Monthly Archives: March 2014

Thing 64

I had planned to write about my new Renfrew shirt I was going to make today, but it appears I was overly optimistic. Tomorrow, maybe? I’m making it in stripes, which is a whole new challenge. I followed Tasia’s tutorial on sewing with stripes and prepared all the pieces, and I’m hoping it comes together quickly (and with matching stripes) when I sit down at my machine tomorrow.

So, taking the spot of Thing 64…


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This is another one of Lucy’s patterns, the Incy Wincy Elephant. I used the silver grey cotton I bought for Darth, and crocheted with a 2mm hook. I added a loop and hung him from a keyring.


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I started a pale pink sister for him but only got as far as the trunk before I abandoned her. Next week, maybe. No promises. I have a striped shirt to finish.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61



Thing 63

Last night was beading night, one of the last before our sale, so I needed to be productive. I started by pouring out some supplies on my work area (an old square of white flannel). This is what I decided to work with:

  • Rose quartz — five 8mm rounds and a baggie full of chips
  • Freshwater pearls — top-drilled buttons in white and small potato pearls in iridescent silver.
  • Tiny glass seed beads, silver-lined for sparkle

I wanted something longer, like the gold necklace I made a couple of weeks ago, and I was trying for random. Almost every time I start a random necklace it veers off into a pattern. I can’t help myself. Last night was no exception. However, the chips are of varying sizes so it gives a random-ish feel to the necklace. 


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Here’s a prettier shot. Tulips and a back garden full of bikes — it doesn’t get much more Dutch than that.


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Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61

Thing 62

A few weeks ago, at the request of my oldest daughter, I started a crocheted panda (pattern from Angie’s Art Studio). I  wasn’t really enjoying it. It’s a good pattern, but it was a bigger project than I realized. It wasn’t enough instant gratification. Also I don’t like crocheting with black — I can’t see what I’m doing.

I like small amigurumi projects that finish up in an hour or two. (Darth Vader was the exception, of course, and he had the virtue of having not too many pieces to attach.)

However, the end result is just what it’s supposed to be, so I should stop complaining.


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I crocheted it in white and black acrylic with a 3.5mm hook. The eyes are little patches of black felt pierced with a 9mm safety eye.

If it weren’t for a promise made to Martina I’m not sure I would have finished this, but she loves her new panda so it was worth it. 🙂  Martina named her Mei-Lin.


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Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61

Things 60 & 61

A few years ago, two very special little girls were born. As their first birthday approached, I wanted to make them a handmade keepsake. I bought a pattern for monogrammed crocheted baby blankets, picked a soft cotton yarn, and got to work. My optimism and enthusiasm were short-lived. I was a few rows into the first one, an A, when I had an honest conversation with myself. There was a small chance I might finish the A, but there was no chance I was making a C.

So the started blanket, rolled up and tucked in the bottom of my yarn basket, was mostly forgotten. Every once in a while, while digging about in search of yarn, I would see it and my conscience would suffer a pang.

Then recently another little “A” baby girl was born, and I was offered a chance at redemption. I seized it.

I finished that A blanket, a few rows at a time, and delivered it when Baby A was just over a month old.


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I didn’t notice until I looked at these pictures a week later that there is a slight colour change near the end. I ran out of yarn and had to buy two more balls to finish it off. The yarn lady warned me that unless the yarn is from the same dye lot there would be a difference in colour. I held up the nearly completed blanket to the new yarn and said “Pshaw.” It looked like an exact match to me. Turns out my yarn lady knows a thing or two about dye lots.

With some of the leftover pink I whipped up a duck. I can almost make these in my sleep as long as they’re not of the micro-variety.


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The ducky is for Baby A’s big sister.


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What an accomplishment to finally finish this! I wonder which half-finished project will prick my conscience next…


Cost of these Things: €4.60 (2 more balls of yarn)
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61

Things 58 & 59

Today’s Things were made in honour of St. Patrick’s Day. Actually, that’s not true. I made these before I even realized what day it was.

I went back to Lucy’s blog, this time for the Mini FrogUsing cotton and a 2mm hook, I finished these two little guys in just under two hours. Ribbit.




And because I’m on a keychain kick, I crocheted a loop to the the top of each frog and added a key ring.



I said to Martina and Esther, “Look, tree frogs!” They weren’t amused.

Never mind. I laughed.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €84.01



Things 55 – 57

The inspiration to make more pillows came from a sweater in my wardrobe, a beautiful soft grey wool. It was a lovely sweater except for the row of ruffles that landed on my backside when I wore it, making me feel like I was wearing a onesie. No woman should feel like she’s wearing a onesie. 

I pulled some red piping and black lining fabric from my stash, harvested a zipper from an old pair of pants (the same ones used for the Dementor costume), and combined it all with the ruffles to make a 50cm x 50cm pillow case. I used a leftover ruffle and a red button to make a flower. With great difficulty (the zipper is too small), I stuffed it with a pillow from my linen closet.


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In the end I was underwhelmed. It has a homemade (in the wrong sense of the word) look to it, but there is no way I’m pulling it apart, especially as I finished the inside seams with my serger. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I suspect removing or replacing the flower would help, but for now I’ll probably just stuff it in the linen closet.


For the next pillow I used some leftover upholstery fabric from a friend and stretchy gold velour that I bought four years ago in order to make Christmas costumes. I made a 40cm x 60cm case with a button closure on the front and learned that I’m not very good at buttonholes. I will need more practice before I attempt any button-down shirts.

To doll it up, I crocheted two roses from this pattern, one large and one small, using gold cotton and a 3.5mm hook for a loose stitch. The large one took just over an hour to make, and the smaller one just under an hour. 

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I was happier with this end result, though I think it needs another rose or two. Maybe a couple of small ones? I don’t know if I’ll keep it or gift it, but either way it will find a good home where it can see the light of day.


Finally, I pulled out some super soft Riley Blake flannel leftover from a baby blanket project last year. I sewed two 40cm x 40cm squares together (right sides together, then turned right side out), and stitched twice around the outside: once 2.5cm in to snugly encase a 30×30 pillow, and then about half a centimetre from the edge to give a neat topstitched look and to close the original opening.


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This pillow is my favourite. I like the flappy edges, it’s soft and cosy, and it will go well with just about anything. It’s the perfect Sunday-afternoon-nap-on-the-couch pillow.


So there you have it, a hat trick of pillows! Which one is your favourite?

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Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €84.01



Thing 54

I have the menacing theme from Star Wars running through my head. Dum dum dum dum de dum dum de dum…

Because this is how I spent my day:




It’s birthday season, and this time I needed a gift for a 10-year-old Star Wars fan. I’m sensing a theme.

I’ve been using a lot of the free patterns from Lucy’s blog, but today I went to her Etsy shop and bought the Darth Vader pattern.  Check out her Star Wars collection!

I used black cotton and a 2mm hook and got busy. Then I reached the waist and realized I didn’t have the silver grey for his midsection and had to pop over to my yarn lady around the corner. I used 9mm safety eyes for Darth’s cold, soulless glare and black felt for his cape. I like the pattern because Lucy doesn’t design with lots of loose bits that need to be sewn together. The arms and snout are the only extras, and they’re easy to place and attach.

As with the golden snitch, I added a loop to the top of his head and hung him from a keychain.




Darth took the better part of four hours to make, but isn’t he worth it? (Black is slower to crochet because I can’t see what I’m doing.)

Next I’m going to buy the R2D2 pattern. I love the Princess Leia and Yoda, too. And Obi-Wan. And the storm trooper. If the budget allows, maybe I better spring for the whole set.


Cost of this Thing: €5.05 (pattern & yarn)
Cost of all Things to date: €84.01

Thing 53

This evening we are going to a birthday party for an eleven-year-old Harry Potter fan. The young lady in question is saving up for a Kindle so we are giving cash, but I wanted to add a personal touch. I googled “harry potter crochet patterns” and found this one over at Inner Child Crochet. Have I mentioned how much talent is out there in the internet? Every time I go out on a google journey, I alternate between inspiration (people are so creative!) and despair (I’ll never be that creative!).

I crocheted this golden snitch up in under an hour with cotton and a 2.5mm hook, and added the loop on top to make it a keychain.

Here it is flying in our garden:


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And hanging out on the lilac tree:


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Just waiting to be caught!


In other crochet news, the Olaf and Elsa patterns I used for Things 13-15 are now available in English. Merci, Tout un Fil!


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €78.96




Thing 52

Last night was beading night again. I wasn’t quite as productive as last week, but I still finished something.

I pulled out some fuchsia quartz that I’ve had for years. They’re shaped like Chiclets. Yummy!

I’ve never quite known what to do with them. Every time I add them to a design I end up removing them again. I can’t seem to do them justice.

This time I decided not to combine them with anything else except seed beads, and I also decided that no matter what, I was using them up.


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I went with a three-strand box clasp, and divided the chiclets unevenly over the strands. I had planned to do six on each strand, but when stringing the first strand it was long enough after five and I did not feel like starting over. Hence the crowded middle strand. Let’s call it a design feature.


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It’s okay. I love the colours but I think I should have added some silver touches in there. At least the fit is right.


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Another one for the jewelry sale. Hopefully it will be exactly what somebody was looking for.


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Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €78.96


Thing 51

Today I went back to my favourite crochet blog of the moment, this time for a creature of the deep: mini baby octopus.


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I used the blue acrylic of Elsa’s dress and a 3.5mm hook and he was done in under an hour.  I finally opened a package of safety eyes I bought awhile ago. I like the glassy look it gives him.

His name is Inky, which is appropriate because a) he’s an octopus and b) he looks like the blue ghost from Pac-man.


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Esther made a bed of shredded yarn for Inky and crocheted a little hat for him.


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Cost of this Thing: €7.13 (2 packs of safety eyes, 30 pairs)
Cost of all Things to date: €78.96

Okay, now I’m really done with spending for a bit!