My Crochet “Bucket List”

I am very grateful for the internet and my computer.  They allow me to ‘collect’ and ‘shelve’ hundreds (perhaps thousands by now!) of inspiring crochet patterns (both free and purchased) – electronically…and away from the ‘eyes’ of my friends and family…

I now have an extensive “bucket list” of crochet projects I yearn to make…if I only had the extra ‘time’ to make them!

I was fortunate this month when Jen announced the Jam Made CAL project for June would be this free pattern:

Crochet Giraffe Pattern – Designed by I Love Button’s By Emma – 

Photo Credit: I Love Button’s By Emma

This has been on my “bucket list” for months – I am thrilled to say I can now “cross it off”!

Living in Ontario, Canada, it is very difficult to find 3.00 mm crochet hooks. They are not considered ‘standard-sized” hooks here.

Lately I’ve been crocheting some amigurumi/softie patterns written by fabulous Australian Designers and since the 3.00 mm hook is unavailable to me (unless I find and order one online) I have been substituting a 4.00 mm crochet hook and worsted weight yarn for the suggested hook and yarn in the patterns.

It creates a slightly bigger finished project – but for softies – bigger just means more huggable 😉

For amigurumi, or softies I prefer to use a sturdier yarn (i.e. a yarn that can be used successfully to make slippers).  I really never understood the difference until I tried to substitute a yarn with the same gauge and weight to make one of Tara’s fabulous Oma House Slippers patterns – the yarn worked just fine and my slippers were super soft – but the slippers did not withstand the wear and tear of regular daily use…they became fuzzy and worn very quickly.

I therefore prefer yarns that are stiffer when making amigurumi (and slippers!) especially when it is intended for little hands 🙂 Yarns like Red Heart Super Saver, Bernat Super Value and Michaels Craft Smart…

At first I had a bit of difficulty following Emma’s pattern because the end numbers in the brackets didn’t always match-up with the written instructions – and I normally follow the ‘stitch-count’ rule-of-thumb – making each row/round match the ‘stitch-count’ at the end of the line.

Emma noted that this would be the case in her initial instructions so I was prepared – I just felt awkward switching mind-sets – but once I followed her written instructions and ignored the count – I was able to proceed without issue 😉 if the repeats didn’t match up, I just used sc stitches to fill in the left-over stitches to the end of the round…

I’ve noticed that she has now updated her pattern with new instructions/corrections so it is likely that all the numbers now match the instructions going forward 🙂

Other than my own mentally created speedbumps 😉 this pattern is a gem – one that has moved from my “bucket list” to my “favorites”.  In fact, I have already crocheted three of these lovelies!

I made one for my daughter:

She was VERY well-received – named Mimi – and then nicknamed “Giraffy”.

The next day, my Step-Mom asked me if I could make 2 for her to give as gifts for family friends.

I enjoyed the pattern so much – I agreed 🙂 Here are the two I hooked up for Maggie:

and now, I think my son wants one too…I’ve seen him dragging poor Mimi down the hall by a leg a few times…so there may be a fourth giraffy coming soon 😉

This is an excellent pattern.  It is very easy to follow and the final product is just so cute!!  It has become a favorite in my household – and with friends and family!

You can also find Emma’s pattern here (if you like to queue things in Ravelry):

Here are some “Tips & Tricks” I used when hooking up Emma’s fabulous pattern:

1.  When ending each round (before switching to the new colour) use an “invisible join” method to finish the colour round.  I learned of this technique when I participated in Winkie’s Mandala CAL this year and it is an invaluable tool for mandalas and any type of crochet in the round!!!  Here is the link to Wink’s page (where I learned about the technique) and the link to Sarah London’s tutorial.

2.  When joining my new round of colour I pulled up a loop and chained one stitch in the back-loop-only of the last stitch, of the last round.  Then I sc (single crocheted) around, as per pattern instructions, until I got to that last stitch and in that last stitch (where I chained one to join in the back-loop-only) I single crocheted through both loops.  It tended to hide the join a bit better for me.  Next time I will try this technique – Knotless Standing Single Crochet.

3.  I used ‘invisible decreases’ – something I learned about through Jen’s page when I hooked up her fabulous  Jam Made Elephant pattern.  I found a great tutorial for the technique on Planet June’s site here.

4.  I crocheted all the duplicate parts in the same sitting.  I find a lot of different things can affect my ‘tension’ or ‘gauge’ – especially stress…so a trick I use is to crochet the same limbs/parts in one seating…for example – if I were starting with Giraffy’s left leg, I would crochet the white portion of the foot for the left leg and then I would crochet the white portion of the foot for the right leg.  Next I would crochet the pink rounds on each foot…then the purple rounds on each foot…and so on.  This way if I needed to step away and come back, all ‘matching’ parts were crocheted in one ‘session’.  This is something I have started doing with my character hat features as well- it really seems to help me maintain my gauge for matching pieces..

5. Finishing (the giraffe’s head) – I used this technique to finish-off; another excellent tutorial from Planet June.

I hope that one of those tips helps someone 🙂

Happy Crocheting!


PS – Enter to win below or, subscribe to Inspired Crochet here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway




It’s giveaway time!

Two lucky entrants are each eligible to win 1-copy of the July 2013, Inspired Crochet Digital Magazine!

This month’s issue includes ELEVEN (11) Inspiring Projects, including Designs from:

Crochet It Baby
Heart For Your Home
A Morning Cup of Jo
Kristins Crochet
Needle Nerd
Anja Tissen Designs
Luba Davies Designs
Ivory Herman
Dawn Mackes

There are also articles about amigurumi, starting a Crochet Book Club (sounds fun!) and thread crochet.

Giveaway ends June 29, 2013 at 12:00am EST (Canada & US timezones).

Enter to win below or subscribe to Inspired Crochet here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Simplicity ~ Crochet + Beads = Bracelet

Happy Friday Yarn Friends 🙂

Thanks to the help of my fabulous testers, the Simplicity Crochet Beaded Bracelet pattern is now ready!

This is a very versatile bracelet pattern.

I have provided instructions for creating both a fully-beaded and partially-beaded bracelet using Aunt Lydia’s Fashion 3 thread; however, I have also provided charts to adjust the size of the bracelet and the gauge to allow you to use most threads/yarns and a variety of bead sizes to create your own bracelet or anklet.

The charts include substitutions for 3-6 months (4.5″) to adult XL (8″) and for gauges ranging from 3.5 sts/inch to 8.5 sts/inch.

There is also a full photo tutorial outlining how to create the adjustable bracelet closure.

The pattern has been fully tested and includes an index to the pages (and the index provides digital links to each page listed – so you will not need to ‘scroll’ if you are using a digital/computer method for viewing the pattern).

I hope you love this pattern as much as I do 🙂

Happy Crocheting!


Oombawka Design

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions 🙂 I will be happy to help.

The Simplicity pattern has been fully tested and is now available for purchase/download via


Crochet at Play

Back in April I entered a fabulous giveaway on the blog Crafts from the Cwtch – to win a copy of Kat Goldin’s book “Crochet at Play” (Publisher: Kyle Books).

I love seeing what Sarah (of Crafts from the Cwtch) is doing, be it spinning, knitting, crocheting or even just the fabulous photos of Wales that I see posted on her page – my Nana was born in Wales (Pontypridd) in the 1920’s and I have a fondness for all things Welsh – I was drawn to Sarah’s blog earlier this year and I have been following along ever since.

When I received the message that I had actually won the giveaway – I was thrilled! Not only was I to receive the book I have been coveting since I learned of its existence, I was also to receive the yarn I needed to complete the “Shaggy Lion” hat shown on the cover of the UK Edition!

I have hooked other patterns designed by Kat and I have followed her blog Slugs on the Refrigerator for ages – I love her Designs – I find them very straightforward and easy to follow.  I like Designs that leave very little doubt in my mind as to what I need to do to make the pattern work for me.  If I meet the recommended gauge I know the project is going to turn out as depicted and it is going to fit.

Best of all – her book is also full of FUN! Fun patterns – for boys and girls –

I’ve noticed in the last few months of searching for patterns (either by request on my Facebook page) or for my own son – there are very few really good crochet patterns designed specifically for boys.  I have actually created a pinterest page dedicated to crochet patterns that can be used for boys.

I am very excited about the number of great patterns in “Crochet at Play” – I had seen some previews in different posts but after actually reviewing  the book for myself, I am thrilled by how many of the Designs I truly love and I plan on crocheting for my own children.

Visually the book is charming – the instructions are clear and easy to follow – the photographs are full of colour and show the Designs being worn by children.  I love seeing how an item ‘works’ on a model –

The beginning of the book outlines all the different stitches you need to know – both written and pictorial instructions – as well as how to follow the patterns – “Pattern Basics” –

There are more than 30-original-Designs in “Crochet at Play” – among my favorites are:

Flat Cap

Leafy Capelet

Beastie Feet

Hedgehog Mittens


Cabled Yoke Cardigan

Silver Birch Tunic


Hobby Horse

Shaggy Lion

I received the book and the yummy yarn on Friday evening and immediately dropped all my other projects to hook the “Shaggy Lion” hat – Darla and Drew both love this hat –

Kat has some free patterns available in honour of the release of her book –

Rainbow Bright Dress

Mermaid Tail

You can also view a ‘trailer’ for the book here!

Crochet at Play by Kat Goldin Book Trailer from Kat Goldin on Vimeo.

“Crochet at Play” is available for sale on Amazon – CanadaUSAUK (great pictures in the previews!).

This post is not affiliated with/by anyone – the opinions are totally my own – I just love the book!

Happy Crocheting,