Thursday, August 21, 2014

Toddler Neck Pillow

Ok. I have said before that I do not sew. And this is true. Mostly. However, sometimes I get sick of crocheting. Especially when I've been racking my brain, trying to think of cute, creative things to crochet for this blog. So I needed a break. And I needed a neck pillow for my toddler for some long driving trips we're going to be taking fairly soon. Yes, I could have crocheted this, but that would necessitate using small, tight stitches like single crochets. No project made out of single crochets comes together quickly. In case you haven't noticed, I am all about quick crochet. I get bored with projects fairly easily. In all my years of crocheting, I have made one blanket. And it was a lap blanket. Made out of hexagons. I was totally going to be crafty and make blankets for all my family for Christmas. This grand scheme turned into the actuality of one lap blanket. But I'm pretty proud of it because it is the biggest crochet project I've ever completed. Now. Back to the neck pillow.

I found a pattern from Hiragana Mama on Pinterest, and I used that as my template. I had to change it a little bit to fit my son's neck. I don't know if my son just has a thick neck or what (completely possible - he's a big kid), but the neck hole on the pattern was too small for my son. I tried the paper pattern around his neck, and he complained that it was too tight. So, I adjusted it to his neck. Paper is easier to cut (and way cheaper), so make sure that your paper template fits before you cut out your fabric. I just used freezer paper, since I have a ridiculous amount of it, and it's huge and great for patterns. I used some dinosaur flannel that I've had sitting around for about two years. It was originally going to be pajama bottoms for my older son, and then my younger son was born, and it was going to be bottoms for both of them. But it never happened. So I decided to finally use it and make this pillow. It's nice and soft. As my son said this morning when he tried it on, "It's so warm and cozy!" I don't really know if I want it to be warm since part of our travels will be in the summer, but, hey. He likes it.

So, I think the reason I don't like sewing is really I don't like cutting out the pieces of fabric. I don't cut very evenly, and then everything gets misshapen when I sew it together. This time I think I did ok.

Except for a couple spots. Like this one.

Do you like the spread of the pins? I ran out towards the end, and there are fewer on the left than the right. But, it's fine. It held together perfectly well.

Lest you think this neck pillow is perfection itself, I will draw your attention to where I stuffed the pillow... and hand-stitched it together. 

Ah, well. I still have much to practice. And since practice makes perfect, you will probably see more sewing projects mingled with the crochet ones. My son's latest request: a backpack. And an airplane. So keep your eyes peeled for a crochet airplane and a sewn backpack. They will be coming soon.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dress-up Crown Crochet Pattern

This morning my little boy was watching Creative Galaxy on Amazon Prime while I got ready for the day. Apparently they made a paper crown on the show, and my son decided he wanted one. He asked me to make a paper crown. I am not a paper crafter. Plus, a paper crown would last about five seconds with that very active child. So, I told him I'd make him a yarn one. It only took me all day (because we had errands to run), but by 6:30 pm tonight, I had finally finished! And he loved it. I think it turned out pretty cute.
Yes, I am a paranoid parent who doesn't want pictures of her children on the internet...also, sorry for the quality of the pic.
I used some really thick acrylic yarn that I had left over some project. A project so long ago that I don't remember what brand it is (or what the project was...). It's not bulky weight, but I'm pretty sure it's a little heavier than the normal Red Heart cheap stuff. I used a J hook because it was so thick. This fits the head of a three-year-old, but it would probably fit older kids, too. And younger if they have big heads. My kid's head is in the 50th-ish percentile for his head, so...if that gives you an idea of size.... You can change hook size and yarn weight to make it bigger or smaller.

I crocheted this in rows, but I think next time I will connect it at the beginning (and as I go) so that I don't have to sew it together. It ended up looking really weird where I sewed it up.

I am not a seamstress.

Ok, all the italicized notes below probably make this pattern look kind of daunting. It's really not! It's just more than a bunch of sc and dc in a row, and I wanted to break it down.

Also, I have boys, so this is a very plain, simple crown. If you have girls, or older boys/boys who just want more embellishment, make these puppies pretty...or handsome. Flowers and jewels would definitely be fun. My son is a toddler and doesn't care that much. He just wanted a crown.

Dress-up Crown:

Row 1: Ch 55. Sc in the 2nd st from the hook. Sc across. Ch 1. Turn.
Row 2: Sc across. Ch 1. Turn.
Row 3: [(Hdc, dc) tc (dc, hdc) sc] Repeat this pattern around. Ch 1. Turn. Ok. This one is a little bit tricky to explain but really easy to do. In the first st, you will make both sts that are listed in the first parentheses (hdc, dc). In the next st, you'll make the tc. In the st after that, you'll make the two sts in the next set of parentheses (dc, hdc). Then, in the st after that, you'll make an sc. And then you'll repeat the whole thing over and over again until you reach the end. 
Row 4: [Sc. Sc. Ch 2. Tc. Ch 2. Sc. Sctog] Repeat around. Fasten off and sew two sides together. For the sctog on this one: If you look at the sts after the one you just did (the sc), you will see three more sc in a row. You are going to ignore the middle one and sctog the two on the ends. Does that make sense? Sorry, I didn't get a picture.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Crochet Pacifier Clip Pattern

A couple weeks ago, my mom sent me a pin on Pinterest for this blog post. I thought it was a fun idea, but I didn't really do anything with it until Friday night. And I was doing it off of memory of the picture in the pin. So, the only thing these clips really have in common with the clips from the other post is the way they attach to the pacifier. Looking at the pattern now, it seems fairly complicated, so I'm kind of glad I just made up my own. But it really is a good idea, so I ran with it. I didn't want to do animals, so I made a flower, a baseball, and a heart.

The heart was made using this pattern. Oh my gosh, friends. So easy. And it's different from every other heart pattern I've seen. I like it. The pattern for the baseball and flower are below.

Guys, these clips come together so quickly. They're so easy. You'll be really surprised how long it does NOT take to make these.


Row 1: Ch 36. Sc in 2nd st from the hook and across. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 1. Hdc across. Turn. 
Row 3: Ch 1. Sc across. When you finish the last st, instead of turning or fastening off, ch 10 and connect to the other side of the end (see picture). Fasten off.
Note: Make sure you leave a nice long tail. Patterns always say that, but this time I actually mean it. That way, if you can't get the shape at the top to fit through the hole, you can add more to it. Plus, if you make it too short, that string WILL come out. If you look closely at the flowered strap, you can see the stitching at the bottom coming out. I don't know what I was thinking when I cut that. I was watching a I was a little distracted. 


Round 1: Ch 3. 10 dc in first ch (3rd ch from the hook). Connect with a sl st to the first dc. 
Round 2: Ch 1. In same st, sc. In next st, make 3 dc. [Sc in next st, 3 dc in st after that] around. Connect. 
Round 3: Ch 1. In same st, sc. In the next st, sc. In the st after that, make 4 dc. [Sc, sc, 4 dc, sc] around. Connect. Fasten off. 
Sew flower to strap. 


Round 1: Ch 4. Connect. 8 sc in center. Connect. 
Round 2: Ch 1. 2 sc in each st around. Connect.
Round 3: Ch 1. [Sc, dc] around. Connect.
Round 4: Ch 1. [Sc, sc, dc] around. Connect
Round 5: Repeat round 4. Fasten off.
Then, with red yarn and a yarn needle, stitch the red lines.

Now, for all of the strap toppers, I made matching shapes to go on the back. There was a lot of ugly stitching from where I connected the shape to the strap. Also, I haven't figured out what kind of clip I want to attach to these. So, right now, the backs look like this:

Here's what they look like attached to a pacifier. It's kind of a pain to shift it through the little loop, so, if you're having a hard time with getting it through, just make the loop a little longer.