March 15, 2021

Kid Gloves & Ear Warmer

You may have seen on the news that Texas had a rather drastic Snow-pocolypse February 12-19th. We got 5 inches of snow and were stuck home with the kids for about a week. As its Texas, I dont really have any super warm gloves or anything for the kids. So I whipped up a pair of fingerless gloves and a matching ear warmer.

Ear Warmer Pattern:

Fingerless Gloves:

I used some scrap yarn that is velvety black with green, blue, purple for the ply. Very cute, but also might last over more than one winter (and color favorites). I didn't have enough to finish the ear warmer so I supplemented it with black Big Twist from Joann's.

Both patterns are super easy. I made the toddler gloves, which are actually a tiny bit big, but she should grow into them nicely. The ear warmer I did make the twist look, but that made it too small on her head... we have large heads in this family. So I added a few inches of black and added ties, so I can change the size to be larger or smaller as needed. The velvet yarn didn't really have a ton of stretch. 

Time to complete: 2 hours, one for the ear warmer, 30 min each for gloves
Difficulty: Easy

March 8, 2021

White Woff

OK. Maybe it's time to stop with Hilda projects... but after this one.

A local yarn sale had a ton of cool stuff, and one of the things I bought just for the whim of it was Berroco Macro, color 6701"Snowshoe Hare", 7 Jumbo Weight Wool Acrylic blend taking a whopping 19mm hook. 

A Woff is a simple enough shape, just a big sphere with a tapered tail. The only tricky bit was that I wanted it to be as big as possible with the limited yarn I had, once again playing yarn-chicken with my skeins. I sort of guesstimated getting more than halfway through the Woff body at the end of the first skein, ensuring I’d have enough to finish as well as make a tail and ears. The muzzle I made with a very close off white color, but in a much thinner weight - Red Heart Soft in Off White, 4mm hook. A little bit of black for the nose and eyes - Big Twist in Black, 4 mm hook. Pure white for the eyes. The tail I tried to taper off in the sort of signature wiggle shape of the tails in flight. 

After making the ears, I had a little bit left so I decided to try a technique from All About Ami where you brush the finished piece with a cat slicker to get a furry look. I started to make a flat swatch to test this on before doing the big Woff, but realized I might have enough to make a small sphere which would be a more accurate test... and then when I had enough to make the tail I knew I had to make a baby Woff. After an excessive amount of brushing, the baby Woff was indeed a very nice furry fluff ball and it helped to conceal the holes between the stitches which I thought were rather large, but that’s a side effect of working with large hooks. One thing to note, I did do the brushing outside as a ton of fuzzies were generated in the process, and the fluff on the slicker will make some excellent fluff for felting. 

BIG Woff, 15mm hook

  • Mc 5 (working from nose to tail)
  • Inc around (10)
  • Sc, inc (15)
  • 2sc, inc (20)
  • 3sc, inc (25)
  • 4sc, inc (30)
  • 5sc, inc (35)
  • 6sc, inc (40)
  • 7sc, inc (45)
  • 8sc, inc (50)
  • 8 rows sc around (60)
  • Dec, 8 sc
  • Dec, 7 sc 
  • Dec, 6 sc
  • Dec, 5 sc
  • Dec, 4 sc
  • Dec, 3 sc 
  • Dec, 2 sc

Tail starts here:

  • 3 rows sc around (15)
  • Going to do some inc/dec to get a wavy tail shape
  • Dec, 6sc, inc, 6sc
  • Dec, 6sc, inc, 6sc
  • 2 dec, 5sc, 2inc, 5sc
  • 15sc around
  • 2inc, 5sc, 2inc, 4sc
  • Inc, 6sc, dec, 6sc
  • Taper off now, stuff as you go along. 
  • 8 Sc, dec, 5sc
  • 7sc, dec, 5sc
  • Dec, 5sc, dec, 4sc
  • Dec, 3sc, dec, 4sc
  • Dec, 2sc, dec, 4sc
  • Dec around till it’s closed 

Ears, make 2, 15mm hook

  • Mc 3
  • Inc around (6)
  • Sc, inc around (9)
  • Sc around 2 rows
  • Dec, sc around (6)
  • Sc around, Stuff leave tail to sew to head 

Snout, 4.25mm hook, used some colored pins to mark out where it should be sewn in place to prevent it being crooked.

  • Mc 6
  • Inc
  • Sc, inc
  • 2sc inc
  • 3sc inc
  • 4sc inc
  • 5sc inc
  • 6sc inc
  • 7sc inc
  • 8sc inc
  • Sc around


  • Mc6
  • Inc 12
  • Sc, inc 18 
  • 2sc, inc 24
  • 3sc, inc 30
  • 4sc, inc 36
  • 4sc, hdc, dc inc, 3dc, 3 trb inc, 3dc, dc inc, Hdc, 5sc, hdc, dc inc, 3dc, 3trbinc, 3dc, dc inc, hdc, sc
  • 7sc, hdc, hdc inc, 2dc, dc inc, 3dc, dc inc, 2dc, hdc inc, hdc, 10sc, hdc, hdc inc, 2dc, dc inc, 3dc, dc inc, 2dc, hdc inc, hdc, 2sc, sl st


  • Mc6
  • Inc (12)
  • 3 Sc, inc, 4sc, inc, 3sc (14)
  • 14 Sc around 
  • Pupil chain 5, 
  • Sc in first, 2sc, 3sc in last turning to other side, 3sc (9)
  • 3hdc in one, 4sc, 3hdc, 4sc, slst

Tiny test:


Inc around (12)

Sc, inc (18)

18 Sc around for three rows

Dec, sc (12)

Dec (6)

Sc around for two rows

Dec, 4sc

2sc, dec , sc, dec

Tiny mouth:  Mc6 12 18 24 Three rows 24 around

Tiny eyes:



Sc, inc, 5sc inc 4sc

Pupils and Smile embroidered on.

These work up fast. Maybe about 1 hour for the little all told. Maybe 4 for Big Woff.

Little one measures about 6 inches wide, 10 inches from nose to tail.

Big one measures about 12 inches wide by 25 inches long nose to tail.

To be honest the little one gets played with a lot more since its like the perfect size for making fly through the air. (read throw it)

Difficulty: Easy

March 1, 2021

Mini Jorgen

Tired of Hilda yet? Don't be. 

I knew I liked the concept when I picked up two of the graphic novels in a bookstore in Santa Fe back in 2017, and was smitten with the show from episode two and the appearance of Jorgen, the Midnight Giant. 

I really want to make a giant, toddler sized Jorgen, but that much yarn is expensive and I really want to get something nice if it's going to be that large. So at a local shop's winter sale I picked up a few skeins of Cascade Yarns, ReVerb (recycled) 3.75mm, Color 04 "Jet." The sort of loose twist was nice as well as that it has some very slight variegation to it, not enough to be "heathered" but enough to be interesting. 

With the thin weight I should be able to write up and test a pattern, that should scale nicely up to a worsted or bulky weight yarn should I find something suitable. In the meantime, I wanted this mini Jorgen to be awesome... that of course means making my own life difficult. I wanted him to be posable. Like with Alfur, I decided to try a wire armature and watched a short video on a very basic skeleton. I used some thin beading wire I had lying around, and since this one doesn't have to be seen anywhere, I figure my somewhat amateur attempt won't matter.  

I did need to sketch him out first to get a scale to try to make him to, and to be sure that the armature would fit. His super long neck and head is what really prompted this as I did not want to have a big floppy head... That meant designing the pattern so it could fit around the skeleton.

I started with the legs, doing a very basic shape and taper, making 2. I left a loop at the end of the legs and had plenty of yarn from the MC start that I knew I could anchor the skeleton to the body. So I joined the legs and worked up into the body. I stopped about half way and turned him inside out to tie the feet to the skeleton and then slowly stuff up into the body. I normally like to stuff as I go along but inserting the skeleton after the stuffing would be problematic to say the least. 

After anchoring the skeleton the feet, it was a bit of pain to keep crocheting in the round around it, but manageable. I tapered off the body into the neck and head, stuffing along till closing it. I let the arm wires stick out and then made the marks, slipped it on over them with stuffing and then sewed them in place. Easier to type than do. Since the finished doll is only about 8 inches tall, the tiny ears and eyes and nose were a bit of a puzzle. I did try to crochet the features out of a contrasting tan sock yarn but it was too small and unformed for my liking. So it turned back to my newly acquired skill of needle felting to make some tiny features. I rolled small balls of white and tan and then felted them into place on the head. I actually am very pleased with how it turned out, I was a little unsure I would have enough room on the face. 

Time to complete: about 4 hours
Difficulty: Intermediate 
Size: About 8 inches tall

Mini Jorgen
inc - increase - 2 sc in one stitch
dec- decrease

Legs - make 2

R1. MC6
R2. inc around (12)
R3-4. 12 sc around
R5. 2 dec, 8 sc (10)
R6-20. 10 sc around 
Leg joins - with toes pointed same way, work 4 sc through both legs to join, work in a circle around the outsides, 6sc, 2 increase, 6sc, slip stitch to front of 4 chain, then keep working in the round. (18)

Body - from Butt to top of head

R21. inc x2, 14 sc, inc x2 (22) increases for belly should be in the direction of the toes
R22. 22 sc around
R23. 4sc, dec, 4sec, dec (should be middle of back), 6sc, dec, 3 sec (20)
R24. 20 sc around
R25. 4sc, dec, 8sc, dec, 4sc (18)
R26. 3sc, dec, 7sc, dec, 3sc (15) 
R27. 3sc, dec, 6sc, dec, 2sc (12)
R28. 12 sc around
R29. 12 sc around - stuffing down into body and legs here. 
R30. 12 sc around - work over wire arms - if doing wire skeleton 

R31. 12 sc around
R32. 3sc, dec, 4sc, dec, 2sc (11)
R33. 11 sc around
R34. 8sc, dec, sc (10)
R35-48. 10 sc around - stuff neck as you go along, working around wire
R49. dec, sc around 
R50. dec around, and bind off, use tail to sew into top of wire skeleton - tough I know

Arms - make 2

R1. MC4
R2. inc, sc, inc, sc (6)
R3. inc, 2sc, inc, 2sc (8)
R4. 8 sc around
R5. bobble stitch (5hdc in one, slst to first, ch 1), sc around 7 (8) (bobble makes thumb)
R6-19. 8 sc around, bind off, use tail to sew to body over arm wires. I did half then stuffed, then sewed close to body.

Eyes, Ears, Nose - needle felted to head

January 25, 2021

Tontu from Hilda

Boy I have been making quite a few Hilda inspired things lately. Today's post is on Tontu, a nisse or house spirit from both the first and second season. As a character I was not sure I liked him at the start but he's grown on me, and his design is too perfect for crochet to not have made one. The tricky part was finding the right yarn.

I used Bernat Pipsqueak in Chocolate with a J 10mm hook for the head and tail. This yarn is kind of hard to work with but the fact that it's a big circle made it easier since you basically have to feel the stitches and not actually see them. The softness and fluffiness was too perfect though, and the color was close enough.

The body and nose are done in Red Heart Soft in Off White, 4mm hook. The slight sheen and tight wind gives it a nice contrast to the head fluff. For the sweater I chose Big Twist Soft in Gold, 4mm hook. 

Most of my patterns start out with a very basic shape sketch, that way I can plan how I want to build the parts. I started with the legs since that would be a good way I though to get the size right. I've done these kind of feet and arms so often I didn't even write the pattern out. It starts with a short chain and working an oval around it, two rows of 18 around that oval or so. Then three rows with a decrease toward the long end so that the leg is 12 sc around... I worked two legs then joined them together in the middle and working around the outside of both so that they would be seamless into the body. 

The arms are simple tubes, a magic circle with 6 sc, then 12, two rows of 12, then one row with a bobble stitch as the thumb and sc around with a decrease. Arms are 10sc around up to a shoulder then stitched shut and sewn onto the body. From the legs through the torso is a simple working around, then up where I wanted the shoulders to be I did a few decreases on the outsides to try to get a slope to shoulders into the neck, which I left pretty big so his head might not be too floppy. (It is anyway.)

The tail is again a long tube shape, think it was 8sc around. I made the tail bulb end separately. That is also a small circle and in the middle I did four bobble stitches to try to get that sculpted poof look. Not sure that was too successful, but it's better than a basic ball for sure. I used the fur yarn to sew the head onto the body and same with tail bulb to tail, helped make that seam hidden and fluffy. 

The sweater was a total fluke. I have not made any clothing that fit anyone as of yet. Shawls totally don't count cause they don't have to be fitted. I picked Big Twist Soft yarn in Gold, also using a 4 mm hook. 

I had one real goal with the sweater: get that knit look. I cannot knit, so I used the "waistcoat stitch" to get it close. You work into the vertical legs of the sc stitch to get that V shape. I made three tubes, one for the body, and two for the arms. Then I joined all three pieces together like I did with the legs, but at each join area I did a decrease on the front and back to get that sort of raglan taper. I worked two rows of back loop double crochet on the ends of the sleeves and sweater and did four rows around the neck. The back loop gives it that horizontal lined look, which I thought contrasted nicely and made it look really finished. 

Obviously this didn't fit over his head, but the neck was wide enough to get the tail, legs, and finally arms into it. Sure he has to get dressed weird, but it looks great.

I really love the scale he came out to be... as I feel its pretty close to "life" size.

Difficulty: Intermediate (to hard if you have trouble with fur yarn)
Time to complete: 12 hours

PS. Super cool that I can share stuff like this with the creators... 

January 11, 2021

Look Alive Hat

 As soon as I saw the album cover for Look Alive, I knew that I needed to make up a silly hat to match. 

I spent a little too much time making this... next time darker yarn, at least twice as many spines.

Doing a search on Ravelry, I found this Ribbed Winter Hat pattern by Nea Creates. With the very distinct front and post double crochet ribs it looked perfect. I made one small change and added three rows of single crochet around the base, as I like a little edging on my hats. I used a 4mm hook and Redheart Soft in Guacamole.

After that it was a mindless sort of task to add the spines. I tried at first with two colors of embroidery thread, but not only did it quickly fall off, but I ran out super fast. Then I found a brand new skein of yellow crochet thread. I cut about 4 inch lengths and held two together to make a simple tassel with a knot at the base to keep it secure. I did every other vertical rib and every other stitch so as to not be too knotted.

I trimmed them all down once done to let them stick out a little better more like spines. I also added a bit extra around the brim as the album art does seem to be dense around the edge. 

Time to Complete: 6 hours
Difficulty: Easy

December 21, 2020

Alfur from Hilda

Do you watch Hilda on Netflix? If you don't, get on that. 

We've probably watched the first season four times through now, heading into a fifth as we countdown the days till Season 2 premiers. Our three year old girl loves it. I wanted to crochet a tiny Alfur, but the more I thought about it, the less I thought that would work very well. I considered Sculpy clay too... but of course decided to go and learn a new skill: Needle Felting. 

I ordered the Clover needle felting pen tool and a multipack of unspun wool that had the red and white colors I liked. I also ordered a set of leather finger covers and a needle felting mat from Amazon after I stabbed myself many many times the first few attempts. I basically just read a bunch of blog posts by others and watched a few you tube videos.

I made a yellow ball. I know... wow right. But then added another and worked up a few tiny eyes and a beak and voila! A fat chick spirit from Spirited Away! Then I tried out a sort of fuzzy ghost, which was cool to leave part of it unspun and unfelted to give it that wispy ghost look. More recently I'm trying to make a character from a webcomic I like, but am not sure how it't turning out...

These experiments helped get me a bit of confidence, but of course I couldn't just stop with needle felting... of course not. I decided I wanted him to be able to be posable. That meant needle felting the body around a skeleton. I attempted to make my own armature with beading wire, and while it looked ok, it was not the right color, nor very sturdy.
this black wire was way too thick

So I decided to outsource the skeleton to a friend who does paper flowers. I figured she would have a better knowledge of wires and could wrap it in black so that it would look correct to the character. 

my attempt

I sent her my rough drawing, a picture of what I had come up with, and an idea on scale and she sent back like the perfect thing. Shoulders can move a little and the wire is tough enough that a bend will stay in place. She also coated it in clear modge podge which should keep it safe should when I pose him in the leaves and stuff. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the new armature sans felt...

wrapped skeleton

With a round head, cone shaped body, cone hat, two small ovals for hair poufs and two long ovals for ears... I had me a little Alfur! The eyes, eyebrows and smile were tricky... But the pen tool has three needles, which can easily slide out, so I was able to use one needle for these small parts. Just takes patience and a lot of poking. 

Got to say... all that poking is nice and cathartic if you manage to not stab yourself...

Difficulty: Easy
Time to complete: about 4 hours

December 14, 2020

Brick Boy

I work in Acme Brick's corporate headquarters as a graphic designer. As such I get to do a lot of fun things - billboards, signs, trade show booths, print and online ads, logo design, t-shirt design, powerpoint templates, webpages, all kinds of stuff. Shortly after I started working there I was introduced to "Brick Boy" our life-size mascot costume that occasionally makes appearances at events. 

I made a few car decal stickers, put him on a mask design or two, and have now made him into a crochet stuffy. Compared to the recent super time consuming octopi, this guy was a breeze. 

I used yarn I had on hand lying around: 

    - I love this yarn in Terra Cotta, acrylic, 4 weight or the like
    - Rowan Summerlite 4 ply in Pure White, sock yarn
    - maroon or dark red sock yarn
    - black sock yarn

I made a Mr. Ramen a million years ago, so another square toy wasn't too hard. I went with the crunchy stitch for the front and back and simple single crochet panels for the sides. The body parts - front back and sides are all made with a 5mm hook. For the eyes, mouth, arms and legs in sock yarn, use a D 3.25mm hook.

Part 1: Make All The Bits

  • Front and Back
  • Eye whites, eye pupils
  • nose
  • cheeks
  • mouth with lip, teeth and tongue
  • arms with hands
  • legs
  • 6 brick "holes" for the sides

Body Front and Back, make 2, in body red or terracotta, in the crunchy stitch
Chain 26
R1: sl st in 2nd chain from hook, *(1hdc in next ch, sl st on next), repeat * across, turn (25)
R2: chain 2 (counts as first hdc), *(slst in next hdc, hdc in next sl st), repeat * across, turn (25)
R3:*(sl st in hdc, hdc in sl st), repeat * across, sl st in top of turning chain (25)
R4-16: repeat rows 2 and 3 to create texture. Bind off

Long Sides, make 2, in body red or terracotta
Chain 6, 1 sc in 1st ch from hook, 4sc across (5), chain 1 and turn
R1-23: 5sc across, chain 1 and turn. Bind off

Long Side Openings, make 6, in dark red or maroon
R1: Chain 8, skip 2 ch (counts as first hdc), 6hdc across, ch 1 and turn (7)
R2-3: 7hdc across, ch 1 and turn (7)
Chain 1 and turn your work. Do 4 slip stitches along the opening unfinished looking side to end up next to where you started your first chain. Bind off and leave tail for sewing. You will sew three of these to each of the two long sides.

Short Sides, make 2, in body red or terracotta
Chain 6, 1 sc in 1st ch from hook, 4sc across (5), chain 1 and turn
R1-15: 5sc across, chain 1 and turn. Bind off

Nose, in body red or terracotta
R1: Magic Circle, ch 1, 4 sc into circle (4)
R2: 4 sc increase around (8)
R3-4: 8 sc around (8), Bind off leaving tail to sew to body with

Cheeks, make 2, in body red or terracotta
Magic circle, chain 2 (counts as first dc), 9 more dc into circle, sl st to top of first chain (10)
Bind off with tail to sew

Eyes, make 2 in white
R1: Magic circle, ch 1, 5sc (5)
R2: sc increase around  (10)
R3: *(sc, inc), repeat 5 times (15)
R4: 4sc, hdc, (dc increase) in next 4 sts, hdc, 6sc (18) (makes a sort of tall oval)
R5: 4sc, (sc inc, sc) in next 4 sts, 6sc (22)
Bind off with tail for sewing

Pupils, make 2 in black
R1: Magic circle, ch 1, 4sc (4)
R2: sc increase around  (8)
Bind off with tail for sewing

Eyebrows, make 2 in dark red or maroon
Chain 5, 2sc, sc increase, 2sc.
Bind off with tail for sewing. Should be a sort of bean shape.

Mouth, make 1, making a half circle shape
R1: Magic Circle, ch 1, 3sc, ch 1 and turn (3)
R2: sc increase across, ch 1 and turn (6)
R3: *(sc, inc), repeat 3 times, ch 1 and turn (9)
R4: 2sc, sc inc, hdc, hdc inc, hdc, sc inc, 2sc (12)
R5: switch to body red, sl st in each to make bottom lip (12)
Bind off with tail for sewing

Teeth, make 1 in white
Chain 9, sl st in 1st from hook and across (8 sl st), bind off with tail for sewing

Tongue, make 1 in dark red or maroon
Chain 5, 2dc in second from hook, sl st in next, chain 2, 2dc in next. Makes a sort of heart shape. Bind off with a little tail for sewing

Hands and Arms, make 2, uses both dark red and white sock yarns
R1: Magic circle, ch 1, 6 sc (6)
R2: sc increase around (12)
R3-6: 12 sc around
R7: sc, 5dc in one stitch - remove hook and insert into top of 1st dc, then through last dc, draw up a loop and chain to secure - makes one big bobble stitch for the thumb, 10 sc (12)
R8: sc, dec, 3sc, dec, 4sc (10) (tapers the hand down a bit)
R9: 10 hdc (makes a sort of glove wrist part)
switch to dark red or maroon, you might also stuff the hand at this point and continue stuffing the arm as you go along
R10: 10sc in back loops only
R11-26: 10 sc around
Bind off with tail for sewing

Legs and Feet, make 2 in dark red or maroon, may help to stuff as you go along
R1: Magic circle, ch 1, 6 sc (6)
R2: sc increase around (12)
R3: *(sc inc, sc), repeat around (18)
R4: *(sc inc, 2sc), repeat around (24)
R5-8: 24 sc 
R9: 8sc, 4dec, 8sc (20)
R10: 6sc, 4dec, 6sc (16)
R11: 4sc, 4dec, 4sc (12)
R12: 4sc, 2dec, 4sc (10)
R13-28: 10sc

Part 2: Assemble Those Bits

Sew the teeth part along the top of the mouth half circle. Sew the tongue into place.
Sew the pupils onto the white eye oval.

Place the eyes, nose, mouth and cheeks onto whichever body piece you want to be the front. You want to get a good idea of how it will all sit and overlap when sewn down. I sewed the eyes first (using a tiny bit of the white to also go through the pupil as an eye highlight at the end), then the nose between, the mouth below and cheeks last to over lap the bottom of the eyes just a little. Add the eyebrows over the eyes.

Next sew three brick openings evenly spaced along each of the long sides, if you haven't already.

The arm gets sewn into the middle of the bottom of the three brick openings. However in my case I decided to add a double pipe-cleaner to the inside of the arms to make it a little posable. This is totally optional, but if you want to, I recommend putting the pipe cleaner in while you are stuffing one arm. Then you insert the end of the pipe cleaner in through the brick opening and the long side leaving it open inside the body. That way once you get all the sides on you can poke the other end back out the other side, slip the arm over it, stuff it and sew it into place. That makes it so you have one long pipe cleaner between the two hands going through the body. 

Sew the two legs to whichever of the short sides will be the bottom. Try to keep them to the center and nicely placed with a little space between.

Sew the long sides to the front with a simple stitch. I just went in and out of the holes between the crochet stitches, as I wanted there to be a very crisp edge. A whip stitch should work fine too. I worked around the face, doing a long side, then the top of the head, down the other long side and along the bottom. I did work out and back along the short corners so I could sew with one long piece of yarn and not need to cut it. 

Once you have a front and sides on, you can sew the back into place. I left the bottom open along the feet to stuff it up when three sides were sewn. That also helped with sewing the other arm into place over the pipe-cleaner I had threaded through the body cavity. Once he is stuffed, simply sew up the back.

Done! Just need to figure out how to get an Acme Brick logo on him...

Difficulty: Easy +
Time to complete: 4 hours