The Sweetest Little Lamb: Pattern Review

IMG_7179Have you ever been desperately pouring over Pinterest to find the perfect lamb late into the wee hours of the morning? No, just me?  A friend had asked me if I would make one for her niece who would be turning one. She wanted something on the small side and I didn’t have a pattern for one. I began scouring Etsy and Pinterest to find something that was on the small side and that was completely adorable. I finally came across Little Owlet and knew this was the one.

I was a little worried about buying the pattern online. Marina, the creator, is Russian so I was concerned about the translation into English. But she had good reviews and the pattern was only $4.40 so I decided to click “Buy It Now”.

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The pattern downloaded right away and I jumped right in. I read over the entire pattern first and was pleasantly surprised that everything made complete sense. As I read the words I heard them all in a heavy Russian accent. Perk! She even has an option in the pattern that allows the head to rotate, which I did not do. But she has also written the pattern for those that don’t want to utilize that option.

I used a DK weight cotton yarn and a larger hook size than the pattern calls for so my little lamb is a bit bigger than hers but it turned out SO cute. My friend was delighted with how it turned out. I highly recommend Little Owlet’s crochet patterns and I will definitely be buying more!

Little Owlet Shop

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How Cinderella Led to Amigurumi

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I adored animated children’s movies when I was a kid, to be honest, I still do. I absolutely loved Cinderella but I wasn’t enamored with her, but with those little mice that helped make her beautiful blue dress. I loved the pudgy one named Gus-Gus. I didn’t care about how she met the prince and fell in love, I just wanted to see the birds and the dog and that grumpy old cat, Lucifer.

When I became a mother I was so excited to read children’s stories to my little ones and to see all the movies that I remembered. One perk of being a homeschooler was that I could justify buying lots of children’s literature, because it was for educational purposes only! Wink, wink! I especially loved the books that had wonderful illustrations. We read so many stories and watched all those delightful movies.

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In early spring of 2017 I began crocheting out of desperation (you can find that post here: Why I started crocheting and you should too!) I started out making crib sized blankets but was very quickly drawn to amigurumi. It’s not normal for an adult woman to play with stuffed animals but it’s perfectly acceptable for her to make them! I started with a bunny rabbit tutorial from Wooly Wonders crochet. Mine was a bit sad and I thought I just didn’t have the skill.

Just a few months later I stumbled upon the book Animal Friends of Pica Pau by Yan Schenkel and I impulsively bought it. Once I opened the pages I had to make Victor Frog. I decided I was going to keep working on it until I mastered it. I frogged and frogged and frogged so many times (Haha! Pun intended!) But I was determined. I wasn’t trying to summit Mount Everest, I just wanted to make that dang frog. And I did. And the rest they say is history.

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My Top Four Crochet Tutorials on YouTube

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YouTube has become the go-to for tutorials of all types. You can find anything from lawn care to makeup to DIY home projects. The problem is finding the time to weed through all the junk to unearth high quality content. These are my four favorite YouTube crochet channels!

  1. B.hooked: Brittany is my number one YouTuber for many reasons. Every video is professionally produced and technically perfect. She takes her role as educator very seriously and brings the very best content to her viewers. Brittany not only has a successful YouTube channel but a website and podcast as well. All of her patterns and tutorials are free for viewers. Check her out at: B.Hooked Crochet
  2. Bella Coco is another one of my favorite YouTubers. Her tutorials are wonderful and her sweet personality shines through each one. I used her Sunburst Granny Square Tutorial Series to make the blanket in the above photo. The only caution I have is she is from Great Britain and she uses UK crochet terms. She generally lets American viewers know which stitches those are in US terms, but it is something to be aware of. Find Bella Coco at: Bella Coco 
  3. WoolyWondersCrochet is such a wonderful resource for crocheters who are interested in making garments for babies and toddlers. She has dozens of free crochet tutorial videos for sweaters, dresses, and headbands, just to name a few. She also has tutorials in beginning amigurumi. I have made several of her projects and appreciate her approachable videos aimed at beginners. Find her at: WoolyWondersCrochet 
  4. Jayda In Stitches is a quirky but prolific YouTuber with tons of crochet tutorials. Her clear explanations of how to make a granny square were invaluable to me when I was a beginner crocheter. Her whimsical projects and fun personality make her videos delightful as well as educational. Find her at: Jayda InStitches

Book Review: Vintage Style Crochet Projects

IMG_1986 They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but I did, and I’m so glad I did! Vintage Style Crochet Projects by Agnieszka Strycharska was the very first crochet pattern book that I bought. The cover drew me in immediately with the vibrant colors and homespun feel.

I love chippy, rustic furniture and decor and apparently the author of this book does as well. The photos in the book are numerous and feature not just Agnieszka’s designs but her personal decor. Her homey style is charming but accessible.

The projects range from blankets to aprons to garland. She has patterns for dishcloths, hangers, and shawls to mention only a few. Agnieszka’s color choices are funky and colorful which make the projects stand out so beautifully!

Above is a scarf I made from her pattern for a pillow which I adapted. The patterns are written very clearly and aren’t complicated at all. I was an intermediate beginner when I bought the book and was able to start crocheting right away.

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This colorful blanket was made exactly from her pattern, Sunburst Granny Baby Blanket. I used the exact yarn, hook, and colors as she recommends and it turned out beautifully!

 

Why I started crocheting and you should too!

I once read that in Victorian times doctors would prescribe knitting to women with anxiety. They must have known that there was something about the repetitive motions of making stitches that eased the mind. Holding a beautiful skein of yarn and crochet hook in my own hands does that for me.

I began crocheting in the beginning of 2017 as a way to stop my constant worrying. One of my four beloved children has epilepsy and he was going through a very difficult time. Early in the morning of December 27, 2016, he had two seizures that changed our lives forever. He was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and from that moment forward I was stuck in a pattern of worry, fear, and anxiety. I couldn’t stop the images of those seizures from coming into my mind and the “what if” thoughts.

I decided I needed a hobby, so naturally I went on Pinterest to find the perfect one. In the past I had tried quilting, sewing, tatting, and knitting to name a few. I enjoyed them all for different reasons, but to be completely honest I wasn’t good at any of them. But that night as I scrolled through Pinterest an image of a granny square crib afghan caught my eye. I clicked on the photo and was brought to a beautiful image that truly captivated me. I bought the pattern right then and there and decided I would figure it out as I went. That proved to be more difficult than I thought, but I was persistent. I jumped on YouTube and found a tutorial for how to make a granny square. From that point forward, I have been hooked, you could say.

The road from that point forward has not been easy for him or for our family. Since that time he has had hospital stays, doctor visits, and taken more pills than I can count. But crochet has been a sanity saver for me. Not only has it had a calming effect, but I am better able to care for my son because I am mentally healthier. Being a mom is the most important job in the world to me and crocheting helps me do that.IMG_1201