FREE Star Wars Inspired BB-8 Crochet Toque Pattern

Posted in Crochet, Knit & Crochet , on December 21, 2015

BB-8 Toque Pattern by Lesley KarpiukHave you seen The Force Awakens yet?! Unquestionably one of the most iconic characters from the newest movie in the Star Wars franchise is a spherical astromech droid named BB-8. He’s totally adorable, and I decided to turn his likeness into a winter hat, or toque. (The shape is perfect, right?) Three drafts and a whole day of crocheting later, I had something that fit well and looked fabulous. So here it is, my free Star Wars BB-8 inspired pattern!

The pattern is pretty simple, but one round does require you to make color changes mid-row while carrying the yarn along. I included several photos and links to video tutorials if needed to explain and demonstrate this process very thoroughly. You should also know how to do front post half double crochet and back post half double crochet stitches, which create the ribbed brim.

Head on over to Ravelry to snag my FREE BB-8 Crochet Toque Pattern. Please note that the pattern is provided free for personal use and should not be copied or redistributed. Have fun making hats!

May the Force be with you and may this toque keep you warm while you’re standing in line waiting to get in to The Force Awakens! Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy!


Sew Sweet Crochet Fabric Toddler Dress – FREE PATTERN!

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Sewing, Tutorials , on August 2, 2015

Lila wearing her first Sew Sweet Crochet Fabric Toddler Dress by me!I laughed when I saw that my most recent post before this one was the baby blanket I was making just before my daughter was born and now I’m updating to share a new free pattern I’ve put together of the toddler dress I just made for her… let’s just say 18 months between posts is a long time! Don’t worry, I’ve still been crafting away all this time, I just haven’t documented it really well. I’m always very busy with my small business, GEEKSOAP, which hit its 5 year anniversary back in February (YAY!) and have made several new designs over there for you to check out.

Recently on a 3-hour road trip, I got the itch to knit or crochet something and decided I wanted to make a dress for my now-17-month-old daughter. Back before she was born, I had purchased a newborn pattern that was a crochet top with fabric skirt combined, and I loved the idea. (My sewing machine was collecting dust – I missed it!) but when I looked at the pattern again a few weeks ago, I found that it was only written in a newborn size with no real “recipe” that I felt comfortable modifying to fit my daughter now. It was also very heavy with a lot of puffy crochet stitches, meant for cooler weather, which just wouldn’t work in July! I started researching free crochet dress patterns online to figure out a method for making just a collar or bodice that could be adapted for different sizes. After I made a top that fit, I was hooked! (haha.) I tried again and again with different hooks and things like holding multiple strands together for different effect, and finally loved the end result. After making my first dress – which had a bit of an empire waist – I made some adjustments to have a bit more length. And then I couldn’t stop making dresses…

Lila modeling her Sew Sweet Crochet Fabric Toddler DressesI had a lot of people ask me how I did it, so I just threw together all of my notes and tried to create a pattern for others to follow if they also want to make dresses for their little ones. I haven’t personally tested the larger sizes on kids, but I did include notes on suggestions where to make adaptations in order to make the crochet bodice larger for older kids. I would imagine that changing the yarn and hook size could also help you make a smaller size if you wanted, too. You could also adapt the pattern to start with 2 less stitches and adjust the rest of the numbers in the other rounds accordingly to go smaller.

As for the skirt – the pattern includes all of the notes and dimensions I used for making the skirts for my dresses, which includes notes to help you decide what dimensions you need to use when making yours. I’m no seamstress, though, so this isn’t fancy stuff. I just sort of “winged it” from doing past sewing projects and it all worked out just fine!

The pattern is now over on Ravelry as a free download – be sure to grab a copy and give it a try! And if you try some of the larger size adaptations, let me know how it goes. Also don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Hope you enjoy. :)

Pattern specifications:

Materials Needed
• Size I crochet hook, or whatever hook to reach gauge
• Medium weight yarn, like a cotton or acrylic
• At least 1/2 yard of coordinating fabric
• Coordinating thread
• Sewing machine

Optional
• Double folded bias tape
• Buttons

Gauge
13 sts = 4” and 9 rows = 4” in hdc

Bodice Size
This pattern is for size 2 years with a 21” chest. Pattern includes suggestions for adapting to larger sizes: 4, 6, and 8. This theory could be used to go smaller, too. (Or try a smaller hook!)

Stitches Required
Fhdc = foundation half double crochet. This creates a foundation chain and a first row of half double crochet stitches all in one.
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain
hdc = half double crochet stitch
sc = single crochet stitch
blo = back loops only. Insert your hook into the back loop only instead of both loops of the st.

Pattern also includes 16 different variations and ideas for spicing up your dresses!

Enjoy :)


Lila: A Combination Knit & Crochet Baby Blanket – FREE Pattern!

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Showcase, Tutorials , on January 8, 2014

Lila baby blanket pattern by Lesley Karpiuk of thepinktoque.comWith our second baby, Lila, on the way (I can’t believe she’s due next month!) I of course had to whip up a baby blanket. I didn’t want to use the same pattern that I used for Liam just to mix things up a bit, and spent days going through patterns on Ravelry to find just the right blanket but couldn’t decide. I was torn on whether I wanted to knit or crochet; I prefer the look of knit, but crochet is so much quicker for me. What’s an indecisive pregnant mama to do?! I stumbled upon a Lion Brand pattern that both my husband and I liked the concept of, but I wasn’t super fond of the look of the particular lace it used, nor the fact that it was knit from the corner and increased from there. It got me thinking of doing something similar with alternating lace and garter panels, but with “prettier” lace. And knit flat across, back and forth, instead of increased from the corner.

I somewhat recently learned broomstick lace crochet, and I remember thinking it could easily transition to knitting needles to do a combo project, and the idea was born to make a baby blanket from alternating broomstick lace crochet and garter knit stitch panels. I couldn’t find anything like it, so I just decided to take notes and possibly write up the pattern to share later. I finished the blanket about a week before Christmas, but just got around to formatting the pattern to share publicly this weekend.

Lila baby blanket by Lesley Karpiuk of thepinktoque.com

I don’t go into detail on how to do broomstick lace in the pattern, so it assumes you are familiar with the technique ahead of time. However, I did add two links in the pattern to the resources I used to teach myself:

Video Tutorial (4 mins)

Written Tutorial

And as I’ve mentioned that it’s a combination of crochet (broomstick lace) and knit (garter stitch), you need to be able to do these two different techniques to be successful with following the blanket pattern, but I promise it’s super easy otherwise. I also included a quick video clip I took of myself transferring the stitches from the knitting needles after doing a garter panel back to do another broomstick crochet panel, so I think that will help. Of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know either in the comments or via email.

Materials Needed for the Lila Baby Blanket
Size J crochet hook
Worsted weight yarn (I used Hobby Lobby Yarn Secret in Lilac, 2 skeins)
Size 8 knitting needles on 32″ cable (You’ll knit back and forth like on straights)
Size 35 or 50 knitting needle, or broomstick (I literally took the plastic broomstick off of my toddler’s play broom and used that!), referred to as broomstick throughout the pattern

GRAB THE PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE!

I really love how the blanket turned out! Mine ended up being 20″ x 30″ unblocked. I really need to block it, because in my test swatch, blocking really made the broomstick lace panels pop beautifully. I’m sure I’ll get that done before Lila arrives next month, right?

Happy knit/crochet! Hope you enjoy the pattern.


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Knitting Season

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on August 31, 2012

While it certainly doesn’t FEEL like knitting season yet, the fall months are just around the corner and I’ve already begun the season’s first knits… despite the weather being in the 90s as recently as last weekend. Instead of easing back into the groove with something simple, I decided to kick off knitting season with an ambitious project… a sweater for the geekling. Because… you know. Why not?

This was an ambitious project for a few reasons. One being that even though I’ve been knitting for 6 years, I am intimidated by sweaters because I think of them as being a more complex project for the pros… and a pro I am most certainly not. I mean… sweaters have sleeves and a yoke, for crying out loud! It’s not a simple square or a hat in the round. THERE ARE SLEEVES! AND MULTIPLE PARTS! AND POTENTIALLY SEAMING! (Yuck.) And I’ve never been good at projects that require picking up stitches, which is usually a requirement of something made up of so many parts, or with seams.

Two being that I am one of those knitters that generally prefers smaller projects. I love knitting hats. LOVE! Hats (toques) are my favorite thing to knit. They’re small enough projects that I can finish one in a short period of time, (Which equals nearly instant gratification) BUT they have the potential for being a little more complex depending on the pattern, to keep knitting one interesting and fun. People think that cables are SO COMPLICATED (trust me, I was one of those people for the longest time.) so I love that hats allow me just the right amount of instant gratification and complexity to keep me engaged long enough to actually finish the project. You mean I can knit something that looks complicated and beautiful in a couple of hours or days? YES PLEASE. This is also a reason why I like crochet… and though I can crochet faster than I can knit, I really prefer the *look* of knit stitches for this kind of thing.

But back to the sweater. There are sweater patterns out there that don’t require picking up ANY stitches and very little seaming, thank goodness, and the one I chose for Liam’s sweater is such a pattern. It’s called the Almost Seamless Pullover Sweater, a free pattern by Helen Rose at Craft Foxes and you can find it on Ravelry here. (See my project on Ravelry here!) I did, however, find errata that is not reported on the originating website so if you give it a try, be sure to change the number of stitches you begin knitting in row 1 of step 4 when you begin the shoulders and collar so that you go all the way around the sweater before turning your work instead of just halfway. (Don’t ask how I figured that out. Just know that spending 2 hours precariously ripping back rows when I felt like something was off was not something I ever want to do again.)

The sweater itself was fairly plain and simple, with the exception of a little garter and seed stitching at the collar, which was a nice touch to give the sweater some texture. I appreciated instructions that said, “Knit until the pieces measures 8.5″ from the cast on edge,” because I could literally zone out and just keep knitting the same knit stitch around and around for what felt like forever. It’s incredibly therapeutic and yet again I found myself asking why I always take a summer break from knitting when it’s so relaxing. (I’m sure the 100 degree plus weather had something to do with it.) But at the same time I know myself, and I realize that if I had been knitting an *adult* size sweater, that much plain knit stitch in the round would’ve gotten SO. BORING. And I probably would’ve given up on the project in favor of something smaller with a quicker gratification turn-over rate. But I’ve found that infant and toddler sweaters are like hats… that perfect balance of complexity to keep it interesting and project size to still finish it. I actually completed this sweater before the kid grew too big for it! And wow, I ACTUALLY KNIT A SWEATER. Which to be able to say *seems* like a big accomplishment and makes me feel really awesome. Nevermind that Liam will only be able to wear it this one season.

Also around the corner *should* be hockey season, which may be another reason that the itch to knit has returned before the cooler temperatures. I learned how to knit during my first few months in Canada, just in time to start knitting things for my first winter and my first hockey season there. I have fond, nostalgic memories of snuggling on the (orange) couch, knitting while we watched (and I learned about) hockey. I’m quite certain that I will cry if there’s a lockout and we don’t end up having a hockey season this year. I guess I’ll have to get all of my knitting done during Sunday/Monday Night Football instead.

Next on my knitting to do list will be a hat for myself to match some fabulous red and white Team Canada mittens I picked up this summer, (Yes, I know it sounds funny that I bought mitts in the summer) and then I’m thinking it will be time to knit a few hats for family members, followed by a few baby hats for my friends that are expecting in the spring. Bring on knitting season!

Oh and on the GEEKSOAP front… be sure to watch for two new soaps coming soon… a Darth Vader themed bar and a trilogy Hunger Games guest soap set! Keep your eye on geeksoap.net for those goodies to show up in the near future.


New Cthulhu Crochet Patterns Available! Scarf, Bib, Purse

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on June 25, 2012

Finally!

People have been asking me about this forever. And ever. AND EVER. There have been a few changes over at The Pink Toque Shop; you’ll notice that some of my creations (Scarfthulhu, Bibthulhu) are now available as PDF patterns (!) instead. I finally put down my Cthulhu scarf and bib patterns on paper and made them available to you right along with my popular Cthulhu Toque pattern.

As for a Cthulhu purse… many MANY of you have emailed me upon seeing Bibthulhu and asking for me to make it into a purse. Really and truly, I don’t think I should charge a separate pattern cost or MAKE a separate pattern to turn the bib into a purse… it could easily be done with just a few modifications to the bib pattern, which I have included in the Bibthulhu PDF, so if you purchase that, it’ll be like getting 2 patterns in one! Hooray!

What are you waiting for? Head on over and snag the new patterns:
The Cthulhu Toque Pattern | Scarfthulhu Cthulhu Scarf Pattern | Bibthulhu Cthulhu Bib & Purse Pattern 

I’m currently in the middle of getting all of these new patterns up on my designer page over on Ravelry, so if you’d prefer to purchase there, you can find me here: Ravelry: Patterns by The Pink Toque Craft Blog

Don’t forget you can always email me anytime with questions along the way if you have trouble with any of my patterns. I have tested them and feel confident that they are error free, but after staring at my own patterns for a week, I may have missed something. Perhaps the wording or instructions are confusing – please email me right away and let me know so I can help, fix the problem, and/or make the wording more clear for other crocheters. :)

I hope you enjoy all of the new patterns available! I’ve got a few more up my sleeve, I just need to find time to write them down.  Whew!


Crochet Amigurumi Geekling Newborn

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on June 2, 2011

As a lot of you know, I used to live in Canada. My husband is Canadian, and after growing up in central Indiana for 26 years, I moved and lived in Calgary, AB for 3 years. In 2009, Lucas and I moved back to Indiana to be close to family; at the time, my brother and sister-in-law were expecting their first child, and we knew we were also ready to start our own family. Indiana had the benefit of being close to my whole family for support, and meant that our children would be able to grow up close to my brother’s child(ren), too. Just like I always imagined.

Leaving Canada wasn’t easy, though. I loved being so close to the Canadian Rockies and we had many dear friends that would be difficult to leave behind. Even though we (and our friends) knew moving back to Indiana was what we needed to do and the best thing for our family, it didn’t make saying goodbye any easier.

The friend I miss the most is my BFF, Michelle. I met Michelle at my first job after receiving my Permanent Residency in Canada, and we just clicked. She’s the coolest person I know! When Lucas and I made the decision to move, breaking the news to Michelle was the hardest.

We moved back to Indiana on August 1, 2009. For Christmas that first year, I made Michelle a set of crocheted Lucas and Lesley dolls, plush versions of ourselves. The sentimental idea was that she now had Lucas and I with her always, even though we were 2,000 miles away. I had so much fun designing the dolls; they turned out even better than I imagined and were so squee-inducing I had a hard time gifting them away! (Especially the Lucas doll. His little glasses were so adorable.)

Fast forward nearly 2 years to the present, and Lucas and I are less than a month away from the birth of our first child. I know that pregnancy hormones are making it worse, but I get weepy when I think about how Aunt Michelle hasn’t been able to be a part of all of this; though we keep in touch, it’s not the same as having her here with us as we go through this life changing event. (She’s going to be an awesome aunt, by the way. I know because she was Aunt Michelle to our dogs first! Ha) :)

I’ve been planning a little gift for Michelle to celebrate the birth of our son; this amigurumi baby doll. While it would seem like a strange gift without the backstory, the crochet newborn is meant to represent our geekling and will help her to complete “the set” of the Karpiuk family dolls. I can’t wait to give it to her! Once again, this little doll turned out better than I expected and was squee-inducing as I put on the finishing touches. It’s so tiny, too! Hopefully it will help tide Aunt Michelle over as a “replacement” until she can meet our geekling in person later this year when she comes to visit. And eventually as our son grows, I’ll have to make a toddler or child version of his doll to replace the baby version so that Michelle’s set stays up-to-date.

So while it seems like a simple crochet baby doll, it has a lot of sentimental value behind it that will hopefully make our friend Michelle’s day since she can’t be here in person when our son is born. Though I know she’d prefer to be here, I also know she’s going to love the meaningful gift. :)

We love and miss you, Michelle!

Check out the full post about the Lucas and Lesley dolls for more photos and info.

See the Lucas and Lesley dolls on Ravelry

See the geekling newborn doll on Ravelry


Consolidated Collection of my Cthulhu Crafts

Posted in Featured, Knit & Crochet , on May 9, 2011

I just realized this morning that over the past two years, I have designed a grand total of eight different Cthulhu creations. EIGHT! Most can be seen over in The Pink Toque Shop, but I thought it might be nice to feature all of the tentacled goodness together in one place to show just how much tentacles have taken over my brain and my crafting time. So here you have it, a special post featuring a consolidated collection of my Cthulhu crafts. Try saying THAT five times fast…

My Cthulhu Toque

The Cthulhu Toque
First up is my crochet Cthulhu Toque, which began to take shape in my mind in late 2008, but was not fully ready and released until spring of 2009. One of my favorite things to knit or crochet is hats, and after being inspired by a  Cthulhu amigurumi, I decided to test my pattern-making ability and design a toque with tentacles. After a couple attempts and sizing tests on my husband, I finally felt like I had come up with a design I was happy with, and my Cthulhu Toque was born. Back at the time, there were no crochet Cthulhu toques like it. There were fleece toques with tentacles or knitted beanies with a fair-isle Cthulhu pattern around the band or full-on crocheted Cthulhu face masks that covered the entire head and transformed the wearer into Cthulhu, but nothing quite like mine, with Cthulhu on top. It’s still my best seller, even seven new Cthulhu designs later! It’s made from soft, washable acrylic and features button eyes.

The Baby Cthulhu Toque
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I got a lot of requests for a baby and/or child version of the Cthulhu toque over the years. I finally put one together and released a Baby Cthulhu Toque, too. The model for my first trial run of the baby design was timed well with the birth of my nephew, who tried hard to fight the brain suckage. There’s not many things cuter than a baby wearing an evil toque. The baby version is also made from the same soft, washable acrylic, but I omit buttons for eyes and instead stitch on felt eyes for safety reasons.

Sock-Thulhus
Back before I learned to knit and crochet, I made a lot of plush creations. I spent nearly a year when I first moved to Canada waiting on immigration to give me a permanent resident card so that I was legal to work. During that year, I instead learned how to sew and bought a sewing machine to keep from going crazy. I made a lot of purses and plushies, including several sock monkeys. After my Cthulhu Toque took off, I sat down one day and drew up how I would make a Cthulhu “sock monkey” using some fuzzy chenille socks I had. The Sock-Thulhus that resulted were so adorable and popular, but I found it hard to find enough of the socks to keep up. I quickly sold the first set of Sock-Thulhus I made, and have yet to find a good way to keep a steady supply of “just the right socks” to continuously make more. Instead, I think I see me writing up the sewing pattern and instructions someday and offering that instead, much like I offer the Cthulhu Toque pattern for crocheters. That way those who use the pattern can make a Sock-Thulhu from whatever socks they want. One day I’ll get that pattern put together!

Cthulhu Soap
While most of my Cthulhu creations are crochet, I also have a geeky soap business called GEEKSOAP, and of course Cthulhu found his way into my soapmaking. While I had made a few bars of Batman soap which were technically the first bars of GEEKSOAP ever made, Cthulhu was what inspired GEEKSOAP to grow into a small business featuring a wide variety of geeky themed designs, and was the first set of soap I offered for sale under the GEEKSOAP name. In late 2009 on Etsy I released the first Cthulhu soap before I moved GEEKSOAP to its own storefront. When GEEKSOAP.net opened up separate from Etsy in early 2010, it came with a newly re-designed (and better) version of the Cthulhu soap.

Baththulhu Cthulhu Bath Mitt
Soap inspired my next Cthulhu-theme design, which is also sold over on GEEKSOAP.net – my Baththulhu Cthulhu Bath Mitt! I am so in love with the expression of this super soft, 100% cotton bath mitt creation. It pairs well with the soap, don’t you think? I wrote up the pattern and released the one and only Cthulhu bath mitt in mid 2010 and it has gone over really, really well! I currently make a right or left handed version in both one-size-fits-most and an extra long one. The tentacles are great for working up a good lather and acting as a loofah-like scrubbing surface.

Scarfthulhu Cthulhu Scarf
Next on the list is a scarf design! Towards the end of 2010 came the Scarfthulhu Cthulhu Scarf. I like how the faces at either end remind me of my Cthulhu toque; together the scarf and toque make a great matching set! The scarf runs approximately 63 inches long; that’s over 5 feet of pure awesome to wrap around your neck on a cold, winter’s day. Just like the toque, the scarf is made of a soft, washable acrylic. Like the little Cthulhu plush model in the photo? He was made by Ruth, and you know you want one!

Puppethulhu Cthulhu Puppet
In early 2011, a crafty friend of mine was expecting her first child and asked me if I would modify my bath mitt pattern to create a custom Cthulhu puppet for her to play with her baby. With a little work, I then released Puppethulhu, a crochet Cthulhu puppet. Similar to the bath mitt, and also made from soft cotton and featuring the bath mitt’s expression, the puppet features two “arms” instead of just the one thumb opening of a mitt so that the wearer can manipulate both arms like a puppet. She loved this so much and it went over so well when I shared it with the masses that I also made it available in my shop for others.

Cthulhu Bib
And speaking of babies, I am expecting MY first child in June 2011, and so I decided to whip up a crochet Cthulhu bib for my geekling this past weekend. While not the first Cthulhu bib in existence or anything, I wanted my bib to have the same look to it that would match the style of all of my previous crochet Cthulhu designs. I really love how it turned out! It took four (horrible) attempts to get the bib shape just how I pictured it with the telltale tentacles and wide-set eyes that I like to do. Every baby needs at least ONE evil bib, right? And those tentacles would be happy to catch any dropped food for you, too. The bib is also made from soft 100% cotton for easy washing, but I haven’t decided yet if I plan to sell the bibs individually over in the shop or if I should write up the pattern and offer that instead.

And there you have it! All eight of my crochet Cthulhu creations in one place, not including the two other ideas-in-progress I have been mulling over that I may or may not ever get around to finishing, especially now that there’s a geekling on the way! (And expect that the shop will be closed for awhile once June rolls around and the baby is born. More information on that a little closer to my due date…)

All of my Cthulhu goodies can be found at The Pink Toque Shop, with the exception of the Cthulhu Soap and Baththulhu Cthulhu Bath Mitt, which are over at my other shop, GEEKSOAP.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my collection of tentacled goodness! If you’re looking for even more Cthulhu cuteness, as I mentioned, you just have to go check out my friend Ruth’s plush Cthulhus over at CthulhuChick. She makes Cthulhu plushies with a lot of love, and as a personal owner of no less than three of Ruth’s Cthulhus that I keep in various places in my home, (including a baby one for my geekling in the nursery!) I can testify for their evil yet adorable awesomeness. You really do need one.

Need to contact me? Drop me a line! You can also fan The Pink Toque on Facebook or follow me on Twitter as @geeksoap or @ThePinkToque. Take care! :)


Geekling Knits & Crochets: A Summary So Far

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on April 27, 2011

The first week of March I began the first of many geekling knit and crochet projects that I had slated to make for our little boy due in June. Here it is the end of April and with just 9 weeks left before it’s go time, I thought I’d share all of the things I’ve made so far and what I have left to work on. Something exciting to note is that Ravelry, the hugely popular knit & crochet community, has made it possible for users to share their project pages by allowing us to make our projects public. The links below for each project I’ve made will take you to my Ravelry project page for it, where you can get all of the details… including the pattern name I used, who wrote the pattern, what yarn and needles/hook I used, and more pictures and a more detailed description of the project. So cool! If you have any questions about any of the projects or patterns, do let me know. Here we go!

For my first project, I started with the diaper covers that I mentioned in my previous post. Considering how warm Indiana summers are, I thought these cute covers would be better than pants over a diaper. They were super, super easy to make, too! You could easily get 2, maybe even 3 out of one skein of Lily Sugar ‘n’ Creme. Then you can get cute or fancy with your button choices to really dress it up.

Next up was the dinosaur toque. Our “theme” for the nursery is dinosaurs, so I whipped up a cute crocheted dinosaur hat for our newborn. Yes, it is being modeled by a pink plush Murloc in this photo. Try not to squee too loudly. I used a slightly lighter yarn for this toque than the pattern called for and have since picked up some worsted weight yarn instead.  I am a little worried the hat will be too small because of the lighter yarn, so I may go back and re-make this toque using worsted weight just to be on the safe side. We have been generously given a photography session with Rachel Vanoven as a baby shower gift from our dear friend Laura, and I’d love to have the dino hat in at least one of the photos. Better make sure it fits, eh!

I then had fun making a couple dinosaur bibs – one each of a stegosaurus and a bronto/apatosaurus/brachiosaurus looking dino. While I’m not crazy about the whole tying part (in hindsight, I should’ve modified the pattern to snap in the back or velcro instead), I have come to the realization that these won’t be used all the time and are more about cute than being super easy to use. I’ll use them for sure, (being 100% cotton means they’ll be easy to clean at least!) but I have a feeling that more practical bibs will get used more often.

After the bibs, I spent a week or two cranking out a half dozen dinosaur burp cloths. These will be so handy! They, too, are made from 100% cotton to make them durable and easy to wash. All six of the cloths are of the Brachiosaurus variety. I can see having these stuffed in a diaper bag and using them for everyday baby messes around the house or on the go. These were really easy to make, and after the first few, I really got in a groove with them and could crank one out in an evening. If I find time, I may go back to making a few more of these before the geekling arrives; you can never have too many cloths with a baby around.

The most recent project isn’t dinosaur themed, but is a staple for any new baby: a baby blanket. I went with a familiar pattern that I used for my nephew’s baby blanket two years ago, but this time I alternated colors reminiscent of the ocean and called it the Ocean Fade Baby Blanket. The feather and fan openwork pattern naturally made these beautiful ripples in the design that looked great in these colors, just like the ocean. Fitting, since I started the project on our roadtrip to Savannah, GA where we spent some time on the river and then on the ocean at Tybee Island. We try to take one trip a year over our anniversary (June 20) where we end up in a bed and breakfast on the ocean, and this year because the geekling is due 9 days after our anniversary, we decided to make that trip a bit early and stayed in an oceanside bed and breakfast on Tybee over spring break instead. The other pictures of the blanket and me working on the blanket over on my Ravelry project page comes from our trip. At the time of this writing, I am about 95% finished with the blanket; I blocked it last night (this was the second blocking, actually… it was so long and I didn’t have a long enough place to block that I had to do it in two parts!) and I hope to find time to weave in all of the ends securely this week.

So what’s next on my agenda? Well, I’ve decided that I need a “newborn hospital cap” because even babies born in the summer will wear one for a little bit. I’d like the cap he wears to be made by mama instead of provided by the hospital. I’ll be using the pattern located here by Annika Barranti at Through the Looking Glass. I’m also considering (time permitting) another blanket; this one a Sweet Swaddling Blanket by Dawn’s Dream Designs. We’ll see if I have time! I’m also considering this dinosaur amigurumi plush by Lan-Anh Bui & Josephine Wan. Isn’t it cute? Oh if I only had more hours in the day…


The Beginning of the Baby Knits & Crochets

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on March 2, 2011

I feel like Superwoman. Thanks to all of you, I’ve been making soap constantly to keep up with demand. Thanks for helping me celebrate my soapy anniversary and making it such a success!

But it’s not ALL been soap in my crafting universe this week.

Last week we found out our geekling is going to be a boy, and we are just tickled at the news. The thought of a mini-Lucas makes me so happy I could burst! We’d already had the name Liam picked out for years, so a Liam he will be. It probably won’t come as a surprise to any of you that the very next stop after we left the ultrasound appointment was the yarn store; I had a list all ready of various blue and green yarn I needed to get a head start on knitting and crocheting things for my little boy.

Somehow this week I’ve managed to find time to squeeze in a workout (Hooray for #geekfit!), keep up with soap orders, play a little Rift, (More on that over on my gaming blog) AND work on baby projects each night after getting home from work. Whew! I’m excited to show off my first finished object(s) for Liam.

Crocheted Diaper Covers
Our boy is due at the end of June, and summertime in the midwest can get pretty hot. I have a feeling Liam won’t be wearing much more than onesies or even just a diaper during the hotter parts of the summer, and so I thought these cute little diaper covers would be perfect instead of pants. It helps that they are a super fast crochet project, too. I considered dressing these up a bit with different buttons, like shape buttons or something, but I really liked how the solid wooden ones turned out against the yarns.  The pattern I used is the textured Beanie & Diaper Cover set by Danyel Pink. [Ravelry]

If someone were to ask me what our baby “theme” is, I’d have to say dinosaurs. Mostly because I just mean I plan to decorate the baby room in cute, handmade dinosaur stuff and do some digital scrapbooking with cute dinosaur embellishments and kits. (More on those kits in another post!) Other things on my to-knit or to-crochet list for the geekling include an adorable dinosaur long tail toque for the fall, some dinosaur/monster baby booties, a swaddling blanket, and dinosaur themed knitted burp cloths and bibs that I can’t wait to cast on. Sure a couple of “fancy” knitted cotton bibs and cloths will be something I spend hours making only to have them be thrown up on, but that’s not the point. (And cotton is washable!) I think it’s part of that “nesting” they keep talking about that’s making me yearn for the creation of as much handmade goodness to greet and surround my newborn with as possible. Stay tuned for lots of handmade dinosaur goodness that I plan to share here as we get closer and closer to the third trimester and eventually… baby time :)


Scarfthulhu Cthulhu Scarf

Posted in Crochet, Knit & Crochet , on October 1, 2010

Introducing the Scarfthulhu Cthulhu Scarf – the perfect complement to my Cthulhu Toque! This is a truly evil, yet fashionable statement in keeping warm this season.

The Scarfthulhu Cthulhu Scarf is another original Cthulhu pattern design of mine. Made from soft worsted weight acrylic yarn, this scarf is 100% handmade and features Cthulhu tentacles and sewn on buttons for eyes. Due to the button eyes, this product is not recommended for children. Approximately 63″ (over 5ft!) of awesome. Available for purchase at The Pink Toque shop!

Love the plush Cthulhu you see pictured wrapped in the scarf? He’s a creation by Ruth of CthulhuChick.com. Be sure to go and grab one of your very own, and let her know that Lesley sent you!

Washing instructions: Your Cthulhu scarf is machine washable on a gentle cycle, however, I recommend handwashing with lukewarm water and laying it flat to dry.

Goes well with my Cthulhu soap and Baththulhu Cthulhu Bath Mitt over at geeksoap.net, too! :)

Scarfthulhu Cthulhu scarf Scarfthulhu Cthulhu scarf Scarfthulhu Cthulhu scarf Scarfthulhu Cthulhu scarf Scarfthulhu Cthulhu scarf Scarfthulhu Cthulhu scarf