Check out this great new ballerina doll crochet pattern that I've just posted in the Pattern Shop!
Little ones will love to dance the day away with this ballerina doll! With her bright coloured dress, ballet shoes and hair styled in pretty ringlets, this ballerina doll is sure to make both children and adults smile.
This would make a very sweet handmade gift for a special child.
The amigurumi ballerina doll is made with medium worsted weight yarn, safety eyes, embroidery floss and stuffing material. Her finished size is about 13 inches in height. The crochet pattern includes photos, clear written instructions, a detailed materials list and e-mail support if help is needed.
The pattern is available for purchase here. I hope you enjoy making the Ballerina Doll!
All the snow is gone and the temperatures have been somewhat warm for this time of year. I've seen little buds popping up my shrubs and perennials are starting to poke through the soil. Spring is here!
Just in time to welcome spring and to celebrate Easter, I have two new free crochet patterns to share with you.
The first is a Spring Chick who is so happy that the spring flowers are on their way! You can download the pattern here or on the Free Patterns page.
I can't believe how long it's been since my last post!
Well, for the last few months I've been very busy working on reformatting my crochet patterns and taking new photos. These photos have been a huge challenge! I guess that's what happens when you need it to be 'just right' -- the downfalls of being a perfectionist!
I've also been working on some fantastic new patterns. These patterns are now available in the Pattern Shop, including Oreo the Cat, Skipper the Squirrel, and Liam the Lion! I will have even more exciting new patterns to share in the next couple of months.
Check out the photos of the new patterns below as well as past favourites in some great new colours! Of course, the patterns are available in the Pattern Shop (Etsy) here.
This weekend I decided to revisit one of my most popular crochet patterns, Dudley the Dachshund. Since I love black dogs, I've created Dudley using black yarn. Isn't he cute with his bright red collar?
Instead of embroidering his nose, I used a 15 mm plastic safety nose. To give his eyes more character, I used a small circle of white felt between the plastic safety eyes and the yarn.
Here are the two Dudleys hanging out together in the yard.
Get the pattern for Dudley the Dachshund in my Pattern Shop, and make one for yourself today!
A new crochet pattern has been added to the Pattern Shop. Animal Rattles!
These adorable animal rattles - a bear, pig and fox - can be stitched up quickly and are wonderful to give as a sweet baby shower gift. Best of all, the rattles are completely baby safe and machine washable!
Easy to grasp and shake, these cuties will keep your little one entertained for hours while helping to develop fine motor skills.
Check out the pattern here, and have fun stitching!
Until next time,
Making toys is very rewarding. Within a couple of hours, you can stitch up a finished softie, ready to be loved.
Unlike making toys, I find that needlework such as cross-stitch and embroidery is a lot of work, especially if it’s a larger picture that’s being stitched. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have several cross-stitch, embroidery, petit point and crewelwork kits in my stash waiting to be finished. These were collected over several years.
I’ve been working regularly on these kits, so I’ve managed to complete three of these cross-stitch projects. Two are now framed, with one waiting to be framed.
Here is the cross-stitch project that I am current working on:
There are many, many more in the queue, and several kits are not pictured here:
Yes, I do have a lot of work ahead of me, but the only way these will get finished is by working on them one at a time (or maybe two at a time!).
Until next time,
What do you do when the project you were so eager to work on becomes too overwhelming? What do you do when you've lost interest?
This is a story about persistence. It's also a story about an afghan and pretzel cushion.
About nineteen years ago, when my husband and I were first dating, I decided to make him an afghan in the colours of his favourite football team. I found a crochet pattern specifically for that team and started to work on it. I worked on it here and there for a while, and then just lost interest in it. It wasn’t because I didn’t like to crochet. I love to crochet!! It was the repetition and the size of the project that stopped me from finishing. The thought of spending so many hours on the afghan and not seeming to make any progress was just daunting and I felt so discouraged. So I put the afghan aside thinking I would get to it someday. We all have projects like that, don’t we?
Then we got married and had kids, and I didn’t have time to work on it. Then I had some health issues. But those were just excuses. I wanted to work on other quicker craft projects and see immediate results. So the unfinished afghan sat in a closet, waiting and waiting for “someday”.
Well, last year was my “someday”. I began to work on the afghan once more. In fact, I had several unfinished projects sitting in a closet and I decided to just get them done! During 2014 and 2015 I’ve completed most of them…rug hooking, painting ceramics, and the afghan. I persisted and worked through all the negative feelings I had while completing these projects. To finally finish a project and to see the results of my hard work is such a good feeling!
I’m happy to say that as of today, the only unfinished projects I have to work on are a few embroidery and cross-stitch pictures. Just this week I finished a knitted Pretzel Cushion that I'd been working on since the summer!
I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking at the time, but I decided that I wanted to make a floor cushion for my 10 year old daughter so that she could have a special place for reading her books. As a beginning knitter, I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice my knitting skills, so I found a book in my collection that has quite a few knitted cushion patterns:
In this book I found a pattern for a Pretzel Cushion. My daughter thought it looked ‘cool’, so that's the one I promised to make for her:
The pattern seemed fairly easy. Although I’d never worked with a set of four double-pointed needles, I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to teach myself to cast onto three needles. From there, it would be just straight knitting in the round. To be honest though, after a few rounds, it does get quite monotonous. The finished length is around 170 inches (432 cm). That’s very long!
Several times throughout this project I’ve thought to myself, “Why did I promise to do this? It’s taking forever to finish!”. I wanted to quit. However, thinking about the promise that I made to my little girl kept me going, and I definitely didn't want to disappoint her, so I pushed ahead to get it done. Taking advantage of having some time off work for the Christmas holidays, I knitted a little bit of the cushion every day and finally finished it!
The moral of both these stories is that when a project seems overwhelming or you lose interest in it, don’t think about it in terms of the big picture. Work on it in little blocks of time. When you tire of it, put it away for a few days and work on something else. Then go back to it when you’re ready. Most important, take your time. If it takes months or even years, that's okay. Be persistent. I promise, it will get done and it will be so worth it!
Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!
Creating a handmade Christmas is absolutely wonderful!
Sometimes crafters and designers like to make things just for themselves. That’s exactly what I did! I had so much fun making these quick little ornaments that I’ve decided to make something new every year until I eventually have a Christmas tree completely filled with one-of-a-kind handmade ornaments.
Making and giving a gift is so satisfying. A lot of love and care goes into this process. I truly appreciate receiving handmade gifts because I know how much thoughtfulness went into selecting, making, wrapping and giving the gift.
So this year I’m also giving some handmade gifts that I’m sure the recipients will enjoy receiving (I hope this blog post doesn’t spoil the surprise!).
Do you have a favourite handmade Christmas decoration or gift given to you? Are you making a gift to give to someone special? If so, I’d love to hear all about it!
Until next time,
It’s that special time of the year again! To help you celebrate everything handmade, three new Christmas crochet patterns have been added to the Softiez Pattern Shop.
Gingerbread Boy and Girl Crochet Pattern
Get into the holiday spirit with this Gingerbread Boy and Girl who are sweet as can be! These cuties will make a great addition to your Christmas decorations. The Gingerbread Boy is embellished with snowflake buttons and 'frosting' on his arms and legs, and the Gingerbread Girl is wearing a cute bow, a festive apron with a pocket (the pocket can hold a small candy cane or chocolate!), and she is also decorated with 'frosting' on her arms and legs! Check out the Gingerbread Boy and Girl pattern here.
Riley the Reindeer and Friends Crochet Pattern
These reindeer friends will warm your heart for the holidays! One special reindeer, Riley, has a bright red nose just like someone else we know! The reindeer toys are quick and easy to make, and are the perfect gift for someone special or a great addition to your Christmas decorations. The pattern for Riley the Reindeer and Friends can be purchased here.
Santa Gnome Crochet Pattern
Add a bit of whimsy and fun to your holiday decorations! With a fuzzy beard and hat trim, this vintage-inspired Santa Gnome is sure to bring smiles to all your visitors this Christmas! The Santa Gnome pattern is available for purchase here.
My house is already decorated (we started early this year!), with mostly handmade decorations. I love sitting in my favourite chair, sipping hot chocolate, and looking at many of the decorations made by my children while thinking of the special memories each one holds.
In December, I will be featuring a blog post about some of this year’s new handmade decorations and gifts that I’ve been working on. I can't wait to share them with you!
Until next time,
I love vintage soft toy patterns.
Unlike clothing styles that tend to look dated as the fashion trends change, soft toys don’t go ‘out of style’. Whether a soft toy is made today from a 1940’s pattern or a 1960’s pattern, it is as much ‘in style’ now as it was then! Best of all, you can use fabric purchased 30 years ago or you can use fabric purchased today. Either way, the results are going to be terrific.
I’ve found quite a few vintage books and leaflets of crochet patterns, knitting patterns and sewing patterns at rummage sales and second hand stores. You’d be surprised at how often I find them at these sales, so now I have quite a collection! This photo shows some of the books from my collection.
I have a toy horse that was sewn by my grandmother in the 1960s from a 1964 Simplicity pattern. This toy horse nicely combines cotton fabric with a yarn accent for the horse’s mane and has embroidered facial features. It’s not stuffed with polyester fibrefill which may have not been readily available locally at the time. It seems to be harder and a bit lumpy, indicating that it may have been stuffed with cut up fabrics or another suitable material. Either way, it is well made, in excellent condition and of course still ‘in style’. It is now a treasured toy to be passed down to my children.
A few months ago, I participated in a Sew-Along with other soft toy designers from Abby Glassenberg’s private Facebook group, the While She Naps Softie Designers Forum, using patterns from a 1944 publication, Easy-to-Sew Toys. This booklet was also shared by Abby Glassenberg on her blog.
I chose to make the elephant. The pattern called for cotton fabric; however, I used a modern fleece fabric in vibrant colours. The only change I had to make to accommodate the thickness of the fleece was to increase the size of the pattern piece used for the tail. I really enjoyed working on this project and the result was a fantastic, colourful toy!
To view some of the other toys completed through this Sew-Along, see Abby Glassenberg’s blog post Easy-to-Sew Toys Wrap Up.
I’ve highlighted some sewing patterns here, but the same holds true for crochet and knitting. Whether it’s crocheted, knitted or sewn, soft toys never go out of style. Making soft toys from vintage patterns is so much fun…from finding the pattern, selecting the materials and finally, making a wonderful toy for children (and adults!) of all ages to enjoy.
Until next time,
Welcome! My name is Lisa Bosch, and I'm the soft toy designer of Softiez patterns.