Starched Snowflake

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In Germany, crochet resources are everywhere!  It’s pretty neat how you can buy crochet supplies at the grocery store.  There are also crochet magazines and books in a variety of places.  The only problem – the crochet patterns are mostly written as diagrams.

To solve this problem, I recently took a class on Craftsy called “See It, Crochet It.”  In this class, I learned how to read crochet diagrams.  The class itself is a little dull however, I like how the instructor gets to the point.  You must be familiar with a variety of crochet stitches before taking the class.

So, the first diagram I tried to do after I took the class was a “crochet motif” I found on Pinterest.   For the snowflake, I only did 3 rounds of the motif and finished it with a round of single crochets.  Below is an example of a crochet motif.

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To stiffen the snowflake so it sits up on the tree I used laundry starch.  (I’m currently in Germany so I have a German brand!)  I poured a capful of starch into a bowl and added a little water.  I then dipped the snowflake into the starch so it was soaking wet and let it dry flat on a piece of parchment paper overnight.  I don’t read German very well so I didnt follow any instructions.  To my surprise, it worked wonderfully!

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The next challenge will be to try a crochet motif with crochet thread.  I’ll keep you posted!

Until next time,

-AFriendLikeBen-

Amigurumi Winter Kid

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This month marks 3 years since I learned how to crochet and I still LOVE it!  I’ve been experimenting a lot with different types of crochet styles but my all-time favourite is what I originally learned how to do…Amigurumi.

I purchased this pattern from “Bubbles and Bongo” on Etsy.  You can find it here.  The pattern was excellent!  I learned something new too.  On the hat, there’s “front and back post half double crochet” (ummm, what’s that you say?)  I wasn’t sure either so like always, I looked it up on YouTube!  You can find a video here.

The pattern included detailed instructions and I loved how I didn’t have to sew the legs on because it crocheted together as one piece.

I used Schachenmayr Catania Color Originals yarn #0218.  It was a great yarn to work with however, next time I’ll use a smaller hook.  I used 2.75mm – I’d like to try a 2.5mm or a 2mm hook with this yarn next time.

Overall, I love how it turned out.

Until next time,

-AFriendLikeBen-

Crochet Rocks

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My family and I had the opportunity/inconvenience of living in a tiny cottage on the top of a hill!  Why?  Because we had a flood in our kitchen and were temporarily moved there.  As you can see, the view was absolutely stunning but living in a remote area had its challenges (especially with a baby.)

While we were there I checked “crochet rocks” off of my project bucket list (because there wasn’t much else to do to be honest!)  There were so many rocks around so I thought, now is the time!  It’s actually quite a quick project if you’re familiar with crochet and do a little research.

A while back I watched a “crochet stones” video tutorial on a website called “Creative Bug“.  Once you subscribe you have access to a number of videos that are of really good quality.  (I ended up unsubscribing because I found the majority of the crochet tutorials catered towards beginners.  If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend it!)  The crochet stones video, in particular, was really great because it taught me how to make the netting that goes around the stone/rock.  See?  the rocks even look cool from the back!

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Later on, I looked up a “crochet doily” video here.   I used the first few rounds of the pattern to make the circle design and then continued with the netting technique I learned from Creative Bug to finish it off.

I thought I’d try another one with a snowflake pattern here.

And, since I wasn’t about to pack two heavy rocks into my suitcase I thought, here is where I made them so here they will stay…bye bye rocks!  Bye bye cottage too because we’re back home safe and sound now.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Happy crochet’ing

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

 

Crochet Ruffle Diaper Cover

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Teehee!!!  I LOVE how this diaper cover turned out.  FINALLY, a pattern that works.  I’ve purchased a few patterns from Etsy and this one is my favourite because the author provided information regarding what type of yarn to use as well as measurements to look out for while you’re crocheting to make sure you are on track to a correct fit.  I purchased the pattern from crochetbyjennifer on Etsy and you can purchase her pattern here.

I used BERNAT handicrafter yarn in “Camomile.”  It was a great yarn to use but I have an issue with the fact that this particular colour is a scented yarn!  (I didn’t realize there was such a thing as scented yarn when I bought it.)  I wasn’t a fan of getting whiffs of artificial camomile fragrance as I made this but at least the scent is light so it won’t bother the new baby.  If you purchase this brand of yarn be sure to buy 2 bundles in the same dye lot as you’ll need more than one bundle to complete the diaper cover.

For the flower on the headband I found this great FREE pattern on Ravelry here.  I loved how all the layers came together so nicely.  The pattern calls for 6 petals but I only did 5.

The headband is a newborn headband from Carters.  I just cut off the bow that it came with and hand stitched my crocheted flower on to the band.  Easy peasy.

I really enjoyed making this pattern and can’t wait to meet the little girl who it’s for.  Her due date is today!  Come on baby girl!

Happy Crochet’ing

-AFriendLikeBen-

Crochet Hockey Skate Booties

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After numerous FAILED attempts at baby booties, (first attempt being over a year ago) I finally completed a pair of presentable baby booties and I’m so happy!

I bought the patten from OnePaisleyPig on Etsy.  Although it is tricky to crochet with black yarn (because it makes stitches hard to see), her pattern was pretty easy to follow.  The author also included some photos to help you understand how to join the sole and the tongue to the bootie.

I always go to YouTube for helpful tips because there are so many people out there posting videos.  I searched “crochet baby sole” and found a lot of videos that helped explain what to do for that part.  You can find a video example here.

Another tip is to make sure that all of the black yarn you’re using is from the same dye lot!  Since I used the end of an old black yarn for one boot and started a new skein of yarn (same brand) for the second boot, one came out a little shiny and the other one was matte.  Since I didn’t notice the difference until AFTER I crocheted the bootie, I had to cut off the black part of bootie #1 and start again so they would match…tragic!

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But even with all the trial and error, I can finally say that I know how to complete a baby bootie and I’m so pumped!

I’ve completed 2 pairs so far to use as toppers on diaper cakes for my friends – they were a hit!

Until next time, happy crochet’ing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

Amigurumi Fruit

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I am loving the Boston Sun chunky yarn I’m using lately however, it’s limited in colour choices.  That’s ok, how cute are these fruity buddies?

They all came from different patterns.

Watermelon:  The watermelon is loosely based on a free pattern I found on Ravelry.  You can find it here.  If you’re familiar with crochet terms, the original pattern has you do a base chain of 31 stitches (which was HUGE with the yarn I was using.)  I am not great with sizing down patterns but I made this watermelon with a base chain of 15.  As you can see, it got a little wonky towards the top!  I also added in a row of white – the original pattern doesn’t have that.  So…not exactly my best piece but probably good enough for a baby to play with!  If anyone out there has any tutorials or tips on how to adjust patterns correctly, please send them my way.

Orange/Clementine:  To make this little clementine I used the same pattern that I used for the Two Peas in a Pod that I made recently.  I did the magic ring in green and the rest in orange.  Piece of cake.

Strawberry:  I got the free strawberry pattern from a blog with the address “moist crocheted vagina.”  HAHA!  Although the blog has a little potty mouth, I find it hilarious and the patterns are great!  She has a lot of free play food patterns.  You can find the strawberry pattern here.

To finish off all my projects I learned “the ultimate finish” technique from Planet June.  She also has a great tutorial with how to embroider on faces here.

Happy Crochet’ing

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

 

 

 

Amigurumi Carrot

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Continuing on with my fruit and veggie amigurumi trend that I’ve got going, I made a cheerful carrot!

I’m enjoying making fruits and veggies at the moment because they’re usually only one piece and I’m finding them easy to complete while also learning the ropes of being a new mom.  The best part is that my little one can safely play with them when I’m done.

I got this pattern for FREE from Kristi Tullus’ blog.  You can find it here. THANKYOU KRISTI!  She kindly included all different sizes to make and a great PDF file to refer to.  The pattern was clean looking, easy to follow and included nice photos of the details.  I used the small size pattern but it looks so big because I’m using chunky Boston Sun yarn in neon orange and a 4.5mm hook.  The bumps and texture of each crochet stitch makes it perfect for a teething baby to chew on.

I sewed on the face with black yarn.  You can find great tips on sewing faces from Planet June’s blog here.

I encourage you to check out all the tutorials on both blogs mentioned as I feel they’ve really helped my amigurumi skills.

Don’t forget to follow me on instagram @afriendlikeben – you can see my current photos on the left side bar of this blog.

Next up, some fruit!

Happy crochet’ing

-AFriendLikeBen-