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.


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.


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!

Ultimate List of Crochet Christmas Gifts

I adore crocheting gifts for my family and friends for the holidays. It requires a lot of thought, and effort, and consideration, which lets them know how much they mean to me. I have a lot of dear ones in my life and it’s fun for me to make something beautiful for them. Plus, ultimately, it saves me a ton of money, and my husband a ton of time (because he gets paid hourly from his second job, which supplies all of our extra spending money, and the more I spend, the more he has to work).

Sometimes, However, I am at a loss as to what to crochet for these dear friends of mine. Well, I did a little bit of research, and as always, you get to reap the benefits of my hard work. Because, I am compiling all of my research together to create a list on this very blog post about what to make for every single person in your life. Are you ready? It’s going to be a big one, so before you get started crochet yourself a hat real quick, put it on your head, and hold on to it, because it might get blown away!

GREETINGS These are so very popular right now. And people are LOVING the universal greetings like “Merry Everything” and “Happy Always”. You can use tapestry crochet, Tunisian crochet, embroidery machines, or remade appliqués.

GREENERY Bright emeralds, deep evergreens, wreaths, table centerpieces, and other decor items. There are TONS of crochet patterns in existence of such things.

MODERN FARMHOUSE Not only is this a very fashionable decor choice right now, but it translates very nicely into holiday-specific decor as well. There are some BEAUTIFUL tablecloths, curtains, and other decor that you can crochet to achieve this very look.

ANIMALS There are a ton of pet accessories available to find inspiration from either in stores or from the internet. People love their fur-babies, and to know that someone else loves their fur-baby too, will warm the heart of any fur-parent. Hats, collars, sweaters, toys.

GINGERBREAD I don’t get it, but it’s a thing, and a big thing right now. Crochet up a bunch to give out as favors, or figure out a way to make it interchangeable for small children to play with.

PERSONALIZATION You can’t ever go wrong by adding a name, or a unique phrase or saying, or the southern belle’s favorite: the monogram. There are lots of ways to add personalization to your crochet projects.


ELECTRONICS As screens continue to trend on the rise, there is an electronic something suited to every person: ear buds, charging stations, sleeves and cases…I recently whipped out a necklace holder for my mother-in-law for her phone.

COFFEE Very few people do not drink coffee (Me, I don’t). A majority of this country’s population not only drinks coffee, but drinks it regularly, and is a bit obsessed with all things coffee: special grounds, personalized mugs, home decor. How cute would it be to make an amigurumi coffee mug for your good friend?

ROOM-SPECIFICS For the cook, make them kitchen-y things: trivets, potholders, dishtowel toppers. For the video gamer, try a vintage t-shirt applique or crochet a stuffed Nintendo control…you know, the old ones! Don’t forget the hostess with the mostest. If you have a friend who hosts parties or overnight guests often, you can crochet placemats, coasters, decorative pillows for their guest room.

OFFICE PARTNER Have a partner in crime that you only see 9-5? The best kind of gift here would be a tote bag, or even something job-specific.

TRAVELER We all have that one friend, who travels almost constantly! Probably their bags are getting worn out, or they don’t have a clever piece of luggage that would make their life easier? A crocheted overnight bag or make-up bag would be a lovely gift.

THE READER Obviously, bookmarks are a good idea…How many of us are always losing our bookmarks or leaving them inside of books? But also, book covers, book bags, maybe something specific from a favorite book?

GARDENER I know it’s hard to think about plants in the dead of winter, but this can be a great time to find for-sale crochet patterns in this department: Vegetable-shaped pillows would be fun, or clever little identifiers for their plants (made with acrylic yarn, of course, so that the weather doesn’t ruin them).

CHILDREN Having thee children myself, I think it is immensely easy to crochet gifts for such. However, if you don’t spend a lot of time around children, this can be a challenge: Dress-up clothes, puppets, dolls, blankets, slippers, hats, gloves (my kids LOVE wearing gloves and hats, and each have several to pick and choose from).

GENERIC GIFTS if your person doesn’t fit in any of these categories, leave me a comment below, and we can CREATE that category. In the meantime, you can’t go wrong by crocheting fun slippers, personalized drink cozies, or practical gloves.

Princess Leia *FREE* Crochet Pattern (part 1)

I love returning customers! They know how to work with me, and not only do they know what I am capable of creating, but they appreciate the time and effort that I put into something. When a previous customer comes to me, I will put them top of my list and fulfill their requests first, every time. Not to mention the 15% discount that these returning customers get to enjoy time and time again! There are perks to being a loyal Family Bugs fan for sure.

I might adore custom requests even more! So many times I have very many ideas of what to crochet next floating in my head. So many ideas, in fact, that I struggle to narrow it down to just one, or find difficulty in focusing on just one through to completion. I cannot even number how many works in progress I have going on right now, and I just purged my closet, throwing away several of these wips! So, when someone make a specific request, saying “can you please make me something?” I put it at thetop of my “to design” list, and then I have a deadline, and the motivation to get it done! Because I know a very specific person is just waiting for me!

So, when a returning customer asked me earlier this month to make a Princess Leia Crochet Costume for her 3-mo daughter for Halloween, I knew I just had to do it. And I also knew that the pattern had to be available for all of my wonderful fans as well! It fits right in with my disney princess collection, too! Because there are so many parts involved in this costume, however, I’ve broken it down into two parts. This is the first part consisting of the dress pattern, and in a couple of days I will be publishing the second part which will contain the crochet patterns for the light saber and Princess Leia’s iconic braided hair/hat/wig.

You will need a size h crochet hook, and worsted weight yarn in white and grey. That’s it. As far as materials go, this is a pretty simple pattern. I have also tried to stick with basic crochet stitches: ch, ss, sc, dc, dc2tog, and increases. As with all of my crochet patterns, my goal is to keep the directions as simple as possible. So if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email 😊


Designer notes: Dress is worked from the bottom up. Using white Ch 78
RND 1: Sc in second ch from hook and all the way across. (77) Being careful not to twist, Ss to first sc to join into a large circle
RND 2: ch 2, dc all the way around (77), ss to first to join
Designer’s note: If you want to add length to the skirt, for an exceptionally long infant, or just because you want it longer, this is where you should add in. Just repeat RND 2.
RNDs 3-10 Work 3 dc2tog somewhere in each RND. Ss to first to join, ch 2. Final stitch count after RND 10 should be 54


RND 11: dc all the way around (54) color change to grey, ss to first to join, ch 1
RND 12: sc all the way around (54), ss to first to join, ch 1
RND 13: sc all the way around (54), color change back to white, ss to first to join, ch 2

RNDs 14-19: dc all the way around (54), ss to first to join, ch 2. Finish off after RND 19


Make two: Ch 17. Dc in third ch from hook, Dc in each stitch across (15). Finish off. Attach both Dc chains into the bodice with 13 stitches in between in front and back; 9 stitches in the underarm.
Insert white anywhere along the neckline and repeat the following all the way around: Ch 3, skip next stitch and ss in the second for a total of 24 ruffles.


RND 1: Insert hook in the back corner where the strap meets the bodice. Sc all the way around the arm hole (25), ss to first to join and ch 2
RNDs 2-13: dc all the way around (25), ss to first to join, ch 2. Finish off after RND 13.


Princess Leia’s dress has these three grey circles right along the belt of her dress. Make two of the smaller ones, and one of the larger circles.

RND 1: ch 2, work 7 sc stitches all into the second ch from hook (7), ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 2: inc all the way around (14), ss to first to join. Finish off to form the smaller circle, ch 1 and continue to RND 3 for the larger circle

RND 3: *inc, sc 1* all the way around (21), ss to first to join and finish off.

Attach the larger circle in front center of the grey waist band. Attach the two smaller circles on either side.

Why Should I Crochet Something For the Holidays?

I don’t know how many of you are subscribed to the Etsy Seller Tips Newsletter. If you are not, I highly recommend getting yourself on that list. I would consider this newsletter to be a must-have for everyone who has an etsy shop, or online store. They always have some great ideas and suggestions for optimizing, and bettering what’s already going on.

I’ve not really been much of one for holiday-specific crafting. Or on keeping track of international holidays, or the big holidays that other countries might celebrate. I might be the definition of a selfish American here. However, after reading their latest article on key shopping dates, I have decided to make this a priority for the new year.

Obviously, it’s too late now to start working towards monthly holidays. My to-make list is way too big for me to finish this year, and that’s just considering gifts for my family, and current WIP (works in progress). But definitely, a New Year’s resolution for the Family Bugs Crochet Designs business (FBCD, can I do that?)

So, I’m not going to plagiarize and copy off every relevant fact that the article shares, but to find out that “Halloween” was searched on Etsy more than “Mothers” or “Father’s Day” definitely hit a cord with me. Hhmmnn…maybe there is something to this holiday-specific thing than I’ve given it credit for.

Like a good aspiring business-woman, I also follow several “coaches” for lack of a better term. All of them are currently talking about how to gear up for holiday sales. There is definitely something worth considering here. I mean, I knew that there was a spike in people looking for Christmas presents…it’s a big deal. But, for Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Years, and then fall and winter in general? I am definitely going to have to up my crochet pattern designing game!

I used to pride myself in having generic crochet patterns that weren’t holiday-specific, but now I am beginning to understand that these types of items can bring me a boost in sales, and also profits. Everyone likes seeing a little extra profit. And people are willing to spend more money during the holidays.

Plus, the winter months are perfect for crocheters, the weather is cold, the sky is dark, people stay in-doors more, and have more time to hook like they want to. And those that aren’t fanatics about the craft, like I am, will be more in the mood to create sweaters, and scarfs, and cold-weather attire like that.

So, there is something that you can look forward to from the FBCD business in the next year! More holiday-specific crochet patterns. Since I’m doing really well with my state pillows, I may continue on with this trend. Or, you might get to see some Family Bug’s originals as I continue to do research and plan for the future 🙂

Thanksgiving Crochet Pattern Round-upi

From turkeys to cornucopias, pilgrims and Indians, to pumpkins and gourds…Thanksgiving is looming ever nearer! But if you are tired of crocheting the same old generic pumpkins and giant turkeys, why not try these crochet patterns to spruce up your holiday decor!

I really enjoy this Harvest Crow from PamsPatterns. Definitely not your typical Thanksgiving decor, but with scare-crows and sunflowers being very much “fall”, I think he fits right in. Plus, he looks pretty well-done from what I can see.

The idea of newborn cocoons is a fun one. They are so versatile. My kids were all a bit too old by the time I discovered the novelty, so I’m not sure how practical they are…but definitely great for photo shoots. This corn on the cob cocoon from June Bugs Crochet is definitely different and worth considering for all of your baby needs. I think if you were to swaddle the baby, then wriggle them into the cocoon, it might make for easier passing around to the relatives (if you are so inclined).

Is there such a thing as “thanksgiving gift giving”? I’ve never heard of it, but for the more generous of you out there, this gift basket from Yarnovations might be a must!

I love most of Planet June’s patterns. I’m not sure what these mushrooms have to do with thanksgiving, but they are pretty adorable and very well-done to boot. I definitely recommend checking out all of her patterns!

There aren’t a whole lot of crochet wreaths out in the market. There might be a desire for them, if done properly (hint, hint). This fall-themed one by Crochet Shop Carolina would be adorable on someone’s door to welcome feast goers for sure! I’m not sure if the little animal is suppose to be a hedgehog or a possum, but either way it’s pretty cute…oh, if I were to actually read the description, it is a hedgehog 😛

This acorn pattern by Caper Crochet is absolutely precious! How much fun would it be to make up a bunch of these, give them to the children attending your feast, and letting them pelt each other (preferably not within reach of breakables…so, send them outside!)? OR, as favors for all of your visitors. Whatever you want to use them for, I love it!

These cow dolls from Pams Crochet might be one of the best things Ive come across in a long time. They are patriotic, and summery, and Christmas-y, and halloween-y, and a bit of some thanksgiving-Ness thrown in there too. This is how I need to be marketing all of my crochet dolls 😛

I think we need to work together to expand this list! Please, find some “interesting” crochet patterns that are marketed as Thanksgiving, or fall. Comment below with your treasures, and not only will I edit this post to include it, but I will also include a link back to you. So, free publicity on your part, and a really fun, interactive, list on my part.

Harry Potter Newborn Hat and Necktie Onesies

When one of my dearest childhood friends announced recently that he is expecting twins, I knew exactly what I needed to make him for a baby gift. It needed to have something to do with Harry Potter, because him and his wife adore the wizard in world and even had a subtle undertone of such at their wedding a couple years ago. It needs to be gender neutral, or easily transferred to the other gender, since it’s still too early to know for certain, AND dr’s still mess up from time-to-time. It really was a no-brained. I’m going to make them some Harry Potter beanies (with removable flower clips). As I did some quick research, I also decided to make some necktie appliqués that I could sew onto some onesies to make it a more complete “costume”. So, like always, you guys get to enjoy the patterns 😊

Materials Needed

  • Three different hook sizes: K/6.5, J/6.0, E/3.5
  • Worsted weight yarn in the proper colors: Slytherin – Green and Grey, Ravenclaw – Blue and White, Hufflepuff – Yellow and Black, Gryffindor – Maroon and Gold
  • Hair clippers for the flowers
  • Yarn needle for weaving in ends and attaching the appliqués to the onesies
  • Onesies in newborn sizes

Basic Hat

With the J/6.0 sized hook, choose which colors you want to use, and starting with the main color (which is listed first in the list above ^), ch 2.

RND 1: Work 8 sc stitches all in the second ch from hook (8), do not ss to join, do not ch 1, do not turn. These hats are worked in one continuous round. Use a stitch marker if you need to keep track of the start of each RND.

RND 2: Work 2 sc stitches in each stitch around (16)

RND 3: Hdc 1, *Work 2 dc in the next, dc 1* (24)

RND 4: *Dc 2, Work 2 dc in the next* (32)

RNDs 5-11: dc all the way around (32, 224 total)

Finish Off: hdc, sc, ss, finish off.

Making the Stripe

With the largest hook (K/6.5 MM) and secondary color, starting at the bottom of the hat and working in 5e middle of the dc stitches, LOOSELY ss all the way up.

The Flower

With the smaller E/3.5 sized hook and starting with the paler color (grey, gold, yellow, or white)

RND 1: ch 2, Work 10 sc stitches all into the second ch from hook. Ss to first to join.

Color change to the darker color (green, maroon, black, or blue, respectively)

For each petal: *ch 2, dc in same stitch, dc, ch 2, ss in same stitch, ss* Repeat four more times to make five petals

Finish off and attach to the hair clippies

The Necktie

With the E/3.5 sized hook, and main color, ch 10

ROW 1: skipping second ch from hook and sc 7, sc2tog (8), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 2: sc 6, sc2tog (7), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 3: sc 5, sc2tog (6), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 4: sc 4, sc2tog (5), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 5: sc 3, sc2tog (4), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 6: sc 2, sc2tog (3), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 7: sc all the way across (3), ch 1 and turn

ROW 8: inc, sc 2 (4), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 9: sc across (4), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 10: sc 3, inc (5), ch 1 and turn.

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

ROW 12: inc, sc 4 (6), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 13: sc across (6), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 14: sc 5, inc (7)ch 1 and turn.

ROW 15: sc across (7) ch 1 and turn.

ROW 16: inc, sc 6 (8), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 17: sc across (8) ch 1 and turn.

ROW 18: sc 7, inc (9) ch 1 and turn.

ROW 19: sc across (9), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 20: sc2tog, sc 5, sc2tog (7), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 21: sc2tog, sc 3, sc2tog (5), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 22: sc2tog, sc 1, sc2tog (3), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 23: sc3tog (1), ch 1 and finish off

With a yarn needle, take some of the secondary color and stitch the stripes into the Necktie


You can do whatever you want with it, now. I decided to hand-sew the neckties onto some newborn onesies using the main colors. I’d LOVE to see what sort of crafts you do with these Necktie appliqués, so share your pictures, and you might just get featured in my monthly newsletter!

How To Handle Project Overload

HAve you ever been here? Where there’s just too much in your mind all at the same time and you don’t know where to start, or what to work on next. I am there right now. Project overload. My brain is overwhelmed. My house is a disaster, I’m behind on blog posts, I’ve got three crochet projects in mid-completion, with another 3 that need to get done sooner rather than later, there are school programs, PTO duties, we are going out of town in a couple of weeks, Mr. Lovely’s birthday party which is also doubling as a halloween party, and I am so behind on laundry it is ridiculous. And this doesn’t even take into account the normal every day activities, like helping the kids with homework, daily bible readings, weekly bible lessons (I teach Wednesday evening bible classes, and participate in a Monday morning lady’s study), cleaning the kitchen at least twice a day, preparing food for all of my Little’s to eat…yeah, they need to eat too,. And I’ve been in such an artistic rut the last two weeks that I’ve literally been flitting from one crochet project to the next without really accomplishing much on any of them. So, I am sitting down and I am making a plan, and you get to be privy to my plan, because I guarantee you this is a universal plan that will get you through your project overload as well!

  1. Write it all out. Get a planner, use a calendar, or just grab some notebook paper, and write out your to-do list. Don’t use a digital app, or editable download…I know it’s “easy” and tempting, but you need to write it down on physical paper with a pen (or I like to use crayola markers, lots of colors make me happy). A digital copy of your to-do list is way too easy to close out of and forget. Yeah, your calendar app is able to send you notifications, but be honest with yourself here, how often do you just click on it to make it go away without every accomplishing what you were suppose to? I do that way more often than I care to admit. Write it down on paper.
  2. Include daily tasks and calendar events. I don’t like to do it, but if I don’t then it is all to easy for me to forget entirely. Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for Monday morning, and that is time that I will not have to work on something else. Write it down on the list, plan around it accordingly.
  3. Prioritize. Some projects are going to be time-sensitive, and others are not. For example, I’ve got a Halloween costume for a customer that is right smack at the top of my list. It needs to get done as soon as possible, so that I can mail it off, and make sure that she is going to get it in plenty of time for her precious little trick-or-treater. Making a Harry Potter themed baby gift for my dear friend is not a huge priority right now, he only JUST announced that he is expecting twins. But, it is a quick project that will take an afternoon, maybe two, and those kind of projects can be a nice break, and rewarding to cross off the to-do list. Crocheting some fingerless gloves for myself, though, that can get put way at the bottom of the list…I don’t NEED fingerless gloves. I’ve survived the past 7 years in the bitter winters of West Texas without them, one more isn’t going to cause frostbite so severe that I lose my fingers. Laundry is only sort of important, BUT, it can get accomplished in between the other tasks, I can throw a load of laundry in, and while it’s washing I can get the floor ready for my Roomba, or work on a project, or any other item on my to-do list.
  4. Get dressed. Very seldom do I go through my day in my yoga pants (I.e. my pajamas). Getting dressed will create a productive mentality, and you will be ready to get done what you need to. Even on those days when I don’t “get dressed”, I do still put on appropriate undergarments and my shoes. It makes a noticeable difference.
  5. Keep to your daily schedule and routine as much as possible. I have a very predictable routine now that all of my kids are in school: wake up at 6:00, eat breakfast, help the kids get ready, take them to school, get myself dressed, clean the house and run errands, fix lunch for me and Mr. Lovely, sit down to work on my business, pick them up from school, help them with homework while working on dinner, eat dinner, spend some time with my family (or other evening event), get the kids ready for bed, and then I get a few hours to work on my business some more, before I start crashing at 9:30. When I am feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to get accomplished, it is important that I keep to this routine as much as I possibly can. This helps so much with the overall stress of my life (and in direct correlation, the rest of my family can run smoothly and stress-free as well). Sometimes, the urge to just sit down and crochet the day away is very strong, but it require self-discipline to keep on task and get life situated properly. I can work on my Crochet much more efficiently if my surroundings are clean, organized, and fresh-smelling.
  6. Mark things off of your list. As you are able to, “get ‘er done!” Start at the top of your list, because you already prioritized what was most important, and start crossing them off as you get them accomplished. It is so very satisfying to be able to visually see what you have gotten done in the course of the day, or week. And maybe you need to add some stuff to the list, or change the order around, and that’s ok. Draw arrows, change numbers, scratch it up however you need to. There’s an art-form in there, as well. If it becomes too illegible, rewrite another clean and fresh one. No shame in that.
  7. Unwind. This point cannot be stressed enough (pun unintended). In order to keep your stress levels under control, and optimize your own efficiency, it is important for you to take some time to decompress. Twenty minutes. Take a walk outside, draw up a hot bubble bath, enjoy a nap, journal. Spend twenty minutes doing something therapeutic for yourself. When it’s done, take a deep breath, and get back to work feeling rejuvenated and refreshed!
  8. Feel accomplished and unstressed. You got it all done. Looking back, you may not be sure HOW you got it all done, but you did. Take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back, and take the next day or two “off”.

This is how I have handled “project overload” in the past, and I’ve been very successful at keeping my productivity high and my stress levels low. A question that I pose to my children often (that they’ve grown to hate) is, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is “one bite at a time”. You can only be in one place at a time, Do one thing at a time…so, make the most of the time that you have available. What sort of routine do you use to manage those feelings of overwhelm?

Yoda inspired Crochet hat

I have a short friend. My short friend just happens to also be a teacher. This teacher has a team that she works with. Her team is planning on Star Wars themed Halloween costumes this year. So, naturally, the shortest member of this team of teachers, my friend, has to be Yoda. She isn’t too thrilled with this idea, but I told her that she just needs to let me Crochet her a hat, and then she can drape a bed sheet around her, and the costume is finished. It’s so easy. Because I love my friend dearly, I knew I couldn’t just make a basic crochet hat for her. I need to make something pretty and feminine, and something that won’t always have Yoda’s pointy ears sticking out of it. Hhmmnn…

First of all, I needed a good yarn. I chose some Caron Simply Soft in dark sage. It’s a nice swampy Yoda color. But not too grody so that she can’t match it with other outfits if she so chooses. I think it’s a nice, neutral green color. Then, I did a ton of research in the lovely world of Pinterest to find a pretty hat pattern. My criteria was pretty strict: single color, pretty texture, no gaping holes, not slouchy, no buttons or flowers, or pompoms.

After about an hour of looking, I finally settled on the diamond ridges hat. It’s a free revelry download, which is always a bonus. But as far as Patterns go, this one was actually pretty complicated. My first complaint is that there is no indication of what hook size to use. I think a small hook will result in a more clearly defined texture, but too small of a hook means it might be a bit small for an adult head. I used a j-hook because it’s one of my favorites. It took three tries before I got ROW 6 to come out to the right stitch count. I’m not even sure I got it right. The written pattern is confusing so I had to rely on the pictures. I really liked how she did the pictures, though. Each new ROW was done in yellow, while the main hat was in blue. It definitely took a lot of time and effort to put all of that together. Overall, I’m not terribly fond of the pattern, and after three tries working on ROW 7, I frogged the whole thing. And continued my search. After spending another hour looking, and not finding anything, I finally decided to just use a hat pattern that I’ve already designed…the sea shell pony tail hat. And instead of leaving the hole at the top for a messy bun, I just added another RND of dc2tog and closed it off.

Now that the hat is finished, it’s off to make the ears. Again, I perused the wonderful world of Pinterest trying to find a free pattern that I liked. Once again, the Pinterest world came up short. I really liked these yoda ears from Bee Mine Crochet, but I’m not willing to pay $5.00 JUST for the ears. I know, I’m a cheapstake. So, once again, I just designed my own. And I’ve included the pattern for those down below. So, instead of attaching the ears directly to the hat, I put them on little green felt rounds, which I then attached to some hair clips, and voila! Removable yoda ears!! I am quite pleased with how it all turned out and know my short little teacher friend is going to love it as well.


RND 1: ch 2, work 5 sc stitches all into the second ch from hook, ss to first to join (5).

RND 2: ch 1, sc all the way around (5), do not ss to first to join, but work around in one continues RND.

RNDs 3-17: inc once for every RND. Final stitch count should be 20