Autumn Leaf Wrap in Love of Crochet

July 21st, 2016

Chestnut Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Image copyright Love of Crochet/Caleb Young, Photographer.

I’m so pleased to have Cute Crochet World’s Horse Chestnut Leaf featured in this lovely wrap! Instructions are in the Fall 2016 issue of Love of Crochet magazine, which will be on the newsstands in August. If you can’t wait that long, you can purchase the digital edition now at www.interweavestore.com/love-of-crochet-magazine-fall-2016-digital-edition.

We don’t have room for step-by-step photos in most magazine instructions, so I’m posting some here. If you’d like some help visualizing the instructions, the following photos should help.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Use your markers! They will help you find your place.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

When you join the leaves, place them wrong sides together. You’ll be glad of the markers at this point.

Here’s another view of the leaf join.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

After the join, finish the leaf in progress.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

The Leafy Trim on the Autumn Leaf Wrap has 24 joined Horse Chestnut Leaves.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

The first row of the wrap joins directly to the Leafy Trim.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Row 3 of the wrap joins to the stems and creates their attractive curve.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

You can see the join up-close in the photo above. Below, Row 3 is finished.
Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

*******
For step-by-step photos of the Horse Chestnut Leaf, visit the previous blog post here on Curious and Crafty Readers.

Hints for Crocheting the Horse Chestnut Leaf

July 18th, 2016

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Horse chestnuts! They’re such cool trees, and I would never have known about them if we hadn’t moved to England. Their flowers are fancy and frilly, and they produce very hard nuts. Their leaves inspired the “Horse Chestnut Leaf” design in Cute Crochet World (pages 74-75).

The pretty “Chestnut Wrap” in the Fall 2016 issue of Love of Crochet features a trim made with joined Horse Chestnut Leaves. The magazine will be available on the newsstand in August. You can purchase the digital edition now at www.interweavestore.com/love-of-crochet-magazine-fall-2016-digital-edition.

Here are some step-by-step photos to help you visualize the instructions in the book. I’ve made two small improvements that will make the leaf easier to make.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Row 1 of the Horse Chestnut Leaf sets up the central veins for the five leaflets or lobes. Very easy. When you’re done, ch 1 and turn. In the original pattern, I didn’t include the ch-1, because you don’t really need it. However, the ch-1 makes it slightly easier to turn.
Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

On Row 2, you’ll run into two unusual stitches. Find instructions for the htr (U.S. half double treble) here. The other is the stitch-top picot. I believe it leaves less of a gap between the stitches on either side of it. To make the st-top picot, ch 3,

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

…insert hook into the Front Loop of the previous stitch and under the loop that lies just next to it as in the photo above, yo and draw through all lps on hook.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

St-top picot complete.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

In Cute Crochet World, at the end of the first four lobes, the instructions say “rotate piece so you are looking at the base of the lobe, sl st around the sl st at ase of lobe,…” Instead of doing that, simply sl st in the space between the lobe you just finished and the next lobe. The photo above shows where to place the hook.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Row 3 is worked along the base of the lobes. The instructions take you through how to do each stitch. If it helps, think of it this way, sc-3dc-sc-together.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

After the final yo and pull through all loops on hook, the base of the leaf pulls together and looks like this.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

The very best way to finish the leaf is to needle-join the stem to the base of Lobe 5. After the last stitch of the stem, cut the yarn and pull the hook straight up from the last stitch. The end of the yarn will pull out of the top of the last stitch.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Thread the yarn end into a needle. Take the needle under the first sl st of Lobe 5, Row 2.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Then take the needle back into the top of the final stem stitch (the yarn is coming out of this stitch).

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

On the needle’s way down, catch the loop at the back of the leaf—see the photo above. Pull the thread through, adjust the new loop to a good tension, and weave in the end.

Sunflower on a Grid

May 30th, 2016

TextileFusion wall hanging with Sunflower on a Grid

I consider craft design and art to be two ends of a spectrum. Sometimes they meet, like in my little “Tropical Sunflower” wall hanging. It is knitted and quilted in the TextileFusion tradition, and I embellished with buttons and the very cute “Sunflower on a Grid” from Crochet Bouquet.

For the larger flower, I crocheted the petals from “Sunflower on a Grid,” one after another until there were enough to go around the big yellow circle.

One of my favorite things about “Sunflower on a Grid” is that you can see what is behind it, through the grid in the flower’s center. This twin set takes advantage of the feature, letting you see the shell underneath the cardigan. Instructions to make the twin set are here.

Twin set made with Sunflower on a Grid

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