning ch 2 to join. Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Nut:

6 sc in magic ring, do not join.

sc in first sc, *2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc*, repeat from * to * 2 [5] more times.

sc in each sc until piece is 3/4″ tall. Fasten off, weave in end.

Assembly:

If you’d like, embroider a heart on the acorn by making two lazy daisy stitch (here’s a great tutorial for it). But the acorn would be just as awesome if you leave it plain.

Stuff the acorn with scrap yarn. Sew the cap on the nut using the long tail left on the cap. Because it’s so small I just sew right through the acorn in a cross-manner all around, sewing through the bottom edge of the cap and top edge of the nut, being careful not to pull too tight so the acorn would keep its plump shape.

And here we are! I made different colours :D

acorn 4

 

They would make great pins with mini pin backs attached on the back. I think they would also make great hanging ornaments on the tree or by the window. You can also skip stuffing the acorn nut, squash the cap and acorn flat, then sew them together to make an applique.

Hope you enjoy the acorn pattern! Happy Monday! :D

 

saturday is white squirrel day!

white squirrel

Well, at least on this blog anyway ;)

Here comes the second pattern for the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures (and Their Favourite Things)! To the awesome visitors who have commented on my last post — thanks SO much for joining me in the crochet-along! And to everyone — it is never too late to join in the fun (details here)! You can make all or a few or just one of the 12 creatures you like. It would be really great to see what everyone has created at the end!

AND! I’ve created a Ravelry group! I thought maybe it will make it easier to share pictures. Please feel free to join if you use Ravelry! I’ve never made a Rav group before, barely participated in one and not so sure about how they run… so we’ll see how it goes! :D

So, anyhoo, the elusive white squirrels are legendary creatures in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park (though I’m very sad :’( to find out that we just lost one recently). There is a street and a coffee shop in the neighbourhood named after the white squirrel. I have yet to encounter a real one, so I just keep making crocheted ones. Apparently there are also white squirrels in Exeter, Ontario, which are not albino with red eyes, like the Trinity Bellwoods squirrels, but just have white fur instead of the more common grey or black fur. So I suppose the white squirrel we’re making here today can be a variety of the Exeter squirrels. Actually, I chose to give the squirrel the regular black eyes because I’m making it for a baby mobile, and the thought of tiny red eyes staring down at the baby is just… a bit strange.

I think the white squirrel also makes a nice tree ornament! :D

The construction of this squirrel is rather simple. It’s made out of 4 pieces: 2 head pieces and 2 body pieces. Oh and a fluffy tail.

I used, as usual:

Worsted weight white yarn

3.5 mm hook

Black beads for eyes

Needle and thread for sewing and embroidering

A bit of pink yarn for embroidering the nose

A bit of fluffy white yarn for tail (like Bernat Boucle or Lion Brand Homespun)

Pattern:

Head (make 2) — crocheted in rounds

Round 1: 6 sc in magic ring, sl st in first sc to join.

Round 2: ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), 2 sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc to join.

Round 3: 1 sc in each of first 3 sc, sc in next sc, ch 3 (this is an ear), sc in same sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc in next sc, ch 3 (this is another ear), sc in same sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 2 dc tog over next 2 sc (this is the nose), ch 2, sc in the same st as first sc of the round, sl st in next sc, fasten off, weave in ends.

*When finishing the 2nd head shape, leave a long tail for sewing.

Body (make 2) — crocheted in rows

ch 4

Row 1: sc in 2nd st from hook, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, turn (3 sc).

Row 2: ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), sc in each sc across, turn (3 sc).

Row 3: repeat row 2.

Row 4: ch 1, sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last sc, turn (4 sc).

Row 5: ch 1, sc in each sc across, turn (4 sc).

Row 6: ch 1, sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last sc, turn (5 sc).

Row 7: ch 1, sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last sc, turn (6 sc).

Row 8: ch 1, 2 sc tog 3 times, fasten off, weave in ends.

*When finishing the 2nd body shape, leave a long tail for sewing.

Attaching tail:

1. Cut 6 pieces of the fluffy white yarn, each about 5–6 inches long.

2. Find a gap between stitches in the lower centre of the squirrel body.

3. With crochet hook, pull each piece of the fluffy white yarn, one by one, through the same gap, leaving the long tails on one side of the body piece and short ends on the other side, like so… (I hope you can see it alright… white yarn is a bit difficult to photograph…)

DSC03670

 

4. Tie the short ends together by pairing them up and tying each pair in double knots.

Assembling body and head:

1. With all the short ends of the tail inside, sew the 2 pieces of body together.

2. Sew eyes and embroider nose on one head piece (I made a giant french knot with pink yarn for the nose).

3. Position the head pieces so that they sandwich the body, with the nose covering the top row (neck) of the body. Sew head together, and sewing through all head and body layers when you get to the neck/nose area.

(If you’re making an ornament, you can make a loop with a piece of ribbon and sandwich it between the 2 head pieces at the top of the head before sewing the head together).

Positioning the tail:

Curl the tail up in a position that you like on the side of the body. Take one piece of yarn from the tail and pull it through a stitch on the edge of the body through the front, where the head and body meet, then take the same piece of yarn and wrap it loosely but securely around the entire tail once, then pull it through the same stitch on the body through the front again, and tie a knot at the stitch on the back to secure.

Trim tail to the length you like.

And the squirrel is done! :D

 

Happy weekend, everyone!

 

12 days of woodland creatures

Introducing!! 12 Days of Woodland Creatures (and Their Favourite Things)!

Hedgehog

You’re invited to a crochet-along! :D

I’ve been planning this for a while now. Every year I try to do a “daily practice” kind of project, where I make something everyday, as a way of keeping creativity flowing, like the square-a-day project. This year I was asked by a good friend to make a forest-themed mobile for the newest member of her family (exciting!!). So, to honour my friend’s generous spirit I thought I would share how I make each creature with everyone on this blog :D

And then I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for a crochet-along! The creatures don’t only belong on a mobile, they can be used for a lot of different things…

Brooches?

Applique?

Ornaments? Maybe for an advent calender like this? Or, by the end of the project you would have a set of woodland ornaments for the Christmas tree, just in time for the holiday season!

Characters for felt storyboards, with velcro on the back?

Carry-along plush toys?

Pocket pets?

Possibilities are endless :)

 

So! This is how it works: 

Every 2–3 days I will post a pattern for a crochet woodland creature (or its favourite things). And I won’t be pre-announcing what the creatures are, so it will be a surprise every time! At the end there will be 12 patterns. You can crochet along for all of the patterns, or just one, or pick the ones you like. And if you send me pictures or blog posts about what you have created, I will share it here, like our craft-along gallery a couple of years ago (that was lots of fun! :D), then we can see all the different and fun and creative ways that everyone has used for the creatures!

I’d love to know if you’d like to join in the fun, please make a comment below! :D

AND!! Today we have our first creature — yup, you guessed it. The hedgehog!

hedgehog fuzzy

Love the fuzzy yarn on this one :)

I also learned the loop stitch in the making of the hedgehog. There’s a great photo tutorial of it if you haven’t made it before.

I used:

Worsted weight yarn — one colour for the body and a contrasting colour for the head.

4 mm hook

2 small black beads for eyes (just one if you’re making a brooch)

Needle and thread for sewing

Pink embroidery thread and brown yarn for embroidering rosy cheeks and nose

 

Note: the turning ch 1 in this pattern does not count as a stitch. The pattern alternates between loop stitch (lp st) rows and single crochet (sc) rows, with the increases and decreases made in the sc rows and working even in the lp st rows)

Pattern:

With body colour, ch 5

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn.

Row 2: ch 1, loop stitch (lp st) in each sc across (4 lp st), turn.

Row 3: ch 1, 1 sc in each of the next 2 lp st, 2 sc in each of the next 2 lp st, turn.

Row 4: ch 1, lp st in each sc across (6 lp st), turn.

Row 5: ch 1, 1 sc in each of the next 4 lp st, 2 sc in each of the remaining 2 lp st, turn.

Row 6: ch 1, lp st in each sc across (8 lp st), turn.

Row 7: ch 1, 1 sc in each lp st across, turn.

Row 8: ch 1, lp st in each sc across (8 lp st), turn.

Row 9 & 10: repeat rows 7 & 8 (8 lp st).

Row 11: ch 1, 1 sc in each of the next 2 lp st, *2 sc tog over next 2 lp st*, repeat from * to * twice, turn.

Row 12: ch 1, lp st in each sc across (5 lp st), turn.

Change to head colour, fasten off body colour.

Row 13: ch 1, sc in each lp st, turn.

Row 14: ch 1, 2 sc tog over first 2 sc, 1 sc in each remaining sc across, turn.

Row 15: ch 1, 1 sc in each of the next 2 sc, 2 sc tog over the remaining 2 sc, turn.

Row 16: 3 sc tog, fasten off.

If you’re making a double-sided hedgehog:

Make a mirror image of the above hedgehog shape by reversing the increases and decrease in the pattern, i.e. if the row ends with increase/decrease stitches in the pattern, start with increase/decrease stitches when making a mirror image, and vice versa. Leave a long tail for sewing when fastening off both the body colour and the head colour. Sew on eyes, embroider nose and rosy cheeks, then sew the two hedgehog shapes together, using the long tail of head colour when sewing the head section and the long tail of body colour when sewing the body section.

If you’re making a single-sided hedgehog, like a brooch:

Make a back piece for the hedgehog using head colour following the pattern above, replacing all lp st rows with sc rows. Sew pin back to the back piece, sew on eye, nose and rosy cheek, then sew the back piece to the hedgehog.

And that’s it! You have a new hedgehog friend :D

Hope you like the pattern, and please drop me a note if you want to join me in crocheting along!