Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bunnies Roundup! 10 free crochet patterns

All pictures belong to the pattern designers and are used with permission and/or credit.

With Easter quickly approaching, I decided that I wanted to do a roundup of bunny patterns. They are all so cute and hopefully there is something for everyone! Keep your eyes peeled if you like bunnies because I will probably follow it up with paid patterns a little later!

  1. Spring Bunnies  (All About Ami) - I'm not a huge fan of making ami because my hands start to hurt but I love how it looks! These little bunnies are just so cute though that they almost make me want to give it another go.
  2. Easy Crochet Bunny (The Green Dragonfly) - I love how colorful these are. So many endless color possibilities with this pattern!
  3. Bunny Egg Basket (Yarnspirations) - As much as I love tapestry crochet, this just screams out my name! If you do the egg hunt that each child gets a certain egg color, this basket would be perfect with the bunnies in the coordinating color.
  4. Bunny Comfort Blankie (Salena Baca - Red Heart) - This is such a sweet little pattern and would be so easy to make. My kids still love having a blanket and a stuffed animal. This would make carrying around both so easy!
  5. Spring Bunny applique (Love The Blue Bird) - I ran across this pattern a few years ago and it is still one of my go to patterns for a bunny applique. These could also be strung together for a bunting. My children like to use them for boo-boo bunnies. I made several in cotton and they will get them wet with really cold water and put them on their boo-boos.
  6. Floppy Bunny Hat (Simply Homemade with Mama G) - The ears on this pattern are my go to for bunny ears. I do the inside layer in pink and then do the hat and the outer layer in my bunny color. I do use my own simple dc hat pattern but that is just because I like it so much. I do that with just about anything that needs a basic base. 
  7. Crochet Bunny Hat (Repeat Crafter Me) - Love the little face on this bunny hat. Paired with the diaper cover with a tail, SO CUTE!
  8. Chocolate Easter Bunny (Claudia Lowman) - I love this chocolate bunny pattern! So cute and great if you are trying to cut back on the hyped up children from sugar!
  9. Easter Marshmallow Bunnies (Doni Speigle) - I hate Peeps. To me they are the nastiest little things ever but these bunnies are super cute!
  10. Pull a Rabbit Out of Your Hat (Linda Green) - This one isn't strictly an Easter bunny but I like it too much to not include it. I don't know about you by my kids would love to have this to play with.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Meet My Testers: Jess of DiPaul's Designs

It's my privilege to once again introduce y'all to one of my testers: Jess of DiPaul's Designs! I "met" Jess on my business page when she applied to be a tester for me. A mutual love of The Doctor drew us together and quickly made us friends! I feel like I know her even though we have never met "in real life".

Hi, I'm Jess! I'm 27 years old and live with my boyfriend on the other side of the state from my family. A whopping 4.5 hours away.

How did you learn to crochet?

My mom taught me to crochet after I asked her if she would. Her mom (my nanny) taught her. And my greatgrandmom (who we all called butterscotch grandmom because those were the only candies she ever had) taught my nanny. I can only assume it keeps going back. What I find interesting is that we're all the first born daughter. I plan to keep that going one day.

What inspired you to start crocheting?

I was home on Christmas break my freshman year of college, bored because my three siblings were still in school. I grew up using blankets from the ladies in my life and one night asked my mom to teach me. The next day we went shopping for yarn and a hook :) that was December 2006.

How long have you been crocheting?

Doing the math that means I've been crocheting for 8 years now. Wow!

What is your favorite thing to crochet?

My favorite things to crochet are amigurumi and blankets.

What is your favorite thing about testing?

My favorite thing about testing is just that, testing. I like helping others see their creations come to life.

Favorite designers?

Favorite designers? That's a toughie. Do I look like a suck-up if I say you? Haha! I also really love Allison Hoffman of Crafty Is Cool.

What are some things you want to try and haven't yet in crochet?

The one thing I really want to try to crochet and haven't is clothes. The closest I've gotten is baby booties/socks. I've just been nervous to do anything bigger.

Least favorite thing to crochet?

Speaking of baby booties they're one of my least favorite things to crochet. And the sewing/attachment of limbs to bodies. Worst. Thing. Ever.

Anything else?

I've made two of my own designs! An amigurumi lizard and a Skyrim themed helmet. I'm happy with them. And I'm slowly working on a 300 Leonidas themed Spartan helmet.

Thanks to Jess for answering my questions! Besides her Facebook page, you can also find her at her blog. I can't wait to see what else she does as she explores the world of designing and she does fantastic work.

If you would be interested in testing for me, you can fill out my tester application HERE.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


I'm kinda slow this week! I just realized that with the release of my Swirling Leaves Fingerless Gloves I am now at 100 released patterns. That is just amazing to me.

I started releasing my designs in March of last year and continue to be overwhelmed with how much I have been able to accomplish in a relatively short time. I have several more designs in the works and can't wait to share them with y'all. Also, stay tuned for a big announcement coming soon for next month!

Some of the new items that will be coming will be clothing items and I am going to continue to work on fashionable and stylish items and accessories and of course will continue with my graphs as well because those are just fun for me.

Anyway! On to the news of this post. To celebrate 100 patterns, I am going to have a sale! 40% off patterns in my Ravelry store (excluding Pamala line and eBooks). Use the code "100patterns" to get the discount.

So tell me, as I continue to design, what are some of y'all's favorite items to see patterns for?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Swirling Leaves Fingerless Gloves

Swirling Leaves is one of my favorite stitches to use. I found it originally on a stitch site then adapted it to work how I wanted it to but left the basic bones of the stitch alone. I now have several patterns available in this line and some of them are free as contributions to Cre8tion Crochet.

I love this picture from one of my pattern testers. She did the Swirling Leaves Vest, Boot Cuffs and Fingerless Gloves for me. She used Lion Brand Heartland Glacier Bay Tweed and I LOVE how they came out.

So, without further ado, my latest pattern for Swirling Leaves, fingerless gloves. There are 3 length options and five different sizes included in the pattern, so there is something for everyone. I love how elegant they look in the Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable. There are so many options with color changes and adding embellishments and yarn choice. These are a hit with younger girls as well, as one of my testers had her daughter steal the first pair and then request a second.

And special just for my followers here, a special code (SLFG Release) to get 50% off for the release! This code will expire on Thursday, February 12th at noon central time.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Meet The Bubble Hook Maker - An Interview

I'm very please to provide y'all with a little peek at what it is like to be a clay hook maker. Kelli was kind enough to do an interview with me. I asked her some questions of my own and asked some that came from my Facebook page. One thing I do know, I didn't ask her exactly how she makes her hooks. They are her art, and I wouldn't ask an artist about their process even one who is a friend like Kelli is to me.

How long does a single hook take start to finish? 

It honestly depends on several factors, such as the brand ordered, the size (which determines color), and the finish ordered. A hook can be made as quickly as 3 hours start to finish. Or can be made across three days with sandings and glazings. A hook that also displays a "cane" would be hard to quantify in exact time. The canes themselves can be used many times but can take 1 to 3 days to create, before they are ready to be sliced to go onto hooks.

How did you get into working with clay? 

Originally I thought I might save myself some money. I learned quickly that it takes more money than I ever anticipated to make clay hooks correctly. There is alot of trial and error that goes into your first few practice runs. As it turns out, I am artistic by nature and seemed to have a natural talent for it. So luckily, I eventually got good enough to offer my work to others. Initially my 3-dimensional clay creation hooks caused many custom orders, but I have always wanted to sell a product that is comfortable to use. I feel if you are investing money into a good set of hooks, they should be usable. So I eventually pulled away from 3-D character hooks to obtain the maximum comfort level on my product. This also prevents orders for copyrighted characters.

What was the inspiration for the bubble hooks? 

I had discovered a line of hooks that were very expensive that I had saved for and drooled over. A close friend bought me one for Christmas and it bent within a few hours. I was so brokenhearted. The company was kind and replaced the hook with a version made from an even more expensive material, but I did not care for the way that material felt against my yarn. This led me to desperately want a smooth gliding in line head, but an ergonomic shape that worked for both grip types I sold to. After trails at combining all my favorite things I had found in different hooks, I arrived at what I named my "Pearl Bubble Hook" line. Pearl because they are always made of a clay that has a pearlesque sheen to it and bubble because the shapes remind me of blowing bubbles in the spring.

How does she color the handles? 

The clay colors are arrived in by mixing portions. I have been able to collect data on which ratios give me the best colors, and I am careful when I buy the actual hooks to make sure the actual aluminum handle is not "off color". But there a few that I am lucky enough that a clay color is already made that matches close to spot on, such as a Bates H in Teal, I do not have to mix color at all.

Are there any 'practical' advantages of choosing 'glazed' over 'matte or unglazed'?

The are both advantages and disadvantages to ordering glazed hooks. The advantage is, I feel like it "gels" everything together, and it gives the pearl clays the most beautiful shine. The disadvantage is that of course anything we touch repeatedly with our hands over time will show wear.

The same is true with Matte hooks, the advantage is a matte hook only adds the patina from your hand oils over time. The disadvantage is, for me personally, I use my "nails" alot in grabbing my yarn to go over my hook, and sometimes put little chips in my clay after a while.
My personal set is a set of clover amours that are color matched and glazed, although I admit I sometimes sell my own if a customer would otherwise be stuck waiting on a backorder.

How does she bake them? Does she have a clay oven or does she use her kitchen oven? 

I have both and have used both. If a normal oven is used, you need to have an oven thermomenter.

How many hooks has SICK 'LIL MONKEYS sold? 

 We have sold over 1100 Pearl Bubble hooks, and just over 500 of other styles of hooks. And we are proud to say we have shipped to 21 countries now!

What types of specialty tools are used? 

 Each clay artist and hook are different, of course, but for example to create a glazed Bubble Hook, I would use the following items from my clay cabinet: Pasta Roller, Roller Bar, Clay, Razor Blade, Surgical Tissue Blades, aluminum hooks, sandpaper, Dremel, extra virgin olive oil, polyurethane glaze, polymer clay, clay oven, and heat activated specialty clay glue

Where does she acquire her tools and supplies? 

For a very small amount of items Michael's will have the basics. But most clay tools worth actually purchasing , at least in my area have to be ordered online. Some supplies come from as far as the UK.

Can I read any reviews about these hooks outside of this article? 

Sure, The SickLilMonkeyz Etsy Shoppe has over 70 reviews to help you see how others feel about their Bubble hooks! https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/SickLilMonkeyz/reviews

As a special treat, Kelli gave me a code for y'all to get 25% off. The code is good until the 15th and there are a limited number. Code is: CTBLINTERVIEW. This is good in her Etsy shop.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blooming Arbor Beanie: A Review and Giveaway

I got the privilege to review this pattern by Krista over at Evergreen Shore. This is her first pattern, and I have to say I LOVE it.

The pattern is well written and the instructions are clear. Krista is a joy to work with and I am beyond excited to see what she comes up with in the future. The construction of the hat is a combination of bottom up and top down. There is some seaming but it is really a fairly simple hat. If you are wanting to learn cables, this is a good place to start. I added some rows to the cap portion of the pattern (with Krista's permission) because I wanted a bit of slouch. Krista told me she did a version just recently with a ponytail opening. I hope she adds these options in to the pattern; because they are great and I love a versatile pattern! One of my favorite things about this pattern is the options for color combinations. The possibilities could really be endless.

The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn but a lighter worsted like Caron Simply Soft. I used Lion Brand Heartland in three different colors: Acadia, Black Canyon and Yosemite. You can find it at Craftsy, JoAnn or Amazon (these links help support me, they are affiliate links).

And as a special bonus, the amazing Krista has given me a coupon code to share with all you lovelies AND a chance to win a copy of the pattern! When you visit her page, please let her know how much you appreciate it! The coupon code is for 30% off  and is "CTBLBLOOM" and the pattern can be found HERE. Add it to your cart, then add the coupon code for the discount.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Swirling Leaves - New Patterns Coming Soon

One of my favorite pattern lines is my Swirling Leaves patterns. I have two of them on Cre8tion Crochet as free patterns, the beanie/slouch and the blanket. The beanie was actually my first contribution to Cre8tion Crochet. I have more patterns coming soon from that line, and I am super excited about them. One of the items is going to be available on Cre8tion Crochet next month and the others will probably be sometime in late January, early February as well. I've designed my first clothing item. As an example of how absolutely amazing it is, here is an encounter one of my testers had regarding the vest!

You can find all my Swirling Leaves patterns in my Ravelry shop but to make it really easy they are all in a bundle HERE as well.

So far out of all my patterns in Swirling Leaves that are already released, my favorite is the coffee cozy. It has four different options and is very versatile. I have had several people tell me that their cozy has saved their hands when using their Keurig.

All of the above lovely pictures are from my testers. Don't they do an amazing job? I am so very blessed to have such wonderful ladies in my life! Like the look of this pattern? Click below on the Buy Now button to get your copy. Don't crochet? Contact me through any of the methods listed under my About Me tab and I can either hook one up for you or recommend a few shops that do amazing work.

What items do you think would look good in this pattern line? Who knows? You might see them in the future!