Telling Tuesday’s – Rainbows


Couple years ago, I would feature other artists in a segment called “Telling Tuesday’s”. It was fun to explore and discover new treasures. I’m not sure why I stopped. Maybe I was trying so hard to promote myself that I didn’t think promoting others was worth my time and effort. After all of the research I’ve done about blogs and online businesses I know that it is very much worth my time and effort and I’ve decided to start it up again!

Rainbows. I love rainbows. Something about all of the bright vivid colors in an organized gradient order…it makes me happy. After all of the sadness and illnesses I have endured and witnessed the past few weeks, I could use more happiness. I know that our country is going through a very sick time (I’ve heard of schools all over the country detonating “Lysol” bombs and closing for flu and strep). Can’t we all appreciate more happiness? So, this week I am focusing on rainbows. All of my sources come from Pinterest and Etsy.

CROCHET

Of course you know I have to dedicate an entire section to crocheted rainbows! The colors, the stitch textures, the different interpretations, the incorporations…so delicious.

Rainbow link-upRainbow link-upRainbow link-upRainbow Link-up
This adorable unicorn with the curly hair by Strawberrrryy is just precious!

How about a vintage dress like this pattern from WonkyZebra.

I am in love with this gorgeous beaded necklace by HandmadeByNataniel! This took some time and patience to create.

And finally this cute flower garland by StitchedUpCraft…I might have to make one of these for myself!

FOOD

Can you believe that they make edible rainbows?! I’m thinking of flavor explosions of wonderfulness in my mouth. Such vibrant colors, so beautiful.

Rainbow link-up     Rainbow link-up     Rainbow link-up
I cannot even believe that this rainbow cake topper is food! Made by HugsandSparkles and just perfect for a little girls’ art-themed birthday party. Edit: the rainbows are made from non-toxic polymer clays, so while you can’t eat them, you can keep the pretties after the party is over 😍

These edible butterflies from SugarRobot look like they can just fly away.

How about rainbow carrot seeds? Maybe not a true representation of the full color spectrum but still a pretty neat offer from KenyonOrganics

FAVORS

Whatever you are celebrating, rainbow favors are bound to make it more delightful for your guests: from weddings to birthdays to hostess gifts.

Rainbow link-upRainbow link-upRainbow link-up
How about hand-poured candles in adorable mason jars? SoapForYourSoul is responsible for these beauties.

These rainbow organza bags from LoveLettersEtc provide beautiful pops of color and allows personalization with what you can put in them.

Who doesn’t appreciate stickers for their party needs? These rainbow and clouds from SGStationary are just perfect!

DIY

A list of rainbows would be incomplete without being able to make your own! Here are just a few diy rainbow goodness to enjoy.

Rainbow link-up     Rainbow link-up     Rainbow link-up
22 Rainbow Kids Crafts offers everything from paper plates to pompoms 

MikeAdamick talks about how to paint a rainbow wall. What kid wouldn’t want this in their room? 

Ziplock explains on their Facebook page how to make these rainbow roses. Whether it actually works or not, I dunno, but the idea is way cool?

Crocheting for God


I don’t have all of the answers. I’m not perfect. Sometimes I yell at my kids. I’ve run late to events a handful of times. I forget to do my bible readings and have to play catch-up. But, after many years of searching, experimenting, and studying, I feel like I have finally been able to take my God-given talent with crochet and use it to serve God. And when I say years, I mean it! Allow me, if you will, to provide a bit of background information.

Using My Talents to ServeI am a middle child. I fit each and every stereotype that you can use for middle children: I am secretive, calm, level-headed, rational, able to see both sides of the situation, and blame myself when things go wrong. Growing up, I tried EVERYTHING in an attempt to figure out where I fit in the world: violin, piano, theatre, softball, gymnastics, karate, hockey, candy striper, volleyball, chorus…none of it fit, and I never found my passion. Then in Highschool, I was mistakenly placed in an art class. At first I was pretty upset about this: I couldn’t draw, and I had wanted to take a different class. I was convinced to stick with it for one semester, and that is the best thing that I could have ever chosen to do. God guided my life in the direction it needed to go in, and I found my passion. The next several years were spent fine-tuning and differentiating my passion. I needed to find my niche in the artistic world and I explored several avenues here as well: pencils, pens, oil pastels, acrylics, watercolor, paper mache, air-dry clay, mixed media, abstracts, canvasses…and while I loved doing all of it, and even made several amazing pieces as gifts, life changed drastically when I had children and my time fluttered out the window.

Shortly after my first was born, a dear older friend took the time to teach me crochet. I wasn’t hooked right away (pun intended), but I was curious enough to explore this artistic avenue more. I dabbled on and off for the next two years. Then, when I was pregnant with my third, with the prospect of diapering three small children on a limited income, I realized that I had to do something to supplement Mr. Lovely’s paycheck. After countless hours of research, I opened up my Etsy shop and started selling Crochet. It was the perfect craft for me. I could set it down and pick it right back up as I found the time to work. I could keep it out of reach of the children and not take up a ton of space. I could Crochet while nursing the infant or watching tv. It just fit.

Over the next five years, I continued To develop my talent and ability and I’ve become a professional. As we’ve gotten better control of our $$, my crochet has changed from the necessity of finished products to the luxury of patterns. I have learned over the years how to use my gift for God and to fulfill Colossians 3:17 “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the LORD Jesus giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Today, I wanted to share how exactly I do that. Because I struggled for a long time to figure out how to use the arts and crafts to serve and glorify my Creator, and it makes no sense to keep my knowledge to myself.

MAKING CONTACTS

My children go to school for the sole purpose of making friends who they can share the gospel with. I will brag on them and say that they are accomplishing this task beautifully. The more people we know, the more hearts we can sow with the hope of eternal salvation, the more souls will be harvested for God’s kingdom. It’s like a pyramid: the larger your base is, the higher you can build.

I have met so many people through crocheting. Those at the craft fairs. Those who want to learn from me. Those who want to share in the joy. Those who also sell. Those who buy. Those who create. So many beautiful souls who are being placed into my life. It would be a disservice to God if I didn’t take advantage of these contacts.

MAKING MONEY

Unfortunately, the world runs on $$. You cannot live with out it. A church cannot function without it. I have been able to take the extra money that I have been earning through Crochet and use it to supply bible class materials, provide food for those who are ill or struggling, and further the work of the church. A little extra can make a big difference.

ENCOURAGEMENT

Not Burying Your TalentsEncouragement comes in many different forms. I like to mail cards to people who may need a little extra boost. While not specific to any craft, one of my favorite things to send is tiny crocheted paper clips. The application of these are endless. I have also sent mixed media paintings with bible verses, homemade stationary from water colors, and other little doodads.

The world is dark and cruel, and oftentimes seems unbearably lonely. By taking the time to make something small, and the consideration to send it off to someone else, I am reminding them that they are still making a difference in this world. Tiny little acts can add up so quickly to make such a big difference for some precious soul. Never underestimate the power to encourage.

GIFTS

This one feels like a no-brainer to me. And goes in hand with the previous point. Doesn’t matter what sort of crafty or artistic talent you claim, make things for other people. Remember their birthday, anniversary. I have made scarfs, hats, dolls, Slippers, bookmarks, and probably other things that I can’t even remember anymore. Saves you money. Let’s the other person know they are valued and appreciated. And then, every time that person uses one of your creations, they will hopefully remember you and how amazing of a friend you are! Doesn’t have to be extravagant. 

My goal is to be like Dorcus/Tabitha whose funeral was filled with all of the garments she had made for the brethren. Because of who she was, and how she had I,packed everyone in her life, Paul brought her back to life to serve a little bit longer.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

God gave me the interest and ability. I put forth the work to develop my skills. It is only proper that I use what He has given me, to give back to Him. It seems so insignificant and small compared to His sacrifice of dying on the cross. But the other alternative is to bury my talents, or use them for selfish reasons. I know that is not a pleasing choice in God’s eyes. So, I serve! Hopefully, this will encourage you to serve as well ☺

Crochet Fauxy Fox Pattern


Fox Crochet PatternIt only took me six hours to make the newest Family Bugs creation! That’s about two and a half days of work for me. Then, it took an additional week to perfect it and get the pattern ready to publish for you guys! And naturally, during that time sickness struck our family hard, the baby was extra fussy and clingy, I got behind on laundry, and I didn’t have any blog posts scheduled ahead of time. I mean, Murphy’s laws will get you each and every time!! But, let’s get back to Fauxy the Fox. I am in love!! ❤

The story: Last year my charming Mother-in-law was oohing and awing at the crochet Slippers I had made for my mom. See, every year for Christmas, I make my mom a new pair of slippers to keep her naturally cold toes warm. It’s become a tradition for us. I might spend weeks perusing the online universe for the perfect Slippers to crochet (sometimes, she gets two pairs!). And as my mother-in-law was admiring my work, I realized that she would probably appreciate a similar tradition with me. I know, I’m just the most thoughtful daughter-in-law EVER!! And ever since she moved to Fox Avenue, she’s been obsessed with foxes. Like, ridiculously obsessed. 🦊 So after a bit of brainstorming and some research, I decided to create a whole little woodland-themed family for her to display. She’s into stuff like that. So, this year, her collection starts with Fauxy the Fox.

I was even able to make her so she can wear the doll clothes that I also design…so, BONUS! She measures about 14″ in height, and is just perfect for small children to play with, or adults to display. I’m actually making another one for an infant who will be born this summer! Crocheted in the round, using basic crochet stitches makes Fauxy the fox a perfect challenge for beginners…not too dificult to figure out, but with a few new stitches thrown in.

You can go to my Etsy shop to find the pattern!

Stitches used

  • Fox Crochet PatternChain
  • Single crochet
  • Single crochet 2 together (sc2tog)
  • Increase (2 single crochet worked into the same stitch)
  • Slip stitch

Materials needed

  • Crochet hook size E
  • Worsted weight yarn in desired colors (main fox color, brown, white, and additional color choice)
  • Safety eyes and nose (the bigger the better)
  • Stuffing of choice (I prefer polyfil)

As always, I DO give permission for crochet artists to sell anything made from my Patterns, but please do not copy or redistribute the pattern itself. If you have any questions about Fauxy the Fox, feel free to send me an email (familybugs@gmail.com), and I will try to get back to you quickly!

The pattern can be found HERE

Sleeping Beauty *FREE* Crochet Pattern


Aurora. Her name is Aurora. Why is that so hard for people to remember? And if you do call her Aurora, no one knows who you are talking about. Just one of my pet peeves I guess. I know it doesn’t even matter. I mean, whether I know Sleeping Beauty is called Aurora or not…it’s not going to keep me out of heaven (unless I do in a mad rampage and declare a personal vendetta against everyone who doesn’t know her name…but that is drastic! And not going to happen).

Anyways, I’ve made several Crochet patterns for a few of the Disney Princceses already: Cinderella, Tinkerbell, Rapunzel, and Alice in Wonderland (even though some of those aren’t technically princesses). I’m in the process of updating my current patterns, but most of the afore mentioned can be found in my Etsy shop. So, when I had someone ask me for a Sleeping Beauty crochet pattern, I cringed a little inside, because she does have a name, and then I happily set to work!

Unfortunately, I’ve only finished the 0-6 month crochet pattern so far. But, fortunately, because I also haven’t had this Crochet Pattern tested, you get to enjoy it for *FREE*!! It comes with the crochet pattern to make a dress that will fit A typical infant in the 0-6 month clothing range, a crown, and a pair of precious little slippers.

I sure would appreciate some feedback on this pattern as well, since it is untested.

So, What Do You Need To Make You Own?

  • Hook size H/8 – 5.00MM
  • 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) in medium pink and light pink, white, and gold.
  • Any additional embellishments to make the dress pretty!
  • Large buttons for back closure.
  • Tapestry needle is optional for sewing in ends

What Crochet Stitches Are Used In This Pattern?

  • Tutorial For Aurora CostumeCh – 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
  • Dc – Double Crochet – YO, insert hook, YO, pull through, YO, pull through one loop on hook, YO, pull through remaining loop on hook
  • HTrc- Half Treble Crochet – YO twice, insert hook, YO, pull through, YO, pull through one loop on hook, YO, pull through remaining loops ok hook.

Is The Gauge Important For This Crochet Pattern?

Yes, yes, yes, yes. It is! It doesn’t take long to work a gauge swatch, and it could mean the difference between making a preemie dress, or a 6-month sized dress. Just suck it up, Crochet the swatch, take the measurements, frog it, and then work the pattern. Alright?

With h hook, ch 21

ROW 1: sc in second chain from hook and all the way across (20)

ROW 2: ch 1, turn, sc all the way across (20)

ROW 3: ch 2, turn, D.C. All the way across (20)

Repeat Row 2, Repeat ROW 3, Repeat ROW 2 again and finish off.

Your swatch should measure 2.25 x 6 inches, adjust your hook accordingly ☺

On To The Crochet Pattern!!!

Say Yes To This Dress

Aurora Crochet Dress PatternDress is worked from the bottom up. Starting with h-sized hook and ruffle color (white), ch 77

RND 1: Sc in second ch from hook and all the way around. (76) being careful not to twist, ss to first sc to join into a large circle.

RND 2: (Scallop round) Repeat the following all the way around: *skipping the next two stitches, work 7 dc into the third. Skip the next two sc and ss into the third*. There should be a total of 13 scallops.

Finish off.

Working on the other side of the starting chain, insert light pink. Work RND 3 into the front loops only.

RND 3: (Ruffle round) ch 4, ss in the second space. Repeat the following all the way around: *ch 4, skip first space and ss in the second*. Ss to first to join (39 ruffles). Finish off.

RND 4: Working in the back loops this time, insert the dark pink and sc around (76) ss to first to join.

RND 5: (V-Stitch round): ch 2, turn. Ch 2 more, D.C. In the same stitch. Repeat the following all the way around: *skip 2, (dc, ch 2, dc)* ss to first to join.

Sleeping Beauty Crochet DressRND 6: (Cluster round) ss into the ch-2 space, ch 2, work the following (yo, insert hook, yo, pull through, yo pull through two loops on hook (two loops remaining), yo, insert hook, yo pull through, yo, pull through two loops on hook, to, pull through remaining three loops on hook). Repeat the following all the way around: *ch 2, work a cluster stitch in the next ch-2 space* (see note below). Ss to first to join (25 clusters)

NOTE Cluster Stitch: yo, insert hook, yo, pull through, yo, pull through two loops on hook (two loops left on hook), yo, insert hook, yo, pull through, yo, pull through two loops on hook (three loops left on hook), yo, insert hook, yo, pull through, yo, pull through two loops on hook, yo, pull through remaining four loops on hook.

RND 7: ch 2, work 3 dc in each ch-2 space all the way around (76), ss to first to join.

OPTIONAL: to add length to the skirt portion of the dress, {ch 2 and Repeat the following all the way around: *dc* (76), ss to first to join.} Repeat the {} until desired additional length is reached.

RND 8: ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around: *dc 9, dc2tog* (70), ss to first to join.

RND 9: ch 2, dc 4, Repeat the following 6 times: *dc2tog, dc 8*, dc 4, (63), ss to first to join.

RND 10: ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around: *dc2tog, dc 7* (56), ss to first to join.

RND 11: ch 2, dc 3, Repeat the following 6 times: *dc2tog, dc 6*, dc 3 (49), ss to first to join.

RND 12: ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around: *dc 5, dc2tog* (42), ss to first to join.

Crochet Dress PattenContinue on into the bodice of the dress. Do not finish off.

RND 13: ch 2, working in the BLO (back loops only) for this round, dc all the way around (42), ss to first to join.

OPTIONAL: to add length to the bodice portion of the dress, {ch 2 and Repeat the following all the way around: *dc* (42), ss to first to join.} Repeat the {} until desired additional length is reached.

OPTION: You can continue working in the round, joining with a ss at the end of each RND, or as I have it written, you can leave the back of the dress open and create button holes. If you choose the former option, don’t forget to “ss to first to join”, and do not turn. ☺

RND 14: ch 2, turn, working in both loops again, dc all the way around (42)

RND 15: ch 4 (button hole), turn, dc all the way around (42)

RND 16: ch 2, turn, dc all the way around (42)

RND 17: ch 4 (button hole), turn, dc all the way around (42), color change to white (or sleeve color)

RND 18: ch 1, turn, sc 8, ch 12, skip 5 stitches, sc 16, ch 12, skip 5 stitches, sc 8.

RND 19: ch 1, turn, sc 8, work 12 sc into the ch-12 space, sc 16, work 12 sc into the ch-12 space, sc 8 (56).

RND 20: ch 1, turn, sc 7, Sc2tog, sc 10, Sc2tog, sc 14, Sc2tog, sc 10, Sc2tog, sc 7 (52).

RND 21: ch 4 (button hole), turn, sc 6, Sc2tog, sc 9, Sc2tog, sc 13, Sc2tog, sc 9, Sc2tog, sc 7 (48) finish off.

Skirt Ruffle

This is the drape that hangs down on top of the skirt that is the typical look of the Disney Princess style (specifically Aurora or Sleeping Beauty). Locate the first round of the bodice where you dc in just the back loops. Locate the back center of these loops (where the seam is), count over 5 stitches, draw up a loop of light pink, and continue with the first side ruffle.

Crochet Disney PrincessSide ruffle: ROW 1: ch 2, dc 10 (10)

ROW 2: ch 2, turn, dc2tog, dc 6, dc2tog (8)

ROW 3: ch 2, turn, dc2tog, dc 4, dc2tog (6)

ROW 4: ch 2, turn, dc2tog, dc 2, dc2tog (4)

ROW 5: ch 2, turn, dc2tog twice (2), ch 1 and finish off.

Crochet 6-month DressFront Ruffle: count over 1 stitch, draw up a loop

ROW 1: ch 1, sc 11 (11)

ROW 2: ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc 7, sc2tog (9)

ROW 3: ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc 5, sc2tog (7)

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

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

ROW 6: ch 1, turn, sc3tog (1), ch 1 and finish off.

Count over 1 stitch, draw up a loop, and create the other side Ruffle.

Count over 1 stitch, draw up a loop and create the back Ruffle (same as the front Ruffle).

Optional: insert hook into the side of any Ruffle and sc all the way around. Sc2tog in the “valleys” and ch 3 on the “peaks” of each Ruffle.

Crown

Crochet Crown Pattern
Using f-sized hook and gold color, ch 51

RND 1: sc in second ch from hook, sc 21, hdc 1, dc 1, htrc 1, dc 1, hdc 1, sc 23 (50), being careful not to twist, ss to first to join making a large hoop.

RND 2: ch 1, sc 22, hdc 2 in the next, dc 2 in the next, htrc 2 in the next, dc 2 in the next, hdc 2 in the next, sc 23 (55), ss to first to join.

RND 3: ss 21, work 2 hdc in each of the next 2, dc 1, ch 2, ss in second ch from hook, dc 1, work 2 hdc in each of the next 2, sc 2, ss 22 (59), finish off and add desired embellishments.

Slippers

Crochet Newborn SlippersMake 2 of these using F-sized hook and dark pink color, ch 10

RND: 1: sc in second ch from hook, sc 7, work 5 sc all into that last stitch. Now, working on the opposite side of that starting ch, sc 7, work 2 sc both into that last stitch (22), ss to first to join.

RND 2: ch 1, hdc 7, work 2 hdc in each of the next 5, hdc 7, work 2 hdc in each of the last 2 (30) ss to first to join.

RND 3: ch 1, hdc 12, work 2 hdc in each of the next 3, hdc 12, work 2 hdc in each of the last 2 (36), color change to white, ss to first to join.

RND 4: ch 1, hdc all the way around (36), ss to first to join.

RND 5: ch 1, hdc 12, dc2tog six times, hdc 12 (30), ss to first to join.

Baby Slippers
RND 6: ch 1, sc 12, dc2tog 4 times, sc 11 (28), color change to light pink, ss to first to join.

RND 7: ss all the way around (28) and finish off.

Attach buttons to the back of the dress and embellish as desired. I added sequins in a few choice positions, you can make flowers, hearts, use beads, bows, or other jewelies. This is even precious without anything extra.

DIY Princess Crown

Free Crochet Sleeping Beauty Costume PatternFree Crochet PatternCrochet Button Holes

Crochet Elephant Pillow and Rug Pattern Review


I don’t normally use other people’s patterns. I can make my own, and usually do. Whenever someone asks me for a new crochet something, that is my excuse to come up with a new design/pattern. In fact, about 35% of my crochet Patterns have been generated in this manner. A small number of times, however, I have purchased someone else’s crochet Patterns. Whether because I was under a time crunch and wouldn’t be able to design something new in time, or because there was a new stitch involved, or constructional element that I couldnt figure out by just looking at the available images, or I just wanted to respect the designer for the hard work she already did for me!

Crochet Pattern reviewRight before Christmas, I had someone request this elephant pillow and rug set from IRAROTT patterns. I mean, look at how adorable these are!! I was so swamped with Christmas preparations, filling Crochet orders, planning presents for everyone, and there was no way I could have duplicated those intricate designs without the pattern. So, I took a deep breath and bought both of them! It was the best thing that I could have done. Not only to improve my skill as a crochet artist, but these patterns are so well-written and beautifully designed, that I learned quite a bit in the process.

Of course I did my research before-hand, and looked up reviews, checked out the feedback left for this designer, and read all of her policies (it’s the responsible thing to do). Then I picked up my hook and yarn and got to hooking.

One of the best elements of this pattern is the plethora of pictures included. I had a little trouble with the rug elephant’s ears, but by looking at the pictures and graph(!) I was able to figure it out.

Two things that I did change for the pillow: I held two strands together when making the elephant’s head. Using such a large hook for such a large pillow and just one strand of the yarn I chose would have resulted in a really loose fabric. The stuffing would be peeking through, and I just don’t think that’s a very professional look at all! I did not do this with the elephant’s trunk, and had to go back and ss around the dc stitches in an attempt to tighten the fabric. Hopefully you can’t tell how lumpy it is.

Blocking! One of the most loathsome crochet elements known to mankind was a vitally important step in making the rug. I don’t have a before picture (unfortunately), but the ears for the rug were ridiculously bunched and wonky. It required some serious stretching, pulling, and pinning to shape properly. I cannot say if this was designer’s error or creator’s error. Probably the latter. Like I mentioned before, the ears gave me some trouble.

The end result (as you can see from my picture) is gorgeous, though! Definitely worth my time and effort. My customer LOVED it, and is even using it for some monthly pictures of her infant daughter. I highly recommend IRAROTT patterns for your crochet rug needs. Several cute cute cute rugs and matching pillows available.

Crochet Pattern reviewCrochet Pattern review

How To Manage Bulk Orders


Rabbit&Fox BoxCrochet is not a quick craft. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it, or how fast you can work. It’s still gonna require a sizeable investment of time to crochet something. Sure there are “mile a minute” blankets, and “hour long” scarf patterns, and several projects that brag about the limited time to complete them. But if you are ever in a situation where you are asked to make just 10 of these, it’s going to take up the better part of two days, and maybe even a couple of weeks depending on your schedule.

A couple of months ago, I started working with a dear friend making her these cute little woodland animals. She purchases them from me at the absolute lowest price possible and adds them to similarly themed products from other artisans. She then sells these collections at a marked-up price for a profit. Rabbit and Fox box. Absolutely adorable stuff, definitely worth your attention! I do not offer these patterns for sale, and I do not allow the animals to be purchased from me. They are exclusives!

So, I’ve got to work up about 12 of these tiny creatures, owls this time, and I want to do it as fast as I can (mostly so I don’t get bored and can keep moving forward). Each individual animal may take me an hour, maybe two to complete from start to finish. While you might expect me to spend an entire week working on these (the math comes out to approximately 30 hours of work), I can usually finish them in 3 days, or about 10 hours. There is one secret and only one for how I manage this magic: assembly line!

  Alright, are you listening? This is how I made twelve little owls in three days:

  1. Purchase the desired colors
  2. Gather ALL of my materials in a box (for easy clean-up, and to keep them all together)
  3. Make 20 tiny wings
  4. Make 20 white circles
  5. Whip stitch the circles together, embroider the eyes
  6. Make an owl head
  7. Add on the eyes and embroider the beak
  8. Finish the owl’s body attaching the wings as I go
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 until they are all completed

If I were making one owl at a time I would be repeating steps 3-8. Six steps is a lot more time consuming than three (by more than twice). Especially when you take into account the putting down of one color in order to pick up the next color, and locating the yarn end, and finding the needle, and re-threading every single color for the embroidery, and all of those tiny in between actions. By creating each part at a time, I can better utilize my time and complete this bulk order at a faster pace. I can embroider all of the eyes at the same time, thus eliminating the painful re-threading of the needle. I can establish a rhythm for making all of the wings and shave even more time off of my creation process (I noticed, especially while I was making the wings, that each one took 3-4 seconds faster than the previous one). Tiny parts of creating one owl can be lessened or even eliminated altogether by using the assembly line process.

The Calculations

Crocheting in BulkSo that there cannot be any arguments or confusion, I even used a stop watch to calculate it all out for you. To make one owl all the way to completion took me 57 minutes. Multiply that by 12, and we can round it up to 12 hours. Whereas by using my assembly line method, I could crank out 12 eyes in 52 minutes, 24 wings in 31 minutes, and finish up 12 owls in about 6.5 hours. Meaning 12 owls took a total of 8 hours! By using the assembly line method, I was able to knock 4 hours off of the creation time. Now, I can spend that time on my packaging, or on writing a blog post about it, or on more crochet projects ☺

It did take me a little bit longer than 8 hours to make these, because of distractions, and a badly wound skein of yarn that kept tangling, and having to stop and hit the “lap” button on my stop watch, and having to make a few extras to get accurate calculations. But, I think I’ve made my point!

So, the next time you have someone ask for a whole bunch of one crochet item, don’t forget to “assembly line” it where you can. Your brain will thank you for it!

FREE Crochet Pattern for a Messy Bun Hat Using YOUR Favorite Crochet Stitch!


I love to make hats. They are relatively easy, quick, and can vary so much! I recently had a ton of requests for those messy bun, or ponytail hats. Honestly, it was more of a challenge than anticipated to come up with a good pattern for these hats. Normally, I would start at the top, increase, then add length. I have an amazing pattern for basic beanies that has been praised and complimented up and down! You can find that pattern for free HERE. And I am proud of the tight, hole-less start of my hats. But a pony tail hat needs a rather large hole at the top, and I found difficulty in trying to figure out how to leave that hole large enough for a bulky wad of hair to fit through it. I also really wanted to incorporate some elastic, so that you could fit the glorious messiness through the hole snuggly without leaving a large portion of you head exposed to the elements.

I came across this one pattern that started at the brim and worked up. But I very much disliked the stitches that were used (too time consuming, and frustrated my fingers), and it did leave too big of a non-stretchy hole at the top. But, I was inspired, made a few changes (ok, several changes), frogged way more than my patience could tolerate, and came up with my first messy bun hat pattern, The Oceanside (Because what else are you going to call a hat that uses a shell-stitch pattern.). And it was so easy to do, and worked up so quickly, that I made two others: Starry Nights and Dual-colored. And I realized that this pattern was actually really amazing, because you could use almost any stitch you wanted to. Then my brain started going into overload mode, and I had to step it back a bit. Instead of coming up with a quatrillion different patterns, why not have one pattern that has a quatrillion different options and can cater exactly to your preferences as the artist? And I came up with this 100% personalized pattern that you can make using virtually ANY crochet stitch. Try it, I bet it’ll work!

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Size K (6.5 MM) crochet hook
  • Yarn in desired color – worsted weight, or work with two strands throughout
  • Tape measure
  • Elastic hair band
  • Desired embellishments – buttons, ribbon, jewelies, pretties, etc.

Gauge – you will be happy to know that the gauge is not important for this pattern! As long as you use your measuring tape, check sizes as you go, and make the necessary changes, this hat will be perfect!

THE BRIM

RND 1: Ch 61, hdc in second stitch from hook and all the way across (60). Adjust the stitch count as needed to have a length of 20″. Being careful not to twist, ss to first to join into a large circle. Ch 1 (I like to turn after every RND, but you don’t need to)

RND 2: Alternate BPHdc and FPHdc all the way around (60). Ss to first to join and ch 1.

BPHdc – Back Post Half Double Crochet – YO, insert hook around the back side of the next hdc stitch, YO, pull through, YO, pull through all loops on hook.

FPHdc – Front Post Half Double Crochet – YO, insert hook around the front side of the next hdc stitch, YO, pull through, YO, pull through all loops on hook.

RNDs 3-5: Repeat RND 2. The brim should be measuring 1.5″ in height. Add or remove RNDs as necessary.

THE HAT

Use whatever stitch pattern you want to. Pictured I have the shell pattern in two colors, but I’ve also used the star stitch pattern, a v-stitch pattern, and BPDc pattern for similar results. Just repeat whatever pattern you choose until your hat reaches a height of 4.5-5 inches. It’s not a perfect science. One of the joys of using such a large hook means that there is quite a bit of stretch and give to the material, which is great for larger heads as well. After you get the desired height of your hat, you are ready to move on to the closure/top/ponytail hole.

THE PONYTAIL HOLE

This part is fun and only takes 3 RNDS to complete, you ready?

RND 1: Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around: *Dc, skip 1 stitch* (half of your stitch count. If you didn’t add any stitches to the brim, you should have 30 dc stitches). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2, dc all the way around (30), ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 1, grab your elastic hair band and work around it and the hat, repeat the following all the way around: *sc, sc2tog*. Ss to first to join and finish off. Enjoy your new hat ☺

Keeping Track of Projects – free printable!


crochet-project-tracker

I’ve been designing crochet Patterns for Three years now. One pattern can easily take me several weeks from the day I start hooking until the day I hit that terrifying “publish” button. I’m sure you know all to well how much can happen and change in just a few days, not to mention several weeks! One of my constant complaints is the overload of ideas paired with the overwhelming lack of time. Even now I have an idea I’m itching to start, but I’ve got two other projects in queue already.

Or what about those really good ideas that you struggle to execute? I don’t know about you guys, but I have several works-in-progress that still seem like really good ideas. After working on them for a while and not getting very far, I put them up to let them simmer. Usually, I never come back to them and end up throwing away the pieces when I clean out my craft closet. There must be a better way!

While I prefer to Sell Crochet patterns, I still have way too much inventory that I need to get rid of. Every occasionally, I have flash sales to get rid of these for a little profit. The only problem is when someone asks for a similar product like the one I just sold. Unless I’ve written down the pattern (which I only do 50% of the time) it is impossible to duplicate. So what do I do then? Usually I wing it.

To solve all of these problems, I Designed a simple worksheet, dubbed the Crochet Project Tracker! You can record all of your information about any given project and keep records of it all: pattern source, hook size, who you are making it for, the yarn you are using, any changes you’ve made to the pattern, and so much more. There’s even some motivation thrown in there to keep you going when you want to quit…but not really give up. Just click the image below to download your free copy and print off as many as you need!

crochet-project-tracker

Disclaimer: this is my first printable, so please be patient as I perfect my process. Give me some feedback so that I can make future printables better! Or some requests of needed crochet worksheets that you would love to utilize ☺️

As always, thank you for the support, and please do not redistribute these. They are for personal use only.