My Life, My Obsessions

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Travel-sized Dragon Continued

I had a few suggestion on the little orange dragon for my brother-in-law. It seems he needed some embellishments. Now that he's done I'd have to agree that the little extras do make a difference.

Free Pattern

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007


We've been looking for ideas to help the kids behave better at church. (I have a leadership position in the children's organization). I happened across a great mouse idea (at the There's a cute poem that appeared in The Friend magazine Sept 1996. The idea was to give a copy of the poem to the children. After sharing the poem there is a mouse that visits the classroom to see if the kids are being reverent. The mouse hides in different places and the children get to try to find him each week.

What If … ?

-by DaLee C. James

"If a mouse would ride to church

In your pocket on this day,

What might he tell his family

That he heard you do or say?

Would he tell them you were reverent,

And you listened to your teacher?

Or would he say he’d never seen

Such a noisy creature?

Would he tell them how he loved the songs

You sang so sweet and clear?

Or would he groan from all the talking

That entered in his ear?

Could he take a little snooze

As you walked nice and tall?

Or would he scream with panic

As you galloped down the hall?

Would the little mouse get seasick

From the tipping of your chair?

Or would he feel safe and cozy

As you quietly sat there?

Would the chapel be a reverent place?

The sacrament the same?

Now tell me, would the little mouse

Be really glad he came?

If a mouse would ride to church

In your pocket on this day,

What might he tell his family

That he heard you do or say?"

Here's the little church mouse that I made. We'll have to see how well it works. I really hope it does. We have the sweetest teacher with a class full of excitable 3-5 year olds.

Free Pattern

The next mouse is going to be sent to a mad scientist that experiments on mice. OK, he's not mad. But the mouse is a Father's Day present for my dad the immunology professor and he does do skin cancer research on mice. He also loves cheese, so the mouse has a double meaning. I tried to make it a little less cutesy since it's for a guy. This little one is also a magnet. He was a pain to make too. I had to alter the pattern to get the magnet to fit. He's made with 2-ply yarn (my son helped split the yarn with me) and a size 7 hook. Now all we need is some cheese to go with this little mouse!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

I must be crazy!

I've never made anything in thread before and probably never would have tried if it weren't for all the wonderful people at There's nothing wrong with trying thread crochet, but it's a huge project! I decided to make a rectangular shawl from this pattern. The patten is for a triangular shawl, but it's not that complicated to change to a rectangle. I started this a few days ago and here's what I have done so far.

I really like the pattern. Here's a close up to show more detail.

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Flower Child

My daughter's hair is getting longer and I'm not ready to cut bangs yet. So her hair falls into her eyes now and it just keeps getting worse! I've been doing ponytails up on top of her head. But she squirms and they look funny (my opinion). Since crocheting can solve anything, I decided to try a simple headband. It's nothing glamorous, but it's finished. The only problem is that she keeps taking it off. At least it's easy to put back in!


Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Travel-sized Dragon

My family has a tradition that began when I was a little girl. Every time my dad had to travel without the family, we would sneak a stuffed animal into his suitcase. We got really good at being secretive. Since then I have continued the tradition with my husband. Now that my brother-in-law is going on a church mission, I plan on sharing the tradition with him. He will be in Germany for 2 years and is leaving the end of June.

Suitcase space is precious when you get 2 bags that have to hold 2 years worth of clothes, etc. So I made a mini-dragon for him. We're going to visit right before he leaves, so I'll have a chance to hide it in his suitcase with a note explaining the tradition.

I used a D-hook and Caron Simply Soft. I think it turned out alright, but my son says he doesn't like it. There's a crayon in the picture to show size.

Free Pattern

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Oobi, the friend that's always with you!

My son loves Dora, but we don't watch TV at our house. I can't justify paying that much just so we can see commercials. Instead we are members of Blockbuster online. It's cheaper and we can control what comes into our house. It's cheaper than the cost of renting a movie, so we're more willing to rent things like Dora, Wonder Pets, etc. Which means we're all happy. At least we were until my son discovered some previews to other children's shows on the last Dora DVD that we rented. It had previews of Rub-a-Tubbers, The Wiggles, Barney, and Oobi. All of which made my poor husband cringe. To him, Oobi was the worst. I thought it was quirky-funny (as opposed to really funny). For those of you that have never heard of Oobi, let me enlighten you. Oobi starts out with a catchy theme song that my son learned really quickly. During the song you see hands with eyes attached acting out various activities -cooperating to pick apples, etc. Then the show begins and four Oobis with the language skills of a 2 year old, discover pizza dough. Most of the time they speak in one or two word sentences. Great for language acquisition, but my son's been talking in complete sentences for years.

So like any truly devoted wife, I like to provide my husband a little variety in life. I accomplish this by doing occasional loving acts that I know will annoy him. Just so you don't think I'm a terrible spouse -my husband preforms random acts of annoyance too. So I made my son a pair of Oobi eyes. My husband groaned in appreciation of my thoughtful annoyance.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Slinky Dog

My son had surgery two weeks ago and we tried everything to get him to rest. It wasn't anything too serious (adenoids removed and ear tubes in), but I still wanted him to rest. I even tried bribery. One of our attempts was the movie Toy Story. It worked for a little bit. Shortly after watching Toy Story I found an older post on that asked about slinkys and crocheting. Before I could help myself I was already thinking of all the animals you could make with a slinky. I asked my husband to bring me home a slinky from work, which he did without asking. If he knew it was for crocheting he might have protested. Instead he actually provided useful input on shapes and sizes. Thanks to his help, the slinky dog turned out pretty cute. Now he just needs a name and some friends....

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There is something about rubber ducks that makes them addictive. Maybe it's the fact that they're so cute, or maybe it's Sesame Street's fault. A lot of us grew up with Ernie singing the Rubber Ducky song and now it's affecting another generation as well. So here is my contribution to the rubber duck craze. It began with one simple duck...

And then came a baby duck! He's next to a ruler that would show him as 2 inches long if it was easy to read at this angle.

Now I have plans for a duck family complete with accessories. Yes, I know it's an addiction. I should never have mixed crocheting with rubber ducks.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Evolution of a Squirrel

I looked all over for a squirrel pattern to fuel an on going squirrel war with my sister-in-law. My husband gave her the nickname Chipper Squirrel while they were growing up and still calls her by it. So when I couldn't find a free pattern (I have a hard time spending money on crochet stuff. Maybe it isn't a true obsession -yet.) I made my own. Here is the evolution of the squirrel pattern.
The Chenille Squirrel
This was attempt #1 for the pattern and for me crocheting in chenille. Not a good idea to combine 2 new things. He's nice and soft but bigger than I wanted.

The Albino Squirrel
This one was a little better, but squirrels have haunches. That and a few other things prompted me to try again.

The Mole Squirrel
In the process of making my son's black squirrel, I discovered how much a black tailless squirrel resembles a mole. This discovery led to the idea of more variations yet to come (mouse, beaver).

The Completed Squirrel
I finally finished both the black squirrel and the squirrel pattern. I'm putting off making the other variations and having the pattern tested because I'm kind of tired of this project. I do plan to get it tested soon and start a store on to sell the pattern for the squirrel and its upcoming cousins.

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Making My Own

Here was my first attempt at my own pattern. I have yet to do more work on the pattern. It's a Smidgitt in honor of my Smidgitt daughter (she's petite and only 14 months old).

My son got his adenoids taken out and tubes put in his ears. To ease his pain, I offered to make him a stuffed animal. He chose "rainbow" yarn for his snake and blue button eyes.

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My First Animals

Here are my first attempts at making stuffed animals. The website for the patterns is listed right under each picture.
Baby Octopus
My son insisted that the octopus needed a nose.

Free Pattern

Tiny Striped Turtle
I used the left over yarn from my daughter's blanket.

Baby Dragon
I love this pattern and have made 2 1/2 (one isn't finished yet).

Free Pattern

Fish Bag

I thought these would be fun for an upcoming cruise. I made one for each kid. The other is purple.

Free Pattern


I owe my mom for her help with these. I had the brillant idea to make bunnies for easter. I bought the yarn and started the pattern. And then I ran out of yarn. Wal Mart stopped carrying it and Michaels did have it either. My mom bought me enough to finish just in time for Easter.

The second bunny is the white head in the basket.

Baby Seal
My first attempt at miniaturizing an animal. I used Caron Simply Soft and used a size D hook.

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The Beginnings

I first learned to crochet from my mom. I was about 12 years old when she taught my sister and me at the same time. We crocheted some of the same things -fridgies, matching elephants, and even started afghans that neither of us finished. With the unfinished afghans came a long pause before I picked up the crochet hook again. Next it was to make a blue ripple afghan during high school. I was in college before it was finished. During that time I did complete a baby blanket that I gave to a roommate for her first baby -Eliza. And then came another long pause. Are you noticing a trend yet?

After getting married I made a granny square afghan with scraps. Since my crochet history was not extensive enough to have much of a yarn stash, the yarn came from Mom's stash. I figured it was only fair that I give her the finished product in return. The next blankets came right before my first baby. I wanted to make something that I could pass on to each child. So my son got a green, off white, and purple ripple blanket. Coincidentally, those were the same colors that we had at our wedding 19 months earlier. I also made a white blessing blanket from a sparkly white yarn. And then came another pause. Working (at home, at work, and at church) kept me busy for quite a while.

Here is the white blessing blanket that was used for both of my kids. Here it is with my daughter and the heirloom dress she was blessed in (her grandpa, aunts, and cousin were also blessed in this dress).

Then came a move, more time on my hands, and another pregnancy. Actually, 2 pregnancies (only one was mine)! First came a white blessing blanket (Heartwarming Wrap) for my niece (picture of niece and blanket below). It turned out beautiful and much bigger than I had planned -oops! Since I made a blanket for my son, I now wanted to make another for my daughter. Searching my mom's patterns, I found a great pattern for a heart baby blanket which also turned out huge, but beautiful. The cousins were born 8 days apart in Feb 2006.

At the same time my husband began hinting that he wanted a blanket too. I owe this to my sisters-in-law who had each made an afghan for their boy friend/fiance for Christmas 2004. So I set out in search of a manly crochet pattern. I found one (All-Star Granny) that looked close enough to Aztec suns to please a history teacher husband. It was also made using the school colors from his 2 universities (Northern Arizona Univerity and Brigham Young University). Many thanks to my mom for helping on that project. We worked hard at keeping it secret and trying desperately to finish it before Christmas. It was done a week later and he was thrilled with the results. The picture shows the afghan on my queen-sized bed to give you an idea of the size.

After the last three blankets in such a short amount of time (5 months), I was ready for a break. Plus I had just had a c-section, a new baby to take care of, and a 3 year old to finish potty training. Then came a move, and getting settled in our new home. I did get to make a baby blanket for charity -an on going project at church. The blankets are being donated to the hospitals on the Indian reservations here in Arizona. I was asked to helped direct the children's program at church. A big task. So I finished my baby blanket, turned it in, and planned to put my projects on hold for a while.

If it weren't for my sister and Mr Rogers, I would be scrapbooking right now instead of crocheting. For my son's birthday Aunt Sarah made a couple DVDs of PBS kids shows. One of which showed Mr Rogers visiting a friend that sews stuffed animals. So of course my son liked that idea. One thing led to another and we were soon surfing the net in search of stuffed animal patterns.

So my crochet obsession began and keeps evolving. At first I was content to follow a pattern, then I started altering patterns. Now I'm onto making my own patterns and contemplating selling a couple (so I can fund more projects). My son keeps encouraging me with all my projects. My husband is trying to learn how to roll his eyes to fully express his enthusiasm for each new project.

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