Saturday, 31 December 2016

Crochet Pizza Play Food


My youngest grandson loves playing with his play kitchen and play food so as one of his Christmas gifts I made him a crochet pizza with removable toppings.


The pattern is by Drops/Garnstudio and can be found on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/s24-44-pizza-party

It was a very easy pattern to follow and the pieces were made within a few days, as the pizza slices are made with a chunky yarn and also double thickness they are quite firm and keep their shape. The toppings I made in double knit yarn.

The toppings are:

Pepperoni
Olives
Pepper pieces
Tomato
Calamari or Onion rings

I also designed my own mushroom slice by making the pepper piece in beige and then slip stitching around the side until on the other side near the centre and then working a few rows to make a stalk.

To help with the overall effect I used a pizza box and covered it with plain paper and then printed a 'logo' of Freddie wearing a chef's hat.



It was an instant success and he was thrilled with it.

I didn't sew the toppings in place, I wanted them to be removable. I did try sticking velcro on the pieces to hold them on
but the velcro pulled threads on the crochet work so I abandoned that idea and simply left them loose, it works fine and means they can be put wherever you like making different types of pizza.


Happy crocheting!



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Monday, 14 November 2016

Bertie The Teddy Bear using Sydney the Amigurumi Teddy Pattern

When I first saw Sydney the Amigurumi Teddy pattern I fell in love with it at once.

The pattern can be bought via Ravelry, it works out around £5 depending on the exchange rate for the dollar at the time, it is made by One and Two Company: http://bit.ly/2g7PqID

The pattern is really well set out with lots of photo instructions as well as written ones, these help you to get the correct positioning of features in particular.

I found it an easy pattern to follow and Teddy was made in just one week working in the evenings while watching TV, it grew really fast as it is made with very thick yarn and I used a 4.5 mm hook - I used Cygnet Chunky: https://bit.ly/2g7LVSt but you can use thicker or thinner yarn however that will change the size of the bear.

Mine, who I've called Bertie,  came out at around 20" tall from ears to toes. He is really cuddly and everyone who sees him falls in love with him, the features make him look so cute.





Happy crocheting!



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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Ribbed Leg Warmers Free Pattern

I made these leg warmers to help keep my calves warm while running in the winter.

The pattern is available for free on Ravelry - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/long-ribbed-leg-warmers

I did alter the pattern slightly as my calves are quite slim at the top and I thought they would fall down if I did 2x2 rib at the top and 3 x 2 rib at the bottom, so I changed the way I did them and began in 2 x 2 rib and worked upwards from the bottom.

For the last 3 inches I decreased in every purl section of the ribbing by working two stitches together, this made the top section slightly tighter and it seems to have worked really well and they stay up without any problems.





Thank you tot Totli for this lovely free pattern.

Happy crocheting!



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Crochet stripes in the round without those ugly staggered joins

Have you ever worked some beautiful stripes in your crochet work only to find that when finished you have quite an ugly staggered look where you changed yarns?


Would you prefer them to look like this?



There are two methods to help prevent this happening, one is for when working in continuous spirals and one is for when working in joined rounds.

For continuous spirals:

See video link for a full tutorial. https://youtu.be/PaHEHTFNcDY

Basically you simply have to work half the last stitch on the round, leaving two loops on your hook, then using the next colour pull through both loops to finish the stitch. 
Then work a slip stitch into the next stitch.
Then continue on as normal. 

For joined rounds: (Again see the video tutorial for a better and full explanation).

Basically you drop the last loop from your hook, put the hook into the first chain of the previous round and through the dropped loop, then pull the new colour through them both,  then work a chain and begin the next round in the new colour. 

The video below gives a far better view of what I mean as it is easier to show you than try to write it down! The first part of the video is for continuous/spiral rounds and the second part for working in joined rounds.




Happy crocheting!



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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Remembrance Day Poppies Crochet Tutorial

I was asked if I could make a tutorial for a Remembrance Day Poppy, after pondering on it for a while I came up with an idea to make one by crocheting around a black button.

It is very easy to do although it can be a be tricky to hold the button, yarn and needle all at the same time but once you get used it there are so many things you can do with buttons and crochet.



There is a full video tutorial here:



 If you do make your own, rather than buy a Poppy on the 11th of the 11th please remember to make a donation too. Every little helps and goes to good causes.

We WILL remember them.

Happy crocheting!



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Crochet Icicles Quick and Easy

These little Christmas tree decoration crochet icicles are really quick and easy to make consisting of just two rows of crochet ....yes you read that correctly - just two rows.



I added beads on the end to give a bit of weight and make them extra pretty, the beads will shine when the light catches them especially if they are on a Christmas Tree with lights.

Full video tutorial here:




Happy crocheting!



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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Amigurumi Christmas Tree Decorations

I came up with this idea for little Christmas Tree decorations one day and through I would share it with you all.

They are REALLY simple to make but I think they look quite effective (hope you agree)

They are made from scraps of left over yarn, made in the round, so very little sewing unless you add the little decorations in which case you will have to just sew in the ends of each one.

I have made a video tutorial here:



The trees can be used on a Christmas Tree as little decorations or by leaving out the tree hanger they can be used as table decorations.

Make them bigger or smaller by using different thicknesses of yarn or different hook sizes.

Terms of use: You are welcome to use the pattern to make decorations to sell, please credit Pookie Doodle Crafts as the designer where possible and please do not claim the pattern as your own.


Happy crocheting!



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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Over Handle Double Sided Carry Bag

I was asked if I could design a bag that would fit over the handle of a walking frame enabling you to keep your hands free and not have to carry the bag in your hands.

After thinking it over for a time I came up with this design that is easy to do and the whole bag is worked in one piece with no side seams to sew, they are worked in the round. One thing I don't like sewing up seams so this seemed (excuse the pun) a good way around it.

I also think it will work well as a bag for over the handle of a pushchair or anything with a straight handle, or even over the arm of a chair.

I have made a video tutorial so you can crochet along and make one for yourself, simply click here to watch:



There is no specific sizing and you can make it as big or as small as you like simply by beginning with more or less chains, you can also add in more pockets to suit your needs. It is all explained in the video. 
The one I made and shown in the video measured approx. 24" (from end to end) x 11"wide and used approx. 175g of chunky yarn.




I hope you enjoy making yourself a useful bag


Happy crocheting!



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Friday, 12 August 2016

Dragonfly Stitch Crochet


The dragonfly stitch is done in a similar way to the Butterfly Stitch which I showed you a few months ago.

It is a very easy technique to learn but very effective and can be used in a lot of different items such as coasters, mats, shawls and blankets.

In this video I show you how to do just the Dragonfly stitch and in the next one I do a crochet a long (CAL) to show you how to make a small mat or granny square with a Dragonfly Stitch on each side.



Coaster mat/granny square tutorial:




Happy crocheting!



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Invisible Decrease in Crochet Technique


I've found this method of decreasing so helpful in my amigurumi and other crochet because it gives a very smooth finish and no bumps that you normally get with a decrease stitch.

It is very simple to do and easy to learn. I've made a video tutorial here showing the method:



Hope you enjoy learning this technique.


Happy crocheting!



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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Mediterranean Lace Shawl

I've just started making this shawl from Make My Day Creative. I loved their Summer Sprigs Shawl (which I made last year) so much that I really wanted to have a go at this one too.

https://makemydaycreative.com/2016/06/03/mediterranean-lace-shawl/

I didn't get off to a good start as I went wrong somewhere along the way and it ended up like this, with the end turns totally wrong:



but never despair! After studying the pattern again and the chart I realised where I was going wrong.

One thing to note is that when the pattern says something like "miss 1-ch space" it means literally a space of any number of chains, not a space of one single chain. This is where I wasn't understanding properly and was trying to miss only a space with one chain, but sometimes there wasn't one!

I've now got as far as the two row pattern repeat so it should begin to grow fast now, however I am doing it in between other projects so it might take a while to finish.


One other thing to add is if you print the chart try to do it in colour as the rows are marked in different colours which makes it easier to understand where you are working.

I will update when I've done some more.

Happy crocheting!



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Monday, 20 June 2016

Amineko Crochet Toy Cat

As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I wanted to make one, I LOVE CATS! These looked so cute.


The pattern is really well written and set out in an easy to understand way, with diagrams as well as written pattern plus it is FREE. Note that the pattern is written in US crochet terms so you will have to convert to UK terms, however as it is all done in double crochet stitches, that is really easy!

Most of the pieces are made in tube shapes and they make up in a very short time. It took me just a few evenings to make one cat.

When I made the mouth I didn't think it would look right, I held it to the head and almost gave up because it looked 'wrong' , but once it was stuffed lightly and sewed in placed suddenly the face came to life and it looks super.


Don't make my mistake and stuff the arms and legs, they are not stuffed all the way, just in the ends of the paws. I had to undo them and take out the stuffing.  The pattern does say to add plastic beads to the ends for weight but I didn't have any however, it still worked out fine. You can also put beads in the base of the body. I did consider using rice or dried peas but thought if I ever wanted to wash it then the rice/peas would go soggy and the last thing you want is a soggy rice filled cat!

I used a variegated yarn for this one ..... I've named her Candy Cat, she's a very laid back cat...... but it would look just as nice in plain or even two colours.




I'm definitely going to be making more Amineko Cats for my grandchildren, if I can bear to part with them that is!




Find the FREE pattern here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/amineko-crocheted-cat



Happy crocheting!



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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Simple Crochet Butterflies

I've been making these beautiful little crochet butterflies. They are so lovely and can be used for applique, embellishments or simply as decorations.


The first pattern is called Dainty Butterflies and is designed by Jo Ann Maxwell

They were really easy to make and I did lots in one evening using different yarns, crochet thread and embroidery silks.

I did make a few changes to how I did the antenna, rather than make them from a separate piece of yarn I used the starting and ending threads and slip stitched them to the head and then chained a few stitches. It saved having to weave in the starting thread :)

I also added beads to some of the butterflies on the ends of the larger wings, I thought it added another dimension to them. 

Once finished I made a wash of 40% PVA glue and 60% water, pinned them out and painted them with the stiffening wash, left them to dry and was really pleased with the finished butterflies.



See my video for some close ups of the butterflies: https://youtu.be/5mBdsKelKto

You can find the link to the free pattern here: http://www.crochetmagazine.com/printer.php?mode=article&article_id=3322  



The other pattern is for a butterfly made from 5 hearts

Again this was an easy to follow pattern, you make three hearts for the body and two larger hearts for the wings, adding little antenna to one of the body hearts for the head.


So simple but really effective.

You can find the free pattern here: http://www.goldenlucycrafts.com/free-patterns/crochet-heart-animals-butterfly

The original pattern is in US terms, I had to change it to UK terms.

Happy crocheting!



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Monday, 30 May 2016

Crochet Swans Amigurumi

I came across this pattern while looking for something to make as a small crochet gift for a friends wedding. 

It is a free pattern to crochet two swans who stand face to face and their head and beaks form a heart shape.

They were very easy to do and took only a couple of evenings using oddments of white yarn for the bodies and yellow for the beaks, to help hold the neck shape I used pipe cleaners inside the stuffing.

I couldn't use plastic safety eyes as the head was not wide enough to accommodate them - the back posts of the eyes stuck out the other side! So I embroidered them on instead.

I added a red heart to the back of each of them held in place with a crystal bead, I thought it added a little more effect and some more colour. The heart pattern was very simple and came from Attic24: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/teeny-tiny-hearts.html

You can find the free pattern for the swans here: http://littlegreen.typepad.com/romansock/2012/02/free-pattern-the-simple-swan.html Thank you Brie for a lovely free pattern :)








Happy crocheting!



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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Butterflies made from crochet hearts

I love these little butterflies which are made from 5 hearts - 3 small and two larger ones.

The pattern is really easy, the small heart is made in just one round with all the stitches being worked into the first of 4 chains.

The medium and large hearts are all made by starting the small heart and then adding more rounds to give larger sizes. It is so simple but VERY effective.

I made these butterflies in about 45 minutes one evening while watching TV.

You can find the FREE pattern here: http://www.goldenlucycrafts.com/free-patterns/crochet-heart-animals-butterfly

Thank you Elena for sharing your pattern for free :)





Happy crocheting!



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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Teddies for Tragedies - Knit a bear for a child

Do you like knitting? Do you like teddy bears? Do you like helping others, especially children?

Well if the answers are yes, then this is ideal for you.

Coco's Foundation have produced a free pattern and instructions so you can knit teddy bears for children who have suffered tragedy in their life.

The teddies are send to children to make them smile. We all know the comfort a cuddly toy can bring to a child, it can make them feel they have something to 'care' for and something to love of their very own.


That pattern is easy to follow and the bear is knitted in one piece:




Find out more here at the Coco's Foundation website: 

http://www.cocosfoundation.co.uk/news/teddies-for-tragedies.html


Happy knitting!



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Saturday, 7 May 2016

Turning your crochet granny squares into wall art

Have you ever wanted to display your crochet or other fabric craft work?

This tutorial will show you how to fix your work into a deep frame so that it does not get squashed but is held in place for all to see:- Creating crochet wall art tutorial: https://youtu.be/-Qinm8Kwhw4

The picture is made using just 4 granny squares held together with flat chain stitch.

If you don't know how to make the granny squares with the daisy centre I have a full tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rT2NU0Eb2E and also a tutorial of how to join them with the flat chain stitch crochet technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1qKDJwCxmo


I think they would make lovely gifts and you could even personalise them with a favourite colour or flower centre.

You don't have to do 4, I'm sure one would be equally effective or do lots of very small ones in a fine thread, the possibilities are endless!

Happy crocheting!




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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Bride and Groom Love Birds Amigurumi

This is the second pair of little amigurumi love birds I've made, again as a little gift for a friends wedding.

I changed the pattern slightly as I decided to crochet the wings rather than use felt, I just made 4 crochet wing shapes and sewed them on each side and I also added a decorative heart at the top, joining the two birds together.

I used Drops Cotton Light in white for the birds, it is a DK yarn which I always buy from the Wool Warehouse.

The flowers, heart and top hat were just oddments of yarn that I had in my stash, a little bit of netting finished off the bride's veil and I added two felt beaks, but you could embroider or crochet them.



The pattern is free on Ravelry, big thank you to magg314 for sharing it for free: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bride-and-groom-lovebirds

The pattern for the tiny heart is from Attic24 "Teeny Tiny Heart", thank you to Lucy for that, again a free pattern: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/teeny-tiny-hearts.html 

It was really easy to do and the instructions are clear. This is the first one I made a few years ago:




Happy crocheting!



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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Tutorial - Adding beads to a crochet edge

Having finished my butterfly shawl (See my blog post for details of the pattern etc. http://www.pookiedoodlecrafts.co.uk/2016/04/butterfly-stitch-crochet-shawl.html)

I decided to add some beads to the final edging, both to give a bit of weight when wearing it and also to give it a nice decorative finish.
Adding beads is very easy, although to begin with it can be a bit fiddly to get hold of the beads and crochet at the same time, but it is well worth persevering and having a go.

I've made a video tutorial to show you how it is done if you want to have a go :)




Happy crocheting!


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Butterfly Stitch Crochet Shawl

I've now finished the Butterfly Stitch Shawl, it was a lovely pattern to do and thank you Sharon and Debi for sharing it for free.

The design is by njSharon and DebiAdams and can be found as a free download on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/butterfly-stitch-prayer-shawl

It is worth noting that the pattern uses US crochet terms, so you will have to remember to convert them to UK terms if you prefer to work with them.

I used 100% mercerised crochet cotton from 'Boyes' the high street store, I used 2x65g balls in Ecru.

The pattern is really easy once you get into the rhythm of doing it and it grows really fast, I actually started it in December 2015 and finished in April 2016 but was working on it in between doing other things too, it is nice and relaxing to work on while watching TV.

Because it is worked from the back point you can make it as big or small as you want, so once you are happy with the size you simply stop crocheting!

Each of the pattern repeats creates an offset butterfly design.





When I had finished it I added a beaded edge to give it a bit of weight.If you would like to know how to add beads to edgings, see my video here:
https://youtu.be/wBb92wE0wgc


Happy crocheting!


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Saturday, 16 April 2016

Teeny Tiny Crochet Kitten

As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I had to have a go!

I didn't have a crochet hook as small as the pattern suggested and I think my crochet cotton was a bit thicker than it should have been so it came out a bit larger than the photo on the pattern. But I'm happy with it, I think it is the smallest thing I've crocheted ...... so far :)

It was an easy pattern to follow and I made it in one evening.

Big thank you to Julie for giving the pattern away for free, you can find it here:

http://www.armigurumi.com/wordpress/language/en/teeny-tiny-kitty-cat-free-pattern/







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Fusion Crochet Cushion Cover

Some might wonder what Fusion Crochet is, if you haven't heard of it it is a technique using fabric and crochet and they are worked together to create various items.

You can make blankets and throws, or table mats and coasters, scented bags for your wardrobe - the possibilities are endless.

I made this cushion cover using a remnant of material and 4 ply Drops Cotton 'Safran' yarn but you can use any yarn you wish.

I haven't got a written pattern but have done a video tutorial which takes you through the stages to make the cushion cover, or you can just watch the general technique and then make whatever you want. Click here to watch the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz39TEqpS_A
 

I hope you have a go and enjoy trying something new or something different. 


Happy crocheting!




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Saturday, 2 April 2016

Stand and Work Yarn Holder Bag - Crochet Tutorial

Are you like me and sometimes find it hard to find a clean place for your yarn? I often crochet and knit out doors but the ground can be too dirty for my project bag and I find that my yarn will often fall off my lap and onto the ground, getting dirty. This bag was my solution to the problem and I hope it helps you too.

The bag simply loops over your arm to hold your yarn as you work - I find most bags have the handle the wrong way for this and they won't sit comfortably on your side, hence this design.

Ideal if you often stand at craft fairs and work too, or like I say if you don't have a clean place for your yarn, maybe on a train, bus or outdoors in a chair.



Although it isn't intended as a work/project bag, it would hold small items such as Amigurumi, socks, parts of projects etc. However if you did want a bigger bag there are details in the pattern where to add more rows to make it larger.


There is a full written FREE pattern here both with photos and without:

Pattern including photos: https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B3r0r1j1kA2ZeFZ4THoyYkpmNTg

or if you would like to save on ink and don't need the photos, this link will give you a pdf without photos: https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B3r0r1j1kA2Zd2NWTENpZGxFb3M

There is also a full video tutorial here:
https://youtu.be/tq3gqOE_Dnw

I used James Brett Marble http://bit.ly/1V0f4Mb for the grey bag and Drops Cotton Safran 4 ply for the purple one. http://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/drops-safran-light-purple-53-50g

Happy crocheting and let me know if you make it and how you get on - always happy to help if you have problems or if you find any errors let me know.



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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Amigurumi Cats - Amicats pattern review

The three little kittens! (but I don't think they have lost their mittens :) )

I love cats so was very quickly drawn to the Ami Cats crochet cats, designed by June at Planet June.

The patterns are not free, you do have to purchase them, so I only bought one - the tabby cat - as I wasn't sure how easy it would be and didn't want to waste money. You can buy one pattern for each of three cats, or all three in one pattern at a discounted priced.

The patterns are really well written with lots of written instructions and also photographic help for both right and left handed crocheters. There are instructions for making the features in a variety of ways too.

I would recommend using stitch markers as it is easy to lose count and a marker will help note of the first stitch of each round. Stitch count is essential, make one mistake and the whole cat will look wrong, so count each round has the right number of stitches to make sure you have got it right, rather than risk finding it doesn't work out at the end. Also, for the tabby there are lots of colour changes for the stripes so it is easy to lose count of those.

It can get quite fiddly to do the stripes and some of the small pieces, such as the ears but all you need is patience, time and concentration.

The instructions tell you to stuff the front legs and then continue to work around them to fasten to the body, but I found it easier to attach them first, then stuff them once the body was finished, but that is a matter of personal choice and what works for you.

I first made a tabby. I've called him Tiger:


As previously said it does have a lot of yarn changes for the stripes and you will have a lot of yarn ends to darn in, but there are tips on how to best use the yarn to avoid having too many. I used 6mm eyes as that was all I had at the time, but they seem a bit too small.

Next I tried one in a grey variegated yarn, leaving out the stripes and just working the whole cat in one shade. I called him Isiah, because when I'd finished I noticed one eyes higher than the other!

I tried 10mm eyes on this one but they seem too big, although it does give that nice wide eyed kitten look and before I sewed on the ears it did look more like a seal.





Having a look through my stash I found some fur yarn in a very light blue, it made me think of a beautiful Persian blue cat, so I thought I would see how that worked out. It was tricky seeing the tiny stitches through the fur but it seemed to come out OK, again it needed time and patience and it was probably a mistake to try and make it while watching War and Peace on TV! After quite a few mistake I decide to leave it to a quieter time when I could fully concentrate. Because of the War and Peace connection I've called him Pierre.


I used 8mm eyes on this one and they seem just right.







 By a strange coincidence while looking through a box for yarns I came across an old book that I'd had from my childhood, it was called The Three Little Kittens!




I remember vividly reading this with my mother and loving the little kittens. I'm sure this is where my love of cats came from.

You can find the pattern for the Ami Cats here: http://www.planetjune.com/blog/amicats-crochet-patterns/


and thank you June for such a fun time making them.

Whatever you get up to, happy crocheting!




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Monday, 28 March 2016

Tiny Amigurumi cats using kinder egg middles

These stripey little amigurumi cats were so easy to make and fun to do.



My grandson kindly 'donated' the plastic middle from a Kinder Surprise egg he got at Easter and was thrilled with the result.




You can fill the plastic centre with rice, beads etc. if you want it to rattle (but make sure it is safe before giving to a young child!).

They are very small so the work was quite fiddly but well worth persevering as they are really cute and only took me about an hour to make.

Ideal way to use up small amounts of yarn, you need something around 4ply or thinner and I used a 2.00 hook which was slightly larger than that suggested as I didn't have a 1.75mm one but it all came out ok.

I did change the tail slightly as I was finding such a small circle of 8 stitches very hard to hold for a long length of time and crocheting so instead  I crocheted it across ways 10 stitches in stripes back and forth and then rolled the tail lengthwise and sewed it together.



Big thanks to Kristi Tullus for making the pattern and giving it away for FREE! You can find the pattern here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stripy-cat-rattle



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