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Last Christmas I whipped up some of these adorable coffee sleeves as gifts and was delighted with how they turned out!  I recently pulled out the pattern again and thought I would blog about it since I love them so much :)
You might be wondering what crochet stitch this coffee sleeve uses since it has such a beautiful braided look: it’s actually the half double crochet!  Instead of crocheting in both the front and back loops, you crochet in the third loop (found below the back loop of half double crochets).  This free pattern is by “Frayed Knot" and is called the "15 Min Coffee Sleeve”- it’s true that it works up extremely quickly, and adding a button is such a cute touch.  So if you’re in a scramble for a quick handmade gift, check out this free pattern HERE!

Last Christmas I whipped up some of these adorable coffee sleeves as gifts and was delighted with how they turned out!  I recently pulled out the pattern again and thought I would blog about it since I love them so much :)

You might be wondering what crochet stitch this coffee sleeve uses since it has such a beautiful braided look: it’s actually the half double crochet!  Instead of crocheting in both the front and back loops, you crochet in the third loop (found below the back loop of half double crochets).  This free pattern is by “Frayed Knot" and is called the "15 Min Coffee Sleeve”- it’s true that it works up extremely quickly, and adding a button is such a cute touch.  So if you’re in a scramble for a quick handmade gift, check out this free pattern HERE!

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: Non-Slip Soles with Plasti Dip (Rubber Spray Coating)

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Non-Slip Soles with Plasti Dip (Rubber Spray Coating)

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!

Congratulations to Dominique who is the big WINNER of my 3 Year Blogiversary Giveaway!  Thank you so much to everyone who scoured the archives of my blog and participated- it’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the hunt, read some of my old posts, and discovered some new projects and pages along the way!  I really appreciate everyone’s kind e-mails filled with so much encouragement and support :)  
In case you were wondering, here are the answers to the giveaway questions:
1) What was my very first original amigurumi design? Chinese New Year Doll (“Jigglypuff" was the first amigurumi I blogged about it, but I was following Wolfdreamer’s pattern.  "Cupcake Bear" was modeled after "Amigurumi Kingdom’s" work and I never blogged about the pattern.  "Chinese New Year Doll" was the first amigurumi we designed from scratch as we made a sketch of her, figured out her parts and wrote and released the full pattern for her.  It’s listed as my first original amigurumi creation under my "Patterns" page!)
(2) What was the title of my very first blog post? "And so it begins…"
(3) About how old was I when I first started crocheting? 10 years old
(4) What size crochet hook do I like to use for most of my amigurumi? 2 mm
(5) In the “Amigurumi & Crochet Blog Directory” that I compiled, how many blogs are from South America? Seven
BONUS: What is my favourite video game?  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (I loved making my “Link” amigurumi and designing his Hylian shield, and I stated that this was my favourite game in the “Animethon 2013” post!)
Many people answered all of the above questions correctly including the bonus- thank you so much for following and supporting my blog, and for being so attentive!  Congrats again to Dominique and stay tuned this week for another giveaway and a project that I had a lot of fun working on!

Congratulations to Dominique who is the big WINNER of my 3 Year Blogiversary Giveaway!  Thank you so much to everyone who scoured the archives of my blog and participated- it’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the hunt, read some of my old posts, and discovered some new projects and pages along the way!  I really appreciate everyone’s kind e-mails filled with so much encouragement and support :)  

In case you were wondering, here are the answers to the giveaway questions:

1) What was my very first original amigurumi design? Chinese New Year Doll (“Jigglypuff" was the first amigurumi I blogged about it, but I was following Wolfdreamer’s pattern.  "Cupcake Bear" was modeled after "Amigurumi Kingdom’s" work and I never blogged about the pattern.  "Chinese New Year Doll" was the first amigurumi we designed from scratch as we made a sketch of her, figured out her parts and wrote and released the full pattern for her.  It’s listed as my first original amigurumi creation under my "Patterns" page!)

(2) What was the title of my very first blog post? "And so it begins…"

(3) About how old was I when I first started crocheting? 10 years old

(4) What size crochet hook do I like to use for most of my amigurumi? 2 mm

(5) In the “Amigurumi & Crochet Blog Directory” that I compiled, how many blogs are from South America? Seven

BONUS: What is my favourite video game?  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (I loved making my “Link” amigurumi and designing his Hylian shield, and I stated that this was my favourite game in the “Animethon 2013” post!)

Many people answered all of the above questions correctly including the bonus- thank you so much for following and supporting my blog, and for being so attentive!  Congrats again to Dominique and stay tuned this week for another giveaway and a project that I had a lot of fun working on!

3 Year Blogiversary & GIVEAWAY [CLOSED}

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This week I am celebrating my 3 Year Blogiversary!  I can’t believe it’s been three years since I wrote my first blog post, and as each year goes by, it continues to amaze me that I have this outlet to share my creativity and crochet projects with you all!  Some of the highlights from this past year include being featured in the premiere issue of "Simply Crochet" magazine, and winning 1st place in the “Design/Home/DIY/Craft” category of the Canadian "2013 Made in Blog Awards"!  I also really enjoyed putting together the “Amigurumi & Crochet Blog Directory" where I learned about so many fellow crochet artists around the world!  

Thank you to my readers who have followed and supported me throughout the years, and welcome to my new readers as well!  It always warms my heart and brings a smile to my face every time I receive an encouraging comment or e-mail, and it is my honour that I have provided some inspiration on your crocheting and crafting journeys!  

330 posts, 7780 Facebook fans, 970 Twitter followers, 2804 Instagram followers and 10 780 Tumblr followers later, here we are!  To thank all of you for your support, we are hosting a BIG GIVEAWAY!  I have been collecting items throughout the year that I have loved, and one lucky person will WIN THEM ALL!  I purchased all of the items in this BIG PRIZE which include:

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(1) Mikaylove Double Wrap Bracelet in Olive (read about my Mikaylove jewelry here)

(2) “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn” pendant and necklace by “Pieces of Me Pendants" (read about it here)

(3) 2.75 mm Clover Amour Crochet Hook (read about my hooks here)

(4) Big Dark Brown Wood Button by AnnyMayCraftSupplies [2” or 50 mm] (perfect for crocheted cowls and similar to the one I used here)

(5) Clover Stitch Markers (see mine here)

In order to win this big prize, you will need to answer the questions below correctly by going through the Archive and different pages of my blog!  I will make a list of people who have answered all the questions correctly and randomly draw a winner from that list.  Below are the questions:

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(1) What was my very first original amigurumi design?

(2) What was the title of my very first blog post?

(3) About how old was I when I first started crocheting?

(4) What size crochet hook do I like to use for most of my amigurumi?

(5) In the “Amigurumi & Crochet Blog Directory” that I compiled, how many blogs are from South America?

BONUS: What is my favourite video game?  [Your name will be entered twice if you get all of the above questions correct as well as the bonus!]

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Please E-MAIL me your answers by sending an e-mail to {all_about_ami@hotmail.com} with the subject heading “3 Year Giveaway Answers”.  Do NOT write your answers in the comments below since everyone will be able to see them!  If you would like, you can leave a comment below saying that you have entered the contest after you send your e-mail so that I can verify that I have received your response in case some e-mails end up in my junk folder!

This contest is open worldwide and will close on Sunday, January 19th at 8 PM, MST.  If you are under 18, please ask your parents’ permission before entering.  Check back on Monday, January 20th to see who the winner is and what the correct answers are!  Good luck, and I can’t wait to receive your responses and choose a winner!

[NOTE: This giveaway is now CLOSED!  Congrats to Dominique who is our big winner!]

Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl

My mom recently celebrated her birthday, and I wanted to crochet her a buttoned cowl as a part of her gift!  It is so special crocheting items for loved ones, knowing that they will wear them and always think of you when they do :)  You might recall that I crocheted a Puff Stitch Scarf for my mom two years ago as well!  Scarves and cowls have been a must recently during our cold Canadian winters as the temperatures have been dipping extremely low and any exposed skin could result in frostbite!

I had just recently crocheted my favourite baby hat, the “Shell Stitch Beanie" for a newborn when it occurred to me that using the shell stitch would be a great idea for a cowl!  I LOVE doing the shell stitch, and the result is always beautiful.  Thus, I excitedly began and crocheted a series of chain stitches, estimating how long I wanted my mom’s cowl to be.  Then I started doing the shell stitch across!

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I wanted this cowl to be folded around the neck and secured with a button, so instead of crocheting in a circle in rounds, I crocheted it row by row, turning at the end of each row.  

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It is important to note when following the pattern that each shell stitch is worked in the Chain 1 space from the previous row below, NOT the space between the shell stitches.

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This results in a beautiful pattern in which the shell stitches are stacked upon one another rather than being staggered across the rows.  

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The edges also have a pretty scalloped design!

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For this particular cowl I crocheted 6 rows of these shell stitches.  I then sewed on a very special button that we picked up from the Halifax Farmer’s Market!

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I also crocheted a cowl for a friend in this beautiful green colour and added a brown button from the same Farmer’s Market!  I love “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" as it is so incredibly soft.  My mom’s cowl is in "Pewter" and the green one is called "Spearmint”.  I used one ball of yarn for each!

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I snapped a quick photo of the spearmint cowl before it went off to its new owner!

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This is my mom’s finished cowl!

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Here is the pattern that I made for this cowl:

Buttoned Chunky Shell Stitch Cowl (worked in rows)

Using a 10 mm crochet hook,

Chain 48

Row 1: In fourth chain from hook, dc (initial chains count as first dc), ch 1, 2 dc in same stitch.  *Skip 3 ch, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in next ch* repeat from * to end (12 shells [each shell made of total 4 dc and ch 1])

Rows 2-6: Chain 3, turn.  *2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc* in first chain 1 space.  *2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc* in each ch 1 space till end (12 shells).

Finish off and weave in ends.  Attach button towards left side of cowl (see pics above).  Be sure to wear the cowl with the scallopped edges facing upwards!

[Finished cowl is 7” in height and 29” in width, using one skein of “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool”]

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Here is my beautiful mom wearing her new buttoned cowl!  She loved it as soon as she opened it!  She particularly likes how soft the yarn is and how she can put the button through any hole of this cowl.  It’s also easy to wear since you don’t have to pull the cowl over your head which can result in staticky hair!

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I wanted to make a REALLY chunky buttoned shell stitch cowl for myself using some interesting yarn that Ryan found called “Patons Cobbles" at Michaels!  The way that the yarn was segmented into little chunks looked really neat and we were curious how it would look in a crocheted piece.  We bought a beautiful brown colour called "Moon Rock" (pictured below) and a gorgeous yellow colour called "Mustard Seed”.  

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I decided to use the “Mustard Seed" colour for my cowl since I wanted to use this big, beautiful wooden button that we picked up in a cute little craft boutique in Paris two years ago.  I think it’s so neat when we buy buttons on our travels as each button reminds me of our special adventures.  I love being able to use them in my crocheted pieces, and I had been waiting a long time to use this amazing find :)  The brown button contrasts so nicely against the mustard cowl!

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Isn’t the texture of this cowl absolutely stunning?  I love the unique look that the “Patons Cobbles” gives!

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When worn under a coat, the cowl gives a very beautiful collared effect!  It also helps keep my neck very warm too :)  What a great way to be warm and stylish at the same time!  It certainly is a statement piece that can help spice up any outfit!  With the recent frigid temperatures, we dared not take any outside photos for this shoot- thank goodness we managed to snap some snowy photos when the temperature was still manageable with the Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie a couple weeks ago!

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For this cowl, I used a 10 mm crochet hook and chained 56 initially, resulting in 14 shells.  Using two skeins of this yarn allowed me to do 5 rows.  This cowl was 7” in height and 40” across.

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{Dress: Urban Outfitters, Sweater: Roxy, Jacket: Zara, Bracelet: Mikaylove, Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl: Me!}

I crocheted another buttoned cowl for a friend using “Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn" in "Raspberry" (the same yarn I used for my "Long Double Crochet Cowl" from last year).  We chose a beautiful gold button to contrast against the pink yarn.  For this cowl I also chained 56 in the beginning, resulting in 14 shells.  With one skein of yarn I could make 7 rows (dimensions: 8.5" in height, 32" across).

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I crocheted a matching toddler cowl for my friend’s daughter too!  For this cowl I used an 8 mm crochet hook and chained 48 initially, resulting in 12 shells and 4 rows (dimensions: 4.5” in height, 24” across).  I found a smaller gold button to match with her mom’s too!

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Of course I had to make Myla a toddler cowl too!  Here we have three generations wearing the “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowls" that I crocheted, each in varying sizes!  Don’t we all look so cozy and warm?

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I hope you enjoyed reading about all the “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowls" that I crocheted!  Once you know how the basic pattern works, you can easily adapt this pattern to make your cowls various sizes and lengths (add or decrease 4 chains at the beginning to increase or decrease number of shell stitches).  This pattern is so versatile as using different yarns and different buttons helps give the cowls different looks, and they can be quite the statement piece!  These cowls also work up very quickly which is usually the case when working with chunky yarn and a large crochet hook!  The shell stitches give such an elegant, pretty, and romantic look to the cowls, wouldn’t you agree?

I also designed a “Round Shell Stitch Cowl" that is worked in rounds instead of rows and does not include a button.  See the step-by-step tutorial and free pattern HERE!

For some more cowl options, be sure to check out my “Chunky Double Crochet Cowl" and "Long Double Crochet Cowl" from last year too!

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WIll you be making any of these cowls?  What yarn are you going to use?  They would make lovely Christmas gifts!  Let me know what you think about them in the comments below, and don’t forget to show me your finished pieces on my Facebook pageTwitter and Instagram (@AllAboutAmi, #AllAboutAmi)!  Happy crocheting and stay warm, everyone ❤

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl

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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