How to Make Crochet TMNT Ornaments

While there aren’t many traditions I observe this time of year, I have adopted the idea of getting or making a new decoration for our Yule Tree. In 2013, I made a lovely garland, and wrote up the pattern here. This year, I made a set of four TMNT ornaments!

What You Need

  • Green, red, blue, purple and orange yarn (they’re small, so if you have scrap yarn in those colors, you can use that)
  • 4 mm crochet hook
  • 6 mm safety eyes in whatever colors you’d like
  • scissors
  • plastic needle
  • marker (optional)

Pattern

1. 4 stitches in a magic circle
2. inc in each sc
3. inc in every other sc
4. inc in every 2 sc

An unfinished crochet project with the hook and marker still attached.You’ll have something that looks like this.

5-7. Sc all the way around
Switch to the mask color
8-10. Sc all the way aroundPut the eyes in stitches 7 and 10 on round 9
11. Sc all the way around
12. Dec every 2 sc
13. Dec every other sc
14. Dec until only 1 sc left

Once you’re at the final stitch, pull the loop until you can easily get the long tail through it. Pull that stitch tight around the looped tail and cut the yarn so there’s a decent length left.The top of a TMNT crochet ornament with the tail pulled through the last stitch.This part may get a little tricky, but thread the plastic needle with the remaining yarn tail and insert it into the knot formed by that last stitch. Then just pull the rest of the yarn down through the body of the ornament.

For added security, you can add a drop of craft glue or knot the yarn again.The top of a crochet ornament with a plastic needle stuck in it, viewed from above.While I ask that you not use this pattern to sell your creations or to replicate this pattern in any way, I would love to see your results! If you try it, feel free to leave a comment below with a link to your pictures.

Happy Winter Solstice!

TMNT ornaments on a Yule Tree

Behold: The Nightfury!

I enjoy the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. It’s just so much fun, and the characters are all great. When I found out my nephew is also a fan, I knew I had to find a pattern to make him a dragon all his own.

After minimal searching, I found this one over at the Sarselgurumi blog.  At first glance, I though it was much more simple than it was.

Yeah, it took me much longer to finish than I thought it would, and I made a couple mistakes in limb placement, but overall, I’m happy with how this little guy turned out.

I especially like the wings.

Right now, he’s waiting to be shipped off, but I think I’ll make another one for my husband, since he started playing with this one as soon as I showed it to him.

Happy dragon taming, all!

The value of handmade gifts

You can find this adorable pattern here.

Ok, let’s see if I can post this on the CORRECT blog. I’d accidentally posted it over on Alternative Wiring, at first. Woops.

Making your own gifts for others is something of a double edged sword.

On the one hand, few things are more satisfying than making something with your own hands and knowing it brings joy to the recipient.

On the other hand, it takes time to make. This can get in the way when you have as many time management issues as I do. Fortunately, my loved ones understand I have a hard time with dates and times when it comes to gifts or cards.

There’s a relatively common Pagan belief stating handmade objects have more power than mass produced things. The idea is that the creativity, time and effort put into the thing’s creation creates something of a “soul” and enhances the naturally occurring magic in the materials.

If you don’t prescribe to those beliefs, there is still something uniquely special about handmade things. Tiny mistakes or alterations in the pattern/materials makes the object completely unique. Choices made during the creation and preparation add a personal touch mass produced things simply don’t have.

There is beauty in handmade.

A Brief History of Knitting

I was lucky enough to grow up in such a way that I was surrounded by people of

Estimated to have been made in
300-499 BCE. They don’t look
very comfortable, but looks
can be deceiving.
David Jackson
[CC BY-SA 2.0 uk],
via Wikimedia Commons

various cultures. As a result, I’ve always had an abiding respect and fascination with how things are done around the world. Since teaching myself how to knit and crochet, that interest moved on to international yarn-working techniques.

As a result, I’ve done a little research, and discovered the oldest knit object found was actually a sock in Egypt, leading some people to believe knitting and crochet originated in that area.

The pieces are incredibly intricate. When I’d first seen some of them, I thought they were actually woven pieces, because the work was so tiny. Instead, someone had created them with a fine needle and fibers.

Some modern day knitters have fallen in love with these ancient techniques, and have tried replicating them. In fact, you can find a surprising number of patterns to make your own medieval stockings. Here’s a free one on Ravelry.

It’s not hard to see why they’ve become so fascinating, either. Take a look at this beautiful detail from a tapestry made during that period of time.

by Will Bakker, [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

It must have taken whoever made that forever to get that fine detailing and color work done. The gauge is tiny, and it had to be hard keeping track of which color goes where.

I’ve been spoiled by my knitting app and printed out charts. I can’t imagine completing a project of that magnitude without the help of those things.

Although the oldest known pieces of knitting date back to the 300s to 500s, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the act of knitting itself is much older. Although it may be labor intensive, it’s still less dangerous than hunting.

Like all animals, humans need to stay warm, and since we don’t have the benefit of fur, doesn’t it make sense that we would have had to found a way to make clothing from plant materials as well as animal?

As relaxing and productive as knitting is, it also has a deep historical significance, as well.

Yarncraft Friday

Again, I didn’t get a huge amount of craft stuff done this week, but I do have a couple of offerings.

This really is an adorable little basket. I’ve been wanting one of those yarn bowls to hold balls of yarn while I knit for a while, and I think I may be able to convert this pattern well enough into one of those.

If I did give that a try, I think I’d want to line it with something slippery to allow the ball to unwind as I work, though. Hm. Maybe next week.

I also got a bit of work done on my dragon scarf. This thing is taking quite a while to knit, especially since I kept losing my place somehow, but it’s worth it, so far.

Honestly, how cool is this? I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish it in time to use this season, but it’ll be fun wearing it whenever it is done.

Otherwise? Not a whole lot left to say in this entry, except Happy Friday!

Tutorial Try – Crochet Basket

Since the original tutorial I was going to try for this entry went *poof*, I decided to try this one for a crochet basket.

Since I still have so much light yarn, I decided to use that. As a result, my little basket ended up a bit smaller than hers.

I’d also managed to mess my count up a bit, so I think it ended up a little wider than it should have, and I know the handles aren’t placed correctly.

Still, it’s pretty cute, and a good size for small things. Here are a few of my progress shots:

Bottom completed.

The first row of the basket walls.

Here we have the second color added.

Next time I make one of these, I’ll have to pay closer attention to my stitch count, especially since she was nice enough to provide a count of how many stitches you should have during the increasing process.

I’d also use a heavier weight yarn, since this little stuff doesn’t hold a shape very well.

As for the tutorial, it was very clear and pretty easy to follow. Her pictures are also very clear and do a great job of giving you an idea of what the basket should look like at every step of the way.

Time-wise, this little guy took me maybe a little over an hour with a couple of distractions. If you’ve been crocheting for a little while, this should be a simple project to undertake.

It was a fun little project, and I have the feeling I might end up making more of these in the future!

On Buying Handmade Craft

It wasn’t until I started dabbling in yarn and jewelry that I truly understood how
much work goes into making something handmade. I remember admiring things on Etsy or in craft fairs and wondering why they were asking for so much money.

The materials couldn’t have cost THAT much, could they?

Now I know better. When you buy something handmade, you’re getting an item, but you’re also getting the following:

  • The time spent on making the item. That handmade blanket could have taken days to finish.
  • Years upon years of practice honing the skill.
  • Something no one will have an exact replica of.
  • If it’s a commission, you’re getting something someone spent time working with you to specify your unique desires, and then fabricating the item to your specifications.

Although I’m thinking of handmade jewelry and textiles, this also applies to artwork, writing and music.

It may be tempting to scoff at a high price attached to an item, but remember, when you buy handmade, you’re buying far more than just the thing. You’re buying time, passion and skill, too.

Playing With Yarn

Despite the ongoing struggle with this infection, I’ve managed to get a little crafting done.

Of course, we have that cool compress from this entry, which I’ll be making use of shortly.

I’ve also had to restart the blanket I had been working on, because I’d somehow managed to lose a fair number of stitches on the original. I’m pretty sure I’d just missed part of the pattern.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a fair amount of it finished. I think I’ll probably need to pick up more yarn before it’s done, though.

Please forgive the messy desk. Once I sat down and draped a blanket over my legs, this little guy decided to curl up on my foot.

As people owned by cats everywhere knows, it’s illegal to move a curled up ball of cuteness unless absolutely necessary. Anyway, he’s keeping that one foot warm. Wonder if he’d move if I tried nudging my other foot underneath him.

I’d also put together a simple shark tooth necklace commission, but had managed to forget about getting a picture before shipping it out. Ah well.

That said, I am still open for commissions, and will remain so until mid-April. You can find the info here.

How to Crochet a Reusable Cool Compress

Ready for the fridge.

When you’re hit with the nasty sinus problems that come with cold/flu season, few things feel better than a nice cool compress on the eyes. It helps with swelling and might help bring a low grade fever down a bit.

Since I’m struggling with just that right now, I thought it was time to use up some extra yarn, flax seed and dried herbs to crochet myself a nice, reusable compress.

Materials

  • size US 7.5/3.75 mm crochet hook
  • extra bulky yarn (left over from a couple of other projects)
  • Flax seeds
  • Dried chamomile

If I decide to make another one of these, I’ll probably end up using a lighter weight yarn, but the extra bulky worked pretty well. The idea is to use a hook/yarn combination that produces a tight enough knit to keep the stuffing from coming out.

You can also use rice instead of flax seed, and different herbs. I just used chamomile because of its anti-inflammatory properties and its soothing aroma.

Pattern
You can change this pattern for bigger or smaller compresses. For tips on crochet, check out my crochet basics master page.

Chain 18 stitches

Step 1: Single stitch into front and back rows. Place the marker when you get to where you started.

This sets up the bottom of the pouch.

Step 2: Single stitch into each stitch in the round until the pouch is around 6.5 to 7 inches long. If you’d like a shoulder/neck compress, make the pouch longer. Once it’s long enough, keep the yarn intact, but either weave in loose ends or turn it right side out.

You’ll have a pouch something like this.

Step 3: Fill the pouch about halfway full with rice/flax seed and dried herbs.

Step 4: Either sew or crochet the remaining edge closed. Since I didn’t feel like hunting a yarn needle down, I crocheted it shut.

Now, you can either put your little satchel in the freezer or fridge until it’s nice and chilled or just lie down and set it over your eyes. I personally find just the gentle pressure helps sooth minor headaches for some reason. The yarn should hold enough chill to take care of a little swelling that causes sinus headaches, too.

If you use iron safe yarn, you may be able to heat it a little for a warm compress, but I’d use caution when trying that.

Craft Commissions Are Now Open!

In light of some pending expenses, I’ve decided to open up for a few commissions! Here’s what I’m offering.

Small plush animals (TMNT, cats, rabbits) for $10 each + shipping/handling

I’ll open 10 slots for this one:

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Custom afghan for $100 each + shipping/handling

5 slots open for this (they take a while to knit, but I’m willing to open more slots up if demand calls for them).

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Hand-wrapped shark tooth necklaces on hemp cords (black, brown or tan) for $10 each + shipping/handling

8 slots, since I have 8 shark teeth available

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I’m US based, but I can ship overseas. Payment is via PayPal. If interested, please contact via e-mail at snowshine42@hotmail.com with the subject line “Commission Please”.

I’m open to chatting about other types of crafts, too, so if you have an idea, don’t be afraid to ask about it.