Another Chinese New Year is upon us and this year is the “Year of the Horse”! As long time followers know, it’s been a tradition of ours to make an amigurumi of the zodiac animal of that particular year! Last year I remember looking up 2014 and thinking that a horse would be a daunting task. As we were brainstorming ideas over the past couple of weeks, I thought that designing and crocheting a pony would be a cute interpretation of a horse as ponies are simply smaller horses that often “exhibit thicker manes, tails and proportionally shorter legs”. With the popularity of “My Little Pony" and unicorns, I thought this would be a great amigurumi project! Ryan did the sketch below as we loosely based our design on some "Tokidoki ponies" that we saw on-line:
This project was an interesting and welcome challenge for me as I had to crochet some unconventional shapes compared to what I was used to. The head was an egg shape vs. the typical round or oval shape!
The tip of the egg (where the magic circle is) served as the snout or nose! After placing the safety eyes, Ryan embroidered these pretty eyelashes and then we stuffed and closed up the piece. Notice that the eyes are placed below midline (when looking straight at the pony) to give her a cuter, doe-eyed look!
The mane was quite the topic of discussion! We talked about attaching strands of yarn or possibly using the loop stitch for the mane. However, Ryan thought that crocheting individual pieces to create a puffy mane was the way to go, and he was definitely right! We ended up crocheting five separate pieces (Mane Parts 1-5), each of varying sizes. Mane Part 1 had a tip which would serve as the cute curl!
Instead of attaching each separate piece to the head, we decided that attaching the individual pieces together first and THEN attaching the whole piece to the head would be easier. Ryan flipped the pieces over and used the long ends of yarn left from each piece to attach them together.
He then draped the mane across the egg-shaped head and used the long strands of yarn to attach them in place. Don’t I have the best hubby in the world? Attaching amigurumi pieces together is my least favourite part of the process, and Ryan did this for me while I was figuring out the shapes for the other pieces! Note that after sewing on Mane Part 1, it’s only necessary to sew portions of the mane to the head (the middle parts as shown below, not the sides) as you don’t need to sew the whole way around each piece.
After the mane was secured on the head, we then attached these ears that I crocheted!
Next up was the body! This was another unconventional shape as we wanted the pony to have a little belly and a neck that curved upwards. To shape the belly, I increased more on one side. To make the neck, I did slip stitches on one side and half double crochets on the other side to build up height. Because of these uneven increases and various stitches, it was VERY important that I not make a mistake and record my work very carefully!
We then attached the body to the head!
Next up were the hooves and the legs! I started off with the coral yarn and then switched to white for the upper legs. I decreased on one side while increasing on the other side to get this curved effect. I did the opposite for the other two legs so that they would curve in the other direction in order to conceal the colour change better. You can push the hooves inwards so that your pony will have more stability when standing too!
After attaching the legs, our pony was almost complete!
The tail was the last challenge! We wanted her tail to curve almost like a flame and it took me a couple tries before we achieved the shape that we liked after some uneven increasing and decreasing!
Now may we present to you our little amigurumi Pony in honour of the Year of the Horse! I think she looks absolutely adorable sitting down!
And the great thing is that she can stand up too!
We decided to name her…..RUBY! This was one of the names I thought of myself after completing her, and many readers suggested it too due to her beautiful red mane. It holds special meaning for me because my birthstone is ruby too! Other names that I was strongly considering were “Pippi the Pony" (named after "Pippi Longstocking”, the fiery red-headed little girl who could easily lift a horse with one hand) or “Poppy the Pony" (fitting since poppies are beautiful red flowers), and I really liked the alliteration. Thank you for all your wonderful name suggestions- I was unaware that this year in particular was the year of the wooden horse, so all the names associated with wood were really meaningful! I can’t wait for you to make your own ponies and name them all the creative and thoughtful names you came up with!
Ruby looks so sweet when you look at her head on and you see her doe-eyes, little snout and cute curl atop her head!
We loved using fun, bright colours for our pony! We knew that coral and white would be a great combo, particularly since red is commonly associated with Chinese New Year. We had this beautiful coral yarn in my stash as it was left over from Myla’s Granny Square Baby Blanket (see here)! For those interested, the exact yarns we used were “Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn in Rouge" and "Patons Canadiana in White”.
Here is a back view of Ruby the pony! I really love how her puffy mane and cute tail came out!
It boggles my mind that we have been through FOUR Chinese New Years together, dear readers! In 2011 when we first started the blog, we made “Chinese New Year Doll" holding a tiny bunny, and she will always hold a special place in our hearts as she was our first original design. In 2012 we made Dragon and in 2013 we made Snake. This year is all about the Horse/Pony! Don’t you love our ever-expanding collection of zodiac animals?
We are sooo excited to see your ponies and what colours you will use! Does anyone already have some colour combos in mind? You could also easily make her into a unicorn too by adding a horn and some wings :)
Myla LOVED Ruby the Pony as soon as she saw her and she couldn’t stop smiling! It’s really sweet because Myla loves choosing her favourites from my amigurumi shelf and taking them down to play. Whereas before when my amigurumi would simply sit on my shelf, they are now getting new life as our little toddler plays with them (haha kinda reminds me of “Toy Story”)!
Myla gave some kisses to Ruby the Pony too :) Don’t you love her Chinese New Year outfit?
I hope you love this sweet little pony as much as we do! Her puffy mane, curved pony tail, pretty lashes, tiny belly and little legs make her oh so sweet! What do you love about Ruby most?
We strive to do better and learn new techniques with each project and design. I am very proud of how she turned out and the different shapes that we were able to create! I know many of you have asked me advice on “How to Design Your Own Amigurumi”- I will try and put together a post when I have the time and walk you through the process that we go through! Perhaps I can use Ruby the Pony as one of the examples!
The free pattern for Ruby the Pony can now be found HERE! She would make the perfect gift for horse-lovers, “My Little Pony”-lovers, people who are the Year of the Horse and expectant/new moms with babies who will be born in the Year of the Horse! I hope you enjoyed reading about the making of Ruby the Pony and are excited to make your very own :) We thank you for all the wonderful feedback we’ve received about her from the sneak peek and are so delighted to hear that she is already so loved!
Here’s a sneak peek of our latest amigurumi creation for Chinese New Year which is less than a week away! What do you think? We need help naming her!!! Please leave suggestions in your comments below- we LOVE hearing your ideas!
Full step-by-step blog post & free pattern coming this week!
Two years ago Ryan and I came across some white eyelash yarn while shopping at Michaels, and we decided to pick it up along with some other yarn since we thought it would be so cute to make a fluffy bear! I’m embarrassed to admit that this white eyelash yarn remained in a Michaels bag on a shelf in my desk as months and months went by. I continued to work on other projects and once in a while Ryan would say, “Hey, weren’t we going to work on that bear with that special yarn we bought a while ago?” It wasn’t until this past summer that we decided to finally pull out this yarn and use it to make an amigurumi!
This was my very first time working with eyelash yarn which is a type of novelty yarn that “appears as a thread base with several long strands spaced at even intervals that jut out at an angle from the main strand” (according to Wikipedia). The particular brand that we had purchased two years ago was “Patons Allure" in "Diamond" and more recently we purchased "Loops & Threads Luxurious Fur" in "Lynx" to make a second bear! It’s interesting because both eyelash yarns are made of 100% nylon whereas previous yarns I’ve worked with are typically cotton or acrylic.
As you can see, eyelash yarn is very fuzzy! The white yarn had a more scraggly look to it…
The beige yarn was less scraggly and actually had a beautiful shimmer to it! It’s neat how various eyelash yarns have different looks to them which help give the resulting amigurumi different looks too!
I was unaware of this at the time of purchasing the yarns, but they were of different thicknesses. And so, I ended up not being able to use the same pattern when making both bears because of this. As shown in the picture below, the white yarn ontop was bulky (5) while the beige yarn underneath was medium (4).
I started off making the white bear and since the white yarn was bulky, the whole pattern worked up very quickly! I began by working on his head…
When working with fluffy yarn, it is important to leave the “wrong side" of amigurumi on the outside as it is actually fluffier than the "right side" (read about "The RIght Side of Amigurumi" in my blog post HERE).
I must also warn you that working with eyelash yarn is not for the faint of heart or for beginners as it is extremely difficult/nearly impossible to see the individual stitches. Using a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round is imperative! I used a bobby pin before purchasing actual stitch markers as you can see in this picture below. If the next round was supposed to have 12 stitches, I knew that directly across from the bobby pin I should be at around 6 stitches and so a quarter of the way around the circle I should have about 3 stitches. This is how I estimated where to stick my crochet hook round by round :) Working with this yarn is also very forgiving, so even if you miss a stitch here or there or make a couple of mistakes along the way, it will not be visible!
When I was about to close up the ball we added our safety eyes! He looked so cute, and kind of reminded me of a soot sprite from Totoro!
Ryan then embroidered this sweet little nose on felt and glued it onto his face. I love how different noses can give amigurumi various expressions and character. Ryan always does a great job with the noses, and here he is showing off his handiwork!
I crocheted these tiny ears and then sewed them onto the teddy’s head!
Next came the fluffy body!
For the limbs and the ears I used a lightweight (3) mercerized cotton (“Patons Grace”). This type of yarn contrasts nicely against the fluffy eyelash yarn and really helps the limbs and ears stand out! The arms are actually longer than the legs which gives a really cute look!
We knew we wanted to have this teddy hold something and we brainstormed different ideas…. I thought it would be SO cute if he was a crocheting bear so we quickly made some accessories for him with items we already had around the house! For the crochet hook we used some wire that we use to hang our Christmas ornaments onto our tree- Ryan cut and shaped the tip to make it look like a hook! And for the yarn, we used embroidery floss: Ryan tied many knots to form the base and then wrapped the embroidery floss around the knots while adding glue from a glue gun along the way so the floss would remain in place. To give you some perspective on how tiny his accessories are, this next photo shows a comparison of the yarn and hook with a Canadian penny:
Once we placed the yarn and hook into the teddy’s hands he was all finished, and I absolutely fell in love with him! I love his sweet face and how fluffy he is, and of course I adore how he’s doing my favourite hobby…crocheting! I decided to name him “Mochi" with the help of "artsysketchpaper" on Instagram! Mochi is one of my favourite foods and it is chewy and fluffy….I thought it would be the perfect name for this little cutie!
Here is a side view of Mochi!
As soon as we finished Mochi we knew we wanted to crochet him a little companion. Ryan came up with the idea of having a second female bear wearing a scarf using the same embroidery floss that Mochi was holding! Mochi would express his love by crocheting a scarf for his sweetie! And so, I quickly whipped up a second bear using the beige medium (4) yarn and adapted my pattern along the way. We gave her a pink nose and had her hold a flower for Mochi so that she could give him a gift too (the flower is from one of those scrapbook accessory kits)!
We decided to name the girl bear “Coco" which is short for coconut since it’s fluffy and continues with the food theme :) Thank you to Betty, both Emmas, Kim and "disqus_bqN3KZ6mig" (I don’t know why your name didn’t appear, sorry!) through the blog comments and "iamanhera" on Instagram for helping me name her (as you can see, this was a popular name choice)! Here is a side view of Coco- I love how fluffy she is!
And here is a pic of Coco and Mochi together! I really appreciate your help in naming these two…. I could not think of any creative names for them and I am SO GLAD I could draw upon the collective minds of my blog readers!!! So many of you suggested very cute and meaningful names- I hope you’ll use them for your own bears! I decided to call these two “The Fluff Bears" as a set! Who knows…maybe we’ll be adding more bears to the Fluff Family in the future :)
To give you some more perspective on just how tiny these two are, here’s a picture of me holding them! They fit nicely in the palm of my hand!
Aww, Coco and Mochi are so very much in love :)
Here is one last picture of the two Fluff Bears Coco and Mochi lounging in my crocheted basket (check out the blog post for the basket HERE). Aren’t they just adorable?
Ryan and I wanted to show Coco and Mochi in action so we shot this little stop motion video for you to enjoy!
Prior to making Coco and Mochi, the only fuzzy amigurumi I had made were “Valentine Teddy" and "Fuzzy White Bear”. The fuzzy look for these two was achieved by using a dog slicker brush to fuzz up the yarn. Using eyelash yarn gives a very different look as the individual stitches are not visible at all. This results in a very plush and furry amigurumi that does not even look crocheted! I really enjoyed working with eyelash yarn and I am excited to work with it again :)
I think it would be so cute to personalize these teddies by having them hold or wear different objects (e.g. guitar, book, hat, ballerina tutu) based on your own interests or the interests of the person you are gifting them to! The free pattern for these two teddies can be found HERE!!! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get my updates :) Thanks for reading the story behind Coco and Mochi and I hope you’re excited to make your very own fluff bears!
Hey everyone! Cute Outfits Online has put together a very sweet and comprehensive blog post featuring my style and crochet fashion HERE! When they first contacted me, I was expecting a short blurb about my blog, but I was astounded by the very long post featuring everything from my cowls and headbands to my maternity and nursing fashion…and even a section on baby Myla’s style, hehe! I could tell that Scarlett, one of the admins of Cute Outfits Online, had scoured my blog and put a lot of effort into the feature, and I was so honoured and flattered by her kind words about my style, projects and blog!
Scarlett recently let me know that they have launched an online shop! They are offering us a 10% discount off the whole cart (excluding Mary Kay products) using the coupon code “AMI10" which is good until December 31st, 2013! You can find their shop here!
The collage above shows some of the projects and outfits that are featured! The free patterns and step-by-step blog posts are available for all of them, and from left to right, top to bottom we have my Chunky Double Crochet Cowl, Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanies, Knotted Headbands and Long Double Crochet Cowl! With the cooler temperatures and fall approaching, now’s the time to break out your crochet hooks and start working on these cozy pieces! Which of these have you made?
Look at what we found at MIchaels! As we were about to pay for our yarn at the check out, Ryan pointed out this cute tin case, perfect for storing craft supplies (like safety eyes!)! It’s actually meant to be a gift card holder, and it’s only $2.29! I love the fun colour and the crafty take on the “Keep Calm" meme! I had to share this cute find with all of you, my crafty friends ;)
When I first started making amigurumi, I googled “amigurumi blogs" to see what other people were doing with this exquisite craft, to get tips, and to just connect with others who were interested in the same thing that I was interested in. There weren’t that many back then, but I enjoyed whatever I came across! Now that I’ve been blogging for a few years, I’ve been able to connect with and reach many people around the world!
And so, it is now my pleasure to present to you this directory of amigurumi and crochet blogs! When I first asked people to send me their blogs, I honestly was expecting maybe 30-40 comments….little did I realize that there were sooo many bloggers out there, with over 180 people responding! It’s been fun for me to pop by all your blogs and see what you all have been working on!
Take some time to look around, comment, and connect with fellow crocheters! It’s amazing how the internet can bring us all together and make the world a whole lot smaller :) In an effort to organize this very long list, I have divided up the blogs by geographical region and then alphabetically within each region. Maybe you’ll discover some fellow crocheters who live near you! Please let me know if anything needs to be changed or if I have left anyone out. Feel free to add your own blog information (name, where you’re from and url) in the comments below in case you missed my first call for amigurumi and crochet blogs as I will continue to update this list!
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
A couple months ago some friends of ours told us that they would be traveling to Guatemala and visiting the children they had been sponsoring through Impact Ministries. They asked us if we could perhaps crochet something for their little girl. I took this as the perfect opportunity to try out a free pattern I had been eyeing on Ravelry. I love bunnies (see my Spring Bunnies, Sweetheart Bunny and this bunny by Ana Paula Rimoli), so when I saw the “Boxy Skirt Bunny" pattern by Minazara, I knew had to make it!
I thought it was neat that this bunny was not your typical shape…it was rectangular and hence “boxy”. I first started crocheting the head. For some reason I had difficulty making the stitch count work and look even in Row 2, so I did this instead: “Turn, and then work 2 sc in the 2nd chain from hook, then 13 sc, 2 sc in next, then 13 sc [here, you’re working along the bottom chain] (30 sc)”. At the beginning it looked like we were making a sock cell phone cozy :) We then added the eyes and Ryan did a beautiful job stitching the pink nose!
My least favourite part about making amigurumi is attaching all the pieces together, so I loved how the legs are simply a continuation of the body! No need to attach them later on :) Here it looks like we’re crocheting a little tooth…
Next I sewed the gap between the legs shut after the fiberfill was stuffed in!
I then crocheted the rest of the parts: the two dainty little ears and arms. Now she’s looking more bunny-esque and less tooth-like :)
After attaching the ears…
You’ll notice that there is a line around the bunny’s body where I crocheted in the back loops only. This is where the skirt will be attached! I love how there’s no guess work of where it should be attached, and this makes it a lot easier picking up stitches for the skirt :) Great design!
I used this coral colour for the skirt (left over yarn from Myla’s granny square baby blanket!) and began crocheting around the body. I did 30 sc for Rows 1-3 and 60 sc (2 sc in each sc around to increase) for Rows 4-6.
I then attached the arms after the skirt was completed! Ryan embroidered this little pink heart on the skirt, and then I crocheted a tiny yellow bow using embroidery floss and attached it to one ear. Doesn’t she looks oh so pretty and cute? Very ladylike!
I liked this bunny so much that I decided to make one for Myla too :) I was curious how this Boxy Skirt Bunny would turn out if I used thinner mercerized cotton (I used worsted weight acrylic yarn for the first bunny). Here is how our second little bunny turned out with a tiny mint green bow!
Here is a side by side comparison so you can see the difference in size! The same pattern can yield very different results when you use different yarn! I also used a 3.5 mm crochet hook for the first bunny and a 2.00 mm crochet hook for the second bunny.
Here’s a pic to show how big they are when I’m holding them! They’re both pretty small and dainty :)
Haha, I wanted to pose them somewhere cute, so we put them in our kleenex box. Looks like they’re saying farewell and about to set sail on a big adventure!
Our first Boxy Skirt bunny did go on a long journey to Guatemala! I asked our friends to take a picture once they delivered the little bunny to their sponsor child, and here it is :) Our friends had a very memorable, touching time meeting the children they sponsor in person, and they said that she loved it! It’s neat to think that something we crocheted is so far around the world and being loved by this special little girl. I am so happy and proud of our friends for the work they do in showing God’s love and grace to these children through Impact Ministries. Can’t wait for them to get back to hear more of their stories!
The Boxy Skirt Bunny pattern is a great, versatile pattern as you can use any colour for the bunny, skirt, and nose…you can add buttons, beads or bows to the ears or skirts, and you could make a wavy skirt, miniskirt or even shorts! Making this into a little ballerina bunny by adding lace-up pointe shoes with a frilly tutu would be so cute too! You could easily change the ears to make this into a Boxy Skirt Bear as well :) The possibilities are endless! Check out Minazaram’s free pattern on Ravelry HERE. Hope you liked seeing how we made ours!
Here is our little sweetheart Myla wearing her Shell Stitch Beanie, the first baby item I ever crocheted! Doesn’t she look simply adorable wearing it? We are so blessed and thankful that we have this playful cutie to make us laugh and smile every single day! This beanie is one of my favourite hats, and I love the beautiful open design and the pretty two-tiered flower with the wooden button! Betsy of “The Dainty Daisy" offers sizing from 0-3 months all the way up to child size (3-10 years). You can access the free pattern HERE!
As you know, when I was pregnant I went on a crochet spree, trying to crochet as many cute items for our baby as I possibly could! I knew we would be doing a newborn photoshoot, so I tried to crochet some special props for it (including this cute stork pouch). While looking up crochet ideas for newborn shoots, I came across this adorable turtle outfit as well as this sweet ladybug outfit. I wanted to make Myla a little outfit too, so we decided to go with a panda bear!
I had already made some owl hats using Sarah’s pattern on “Repeat Crafter Me”- I loved how the seam was hidden and how she had hat patterns for newborns all the way to adults! And so, I followed her newborn pattern to make my panda hat. I used Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend in “Bakery Boxy White" to crochet the hat and some black yarn for the braided tails.
Next, I crocheted the ears using black yarn and Ryan cut these oval shapes out of black felt for the eyes.
We sewed the black ovals onto the white hat and then sewed these black buttons onto the black ovals. Ryan then stitched on this sweet little nose consisting of an upside down triangle and an upside down “Y” (see my “Amigurumi Nose Tutorial" HERE for detailed instructions).
Here are some more views of the face…
I think this panda has such an adorable, tender face :)
Then it was time to attach the ears…
We looked for these specific buttons that had a smooth surface on one side and could be attached with little loops on the other side. Typical buttons with holes in the center could work too but we wanted to go for this smooth look as they kind of look like amigurumi safety eyes! We ended up buying these buttons in both black and white from Fabricland as we wanted to see how both would look for our panda hat!
I followed this pattern to make a matching diaper cover! It’s a great pattern as it consists of double crochets and the flaps on the sides can be attached onto the black button at various points, depending on how big your baby is, making it adjustable! We used this diaper cover in Myla’s birth announcement HERE and I hinted how it was part of a special animal set that I had crocheted. Haha, five months later we’re finally revealing that it’s a panda set!
I made a black pom-pom using this tutorial HERE and added it to the diaper cover. I did not secure it with a knot (I just tied the loose ends into a bow) so that the this pom-pom tail was easily removable.
Here is our finished Panda set: an adorable panda earflap hat with a diaper cover!
Here it is again with the diaper cover flipped so that you can see the cute black pom-pom tail!
I was incredibly excited to see Myla wear this little outfit! The hat was actually a little small for her, but the diaper cover fit well. It’s hard knowing how big to make your hats since you never know how big your baby’s head will be! We tried to get a cute sleeping shot but our little girl woke up, haha… And so, we made the most of it by taking some shots while she was awake! Doesn’t she look so adorable with her little tail and hat and her expression? You can see her neck was already quite strong as she could lift her head up at less than a week old! Myla was probably thinking, “Mom and Dad….how dare you disturb my slumber? And why am I dressed like a panda? Where are my clothes?!?”
We tried again another day, but this time with just the hat, making it easier…here you can see the face of the panda better! Doesn’t Myla look so sweet?
We made a bigger panda hat for our friends who were expecting a baby boy, this time using the white eyes! You can see how using the black or white buttons gives the hat a different look :)
Here are the patterns for the small and big panda hats:
Using white yarn, follow Sarah’s pattern to crochet the earflap hat with black braided tails. Follow the newborn pattern HERE for the smaller panda hat and the 3-6 month pattern for the bigger panda hat HERE. I know many of you are interested in making this panda hat in an ADULT size too! Sarah offers these earflap hats from toddler to child to adult sizes as well, so check them out HERE!
EARS (make 2)
R1: 6 sc in Magic Ring (6 sts)
R2: 2 sc in each sc around (12 sts)
R3-6: Sc 12
Fasten off and leave long end for sewing. Sew open end together. Sew ontop of white hat.
R1: 6 sc in Magic Ring (6 sts)
R2: 2 sc in each sc around (12 sts)
R3: *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (18 sts)
R4-7: Sc 18
Fasten off and leave long end for sewing. Sew open end together. Sew ontop of white hat.
*** To make bigger ears, try increasing by intervals of 6 [e.g. R4: *Sc 2, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (24 sts)]. If you need help figuring out how to keep increasing by 6, follow the pattern for Sweetheart Bunny’s head HERE.
- Cut oval shapes out of black felt. Sew onto white hat.
- Sew buttons towards top part of black ovals.
- Embroider nose (upside down triangle and upside down “Y”) with black embroidery floss (refer to my “Amigurumi Nose Tutorial" HERE).
DIAPER COVER WITH TAIL
Using white yarn, follow this pattern HERE to crochet the diaper cover using a black button for closure.
Make a pom pom with black yarn following this tutorial HERE and add to the diaper cover.
Sarah of Repeat Crafter Me is the queen of cute hats, and she offers so many free patterns! Check them all out HERE. If you like my baby panda set, here are some other sets that Sarah has made, including this Mickey & Minnie Mouse set! Some of you guessed that I was making a bunny set since Spring officially started this week- you can check out Sarah’s Bunny set here!
I’m so glad we have Myla’s newborn photos to look back upon as time is flying by so quickly. Myla turned 5 months old this week! Here I am with our sweet, precious little strawberry :)
Hope you like this little baby panda set we made! They’d make a great gift for a baby boy or a baby girl, and you could even adapt this set to make different animals, like a koala bear too! Who is going to try making an adult panda hat? I’d love to see your pics! Connect with me through e-mail (email@example.com), Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@AllAboutAmi). If you absolutely love pandas, you could also try making our amigurumi Panda since his face looks very similar to this hat :) You can get the free pattern HERE. Happy crocheting, everyone!