fab kimono

A quick kimono style cardigan/shrug I pulled together to wear to my cousin’s wedding this weekend :) Can’t come up with a more poetic name, but thought it looks pretty fab (if I do say so myself), so fab kimono it is :D

I had quite a bit of leftover Red Heart Unforgettable after making a scarf as a gift, so I bought another skein to make this. It’s cropped length because I was going to wear this long black dress and wanted some contrasts in style. But it’s easy to make longer if you’d like.

It’s crocheted from side to side, making both front and back pieces at the same time (so there’s no seaming in the middle!). It is then folded in half with just 2 short sides to seam at the end.

With autumn in the air I think this is a good layering piece for wearing with summer dress, t‐shirt, long sleeve shirt, or even buttoned up collared shirt.

Size: 

Length (shoulder to lower edge) — 17″

Around — 60″

Gauge:

16 st = 4.5″

I used:

3 skeins of Red Heart Unforgettable in Dragonfly

6.5 mm hook

Tapestry needle

Smaller hook to weave in ends with

Pattern:

Left front/back:

Row 1: fdc 126 (see instruction for foundation double crochet or fdc here)

To increase length, add 16 fdc for every 4.5″.

Row 2: ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), dc in next 5 dc, ch 2, sk 2 dc, *dc in next 6 dc, ch 2, sk 2 dc* repeat from * to * to end, dc in last 6 dc. 

Repeat row 2 until piece measures 15″ (approx. 26 rows).

Next row: dc in every dc and 2 dc in every 2 ch sp. 

Split right front:

Next row: ch 3, dc in next 62 dc, fdc 63 and leave the remaining dc from previous row unworked.

Repeat row 2 of left front/back until piece measures 15″ from split. 

Last row: dc in every dc and 2 dc in every 2 ch sp. Fasten off.

Assembly:

Fold piece in half so that the split is perpendicular to the fold line. The fold line will be the shoulders. 

Sew side seam together by attaching yarn at the lower edge, matching stitches on front and back pieces, sew together the next 30 dc. Fasten off. Repeat on the other side seam. Weave in ends.

Wear and be fabulous!

 

8‐bit

So earlier in the summer I started writing a number of crochet patterns that I was hoping to compile into an e‐book for sale. But the summer is quickly going by, and I’ve had more freelance work than expected (which is a good thing). So then I realize I don’t realistically have the capacity to pattern‐test, calculate for different sizes, etc. in order to make the patterns sell‐able. So! I’m just going to continue in this blog’s tradition in sharing patterns for free! :D It’s just that it will require some creative/math work if you’re not making the exact same size I’m wearing. But that also means lots of rooms for customization! This is the first of the few patterns I was working on :)

I’ve always wanted to try using corner‐to‐corner (c2c) crochet to make a top. My first idea was a cozy sweater with a dinosaur on it (I might still do that, we’ll see!), but all these heat waves we’ve been having are not conducive to cozy sweater‐making, so I thought I’d try with a lace weight yarn for a breezy summer top. 

The “tiles” made in c2c crochet reminds me of colourful pixels, and Nintendo video games of my childhood, and summer vacation spent playing these games. So I called it “8‐bit”.

It can be worn both ways, either with the buttons on the front, or on the back!

Buttons in the front makes it a cardigan, which can be paired with a spaghetti strap summer dress!

The top is made in 4 pieces then sewn together. So you can also sew the v‐neck pieces together and place the buttons on the round‐neck side.

There is also some shoulder shaping so that the cap sleeves will follow the shoulders rather than stick out. I thought that goes better with the gentle, delicate feel of the lace weight Noro Taiyo.

Size: Bust 36″, armhole depth 7″, neck opening width 8″, total length 17″

Size is easy to adjust as you go with the c2c crochet stitch. There will be tips for adjustment throughout in italics.

Gauge: 5x5 “tiles” = 2“x2”

Material: 

3.5 mm hook, and the smallest hook you have for weaving in ends (mine is 1.5 mm)

Lace weight yarn about 1100 yards (I only used a bit of the second skein of Noro Taiyo Lace, one skein of this is over 900 yards), larger sizes will require more yarn

Seven 1/2″ buttons

Sewing needle

Corner‐to‐corner crochet: this pattern requires familiarity with c2c crochet. If you’ve never used this stitch before, no worries! It’s quite easy and I find it rather meditative too. There are tons of very detailed tutorials out there. I learned from the photo tutorial by One Dog Woof, take a look and use some scrap yarn to practice, and I’m sure you’ll be ready in no time!

Charts:

 

 

Pattern/recipe:

V‐neck piece (make 2):

Start from the lower left corner, tile 1. Continue through chart. Chart is read diagonally. Follow this excellent photo tutorial by One Dog Woof if you need some help!

When there are 22 tiles on both edges, begin decreasing on the right edge by working 1 sl st through each dc just made, and sl st in turning ch, then ch 3, 3 dc in turning ch, and continuing on.

For a larger garment, continue working more tiles until desired width before decreasing. To determine “desired width”, decide on finished bust measurement you’d like for the top. Say 40″. Divide it by 4, which is 10″. Then continue c2c crochet until both edges are 10″ long before decreasing on the right edge. Note the number of tiles you have at the bottom edge when you reach desired width. You will need to have the same number of tiles on the bottom edge of each of the pieces.

Continue increasing on the left edge but decreasing on the right edge until the left edge has 37 tiles. 

For a longer garment, continue increasing on the left edge until desired length. Note the number of tiles when you reach desired length.

Shape shoulder:

Begin decreasing on the left edge after the 37th tile (or desired length). Work one row towards the right edge, then one row towards the left edge. After crocheting the last tile on the top edge, work another tile on top of the previous row (I placed an additional white tile on top of the brown tile of the previous row).

Then, as usual, turn, sl st in next 3 dc, sl st in turning ch.

And continue down the row.

Repeat the above steps for shoulder shaping until shoulder resembles the chart. 

(We’re of course not going to leave the shoulders jagged! We’ll fill in the corners as we sew them together later.)

Then, decrease on both the top edge and the right edge until there are 9 tiles at top edge. End with working loop on the top edge, don’t fasten off.

If you have increased in the bottom edge, increase the same number of tiles at the top edge.

Neck edge:

*Work 3 dc in the corner between first two tiles (where the lower left corner of the tile the working loop is on meets the top right of the next tile), sl st in next turning ch* repeat from * to * until end of row (the neck edge is shown in the next photo). Fasten off.

Round‐neck piece (make 2):

Follow pattern/recipe until neck edge. (making the same increases if you’ve made them in the v‐neck pieces.)

*Work 3 dc in the corner between first two tiles, sl st in next turning ch* repeat from * to * 3 more times, ch 3, 3 dc in turning ch.

Continue in c2c stitch pattern, decreasing on both edges until there final tile is made, fasten off.

Sew halves together:

Sew together the centre seams of the two round‐neck pieces.

Seaming shoulders:

With wrong side facing, attach yarn to lower edge of shoulder on one piece.

*Work 3 dc in corner between the first two tiles, sl st in next turning ch* repeat from * to * until end of row, don’t fasten off.

With right sides together, place shoulder of v‐neck piece to the shoulder of the round‐neck piece just completed, matching both pieces. With working loop still attached to the round‐neck piece, sl st in top of shoulder of v‐neck piece.

*Work 3 dc in corner between the first two tiles, sl st in next turning ch* repeat from * to * until end of row, leave a long tail for sewing, fasten off. 

Sew entire shoulders together (the slopes we just worked on and the top edges). Repeat on the other shoulder.

The rest of assembly:

With wrong sides facing, sew side seams together. For my top I counted 17 tiles down from shoulder for 7″ in armhole depth, then started sewing to the bottom edge. If making a deeper armhole, measure the desired depth and count the number of tiles within the measurement.

Buttons:

Sew buttons on one edge where the turning ch on the edge will form natural button holes, which is every 4th tile.

Weave in all the ends with a tiny hook, and we’re done! :D

Leave a comment if you have any questions or need clarifications! Happy crocheting!

 

Lately

After a bit of frenzy gearing up for the Yarn Hop, I’ve been quiet on the blog lately, catching up on other things…

My niece and nephews have birthdays relatively close to each other, so every summer we give them all their gifts at the same time — that way everyone gets to open a gift! :D

One of the gifts was a loom knitted dinosaur — when I first stumbled upon it on the web I thought I had to make this! The pattern is by The Loom Muse

(The wooden dinosaur is a gift from a dear friend :D) I find that with the extra small 12‐peg loom the gauge is very loose, and I ended up having to weave a strand of yarn through all the stitches in every column of knitting to prevent the stuffing from being visible. Perhaps I will have to try using an even heavier yarn next time (I used extra bulky for this one). I’m still quite happy with how it turned out!

Another gift was an owl puppet, pattern also by The Loom Muse but only available as a video. The pattern is for a stuffed owl but I ran out of yarn, so I left the bottom open and a puppet it is!

I love that it also has a tail! :D

And we’ve all met the alpaca! The mascot I loom‐knitted for the Yarn Hop (because we were team alpaca). The pattern is also by the Loom Muse (it is a treasure trove of stuffed animal patterns!). Here’s our fabulous team in front of the wonderful Purple Purl! (You can also kind of see the makeshift alpaca carrier on my tote.)

Throughout the day alpaca got named Albert, inspired by Lambert at Spin Me a Yarn, another local yarn shop :D (you’ll find Lambert and his yarn adventures on this Insta feed)

Here’s Albert at Yarnsomniacs enjoying the very soft yarn made by his friends.

As you can see we also made an alpaca sign to keep us humans from wandering off. The super cute template is from Picot Pals. Here he is at Knit‐O‐Matic with everyone busy looking and crafting! 

And here we are at Passionknit — note the beautiful wall of Canadian hand dyed yarn on the right!

In other news, I wore my crocheted sandals outside for the first time since making them last year (or even the year before?). I don’t know why I haven’t worn them. Worried they’ll break I suppose. But it’s been so warm lately, I decided to give them a go. It’s really difficult for me to find sandals that don’t hurt my feet, so I haven’t bought or worn sandals for like the past ten years, and always suffered from socks and sneakers no matter the heat wave >_< 

So I wore these out on the street, walked around, took the subway and streetcar, walked on the grass… and they’re really comfortable! My summer shoes problem is solved! :D 

In case anyone’s interested, they’re made with flip flop soles and worsted weight cotton, pattern is here.

And finally, I’m down to my last row of the mitered square blanket!! 

There will be 150 squares in total! And about 4 feet by 5.5 feet! I have been slowing down with making this though because inevitably I have to put it on my lap to knit and it’s been really warm >_< definitely a winter project, for next time. But soon I’ll be able to show you the blanket with all 150 squares in all its glory! 

Until next time, keep on crafting!

 

today is the day! =(^・x・^)=

Today IS the day! The annual Toronto Yarn Hop! Caturday the cup cozy is chilling out at my neighbourhood LYS Yarnsomniacs, one of the many exciting stops on our grand tour of Toronto LYS’s today!

A bunch of us (over 120 people, to be more precise! :D) are yarn‐crafting in public transit and going around to different independent yarn shops today while raising funds for Sistering, a 24/7 drop‐in/support centre for women who are homeless or precariously housed. Last year we raised around $2700, which went toward much needed services such as primary healthcare, counselling, support groups and meal program (learn more about the event by reading my previous post here).

If you’re not able to physically come to the yarn hop this year, you can still join us (and help us reach our fundraising goal of $3000!) by donating to Sistering through this link here, and in return I will send you the pattern for the Caturday cup cozy (more photos here), which is a pattern that I wrote for yarn hop participants to crochet along. You can donate any amount and you don’t have to tell me how much or send me proof, just simply make a donation then email me at genuinemudpie@gmail.com to let me know, and I will send you the pattern in appreciation :)

Happy weekend!

 

 

Caturday… and count down to YARN HOP!

 

The Great Toronto Yarn Hop is coming up in exactly a week, on July 14! :D

All of us volunteers are getting super excited and busy organizing for a fun day knitting/crocheting/yarn‐crafting in public with other yarn enthusiasts. It’s a great event for people to get to know each other, make a statement about the importance of craft and creativity by crafting in public, and support independent yarn‐craft businesses.

So how does it work, you ask? Yarn‐hoppers buy tickets and get organized into teams that take different public transit routes throughout the city to visit different independent yarn shops. At the end of the day we reconvene at a resto‐pub for food, drinks and raffles. Proceeds from tickets and raffles go to Sistering, a 24/7 women’s support and drop‐in centre that offers much needed services like primary healthcare, support groups, counselling and meal program to women who are experiencing homelessness/precarious housing, social marginalization and other challenging circumstances.

Sistering has a special place in my heart because that was where I trained as a social worker. The participants, volunteers and staff were the most valuable, knowledgeable teachers and I wouldn’t know what I know now and be where I am today without them.

There are still tickets left on a few of the routes, you can find out more details and buy tickets here

If you can’t physically come to the Yarn Hop, you can still join us! I wrote a crochet cup cozy pattern as part of the gifts for the Yarn Hop participants, called Caturday (because, you know, the Yarn Hop is on a Saturday). You can donate to Sistering through this Yarn Hop link, and I will send you the pattern! 

You can donate any amount, and you don’t have to let me know how much you donated or send me any proof, I trust that we all want to make a difference in someone’s life when we have the opportunity to. Simply send me an email at genuinemudpie@gmail.com letting me know that you have donated, and I will send you a pdf file of the pattern in reply :)

The cup cozy uses a small amount of DK yarn and 4 mm hook. It has a dense, textured fabric that will keep your fingers safe from hot beverages. If you’re not into cats, simply omit the last row and the embroidery, and you’ll have a simple yet not‐so‐plain cup cozy to show off a beautiful yarn. Great for using up scraps!

Want to know more about how your donations will make a difference? Visit Sistering’s website for information and inspiring stories from the most resilient women. 

In the meanwhile, I was also busy loom knitting a mascot for the team that Mike and I are co‐leading — Team Alpaca! Look how cuuuute… (if I do say so myself, haha)

I’ve named him Cousin Alpaca, because I have a plush llama, who is perhaps like a cousin to alpaca…? Anyway, I thought Cousin Alpaca is a good name :D

If you loom knit and want to make your own alpaca, the pattern is by the Loom Muse and can be found here

If you’re in or near Toronto, come hang out with us and Cousin Alpaca next Saturday! :D Hope your weekend is full of crafty goodness!

 

 

sneak peeks!

It’s been quiet on the blog for a while, and that’s because I’ve been busy working on a multi‐pattern project!

I’m going to put out an e‐book!

Yes!

I thought I’ve been writing up patterns for a while, perhaps it’s time to put together something more “official”, with different sizing options, etc.

One of the projects does involve the above black cat, and to join in the fun you can download the peeking cat picture above as a desktop wallpaper! Get the full size picture here and then right‐click it to set it as a background, so you too can have those glowing eyes peering at you every time you turn on your computer ;)

Here are a few sneak peeks of some of the patterns in the book! I’m still working on one other, hoping to put this out sometimes in July :) 

Yes, this top can be worn with either side in front — it’s like two tops in one! :D

And this one definitely needs a better photo shoot than stripes‐on‐stripes — but I was feeling happy that the drape worked out as the way I imagined.

So, stay tuned! :D And hope everyone’s enjoying some sun this week!

 

the sharing hat

This hat was made and the pattern written while Mike and I participated at the Warming Toronto event at the end of February, which was an event in which people gather together and make hats and scarves for shelters and outreach programs in the city. So I’m sharing this pattern with these intentions:

1) The hat is quick to make. I had to restart several times while I was figuring out a pattern, and I was also eating a very delicious plate of fish and chips (AWAY from the yarn — this setup was only for Instagram!), but I made the hat from start to finish within 4 hours, so making it from the pattern should take much less time!

2) Since it’s such a quick make, I’m hoping that this will encourage you to make one for yourself and make another to pass it on to someone who can really use a thick and warm hat!

Behold the cozy yarn pile — by the time I finished the hat we’ve collected 114 finished items! :D

The event took place at a pub, which has an upstairs library with couches and fireplace, perfect for yarn‐crafting and provided backgrounds for my photo shoot that are much more interesting than what I usually have :D

The hat is worked sideways then seamed together. It has rows of braided puff stitch and texture created by crocheting into the 3rd loop on the back of a half‐double crochet stitch. If you haven’t tried neither of those stitches, don’t worry, I took plenty of process photos to show how it’s done :)

The hat measures about 9″ tall (brim folded) and 20″ around. 

Material:

Two skeins of Bernat Softee Chunky, or other super bulky weight yarn (the hat uses about 150 yards, so 3 skeins would make 2 hats! :D)

Contrasting colour yarn for pom pom.

9 mm hook, and a smaller hook for weaving in ends.

Yarn needle.

Pattern:

*Note: beginning ch does not count as a stitch throughout the pattern.

Row 1 (RS): ch 26, hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc in each ch to end. (24 hdc’s)

Row 2 (WS): ch 1, hdc in back loop only (BLO) in the first 6 hdc’s, then hdc in the 3rd loop in each of the remainder of the hdc’s, like so…

You would insert the hook into the strands of yarn in the direction of the arrows. This creates a nice raised braid on the right side :)

Row 3: (puff braid row) ch 3, skip first 2 hdc, dc in next hdc…

[yo and pull up a loop] three times in the first hdc of the row, then pull through all loops on hook (puff stitch made)…

*skip next hdc, dc in next hdc, puff st in the same hdc as last dc made* rep from * to * till there are 7 hdc’s left in row, dc BLO in each hdc to end.

Row 4: (puff stitch row) ch 1, dc BLO in next 7 dc, sk next st, dc in next dc (between 2 puff st’s)…

puff st in the st before the skipped st…

*skip next st, dc in next st, puff st in st before skipped st* rep from * to * till end of row. When arriving at the end of row, work last dc in the very last st…

Then end with a puff st.

Row 5: ch 1, make sure the first hdc is made in the very first st…

Then hdc in next 17 st’s, hdc BLO in last 6 st’s.

Row 6: ch 1, hdc BLO in first 6 hdc’s, hdc in the 3rd loop in the remaining 18 hdc’s.

Row 7: ch 1, hdc in first 18 hdc’s, hdc BLO in remaining 6 hdc’s.

Repeat rows 2–7 three more times, except in the last repeat, omit row 7 and end with row 6.

Decrease row at top: ch 1, 2 dc tog evenly across the top of the hat.

Cut yarn and leave a long tail for sewing. Thread yarn tail in yarn needle, weave yarn tail through the stitches at the top of hat, cinch close and tie to secure. Turn hat inside out, sew seam. Make and attach pom pom. Fold up the brim for extra warmth!

I hope you enjoy making the hat! Leave a comment if you have any questions or need clarifications. And if you’re looking for places to send your yarn‐craft items… 

Here’s a list by the Toronto Knitters Guild of places that accept yarn‐crafted goodness in Toronto.

Warm Hands Network collects and sends handmade items nationally and internationally, especially to northern locations.

For friends in the USA, the lists on Mental Floss and Red Heart may be good places to start :)

With glowing heart and busy hands — happy yarn‐crafting!

 

 

may the porg be with you

I made a tiny porg!

Fan opinions about them seem to polarize. I happen to love them like I love all fuzzy round‐shaped creatures. Its shape is so amigurumi‐ready, and it reminded me of my penguin tots. I couldn’t help but had to make one. 

If you’ve made the penguin tots before, the porg is not different structurally but a bit more complicated with the colour changes.

It’s very carry‐able and rides well in pocket, so it can always be with you :)

The upturned mouth of the actual porg makes my tiny version look sad, so I opted for a regular mouth instead. 

Here it is contemplating life, or deciding what to eat for lunch, by the jade plant.

To make your own tiny porg, you’ll need:

Small amount of mustard, white, brown and orange yarn in worsted weight

3.5 mm hook 

2.5 mm hook (for feet and weaving in ends)

2 black safety eyes (3mm), or round black beads

Black thread and sewing needle

Yarn needle

Yarn ends (for stuffing), or polyester stuffing

Pattern:

Body:

Note: beginning ch 1 does not count as a stitch throughout.

Round 1: With brown, ch 4, 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch, 3 sc in last ch, sc in the remaining loop of the next ch (the ch that has only 1 sc in it), sc in the next ch (the ch with the beginning 2 sc in it), sl st in first sc of round.

Round 2: ch 1, 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 3 sc, 3 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc, sc in next sc (the sc with the beginning 2 sc in it), sl st in first sc of round.

In the next round we begin to incorporate other colours. Here’s a tutorial on how to change colours seamlessly, in case it’s helpful.

Round 3: ch 1, in back loop only, sc in next 7 sc. When completing the 7th sc, attach and change to white. Carrying the brown yarn (i.e. wrap it in your stitch) as you crochet with white, sc in the next 4 sc. When completing the 4th sc, change back to brown, sc in last sc, sl st in first sc.

Round 4: With brown, ch 1, sc in next 7 sc, change to white, carrying the brown as you go, sc in next 4 sc, change to brown, sc in last sc, sl st in first sc.

Round 5: Repeat round 4.

Round 6: With brown, ch 1, sc in next 6 sc. Change to yellow and carrying brown as you go, sc in next 2 sc, change to white and carry the brown and yellow as you go, sc in next 2 sc, change to yellow and carry the brown as you go, sc in next 2 sc, change to brown, sl st in first sc.

Round 7: Repeat around 6.

After round 7, install safety eyes (or sew on beads for eyes) in between the 2 yellow stitches between rounds 6 and 7. Sew on mouth. Stuff with yarn ends or stuffing.

Round 8: With brown, ch 1, 2 sc tog three times, change to yellow and fasten off brown, 2 sc tog with yellow, change to white and carry the yellow as you go, 2 sc tog with white, change to yellow and fasten off white, 2 sc tog with yellow, sl st in first sc of round, fasten off, leave a long tail. Weave the tail in the remaining stitches around and cinch the opening close, secure and fasten off, weave in ends.

Wings (make 2): With brown, ch 2, 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook (forming a point), sc in ch with the 5 sc in it, sl st in first sc of round, leave a tail for sewing, fasten off. (I only leave a tail for sewing on one wing, not both.

Sew on wings: Position the wing with the yarn tail for sewing on the side of the body, thread the yarn needle in the yarn tail, insert needle where you want the first wing, pull the needle through the body so the needle comes out on the other side where you want the other wing to be. Thread the other wing through the needle, and sew back and forth through the body to secure both wings at the same time. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Feet:

Feet are made linked together with a few ch in between.

With orange, *ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in very first ch made, ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch, sl st in very first ch made*, ch 2 (link between feet), then repeat from * to * once more. Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Position feet under body and sew on with yarn tail, fasten off and weave in ends.

The porg is ready for adventures!

Tiny porg wishes everyone an awesome week!

 

holiday makes

Tis the time of year for the holiday crafting post, after all the gifts are gifted :D But I always lose track of what I made… here are some highlights!

The plant above is for a dear friend who said she can’t keep plants alive. But wait for it…

It’s a hidden Oddish!! Yes, she is also a big Pokemon fan :D

Here’s Oddish chilling on the couch.

I’m really happy with how Oddish turned out. There are a few good Oddish patterns out there but I ended up making it up as I crocheted because of the size of the plant pot. I also got a pair of reddish brown safety eyes as part of a free gift one time from a crochet magazine subscription :D They worked perfectly on Oddish.

And then there’s this cozy pair of crochet mittens, for a friend who recently relocated to colder climates. But wait…

It has finger openings for texting and taking pictures! :D I made them from this lovely pattern.

This one took me quite a while…

But well worth the time! Look how happy my dad is! :D And it fits perfectly! Always tricky making garments for my parents, never know if it’s going to fit and I can’t get Mike to test try it because he’s much taller… but it worked out this time :D The cable pattern is actually taken from this sweater pattern

This is my mom doing a dance with the crochet shawl, probably to the music on TV (my sister sent me the photo :D).

I thought it would be good for when she studies and writes in her office at home, which she spends quite a bit of time doing. It’s modified from this gorgeous pattern, because I was using a much heavier yarn. I skipped over quite a bit of the granny stitch sections. It’s a fun pattern to make with variegated yarn with long colour changes.

This is the warmest neckwarmer I’ve never made, probably Lapland‐ready! :D Loom knitted (on a 41‐peg round loom) a very long tube (about 20″) with two strands of worsted weight yarn held together, then the ends of tube are sewn together to make a double‐thick tube! I took a photo before wrapping it for my mother‐in‐law :)

And now, things others made that I can’t make…

Isn’t it magnificent? :D Very grateful heart and stomach.

And for a year of more making…

Mike got me a long loom, a stitch counter, and the perfect yarn‐crafting snack! :D :D :D

Here’s to a year of new ideas and more crafting!

 

make a bath otter!

When we went to Vancouver a couple of months ago one of the most memorable things was seeing the adorable sea otters.

*heart eyes x1000*

So when the nice folks at Yarn Canada sent me some Red Heart Scrubby Cotton to try out and write a blog post about (they even sent candy and a nice note, aren’t they awesome?), I knew exactly what to make :)

A bath otter, floating on its back, holding your soap! XD

Actually, our test shows that the otter sinks after the holding the soap for a while… but still, it’s fun to see it floating on its back.

It makes a great bath toy, and a soap saver. If you have a tiny bit of soap left just stick it in it’s back pocket and scrub away :D

This cotton yarn is super absorbent and softer than regular polyester scrubby yarn, so it makes a great wash cloth. 

 

One skein of scrubby makes 2 otters with plenty leftover for a knit wash cloth, which is quite economical for holiday gift‐making. 

If you make it with regular wool or acrylic, the pattern would also make a cute hand puppet! :D

I used:

One skein each of Red Heart Scrubby Cotton in tan and loofa

A bit of brown acrylic yarn for embroidering facial features

5.5 mm hook

Tapestry needle

Note:

The otter is worked from top down in the round in the top part, then worked back and forth in the lower part and seamed at the sides in order to create an opening in the back. Then arms and legs are crocheted separately and sewn on. Ears are crocheted directly onto the head. The texture of the yarn makes it a bit challenging to see the stitches, and it is sometimes a bit difficult to undo stitches, but it’s great for blending in yarn ends and sewn seams. This pattern is written with this in mind and the structure is made as simple as possible. 

This pattern requires knowing how to do colour change in mid row. If you’re not familiar, please check out this handy tutorial by Moogly :) 

Pattern:

Head & upper body:

Round 1: with tan, 10 sc in magic ring, don’t join in the round.

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc (20 sc).

Round 3: [1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc] around (30 sc).

Round 4: 1 sc in each sc around.

Repeat round 4 until piece is 3.5″ tall.

Mid‐section area:

6 sc, attach loofa (white), 3 sc in white, switch back to tan.

sc in each sc around using tan, until the sc before the first white stitch in the row below, switch to white, sc in the next 5 sc using white, wrap the white strand and the working tan yarn in the stitches as you go, like so…

Switch back to tan and 1 sc in each sc using tan, until the stitch before the first white stitch in the row below, switch to white, sc in next 7 sc using white, switch back to tan.

Continue crocheting in the round, using tan in tan stitches and white in white stitches until there are 4 more rows with white stitches.

Then, sc in each sc around using tan until the first white stitch in the row below, sc with tan in first white stitch, switch to white, sc with white in next 5 sc, switch back to tan.

sc in each sc around around using tan until first white stitch in the row below, sc with tan in the first white stitch, switch to white, sc with white in the next 3 sc, switch back to tan, fasten off white. sc in next 6 sc using tan, turn, leave remaining stitches unworked.

Lower body:

Lower body is worked back and forth in rows over 15 stitches.

Row 1: ch 1 (does not count as sc), sc in next 15 sc, turn.

Rows 2–8: repeat row 1, leave a long tail for sewing, fasten off.

With right side facing, fold lower body piece up in half, sew side seams together.

Turn lower body piece right side out. At the back opening, sew together the top and bottom stitches closest to the seam on each side, like the picture below. To sew the other stitches closest to the other seam, I didn’t fasten off, I just wove the working yarn through the top edge of the bottom part of the opening, and actually cinched / gathered the stitches a bit to make the opening more sturdy.

Fasten off and weave in ends. The back would look like this…

Arms (make 2):

Row 1: Using tan, ch 6, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 4 ch, turn.

Row 2: ch 1 (does not count as sc), sc in next 5 sc, turn.

Rows 3–5: repeat row 2, leaving a long tail for sewing, fasten off.

Fold arm in half so the first row meets the last row, using the yarn tail, sew along side and top of arm using whip stitch, then sew arm to body along the side, also using whip stitch.

Legs (make 2):

Row 1: Using tan, ch 6, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 4 ch, turn.

Row 2: ch 1 (does not count as sc), sc in next 5 sc, turn.

Rows 3–7: repeat row 2, leaving a long tail for sewing, fasten off.

Fold leg in half so the first row meets the last row, using the yarn tail, sew along side and top of arm using whip stitch, then sew arm to body along the bottom of body, also using whip stitch.

Tail:

Row 1: ch 12, hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc in next 2 ch, sc to end of row, turn.

Row 2: ch 1 (does not count as sc), sc in each sc, hdc in each hdc, turn.

Row 3: ch 2 (counts as hdc), hdc in next 2 hdc, sc in each sc, leaving a tail for sewing, fasten off.

Sew tail to edge of bottom park of opening on back using whip stitch, like so.

Ears:

Insert hook through a stitch on the side of the head.

Pull up a loop of yarn and secure yarn.

Insert hook in a stitch to the left.

Pull up a loop, then yo and pull through both loops on hook, thus making an sc. Make 4 more sc in the same stitch, then sl st in a stitch to the left in head.

Repeat for the other ear on the other side of head.

Embroider eyes, nose and mouth with acrylic yarn. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Ta‐da!

As usual, let me know if you have any questions about the pattern! 

Special thanks to the nice people at Yarn Canada for thinking of me and sending the yarn :) Please do check out their website if you live in Canada, free shipping for orders over $45, or flat rate of $5!

Happy crafting!