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Cupcake Bib/Dishcloth

One day while shopping for yarn at Michaels, I came across this free adorable “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern designed by Twinkie Chan.  Twinkie Chan is the queen of yummy and deliciously cute crochet (check out her site here), and I had seen her mention this project before on her social media.  I excitedly took a copy of the pattern home and began working on it right away with some Bernat cotton yarn that I already had in my stash!

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I was very impressed with this pattern and how this cupcake was designed.  The pink frosting part involves using a magic ring, but rather than working continuously around the circle, you turn your work in order to achieve this semi-circle shape.  The pink edging hanging over the green cake liner adds a pretty and whimsical touch.  My favourite part though was achieving the cabled effect on the green cake liner by working front post half triple crochets (FPhtr) around stitches found in rows below.  I thought this technique was brilliant and I love how it turned out- I’ll have to keep this in mind for future projects!

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The original project includes the pattern for a circular cherry with a loop on the top so that you can easily hang your dishcloth.  I wanted to make this dishcloth convertible into a bib as I wanted to gift it to a newborn baby girl!  Thus, I did not include the loop on the cherry- instead, I crocheted a little stem.

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After following the pattern for the cherry, I did not fasten off.  I did the folllowing:

Ch 6.  Sc 1 in 2nd chain from hook.  Sl st in next 4 chains.  Sl st in next 2 stitches of circle.  Fasten off and leave end to attach cherry to cupcake.

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In order to make this cupcake convertible into a bib, I added these two straps to the back of the pink frosting so that I could run a long neck strap through them:

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To crochet these:

Ch 7.  Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain across (6 sc).  Fasten off and leave ends to attach straps to frosting.

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Next I crocheted the long neck strap consisting of double crochets with a button on the end.  By using double crochets, this made the strap adjustable since the button can fit between any of the stitches!

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To crochet the neck strap:

Chain 70.  Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across (68 dc).  Fasten off and weave in ends.  Sew button firmly onto one end.  (My strap measured approximately 17 inches).

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After feeding the neck strap through the pink straps, this is what my cupcake bib looked like!  I thought that the family could use it at first as a bib, and when their baby daughter no longer needed to use a bib, they could remove the neck strap and continue using it as a cute dishcloth in their kitchen!

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Cupcakes are so pretty and whimsical- I’m sure a Cupcake Dischcloth or Bib would be a welcome addition into many homes and kitchens, especially for those with a sweet tooth!

Myla absolutely detests wearing bibs now, but we managed to get her to wear this Cupcake Bib for a split second to capture this photo before she ripped it off, haha!  Isn’t the bib adorable?

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To make your own Cupcake Bib or Dishcloth, check out Twinkie Chan’s free pattern HERE!  Her post also includes a very informative YouTube video in which she shows you how to crochet the entire project as well :)  Have fun, and happy crocheting!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Cupcake Bib (modification of Twinkie Chan's free “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern)

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Cupcake Bib (modification of Twinkie Chan's free “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern)

Pattern: Elephant

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Crochet these absolutely adorable, whimsical elephants with a brilliant amigurumi technique that requires minimal attaching.   Make them in a multitude of colours and add some fabric lining to the ears as a pretty touch!  This elephant is an original design by Japanese artist Chisachi Kushima.  For the Spanish translation, see Rani’s post HERE on “Amigurumies”, and for the French translation, see Fannie’s post HERE on “Petite Maille”.  Below is the English pattern that I have translated!  [Don’t forget to click the “Print" button at the bottom of this blog post right above the comments for a printer-friendly version of this pattern!]

Materials:

  • grey or pink yarn (I used Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice in “Pink and Silver Grey”) 
  • 2.5 mm or 2.75 mm crochet hook (I used a 2.75 mm hook)
  • yarn needle
  • fiberfill
  • 6 mm or 9 mm safety eyes (I used 9 mm)
  • fabric for lining of ears
  • white felt for tusks

Note: I worked in continuous rounds (vs. joined rounds).  ***PLEASE follow along with my blog post HERE to see many more step-by-step photos.  It is also VERY IMPORTANT that the "right" side of amigurumi is facing outwards for this project, otherwise the stitches of the body and the legs will look different.  Please read about the “Right Side of Amigurumi" HERE to learn more!

Body:

Ch 9 ( this is the foundation chain),

R1: Starting from second chain from hook, Sc 7 in back loops of foundation chain.  3 sc in last stitch.  Turn the chain, Sc 6 in front loops of foundation chain, then 1 inc in next front loop [we are making an oval by crocheting around the chain].  (18 sts)

R2: 1 inc, 6 sc, 3 inc, 6 sc, 2 inc (24)

R3: 8 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc (27)

R4: 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc (33)

R5: 2 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc (39)

R6: 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc (45)

R7: 15 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 17 sc (48)

R8: 2 sc, 1 inc, 14 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc (54)

R9: 4 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 17 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc (60)

R10: 6 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 18 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc (66)

R11: 1 sc in each sc (66)

R12: 1 inc, 17 sc, 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc (72)

R13: 1 sc in each sc (72)

R14: 2 sc, 1 inc, 18 sc, 1 inc, 10 sc, 1 inc, 10 sc, 1 inc, 12 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc (78)

R15: 1 sc in each sc (78)

R16: 4 sc, 1 inc, 19 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 13 sc, 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc (84)

R17: 1 sc in each sc (84)

R18: 6 sc, 1 inc, 20 sc, 1 inc, 12 sc, 1 inc, 12 sc, 1 inc, 14 sc, 1 inc, 10 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc (90)

R19-22: 1 sc in each sc (90)

R23: 39 sc, chain 6 (skip 12 sc to create the hole for the trunk), 39 sc (84)

R24: 37 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc, 1 dec, 37 sc (82)

R25: 1 sc in each sc (82)

Cut the yarn.  Leave a marker in the last sc of Row 25.  Work by rows for the next part.  We will now be crocheting the tab that falls below the trunk.

R26: Skip 37 sc.  Rejoin yarn and make 8 sc (8)

R27: Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in each sc (8)

R28: Ch 1, turn, 1 dec, 4 sc, 1 dec  (6)

R29: Ch 1, turn, 1 dec, 2 sc, 1 dec (4)

R30: Ch 1, turn, 2 dec (2)

We have now created a tab that falls below the trunk. 

Place safety eyes between Rounds 16-17.

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Legs:

In order to create the legs, we will divide the body into leg chains.  Each leg chain consists of 6 chains and we will be making 4 leg chains (A-D) in total.  

Leg Chain A: Join to one end of the last sc of R25 (see pic below), chain 6, count 21 sc, join with sl st to this end.image

Leg Chain B: Continuing on from Leg Chain A, Ch 6.  Sl stitch to last stitch of Row 30 of the tab. 

Leg Chain C: Continuing on from Leg Chain B (the first end is in the last stitch of Row 30), chain 6, then count 15 sc from the beginning of the base of the tab of R25 and join with sl st..

Leg Chain D: Continuing on from Leg Chain C, Chain 6 then join with sl stitch to last stitch of R25 (where your stitch marker is).  Do not cut yarn.

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We will now be working on each individual leg, crocheting around the body and the leg chains that we have just created.

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Leg  A:

Starting from last stitch of Row 25 (so where the marker was, i.e. no need to cut the yarn from before, simply continue working):

R1: 21 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the leg chain A) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 5 sc, 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (25)

R4: 17 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec* repeat around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, repeat around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Leg B:

Count 23 stitches from where marker was in Row 25 (or as indicated in diagram above) and rejoin yarn.

R1: 15 sc (of the body), 6 sc (along the edge of the tab), 6 sc (of the leg chain B) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 11 sc (25)

R4: 1 dec, 23 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Leg C:

Begin in the last stitch of Row 30 (the tab) or as indicated in diagram above and rejoin yarn.

R1: 6 sc (along the edge of the tab), 15 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the chain C) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 5 sc, 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (25)

R4: 17 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Leg D:

Rejoin yarn in the body in the stitch next to Leg C (as indicated in diagram above).

R1: 21 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the leg chain C) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 11 sc (25)

R4: 1 dec, 23 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Trunk:

Rejoin yarn in the hole left for the trunk.  Rejoin in stitch in the middle of the tab (tab edge consists of 6 sts).

R1: 3 sc (half of the tab), 12 sc (of the body), 3 sc (other half of the tab) (18)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (18)

R3: *1 dec, 4 sc*, rep 3 times (15)

R4-5: 1 sc in each sc (15)

R6: *1 dec, 3 sc*, rep 3 times (12)

R7-8: 1 sc in each sc (12)

R9: *1 dec, 2 sc*, rep 3 times (9)

R10: 1 sc in each sc (9)

R11: *1 dec, 1 sc*, rep 3 times (6)

Fasten off and weave in end.

Belly:

R1: 6 sc in the MR (6)

R2: 6 inc (12)

R3: *1 inc, 1 sc*, rep around (18)

R4: *1 inc, 2 sc*, rep around (24)

Stuff body and trunk firmly.  To close the belly, attach the crocheted belly piece to the edges of the four leg chains.  The belly piece should fit in perfectly since it consists of 24 stitches while the leg chains each consist of 6 chains (i.e. four leg chains x 6 chains = 24 stitches).

Ears (make 2):

Ch 7 ( this is the foundation chain),

R1: Starting from second chain from hook, Sc 5 in back loops of foundation chain.  3 sc in last stitch.  Turn the chain, Sc 4 in front loops of foundation chain, then 1 inc in next front loop [we are making an oval by crocheting around the chain].  (14 sts)

R2: 1 inc, 4 sc, 3 inc, 4 sc, 2 inc (20)

R3: 1 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc (26)

R4: 1 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc (32)

R5-6: 2 hdc, 9 sc, 7 hdc, 9 sc, 5 hdc (32)

R7: *1 dec, 8 sc, 1 dec, 4 sc*, rep twice (28)

Fasten off and leave long end for sewing.  Fold crocheted piece in half so that it curves inwards.  Sew fabric onto inner part of ears.  Sew open piece shut.  Attach ears to body.

Tail:

R1: 4 sc in the MR (4)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (4)

R3: *1 inc, 1 sc*, rep twice (6)

R4: 1 sc in each sc (6)

R5: *1 inc, 2 sc*, rep twice (8)

R6-7: 1 sc in each sc (8)

Fasten off and leave long end for sewing.  Attach to body.

Tusks (optional):

Cut tusks out of white felt.  Attach with glue gun with tusks pointing upwards or downwards.

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Now you’re done!  Enjoy your sweet elephants and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more crafty and crochet updates!

This pattern is an English translation by Stephanie of All About Ami (April 2014).  Please do not reprint this translation on your site. 

Make It! The Handmade Revolution

I love attending craft shows, and I have many fond memories of my parents taking me to Christmas craft shows growing up and allowing me to pick out something to buy.  I was always astounded by the things that people could make and I thought it would be so neat if one day I could have my own booth of handmade goods, meeting many interesting people along the way!  Although I never ended up having a booth, I do have this blog to display my projects and I have indeed met MANY interesting and wonderful people through it :)  I still enjoy attending craft shows and seeing people’s creativity and handiwork displayed in full force! 

This past weekend, we attended “Make It!  The Handmade Revolution”,  a large, hip, urban craft show in Western Canada that takes place in Edmonton and Vancouver.  It was the very first craft show that we took Myla to when she was less than two months old and we perused the booths with her strapped to us in the carrier a year and a half ago.  It was our first time attending their spring show this past weekend and I was very excited to see what vendors were participating!  I wore this pink crop top that I got from Forever XXI over my long black belted maxi dress from Old Navy.  I brought along the “Crochet Mesh Bag" that I made last year and hoped that I would be able to fill it with some wonderful handmade goodies!  The step-by-step blog post and link to the free pattern for this mesh bag can be found HERE in case you didn’t see it before!  It is the perfect accessory for all your spring and summer adventures coming up at the beach or farmer’s markets!

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"Make It" has a beautiful venue as the high glass ceilings allow natural light to pour in, giving it a very open, bright, airy feel.  It’s also a very popular event, so it was hard to maneuver around at times.  I wish I could’ve spent more time looking at each booth, but time was of the essence with a fidgety toddler!  Pictured below are some of the items that we purchased- we were looking for some gifts for friends, so this craft show was the perfect place to buy them!

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- Wooden Bow Tie by Dear Fawn Inc: I first met Loan at a different craft show last summer, and Ryan and I were really impressed by her crocheted handiwork and sewing skills (and killer sense of style :D).  She has since focused her company to selling bow ties, and she offers fabric bow ties with some really fun prints (Star Wars, Ninja Turtles) as well as fresh and modern wooden bow ties!  We couldn’t resist picking up a wooden one for a stylish little boy who we know :)  If you act fast, you could win two Storm Trooper baby bow ties by vising the Dear Fawn Inc facebook page HERE (giveaway ends tonight [Wednesday, April 16] at 8 PM MST)!

- Bunny Earrings by Foe and Dear: We were really impressed by Katherine’s beautiful booth as her jewelry was gorgeously displayed on books and vintage trays.  I love wearing stud earrings and I was immediately drawn to these adorable little bunny studs!  They are incredibly cute and lightweight as I can’t even feel them when I wear them (I hate wearing earrings that are too heavy!).  Katherine does a great job with packaging too!

Spring Shoes by WildCotton Gifts: We picked up these pretty little shoes for our friends’ baby girl and had a fun time looking around Kara’s booth.  Her sewing skills are amazing as she had beautiful boots, blankets, bibs, onesies and shoes on display with gorgeous prints and designs.  I really admire people who can create so much with their sewing machines….I have yet to use mine again since sewing the curtains for Myla’s nursery -_-‘

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We absolutely fell in love with the work by Caitlin Bodewitz of “CMBPrintWorks" as they all had a beautiful, romantic, ethereal feel to them.  It was fun choosing what to get and hang in our house, and as soon as we saw this wood print, we knew it was perfect!  We love the quote and the beautiful image.  We hung it up in my workspace as soon as we got home and it reminds us that we’re adventuring together as husband and wife through love, faith, family, travels, crafting and life till we’re old and grey, paving new territory and taking risks along the way!

We had a great time at the craft show, and I enjoy connecting with local crafters and hearing them excitedly and proudly explaining their work and what they make.  I would LOVE to hear about what your favourite craft shows are from your hometowns or places you’ve visited!  Wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing to attend craft shows all around the world and see what the local artisans are doing in each city?  Thanks for reading, and I’ll be blogging about an amigurumi that I think you’re going to love next week!

Fox Basket/Pillow

This past weekend I attended a good friend’s baby shower, and I was so happy to gift her with some crocheted goodies!  A while back, I came across a really cute pattern for a “Foxy Stash Basket” on the “Yarnspirations" website HERE.  I thought it would be a wonderful gift as it would not only make an adorable addition to the baby’s nursery, but also have the functional ability of storing items such as little hats, socks or towels!  I had a lot of fun crocheting baskets in the past (see posts HERE and HERE), so I was very excited to make a cute animal basket!  

I went out and looked for red and beige cotton yarn: I ended up purchasing “Bernat Handicrafter Cotton" yarn in "Off White" and "Country Red”.  You need to hold two strands of yarn together when crocheting this basket.  I did not buy enough skeins of yarn during my first shopping trip- in total, I used 4 skeins of the beige yarn and 2 skeins of the red yarn!  Some black yarn is also needed for the eyes and nose, but I simply used some black acrylic worsted weight yarn that I already had in my stash.  

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I began by working on the base of the basket with the beige yarn.  I loved the look and feel of it already!  I used a 6 mm crochet hook for the basket and a 4 mm crochet hook for the ears and eyes as recommended in the pattern.

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After crocheting the base, the basket started to build upwards…

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Then after all the increase rounds, it was time to build up the height of the basket!

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Next, I added the nose with some black yarn!

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I was excited to begin working with the red yarn!  Rather than cutting the yarn every time you need to switch colours, this basket is worked with the tapestry method of crochet in which you hold both colours at the same time, carrying and crocheting around the strands that are not currently in use.  If you are unfamiliar with this technique, check out this video HERE to see it in action!  Since you are working with two colours in the round, that essentially means that you are working with two strands of one colour while carrying along two strands of the other colour (thus four strands going at once)!

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As I was following the pattern exactly and building up the red in subsequent rounds, I noticed that the red appeared to be going lopsided upwards.  Even in the photo provided in the pattern (appearing below), I thought that the face looked crooked or lopsided.  When I read the pattern through, I thought it made sense in theory if each stitch were placed exactly ontop of one another round after round.  However, as you can see, stitches are not exactly aligned ontop of each other (e.g. third stitch of Round 3 will not be perfectly below third stitch of Round 4), as they tend to build up at an angle.  Thus, I tried to make some modifications and eyeballed it as I went along, trying to make the face as symmetrical as I could!

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This is what I came up with as I crocheted more and more of the face…

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Then it was time to cut off the beige yarn and continue working only with the red yarn!

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I tried my best, but I admit that I did not do a perfect job of making the face exactly symmetrical.  As you can see in the image below, the sides are not identical (left side curves more at an angle while right side falls more steeply).  I did not have the patience to undo my work and start that part over again, but you can always give it a try yourself and see what you come up with!

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After some decrease rounds, the last round was given a nice finishing touch as it was worked with the reverse single crochet.  I absolutely love the beautiful roped and textured feel that the reverse single crochet gives to the basket!

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The basket was not as sturdy as I expected it to be (compared to the other baskets which I had crocheted using two strands of super bulky yarn and using an 8 mm crochet hook).  Thus, we thought it would be neat to give this basket another function: by adding buttons to the top, the basket could be closed up to be a pillow or cushion!

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I enjoyed crocheting the ears as they were worked from the bottom to the top which is opposite to how I usually make my ears.  The shape turned out beautifully, and I love the pointed tips!  To give a bit more shaping and dimension, we pinched the ears in the middle and sewed the back, giving them a creased look.

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The eyes were simple to crochet as they were simply black circles with some white strands of yarn added!

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After attaching the ears and eyes, here was our finished product!

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                                  ******************************************

These are the modifications I made to the original “Foxy Stash Basket" pattern by Yarnspirations (all modifications made to the FACE part, not the base):

  • 3rd rnd: With A, 1 hdc in each of next 6 hdc.  
  • 4th rnd: With A, 1 hdc in each of next 9 hdc.
  • 5th rnd: …………..Do not break MC.  With A, 1 hdc in each of next 12 hdc…………..
  • 6th rnd: With A, ch 2, 1 hdc in each of next 21 hdc……….With MC, 1 hdc in each of next 7 hdc…With A„ 1 hdc in each of next 13 hdc………
  • 7th rnd: WIth A, ch 2.  1 hdc in each of next 22 hdc…..Do not break MC.  WIth A, 1 hdc in each of next 14 hdc…….
  • 8th rnd: With A, ch 2.  1 hdc in each of next 24 hdc…..With A, 1 hdc in each of next 15 hdc………….

                                   ******************************************

I presented this Fox Basket packed with some goodies to my friend during her baby shower, and it was a hit!  I think it look so cute, don’t you?

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It would be such a beautiful and whimsical addition to the nursery of any baby boy or girl!  Here it is pictured with some of the steel bins from Myla’s nursery (purchased from Ikea and Home Sense).  Most of Myla’s stuffies in her nursery were actually my previous stuffies that I brought from home….that goes to show how much stuffies can be loved and cherished and passed down the generations, amigurumi included :)

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Here is the Fox Basket serving its dual purpose as a cushion or pillow!  Doesn’t it look so huggable?  And how adorable would this fox pillow look on any sofa or bed?

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Thus, if you don’t feel like using the basket as storage anymore or if a cute pillow is needed for a big boy or girl bed, it can be converted easily into a cushion or pillow simply by closing up the top with the buttons!

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We used fiberfill to show what it looked like stuffed as a cushion, but we would not recommend using it as the actual stuffing unless you sewed the top shut (hazardous for children as they might remove it, play with it or eat it)!  You could try finding a small pillow or cushion that would fit inside to keep the button closure and to easily switch from using this as a basket or a pillow!

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And here’s a third use for the basket….as a Fox Mask!  Haha all joking aside, I thought it was funny how this basket was pretty much head size!

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If you liked this basket, check out these baskets pictured below that I crocheted HERE.  I still use them to this day in Myla’s nursery and my workspace as they hold so much and look so beautiful.

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If you’re interested in crocheting a matching amigurumi fox, here’s a round-up of some cute FREE fox patterns that I found on-line:

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{1. “Cute Amigurumi Fox" by Anna S. of "Spool of Sunshine”,  2. “Amigurumi Fox" by Timea Venter of "Timic’s Home”, 3. “Fox Amigurumi" by Nimoe Galad of "Nimoe’s Blog”, 4. “Mother Fox and Baby Fox" by Allison Hoffman}

As I mentioned above, I think this Fox Basket would be so cute in a nursery, particularly if it had a “Woodland Forest Theme”.  I enjoy looking through the beautiful handiwork of different artists on Etsy, and I found the following items that would go perfectly in such a themed nursery!

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{"Charlie the Fox Baby Toddler Onesie by Le Trango, “Teacup Fox Original Watercolor Painting" by Alisa Belzil of Sweet Afternoons, "Organic Kawaii Fox Baby Swaddle Blanket" by Simply Boco Baby, "Mini Plush Woodland Animal Set" by A Little Bit of Joy }

Hope you enjoyed reading about the making of this fun project and how we made some modifications to the original pattern and made it convertible from a basket to a pillow!  Keep in mind that the Yarnspirations website gives it a 3 out of 4 “Intermediate” difficulty level as it does involve switching yarn colours using tapestry crochet.  To access the free pattern, click HERE and download it!  I love this idea of making baskets into animals- you could add bunny ears, cat ears, bear ears…the sky’s the limit!  Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to stay updated with my work by following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Sneak peek of upcoming step-by-step blog post: Fox Basket (modification of free pattern by “Yarnspirations”)

Sneak peek of upcoming step-by-step blog post: Fox Basket (modification of free pattern by “Yarnspirations”)

Crochet Toddler Loop Boots with Suede Sole

One of the things I love about my passion for crochet is being able to make beautiful, unique items for my little girl that cannot be purchased in stores and are handcrafted with a lot of love!  For Myla’s 1st birthday, she was gifted with a pair of Padraig boots (see here if you’ve never seen them before) from some dear friends: these boots were crocheted with New Zealand wool, lined with sheepskin and had leather soles!  Myla wore them for the next couple of months and they were great as they were warm and provided great grip as she learned how to walk around.  You can see Myla wearing them in this photo I posted to Instagram below (don’t you love our matching parkas?)!  As soon as Ryan and I laid eyes on these Padraigs, we knew we wanted to try and crochet Myla a pair of boots with a leather or suede sole that would be functional for our walking toddler (see my previous baby boots here).  

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As I was looking up patterns on different sites, I came across “Two Girls Patterns" on Etsy and absolutely fell in love with their designs!  Kris and Lorin have so many patterns for cute and modern slippers, boots and hats, and I thought their "Furrylicious/Little Diva Boots" in particular really stood out!  These boots are crocheted using the loop stitch which gives a beautiful and unique texture to the boots.  I was very excited to get my hands on the pattern, and if you visit their Etsy store, you will see it being sold for $5.50 USD (you get a discount if you buy multiple patterns at the same time, and the pattern is also available for babies, toddlers, and even adults!).  I knew it would be a great pattern because their store has rave reviews with everyone saying that their patterns are easy to follow and detailed with clear pictures!

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The toddler version includes sizes 4-9 (you get all the sizes when you purchase the pattern), and I opted for a size 4 for Myla.  Their pattern very clearly states all the materials needed, instructions on how to work the loop stitch and some notes that are very important to read before starting the project.  For example, this boot is made by holding two strands of yarn at the same time!  I started by crocheting the sole using a tan colour.  

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Next, I started crocheting the upper shoe with a white yarn (I used “Patons Canadiana” in “Winter White”).

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Then the fun part began: the loop stitches!  It was my first time doing the loop stitch, and I LOVED doing it!  See this great tutorial and video that Fresh Stitches put together HERE that details how to do the loop stitch. 

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The loops are formed by wrapping the yarn around your finger!   It’s important to draw both strands of the looped yarn through the stitch as just drawing through one strand will not work.  For some reason when I began crocheting the loop stitches, I was doing them incorrectly by swinging my hook in the wrong direction- the loops seemed okay at first but as I continued moving on, the loops kept pulling inwards toward the centre of the boot and thus getting smaller.  Thankfully, I noticed my mistake, undid my work, examined the instructions carefully again and continued onwards.  Once I started doing the loop stitch correctly, they looked great!  I need to figure out how to incorporate loop stitches in future projects as the results look so textured and beautiful!

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Next, the upper boot is worked up as you add more and more loop stitches!  I really love the look of the overlapping and cascading loops! 

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The boots are designed so that buttons can be sewn on one edge while there are button holes on the opposing and overlapping edge.  The buttons give such a cute look to the boots!

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Finally, my loop boots were complete!  I was so happy with how they turned out, and the pattern was very easy to follow and understand.  I love how Kris and Lorin laid out the directions very clearly, and they always offer support for their patterns if you need it and are more than happy to help :)  These boots are very well-designed and I really admire designers who can think out patterns such as these (I myself find designing boots and shoes daunting, especially since the shape and sizing is so important!).  This pattern is well worth the money, particularly since it includes the pattern for so many sizes…I can keep crocheting boots for Myla until she reaches size 9!

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Here are Myla’s boots from the bottom!  We let Myla wear them on carpeted surfaces such as our church sanctuary, but she would be slipping and sliding all over the place if we let her wear them on a hardwood or tile floor.  Thus, I looked up many tutorials, videos and posts about how to make crocheted slippers non-slip.  Moogly has a great post on “7 Great Ways to Make Slippers Non-Slip”- some of these ways include adding fabric paint or silicone sealant.  One method that I was particularly interested in was using a rubber spray called “Plasti Dip” which would apparently make the sole rubbery (see video HERE).  [UPDATE: I tried using “Plasti Dip” on another pair of boots and it worked very well- see the full blog post HERE!]

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However, we really wanted to try using leather/suede for the soles as we loved the luxurious and very functional look of Myla’s Padraigs.  And so, we purchased some scrap suede and excitedly began Myla’s Loop Boots, version 2.0!  I crocheted a sole using some scrap yarn following the pattern for a size 4.5 boot so that Myla would have a little more room to grow into them.  We then traced the sole onto the suede and made tick marks at every stitch with a pen so that we knew where to add holes (e.g. if you have 42 stitches in the last round of the sole, you should have 42 tick marks around the suede!).  We then cut out the suede sole and punctured the holes around with a utility knife.

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Here is a more detailed picture showing how we measured the suede sole.  We knew we had to account for the fact that the stitches crocheted into the suede would pull upwards so we cut the suede sole a little bit bigger than the actual size of the crocheted sole.  The inner edge is the actual size of the crocheted sole, and we added 0.5 cm all around for our suede sole.  The slits were made close to the inner edge.  It was somewhat difficult wiggling my crochet hook into the slits when crocheting around but it was definitely possible and I was so excited to start the upper boot!

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 We ended up using the same white Patons yarn as we loved how it looked (Sidenote: After multiple wears, Myla’s boots have pilled and fuzzed up a bit.  You could experiment with different yarns in case you don’t want them to fuzz up as much!).  In the end, I was able to crochet two pairs of loop boots with two skeins of the white yarn!  After completing the first round of the upper shoe, this is what we had!  We loved how it was looking already :)

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You could add some faux fur or fur to the bottom of the boot for some added warmth and comfort!  We glued the fur to the suede and then I continued crocheting the upper shoe.

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After following the exact same pattern from here on in, these were our finished boots!  We decided to go for some pretty gold buttons for this pair!  Aren’t they beautiful?

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Here is a picture showing the difference between the crocheted yarn sole and the suede sole!

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I was incredibly excited to have Myla try them on and walk around our hardwood floor!  Much to my delight, she walked around with no problem at all….no slipping or sliding as the suede sole provided her with plenty of grip!

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She was pretty happy to wear them too!  I love her sweet smile :)

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The shaggy, loopy look of the boots are absolutely adorable!  She always gets compliments whenever she wears them, and I can’t help but smile when people ask where I bought them and I get to say that I made them :)  I never would have imagined that I would be able to crochet my daughter such functional, luxurious, and stylish boots a few years ago, and it’s amazing having her wear something I crocheted for her with so much love!

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We used to take monthly family photoshoots up until Myla turned 1, so it was interesting trying to plan this shoot since Myla can walk so well now!  Gone are the non-mobile days when she would stay wherever we plopped her down!  And so, we did some of our favourite activities, like playing with bubbles!

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We also did some reading (love the beautiful “Little Miss Austen” books)!

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And some fun puzzles :)

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If you’re interested in the beautiful prints that we’re wearing, check out Vonbon, a children’s line based in Vancouver, Canada.  They specialize in organic cotton items (e.g. cowls, leggings, blankets, hats, bib bandanas, and headbands) that are all designed and handmade in Canada with gorgeous, sophisticated colour palettes.  I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with Vonbon’s creator Jen (who started the company with her sister Kristin) and it’s been wonderful getting to know another handmade artisan who is so passionate about her craft and what she does!

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[On MylaPolkadoto shirt: H&M, Gray Antler Leggings & Blush Triangle Infinity Cowl: Vonbon.  On me: Cape: Aritzia, Leggings: American Eagle Outfitters, Gray Antler Cowl: Vonbon]

We had to include this hilarious picture of Myla posing by the wall as I was blowing bubbles- she is a born model, haha :)  Myla photobombed our last photoshoot for the “Cabled Wrist Warmers" but this time she had the whole stage to herself!

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 I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures in making these boots and also learned about some options on how to make your own crocheted slippers or boots non-slip by adding a suede sole!  I really enjoyed crocheting them and am so delighted with how they turned out!  You can purchase the toddler pattern for these loop boots HERE.  

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Kris and Lorin of “Two Girls Patterns" have partnered with me to offer a GIVEAWAY [now CLOSED- congrats “Pinkrebunny”!]!  One of my readers will win a FREE pattern from their lovely shop!  There are two ways to enter: please visit their Etsy store HERE and browse through their patterns.  Then, leave a comment below on my blog and/or on my Facebook page here (must be a follower of “All About Ami”) stating which pattern you would most like to win!  I’d love to hear what you think about our boots too and if you’ve tried making your crocheted footwear non-slip!  This contest is open worldwide and will close on Sunday, January 26th at 8 PM, MST.  If you are under 18, please ask your parents’ permission before entering.  Also, in case anyone is interested, Kris and Lorin allow people to sell their finished products made from their patterns as long as credit for the original design is given to them in the listing!  If you are interested in purchasing completed loop boots for your own child or as gifts, you can check Etsy as I’ve seen them being sold there!  Thank you for reading, and happy browsing and crocheting!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & giveaway: Crochet Toddler Loop Boots (design by “Two Girls Patterns”)

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & giveaway: Crochet Toddler Loop Boots (design by “Two Girls Patterns”)

Remember those grey infant button boots I crocheted more than a year ago when I was pregnant?  Well I am one proud Mama because our little sweetheart Myla can wear (and walk!) in them now!  I still remember crocheting them and wondering what our baby would be like, and they seemed sooo big at the time (especially compared to the gold baby boots I had just finished)!  
Doesn’t Myla look super cute and stylish in them?  It’s so special being able to make these items for Myla and I am SO GLAD I crocheted bigger items for her to grow into as well since I knew how busy I would probably be after she arrived!  Check out my step-by-step blog post for these boots HERE and the free pattern HERE!

Remember those grey infant button boots I crocheted more than a year ago when I was pregnant?  Well I am one proud Mama because our little sweetheart Myla can wear (and walk!) in them now!  I still remember crocheting them and wondering what our baby would be like, and they seemed sooo big at the time (especially compared to the gold baby boots I had just finished)!  

Doesn’t Myla look super cute and stylish in them?  It’s so special being able to make these items for Myla and I am SO GLAD I crocheted bigger items for her to grow into as well since I knew how busy I would probably be after she arrived!  Check out my step-by-step blog post for these boots HERE and the free pattern HERE!

Myla’s “Cute As A Button” 1st Birthday Party

This past weekend our little girl turned one!  It still amazes me how quickly time has passed by.  Those first few weeks were quite rough as I slowly recovered from labour and my body adapted to the sleepless nights.  However, then within a blink of an eye Myla was smiling, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing and now on the verge of walking!  It is truly amazing to see her development and what a miracle life is.  It’s hard to imagine our life before Myla now, and she has brightened up each and every day!  

I wanted to share some photos from Myla’s first birthday party that we held earlier when Ryan’s relatives were in town!  We were so excited to celebrate Myla’s very first birthday, and we wanted to make it special.  I searched for 1st birthday party ideas on Pinterest to get some inspiration, and one of the themes that came up was “Cute As A Button”!  It’s always nice having a theme for a party so everything is a bit more cohesive as you can cater the decorations and food around it.  I thought the button theme was adorable, particularly since we love crafts!

Ryan’s sister Sharon is an expert at making cakes and has plenty of experience making amazing cakes for her own children!  We told her our theme and showed her some pictures of cakes we liked, and she spent hours the night before making this beautiful cake!  It was a triple layered chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream, and there was even a surprise pink layer!  It was both beautiful and delicious!

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I helped make some of the fondant buttons!  We were going for kind of an ombre effect with the buttons as there were different shades of pink.  The grey and white buttons matched beautifully as well.  

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It was so special that Myla’s very first birthday cake was baked from scratch with so much love by her dear auntie!

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Sharon also made these adorable button cookies with her children earlier and even hand carried them on the airplane to bring them safely here!  She is an amazing baker!

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We decorated this wall so it could be the backdrop of some of our photos!  We cut out triangles and strung them along hemp to make our own pennant banners, filled balloons with helium and made these pom poms out of tissue paper (following the same instructions we used to make the ones from our baby shower HERE).

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For our party favours, we bought some white chocolate and mint Kit Kat bars and rewrapped them with scrapbook paper.  Then we glued a coral button on each bar to help tie them in with the “Cute As A Button” theme!

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We held them in the small chunky crocheted basket that I made last year (see blog post HERE).  Baskets are so handy to have around the house!

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I had seen chalkboard ideas on Pinterest and I asked Ryan if he could make one for Myla!  We went to several stores to look for a chalkboard, but we soon found out there was something called chalkboard spray that we didn’t even know existed!  And so, we purchased a picture frame that we liked and then simply sprayed the glass with the special chalkboard spray- then voila, we had our own chalkboard!  Ryan spent a lot of time figuring out the layout of the words and writing everything in pencil first.  Then, he used chalk maker to go over the pencil…he didn’t make a single mistake!  He kept it a surprise from me until he was done everything, and I was sooo impressed with how it turned out!  Ryan is VERY artistic and has such nice writing….just look at all the different fonts he wrote!

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Here is Myla standing proudly beside her board as if to say, “These are all the things I can do”!  She is growing so quickly….since we made this board, she actually now has 12 teeth and is 29” tall!  I’m sure she’ll be walking very soon as well!  

I also wanted to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to Kay of Mikaylove for gifting Myla’s beautiful dress to her!  We were actually on the hunt for a dress for Myla to wear at her party when we received a surprise package from Kay.  Along with some beautiful arm candy, we were so touched and delighted to see a birthday card, a little bracelet and this dress for Myla!  Kay started Mikaylove around when Myla was born, so she just celebrated 1 year for her shop too!  Thank you for being so thoughtful, Kay, and as you can see, the dress fit Myla perfectly!  It matched so well with the colours of her party too :)

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We have been taking monthly family photos with Myla, so to show her development, we strung many of the photos along some hemp with clothespins!  We glued a button on each clothespin too :)  She looks sooo different when she was first born!  I of course don’t notice the change since I see her everyday, and it’s not until I look at old photos that I realize how much she has grown.  I am so thankful for photos that help capture these special moments and help us remember!

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Here we are singing happy birthday and about to blow out the candle!

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I got kind of sentimental as we were blowing out her candle as it suddenly hit me that this is the smallest and youngest she’ll ever be….our little girl is growing up right before our eyes!

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Here is a video from my Instagram showing some of the birthday singing :)  I’m glad we can share these special moments with you all!

We are truly blessed to have Myla in our lives and we thank God each and every day for her.  ”Myla Brielle" means "Merciful" and "God is my strength”, and we have been seeking and relying on God’s strength and wisdom in learning how to be parents and how to raise her.  Thank you for supporting and loving our family, and we hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into her very 1st birthday party and perhaps got some inspiration for your own parties as well!  Stay tuned for some new amigurumi projects that I am currently putting the finishing touches on!  Much love 

                                          1st Wishes

[Note: The people over at “1st Wishes” awarded us this badge since they loved the details of Myla’s birthday party so much!  Thanks for the acknowledgment!]

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