Pineapple C2C Crochet Banner


IMG_2591I have a friend, who sells stuff that she sews through facebook, and she’s REALLY good! I was blessed to have her precious daughter as one of my students last school year, and received a couple of her products as gifts. I’ve also purchased some of her products to give to my own children’s teachers as gifts, and I have not been disappointed. Seriously, go check out her work on Purple Pineapple Pizzaz, you will not regret it!

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Free pattern from Stuff Steph Makes

Anyways, when I was perusing pinterest a couple weeks ago in preparing for the new year, I came across this adorable pineapple banner, and I just knew I had to make a purple one for her! However, I immediately had a problem with it: I have never attempted C2C crochet before (corner to corner). So, this post is my personal opinion about C2C just as much as it is a review of this particular pattern!

So, while I was in the car for 14 hours traveling back home after the holidays, I grabbed my yarn, my hook, and my computer, and I learned this new crochet technique. Now that I’ve given the finished product to my friend, I can show you guys the picture and talk about my experience a little bit. I mean, I did not want to give away the surprise, did I?

If you’ve never done corner 2 corner crochet before, I actually recommend it. It’s fairly simple, but does require a bit of thought and concentration. I did not have access to a printer (I was out of town during the Christmas/new year time), which made it a bit more difficult for me. So, print out your graph pattern, and mark off your rows as you go, and indicate which direction you are going with little arrows. It can easily get confusing. There were a couple of times that I had to rip out 3-4 rows when I got off, and for something that really *looks* straight forward and easy, that was frustrating for me.

I didn’t like that I couldn’t “carry the yarn” with me and had to have so many different little balls of yarn floating around. If you aren’t extra careful, you could easily end up with a very tangly mess, and I was just playing with two different colors. More color changes would mean more tails to weave in, and we all know how much no one enjoys that! I actually ended up snipping the yarn at every color change and then knotting the pieces together on the back. I know it’s a big no-no in crochet, but for something like this that will be hanging with a very clear back and obvious front, I think it’s ok.

There wasn’t any explanation about how to achieve the pointed look at the bottom of the banner. Since I am a designer, and I can easily see stitches and patterns and predict the craft a little bit, I could figure it out with minimal frogging. BUT, I also know from experience, that a LOT of very talented crochet artists have difficulty visualizing these things without written instructions. So, that’s a negative for this particular pattern.

IMG_2592I did not use the recommended yarn or hook size. I used red heart super saver (my favorite!), red heart ombre, and a size g hook. So, not huge differences from what the pattern suggests, and my end result is quite large. It’s actually much larger than I would have preferred…but oh well. I still really like how it turned out.

Overall, I enjoyed the process, I might attempt some C2C crochet in the future, depending on what patterns/graphs are already in existence, but I’m not going to be designing any of my own patterns based off of this technique. There are some really cool patterns already out there, and I know a lot of people really like how simple it is.

So, do you LOVE C2C, or are you like me and just “meh” about it? Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

2 Week’s Worth of Facebook Posts


Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 9.49.18 PMAfter that big long post about all of the cool things that I was planning to do for my business, and not a bit of it has gotten done yet. I tell you, it is HARD to balance life sometimes! But, I decided to take this evening, and just schedule out all of my facebook posts for the rest of this month. It took me 2 hours, and I don’t have a post for every single day of the next 2 weeks…but I don’t really want a new post every single day. I also created a few etsy sales and promos to go along with a few of the posts, and it took me a little bit of time to figure out how to do all of that.

So, today is the 14th, which means tomorrow is the 15th. The first thing that I decided on, was a once monthly flash sale where everything in my etsy shop was discounted 50%…this code is ONLY available to my facebook fans…so if you are interested, then you gotta go like the facebook page 😉 I decided to call this thing “50 on the 15th”, so every month, on the 15th, there will be a similar flash sale where everything in my etsy shop is discounted WITH the coupon code. I am on top of the ball and already scheduled this out for the rest of the year with etsy! I was only able to schedule facebook posts until June…but it’s finished for the first half of the year!

The next thing I did was to schedule monthly promotions for all of my facebook fans. Every month there will be a new code that people can use in my etsy shop for $2.00 off any crochet pattern that they choose. This will go on for the entire month, and once again, requires a coupon code that is only available to my facebook fans. Seriously, if you aren’t on my facebook page, you are missing out!!

Another thing that I did to fill up the rest of January’s “calendar” was to look over the patterns that I already have. A couple of years ago (right before I got my full-time job), I had started making these quick little kawaii-type crochet patterns that coincided with national day holidays. For example, January 23rd is National Handwriting Day, and I have some little emoji-styled pencils and paper crochet patterns already made up. So, on the 23rd, there will be yet another flash sale for these little patterns. I actually have 3 of them schedule during the last half of January.

The rest of my January calendar was scheduled with a couple of cute memes, hopefully I can release Michigan’s flag pillow, and a poll asking my facebook fans which state pillow they would like to see next (Oklahoma or Pennsylvania), and I will be posting a few of my blog posts on there as well. I’m sure that February will look a little bit different, because I didn’t get a ton of those national day crochet patterns worked up, but it’s at least a place to start! I will work on scheduling February’s posts at another day, because WHEW! After a very long day (where I got unexpectedly pulled from my normal position to sub in 2nd grade), I am tired.

New Year, New Business Plan!


I took a break from creating last year when I made the choice to go back to school to get my bachelor’s degree in Special Education. Working full-time as a kindergarten special education paraprofessional (assistant), taking care of my little family (three school-aged children, and my mother-in-law, who lives with us), teaching bible class every Sunday, being the moral and emotional support for my husband (who is a minister/preacher), and the addition of classes towards my bachelor’s degree was more than enough for me to handle. I have still picked up my hook from time to time, but it has definitely been a hobby over the past year.

Anyways, I will be taking a bit of a break from my school later on this year. Actually, I’ll be finished with my core classes, and just waiting until I can start student teaching in August/September. Since I won’t be able to get paid for my student teaching (16 weeks), and I’ll essentially be job-less, my hope is to get a bit of revenue coming in from designing crochet patterns to help support my family during this time. So, I’m back and I’m ready to get going!

I thought I would take a minute to share my business plan with you guys, in hopes of keeping me accountable, and so that I can get ya’ll excited about it too!! The first thing that I’m going to do, and I’ve already started working on it, is to update everything. The etsy shop needs to be updated and renewed, the facebook page needs to be cleaned up a bit, and I probably have some fees and dues to take care of on ravelry. It’s also going to take some doing to get my instagram back up and running again. I also would like to research snapchat a little bit, but I’ve little idea how that works, so that’s tentative.

img_2851-1Next, my goal is to continue working on the state flag pillows that I started a couple of years ago. I already have Tennessee, Texas, Florida, and Kentucky finished. Oklahoma is about halfway done, if I can find the pattern that I started so long ago, haha! There is no way that I can get all 50 states done…that’s like a completed pattern every week. BUT, if I can manage 15 states, I think that’s a lofty goal. So, if you have any suggestions or ideas or desires of which state you would like to see me do, by all means, leave a comment, and I’ll add it to the top of my list!

I think that’s it. A two-fold business plan, and lots of prayers! Afterall, I wouldn’t even have this talent to begin with if it weren’t for God’s gracious gifting of it to me 🙂 I think ya’ll should follow along on my blog, get updates on the patterns as I work on them, and probably some crazy stories about how I manage everything, because it’s sure to be a crazy and hectic year!

Blog Post Ideas for the Crochet Artist


Crochet Blog Post IdeasIt is a constant struggle to try to find new blog posts. Especially for a blog such as this one that is very niched. I design crochet patterns. So, what can I write about that will bring fellow crochet-artists to my blog (hopefully, artists who will buy my patterns)? Sure, there are lists upon lists on top of more lists of generic blogging topics and ideas of what to write about. Everyone always seems to say the same thing: make lists, include numbers, top 5 mistakes I made, create tutorials, design Printables. These are all great, but I want something specific to write about. I don’t want to have to further wrack my brain about which of my mistakes I want to write about this time. So, I thought yet another list was in order. I actually researched the top 5 crochet blogs from 2017, and went back through their blog posts and have the following titles listed below! I hope you guys will find this as useful as I continue to use it myself 🙂

Beatrice Ryan Designs

  • CAL – Crochet-a-long (free ongoing pattern)
  • Free Patterns
  • Crocheting for Charity or for a cause

Crea8tion Crochet

  • Pattern collections (colors, holidays, stitches, textures, shapes, yarn type, seasonal, designer, etc.)
  • Write about your own patterns (be sure to include links of where to find it)
  • Free crochet pattern review (use someone else’s free pattern)
  • Crochet book review (with giveaway)

Crochet Dreamz

  • Crochet tips and tricks (changing colors, new stitches, different techniques)
  • Free Crochet patterns
  • New Crochet patterns
  • Pattern round-ups (yours and others)

Daisy Cottage Designs

  • Crochet patterns (reviews, free, new)
  • Pattern collections (similar, complimentary)
  • Printable’s (organizers, wall-art)
  • Round-up of all of your own patterns
  • Skill-specific (beginner, intermediate, expert)

Fiber Flux

  • Crochet-specific unboxing (monthly subscription boxes)
  • Challenges (CAL, de-stashing)
  • Book review and giveaway
  • Free crochet pattern

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.

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

Emoji Hearts


Free Crochet Heart PatternIn the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I just couldn’t resist. These emoji heart softies might be one of my favorites. But don’t I say that about all of my patterns? What can I say, except that I love What I do? So, the basic crochet pattern to make hearts is available for free below. If you want the directions for adding Kawaii-style faces onto the heart, or if you’d like a printable pdf version of these crochet hearts, you’ll have to purchase the pattern HERE for just a couple of dollars. I’ve got to stay in business somehow, right? So, without further ado, the FREE crochet pattern for Valentine’s Day Hearts 😍

MATERIALS NEEDED

• Hook size: you can use whatever size hook you want. Keeping in mind that a larger hook will result in a larger Heart. I used E/4-3.5 MM in these images.

• Yarn: again, this is irrelevant so long as it coincides with your hook size. I used worsted weight (red heart super saver) in these images. You will need a few different colors depending on the color of Heart you want to make.

• Tapestry needle is optional for sewing in ends and attaching pieces.

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

– Hdc – Half Double Crochet – YO, insert hook, YO, pull through, YO, pull through all loops on hook

– Inc – Increase – work two hdc stitches both into the same space

Heart

Designer’s note: an increase stitch (abbreviated inc), is worked by placing two hdc stitches into the same stitch. Not sc stitches for this particular pattern.

ROW 1: With heart color, ch 4, sc in second ch from hook and all the way across (3), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 2: inc, sc 1, inc (5) ch 1 and turn

ROW 3: inc, sc 3, inc (7) ch 1 and turn

ROW 4: inc, sc 5, inc (9) ch 1 and turn

ROW 5: inc, sc 7, inc (11) ch 1 and turn

ROW 6: inc, sc 9, inc (13) ch 1 and turn

ROW 7: inc, sc 11 inc (15) ch 1 and turn

ROWs 8-10: sc all the way across (15), ch 1 and turn

ROW 11: sc2tog, sc 3, sc2tog (5), ch 1 and turn

ROW 12: sc2tog, sc 1, sc2tog (3), ch 1 and turn

ROW 13: sc across (3) finish off

ROW 14: count over one stitch on ROW 11, insert hook and repeat ROWs 11-13 (don’t finish off).

RND 15: ch 1 and sc around entire heart shape, at each “point” work the following (sc, inc, sc)

Happy Valentine’s DayFree crochet heart patternHappy Valentine’s DayFree crochet heart pattern