Come april, tons of photos and a link to my learn to crochet videos!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Crochet Birthstone Bears!

I wanted to make something special for each one of my friends at our annual Christmas Party, so I whipped up nine birthstone teddies! I had fun picking out the yarn colours, and I especially enjoyed working with the mixed pastels skein for October's Opal stone.

To make the bears, I used a pattern called Mini Cupcake Bear, created by Stephanie, posted on her site at All About Ami. Please follow the link to see the pattern, and check out much more of her work. The original sits in an adorable little muffin/cupcake cup with a tiny cherry on its head! How cute is that?! I got the idea to make birthstone bears when I went to the dollar store and saw packs of multi-coloured rhinestones on the shelf. Later, when I looked at the bear pattern again, this idea came to me. Thanks so much Stephanie, for sharing this adorable pattern, it was very fun to work with :)

Above you see all nine bears that I made: purple is Amethyst (February), Teal is Aquamarine (March),
two are Diamond (April), Red is Ruby (July), Green is Peridot (August), and Three are Rainbow for Opal (October).  I still have to make one in golden Yellow to create Topaz for November.

Here's a group shot of the coloured ones. I had way too much fun with those rhinestones didn't I? Well, I don't want to grow up yet, that's all. Life is short people, don't ever let anyone steal your childlike delight!

And here's a shot of the Opal triplets.... there is something adorable about making several of the same thing and photographing them together. I hope more people will start requesting bears *nudge nudge* to my friends who follow this blog, you know you want one, and I'd be glad to whip one up for you!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Crochet Baby Octopus

This is another project that I made months ago, but never blogged about. This little octopus fits in the palm of your hand, and is just over an inch tall! I like to make them in pastel colours, using a size 1 fingering weight yarn. The Pattern I used for guidance comes from the book Amigurumi World by Ana Paula Rimoli. The octopus pattern in that book uses worsted weight yarn and larger hooks, thereby giving you a larger toy, but who says you can't make it smaller?
I think he'd make a great cellphone charm!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Free Crochet Pattern: Fuzzy Baby Owl

After 4 long months without posting, I'm happy to be back with a free pattern for you! This is a baby owl that I whipped up for my sister as a Christmas present. He's not meant to be an ornament, he's just hanging out in the tree for fun. You will find the free pattern bellow:

Fuzzy Baby Owl
By: Amanda Ward

size D (3.25mm) crochet hook
size 1 or 2 yarn (a fine weight brushed acrylic yarn)
glue gun
small yarn needle
2 small black beads for eyes
craft stuffing (small amount)
gauge: no gauge, just be sure stuffing doesn't pop out through the stitches, and by the way, if you want a bigger owl, just use a larger hook with a thicker yarn, like a size 4 worsted weight acylic with an F (3.75mm) or G (4.25mm) hook.


Body (worked from the base to the head)

1) 6 sc in magic ring (or just ch 2 and work 6sc into 2nd ch from hook)
2) 2 sc in each sc around (12sc)
3) sc1, inc around (18sc)
4) sc8, in (twice) (20sc)
5) sc around in each st (20sc)
6) sc around in each st (20sc)
7) sc8, dec (twice) (18sc)
8) sc around in each st (18sc) begin stuffing lightly
9) sec 6 times, sc 6 (12sc)
10) sc 12 around (12sc)
11) sc 12 around (12sc)
12) sc in next sc, ch2, sl st in next ch, sc in next 6sc, ch2, sl st in next ch, sc in next 6 sc.
13) *Puff st into the "ch 2, sl st in next ch" you made in the previous round (this forms the first ear, and it doesn't matter where you put your hook through the ch , just don't work into the regular sc stitches anywhere around it), ch 1,

*I do a puff stitch as follows: yarn over, insert hook into space indicated (in this case the "ch 2 sl st in next ch") yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over,  insert hook into same space, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, insert hook into same space, yarn over, pull up a loop, and pull through all loops on hook.

now hold the piece closed so that the sc stitches you made before the puff stitch and the sc that come after it are aligned (you will sl st though both layers of next 5sc (this closes the piece to form the head) ch 1,

now work a puff st into the "ch 2, sl st in next ch" to create another ear on the opposite side of the head, ch 1, fasten off, leave a long tail and weave it in so it is hidden inside the body and secured.

Eyes: (make 2) 6 sc in magic ring (or ch 2 and sc6 in 2nd ch from hook). Sew them onto the owl's face.

Wings: (make 2) ch 5, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, dc in next 2 ch, hdc in last ch, fasten off, sew one wing to each side of the body.

Beak: Using simple whip stitches until the beak is the size you want (I did about 5).

There's your fabulous little owl. Work up a bunch and make a family!

Pattern written by Amanda Ward. You may not sell this pattern, or publish it, in whole or in part, in any form. If you would like to blog about it, do not re-post it on your page. Link to this page instead. You are free to sell any items you make using this pattern, but you must credit me by including my name and my blog on a piece of paper with the finished item when you sell it.

Remember what I said when I posted the coral tutorial? Bad behavior catches up with you, so be kind. The crafting community is a wonderful place, so let's keep it that way :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Halloween Crochet and Sewing Projects

What's this? No, your eyes are not deceiving you....behold three finished projects. So long procrastination! It's not even October yet, but that won't stop me from enjoying my Halloween decorations early this year. As I've said before, I've got a thing for all that gothic/macabre stuff, which means that I have replaced my white vanilla candles with tall black tapers.....eerie, tall black candles, ready to burn long into the night while I devour yet another Gothic classic. Anyone ever read Jane Eyre?

But I'm beginning to ramble.... if you'd like to make your own halloween decorations, you can find them by following the links to the patterns/books. The sweet little pumpkin was made using a pattern by June Gilbank. The pattern can be found here. The black cat is made from a sewing pattern called Cat by Kristina Karkov Therkildsen, from the book Softies Only a Mother Could Love, edited by Jess Redman and Meg Leder. However, the original cat pattern has no face or hat, I just put a halloween-ish twist on it. The little Grim Reaper is made from a pattern by Christen Haden, which can be found in her book called Creepy Cute Crochet.

Aren't they sweet without their hat and hood? They look a lot less threatening this way! Not that they were ever really a threat to begin with....but then again...

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Pretty Knitted Babe

Hi all! I'm back after weeks of laziness and procrastination....actually, I needed to find a new type of project to inspire and motivate me once again. I found what I was looking for in a fabulous knitting book called Knitted Babes by Clare Garland. Check out my first doll....

I'm really happy with how she's turning out, considering she is the first knitted doll I've ever tried to make. This is just one side of her. I still have to seam the back and front together, and stuff her. I still don't know what I'm doing about her hairdo...hmmmm, that could end badly if I don't take my time and think things through...but when I get to designing her clothes, she is going to be one fancy lady! Bellow you see a full view of the head and torso....

I am a procrastinator/lazybones at heart, so believe me when i say that I raked myself over the coals to achieve her sweet, detailed little face. She's totally worth it!

see you soon with the finished doll! If this goes over well, she might even end up with a sister or two...or three? Really loving this book so far.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


It's unfortunate, but I am one of those crafters who almost never finishes the projects they start. For each one I do manage to complete, there are about ten that I have abandoned. This is why afghans, throws and blankets are out of the question. The thought of making the same square 50 times, and then sewing them all together makes me want to lose my lunch....seriously, my hat's off to those of you who can pull large projects off.

In the photo above, you see my pathetic pile of unfinished dolls from the book Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden. Remember the fabulous knight that I made from that book? Well, I only finished it because I promised it to a friend. When it's made with love, sewing pieces together is no longer a chore. Some of the dolls are from the book, others are from the expansion packs that Christen has kindly offered for free. If you own the book, you can check out the expansion packs here.

What you see above is my fabulous collection of armaments for the Creepy Cute gang. These are loads of fun to work on, and if you're into details, like I am, you can have a ball trying different techniques for getting them to look as realistic as possible. The golds and silvers, for example, are done using nail polish.

When I finally do get these guys assembled, I'll display them here, so be prepared for a group shot some time in the future. (Notice I didn't say near future....hence the title of this post).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Polly and Arno Cat

Hello again everyone. My, it has been a while...over a month to be exact. Where oh where has my crafting spirit gone? To work with me, every day that's where. Not as much time for my hobbies, I'm afraid. That's why I'll be sharing pictures of two stuffed toys I made about a year ago. Never blogged about them for some reason, but here they are.

The first one is an adorable plush doll made from a sewing pattern called Polly by Carly Schwerdt. You can see more of Carly's work at The pattern is from the book Softies Only a Mother Could Love, edited by Jess Redman and Meg Leder. I had a great time making her, and I'm very pleased with how she turned out. I absolutely love this colour combination, especially the printed fabric used for her top and ears!

The second toy is made from a pattern called Arno Cat by Suzie Fry. You can see more of Suzie's work at The pattern is also from the book Softies Only a Mother Could Love, edited by Jess Redman and Meg Leder. I love that striped fabric! In real life, that orange is very tough on the eyes, but I do love it. He has so much personality!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crochet Knight!

I have finished yet another adorable doll from the book Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden. I love that book so much, you have no idea. This little guy was a gift for my friend Karen.

kind of ominous looking isn't he? But under that helmet, he's a pleasant fellow...he is a knight after all.

I could have sewn the helmet on permanently, but I wanted to give him a cute smile too! I'm really happy with how he turned out, so I'll be making one for myself in green next time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Crochet Octopus!

I think I'm in love with this crochet pattern. It speaks to the lazy, impatient, good for nothing in me....the me that demands instant gratification! I made this octopus using a free pattern called All In One Octopus by Rachel Crowthers. Click the link for the free pattern. I made mine a little differently....I created stripes by alternating between teal blue and green, then to get super chunky tentacles, I held the two colours together when I made the legs. I've included a picture of the underside of the octopus too, so you can see that working with two colours at once creates a realistic look. Finally I added some bulging eyes, and stuck a starfish on his head. Thanks so much for sharing your fun pattern Rachel!

Ok, so it's a little undignified to have your derriere flashed all over the net, but when it looks so dang pretty, I just couldn't resist.... therefore, I give you my octopus' bottom in broad daylight....

I Knit a Cable!

Here it is, my first successful cable. I squeeeed with joy when it was complete. Laugh if you must, but truth be told, it' s very, very exciting for me. I just had to make it in neon green didn't I? Well, I can do things the hard way if I want to...that and I have a lot of scrap yarn in funky colours that I have to get rid of. This design is pretty simple as far as cables go. Amanda, I finally just gave in and bought the Teach yourself Visually Knitting second edition by Sharon Turner. Really awesome if you get a real life human to teach you the basics of cast on, knit, purl, knit 2 tog, decrease, etc....I think I can sucessfully learn from a book this time around!

On another note, I had visitors the other day....

A cardinal and a finch were out and about enjoying our backyard. We are very bird friendly at my house, and we've made about four bird boxes in total to let them know they are welcome.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Free Crochet Patterns: For Just About Everything!

Hey all! Just thought I'd share this link to a really awesome site that features countless amazing amigurumi crochet patterns. If you choose to take a look right this minute, be prepared to spend a lot of time on here, it's addictive. I can't believe I've never come across this site before, but that's what happens when life gets in the way of living. Now that I am off for the summer, I am unstoppable with my needles and hooks. This blog is going to be featuring some knitting projects very soon, because yours truly finally learned to knit cables. Is it sad that I was super excited about it? Thank goodness I'm speaking to other crafty people who can sympathize.

Here is the link for your enjoyment:

it really is oodles of fun, so much so, you may neglect other obligations! Let the harvesting of free goodies begin! Seriously though, thanks a bunch to all you awesome people that share your amazing work with us every day! You rock!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Free Crochet Pattern: Crochet Coral Tutorial

 Crochet Coral Pattern and Tutorial by Amanda Ward

For those who fancy a challenge, try making your very own little piece of the sea, with this coral and starfish pattern/tutorial. It combines simple patterns with some free-form crochet  to produce an eye dazzling decoration. This would make a super gift for a friend who loves sea creatures. There are plenty of amazing free patterns for squid, jellyfish, shells, and other underwater treasures. But now, onto the fun and laughter.....

This is the finished piece, and I will show you how to make it with instructions and photos. This project is best suited for intermediate/experienced crocheters.

Step 1: The Patterns. I will give you the pattern for the little starfish, and for the large piece of coral. Once you get the hang of the coral pieces, you will see how easy it is to make any size you like.


US size E and F crochet hooks
Worsted weight yarn (off white/cream, blue, or desired colour)
a size 3 yarn (I used DK sport in purple)
a size 1 (fingering weight) or 2 for the starfish (in red, or desired colour)
a fancy fur yarn (like Lion Brand Fun Fur) in desired colour (I used a raindow mix)
a sharp yarn sewing needle
stuffing (craft batting)

Starfish Pattern: (body: make 2)

1) Form magic ring. 5 sc in magic ring (5sc)
2) 2sc in each sc around (10sc)
3) sc in next sc, *ch5, sl st in 2nd chain from hook, sc in nect chain, hdc in nect ch, dc in nect chain, sl st in same sc, sl st in nect sc,* repeat from * to * 4 more times to make the 5 arms of the starfish. Make a second piece in the same way, but leave a long tail on one piece to sew the two pieces together.

Align the two pieces one on top of the other so that the right sides of both face up (rather than wrong sides facing). This makes the piece look more realistic because the bottom of your starfish will have the wrong side facing out (to look like the bottom of a real starfish). Sew the two pieces together by whip stitching around the edge.

Coral Pattern (Make an odd number, its easier to create a composition) I've given you the instructions for the big piece of coral, but you can change the height and diameter of the coral very easily....

1) ch 8, join to form a ring. Make 16sc into ring.

2) Ply purple (size 3 yarn) and furry yarn together, and join in the first sc. ch 1, sc1 in same. sc in each sc around (16sc)

3) Do not join to first sc with a sl st. Instead, sc into the next sc, and work in spirals without joining from now on. You will simply sc16 around for as many rounds as you need to get the height you want for your coral. I used 10 rounds for the one shown in the picture.

Smaller coral pieces:

for step 1, just put fewer sc stitches into the magic ring, work in each of those stitches around, and your pieces will shrink in diameter. Best to stick to even numbers for counting. You can switch from F to E hook or smaller to get smaller pieces too.  To change the height of the pieces, you crochet fewer rounds on some pieces. (ex: make 7 rounds instead of 10).


Step 1) This is tricky because it depends on how you want to arrange your coral. If you like my arrangement, I will give you the instructions for how to shape an appropriate base. Arrange your coral how you want, and create a colour center on the top piece using a colour to match your coral. I created a blue area large enough to accommodate all my pieces. The starfish will sit on the extended cream (sand) section at the narrow end of the piece. This is where free-form crochet comes in. Try to create a piece using stitches of varying heights (sc, hdc, dc) to extend and bring in the shape when needed.

Base Pattern:

1) 6sc in magic ring (6sc)
2) 2sc in each sc around (12sc)
3) 2dc in next ss, hdc in next sc, (sc2, inc) 3 times, sc in next sc, (2dc in next dc) twice, sc in next sc.
4) sc in next sc, 2hdc in next sc, 2dc in each of next 3 sc, dc in next sc, 2dc in each of next 3 sc, sc4, 2dc in each of next 2 sc, hdc in next 2 dc, 2 sc in next sc.

5) sc around, until base is large enough to accomodate all your coral pieces. Increase when necessary to keep the piece from bunching up and rounding off like a bowl. When the colour part is large enough to accommodate all coral pieces, switch to off white yarn, and begin to sc around, making dc at one end (the narrow end of the piece) so the starfish has a little place to sit. Each time you get back to those dc stitches when working around, dc into those dc stitches to extend the piece further.

If this sounds tricky for you, just remember you are making a basic circle (lie a coaster) and then entending some edges of it will stitches of different heights to make an irregular shape. You will notice the edges are not neat and round, but that's the point. It looks more realistic.

Step 2) Make a brown base that roughly matches the shape of your top piece, but make it slightly smaller. (This way, the top piece will move in and up, like a raised rock bed upon which coral grows).

Step 3) Join your coral pieces to the colour center on the top piece (on the wrong side of the work), and then join the top and bottom pieces together (with right sides facing), stuffing with fiberfill as you go and any scrap yarn to weigh the piece down. NOTE: The 'wrong side' (in the picture obove) is usually the side of the work you don't see on most crochet projects). I decided to keep it on the outside of my finished piece because I thought it looked more like sand than the 'right side.'

If you want a paperweight, add heavier materials to the base. To join the pieces, refer to the picture bellow. Hold the brown piece in front, and the white piece at the back. Using slip stitches, work through both loops of the brown piece, and the front loop of the white piece to join. Work through every brown stitch, and every other white stitch (since your white piece is bigger it will have more stitches, so you need to skip one every so often).

 Once the pieces are joined, faster off, weave in the ends, and you're all done! Enjoy!

I am sharing this pattern/tutorial out of the goodness of my heart, so please do respect my work and do not post these patterns and/or this tutorial anywhere without my permission. You may link back to this page if you wish to share this project on your blog or website. This pattern is designed and written by Amanda Ward, and is intended for personal use only. Respect artists and their work, and always give credit where it is due. Bad behavior has a way of catching up with you, so be kind.

Crochet Victorian Dream Square

I came across this beautiful pattern a few months ago, and decided to give it a try. This pattern is called Victorian Dream Square by Cindy Arman, and can be found here. Thanks Cindy, for kindly sharing this beautiful pattern. I'm really happy with how mine turned out. I'm not one for really big projects, but I wish I had the patience to make about fifty of these and sew them together to make a blanket. I don't even want to think about how many ends I'd have to weave in. It looks a little wrinkly because I have not blocked it yet.

Crochet Egg!

Look who made time for breakfast this morning! This crochet egg is made using a pattern from Amigurumi World by Ana Paula Rimoli. You can see more of Ana's work on her blog by clicking here.


Happy April Fools day everyone! So what do you think, would anyone realize that he's not a real egg? Kinda hard to blend in when you have peepers and rosy cheeks eh?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Alice in Wonderland: Kate's second fabulous cake

 This cake is truly epic! Kate made this for our friend's wedding shower this past weekend, and needless to say, it was a hit. Check out the details! Patience really is a virtue, you know.

And after we ate the top layer, Kate just kept on decorating!Something tells me everyone's going to fight over the piece that gets topped with the fondant queen. It was truly heartwarming to see adults vying for a slice with a character on it. Just goes to show much we all appreciated the work that went into this. Compliments to the chef!

Cake decorated by: Kate Stewart

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kate's St. Patrick's Day Cake!

Isn't it scrumptious? My friend and her roommate are ambitious when it comes to cake decorating, hence the itty bitty shamrocks on the bottom row. The icing on this cake is fondant. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better.....

...cut the cake and you get flashback to the 60s! Just plain awesome! I will have to try this with a cake at some point, or maybe with some of my cupcakes? Recently she made a second cake that was similar, only the theme was Alice in Wonderland, and it was decorated with fondant characters. When I get the pictures, I will share them here.

Cake decorated by: Kate Stewart

Friday, March 4, 2011

Little Mermaid Gift for my Knitting Teacher

 Manda, if you are reading this, you will now know that I took your request for a mermaid very seriously. Here she is! I love this pattern so much, I'll use any excuse to make them....but since I don't have space for a dozen mermaids of my own, I am happy to give them away to good homes. This cute little mermaid is made from a pattern written by Sayjai Thawornsupacharoen. The pattern is posted on her blog at

Here she is, enjoying a day at the beach, along with the little starfish I made (right). Manda, do you want a starfish with your mermaid too? What a stupid question....of course you do! I'll make one before next week so she has a little friend. And speaking of friends....

 She will soon leave her little friend behind (my mermaid on the left). I thought it was only fair to take a best friends forever photo, just to remember the good times.

Crochet Sushi Pattern is under way...

It finally arrived! I got my copy of Yummi Gurumi by Christen Haden and Mariarosa Sala, and though most people would prefer real sushi, I'm really enjoying the sushi crochet pattern. This book wouldn't be bad for beginners, and it's packed with interesting food patterns (I'll probably work on the sandwich next).

Here's what I have done of my sushi pattern so far. I was going to wait until I finished it to post, but I'm so busy these days, I figured I'd share my progress so far. Ok, I'll admit, I am kind of sad it's not real sushi...from a certain distance it actually looks tasty. But chewing on yarn is for cats, not people, so I'll pass. I've made many changes to my pieces compared to the instructions in the book, but I'm happy with how they are turning out. I will be gifting my friend (who got me hooked on sushi!) with his own fabulous set.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Elegant Bunnies

Even though I made these bunnies last summer, I'm posting them now because I kept forgetting I still needed to take pictures of them. Finally got around to it, so here they are. The bunny on the left is made from a dinner napkin that already had the embroidery on the bottom edge. The other has a gold spiral with some beads that I added by hand. They make really nice decorations for the home. This pattern came from a book called Softies: Simple Instructions for 25 Plush Pals by Therese Laskey. I love this book because each of the patterns is very unique, and gives you an opportunity to practice your sewing techniques. I sewed these two by hand, but you could use a machine too, if you wanted.
This is the first sewing book I ever bought, and I am very happy with it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pretty New Knitting Book!

I've been waiting a while to get my hands on this gem.....Amigurumi Knits: Patterns for 20 cute mini knits by Hansi Singh.

Are you are a serious knitter? Yes? you must have this book. No? Get it for inspiration and motivation. Seriously, if the cover doesn't say it all, I don't know what else I can do to convince you. I love that scary anglerfish! The sad part is, I have not learned enough about knitting to make these yet, but in a few months, possibly.....OK, I actually bought the book as an incentive to learn more techniques....I guess wearables and larger projects just aren't my thing.....

I can't say enough about this book.....beautiful photos, well laid out, excellent designs (both the book itself and the patterns). If you know anything about knitting, you need this book.

Pretty Things!

After we got a pair of lovebirds, I discovered the joys of hoarding their tail feathers each time they begin to molt. I usually find them on the floor around the cage, or in the bottom of the cage, and snatch them up before they're destroyed by birdie poop. This one fell out of harm's way onto the rug. To keep things organic, I used a strange woolly blend fabric as a background.

And speaking of pretty....I give you five Scotch Bonnett Peppers.... don't you love the rich colours?

Mini Creepy Cute Amazonian

I had fun with the the amazonian pattern from the book Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden, which if you have not figured it out by now, is one of my favorite craft books. I decided to try a size 10 cotton thread with a tiny crochet hook, and though it was more challenging to work on, I'm really happy with the results. She's going to be traveling around with me attached to my bag very soon. I added some teal streaks to her hair for added appeal (the same hair do I would attempt, if only it suited me!)

For the picture on the bottom, I have placed her in a 'yarn jungle' of sorts, though it is actually my swamp scarf that I folded to look like a jungle setting. The swamp scarf is one of my favorite accessories.

You can find more of Christen's work on her blog, which features another one of my favorite items to crochet.....sushi!

Speaking of sushi.....

I was working on my own crochet sushi set for a while, but I am lazy when it comes to pattern writing (so many ideas worth writing up as patterns but no will power!) alas, it is true. I'll be getting my copy of Yummi Gurumi by Christen Haden and Mariarosa Sala very soon, which features a pattern for a whole sushi set, among other things like sanwiches, cakes and vegetables. I'll post the sushi set on here when I'm done so you can all drool and lament over the delicious sushi that can never be enjoyed by anyone.....unless you like chewing on yarn.....ok, maybe cats....they would make good cat toys, actually.