New Designs in Love of Crochet!

April 16th, 2016

Love of Crochet’s Summer 2016 issue celebrates the splendor of summer’s lacy crochet. Flower-inspired designs include two blankets, a poncho and a cardigan. Mesh variations include several shawls and a top. Plus, crochet the next car in the amigurumi train series.

Love of Crochet, Coral Flame Wrap

I designed two of the magazine’s twenty projects, which will keep you crocheting well into the summer.

The body of my Coral Flame Wrap is an easy-to-make mesh pattern stitch, crocheted in Classic Elite’s lovely cotton yarn, Mesa.

My favorite part is the flowery fringe. On the way out from the edge of the wrap, you crochet two petals of each flower, and on the way back in, you complete the four-petal flowers. So cute!

Crocheted flower fringe

Here’s a sample of the flower fringe worked in a different yarn, so you can see its detail.

Love of Crochet, Belle Doily

The Belle Doily still makes me smile when I look at it. At first glance, you might see a flowery sort of design. But no! Look again and you’ll see eight fancy dresses from Cute Crochet World (“Dress Up Time”), joined to the center of the doily at the shoulders, and then tacked to each other at the hem. The thread is Handy Hands Lizbeth No. 3 cotton.

The print edition of Love of Crochet, Summer 2016, will be on sale around May 3. The digital edition is available to purchase now at http://bit.ly/locsum16designer-di.

Find a tutorial for the crocheted dress in the doily at Tiny Crocheted Prom Dress.

The Coral Flame Wrap and Belle Doily photos are used with permission with credit to Love of Crochet/Julia Vandenoever.

All Aboard the Crochet Express! NatCroMo 2016

March 25th, 2016

All Aboard the Crochet Express! Blog tour sponsored by Crochetville.com

When Amy and Donna of crochetville.com asked me if I would take part in this year’s National Crochet Month blog tour, I was thrilled. That was last September, and I started thinking about my blog post right away, because March would be here in the twinkling of an eye. Time flies!

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

And now March is almost over—time flies!

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

In honor of fleeting time, the pattern for the Time Flies flying clock motif is free through March 31, 2016. The “buy now” link will take you to the pattern at my Ravelry store–promotion will be applied at checkout.

After the 31st, you can purchase “Time Flies” on Ravelry for $2.50. But don’t wait—get it free! Hurry, because…what am I going to say?

TIME FLIES!

Thank you very much for joining the Crochet Express blog tour and stopping by my blog today. Your visit is my birthday present! I’m 57 today, but it seems only yesterday that I was 25 years old. Talk about time flying.

At 25, I had already been crocheting and knitting for half my life. I was a single, working woman, living in my hometown of Austin, Texas, and dating a really nice guy named Charles. I was the founding member of our local Knitter’s and Crocheter’s Guild.

inspiring vintage craft magazines

The year was 1984 and here are some random memories of that time.

  • I loved Irish Crochet Lace… My reprints of old Irish Crochet pattern books were just about worn out because I looked at them so often.
  • I collected crochet, knitting, and craft magazines, like the two shown above… As I studied the designs and patterns, a little voice in my mind would say, “I can do that.”
  • I couldn’t forget my childhood dream of being an artist…

How did all this work out for me?

Well, it worked out in a very organic, connected way that I can see now in hindsight.

In 1987, I made a collar from one of my Irish Crochet books. The pinwheels, leaves, and round motifs were crocheted separately. As one does in Irish Crochet, I basted them to a fabric template. But instead of joining them with a crocheted mesh, the instructions said to sew the motifs together wherever they touched.

I sewed the collar to the dropped waist of my wedding dress and wore it when I married that really nice guy, Charles.

Irish Crochet embellishment on Suzann's Wedding Dress

And what about my beloved craft magazines? Living, breathing people came up with the designs in those magazines and wrote the instructions, and I wanted to be one of those people!

designs by Suzann Thompson

Through our guild, I met Pam Noel, a published crochet designer who lived in the Austin area. She connected me with an organization called the Society of Craft Designers (SCD). At the SCD conference in 1990, I sold my first knitted sweater pattern. Using what I learned at SCD, I published many needlework and craft designs, including my first crochet patterns in 1994, which you see here.

designs by Suzann Thompson

The Society of Craft Designers is no longer around, but the Crochet Guild of America offers an excellent professional day at its annual conference, where you can learn about the business of crochet designing.

designs by Suzann Thompson

The patterns shown here are

  • “Fun & Sporty: Striped Shell Vest,” McCall’s Crochet, pp. 10 and 13 ff., October 1994.
  • “Autumn Flavors: Half–Moon Tunic,” McCall’s Crochet, pp. 10 and 13 ff., October 1994.
  • “Hat and Scarf Set,” Annie’s Crochet Newsletter, pp. 20 ff., November–December 1994.
  • “Take–Along Blocks—Crimson Bouquet,” The Needlecraft Shop Afghan Collector’s Series, Paradise 962290.

*******

The art part of my life took longer to develop. I wanted to make pictures, but hanging crochet or knitting on the wall causes it to stretch. Not good.

Through trial and error, purposeful research, and accidental discoveries, I figured out that quilting stabilizes knitted or crocheted fabric. You can hang quilted knitting or crochet on the wall and it won’t stretch. That’s how my signature style came to be. It is called TextileFusion, because it incorporates knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, and embellishment together in a project.

I definitely went through a learning curve, both in technique and artistry, and here are a couple of my latest pieces.

Mama Lion, a TextileFusion creation by Suzann Thompson

Mama Lion was made in honor of Lion Brand Yarn Company, which sponsored exhibits of my work at the International Quilt Festival. The lioness in the picture was at the Fort Worth (TX) Zoo, watching over her three babies in the grass below the ledge she rested on. Read more about the making of Mama Lion at the Lion Brand blog, and here.

Firewheel Meadow, a TextileFusion creation by Suzann Thompson

Firewheel Meadow, finished in 2014, features about 65 crocheted flowers with button centers as well as crocheted leaves and more buttons. It was a lot of applique! Pacing myself helps a lot, so I made a plan to attach four flowers or leaves each day until it was done. And one fine day, it was. Read about the making of Firewheel Meadow here.

The rest of my TextileFusion wall hangings are at www.textilefusion.com/gallery.

*******

Life in our family goes on around all this yarny activity. Charles and I raised two daughters, Eva, now 20, and Ella, who is in seventh grade this year. We moved across the Atlantic twice. We built an earthen house.

We were out shopping as a family in 2006, when we noticed fashion garments embellished with crocheted flowers.

“That is so cool!” we agreed. But the more garments we saw, the more we noticed how similar the flowers were. That little voice in my mind spoke up: “I can do better than that!” The seed of an idea was planted that day. It eventually grew into two books: Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers (Lark, 2008), and Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights (Lark, 2012). (I’m giving away a copy of my latest book, Cute Crochet World, below.)

Crochet Bouquet by Suzann Thompson

Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights, by Suzann Thompson

Crochet Charm Lace cape

Suddenly I had many crocheted flowers and not enough garments to embellish. Hmmm. Could I make collars with my yarn flowers like I made the collar from the Irish Crochet Book? Why, yes I could! And not just collars, but table mats, scarves, and even a poncho.

Crochet Charm Lace trillium scarf

I call the technique “Crochet Charm Lace.” Crocheted motifs are arranged on a fabric template, pinned in place, and sewn together where they touch. When the sewing is done and the fabric removed, you have an interesting, lacy piece. Read lots more about Crochet Charm Lace here.

Crochet Charm Lace pineapple runner

You probably noticed how my book and magazine designs come around to embellish my artwork. In the search for art inspiration, I run across new ideas for book and magazine designs. Things I learned or did a long time ago, crop up to inform what I’m doing now. Sometimes, I can trace a current project to an inspiration from many years ago.

Crochet Charm Lace TelevisionStars scarf

Time flies, but I think it flies in a kind of spiral pattern. Like crocheting a beautiful doily, time comes around and goes around. It lets us build on the past. Gradually, through time, we create the pattern of our lives.

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

************
Crocheted Twirly Rose Scarf in Love of Crochet magazine

So as 2016 flies by,

  • Watch for my designs in Love of Crochet magazine. The Spring 2016 issue is on newsstands right now, featuring my Twirly Rose Scarf and lots of other cute patterns. The Summer 2016 issue will have more fun designs. (Photo of Twirly Rose Scarf is used with permission. Copyright 2016, Love of Crochet.)
  • Visit the wonderful International Quilt Festival, Chicago 2016, and see me and fourteen of my TextileFusion artworks. The Festival is at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, April 7-9. I’ll be with my exhibit or in the Open Studios. I would love to meet you!
  • Check out my other blog, Suzann’s TextileFusion, which is an online journal of my crafty life. It’s where I post about making wall hangings.
  • If you tweet or post on Instagram, please follow me. I post pretty pictures, mostly of crochet and knitting projects. Take a moment to reply to one of my posts, and I’ll follow you back. I’m @textilefusion on Twitter and @suzannthompson on Instagram.
  • I’m scheduling workshops and exhibits for 2017, so come back often for updates!
  • And finally,

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF
Cute Crochet World, by Suzann Thompson

CUTE CROCHET WORLD
A Little Dictionary of Crocheted Critters, Folks, Food & More

To enter, make a comment at the end of this post, no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 28, 2016 (U.S. Central Time). Come back to this post on Tuesday, March 29, to see who won the book. Good luck!

We have a winner. Congratulations, Stephanie! And thank you, everyone, for leaving such nice comments.

Thank you for visiting Curious and Crafty Readers.
Come back soon!

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

Time Flies—My First Pattern for Sale on Ravelry!

March 24th, 2016

Crocheted Homemade Cherry Pie from Cute Crochet World

“Time Flies” is my very first pattern published for sale through Ravelry. Yay! I’m very glad to have finally met that milestone.

The pattern includes written instructions and step-by-step photos for a crocheted clock face with a minute hand and an hour hand and two wings. You can use the motif for applique or in a crochet charm lace design.

This pattern will normally sell for $2.50, but in honor of National Crochet Month, and to celebrate the Crochet Express blog tour stop at this blog on March 25, “Time Flies” is free through March 31, 2016, U.S. Central Time. Click on the “buy now” link above, and when you check out, this promotion will be applied to the pattern.

Don’t wait to take advantage of this offer, because…TIME FLIES.

Crocheted flying heart or winged heart

In the “Time Flies” pattern, I suggest using the wings on other motifs and here are some ideas. Instructions for crocheting the heart, ice cream cone, kiwi, car, and mama motifs are in the book Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crocheted Critters, Folks, Food & More (see the sidebar for a link to this book at amazon.com).

Crocheted flying or winged ice cream cone

Crocheted flying or winged kiwi

Crocheted flying or winged mama

Crocheted flying or winged car

Happy Pi Day!

March 14th, 2016

Crocheted Homemade Cherry Pie from Cute Crochet World

Mmmmm….cherry pie with a lattice-top crust! It’s a wonderful, no-calorie treat to make for March 14, 2016, 3.14 16, Pi day! The pattern for “Homemade Pie” is in Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Critters, Folks, Food & More, pages 48-50.

Notice how nicely the crust goes around the circumference—it’s a very tidy pi-d. Ba hahaha. I always laugh at my own jokes, just in case no other geometry geeks with a good sense of humor are around. Around!? Ba hahahahaaaa!

Okay, I’m done with jokes now. Here are some hints to help you crochet “Homemade Pie.”

The pie filling is crocheted in round, using the yarn flavor of your choice. In contrast, the lattice top is worked back and forth. The woven-looking texture is created by alternating Back Post and Front Post double crochet sts (BPdc and FPdc).

Here’s my system for remembering how to make back/front post crochet stitches:

To start a BACK Post dc: the hook starts at the BACK of your work (as you are looking at it right now) and comes around the post of the stitch below, and you yarn over in BACK.

By the same token, for a FRONT Post dc, the hook starts in FRONT, goes around the post of the stitch below, and you yarn over in FRONT.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

The photo above shows the finished lattice top. Count around the edge to find 14 spaces, which you’ll work into to join the top to the filling.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

Place the finished lattice top on top of the finished pie filling, both with right sides up. The pattern says to insert the hook in the first space, and also into a stitch of the filling, draw up a loop, finish a sc, and ch 2. Work two more stitches into the same space, but place each into the next stitch of the filling.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

In this photo, the first space of the lattice is joined to the filling, and you can see how the stitches are evenly spaced, because they’re placed into three successive stitches of the filling. Leave a long end for sewing when you finish the crust.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

To sew the finished pie tin to the crust, skim your needle under the “v” shape created by the single crochet sts on the wrong side of the crust, and sew into the next st of the pie tin, moving one stitch over with each stitch.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

When you’re finished sewing and stuffing the pie, thread the long end of the pie crust into a tapestry needle. As described in the instructions, bring the needle out at the top middle of the pie, then take the needle through the pie and out the bottom. As discretely as you can, catch the bottom of the pie with a stitch, as you bring the needle back up to the top (as in the photo above), tack, and weave in the end. This preserves the flat shape.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

My piecrust looked a little underdone, so I brushed it with a little brown eyebrow shaping powder. I thought I still had some golden brown eye shadow, but no.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

Crocheted Homemade Cherry Pie from Cute Crochet World

Teeny Tiny Bones—A Free Crochet Pattern

February 21st, 2016

Teeny Tiny Crocheted Bones

Sc Teeny Tiny Bone:

  1. Ch 6, (sc 2, sl st) in 2nd ch from hook,
  2. Ch 2, (sc 2, sl st) in 2nd ch from hook, working back along original ch, sl st in next 4 ch-sts,
  3. Ch 2, (sc 2, sl st) in 2nd ch from hook,
  4. Ch 2, (sc 2, sl st) in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in very first ch of bone.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

In case you find them too distracting, here is the Sc Teeny Tiny Bone without all the arrows and stuff. Green marks the first ch-st; red marks the final sl st.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

* * * * * *

Hdc Teeny Tiny Bone:

  1. Ch 7, (hdc, ch 2, sl st) in 3rd ch from hook,
  2. Ch 3, (hdc, ch 2, sl st) in 3rd ch from hook, working back along original ch, sl st in next 4 ch-sts,
  3. Ch 3, (hdc, ch 2, sl st) in 3rd ch from hook,
  4. Ch 3, (hdc, ch 2, sl st) in 3rd ch from hook, sl st in very first ch of bone.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Are you making a bone for your “Wiener Dog” from Cute Crochet World? Use the same weight of yarn as you used for crocheting the dog, and the bones will be the right size.

Hints for Making “Wiener Dog” from Cute Crochet World

February 21st, 2016

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Complete written instructions for the Wiener Dog are on pages 40-41 of Cute Crochet World. These photos and hints will help you have a successful doxie crochet experience.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Strange as it may seem at first glance, the Wiener Dog is crocheted in three rounds. The first round makes the shoulder and chest of the dog, while the second begins the head and body. The second round also makes the front leg. The nose, tail, and back leg are finished in Round 3.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Here, Rnd 1 is finished and the head and ear are started. The notes and arrows in the photos should help you with stitch placement as you follow the instructions in the book.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

The body starts as a long chain. Work back along the chain and then attach to Rnd 1.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

This is the end of Rnd 2, with the front leg complete. The arrows show where to begin Rnd 3.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

The nose starts as a chain. Work back along the chain and attach to Rnd 2, as shown.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

To start “Ear and back of neck” in the pattern: fold or move the ear out of the way to the back, sc in next stitch of head, which is beyond the ear.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Keeping your hook and yarn out of the way, fold the ear down to the right side. Insert the hook in the marked stitch, insert the hook into the next st of the head, yo and draw through all loops on hook.

The pattern notes “(sc2tog made),” but this is wrong! Please delete that phrase. To make myself feel better about this, I checked my original manuscript—it wasn’t there! Yay! But I obviously missed it when proofreading. Aw man!

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Now we’re at “Back and tail.” The dots show where to place the stitches along the back. They are worked into the free loops of the foundation chain. Be sure you start in the correct loop (it will have a htr in it already from Rnd 2 (htr instructions here LINK).

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

“Back and tail” are done. The reason the tail curves, is because you work 2 sl sts into one of the chains.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

This doggy’s hind leg is shaped in one row. You chain, make a picot, decrease to make the foot. The photo shows the next decrease, which forms the ankle.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

When the hind leg is finished, you skip one st of the body and sl st in the next st. The photo should help clear any confusion about which stitch is which.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

The best way to end a motif like this is with a needle-join. When the chest is finished, cut the yarn and pull the hook straight up from the final stitch. The end of the yarn will come out at the top of the last st.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Thread the yarn end into a needle, take the needle around the stitch at the base of the front leg and back down into the final stitch of Rnd 3. At the back, catch another loop, like this:

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Adjust the new loop to look its best, weave in the end, block, and you’re done!

Need a bone for your new Wiener Dog? Pattern in the next post.

Hints for Making “Mamas and Papas,” Part 3 of 3–Arms and Hands

February 19th, 2016

The Mamas and Papas’ arms and hands are pretty simple to crochet, once you decide exactly what you want. The sidebar “Arms” on page 141 of Cute Crochet World gives some general hints. Specific instructions for Mama’s arms begin on page 139, and Papa’s arms are on page 141.

Where you place the arm on each sleeve changes the gesture of the person. An arm high on the sleeve is waving, while an arm low on the sleeve is at rest at the person’s side.

The other decision to make is whether the arm is “hand first” or “thumb first.” When you make any arm, you make a chain. As you work back along the chain to finish the arm, “hand first” means you will crochet the hand first; and “thumb first” means the thumb will be completed first. Let’s look at a few examples.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

I crocheted Lio’s left arm at the side of the sleeve, so he looks like he’s welcoming someone or about to pat someone on the back. This arm is “hand first,” because after making the initial chain, the hand is the first thing you make, and then the thumb. This arm is slightly bent, because of one decrease at the elbow—this option is given in the instructions.

Lio’s right arm hangs straight and relaxed at his side, crocheted onto the bottom of the sleeve. This arm is also “hand first.”

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Irene’s left arm, crocheted into the side of her sleeve, is waving and “hand first.” Her right arm is by her side, “thumb first,” and bent.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Nils’s left arm hangs straight by his side, “hand first.” His right arm is waving, attached to the top of his sleeve, “thumb first.”

Can you figure out which comes first–the hand or the thumb—for Rog and Pam? (Answer below the photos.)

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

ANSWER: Rog and Pam’s left arms: “hand first;” and their right arms: “thumb first.”

You can plan this all before you start, or you can test different arms to get a better idea of how they will look. Just crochet a couple of thumb-first and hand-first arms, bent and straight. Instead of drawing up a loop in the sleeve, just begin with a slip knot on your hook.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Now you can test different arm positions before you commit. The arms are made with so few stitches, it won’t take long to take this option.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

For the new Mama and Papa, I wanted to arrange their arms so her right hand could hold his left hand. She would wave with her left arm, and his right arm would be relaxed at his side.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Mama’s left arm is bent with “hand first” and her right arm is “thumb first.” Papa’s left arm is “thumb first” and his right is “hand first.” And here they are!

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

* * * * * *

One more thing. Rog and Pam have travelled with me several places for photography. They weren’t strong enough to stand on important tourist landmarks, so I stabilized them with felt. You may consider doing this, if you’re thinking of making Mamas and Papas for toys.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Hints for Making the Mamas and Papas of Cute Crochet World, Part 2 of 3

February 1st, 2016

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Start Mama’s legs and Papa’s trousers by drawing up a loop in the lower edge of the dress or shirt. The instructions say “join with a sl st,” which to my mind (at the time I wrote the instructions) meant the same thing. “Draw up a loop” is a better way to say what I meant.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Chain as instructed, and then work back along the chain to create the leg.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Mama’s feet are shaped by increasing or decreasing at the heel, and her slender ankles are sc, while her shapely calves are hdc.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

The shoe on this foot begins at the toe. The shoe on the other foot begins at the heel. You’ll see as you follow the directions, why this is.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Mama’s legs are worked separately.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

To start Papa’s trousers, draw up a loop in the appropriate stitch at the lower edge of Papa’s shirt. Chain and then work back along the chain to make the first trouser leg. Row 2 is only two sc, which serve to join the trouser legs. From the last sc, chain out again (photo shows how he looks at this point), work back along the chain to create the second trouser leg, and join to the shirt.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Use one of the yarn ends to sew the last dc of the legs to the edge of the shirt. I wove my needle back and forth to catch loops from the legs and the shirt, as in the photo above. I pulled the yarn end through and wove it in a different direction to make sure it wouldn’t come loose.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Papa’s shoes are worked into the turning ch at the end of the trouser legs. Take a moment to find the four ch-sts of each turning ch before you start. The photo shows how first shoe begins with drawing up a loop in the first ch of the ch4-loop. The blue dots indicate the second, third, and fourth ch-sts.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

The second shoe begins with hdc in the second ch of the ch4-loop. To begin with hdc, place a slip knot on your hook, yo, hold these loops in place with your fingers, draw up a loop in the second ch, yo, and complete the st as you would any hdc.

The blue dots show each of the four ch-sts. The black stitch is in the second ch.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Mama and Papa are ready for arms. There’s lots of choice with arms—waving, expansive, relaxed. What will I choose? Maybe a little of each, so you can see how to make them in the next post.

Hints for Making the Mamas and Papas of Cute Crochet World, Part 1 of 3

January 25th, 2016

Crocheted Mamas and Papas

I’m so glad reader and crocheter Janet S. asked for a little help with the Mamas and Papas of Cute Crochet World. She is using them to decorate crocheted bags.

Complete written instructions for the Mamas and Papas are on pages 137-141. The hair, clothing, arms, and legs are joined as you work. I like to weave in ends as I go.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Begin with the head. It is worked in the round, but it is oval because the stitches on the sides are shorter than the stitches at the top of the head and the chin. The tallest stitch is htr; find directions for htr here.

After you join the first round for the head, the neck is simply the first few stitches of a second round.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Mamas and Papas have lots of hairstyles to choose from, with instructions for each on page 140. I’m giving this Mama a Cleopatra hairdo, which starts in the second stitch from the neck. You can see how I skipped the first stitch, and I’ve joined the hair color with a tr.

To join with a tr (instead of a sl st and ch 4), place a slip knot on the hook. Holding the knot in place with the fingers on your hook-holding hand, yo twice, insert the hook, and pull up a loop. Now you have 4 loops on the hook, so finish the stitch just like any tr.

Once you get the hang of beginning a row or round with a stitch (instead of sl st and chain), I think you’ll like it a lot. It looks neater than the sl st and chain at the beginning.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Mama has the Cleopatra hair and Papa has a crew cut.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Turn Mama to the wrong side to start the dress. Work the first row into the three stitches of the neck. In the photo above, I have joined the dress color with 4 dc in the first stitch. The next two stitches are marked with arrows.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Mama’s rounded sleeves are made with two clusters of 4 tr. The instructions tell you exactly how to do this. In this photo, I am at the top of page 139. I have 5 loops on the hook and I’m ready to yo and pull through all loops to complete the first 4tr-cluster.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

The first row of Papa’s shirt is similar to the first row of Mama’s dress—begin on the wrong side. The green arrow in this photo shows the beginning of the second row, where we make the sleeves. Ch 4 at the beginning of the row, then make a joined-tr. A joined-tr is attached to the chain, and keeps it from gapping.

To make the joined-tr for Papa’s shirt, Yo, draw up a loop in the 3rd ch from hook, draw up a loop in the first st. Now you have 4 loops on the hook, and you can finish this tr just like any other tr.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

End off after the first two rows of the dress or shirt. Weave in ends to get them out of the way. To finish the garments, turn to the wrong side and place the first sts into the sts shown by the green arrows.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

To keep the turning chains in Mama’s dress and Papa’s shirt from creating gaps, use a joined-dc. Instructions for that are on page 17.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

When the dress and shirt are finished, they’ll look like this. We’ll crochet legs and shoes in the next post.

Gingerbread Kids from Cute Crochet World–Hints and Ideas

December 18th, 2015

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Why in the world do we need another pattern for crocheted gingerbread people? Because I’m terrible at crocheting into the sides of rows. Read the whole story on this Flashback Friday on my other blog, Suzann’s TextileFusion.

The Gingerbread Kids of Cute Crochet World are worked in the round, so when you finish, you have an easy time adding icing trim. Here are step-by-step photos of the Gingerbread Kids in progress.

Complete written instructions for the Gingerbread Kids are on pages 80-82 of Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crocheted Critters, Folks, Food & More.

Both Gingerbread Kids are made in two rounds of gingerbread and one round of icing. For clarity, the book’s instructions for each gingerbread round are divided into sections for arms, legs, and head. As you work, observe how the stitches look and where they are.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Here is the first arm, head, and second arm of Rnd 1, to the point after “sc in each of the next 4 ch.” The yellow marks show where to draw up lps for the next stitch—draw up two loops, yo, then draw up the third.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

And here are the loops on the hook, ready for the last yo and pull through. This joins the arms and head.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Create the body- and leg-shaping by increasing or decreasing sts. When it’s done, Rnd 1 looks like a curled up stick figure.

Rnd 2 is worked in every single st, foundation ch, and ch-2 lp of Rnd 1. A helpful hint: after stitching the ends of the legs, head, and arms in the ch-2 lp, the instructions say to “skip the first sc” or “hdc.” That st is probably already obscured by the sts in the ch-2 lp.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

At the last st of Rnd 2, cut the yarn and pull the final loop up, up, and out of the last st, as in the photo above.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Thread the yarn end into a tapestry needle, and skim the needle under the top two loops of the first st of the rnd, as in this photo. Take the needle back down into the last st of the round, tighten and adjust the new loop, weave in end. This is a needle-join or invisible join, which you can read more about here.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Start the round of icing trim by drawing up a loop with the icing color yarn. Sl st in each st around, making sts looser or tighter to fit the outline of the gingerbread.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

When you’ve slip stitched around, cut yarn and draw the last loop completely out of the final st. Thread yarn end into tapestry needle.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Skim the needle under the two “legs” of the loop you drew up at the beginning of the round.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Take the needle back down into the final st of the round, where the yarn end emerges. Pull the yarn end through to the wrong side, adjust it to the size of the sl sts nearby, weave in end. Another needle join complete!

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

The icing trim on the gingerbread girl is slightly different. Sl st around her right leg first and pull the yarn ends to the wrong side. Following the complete instructions in the book, sl st around the second leg and around the edge until you come to the second corner of the skirt. Hold the yarn in back as you sl st across the tops of the legs/bottom edge of the skirt.
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Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

When you’re to the last possible stitch before the opposite corner of the skirt, cut yarn and draw the end up and out of the final stitch. This photo shows the loop in the process of being drawn out.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Thread the yarn end into a tapestry needle. Skim the needle under the first stitch of the skirt.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Take the needle back down into the final sl st of the trim. Adjust the loop, weave in the end on the wrong side. Another needle join complete!

Make a Gingerbread Kid Ornament

To make ornaments, crochet two each of the gingerbread boy and gingerbread girl. Make a hanging loop for each ornament. from the instructions here. I used a length of No. 10 crochet cotton, but you can use embroidery floss or the yarn you used to make the gingerbread motifs.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

For each ornament, sew the hanging loop to the wrong side of one motif, centering it at the top of the head. I used a contrasting color thread here, so you can easily see it. You can use whatever yarn or thread works.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Line up two matching motifs, wrong sides together. Use yarn to sew the motifs together, stitching each loop of the final round of the gingerbread kid to the matching stitch on the other motif. Basically, you will whip-stitch the pieces together. Weave the final end between the motifs.

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament Tutorial

Sewing the matching motifs together, back to back, tames the tendency of the crochet to curl. Best of all, your ornament will look nice from both sides. And you made it!

Crocheted Gingerbread Kid Ornament from Cute Crochet World