Crochet Tiny Ninja Pattern


Tiny Ninja Crochet PatternDid you know that December 5 is International Ninja Day? That’s right! I just could not resist creating these tiny Crocheted Ninjas to celebrate, and they are so quick and easy to crochet your own. As I was making these, I kept thinking how perfect they would be for a toddler boy…I mean, you can use them to teach colors, with color sorting and stacking and rainbows, primary colors, secondary colors, etc. If my little ones were still little I would definitely be using these on a regular educational basis!

Anyways, all you need to know to crochet your own tiny ninja is worsted weight yarn (red heart super saver is just PERFECT for these), a crochet hook (I’m really enjoying the F/5-3.75MM size right now), and some stuffing. And then the skills necessary to complete this crochet pattern are minimal and very beginner-friendly: Ch (Chain), ss (slip stitch), sc (single crochet), inc (increase, working two sc in the same stitch), sc2tog (single crochet 2 together), and that’s it!

Tiny ninjas are so quick and easy to crochet up, I managed to make all seven of these in a couple of hours. So much potential. If you need a last minute birthday gift for a 2-yo boy, I can imagine a bunch of these would be so great! Just go to my etsy shop and get the pattern, use up some of your scrap yarn, and have some fun 😀 And check out the CUUUUTE stop motion video I made with the ones that I crocheted…it was a lot of fun to make as well.

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Emoji Explosions!


I was doing some research back in December trying to find inspiration for some new patterns. I’m trying to move away from the copyrighted “character” franchise of Disney, Marvel, Nintendo, and all of those big names. I mean, if one of these giant corporations noticed me and weren’t happy that I was using their success to power my own, they could easily shut down Family Bugs, and completely ruin my life. Plus, it’s just not an honest way to earn my income. So, what is a designer suppose to do?

Crochet Texas Flag Pillow PatternShortly after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, I harvested the idea of State-shaped, Flag-colored decorative throw pillows. And I’m pretty sure that I’ve hit gold with this idea. I’ve written a few blog posts about these that are linked at the end of this post, as is a link to each of the pillow patterns that I’ve published thus far. My Texas pillow actually managed to raise a nice chunk of pocket change to help victims of that hurricane. And I am continuing to work on designing all of the American States. But, it takes me about a month to create even one of these patterns…they are huge! And such a long-term project pushes my endurance and attention span past its limits (for the same reason why I don’t crochet blankets). So, what better than to add in some smaller, quick little patterns to break up the monotony of these larger crochet projects? But, seriously, what could I create that is original and unique to the FamilyBugs name?

During my perusings, I came across a “National Day Celebrations” calendar. A what, now? So, every single day of the year has some absurd holiday that can be celebrated. I’m sure you know the more popular ones like “national donut day”, “national talk like a pirate day”, and “Star Wars day” (may the fourth be with you?). But, there is also “national pickle day”, “national Handwriting day”, and “national croissant day”. And I thought that these would make wonderful inspirations for me! Probably not on a daily basis, because I’m not that good, but surely I can figure out two a week to create tiny crochet patterns from. The best part of this idea, is that it is open to my interpretation!

I include detailed step-by-step instructions in each pattern so that you can not only crochet a quick, tiny project, but add a personalized Kawaii-style emoji face. There are several mouth and eye styles that you can combine to form a variety of different facial expressions. There is my claim to fame – emoji all the crochet things! Haha! But really, these tiny crochet toys can make excellent toys, gifts, party favors, decorations, buntings, Appliqués, bookmarks, or anything else you can think of. I just love them!

Crochet pencils and paper patternFor example, National Handwriting Day was an invitation for me to create these adorable crochet pencils and paper. I actually got two super simple patterns out of that one. And three Etsy listings once I’ve posted them separately and together. If I have the discipline and focus, I can almost write up one of these smaller patterns in one day (but I usually take two or more just to get it right). And as I keep making them, I can also offer up bundles to help my customers save even more money, while encouraging them to support my business. It’s really a win-win situation for all of us.

So far, I’ve taken advantage of National Pickle Day, National Sandwhich Day, National Donut Day, National Handwriting Day, and National Get To Know Your Customers Day. Not quite two patterns a week, but I get faster with each pattern!

*FREE* Disney Crochet Patterns


Copyright infringement is a tricky and precarious path to trek. As I work on growing my crochet pattern database, I am wanting to move away from these Disney, Marvel, and DC crochet patterns. I loved making them while I did, and I certainly did love the income that I was able to bring in from them. But, if Disney decides to target me, there is no way that I could even try to “hold my own” and it would be so easy for these huge corporations to shut me down. That is a risk that I am not willing to take. So, lucky for you, these patterns will now all be available for FREE. That’s right, they are all listed on my Ravelry store front for absolutely no cost at all.

These are the only patterns of mine that I ask you to not sell. You can make them for personal use, or to donate to charities, or fundraisers. As with all of my patterns, please do not copy or redistribute the crochet pattern itself in any way. Thank you very much, and I hope you enjoy making these patterns as much as I have enjoyed designing them.

Princess Leia 0-6 Months

Sleeping Beauty (Aurora) 0-6 Months

Little Princess Crochet Dress Pattern
FREE Disney’s Cinderella Dress Crochet Pattern

Cinderella

Rapunzel

Crochet Halloween Costume
Able to leap buildings in a single bound! Crochet cape and hat.

Superman

Batman

 

Kentucky Flag Pillow


Crochet Kentucky PillowThose of you who have been following the blog know that I’ve slowly been working on creating these flag-colored State-shaped crochet patterns for decorative throw pillows. Unfortunately, each state takes about a month from concept to publication, so I’m looking at a three-year long project to get every single American state completed. Of course, I had to start with all of the states that I’ve lived in, the last of which is The Bluegrass state of Kentucky. I only lived in Kentucky for a couple of months shortly after getting married while Mr. Lovely finished up an internship, but it definitely counts!

To date, this is the largest state I have made, but I think the size definitely adds to the novelty of it! Also, one of the most challenging Flag-patterns out of the states I’ve completed so far. I also think that I get a little bit better every time I complete one of these crochet patterns, and I know I’m going to feel the need to go back and redo Florida and Tennessee, and probably some other states as well as I continue to gain experience in this project.

So, now I have completed Texas, Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky. I’ve had a request for Pennsylvania, and because of where I live, I think Oklahoma should also be done soon as well. But I will definitely take further requests as to which states to complete next. I really am enjoying how these are turning out, and I’m anxious to get every state finished.

MATERIALS NEEDED

• Hook size F/5-3.75MM

• Worsted weight yarn in desired colors (I like using Red Heart Super Saver or Caron Simply Soft, but any brand should work just fine)

• Tapestry needle is optional for sewing in ends

• Stuffing

STITCHES YOU NEED TO KNOW

– Ch – Chain – YO, pull through

– Ss – Slip Stitch – Insert hook, YO, pull through both loops on hook

– Sc – Single Crochet – Insert hook, YO, pull through, YO, pull through both loops on hook

– Sc2tog – Single Crochet 2 Together – Insert hook into first stitch, YO, pull through, insert hook into second stitch, YO, pull through, YO, pull through all loops on hook

– Inc – Increase – Work 2 sc stitches both into the next stitch

Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️


I’ve never been very fond of Valentine’s Day…er…singles awareness day? Even though I’ve been very happily married for almost ten years now, Valentine’s Day is probably one of my least favorite holidays. I mean, I like chocolate just as much as the next girl, but I don’t want a special day set aside just for all of the yummy romanticism. It is cliche and overdone. I don’t do cliches. But anyways, there ARE some really cute valentine’s themed crochet patterns out there, and I just have to Feature some of my favorites for this month’s featured Friday!

Crochet Patterns To Purchase

I mean, these heart dolls from MakeItEasy Classroom are just stinking adorable! Those are some very well-made Hearts, and the addition of facial features, limbs, and the other details are just perfect. It is important to consider that she uses UK crochet terms and not US ones…there IS a difference.

This crochet heart beanie pattern has been making the rounds on Pinterest. I’m actually tempted to get this one from CAABCrochet and make up a few for my daughters. It’s the color combinations that make it so adorable. I particularly like the confetti look up at the top near the Pom Pom. Just a little bit of detail that is easy to overlook, but makes a big difference!

If you’ve got some gifts to give this Valentine’s Day, I can highly recommend these precious tapestry tags. I imagine that they look just as good on the back as they do in the front. HighlandHickoryDsgns has done an excellent job with the shape of these, too. Just think of the color combinations you could play with…scrap buster!

Happy Patty Crochet has several flower patterns that are just lovely. Not only are these just gorgeous creations, but the look pretty simple to duplicate. If I had the time, I would make these up and display them in my house all year long. Everlasting flowers that don’t require water or sunlight…a simple shaking could remove dust, or you could probably wash them on a gentle cycle in the washer machine depending on the yarn you use. Delightful.

Free Crochet Patterns To Enjoy!

I knew there just had to be a perfectly adorable love bug pattern available somewhere! Laura Kaltman has managed to fir that bill with this tiny little thing. Available on one of my favorite pattern sites: Ravelry! Heart-shaped wings, heart-shaped antenna and the Valentine’s Day traditional colors of pink, red, and white make this a perfect toy for small children 😊

I’m not a huge fan of wreaths in general. Most of them feel too 80’s for my preference. But, for those or you that are so inclined, RepeatCrafterMe has a really cute love wreath that is prefect for Valentine’s Day. Those tiny crochet hearts could have a lot of applications, too.

Not to be left out, I have to include my own emoji hearts pattern! I had a lot of fun working up this quick little pattern. The free version only includes the heart pattern, but you can purchase it for just a few dollars (discounted for Valentine’s Day) and get the addition of how to make several different Kawaii-styled emoji facial expressions.

And because she’s just such a wonderful designer, I also have to Feature this table runner also from RepeatCrafterMe. If you are hosting a Valentine’s Day party, this would be just perfect to set the mood. It’s sure to get a tone of compliments, too!

7 Steps To Creating a New Crochet Pattern


Family Bugs Crochet DesignsAs a crochet Pattern designer, I do not want to encourage you to create your own crochet patterns. I want you to buy and use MY crochet patterns. As a fellow artist, though, I get so exited with the prospect of a budding crochet designer and I want to help you all succeed! As with any craft, though, Crochet is very personalized. I have never seen two artists who hold their yarn and hook the same way. I think it’s great! Two people can be following the same pattern and still have very different results, especially if they apply their own artistic interpretation. So, while I’m going to give you my outline of designing a new crochet pattern, this method may not work for you at all.

Step 1: the idea

Probably the most important part of designing is knowing what you are going to be designing. It is impossible to sit down with hook and yarn and start crocheting and just *poof*, it’s a perfect Amigurumi puppy! No, that doesn’t happen. Have at least captured the ghost of an idea of what you want to make. It doesn’t have to be concrete, or set in stone, and you might not even be able to picture it in your head yet, and that’s ok.

Crochet toast bread patternI’m going to use my most recent pattern as an example. I’ve decided this year to make a bunch of smaller, Kawaii-styled (or emoji-like) toys and collectibles. Simple patterns that I can whip out in 2-3 days. That is my idea. I don’t even necessarily know exactly what I’m going to be making, but there are guidelines for me to follow for my next step: research.

Step 2: research

Has anyone made something like your idea before? Get on etsy, Pinterest, and google, and search some keywords. Find some inspiration, discover if you are creating something very original, or if there is a foundation pattern that you can build off of. Don’t copy someone else’s crochet pattern…that’s just asking for trouble. But, don’t be afraid to utilize the greats that have come before you, either. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Crochet pen, pencil, and paper patternSo, I get daily emails from a national day calendar company. And I’ve decided to use these as my idea of what to create. January 23rd is National Handwriting Day. What is better for Handwriting than pencils and paper?! Part of the research is automatically done for me in this instance when I read the email. But then, I get online and I start searching “crochet Pencil pattern” and “crochet notebook paper” and I get quite a few hits. Not enough to deter me from creating my own, but enough for me to establish what I like and don’t like of each pattern presented. Research completed.

Step 3: know the elements

In order to design your own patterns properly, and save yourself a ton of frogs, you must know how the different crochet stitches interact with each other to create different shapes. That taller stitches like dc may work up quicker, but they leave too big of gaps between stitches to be good Amigurumi elements. You need to know that strategically placing increases and decreases can create bubbles or pockets, curves and bumps in a garment. That stuffed animals are usually completed in the round, while blankets are best worked in ROWs.

Crochet pickles emoji patternMy pickles needed bumps. I needed to know how to make bumps and it needed to be simple enough that I could teach or show someone else how to do it. That was an element of that particular pattern that I needed to know how to make myself in order to write the pattern for someone else to follow.

Step 4: record

Write it down. This is the fun part! I like to utilize my iPad or computer because it’s easier to backspace. I’ve also used pen and paper in the past, or as my circumstances dictate. Regardless of how you choose to record it, it is important to write as you go and correct as you need to. Do not rely on your memory.

Very rarely can I just whip out a new pattern without any frogging. More often than not, I will rework ROWs and RNDs several times before I get it just right. Sometimes, I might make the pattern to completion, and there’s just something “off” about it, so I’ll rework the whole pattern. I’m trying to make some ear warmers right now and I just can’t seem to get them right. I think I’ve reworked it four times already. So, be patient with the process, and don’t stress if you need to step away from it and come back later with fresh perspective.

Step 5: test

Rework the pattern at least once for yourself. Check the numbers and counting. Use stitch markers. Make the wording as easy to follow as you possibly can. Remember: you want to create something that is duplicateable. Then, for more complicated patterns, utilize other people as testers. They can catch spelling mistakes, inconsistencies, and confusing wording that you will miss. Don’t fret, you don’t have to pay them. There are plenty of people willing to test patterns for you for free. Just ask around.

From experience, if one tiny part of your pattern is wrong, people are gonna be confused. I’ve had a final row count that was off by 3-4 numbers, and getting an email of a very confused customer. Just because you can “make it work” doesn’t mean that other people are capable of doing that as well. So, get the numbers right, and make sure that the hdc’s and the dc’s are all where they need to be.

Step 6: photograph

Such a vital part of designing crochet Patterns is taking the pictures. Not only do you need the final product picture to entice buyers and followers, but it’s an excellent idea to take as-you-go pictures to help people follow along with you. Natural, indirect lighting, simple backdrop, no distractions. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal with the yarn and hook. Pictures are always a good idea!

I’ve actually developed a nifty little system for taking as-I-go pictures for my crochet patterns. I’ve got a western-facing window by my workspace, and will open the curtains to let in the natural, indirect light. My iPad can take excellently detailed close-ups, especially with a couple of lenses attachments. And with a bit of neutral-colored fabric, my stage is set! Don’t be afraid to invest in resources that will help you out.

Step 7: publish

Pick your online platform and publish your crochet pattern. I utilize Etsy, Ravelry, and craftsy, but I’m sure that there are others that are excellent! Also: because I work primarily on my iPad and with erstwhile I have to use an app called “compress pdf”, and I export from pages. Once the file has been downloaded, I then have to send it to my iPad’s files (the cloud), where I can then access it from the Etsy browser (through Safari). It’s an involved process, but not a difficult one. Figure out what it takes to get your pattern where you need it to be so that your customer can get to it.

I also publish free crochet patterns on the blog from time-to-time. This requires copying, pasting, downloading most of the images, positioning the images, and reformatting a lot of times. Equally an involved process. But, my favorite thing about making patterns is that once the work is done, apart from answering a few questions (and maybe updating it), you never have to mess with again. It will continue to bring in revenue with very little effort on your part. One and done.

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So, there you have the Family Bugs system for creating new crochet patterns. Have you used this system to success? Do you have your own system for creating new patterns? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

And if you have any additional questions about designing your own crochet pattern, I’m sure we can help you out with those, too.

Crochet Fox Alice Pattern Review


Crochet Fauxy Fox patternMy mother-in-law is obsessed with foxes. When she first moved into town three years ago, she found a quaint little house to rent that was located on Fox Avenue. Of course, that was all the excuse she needed to go crazy with all the Fox things. Last year, I created this pattern of Fauxy for her as a Christmas gift, and I knew that started a tradition that would need to be continued for as long as I am able to create.

Since I’ve already got a crochet pattern in my library that I’ve designed, and because I really didn’t have the time to create another one, I went on the prowl. About two hours worth of research, I found this adorable fox Alice pattern from Aradyia. She has several wonderfully-made toys, and the details are just incredible. The plants vs. zombies patterns first grabbed my attention several years ago, and I’ve been an avid fan ever since. However, I had no reason to purchase one of her patterns until just recently.

Wowzers! That is really the only word I can use to describe this pattern. Not only is it available in several different languages (which was actually pretty pointless for me. I felt like I paid for five different patterns but can only use one), but the amount of detail and intricate instructions provided is just amazing. It is obvious that a ton of time, energy, and effort has gone into this particular crochet pattern and I’ve no doubt that she is equally as meticulous with all of her patterns.

Fox Alice crochet patternThis is not a simple pattern to follow, though. Definitely geared more towards the intermediately-skilled artist and not the beginner. While not difficult, there are some techniques that I have never come across before (notice the fox’s unique feet), and the terminology is a bit different than I am accustomed to. I was able to figure it out without any additional assistance.

I do have two complaints against this pattern. I started off making it with the “correct” hook and yarn size and when I realized just how large it was going to be, I switched to a larger hook and thicker yarn. I’m not going to torture myself in using tiny hooks for a project that is not going to be tiny. The images taken for the listing do not portray the finished size very well. My second complaint is how many pages and images are included in the pattern. It’s great for digital purposes, but if you want to print it out to have a hard-copy on hand, you are looking at 38 pages FULL of colored pictures. I like to print off my purchased patterns so that I always have them, but the size and nature of this particular pattern wasn’t worth it to me.

Aradyia crochet pattern reviewOverall, I highly recommend Aradyia’s crochet patterns for you to try out. The detailed instructions that she includes, and the very precise directions means a higher likelihood that you will be able to duplicate her pictured results. The finished toy is definitely going to be of high quality, just like the pattern is!

How To Personalize Your Crochet


Personalization is a VERY popular right now. The baby quilts with the names on them are stinking adorable! Vinyl stickers with the monogramed-style initials are showing up EVERYWHERE-computers, lunch boxes, yeti tumblers. Children’s clothes with the cute, unique phrases sewn onto them are making appearances in high end boutique stores across the country. And I am constantly coming back to the thought: how can I make my crochet personalized like that? It certainly is a challenge, and one I have considered a played around with for almost three years now. I’ve had some botched projects that weren’t worth the time and effort that I put into them. I’ve also had some wonderful projects that I probably could sell for $50, $60, even $70!! And who doesn’t dream of earning $70 for a two-hour crochet project? There are actually several different ways that you can personalize your crochet. And good news for you, I’m going to share them with you today!

The Bobble Stitch

Bobble Stitch BlanketProbably the best way to personalize a blanket is with strategically placed bobble stitches. You can do whole quotes, names, infant stats, subway art, and probably anything else that you can think of. I simply adore these blankets that say “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine”. The biggest downfall, I think, would be the amount of yarn needed to make all of those bobbles. Not a difficult stitch, but definitely a yarn-hungry and time-consuming kind of stitch.

Appliqué

Harry Potter Appliqué I’ve only seen these in two ways. Either someone cuts out the desired shape in felt and hand-sews or attaches it to the crochet fabric, or someone crochets a flat shape and adds it to some more crochet, or a different type of fabric. Like these Harry Potter scarf appliqués that I made recently (you can get the free pattern HERE), where I hand-sewed the crocheted neckties onto cotton onesies. So, you can crochet a flat image and attach it to an article of clothing, like what I have done with the neckties. Or, you can cut shapes out of felt and attach them to a crochet project, like these pumpkin hats.

Tapestry Crochet

This method of adding personalization can be very intimidating to beginner and intermediate crocheters alike. Usually done in single crochet stitches with several colors in smaller hook sizes. You are suppose to carry each color along with you, crocheting around them and the stitch you are working in. It sounds complicated, but as someone who has completed several pretty amazing tapestry crochet projects, it isn’t as difficult as it might sound. As long as you know how to change colors, you should be ok to complete something like this. There’s a ton of CUTE tapestry crochet projects, and as long as you can create or read a graph, you can make absolutely anything that you want to…You can check out a bunch of tapestry crochet styled projects on THIS blog post that I wrote earlier last week. This is a great way to do the monogrammed initials. Make dish-cloths, trivets, baby blankets, hats, bags, purses…anything that you can make in single crochet stitches, you can use tapestry crochet with.

Surface Crochet

Surface CrochetA fairly newer method of creating some beautiful details would be through surface crochet. I like how you don’t have to use single crochet stitches for this method to be effective (although it does work best). So, create your garment, and then go back and add slip stitches, or single crochet, or some other stitches will also result in unique patterns.

Cross Stitch

My least favorite method of personalizing crochet has to be cross stitching. So, how this works, is you create a garment from single crochet stitches, and then stitch your embroidery with a series of x’s sewn right into the fabric. While I may not be very fond of the finished look, this is a great way to add very precise edges on your work and can include a bunch of different embroidery techniques. Sewella has an excellent video tutorial about how to accomplish some beautiful projects with this method.

Tunisian Crochet

Personalized CrochetAnother method of personalization is a very unique form of crochet called Tunisian crochet. This is kind of a mix between crocheting and knitting. So, you know how knitting is done with two needles and you go back and forth between the two needles casting on one while casting off the other? Well, Tunisian Crochet is done with one hook, it’s still considered crochet more than knitting, but you do cast on the hook, and then cast off the hook. Once you figure out what you are doing, this is a fun way to add personalization to crochet. I like using this method for hat brims. Like tapestry crochet, each stitch can represent one square in a graph pattern. Here is a picture of some hats that I made several years ago for some dear friends.

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I love how versatile crochet is! With all of these different ways to personalize your crochet, you are bound to be at the top of your industry in no time. How adorable would it be to mix different methods into one product, to? I sure would love to see your finished personalized projects…share your pictures with me below

5 Projects to Make via the Tapestry Crochet Method


Tennessee State throw pillow crochet patternColor changing, while not inherently difficult can drive a crochet artist insane! If you’ve never learned how to do this properly, petals to picots has a simple tutorial that you can learn from. Tapestry crochet usually involves lots of different colors and a carrying of the yarn while you go. Lilla Bjorn Crochet has an excellent guide with very helpful pictures about how to do tapestry crochet. I actually used some simple tapestry crochet to create the Tennessee State throw pillow crochet pattern (although I do plan on creating a version that doesn’t involve any color changing (like the Texas one). This week’s post of “Telling Tuesday” is full of some beautiful Tapestry crochet patterns that you can complete yourself!

Tapestry coffee coziesIf you are wanting to start off small and simple, ladesideloops has some wonderful coffee cozies done in tapestry crochet. It’s great that this particular pattern also seems to include the entire alphabet, too!

Tapestry crochet beanieMy daughter is obsessed with elephants and I might need to make her one of these adorable tapestry crochet hats from Bowtykes. But, seriously, this is a great way to achieve the very popular “fair aisle” look that is so popular right now.

Tapestry coaster crochet patternAtelierSopra has several gorgeous coaster sets done in the tapestry method. I love how the complex combination of few colors make such wonderful patterns. These are great, small projects, to really master this particular skill of color changing and carrying yarn.

Tapestry crochet London city bagThere are so many gorgeous bags and purses that have been created via tapestry crochet that I really couldn’t pick a favorite. The possibilities are so vast and numerous, that you could probably work up any one of these patterns 50 different times and never result in the same pattern twice. While I am a big fan of the geometric and tribal patterns, this London skyline from CrochetShopCarolina is just incredible! I particularly love how Big Ben was designed, here.

There are so many different articles of crochet that have been spruced up via tapestry workings. Rugs, socks, sweaters, gloves, wall hangings, ornaments, toys, jewelry…if it can be created with single crochet stitches, it can be colored with tapestry methods. Do you have any favorite tapestry crochet projects? Please, share them in the comments below!