Want to crochet or knit for a good cause?

Want to crochet or knit for a good cause?

My Recovery Buddy

I got a message on Ravelry this morning letting me know about an amazing charity that makes crocheted and knitted lovies for people recovering from trauma, addiction, illness and more.

 

It’s a way we mad crocheters and knitters can make something to bring some light and love into the lives of people getting over some really rough times.  They’re easy enough for absolute beginners to make and can be made using any leftovers in your stash xxx

recoverybuddy

People in need of a Recovery Buddy can put in a request with preferred colours and styles, and the volunteers make them to order and send them in.  It also really helps if you can add in a tiny financial donation to help pay the cost of the Buddy you make get to its new home.

Here is the link that has much more information – MY RECOVERY BUDDY

The Ravelry group page is here – RAVELRY GROUP PAGE

I’m going to start one right now, I hope you do, too.

Keep Stashing,

Tx

 

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Cute Cactus Amigurumi

Cute Cactus Amigurumi

This adorable little lady was a special custom order for a co-worker, and I had lots of fun playing around with the design, so I thought I’d share it with you.  It’s so simple – just single crochet in the round in a basic amigurumi style with a little embellished flower.  You could change the crochet flower and add any sort of decoration you like.  You might also want to add on little glowing cheeks, a smile or decorate the terracotta pot – get creative!

*Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.  If you click and end up purchasing something I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

What you’ll need:

  • Green yarn of your choice for the body.  I used a merino wool, 8 ply (DK) but acrylic would also work well.
  • Brown wool for the “soil” – just use anything you have lying around.  I had a cute multicoloured one I think kind of looks like dark pebbles.
  • Yarn scraps for flowers, I used a 4 ply cotton
  • Scraps of black yarn for eyes, or you may prefer to use safety eyes
  • 4mm crochet hook for cactus, 3mm hook for flowers, or whatever hook is recommended for the yarn you’ve chosen.  I always suggest going down a hook size for amigurumi to keep a nice, tight stitch so the stuffing doesn’t try and escape!
  • Stitch marker
  • Yarn needle for sewing in ends
  • Small clay pot, such as THIS ONE available on Amazon.

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Abbreviations:

sc = single crochet (dc in UK terms)

sl st = slip stitch

sc inv dec = single crochet invisible decrease by doing 1 sc across 2 stitchesJune from PlanetJune has a great video tutorial if you’re not sure how to do it.

Magic ring – a way of forming the initial circle.  Here’s another tutorial from PlanetJune to help.  If you prefer, you can chain 3, slip stitch into the first chain and make your ring that way, but I highly recommend mastering the magic ring if you want to continue with amigurumi, it’s generally much neater.

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How to:

 

Main Body

Make a magic ring and do 6 sc into the ring.  Do not fasten off, you will be doing continuous rounds in this pattern.

Round 1 – 2 sc in each of the sc from the first round (12 stitches in total).  (You may want to add a stitch marker at this stage so that you know where your rounds start.  Move it up to the first stitch at the start of each round)

Round 2 – [2 sc in the first stitch, then 1 sc in next].  Repeat around (18)

Round 3 – [2 sc in the first stitch, then 1 sc in next 2 stitches].  Repeat around (24)

Round 4 – [2 sc in first stitch, then 1 sc in next 3 stitches].  Repeat around (30)

Round 5 – [2 sc in first stitch, then 1 sc in next 4 stitches].  Repeat around (36)

Round 6 – [2 sc in first stitch, then 1 sc in next 5 stitches]. Repeat around (42)

Round 7 – [2 sc in first stitch, then 1 sc in next 6 stitches]. Repeat around (48)

Rounds 8 – 13 – sc in each stitch around (48)

Round 14 [sc inv dec, then 1 sc in next 6 stitches]. Repeat around (42)

Round 15 [sc inv dec, then 1 sc in next 5 stitches]. Repeat around (36)

Round 16 [sc inv dec, then 1 sc in next 4 stitches]. Repeat around (30)

Round 17 [sc inv dec, then 1 sc in next 3 stitches]. Repeat around (24)

Round 18 [sc inv dec then 1 sc in next 2 stitches].  Repeat around (18)

** Lightly stuff head, trying to keep it in a slightly flattened shape rather than a full sphere**

Rows 19 – 21 1 sc in each stitch around (18)

** Fasten off and switch to yarn being used for soil *

Row 22 [2 sc in first stitch, then 1 sc in next 2 stitches]. Repeat around (24)

Round 23 [2 sc in first stitch, then 1 sc in next 3 stitches]. Repeat around (30)

Round 24 [2 sc in first stitch, then 1 sc in next 4 stitches]. Repeat around (36)

Rounds 25 – 27 1 sc in each stitch around (36)

Round 28 [sc inv dec, then 1 sc in next 4 stitches]. Repeat around(30)

Round 29 [sc inv dec, then 1 sc in next 3 stitches]. Repeat around (24)

Round 30 [sc inv dec, then 1 sc in next 2 stitches]. Repeat around (18)

** Finish stuffing head and soil **

Round 31 [sc inv dec, then 1 sc in next stitch]. Repeat around (12)

Round 32 sc inv dec in each stitch around (6)

Fasten off and use a yarn needle to close up the remaining hole by weaving in and out of stitches

cactus crochet work in progress

Branches

Make as many of you like as these, feeling free to increase or decrease their size by adding extra rows to “grow” them as needed.

Make a magic circle and do 6 sc into the ring

Round 1 2 sc in each stitch around (12)

Round 2 [2 sc in first stitch, then 1 sc in next stitch]. Repeat around (18)

Rounds 3 and 4 – 1 sc in each stitch around (18)

Round 5 [sc inv dec in first stitch, then 1 sc in next stitch].  Repeat around (12)

Round 6 1 sc in each stitch around (12)

Round 7 sc inv dec in first stitch, then sc in next 4 stitches, then sc inv dec, then sc into next 2 stitches (10)

Rounds 8 and 9 sc in each stitch around (10)

Fasten off, leaving a decent tail for sewing on to main body.

**  Do not stuff, just flatten out into a sort of paddle shape  **

 

ASSEMBLY

Using the tails of your branches, sew these on to the body wherever you’d like to locate them.

Using black yarn embroider eyes onto front of main body,

Make the embellishment of your choice and attach it in your choice of location.  I have an excellent selection of embellishment options on one of my Pinterest Board if you need some inspiration.  Most have links to free patterns, too.

Plant your finished amigurumi in its little terracotta pot and feel the love!

NOTES

The size of the finished product will vary depending on what yarn and what size hook you used.

You may need to make a few adjustments to the “soil” section of the pattern to match the size pot you have purchased.  You can add on rows or remove them as needed to increase or reduce the width.

Have you made this?  If so, please feel free to comment below and let me know what you think, and share a link to a photo of your very own Cute Cactus Amigurumi!  I’d also be delighted if you’d share this pattern on your social media platform of choice.

Cactus pinterest post

 

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Spectacular Yarnbombs

Spectacular Yarnbombs

Love it or hate it, yarnbombing is most definitely a thing, and as I clearly fall into the “LOVE” category, I thought I’d tell you a bit more about it and show you some of my favourite examples of this “guerilla knitting” phenomenon.

What is a YarnBomb?

Wikipedia tells us that “Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.”

Urban Dictionary goes on to say that “While yarn installations–called yarn bombs or knit bombs–may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary.”

Yarn bomb fence

VIA 

  History

There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer on the early history of festooning objects with colourful yarn.  I’m sure it’s been done for thousands of years in some form or another, but it’s really caught on in the last 10 – 15 years.  People have yarnbombed everything from trees, lamp posts, phone boxes and bike racks to bridges, airplanes and submarines!  This bizarre, yet beautiful hobby of Crafting-By-Stealth is attributed to a Texan woman called Magda Sayeg in around 2005.  An article in The Guardian explains,

“Sayeg was managing a clothes shop in 2005 when she was struck by the ugliness of its steel-and-concrete surroundings. Overwhelmed by “a selfish desire to add colour to my world”, she knitted her shop a door handle. Then she knitted a sheath for the stop-sign pole across the road. “People got out of their cars and took photos in front of it,” she recalls. Seduced by these positive reactions, she began splattering bits of knitting across the world: over parking meters in Brooklyn, over a bus in Mexico, most recently over the gun carried by an 8m-high statue of a soldier in Bali, neutering its violence.”

In London in 2009 the group “Knit the City” came together and further popularised this movement, spreading sneaky works of knitted and crocheted art all across London.  They have a fantastic website where you can read more about their shenanigans and soak up the glorious images of many of their installations.

More history and inspiration on the story of yarnbombs can be found at the art website WIDEWALLS where you can also find a great TED TALK by Magda Sayeg herself.  I especially love how she talks about beautifying the possibly ugly without removing its functionality.

Popular YarnBombs

Trees are a very popular recipients of decorative yarn, and I think it’s their organic and flowing shapes that carry it off so well.  Of course, it’s important to ensure that you’re not damaging the tree in any way, but I’ll talk more about that in a minute.

Yarn bomb tree          Yarn bomb tree  

Via HERE, HERE and HERE, with thanks

And then there are bikes and bike racks

 yarn bomb bike rack Yarnbomb bike

Via HERE, HERE and HERE, with thanks

And cars and trams, of course.

Yarn bomb car    Yarn bomb tram    Yarnbombtaxi

Via HERE, HERE and HERE, with thanks

I this this might be one of my absolute favourites:

Via HERE

Lastly…

And let me just leave you with a couple more.  OK, so the guy in the knitted suit probably doesn’t quite qualify as YarnBombed, but it’s such an awesome photo I had to include it!

Yarn bomb stairs

Via HERE

Yarn bomb Urban

Via LONDON KAYE

Yarn Bomb Tree

Via HERE

Knitted Dude

Via HERE

So, my lovely Stashers, there you have some of my favourite yarnbombs.  I think it’s important to mention that there are some legal and safety issues.  Yarnbombing is, strictly speaking, illegal.  There is also the potential do either damage urban items or living trees and plants.  While these works of art look fabulous when first installed, yarn does degrade over time, so they should be treated as temporary works of art, with the artists all taking personal responsibility for removing them before any harm or degradation takes place.  A muddy, ripped bunch of yarn isn’t terribly attractive, as you can imagine!  When using living plants as a base, it’s also vital to not damage it, or to cause any harm to wildlife who may use the plant.

And legally, as I said, it doesn’t usually fall fully into the category of graffiti, as this usually requires paint or similar, but be warned, you could get in trouble with the law if the legal owner of the property or item in question isn’t as passionate about yarn art as you are!

Be sure to follow my Pinterest Board that has even more eye-boggling images of every day urban objects being stealthily gifted a coat of divine and colourful YARN!

Yarnbombing inspiration

Crochet Sunburst Granny Square Bag

Crochet Sunburst Granny Square Bag

This is a simple-to-make crochet bag composed of gorgeous sunburst granny squares made using Cleckheaton California 100% wool in Mauve Glow and a 4mm hook.

Stashing Yarn

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I originally started crocheting these squares just to see how the colours in the yarn would work together, and was very happy with the results!  I sat with my little stack of pretty squares racking my brains as to what to make from it, and finally settled on a bag.  The plan was to felt it once it was all assembled, but then decided against it as the stitch definition was looking pretty good.

The bag still needs a nice lining, so have been having some fun going through my stash of fabric (fortunately not quite as scary as my yarn stash) to find something that will coordinate well with it.  Will be sure to update with more photos once this is finished.

So read on below on how to make one of these for yourself!

Dreamy coloured granny square bag

CROCHET IT NOW!

You will need:

  • 4 – 5 balls Cleckheaton California (this is Mauve Glow)
  • Size 4 crochet hook
  • Yarn needle for sewing in ends and assembling bag
  • Handles of your choice.

Wool Yarn from Knit Picks

This pattern is not fully original, as it uses a well known granny square which I definitely can’t claim credit for!   The assembly method came from a few different sources which I’ve listed below.

The granny square square pattern used is a very common design, and I don’t know of an original creator to credit.  I used the one from the Urban Gypsy Boho Bag on Make and Do.   Please note that the squares in this pattern are considerably larger as they use double yarn, but the pattern is the one I followed.

VIA Make and Do Crew

You’ll need to crochet 13 of these granny squares squares, and make sure to save some yarn for joining.  Using Cleckheaton California with a 4mm hook my squares ended up being around 13.5 cm or 5 1/2″ across each.

I joined by whip stitching on the wrong side, and boy, that took a while!  I’m sure I could have given more thought to the order of putting them all together with fewer ends to weave in!

Assembly – You basically assemble as described in this excellent and detailed tutorial by The Green DragonFly.  In the image below I used the 13 square option 2nd from the top.  (Please note that I have not been able to find the original source for this image, please comment below if you know it so that I can give appropriate credit).

I then added a single row of single crochet around the top, and hand stitched the leather handles to the top.

The handles came from a stand at a craft fair here in Perth recently.  I think next time I’ll crochet handles instead, because the leather ones were just too expensive at $19, yikes!


Enjoy, and if you liked this, please do follow me on Pinterest, and Facebook.  I plan on sharing a lot more free patterns soon and that’s where you’ll find the links 😀

Keep on Stashing!

Tx

Crochet granny square bag

Disclosure – this posts contains affiliate links, and if you end up making a purchase through these I may receive a small commission at no charge to you.  Thank you for your support.

 

Subscribe NOW to receive your free printable gift tag

This free downloadable and printable gift tag lets the recipient of your amazing handmade crochet or knitted gift know that it was HANDMADE WITH LOVE, and gives care instructions.  Print it out on any paper you choose and use it over and over again.

SIGN ME UP!

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