Guest Posting 101: A Guest Post by Rapunzel

Hi, everyone! This is Rapunzel. As a reminder, I’m doing some guest posts while Cogaroo is away, which I’m really excited about – the guest posts, not Cogaroo being away. :)

After I did my last post about the rag rug, I realized that guest posting has its own science – there are certain things a person should and shouldn’t do when they’re posting on someone else’s blog. I put a lot of thought into this before my first post, and I thought I would share my ideas with you, in case you ever wanted to guest post on somebody’s blog!

RAPUNZEL GUEST POST

1. Know your audience

This is fairly evident, but if you’re posting on a sports-themed blog, you wouldn’t discuss Les Misérables or the best way to make a smoothie. You might, however, post about the best running shoes or ways to store your hockey sticks. Since I’m posting on Cogaroo Crafts, my posts will have something to do with crafting (apart from this one – but it’s still relevant!)

On the other hand, you probably wouldn’t have been offered a chance to guest post if you posted for a different audience. Still, it’s good to remember who will be reading your posts.

2. Read The archives

Before I wrote my first post, I went through most of Cogaroo’s archives to see what she liked to post about. I found that most of her posts were about crochet, and she also does a lot of doll related stuff. It’s good to make sure you don’t end up repeating a past post (so if I posted a pattern for Cinderella’s wedding dress, for example, that would be bad because Cogaroo’s already done that) – but you should also think about making your posts similar.

3. Introduce Yourself

If their typical blogger isn’t around, people want to get to know you. So tell them your name, a couple things about yourself, and be friendly. Use a couple emojis if you want! :) At the end of my posts, there’s an ‘About the Author’ section with my picture and a little bit about me. This is a nice way of providing that information without repeating it every post.

4. Figure Out The Comment Situation

There are a couple situations in which you would guest post: one is filling in while the blogger’s on vacation (like me), and one is just a ‘hey do you want to post?’ kind of thing. Either way, you should check and see what you should do about comments. Do you need to approve them? Should you reply to them? Cogaroo and I decided that we would wait until she returned to reply to comments. If someone asks a question, though, it’s probably best to reply to that.

If you’re using that person’s blogging account, make sure to sign your name at the end. For example, if I replied to a comment and said “Having yarn hair is really rough!”, it would look weird if “Cogaroo” showed up with that.

5. Be courteous

This is not the place to go ranting about the blogger. Even if you dislike their blog layout or something, it’s probably best to not say “I hate this sidebar! Nothing’s in order!” You could voice that concern to them, but don’t try and turn their followers against them. (I realize this sounds like staging a rebellion. Don’t do that either.) Also, don’t bring up political issues or any subjects that can make people pull out their soapboxes. Unless, of course, the blog is solely about controversial subjects!

6. Thank your host

Even just a nice “Thanks so much to Cogaroo for giving me this opportunity!” will do wonders. After all, you’re grateful for the opportunity, right? You’re more likely to be invited back if you give a thank-you, and it will make the readers look favorably upon you.

7. Make your posts concise but meaningful

This is something I can struggle with, I admit it – but it’s important. If you waffle on for 3,000 words while the typical post length is about 500, it won’t fit with the blog. If you do a three-word microblog post, that wouldn’t fit either. I like to give an introduction, talk a little bit about the topic, and then sign off. Also, if you don’t have something meaningful to say, don’t guest post in the first place! For example, in the last post, if I just wrote “I crocheted a rag rug” and inserted a picture, that would be kind of pointless.

Tip #8: Post cool pictures like Rapunzel posing by the Rapunzel tomatoes! :)

Bonus Tip: Post cool pictures like Rapunzel posing by the Rapunzel tomatoes! :)

What do you think about these tips? Do you have anything you’d like to add?

I’ll see you next Monday for another guest post (in which I’ll try to follow all my self-appointed rules). :)

Peace, love, and pogo sticks,

✿ Rapunzel ✿

Design B

About the Author

IMG_4303Rapunzel is an eighteen-year-old crocheter, who is also a crocheted doll. Much of her time is spent wrangling her yard of hair, but she also loves writing, reading, candlestick making, and anything involving crafts. Once she accidentally glued a skein of yarn to her own hair. She’s loving her summer job guest posting for Cogaroo, and now she wants her own blog!

Crochet a Rag Rug (For Your Dolls): A Guest Post by Rapunzel

Hello, everyone! This is not Cogaroo blogging – she’s away on vacation, and has no internet access. So she asked me to do a few posts while she’s away, and I happily agreed. I’m Rapunzel, a crocheted doll, and I enjoy writing, reading, candlestick making, and crafting. (She also gave me free reign to her yarn stash while she’s away – yay!)

Here's a selfie of me!

Here’s a selfie of me!

Since this is mainly a crochet blog, I thought I would share a crochet project with you all! You see, the floor in my room is really cold, and I wanted to make a rug. I raided the yarn and crocheted this:

It was hard crocheting with such a big crochet hook! It was “I” in human sizes, but it felt more like 100 millimeters. A great weight-lifting workout. I followed the basic rag rug pattern, with single crochets in an oval. All the same, I think some of you might want directions so…

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Materials

  • Various scraps of worsted-weight yarn (which is like T-shirt yarn for me – you could use T-shirt yarn and make a big rug, instead of one for a doll)
  • I (5.50 MM)) crochet hook (or use a Q-16 MM with the T-shirt yarn!)
  • Yarn needle & scissors

The Basic Pattern

Rnd 1: Ch 7, sc in 2nd ch from hk and in next 4 ch, 3 sc in last ch. Turn to work on other side of foundation ch, sc in next 4 sts, 2 sc in last st.

Rnd 2: Do not join, just continue in a spiral amigurumi-style. 2sc, sc in next 4 sts, 2sc in next 3 sts, sc 4, 2sc in last 2 sts.

Rnd 3: *Sc, 2sc*, sc 4, rep from * to * 3x, sc 4, rep from * to * 2x.

Rnd 4: *Sc 2, 2sc*, sc 4, rep from * to * 3x, sc 4, rep from * to * 2x.

You can probably see the pattern emerging: just up the number of stitches between increases. The next round would be *sc 3, 2sc*, the next would be *sc 4, 2sc*, and so on. You can change colors whenever you want, or whenever you run out of yarn – I had a lot of fun with this! (I decided mine looked better with the wrong side facing up – it had more texture and laid flatter. But you can choose whichever!)

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Another bonus with the wrong side facing up is that the stitches look like pi – ππππ. :)

Hope you enjoyed this pattern! It was great talking to you…and I’ll see you again in a bit. :) There will be a post every Monday until Cogaroo gets back, so stay tuned!

✿ Rapunzel ✿

Design B

About the Author

IMG_4303Rapunzel is an eighteen-year-old crocheter, who is also a crocheted doll. Much of her time is spent wrangling her yard of hair, but she also loves writing, reading, candlestick making, and anything involving crafts. Once she accidentally glued a skein of yarn to her own hair. She’s loving her summer job guest posting for Cogaroo, and now she wants her own blog!

A Blogging Break & Introducing Rapunzel

Hi there!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I will be on vacation from July 25 until August 13. I’m going to the same place I did last summer (click below to visit their website)…

Canoe Island French Camp!

I will NOT be answering emails or comments because there’s a no-electronics rule – yes, that’s three weeks without internet! So if you have any pressing concerns, please mention them before Saturday.

I’m not going to totally desert you for three weeks, though – I’ve found a lovely guest blogger who has agreed to do a few posts. May I introduce you to the wonderful…

✿ Rapunzel ✿

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Hi! I’m Rapunzel.

Cogaroo asked if I’d be interested in a summer job guest-posting for her blog, and I said yes! I’ve always been fascinated with blogging so I’m really excited about this opportunity.

A little bit about me: I’m an eighteen-year-old crocheted doll, who is also a crocheter! I enjoy just about every craft, like crochet, knitting, weaving, scrapbooking, and candlestick making. I also enjoy writing and reading, and now, blogging!

I’ll be posting every week or so until Cogaroo returns…I hope you enjoy reading my posts! :)

My first post will be on Saturday – see you then.

Here's a selfie of me!

Here’s a selfie of me!

Thank you, Rapunzel!

She will NOT be replying to your comments, though – I’ll help her do that when I come back. :) I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

So, I will be signing off on Saturday for a few weeks on an island in the sun. ;) I hope you all have a lovely rest of July!

Peace, love, and pogo sticks,
Cogaroo <3

A Dress For Joy

Have you seen “Inside Out” yet? It’s a wonderful movie, and it has my strong recommendations. I also LOVED the short before it, “Lava,” which is about a volcano who wants to fall in love. The funny thing was, I heard tons of movie-goers crying at Inside Out, but it was Lava that got me. ;) I see some crocheted volcanos in my future. But I digress; this post is supposed to be about Joy!

I got a Joy doll from the Disney Store, and I crocheted her a dress. She has the strangest proportions I’ve seen in a while, so it was a fun challenge! I used a modified version of the Summer Dress from my last post. I hardly had to frog anything, which was a pleasant and welcome change.

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My doll actually stopped talking after a day (which is okay because I love her anyway!), but here’s a quote she said that I thought was fitting for this post:

“Joy?

“Yes, Joy?

“You’ll be in charge of the console…And may I add I love your dress?

“Oh, this old thing? Thanks so much, I love the way it twirls!”

[Joy talking to herself, Inside Out]

Okay, here are the modifications I made – I’ll just write it out, like an original pattern. The bodice, anyway. The skirt isn’t my pattern. Check out the original post for more details on that.

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Materials

  • Small bit of sock yarn
  • D (3.25 MM) crochet hook
  • F (3.75 MM) crochet hook
  • Needle & thread
  • button (I thought Joy would like this daisy one:)

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The Pattern

Ch 13.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hk and in each ch across. (12 sts)

Row 2-6: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st across.

Row 7: Ch 2, turn, dc in first 8 sts, ch 3, sk 3, dc in last st. (Turning chain does not count as a stitch – still 12.)

Row 8-20: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st across.

Row 21: Repeat Row 7.

Row 22-25: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st across.

Row 26: Ch 5 (or whatever chain number will fit around your button), turn, skip first stitch and sc in each st across.

Sl st to the opposite side of the bodice. Ch 1 and make 30 sc evenly around, sl st to join. Now you can do whatever stitch pattern you want: I chose the V-stitches from the original post. I did 9 rows of V-stitches, then the edging. Then all you have to do is sew on the button, weave in the ends, and you’re done. (I switched to an F (3.75 MM) hook for the skirt to make it more drapey, and did (dc, ch 2, dc) for the V-stitches – after all, Joy likes her dresses to twirl!)

The chart

Like I said in my last post, I really like this typed-diagram thing (thanks again, Kristen!) So here’s another one.

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 6.56.48 PM

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How about a couple polls?

And I think it’s past time for another poll, since I really enjoy having them. Actually, how about two polls! This first one is pretty self-explanatory. (Could there be a more fitting poll template for this movie?)

For this next one, I’m not talking about which emotion you enjoy feeling (I’m pretty sure the answer would be Joy, for me anyway), but which one you liked most in the movie. I’m torn between Anger and Sadness.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful joyful day! I’ll talk blog to you later. :)

Summer Dress for Disney Mini Animator Doll: Free Crochet Pattern

That was a long title, but I’m delighted to be sharing this new pattern with you!

First, a word on this new type of doll. Disney Animators’ Collection Dolls are designed to look like the younger version of the movie character, and recently they started making mini versions of these dolls. The mini versions also come with a bunch of accessories relating to their movie, in a carrying case.

I received Elsa as a gift on Easter, and loved her! So I waited eagerly for them to release mini Rapunzel (she’s my favorite princess), which happened last Tuesday, and I promptly ordered her. Well, she arrived today, and I had to crochet her a dress! Isn’t she the cutest thing ever?

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I love the little easel she comes with. :-)

This is actually just a pattern for the bodice (sounds fancy)…it’s like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure dress. You can pick whatever stitch pattern you want for the skirt; I’ll go into more detail on that later.

Materials

  • Small amount of Aunt Lydia’s Bamboo Crochet Thread (size 10). I usually use typical cotton thread, but I just got this and wanted to try it out…and I never want to go back! It’s so soft and has great drape (plus I love this coral color.)
  • 2.1 MM crochet hook
  • Needle & thread
  • Small white button
  • Mini ribbon rose for embellishment, if desired

Pattern notes & Special stitches

  • Dress is worked from side to side to make the bodice, then the skirt is worked in joined, unturned rounds.
  • There are some short rows to shape the back of the bodice – don’t worry, it’s easy! You’ll work part of the way across, then turn and work across the shorter row, then turn and crochet across the entire row (so, 3 ‘mini rows’ in total.) I’ll label these ‘Row 1a, 1b, and 1c for clarity (with whatever number applies.)

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Dress

Leaving a foot-long tail, ch 11. You’ll use this tail to crochet a button loop at the end.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hk and in each ch across. You should have 10 stitches for this row and every row after. Crochet over your beginning tail on Row 2, which will put it on the correct side for the buttonhole at the end.

Row 2a: Ch 1, turn, sc in first 3 sts, sl st in next st.
Row 2b: Turn, skip sl st, sc in next 3 sts.
Row 2c: Ch 1, turn, sc in next 3 sts and in original 7 sts from 2a. (10 stitches again)

Row 3-5: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st across.

Row 6: Ch 2, turn, dc in first st (or use your preferred first dc of the row), dc in next 6 sts, ch 2, sk 2, dc in last st.

Row 7-15: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st across.

Row 16: Repeat Row 6.

Row 17-19: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st across.

Row 20a: Ch 1, turn, sc in first 5 sts, sl st in next st.
Row 20b: Turn, skip sl st, sc in next 5 sts.
Row 20c: Ch 1, turn, sc in next 5 sts and in original 5 sts from 20a. (10 stitches again)

Row 21: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st across.

Sl st to the other side of the bodice to create the skirt opening. Ch 1 and crochet 26 sc evenly around. There are 21 rows, but some of them are wider than others, so it should work out fairly close. Sl st to the 1st sc. Now we’ll start the skirt.

CHART

I want to thank Kristen for introducing me to the typed diagram technique. I’m really excited about this! So now you get a tidier, more professional-looking chart. :)

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 5.23.32 PM

Stitch Key:

o = chain (also 8 and º)
. = slip stitch
x = single crochet
Ŧ = double crochet

closeup of the short rows

closeup of the short rows [Note: I edited the pattern so it’s symmetrical in the back – aka the gap is in the middle, not on the right. So it will look better than this picture.]

Choose Your Own Skirt Pattern

This dress is versatile in that you can pick whatever stitch pattern you want for the skirt. I chose a V-stitch because it looked nice with the thread. It just so happened that Mamma That Makes’ Davida Gown used this too, so I sort of followed her pattern. I’m going to write out my modifications below.

My skirt modificatons: Your first V-stitch of each row will be (ch 3, dc in same space), with the chain 3 counting as dc + ch 1. The first row is one V-st in every other stitch, so 13 total. Rows 2-7 are V-st in every V-st around. Then Row 8 is the edging from the gown pattern.

To finish, use your foot-long tail and pull up a loop at the edge of the bodice, ch 4, and sl st into the same st. Fasten off and weave in your ends. You should have only 2. Then sew a button onto the other side (try it on the doll to see what fits) and add a rose if desired. You’re done!

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I hope you enjoyed this pattern! I will also mention that I’ll be taking a bloggy break starting next weekend – just thought I would give a heads-up. So if you have any life-altering pattern concerns, now would be the time to express them. <3

Have a nice evening (or whatever time it is where you live)!

Granny Triangle Barefoot Sandals: Free Crochet Pattern

First of all, thank you so much for your enthusiasm about the Summer Craft-Along! I’m so pleased to have so many of you joining in. (Could I say ‘so’ any more in those sentences?) :D

Barefoot sandals seem to be popular lately, and there are lots of crochet patterns for them (check out this roundup on Moogly to see what I mean.) I hadn’t heard of them until I saw that roundup, and I thought they were the strangest things ever ~ they don’t offer support or protection, it’s basically just jewelry for your foot!

After making a few pairs from other people’s patterns, I had a go at designing my own. They would make a good beginner project, because they’re just a triangle with a loop and two ties. (No way am I posting a picture of my foot! But here they are in the grass.)

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At first I thought just making a Granny Triangle would work, but for some reason it never lays flat when I make it (I think I’m a tighter crocheter or something.) So using that as inspiration, I frogged and modified and ended up with something rather different. The toe loop is crocheted as you go, in the last round, then the ties are crocheted on separately. They’re really very easy to make and would be perfect for summer, or the beach… *blissful sigh*

Materials

  • Small amount of worsted weight yarn (cotton works better, but I’ve used acrylic as well)
  • I (5.50 MM) hook

Pattern

Chain 4, join with a slip stitch to form a ring. (I like to use Mrs. Micawber’s Knotless Chain – you’ll notice it turns up in pretty much all my patterns!)

Round 1: Ch 1. *3 sc into the ring, ch 4* 3 times, sl st to 1st sc to join.

Round 2: Sl st into each of the next 2 sc, then sl st into the ch 4 space to get you into the proper positioning. Ch 2 (or 3 if you prefer – it counts as your first dc), 2 dc in the same space. Ch 3, 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. *(3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) into the next ch-4 space, ch 1* 2 times. Sl st to starting chain to join.

Round 3: Ch 1, sc in same st and in next 2 sts. Work the following into the next chain space: 2 sc, ch 10 to form the toe loop (make more or less if you need, to fit around your toe), 2 sc. *Sc in the next 3 dc, sc in chain space, sc in the next 3 dc, (2 sc, ch 1, 2 sc) in the chain-3 space* 2 times. Sc in the next 3 dc, sc in the chain space, sl st to 1st sc to join. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Ties

Chain 50 (or however long you want your tie to be.) Find the edge opposite the toe loop, and sc into the stitch, on the right side, directly after the chain 1 space in the corner. Sc in each stitch across, stopping right before the next chain 1 space. Chain 50 and fasten off. I don’t weave in the ends on the ties because it’s hard to hide the ends. Instead I pull it tight, making a knot, and cut off the yarn.

+++

What about you, have you ever made any barefoot sandals? I can’t think of a time when they’d be very practical – and I never wear them! – but they’re fun to make nevertheless, as you can tell from the above picture they’re rather addictive to make …

I hope you have a wonderful day, with sunshine and yarn. I’ll talk to you later!

Introducing the Summer Craft-Along 2015!

Hi there! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day. I’m excited because I can finally show you what I’ve been working on lately.

Art by AVG

Art by AVG

Are you familiar with the ‘Summer Reading Programs’ at libraries? If not, it’s basically a piece of paper where you color in a space for every hour you spend reading. You can also do activities like write stories or visit the library website, stuff like that. At the end, you get prizes and T-shirts and stuff. I’ve always loved doing those, and it struck me that it would be really cool to have a ‘Summer CraftProgram’…the same deal, but everything is yarn/craft-related! And you can probably guess where it went from there.

Here’s a picture of my summer reading thing. (Sorry about the PhotoBooth pictures in this post – I didn’t have my usual borrowed iPhone.)

Photo on 7-7-15 at 1.16 PM

I basically copied the design and made it all yarn-related. I was thinking that you all might be interested in a Summer Yarn-Along, just for fun. I’m not giving out prizes or anything, this is just for your own personal enjoyment…and maybe it will help us all get motivated!

Photo on 7-7-15 at 1.46 PM

[Note: I changed it to the Summer Craft-Along at FillieFanatic’s suggestion – but I took this picture prior to that.]

Click below to download the templates:

Summer Craft-Along Cover

Summer Craft-Along Inside

I really hope somebody will want to give this a go! There’s something about checking off things that just makes me feel so productive. :) But if you want some incentive, then I’ll be making a page for the Yarn-Along – and it will have a list of everybody who finishes. So you can be famous! Well, not really, but you’ll still get credit.

Photo on 7-7-15 at 1.46 PM #2

Here are the ‘rules’ if you want to participate:

    • This Craft-Along is open to ALL crafters – crocheters, knitters, spinners, weavers, scrapbookers, jewelry-makers, you name it. Thanks to filliefanatic who suggested this should be a Craft-Along instead of just a Yarn-Along!
    • It starts whenever you want – as long as it’s summer!
    • To ‘sign up,’ leave a comment here to tell me you’re participating. If you have a blog, feel free to post about it, but you don’t have to – although it would be fun to see everyone’s progress! I’d appreciate if you linked back to me, though – there’s a blog button further down the page.
    • Print off the Summer Craft-Along (SCA) templates. Cut them out and glue them together, then fold into thirds. (I tried to do dotted lines to guide you, but they’re not completely accurate.)
    • Whenever you craft for 30 minutes, you can fill in a space.
    • Whenever you complete one of the ‘activities’, such as “Teach someone your yarn craft” or “Finish a WIP”, fill in another space.
    • If you finish by August 31, you can submit your name to be included on the SCA Hall of Fame.  :)

I’ve also made a blog button (finally), so if you wanted to link to my blog, you can grab that below:

Cogaroo Crafts
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.cogaroocrafts.wordpress.com" rel="nofollow" title="Cogaroo Crafts" target="_blank"><img src="https://cogaroocrafts.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/img_4148.jpg?w=620&h=620" alt="Cogaroo Crafts" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Okay, I think that’s everything…please let me know what you think! :)

Design B

P.S. Many thanks to the wonderful AVG for supplying the yarn ball picture. A truly talented and super nice artist!

Universal-Islands-of-Adventure-Harry-Potter-Castle-9182-1

Master has given Dobby a scarf!

Greetings, fellow Muggles (and wizards, if you’re reading this!)

I saw this post on Inner Child Crochet and knew, of course, that I had to have my own Gryffindor scarf. (In case you weren’t aware, I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan.) I’ve never crocheted with self-striping yarn before – it’s great because I hate weaving in ends, but I love stripes!

There was a small problem, though – it was going to take me forever to knit a scarf, and I didn’t have the right size knitting needles, and I don’t really enjoy knitting. So, I knew I had to find a crochet pattern. I saw a pattern that used Tunisian knit stitch, which I had been contemplating, but I was worried it would be too tight and therefore curl a lot. The solution – use a really big hook!

Here’s my finished scarf (and the worst photoshop job known to Muggle-kind). I’m planning on taking better pictures soon, but I couldn’t resist:

Universal-Islands-of-Adventure-Harry-Potter-Castle-9182-1

I’m going to write down the modifications I did, for my own future reference – and yours, if you feel like it. This pattern isn’t anything new in the world of Harry Potter scarves, but what are blogs for if you can’t leave a note to your future self? :)

Materials

  • 1.5 skeins of Red Heart Team Spirit in burgundy/gold
  • L (8.00 MM) crochet hook

Modified Pattern

Row 1: Chain 15, pull up a loop in the 2nd ch and in each ch across. Do the return pass.

Row 2: Tunisian knit stitch in each st across.

Repeat this row over…and over…and over…until your scarf is as long as you want. Mine can wrap around my neck twice and still hang down to my waist (not counting the fringe.) With my gauge, each different-colored section of yarn got about 10 rows. When you’re joining the second skein just be careful the stripes match up! My scarf has 27 blocks of color. So that’s about 270 rows…and 3,780 stitches. Sirius-ly! (Sorry, that was a terrible pun.)

Fringe

I wrapped the yarn around a hardcover book a bunch of times and then cut one end. I hooked 3 strands at a time through the stitches, alternating colors – one gold tassel/fringe, one burgundy, etc.

Now I want to make the third-year-and-up version of the scarf – with large stripes of burgundy and smaller rows of gold! There’s always more to crochet as I watch more HP movies. :)

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Cinderella’s Wedding Dress ~ Free Crochet Pattern

After I posted Ella’s pink dress, Astri from Apple Blossom Dreams suggested that I crochet the wedding dress from ‘Cinderella’. I had actually already crocheted the dress, so I just needed to take some pictures and post it. Thanks, Astri! :)

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This dress took forever to design (because of the train), but it shouldn’t be too hard to crochet. You could make it without the flowers, which would be a lot faster, and then it would be a traditional Barbie wedding dress! I really like how it came out – it’s as close to the movie dress as I could get it. I hope you like it too. Next up is Lady Tremaine’s dress, as Fillie Fanatic suggested. So much to crochet! <3

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On a different topic, I absolutely love my Mattel Ella doll – isn’t she lovely? She came in her blue ball gown, which of course I adore:

I wonder how I could crochet this dress!

I wonder how I could crochet this dress!

Materials

  • 1 skein of worsted-weight yarn (I used Red Heart Super Saver in “White”) – but I actually think a DK weight would work better and give it more drape. I used worsted because that’s what I had.)
  • H (5.00 MM) crochet hook
  • Embroidery floss in the colors you want for flowers. I used yellow, pink, and blue, and about 1 hank of each…but I didn’t do a ton of flowers.
  • 2.1 MM crochet hook to make the flowers

Bodice

Row 1: Ch 7, sc in back bump of 2nd ch from hk and in each ch across.

From now on, you will be working through the front loops only, except on the last stitch of the row – work this one through both loops.

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, 2 sc in the first st, sc across.

Row 3-6: Ch 1, turn, sc across.

Row 7: Ch 1, turn, 2 sc in the first st, sc across.

Row 8: Ch 1, turn, sc across to the last st, 2 sc in the last st.

Row 9: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc across.

Row 10: Ch 1, turn, sc across to last 2 sts, sc2tog.

Row 11-14: Ch 1, turn, sc across.

Row 15: Ch 1, turn, sc across to last 2 sts, sc2tog.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

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Skirt

Join the yarn to the bottom of the bodice (the side with the pointed half.) There are 15 spaces for you to work into on the first row.

Foundation Round: (Sc in next space, 2 sc in next space) 7 times, then sc in last space. Sl st to first sc.

Now we will be working in rows to make the length of the skirt, but to save sewing, we’ll join it to the foundation round as we go.

Row 1: Ch 24, dc in 3rd ch from hk and in next 9 ch, hdc in next 10 ch, sc in last ch, sl st in first 2 sts from the Foundation Round.

Row 2: Turn, sc in first st, hdc in next 10 sts, dc in next 10 sts.

Repeat rows 1 & 2 until you have used up all of the Foundation Round stitches. You should end up at the bottom of the skirt. Now we’ll do some short-rows to make the train.

Row 1: Ch 3, turn, dc in each st until there are 4 sts left, hdc 2, sc 1, sl st in last st.

Row 2: Turn, skip sl st, sc, hdc in next 2 sts, hdc in the rest of the stitches across the row.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have just the half-double crochets.

Hold the foundation ch-24 and the side of the short rows together. Carefully single crochet through both layers to join them. Sl st in the last st, fasten off and weave in ends.

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Train

Turn the dress inside out so the seam is not as prominent. Join the yarn 6 rows to the right of the single crochet seam.

Rnd 1: Ch 3, 2 dc in same side-space, 2 dc in each side-space around. You’ll be working around the posts of the double crochets and into your turning chains from the skirt. Sl st to first st.

Row 2: Ch 3, 2 tr in same st, tr in next st. *2 tr in next st, tr in next st* around, leaving last 22 sts unworked.

Row 3-4: Ch 1, turn, skip first st, sl st in next 3 sts. Ch 3, tr in same st and in each st across, leaving last 3 sts unworked.

Row 5: Ch 1, turn, skip first st, sl st in next 3 sts. Ch 3, tr in same st and in next 2 sts, 2 tr in next st, tr in next 3 sts, *2 tr in next st, tr in next 3 sts* across, leaving last 3 sts unworked.

Row 6-8: Repeat Row 3.

Row 9: Ch 1, turn, skip first st, sl st in next 3 sts. Ch 1, sc in same st, *ch 3, sc in next st* across, leaving last 3 sts unworked. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Flowers (make lots!)

Knotless ch 4, sl st to first ch to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Sc in ring without chaining first, ch 4, *sc in ring, ch 4* 5x, sl st into ring. Fasten off but don’t weave in ends.

Make lots of these flowers – I did 1 embroidery floss hank’s worth in blue, yellow, and pink. To attach, pull the loose ends to the back of the dress and triple-knot. Then trim off the ends. The inside will look funny, but the outside will look pretty and flowery! Eventually I got sick of making flowers, so I just did some on the top of the bodice and a couple columns up the front of the skirt. Ella’s wedding dress has a lot more…but you can do however many you want, or leave it plain for a normal Barbie wedding dress!

Are there any other dresses from Cinderella that you think I should crochet? I’m always happy to take suggestions. :) Now to figure out Lady Tremaine’s dress…

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Knit-Look Crochet Tutorial: How to do Third-Loop HDC in Rows

If that title sent you running, come back! It’s not rocket-science, although it can be hard to explain in words…which is why this post will be chock-full of pictures!

But first I want to mention what I’ll be using in this tutorial. Recently I went shopping with my lovely aunt and uncle, and they got me a pulchritudinous wooden hand-carved crochet hook. *cue squealing* I will be posting a “review” (really just me fangirling about this hook) soon, but all I can say is I’m absolutely in LOVE and I never want to crochet with anything else again. Thank you, Great and Auntie T.! 

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I’m sure some of you have heard of the magical third-loop half-double crochet (half-treble crochet for my UK friends). If you haven’t, check out this Moogly tutorial before you proceed. Basically, by working hdc into the “hidden” loop, you get a squishy, knit-look ribbing that looks like this:

Third-Loop HDC in rows

Third-Loop HDC in rows (these first 2 pictures have NOT been rotated – iPhoto didn’t want to cooperate)

I’ve seen this used in a lot of patterns, and I absolutely love it. But one thing always bothered me: the “ribs” are really far apart. Since you’re turning your work, every other row is facing away from the right side (RS). If you work in rounds, you can avoid this, but not every project is done in the round.

Third-Loop HDC in rounds

Third-Loop HDC in rounds

For ages I’ve wanted to figure out a way to do the 3rd Loop HDC in rows, and still have it look like the above picture. But since all my experiments failed, I stopped trying.

Until last Friday night, when I was aimlessly crocheting. I was double-crocheting and accidentally dropped the loop from my hook. It was far from the first time I’ve messed up while crocheting, but I still studied it for a minute.

A loop on the hook, a loop coming out of the next stitch, and a strand of yarn connecting them.

A loop on the hook, a loop coming out of the next stitch, and a strand of yarn connecting them.

If we’re looking at the Anatomy of a Half-Double Crochet, that connecting strand is what forms the third loop. It wraps over the hook like this:

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And then we put the hook into the stitch and pull up a loop (that pull-up-a-loop is the one sticking out in this picture):

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Then, to finish the hdc, we yarn over and pull through all 3 loops:

Hdc complete! You can see the third-loop in this picture.

Hdc complete! You can see the third-loop in this picture.

And another shot after I got carried away editing that picture:

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This is where my epiphany occurred. The third loop appears at the back of the stitch because that’s how we wrapped that “connecting” yarn around the hook. So if we wrapped it a different way, the third loop could end up at the front, without changing anything else about the stitch.

We’d have a fabric that looked like THIS:

Third-loop HDC in rows, alternating YO and YU

Third-loop HDC in rows, alternating YO and YU

Exciting, isn’t it? It opens up a whole new world of crochet st –

Wait, I see an opportunity…

Sorry! I cannot resist an opportunity to quote Disney movies!

Anyway, have I drawn this out long enough? Do you want me to stop monologuing and show you how to do the stitch? Very well, your wish is my command. :)

How to do Third-Loop HDC in Rows

I’d suggest starting with a row of Foundation HDC, because it makes the first row look a lot better. But if you really don’t want to do that, then chain the # of stitches you want for your project, then add 2. I’d try 12 for making a swatch. Then hdc in the 3rd ch from your hook and in each ch across.

Whichever method you choose, this will be the RIGHT SIDE of your work. Mark it with a safety pin/stitch marker/random scrap of yarn you found on the floor if that makes it easier.

Wrong-Side Rows: Chain 2 and turn, then yarn-under hdc across in the third loop of the previous hdc. Don’t panic, here are some step-by-step pictures:

At the end of the first row (I did 10 foundation half double crochets.)

At the end of the first row (I did 10 foundation half double crochets.)

You're going to be sticking your hook under the third-loop of that last HDC (marked by the helpful purple paperclip.)

You’re going to be sticking your hook under the third-loop of that last HDC (marked by the helpful purple paperclip.)

But first we need to Yarn Under (hereinafter referred to as

But first we need to Yarn Under (hereinafter referred to as “YU”.) So pull the yarn up and over the hook as shown.

Then stick your hook into the indicated stitch.

Then stick your hook into the indicated stitch.

This next step is kind of odd, but basically, you'll be yarning OVER - except since you just yarn UNDERed, it will look a bit strange. Just make sure it looks like this picture, and you'll be good.

This next step is kind of odd, but basically, you’ll be yarning OVER – except since you just yarn UNDERed, it will look a bit strange. Just make sure it looks like this picture, and you’ll be good.

Then pull up a loop. This and the next picture are some in-progress shots.

Then pull up a loop. This and the next picture are some in-progress shots.

Another in-progress picture.

Another in-progress picture.

Finished with three loops on the hook. In a normal hdc, the middle loop will be slanted from back to front, but see how it's going from front to back? That's how you can tell it's a YU hdc.

Finished with three loops on the hook. In a normal hdc, the middle loop will be slanted from back to front, but see how it’s going from front to back? That’s how you can tell it’s a YU hdc. To finish the stitch, yarn over and pull through ALL THREE LOOPS.

So do YU HDCs all the way to the end of the row. But the last stitch will be a little different because you want to put the hook under two loops, so it doesn’t stretch out. I took a picture of this, but the picture mysteriously disappeared, so I hope this makes sense. You can use a random loop from the front of the hdc – it’s fairly intuitive if you’re doing it. If you can’t figure out the two-loop thing, don’t worry about it…there might be some bigger spaces along the side, but nothing life-threatening. (I don’t think crochet is life-threatening anyway, unless you’re allergic to yarn – or if you’re crocheting while you walk and fall off a cliff or something. But I digress.)

Now for the Right-Side Rows: Chain 2, turn, hdc in the third loop across, making last stitch as described above.

Chain 2, turn, yarn over and put your hook into the indicated stitch (thank you, purple paperclip!)

Chain 2, turn, yarn over and put your hook into the indicated stitch (thank you, purple paperclip!)

Here's a picture showing the two loops you should use at the end of the row. :)

Here’s a picture showing the two loops you should use at the end of the row. :)

After three rows, the ribs are already forming!

After three rows, here’s what it looks like for me. I love Lucy yarn! :)

Just keep repeating these two rows for as long as you want…and that’s it!

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I hope this all made sense, and I didn’t bore you with my ramblings – I just wanted to share my accidental discovery with you all. :) Now I’m off to work on some blog-related things…hope you have a wonderful day filled with yarn and chocolate!