Corner To Corner Monkey Blanket

NOTE:  I wrote this post right after Christmas but didn’t want to publish it until I had the finished measurement on the blanket.  It took me until today, July 25th, to actually go into my daughters room an accomplish this goal.  Momming is hard, people.

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Well, everyone, I’ve done it!  I finished the monkey blanket for my daughter, and I finished two days before Christmas! Phew, close one.  I’m pretty sure she likes it, since it hasn’t left her bed since she opened it, and that makes me oh so happy to have put in so much time, yarn, and patience (holy moly weaving in ends)!

I’d like to share the pattern with you, but since it’s a corner to corner (c2c), I will not be writing it out, it’ll just be in graph form.  There are a ton of tutorials on YouTube for learning how to do a c2c if you’ve never tried one.  My favorite is this one from Repeat Crafter Me.  For some reason I always forget how to get started, no matter how many of these I do, so I watch this video every time I start a new c2c project!  I’m forgetful.  Anyway, here is my monkey blanket in all it’s glory!

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Tada!  The finished measurement is about 31″x 39″, but if I blocked it I think it would be more around 33″ x 40″ because corner to corner, width wise, is 33, but side to side in the middle, width wise, is only 31″.  I’m far, far, far too lazy, at this point in life, to block a blanket though.  I hope you can forgive me for that.  It’s a perfect size for my 3.5 year old though!  (Note:  She’s now four and it’s still great!)

 

Corner To Corner Monkey Blanket

What you will need:

J Hook

Tapestry Needle

Yarn
-I used Stitch Studio by Nicole yarn for the background (Mint), Monkey body (Peach Puff), and Face (Sheep White).  I used Caron Simply Soft in Black for the mouth and eyes.  You can use whatever colors you think looks best.  I used these particular colors because they were fun and bright, and because I had them lying around ready to use (there was a sale on this brand and each skein was only $1 instead of $4!!!!).  I think I used 3-4 skeins for the background color, 2 for the monkey body, less than 1 for the face, and just a little for the mouth and eyes.  I’m not sure on the exact amount because I actually had many skeins all going at once to cut down on my ends to sew in.  It was so nice to only have a million ends to sew in instead of two million.

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I realize now that the picture of my finished blanket is the backside of the blanket, but as you can tell, the back will look just as good as the front!  Double sided monkey fun!

I really hope you all enjoy this new pattern, and I hope to see some monkey blanket pictures floating around on the internet someday!

*** Feel free to sell items made from this pattern, but please link back to my blog for credit on the pattern!  Thank you! ***

-Nikki

New and Improved

I really wanted to stick with a strong theme of crocheting while raising children with this blog, but life doesn’t have one theme, it has a million, and so will this blog.

Currently, I am taking a break from crocheting to focus on my mental health.  Along with life-long anxiety, I have also been in a battle against depression for the last three years.  I’m happy and proud to say that I am going on almost two months without falling into the deep, dark pit of despair.  It’s an amazing feeling, and one I attribute to a lot of different things.

First, in October I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. An auto immune disease affecting the thyroid. This explains almost everything about me, besides the things that are explained by my PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Yes, I’m a mess.

The Hashimoto diagnosis lead to thyroid drugs, a high dose vitamin D supplement, and a gluten-free, dairy-free diet.  I also started taking Magnesium Citrate again, which helped with my depression after having my daughter.  Over the past six months, I’ve felt my whole self start to heal.  The aches and pains I’ve had for years began to dissipate.  The mental ups and downs began to stay up more often than not, and my general outlook on life shifted from “what now?!” To “what now!?”

With this new found sense of well being, I’ve started slowing down, taking breaths, and trying to figure out how I can make things even better.  I’m starting slow, since I’m never quite sure this feeling will last, but I’m starting strong.  I’ve bought plants to fill my home with life, I’ve bought paint colors to fill my home with color, and I’m beginning a journey into minimilism, to fill my home with open space.

I’m excited about everything, even the thought of trying to accomplish anything with two small kids. If anything, that would make it even more impressive, right?

A Monkey In Progress…

I’m sorry I’ve just run off and left you all high and dry after my Little Fall Ghostie post.  I have just been so exhausted with a three year old who started preschool, a baby who is learning that he wants to get to everything, but can’t yet, and I’m also battling a case of mastitis which I got AFTER I stopped breastfeeding (not my choice, my body made the decision for me… again).  Anyway, things have been nutty, but I have been working on a very big project in my spare time.

For Christmas this year, I am working on a blanket for my daughter.  I’m not sure exactly how long it is going to be yet, but it’ll be over two feet wide.  It’s a c2c (corner to corner) blanket and the image on it will be a monkey.  It’s my own design that I made using my cross-stitch pattern making software, PC Stitch 10.  I originally bought this to design, well, cross-stitch patterns, but once it finally hit me that I love crochet so much more (mmm.. yarn!), and cross-stitch took up way more time, I started making c2c patterns and I haven’t stopped since.  You may remember my post about my chick pillow.  That was my very first original c2c pattern.  This monkey blanket will be the second one I’ve actually made.  After my monkey, I have grand plans for a Nintendo themed blanket…..

…and maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll get one of these, or both of these, done within the next five years.  *Insert exhausted, only half kidding laugh here*

Sorry for not having any pictures or really any great information for you at this time!  I honestly just wanted to share where I’ve been so you don’t file a missing bloggers report.  You guys would do that, right?  You’d worry?  D’awww!

I also want to thank everyone who’s been here to support me.  My Little Fall Ghostie post was viewed over 250 times!  That is AMAZING!! I am very grateful and happy that you all seemed to like him so much.  I hope to create a lot more things for you to create.  Until then, keep hooking, ladies and gents

Just to give you something pretty to look at, here is a skull shawl I made last year (… or was it two years ago…?) for a friend of mine.  Happy October!

redskullscarf

A Little Fall Ghostie

I’d like to share another pattern I’ve come up with recently.  It’s another super easy, super quick pattern.  This time, it’s an adorable ghostie!

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My First Ghostie

There can never be too many Fall and Halloween decor items.  That’s my own personal opinion, of course, but I haven’t met anyone who would disagree.  Fall is a magical time of the year when you can start feeling cozy in your comfy sweaters, it’s not a million degrees outside, and pumpkin everything is in every store.  Hey, even candy corn is back!  Who doesn’t love a little candy corn in life?  Speaking of which…

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Candy Corn Ghostie!

This ghostie pattern is not for a stuffed decoration.  He is hallow, and that’s one of the reasons he is so easy and quick to make.  No need to make a bottom, or even have polyfil on hand.  Hooray!

A Little Fall Ghostie Pattern:

Materials Needed:
Lily Sugar N’ Cream Yarn in white (for solid white ghost) or white, orange, and sunshine (for candy corn version)
Size G hook (4.25mm)
Safety Eyes
Black Thread
Stitch Marker
Tapestry Needle

Stitches Used:
Slip Stitch
Single Crochet (SC)
Double Crochet (DC)

Pattern is crocheted in the round

Pattern:

BODY
Round 1:  Starting with white yarn — Chain 2 – SC 6 into 2nd chain from hook (6)
Round 2:  2 SC in each stitch around (12)
Round 3: *2 SC in first stitch, 1 in next stitch* *Repeat around (18)
Round 4:  1 SC in each stitch (18)
Round 5: (If you’re marking a candy corn version, start this round with orange yarn) *2 SC in first stitch, 1 SC in next two stitches* *Repeat around (24)
Round 6-11: (If making a candy corn version, start round 9 with yellow yarn) SC in each stitch around (24)
Round 12: *Slip stitch into first stitch, in second stitch (SC, DC, SC)* *Repeat around, ending with another slip stitch into the first stitch.  Leave a tail for weaving in, cut yarn, and weave in tail.

ARMS (Make Two) 
(If making candy corn version, make arms using orange yarn)
Round 1: chain 2 – SC 6 into 2nd chain from hook (6)
Round 2-4: SC in each stitch around (6)
Leave tail for sewing arm onto ghost, cut yarn, *sew arms onto ghost.

*I’d suggest putting on safety eyes and sewing on mouth before attaching arms, so you can make sure everything lines up well.

I played around with eye placement and mouth designs to make each face a little unique.  I hope you enjoy making your own ghostie face!
Now you are done!  That was super easy, wasn’t it?  I hope you enjoy your adorable ghost friends.  They are easy enough to gift to a Halloween lover in your life!  I already have!

I’d love to see pictures of your finished ghosties!  You can post them to ravelry (I should have the pattern up there soon) or tag me on Instagram (yawnsandyarn)!

Please feel free to sell your finished product, but please link back to my blog for pattern credit!

Tiny Jellyfish Pattern

Hello, everyone!  It’s been… busy.  Not busy in a “I have to meet this deadline!” kind of way, but busy in a “holy cow, two kids guys.  TWO KIDS!”  So, I’m here to write a little something for you all.

I know the jellyfish craze started with One Dog Woof put out her jellyfish pattern.  I saw them EVERYWHERE.  I had four people tell me “you must make one!”  I honestly did not know I had so many friends who loved jellyfish so much, but they are pretty adorable, so I gave one a shot.  He was cute, but with two kids, I just didn’t have time to make so many big jellyfish.  I know that’s lame, it’s not like they are two feet wide and ten feet tall or something, but this is my excuse.

So I came up with a pattern for a tiny jellyfish for all us busy/lazy crocheters out there.  It makes you feel productive in half the time!

Tiny Jellyfish

I used Sugar n’ Cream yarn with a G hook (4.25mm).  This is crocheted in the round.

Stitches used:

Chain
Slip Stitch
SC – Single Crochet

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My First Tiny Jelly — My daughter immediately stole him.

For the Head:

Round 1: Chain 2 and SC 6 into second chain from hook (6)
Round 2: 2 SC in each stitch around (12)
Round 3: *2 SC in first stitch – 1 SC in next stitch* *Repeat around (18)
Round 4:  SC in each stitch around (18)
Round 5: *2 SC in first stitch – 1 SC in next two stitches*  *Repeat around (24)
Round 6-8:  1 SC in each stitch around (24)
To Finish:  Slip stitch into first stitch.  Leave a tail of yarn to weave in.  Weave it in now to get it over with.  (right?  Weaving in ends… ugh)

For the bottom of the Head:

Round 1:  Chain 2 and SC 6 into second chain from hook (6)
Round 2:  2 SC in each stitch around (12)
Round 3:  *2 SC in first stitch  – 1 SC in next stitch* *Repeat around (18)
Round 4:  *2 SC in first stitch – 1 SC in next two stitches* *Repeat around (24)
To Finish:  Slip stitch into first stitch.  Leave a tail of yarn to weave in.

For the tentacles:

I prefer my tentacles to all be the same length.  Call it OCD, if you must, but you are free to make them all different lengths, or longer, or shorter.  This is just the way I did it.

Row 1:  Chain 30 (or 40 — I like the look of the longer tentacle too)
Row 2: *SC in second chain from hook – 2 SC in next chain* *Repeat until the end of the chain*
Leave a tail for attaching to bottom piece
(Make 3 of these – or 4 – or 12)

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I made Jack “Jelly”ington with the longer 40 chain tentacles.

You then want to attach your tentacles to your bottom piece.  I’d like to tell you I weaved the ends into it to make it super secure, but I didn’t.  Instead, I just pulled each of the two strands per tentacle (one from the start of the chain and the tail from the end), up through the bottom piece and tied them in a triple knot.  Unless you’ve got kids swinging them around their heads, they won’t go anywhere.  If your kids are jellyfish tossers, please weave in the ends as well to make them more secure.

Here is where you decide if you want your jelly to have a face or not.  If so, attach safety eyes and sew on a mouth.  Or just use safety eyes.  Or just a mouth… although I’m not sure that would make much sense.  You can also crochet eyes, or use felt for eyes, or buttons, or any other crafty eye things you can think of.  I’d love to see pictures!

After the tentacles are attached, line up the bottom and top pieces together and SC them together into each of the 24 stitches around.  You can also sew them together.  I’ve done this both ways.  Sewing creates less of a lip around the bottom, so it just depends on if you’d rather see more of the bottom or not.  SC hides more of the bottom piece that sewing.  Weave in remaining ends.

Then attach a string at the top if you want!  These work up super fast.  I think I’ve made one in about an hour (and I’m pretty slow).

The Frankenjelly top and bottom were sewn together.  The Cutie-Patootie Jelly was SC together.  You can probably see the difference between the two different styles.

Feel free to make as many as you’d like for gifts, or to sell.  If you do sell your finished work, please link back to my blog for pattern credit!  Thank you!

I hope you all enjoy this pattern!  Please let me know if you give it a try, and what kinds of fun things you did with it!

 

Mix “Tape” Mix-Off

A long, long time ago, I can still remember, how that music used to make me smile … Oh, wait, I’m singing now.  Let me restart…

A long, long time ago, my husband and I had a lot of free time.  We now have a three year old, and an (almost) four month old.  So, free time?  Ha!  We also use to go on trips to visit family.  We don’t go on trips anymore because our daughter doesn’t like trips, and if she doesn’t like something, we no longer like something.  You people with kids know what I’m talking about…

BUT… once upon a time we did have free time AND go on trips, and I came up with a super fun idea for us to help with the long trips.  I came up with the idea for a CD-off.  It’s kind of like a dance off, but requires very little energy, which is always good with me.  We picked 10-12 albums that we both knew pretty well, and each picked our favorite song off of each album, and put those songs onto a mix CD.  I will say that this probably only works if you and whoever you are playing this game with likes the same music, because if you don’t know the music, you can’t really choose favorite albums, or pick a favorite song.  My husband and I have different overall favorites, like, if we both had the same five CDs in our car, we would most definitely be listening to different ones.  He is more The National and Spoon, and I am more Pixies and Modest Mouse.  I also love The National and I have an eh relationship with Spoon, and he also likes Pixies and is eh with Modest Mouse.  I don’t mind listening to Spoon, he doesn’t mind listening to Modest Mouse, but they wouldn’t be each others first choices.  Enough explanation?  Cool.

So, yea, we picked 12ish albums we had a pretty good knowledge and love of, we then picked our favorite song on each album and then put those 12ish songs onto a CD.  Then we’d listen to the two CD’s on the way to our destination.  It may sound silly, but it’s really fun to see what songs you have in common, and which you don’t.  Sometimes I just cannot understand how he would prefer his song pick over mine, I mean, come on, mine is obviously the best one on the album!

It’s a fun little thing to do to keep your entertained on a long car ride.  Try it out with your best friend, spouse, mom, whoever.  It’s interesting, fun, and hopefully won’t start a heated argument on why song A is so much better than song B.  (but I mean, come on, you can’t be serious?)…

Here is our first Mix-Off breakdown (we did two, if people enjoyed learning about our picks from the first one, I will do a second post featuring our second!) — Albums first, then each of our picks: (Remember, this was at least five years ago…)

Mix-Off #1

Green Day: Dookie
My Pick = She
Husband Pick = She

The National: Boxer
My Pick = Fake Empire
Husband Pick = Mistaken For Strangers

The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow
My Pick = Gone For Good
Husband Pick = Gone For Good

Weezer: The Blue Album
My Pick = Say It Ain’t So
Husband Pick = In The Garage

Pixies: Wave of Mutilation
My Pick = Alec Eiffel
Husband Pick = The Holiday Song

Vampire Weekend: Contra
My Pick = Horchata
Husband Pick = Cousins

Radiohead: OK Computer
My Pick = Exit Music (For A Film)
Husband Pick = Paranoid Android

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Show Your Bones
My Pick = Way Out
Husband Pick = Cheated Hearts

The Whigs: Mission Control
My Pick = Production City
Husband Pick = I Got Ideas

White Stripes: White Blood Cells
My Pick = Fell In Love With A Girl
Husband Pick = Hotel Yarbo

Beck: Odelay
My Pick = The New Pollution
Husband Pick = Lord Only Knows

LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver
My Pick = North American Scum
Husband Pick = All My Friends

Spoon: Gimme Fiction
My Pick = The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine
Husband Pick = The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine

Then we picked one RANDOM song from ANYONE —
My Pick = Something Corporate: Leaving Through the Window – Straw Dog
Husband Pick = The Walkmen: Lisbon – Woe Is Me

So, out of 13 identical albums, we only had 3 albums in which we shared a favorite song.  It’s a very fun activity, if you have the time.  I very much recommend it for anyone you share a musical interest with.  Enjoy!

-Nikki

My Very First Pattern – C2C Chick

The first time I saw a c2c pattern, I thought to myself “whoa, how on earth did someone make a picture with crochet?”  I had been making blankets and hats (not very well, I just cannot size a hat to save my life, even following a pattern), but I had never seen anything like this before.  It’s no shock to anyone familiar with crochet that I found my first c2c pattern on the Repeat Crafter Me blog, which is absolutely 100% amazeballs.  If you haven’t checked it out, do so now.  I’ll wait.  (psss… she’s on instagram and facebook too… go ahead, i’ll keep waiting).

So, I was inspired, and just so happened to have some software that might work for such a project.  You see, I also cross stitch.  Well, I mean, I used to.  I just can’t get myself to do it now that I have two kids.  One, I just know I’d lose a needle and assume it was inside of one of my kids, and two, I’m horribly slow at a cross stitching because I am a perfectionist.  I will count, double count, and triple count the stitches.  I will change the thread if the stitch doesn’t look identical to the one beside it.  It’s a long process.  I love the outcome, but I just can’t even right now, you know?  So, I’m putting my cross stitch software (PC Stitch) to good use by making some c2c patterns, and my first was a chick.

It didn’t take me long to make the pattern itself.  I started really small.  It’s only 15×15 (not inches, blocks), and it took me about 3 hours to finish the front.  I then did a solid white back and stitched them together with a single crochet stitch.  I was going to add a fancier border, but upon asking my husband if I should, he replied with “I don’t really care for those frilly borders.”  Fair enough. Plus, I was tired (I was 8.5 months pregnant at the time).  Here are some pictures of the final product…

The biggest thing I learned from this experiment is that I LOVE making c2c pictures like this.  I mean, totally love it, so much.  And also, you have so many ends to sew in.  I mean, maybe I’m doing it wrong, and there is a hidden trick, but I had just a crazy amount of ends… see…

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Phew.

My daughters finished Easter basket from us was filled with handmade crocheted items.  Other than this chick pillow, I made a amigurumi turtle (which I was too lazy to put legs on), eight easter eggs, and a quicky washcloth I made up.

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If you’d like to give this pattern a whirl, please feel free to do so!  Just remember that if you’d like to sell the finished product, link back to my blog and give me some credit, please!  Please do not publish this pattern as your own.

Just a warning, I have no idea how to make this pattern downloadable to you.  I will have to talk to my tech savvy husband about that and get back to you, if that’s something anyone is interested in!

c2c chick

I used Caron simple soft yarn in white, sunshine, neon orange, and black, and I’m almost positive I used a size H hook (don’t quote me on that).  The final squares were each 9×9 and I bought an 8×8 pillow form on Etsy to go inside.  It fit like a glove.

I hope you all enjoy this pattern.  I hope to make more to share with you!