Trust in the Lord, and do good;dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord,and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:3-4

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Free Amigurumi Crochet Pattern: Baby Elephant

Nothing brightens my day more than success in my "crochet life" (as separate from my "retail life", which is basically never successful).  I worked earlier this week on figuring out tags on Etsy, used all available tags, and wrote new titles and descriptions for all of my items.  Today on my break at work I checked on my Etsy shop and I had four new likes and favorites for my shop and various items in it.  That's more than I usually get in a month!  Which is pretty pathetic, actually, but I knew when I started getting serious about making my crochet available to the world that I only had the time and energy for it to be a gradual process.
Anyway, to the free pattern.  My cousin had a baby shower earlier this spring and specifically requested a crochet elephant.  (My cousins like to challenge me.  One of them requested a sloth earlier that month).  This is the pattern that came from that venture (the elephant.  I'm still not sure I'm happy with the sloth:)).
Baby Elephant

Worsted Weight Yarn Colors:
Soft Blue-one skein or less
Black-small amounts
Other Supplies:
F/5 (3.75 MM) crochet hook
Yarn or tapestry needle
Polyester Fiberfill
Use soft blue yarn. Make 2.
Rnd 1: Sc 8 in magic ring OR Ch 2, Sc 8 in 2nd ch from hook
Rnd 2: (Inc 2, Sc 2) rep 2 times (12 sts)
Rnd 3: Sc 1, Inc 2, Sc 4, Inc 2, Sc 3 (16 sts)
Rnds 4-6: Sc 16 (16 sts)
Rnd 7: Sc 2, Inc 2, Sc 6, Inc 2, Sc 4 (20 sts)
Rnd 8: Sc 20
Fasten off, leaving a long tail.  Use the tail to sew the open end of the ear closed.  If you have extra, you can use it to sew the ear to the side of the head.
Use soft blue yarn.  Make 4.
Rnd 1: Sc 6 in magic ring OR Ch 2, Sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook
Rnd 2: Inc 6 (12 sts)
Rnds 3-4: Sc 12 (12 sts)
Rnd 5: (Dec, Sc 1) rep 4 times (8 sts)
Rnd 6: Sc 8
Stuff.  I stuffed the arms and legs fairly lightly.
Rnd 7: (Dec, Sc 2) rep 2 (6 sts)
Finish off and weave in ends.  Leave the end of the arm/leg open.
Use soft blue yarn.
Rnd 1: Sc 8 in magic ring OR Ch 2, Sc 8 in 2nd ch from hook
Rnd 2: (Inc 2, Sc 2) rep 2 times (12 sts)
Rnd 3: Sc 12 (12 sts)
Rnd 4: (Dec, Sc 4) rep 2 times (10 sts)
Rnd 5: (Dec, Sc 3) rep 2 times (8 sts)
Rnd 6: Sc 8 (8 sts)
Rnd 7: (Dec, Sc 2) rep 2 times (6 sts)
Rnd 8: Inc 6 FLO (only in the outer loop of each st) to form a rim of sts around the trunk (12 sts)
Finish off and weave in ends.
Use soft blue yarn.
Rnd 1: Sc 6 in magic ring OR Ch 2, Sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook
Rnd 2: Inc 6 (12 sts)
Rnd 3: Inc 12 (24 sts)
Rnd 4: (Inc, Sc 3) rep 6 times (30 sts)
Rnd 5: (Dec, Sc 4) rep 5 times (25 sts)
Rnd 6: Sc 25 (25 sts)
Rnd 7: (Inc, Sc 4) rep 5 times (30 sts)
Rnd 8: Sc 15, Inc 5, Sc 5, Inc  5 (40 sts)
Rnd 9: Sc 15, (Inc, Sc 1) rep 5 times, Sc 5 (Inc, Sc 1) rep 5 times (50 sts)
Rnd 10: Sc 15, (Dec, Sc 1) rep 5 times, Sc 5 (Dec, Sc 1) rep 5 times (40 sts)
Rnd 11: (Dec, Sc 1) rep 5 times, Dec 5, Sc 5, Dec 5 (25 sts)
Rnd 12: Sc 10, (Dec, Sc 1) rep 5 times  (20 sts)
Rnd 13: (Dec, Sc 2) rep 5 times (15 sts)
Rnd 14: (Dec, Sc 1) rep 5 times (10 sts)
Rnd 15: Sc 10 (10 sts)
Rnd 16: (Inc, Sc 1) rep 5 times (15 sts)
Rnd 17: Inc 10, Sc 5 (25 sts)
Rnds 18-19: Sc 25 (25 sts)
Rnd 20: (Dec, Sc 3) rep 5 times (20 sts)
Rnd 21: (Dec, Sc 2) rep 5 times (15 sts)
Rnd 22: (Dec, Sc 1) rep 5 times (10 sts)
Rnd 23: Dec 5 (5 sts)
Finish off.  Draw the tail back into the elephant and out the back to form the foundation string of the tail.  Sew the ears to either side of the tail and the trunk to the front of the face between the cheeks.  Sew the arms and legs to the body.  Use black yarn to make French knot eyes. Thread your needle with a long piece of soft blue yarn.  Insert it to the right of the tail foundation string and bring it back out just to the left of the tail.  Pull it halfway through so that you have three strands of yarn of relatively equal length and then braid them together to form the tail.

On a side note, can anyone tell me why when I paste from a Word document to Blogger it leaves huge spaces between the lines?  I've tried adjusting the spacing in the original document and it doesn't seem to make any difference.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Top Ten Reasons to Crochet (A little tongue in cheek)

10. It's a great excuse to watch TV and still look like you're being productive.  What other hobby allows you to watch the entire series of Psych and Leverage (with commentaries) while accomplishing something.
9.To prove that you are a domestic goddess, of course.  How impressed will your mother-in-law be when she sees you crochet your own dishcloths.
8. To make something useful.  Crochet isn't all granny squares and toilet paper cozies anymore.  Check out this lovely basket pattern by Crochet in Color I found online.
7.To improve your counting skills.  To keep track of your stitches, you have to count and count and, especially if you're crocheting around other people, count again and again.
6. Self-defense.  If your would-be mugger isn't intimidated by your sharp scissors and blunted hooks, you can trip him up with that one skein of yarn you just can't seem to get untangled.
5. It's impressive.  Think about it.  You're taking a crooked stick and a ball of string and turning into and amigurumi gryphon.  That's just cool.
4.It's also a great excuse to spend more time on Pinterest.  Like any of us needed an excuse.
3. It's a fantastic recycling tool.  Read about crocheting with plarn (plastic yarn) made from recycled bags here:
2. It's calming.  And we all need a little more calm in our lives.
1.  Because crocheting and designing beautiful things brings delight to ourselves and others and really what else do you need to know?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Spring comes...

I always wait eagerly for spring to come to Illinois and inevitably by the time it finally arrives, I've almost given up on it and miss it somehow as it sneaks in behind me.  The poets, if they exist anymore, could wax eloquent for hours about the sudden furious rain storms and the fresh, cool spring mornings and the smell of good, tilled earth waiting for seeds, but I'm always most impressed by the masses and miles of green.  God must have invented a special shade of green for Illinois; I never seem to see it in pictures of other places.  Of course, I can never seem to capture it in photos myself, so maybe it exists everywhere and is merely more elusive than other shades. It's a bright stained glass green caught between the leading of wood-grey tree trunks that makes me want to disappear into the woods and get lost and leaves me to wonder why anyone would choose to live in a city.  I'm predjudiced; I'm a country girl.  Something inside me starves for want of trees.  Whether city or country, have a blessed spring, full of yarn and miracles and keep your eyes open for green.