Crochet Pig (free amigurumi pattern!)

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It’s no secret that I’ve spent much of April and May making crochet toys (also known as “amigurumi”). After making so many, I got the idea stuck in my head that I wanted to make a pig. I loved the patterns from Jess Huff so much that I decided to base my pig off of her design. Hers all follow the same basic pattern, and they really are some of the cutest I’ve ever come across. The parts of the design that are my own I will give a pattern for here. Those that are hers, I will link to (it wouldn’t be right to republish her pattern).

The pig can be made two ways: like a “farm” pig, or more like a “teddy bear pig.” Everything but the legs (and arms, in the case of the teddy bear style) are the same for both. The main difference is the direction in which you sew on the head. Whichever way you choose, it’s sure to be a cherished gift!

Crochet Pig pattern

Supplies:
Worsted weight pink yarn (I used JoAnn brand Big Twist in the colors bubblegum and light rose)
Worsted weight brown yarn if you’re making the teddy bear style pig (I used Red Heart Super Saver in the color cafe latte)
Size E (3.5 mm) crochet hook
Yarn needle
Fiber Fill (I used Poly-fil)
12-15mm safety eyes

Key:
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
inc = increase (2 sc into one stitch)
blo = back loop only (single crochet using only the back loop of the stitch, not both loops like normal)
flo = front loop only (single crochet using only the front loop of the stitch, not both loops like normal)
dec = decrease (one sc over two stitches – I use the invisible decrease)
R[number] = round

Note:
This pig, in either style, is made in continuous rounds (a spiral). In order to know where the beginning of each round is, you can count very carefully, or you can use a stitch marker to help you keep your place. I don’t recommend trying to find your spot based on seeing the increase pattern, because you can’t really see it due to the increases being shifted slightly from one round to the next. I used to just count really carefully, but now I use a stitch marker when I’m making amigurumi. It’s much less stressful to use the marker!

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R1: 6 sc in magic ring
R2: inc around (12)
R3: *sc, inc* (18)
R4: sc, inc, *sc 2, inc* 5 times, sc (24)
R5: in blo, sc around (24)
R6-9: sc (24)
R10: in flo, *sc 3, inc* (30)
R11: sc 2, inc, *sc 4, inc* 5 times, sc 2 (36)
R12: *sc 5, inc* (42)
R13: sc 3, inc, *sc 6, inc* 5 times, sc 3 (48)
R14: *sc 7, inc* (54)
R15: sc 4, inc, *sc 8, inc* 5 times, sc 4 (60)
R16-24: sc around (60)
R25: sc 4, dec, *sc8, dec* 5 times, sc 4 (54)
R26: *sc 7, dec* (48)
R27: sc 3, dec, *sc 6, dec* 5 times, sc 3 (42)
R28: *sc 5, dec* (36)
R29: sc 2, dec, *sc 4, dec* 5 times, sc 2 (30)

At this point, stuff head ¾ full and shape eye sockets (this post shows you how; just scroll down to the right spot on the page). Insert safety eyes (or embroider eyes). 

R30: *sc 3, dec* (24)
R31: sc, dec, *sc 2, dec* 5 times, sc (18)
R32: *sc, dec* (12)

Finish stuffing

R33: decrease around (6) 

Finish with ultimate finish.

C85C37C1-C9D7-442D-A8F3-07F576C14765Ears (make 2)

R1: 6 sc in magic ring
R2: sc, inc (9)
R3: sc (9)
R4: sc, inc, *sc 2, inc* twice, sc (12)
R5: *sc 3, inc* (15)
R6: sc 2, inc, *sc 4, inc* twice, sc 2 (18)
R7: *sc 5, inc* (21)
R8: sc 3, inc *sc 6, inc* twice, sc 3 (24)
R9-11: sc (24)
R12: inc, sc 23 (25)
R13: sc, dec over 3 stitches, *sc 2, dec over 3* 4 times, sc (15)
R14-15: sc (15)

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To make an invisible decrease over three stitches instead of two, simply insert your hook into the front loops only of three stitches, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, and finish the stitch.

Fasten off. Flatten and slip stitch closed (do not stuff). Sew to head.

Body

Any of the bodies from Jess Huff (except the giraffe) will do. Although, I do recommend making the neck (the later rows of the pattern) shorter than written if you’re making the farm style pig. I didn’t do this, and I wish I had. If I make this again, I’ll likely stop after round 27.

41EB5B02-3B75-41C0-93FF-339AECC296E4Arms and Legs (teddy bear style)

Again, any of the patterns from Jess Huff will do; they’re all the same.

 

 

D5FDCD0E-B254-4A02-8872-A0BF77BD1EFELegs (farm style) (make 4)

R1: 6sc in magic ring
R2: inc around (12)
R3: *sc, inc* (18)
R4: sc, inc, *sc 2, inc* 5 times, sc (24)
R5-9: sc around (24)
R10: sc, dec, *sc 2, dec* 5 times, sc (18)

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing onto body.

Tail

Ch 29
dc into third ch from hook
dc twice into each chain all the way down. Fasten off, leaving long tail to sew onto body.

The tail can be made longer or shorter according to your preference (just chain more or fewer chains).

When all the pieces are made, stuff them and sew them all together.

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I loved designing and making these pigs, and I hope someone out there will make one and love it too. If you do, would you let me know?

Blessings,

ladybug-signature-3 copy

2 Unicorns and a Giraffe

I’ve been all about making crocheted toys this month. They’re so fun, and always loved by kids. I started with this guy, who I’ve named Edward. (There’s a brief explanation of the name in the April 10 “5 Random Things” post). He now belongs to my toddler, Bumblebee (19 months old).

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And this is Jewel. After I made Edward, Grasshopper asked me to make another unicorn for his friend, whom he hasn’t gotten to see in a few weeks since dance classes are canceled due to quarantine. 

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And this is George the giraffe. I mentioned him briefly before, too, but here’s a few bigger pictures of him.

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I just got a new book full of 26 more amigurumi patterns delivered late last week, as well as two huge bags of stuffing, so I’ll be busy making toys for the foreseeable future! I know what all the kids in my life are getting for birthdays and/or Christmas this year 😉

  1. How have you been keeping busy during quarantine?

Blessings,

ladybug-signature-3 copy

Crochet Dreidel (free pattern)

This year is our family’s first time celebrating Hanukkah, and I am trying to embrace that by making some decorations for our home. (Christmas decorations are easy to find; Hanukkah ones not so much.) Even finding patterns to make your own is difficult, so I created this dreidel and am excited to share it here today. 

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Crochet Dreidel

Gauge is not important to this project. Use any yarn you like and an appropriate hook for the yarn. The hook and yarn you choose will affect the size, but not in a positive or negative way. It’s all about preference. I used worsted weight yarn and a size H hook to get a dreidel about 3x3x5 (including the stem).

Side Panel: make 4

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chain 11. SC in second chain from hook and each chain across. Ch 1. Turn. (10)

Rows 2-10. SC across (10). Ch 1. Turn.

Row 11: SC2tog, sc 6, SC2tog (8)

Row 12: SC2tog, sc 4, SC2tog (6)

Row 13: SC2tog, sc 2, SC2tog (4)

Row 14: SC2tog twice (2)

Row 15: SC2tog (1)

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

On each panel, surface slip stitch a (stylized) Hebrew letter.

Top:

Chain 11.

Row 1: SC in second stitch from hook and all the way across. Ch 1 and turn. (10)

Rows 2-5: SC across. Ch 1 and turn. (10)

Row 6: SC in first 4 stitches. Chain 2. Skip next 2 stitches. SC in remaining 4 stitches. Ch 1 and turn. (8 SC + 2 chains)

Row 7: SC in all stitches, including the two chains. Ch 1 and turn. (10)

Rows 8-11: SC across. Ch 1 and turn. (10)

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Into the buttonhole made in row 6, attach yarn with a slip stitch. Ch 1. SC into same stitch. SC in each of the other 5 stitches around the buttonhole (the two chains on each side, plus one side stitch on opposite sides.) Join with slip stitch to first stitch of round and chain 1 but do not turn. (6)

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Rounds 2-4: SC around. Join and turn. (6)

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Round 5: SC2tog three times. (3)

Fasten off and use the short tail to close the top of the “stem.”

Construction:

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Sew the top of the side pieces to the sides of the top piece, one at a time. (See pictures for clarity.) Starting at the bottom of each side piece, sew them together until you get to the upper corner of each one. Stuff lightly before sewing the final side closed.

I hope this blesses someone out there!

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How to Crochet Surface Slip Stitch

How to crochet surface slip stitch | ladybugdaydreams.com

I have a free crochet pattern that I’ll be posting in a couple of days, but I wanted to post this tutorial on the surface slip stitch first, because my pattern requires use of the technique. You may be asking yourself, What is surface slip stitch? It’s simply a way to stitch designs onto your work that’s easier than using a crochet chain as an appliqué. The method is easy once you get the hang of it, so if you’ve never used it before, I hope this inspires you to try.

How to crochet surface slip stitch | ladybugdaydreams.com

The main thing to remember about this technique is that your working yarn should be behind your main piece all the time. With that in mind, here’s a step by step tutorial. (These steps assume that you know how to crochet and have an idea of the design you want to make.)

1. Insert your hook from front to back of your work, right where you want your design to begin. Attach your “drawing” yarn to your hook with a slip knot, then pull the loop through to the front.

how to crochet surface slip stitch | ladybugdaydreams.com

 

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2. Keeping your design in mind, push your hook down through the fabric about one stitch away from where it is now. With your hook on the back of the fabric, yarn over and pull up a loop. With that loop now on the front of your fabric, complete the slip stitch.

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3. Continue in this fashion until you’re done with your design.

4. When you’ve completed your last stitch, remove the hook from your work and gently pull out the final stitch. Push your hook back through the fabric in the same spot you just undid that stitch from, this time from back to front. Grab the loop from the second to last stitch and carefully (without pulling too tightly and distorting your stitches) pull it to the back. 

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5. Break the yarn and fasten off as normal. Tie the beginning tail and ending tail together in a knot at this point, just for extra security. This also assures that your work will stay in place without you having to weave in the ends (since your yarn is probably a contrasting color to your main work, weaving the ends in is less than ideal). Once the tails are knotted together, you can cut the ends short. 

I hope this helps you!

Blessings,

ladybug-signature-3 copy

Crochet Teddy Bear Skirt (free pattern)

Crochet Teddy Bear Skirt

I had a bit of a decision making process that I went through a couple of weeks ago regarding my crafting desires. I was in the middle of making a quilt when my sewing machine jammed up and really made me frustrated. I decided then and there (without even finishing that particular quilt) that I was ready to give up sewing. It wasn’t the first time the machine had caused that kind of problem, and I was done.

Combine machine problems with the fact that I’ve never felt that I was that great at sewing (adequate at best; definitely not talented), and I was ready to call it a day, so to speak, with that particular hobby. I decided to focus my creativity on yarn crafts instead.

I knew how to crochet already, and am actually pretty good at that. And after telling Will about my decision, he thought it would beneficial for me to learn to knit so we explored local classes on that hobby (more on what we found in a different post).

I was so at peace with my decision – excited even – that I couldn’t sleep that night. Of course, a 3-month-old baby didn’t help that aspect ;). But even while I was holding Dragonfly while he slept on the couch and I tried to (lying there with my eyes closed), my mind was whirring with excitement and ideas over all the different things I could create now that my focus would be less divided. The one that kept playing out over and over in my head was this one: a teddy bear skirt. I’m not entirely sure why this was the first project I invented considering I have all boys (their teddy bears are also boys – not a girl among them!), but it was. Now that the skirt is completed, it will probably find a home with one of the boys’ girl friends for her bear.

Special thanks to Small Fry for letting his bear, Toby, be the model.

Crochet Teddy Bear Skirt 2Crochet Teddy Bear Skirt Pattern

Designed for a standard “Build a Bear Workshop” bear

Materials:

  • Worsted Weight (regular) Yarn (I used Caron Super Soft)
  • Size H and Size I crochet hook

Abbreviations:

  • HDC = Half-double crochet
  • DC = Double crochet
  • Ch = chain
  • Sk = skip the specified number of stitches

Directions:

  1. Chain 75 using the Size I hook.
  2. Switch to the H hook. Use this one for the remainder of the pattern. (I find that making my base chain with a larger hook eliminates the arch that is caused when the chain is tighter than the stitches.)
  3. Row 1: Starting in the second chain from the hook, HDC across.
  4. Row 2: Ch 2. Turn. HDC across.
  5. Row 3: Ch 2. Turn. HDC in first two HDC. Ch 2, sk 2. HDC the rest of the way across.
  6. Row 4: Ch 2. Turn. HDC across.
  7. Row 5: Repeat Row 3.
  8. Row 6: Repeat Row 4.
  9. Row 7: Ch 2. Turn. *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next stitch.* Repeat from * around.

Here’s where it gets a little interesting. After you crochet row 7, you’re going to join the last stitch to the first one using a slip stitch. Be careful not to twist the work when you do this; you want a flat skirt. Continue the pattern as follows.

  1. Round 1: Ch 2. *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next two stitches.* Repeat from * around.
  2. Rounds 2-7: DC around.
  3. Tie off. Weave in ends.

When you’re done with the crochet portion, sew buttons onto the yoke of the skirt (the portion created with HDCs) to line up with the buttonholes that were created in Rows 3 and 5. Sew them far enough in that when buttoned, the skirt fits yours (or your child’s) teddy bear.

Please feel free to make this pattern. If you write about it online, please link back to my blog – and leave me a comment so I can see how it turned out for you. Thanks!

Blessings,

 ladybug-signature-3 copy

 

This post is part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew’s roundup on Crafts. That post will go live on Friday, March 4th, 2016.

Crafts / Handiwork Ideas and Tutorials

Crochet Cloche Hat with Flower

crochet cloche hat with flower

At Christmastime, I got a couple of new sweaters to go with my skirts to get me through the cold weather (tank tops aren’t really appropriate when it’s below freezing outside, even with a coat on…). They matched my two skirts perfectly – one blue and one pink – and I love them. While we were moving from the sweater section to the dressing room to make sure the sweaters fit, we passed through the hat department and found the absolute perfect hat. It’s a 1920s style bucket hat with a brim and a thin band around the base. It’s pretty much an exact match to my blue outfit.

I knew pretty much right away that I wanted to get another one to match my pink outfit, too, but that’s proven more difficult to find. So what does a crafty girl do? She makes her own! And that’s exactly what I did.

crochet cloche hat with flower 2I spent a bit of time trying to find the perfect pattern, and I found a couple that were quite nice. But the problem was that I could tell about halfway through the crocheting process that they were going to end up way too small. So I ripped out all the stitches (I didn’t really want to waste my $9 yarn) and tried again. Same thing happened with the second pattern. So I decided to research what made a “1920s flapper hat.” Turns out, it’s called a Cloche Hat, and it’s basically just a beanie with a brim. That’s easy enough to do, so I gave up on the specific patterns (except for this one, which I used for the beanie portion of my hat, sans embellishments) and just added a brim to the beanie. Then I found a pattern for a lovely flower (I think they’re calling it a dahlia; I’m not that huge into flowers, so I’m not sure how much this actually looks like a dahlia…) and added it to the side of my hat.purple cloche hat

I liked the way it turned out so well that I headed straight back to the yarn store and purchased two more skeins of the same yarn (100% Peruvian wool) in different colors and have since made a second hat, this time with a rose on it. I think I’m going to gift it to my mother-in-law (step-mother-in-law, if we’re being technical). I really love this pattern that I hodge-podged together from others. It turned out exactly the way I’d hoped. I definitely plan to make these for gifts for people as we need them.

Blessings,

 ladybug-signature-3 copy

 

This post is part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew’s roundup on crafts. That post will go live on Friday, March 4th, 2016.

Crafts / Handiwork Ideas and Tutorials

Crochet Round Basket (free pattern)

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KIMG0213I was recently in the “market” for a free crochet pattern for a basket. I was unable to find quite what I was looking for, so I used my hat making skills to design my own. To be fair, even though I didn’t find an exact pattern for something I liked, I was able to glean tips from some of them that made my basket better than it would have been had I embarked on this mission without looking for patterns. So there’s that.

This basket is made using two strands of yarn held together and crocheted as one. By doing this, you get both an interesting look to your basket (especially if you choose different colors) and a bit more strength. And crocheting with two strands together is much easier than using thicker yarn in the first place – I’m not sure why, but I found it a nicer way to work.

I like how versatile this pattern is. Though I’ve included instructions for one the height of what I made, you can easily make it bigger or smaller by including more or fewer increase rounds. You can make it taller by adding more rounds after you’re done increasing but before you get to the handles; similarly, you can make it shorter by crocheting fewer rounds. Super simple.

Since I created this myself, I’m comfortable sharing the pattern. I hope you enjoy it.

Using 2 strands of worsted weight (normal) yarn held together:

KIMG0214Magic Ring; chain 2

Round 1: 11 DC inside magic ring. Join with slip stitch. Chain 2.

Round 2: 2 DC in each DC (22 DC). Join. Chain 2.

Round 3: 2 DC in first DC, one DC in next DC, repeat around (33 DC). Join. Chain 2.

Round 4: 2 DC in first DC, one DC in next two DC, repeat around (44 DC). Join. Chain 2.KIMG0215

Round 5: 2 DC in first DC, one DC in next three DC, repeat around (55 DC). Join. Chain 2.

Round 6: 2 DC in first DC, one DC in next four DC, repeat around (66 DC). Join. Chain 2.

Rounds 7-12: DC in each stitch around (66 DC). Join. Chain 2.

Round 13: (To make handle): DC in first 9 DC, ch 17, DC in next 17 DC (connect it to the 18th stitch), ch 17, DC to end.

Round 14: DC in each stitch around.

Tie off. Weave in ends.

I hope I’ve made this clear enough. If you try making this basket and run into problems, please leave a comment, and I’ll try to help.

Blessings,

ladybug-signature-3 copy

 

 

This post is part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew’s roundup on crafts. That post will go live on Friday, March 4th, 2016.

Crafts / Handiwork Ideas and Tutorials

Ladybug Themed Baby Gifts

A friend of mine recently (well, in late April) had a baby. As soon as she told me that she was expecting, back in November, I knew I wanted to make her some gifts. I just wasn’t sure what. Then I moved my blog here, to Ladybug Daydreams, and it hit me: a ladybug theme! When she told me she was having a girl, it was solidified in my mind that ladybugs would be a lovely theme for the gifts.

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Newborn Ladybug hat

 

I love both crocheting and quilting, so I focused my energy into those two mediums for the gift. It was fairly easy to come up with ideas once I had a theme: a baby quilt, a newborn hat, and a stuffed toy. All I had to do then was find patterns. The hat and quilt were easy enough; I’ve made countless hats and quilts over the years, so I got those done first. The stuffed toy took a little more energy to find a pattern for. There are loads of patterns on the internet, but very few for free.

 

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Dotty the Ladybug

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Dotty’s Belly

After hours of searching, I finally found one that was both free and adorable, so that’s the one I went with. (I don’t have the link handy, but if you’re looking for something like this, it’s called Dotty the Ladybug and I found it on Ravelry.) I decided to make the colors so that they’d catch a newborn’s eyes. This means that I chose red, black, and white, with different colored dots on each color (red has black, black has white, and white has red). The pupils in the eyes are just black buttons that I hot glued on. (The black with white spots is underneath the wings.)

Everything is pretty straightforward, but there’s one special thing about the quilt that I want to share. I didn’t use a traditional batting and backing for it. I left the fabric store with my ladybug and flower fabrics and headed next door to Goodwill (where Will and the big boys like to hang out while I’m looking for fabric). They weren’t done browsing yet, so I headed back to the linen section. It’s not unheard of to find great prices on fabrics at Goodwill, after all, and I was definitely not disappointed this time around. While I didn’t find a backing fabric for the quilt, I did find something much better: a two-layer baby blanket that was fleece on one side and that soft velvety stuff on the other side (how’s that for a quilter not knowing fabrics?!). And the best part was that it was tagged with the weekly half price color, so I snagged that for around $1.50 and it served as both the batting and the backing of the quilt.

100_2003When I finished the quilt top, I quilted it right to the fleece side of the blanket (because it was used, the fleece wasn’t all that soft anymore anyway), leaving the velvety side as the backing. Then I stitched the binding on as usual. I think it turned out great!

What’s your favorite baby gift to give expectant mothers?

Blessings,

ladybug-signature-3 copy

Crochet Spring Wreath

Crocheted Spring Wreath | Ladybug Daydreams

I was recently inspired and challenged by the lovely people over at Patience Brewster to create a “non-Christmas wreath.” (For any who don’t know, Patience is a designer and creator of handmade Christmas ornaments.) Because I’d recently seen something like this on one of the other blogs I read, it was already in my mind a bit, so I accepted the challenge.

Other than the idea, this post is not sponsored in any way. I purchased all of the materials with my own money and created my wreath in my spare time. I was not compensated for my time or costs at all.

The first thing I did (after I had my materials, of course) was to crochet the piece to cover the wreath base (which I got for about $5 from JoAnn’s). I chose purple because it seemed like a nice springtime color that would make a lovely base for my wreath. To do this, I crocheted a “scarf” using all single crochet stitches that was 20 stitches wide and 150 rows long. This process alone took me a few days because it wasn’t the only thing I had going on. When I’d finished crocheting this piece, I sewed it onto the wreath base. See this post from Repeat Crafter Me for a picture tutorial on how that works. [Read more…]