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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mickey Mouse free graph

I was about 3 years old when my grandpa and I were walking through a department store together and I saw a single Mickey Mouse stuffed plush toy on the floor near a whole basket full of them.  I picked it up and my grandpa told me to put it back but I wouldn't (what did I know, I was 3!) and I apparently threw quite a fit when he tried to take it from me to put back himself.  Well, grandpas being what they are, he decided it would be easier to buy it for me. Guess what, though? It didn't have a price tag.  He dragged me all over that store, holding on to that stuffed mouse, to find an employee that he could ask about the price.  Not one could tell him. They tried to find another one like it but there wasn't one in the whole bin!  They were all different.  I'm not sure how they came about a price for it, but eventually I took that little guy home and I've had him ever since.  That was 39 years ago! His eyes have had the paint scraped off them, the tip of his nose fell off, his plush is matted down and one arm has had to be sewn back on, but I still have him.  I slept with him every night until I left for college. I was afraid if I took him with me he'd get lost somehow and if I left him home at least he'd be safe.  He's been chewed on, cried on, drooled on, and listened to all my adolescent woes.  I've collected loads of Mickey Mouse over the years from people but I never cared as much for them.  I think it was because they weren't from my grandpa.

My cousin recently asked me to make a baby blanket with Mickey Mouse.  I graphed this one up and thought of Grandpa the whole time.  To make the blanket I think I will use a G hook and 1 sc per graph square with Caron simply soft.   I'll post a finished photo when I'm done.  If you'd like to make your own, email me at kendrascrochet@gmail.com with "Mickey Mouse graph" in the subject line.

In the comments below, let me know your thoughts and if you have a similar experience with a stuffed animal, or other toy you'd like to share.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Free Minion graph

What is a minion?  By definition, "a follower or underling of a powerful person, especially a servile or unimportant one," but that doesn't all apply to the minions of Gru (Despicable Me franchise). They are most certainly not unimportant!  They do most of Gru's hands-on work for him, whether in the lab or cleaning his house.  He is lost with out them!

They have masculine names like Kevin and Stuart, but no distinguishing gender characteristics.  They can be tall (for a minion-almost 4 feet), short, skinny, heavy, one-eyed, or two-eyed. Or, like Bob (not pictured) extra short, extra heavy, and with 2 eyes of different colors (did you even notice that?)! Also, they have no ears so their glasses (and they all wear glasses!) are strapped on.

Most importantly, they are happiest when serving. I love that!  I like to be helpful myself so appreciate that trait in others.  Besides, it makes them even more adorable than their cuddly looking bodies themselves.

To make your own minion afghan, use an H hook and 2 dc per graph square. Your finished product should turn out around twin-sized.  If you want smaller, use a J hook and 1 sc per graph square, but increase the number of rows on top and bottom by 15 and on each side by 5.  If you want the full sized pdf, email me at kendrascrochet@gmail.com with "Minion Graph" in the subject line.  Any questions can be put in the body of the email.  If you make it, please tag #kendrascrochetedcreations on social media with the finished photo and email me a copy to be featured here or on my Facebook page!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Dance graph (paid pattern)

There is something about dancing that makes people happy.  Moving our bodies to a rhythm is therapeutic, and repetitive motions are soothing.  Whether we are slowly and gracefully dancing, or jumping around to a heavy beat, our brains seem to respond with endorphins and the exercise makes us feel better.

Make this personalized afghan (or I can!) for your favorite ballet dancer to cuddle up under after a rehearsal or performance. Show your appreciation for their hard work.

This graph can be made with any name or without personalization.  I can make you one, or you can send $5 via PayPal to kendrascrochet@gmail.com with the message "Dance Graph" and the personalization info.  I will then email you hook size and general instructions (no written pattern) for you to make one yourself.  I will send a preview of what the graph will look like for your approval before sending the pdf. 

Leave your comments and thoughts below!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tote bag lining tutorial

Since my first purse lining, I've done a few more and gotten better. I've lined cylindrical drawstring bags, rectangle totes, small circular purses, and who knows what else.  I'm still no expert, but I think I have the hang of it!

If you don't have basic sewing skills I suggest you learn.  Just enough to make a seam is fine.  You do not need a sewing machine, but it makes it much quicker.

eh, about 10 1/2 inches, I guess
To line my CHD tote bag from the previous post's tutorial, I first measure the bag. It doesn't have to be exact, a rough idea is fine.  I get 12 inches wide by 10 1/2 inches tall. Actually if you can't find a tape measure, just trace around the outside of the bag.  Like I said, it can be rough. We'll fix it when we seam them together.

 Cut out your pieces (for this bag, I just want 2 rectangles to sew together because it's a rather shallow bag). I cut out two 10 1/2 x 12 inch rectangles out of some jersey (tee-shirt material) I had from a previous project.  Sew around the sides and bottom of the pieces, right sides together.
Sew around sides and bottoms
of cut out pieces

I ironed down the top edge toward the outside, but I forgot to take a picture (what is wrong with me!).  *You need to turn down the top edge toward the outside and iron it down!

I will be hand sewing the top edge onto the bag. I don't want the stitches shown on the outside of the bag.

Now insert the lining into the bag.  Line up the side seams with the sides of the bag.  The seams should be on the outside of the lining, touching the inside of the bag.  The neat seam should be on the inside. Pin sides in place, just below the top line of crochet stitches. Then pin the heck out of the middles! Pin every inch of it! Leave no inch unpinned! The more the better! Pin, pin, pin!
insert needle through,
hiding knot between bag
and fabric

go under the yarn,
but not through bag
Start with your needle on the wrong side of the lining and insert it to the inside of the lining, to hide the knot between the bag and fabric (see photo). You can start anywhere, but I always start by a side seam.  Then, insert your needle through the lining, back toward the bag, going under one leg of one sc stitch, but not through to the outside of the bag.  Try not to split the yarn.  Bring your needle back through the lining to make your next stitch start where your last stitch ended.  Keep repeating this method all around bag. Do not pull the thread too tight or the lining will pucker. Keep a steady tension and try to keep your stitches even. I'm using white thread on a white lining in a white bag so if my stitches are a bit uneven I don't think anyone will notice.

Finished photos at the bottom of this post.

I hope this tutorial helps you with your purse/tote linings!  If you have any questions or comments, let me know!  You can leave comments here (please do!) or email me at kendrascrochet@gmail.com and let me know if anything needs clarification or if you have any problems following my instructions.
go back through same place
close up photo of finished lining

Finished lining!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

free Zoidberg graph

Need to crochet an afghan?  Why not Zoidberg?

Dr. John Zoidberg, a crustacean doctor specializing in alien physiology (but not human! Oh boy, not human!) is the company doctor for the Planet Express crew of Futurama.  He is exceedingly poor, homeless, friendless, smelly, and eats out of trash cans ("a feast is a feast!"). He is oblivious to social propriety, but extremely loyal to the crew.  He is one of my favorite characters on the show so I made a graph of him (no, I haven't made this one yet either...I'm beginning to see a pattern with my procrastination, do you?). 

If you'd like the pdf of this graph, email me at kendrascrochet@gmail.com with "Zoidberg" in the subject line.   To make the blanket, use an H hook and 2 dc per graph square to get a twin-sized afghan (or close to it).  To get a 5 x 6 ft afghan, use a J hook and 1 sc per graph square, increasing the rows by 5 on top and bottom and by 15 on each side.  If you make this, please tag #kendrascrochetedcreations on social media and send me a copy of your finished product so I can feature it here or on my Facebook page! Leave me your thoughts below and share with the social media buttons!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Tote bag tutorial

I love bags. Purses, wallets, tote bags, drawstring bags, backpacks, hobo bags, I love them all!  I have a weakness for them.  I enjoy filling them with my treasured items and carrying them from place to place. I love the designs, the different sizes, the pockets - oh the pockets!

Let's put 2 of my favorite things together.  Crochet and Bags.  Actually, let's add fundraising in there too (but you don't have to work the pattern; you can still go through the tutorial in one color). I have a pattern made for a Congenital Heart Defect fundraiser that I'm dying to try out. If you'd like to work the CHD pattern on your tote bag, email me at kendrascrochet@gmail.com if you'd like the pdf for an easier read.  Before we start:

  1. First, use a durable yarn.  I stay away from animal fibers like wool when making bags because I've had a problem with yarn breakage.  Of course you can join the broken yarn and keep going, but I prefer to use a single long strand of yarn for as long as I can before attaching another one.  It looks better without a join and I think it stays stronger.  Every join is an opportunity for a weakness in the structure.  For this project I'm using Bernat Super Value.
  2. Use tight, close stitches, and/or a lining.  This will keep the bag from stretching and give it a sturdy structure that will hold up to use. For this bag we'll be using single crochet throughout, but that isn't necessary for every bag, especially if you line it.  Feel free to mix up your stitches to give a different texture.
  3. Go through both loops of each stitch.  This will reinforce the stitches and keep it from stretching also.

This will be a simple pattern. You'll need to know chain stitches and single crochet.  If you need to learn these first, go to https://www.craftsy.com/crocheting/article/crochet-for-beginners/ before you begin.

The pattern:
where you go around the other side

  1. With an F (or G-I worked mine with an F and my wrists are screaming at me!) hook and WW yarn, ch 52. Sc in 2nd chain from hook and next 49. 3 sc in last ch.  Keep working around opposite side of starting chain (see photos). Sc in next 50. 3 sc in end st. Do not join, do not turn.
  2. sc in next 51.  By this time, you may be noticing that your work is starting to curl or corkscrew.  That's fine.  Keep going, it will work itself out. 3 sc in next, sc in 51.
  3. 2 sc, sc, 2 sc, sc in 51, 2 sc sc, 2 sc, sc in 51.
  4. You can keep increasing the base of the bag if you like, but I'm going to stop my increases here and just work on the sides.  To work on the sides without color changes, just keep sc through both loops around without any increases on the ends. Go as high as you want!  Make that bag as tall or short as you like it. When you have it as high as you want, skip to the section  marked "strap." If you're working the CHD graph, this is where things change a bit:
  5. To work the graph, first work 2 rows even. That will take care of the 2 white rows of graph squares at the bottom of the graph (we do have to work the graph from the bottom up!).
  6. Now that we're at a color changing row, we'll have to start working back and forth and joining. This is because the color changes are only on one side of the bag. I'm doing this for a couple reasons.
    A. I'm thinking about "surface crocheting" a different design on the other side. We'll see.
    The inside-see what I mean? Yuck!

    B. More importantly, carrying the yarn all the way around the end to the other side will affect the bag by changing the tension.  I plan on lining this bag so I'm not going to crochet over the red strand (tapestry crochet) because it will be visible under the white but since I'm lining it anyway, I'll just leave it hang on the inside and pick it up where it's needed. The strands will be covered by the lining. If you aren't lining your bag and want to add the design on both sides, I recommend starting a different skein for the opposite side of the bag so you won't have to crochet over the red strand and have it show through all around the edge.
    So, to join and start a new row, when you're done with the 2nd row of working even, sc 3 more to put you at the end of the bag, then sl st in the next.
  7. ch 1, turn. Start working design on graph from the bottom of the lettering of the word "Warrior." Sc around opposite side of bag till you come to the join. sc in the ch 1 sp, then join with a sl st to the first sc of the round.
  8. Ch 1, turn.  Work around bag, following the graph when you get back around to the lettering. Continue until graph is finished.
Strap:
sl st to opp end of bag on opp side
Make sure your hook is at the very edge when bag is laid flat. If working in the round (not joining) you may have to add or subtract a few stitches to get your hook in position.
  1. Ch 1, turn.  sc in next 6.
  2. repeat step 1 until strap is desired length (mine was 130 rows)
  3. sl st to opposite end of bag, on opposite side. Fasten off, weave in ends.

    The finished front
If you have any questions or if something is unclear, please leave a comment or email me at kendrascrochet@gmail.com.  I want to make sure this tutorial is usable for you, and I plan on making more! Next up-lining the bag to cover the ugly inside (or just because you want a lining!

 



Thursday, April 5, 2018

free Snoopy graph

Snoopy, Charlie Brown's pet beagle, is considered wildly imaginative and confident.   He's hip, aloof, and a canine Master of Disguise (remember Joe Cool?).  He's the pet we all wished we had. Now we can!  In yarn form, of course.  Use an H hook and 2 dc per graph square to get a twin sized blanket, add 5 rows to each side and 10 to top and bottom and work with a J hook and 1 sc per graph square to get a 5 x 6 ft throw.  Work the back ground color in your favorite shades, or leave white.  Email me at kendrascrochet@gmail.com for the pdf of this graph. Put "Dancing Snoopy graph" in the subject line of your email.  Any questions should be in the body of the email.  There are no written instructions for this graph.  If you make it, please credit me with the design of the graph and tag #kendrascrochetedcreations on social media.  Leave your thoughts in the comments below and please share using the buttons below this post.