Home Made crochet Steiner/Waldorf Gnomes and Nins

Since overhauling our toy disaster collection a year ago, I’ve opted for quality, open ended toys that stimulate imaginative play. Our play room is full of wooden food, musical instruments, baby dolls and clothes and a gorgeous doll house full of little wire dolls and hand me down furniture from at least three generations. The little girl who plays in there is much calmer and occupied for much longer in her imaginary worlds.

The next addition I have been hunting for were some sweet felt or wooden Steiner/Waldorf gnomes and small world toys. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near a brick and mortar store that stocks anything Montessori, Steiner, felted, etc. I have a whole list of bookmarked online toy retailers but being in Australia, the shipping would cost more than my cart! The closest store with a beautiful range of fairy houses, felted faires and food, and wooden nins (I love these little nins by Grapat) and gnomes is the beautiful Goldfish Toys in Berry, NSW …a three hour drive away. I didn’t want to wait until our next countryside escape to pick up some $8 gnomes I had my eye on so I took to Pinterest and Youtube in a quest to make my own.

These little guys are the results and I couldn’t be happier. It took about 30 – 45 minutes to make each one and I already had the yarn and 3mm crochet hook. They are super cute, are very similar to Grapat Nins and definitely cost less to make than petrol for 6 hours driving then $8 each if I was to buy them in Berry.

I followed HappyBerry Crochet’s “Wizard Gnome” tutorial only I used a 3mm hook, 8ply arcrylic yarn and I chose to stuff my little gnomes with poly fill while Laura keeps hers open like a finger puppet.

To seal the bottom, finish the final round as the video instructs and instead of tying off, CH 1 and in back loops only, SC in next stitch, SC2TOG in the next. Repeat SC, SC2TOG until end. Your stitch count will reduce to 12. Stuff your gnome at this point then SC2TOG x 6. Tie off and sew the hole closed. I poke the needle back through the hole and pull to flatten out the bottom before hiding the tail end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this idea helps another mama looking to make her own set of little gnome friends. I have this vision of an entire toy box of toys I’ve made my children. What are some other handmade toy ideas? Amish puzzle balls, stacking bowls, rattles and loveys spring to mind. Now to actually make them!

Happy Sunday,

Liz xx

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Beautiful birthday wool

My husband did well this year. Not only did he totally surprise me but he got me something I absolutely love!

This sampler of RichMore Percent 1/100 is one of my favourite gifts ever.

It’s so soft and the colours are just gorgeous. I cannot wait to make something special out of these little beauties. But what? A patchwork granny square blanket? Multi coloured scarf? I will have so much fun deciding.

Liz x

Little Hearts for Grace ❤️

I came across this beautiful CAL for little Grace through my favourite crochet artist Laura from Happy Berry Crochet.

‘Little Hearts for Grace’ is run by Lindsey Newns of Lottie & Albert and Jen of Just Litte Jen to raise funds for the charities that have helped Jen’s daughter, Grace, and their family. This CAL open to anyone in the world to crochet one of 9 granny squares designed by 9 amazing crochet artists and send it in to create a beautiful blanket to be auctioned off next year. The proceeds will go towards Little Hearts Matter and Bristol Children’s Hospital in the UK and contributions can be sent in from 2 December 2017 to 31 January 2018.

I could not be more excited to make a contribution to this amazing cause. My first square was made using Kaidalys‘ beautiful bobble heart pattern – find it here. I can’t wait to make more of these beautiful granny squares.

More about the project, details on where to post your hearts to and how to donate can be found on the Little Hearts for Grace CAL page at Lottie & Albert -> http://lottieandalbert.blogspot.com.au/

Love Liz xx

100 Crochet Poppies Project

A few days ago I came across this article from the ABC. It was a call to action from the Australian War Memorial asking all knitters and crocheters to make poppies for an installation of 60 000 to commemorate the 60 000 brave Australian soldiers who lost their lives during WWI. They hope for the installation to be in place by Remembrance Day 2018.

Along with many others, I have jumped straight on the band wagon. The 5000 Poppies group on Facebook that I’ve joined gained over 6000 new members almost over night and the swelling of their ranks brings their goal of 60 000 poppies for the AWM project and a further 50 000 for the Victorian RSL so much closer.

For now, I am starting small. My personal goal is to crochet 100 poppies by the end of September 2017.

Here is poppy #1. May it be the first of many.

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Lest We Forget.

Pokéball Crochet Pattern

My family is majorly in to Pokemon Go right now. My husband actually walks home from work to catch more, our 3 year old is utterly delighted that she caught a Pidgey all by herself, I’m impressed by the game and all three of us have spent so much time together rediscovering something my hubby and I loved as kids and introducing it to our own child.

The original Pokemon series is on Netflix here in Australia, and Little Lottie is working her way through the episodes. A Pokeball is an obvious thing to crochet for a child who is now calling herself Pikachu instead of her actual name but it only occured to me to sit down and make it when I caught her throwing her hard, plastic pencil sharpener shaped like the Death Star at the TV.
I only found one pattern on Pinterest and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted. It was too small and didn’t look quite right. So I set out to write my own and after some trial and error – documented here and here – the pattern is finally done!

Crochet Pokeball Pattern

 What you’ll need

  • 8 ply acrylic yarn in red, white and black
  • 4mm crochet hook
  • Darning or upholsterer’s needle
  • Scissors
  • Toy stuffing

Terminology;
Sc = single crochet,
(SC2) = Sc2 in the same stitch to increase stitch count
(SC2tog) = SC two stitches together to decrease.
SlSt = Slip Stitch
(no.) = Indicates the stitch count for the row

Pattern

  1. Start with white yarn. SC6 into a magic circle, SlSt together. (6)
  2.  Sc2 in each stitch around. (12)
  3. SC1 (SC2) x 6 (18)
  4. SC1, (SC2), SC2, (SC2), SC3, (SC2), SC2, (SC2), SC3, (SC2), SC2 (23)
  5. (Sc2), Sc4, (Sc2), Sc3, (Sc2), Sc4, (SC2), Sc3, (Sc2), Sc4 (28)
  6. Sc3, (Sc2), Sc6, (Sc2), Sc6, (Sc2), Sc6, (Sc2), Sc3 (32)
  7. Sc 1, (Sc2), Sc7, (Sc2), Sc7, (Sc2), Sc7, (Sc2), Sc6 (36)
  8. Sc 6, (Sc2), Sc11, (Sc2), Sc11, (Sc2), Sc5 (39)
  9. Sc8, (Sc2), Sc12, (Sc2), Sc12, (Sc2), Sc4 (42)

Switch to Black yarn
10. Sc15, (Sc2), Sc26 (43)
11. (Sc2), Sc42 (44)
12. Sc44 (44)

Switch to Red yarn
13. Sc42, (Sc2tog) (43)
14. Sc26, (SC2tog), Sc15 (42)
15. Sc4, (SC2tog), Sc12, (SC2tog), Sc12, (SC2tog), Sc8 (39)
16. Sc5, (SC2tog), Sc11, (SC2tog), Sc11, (SC2tog), Sc6 (36)
17. Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc7, (SC2tog), Sc7, (SC2tog), Sc7, (SC2tog), Sc1 (32)
18. Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc3 (28)
Stuff your Pokeball until it firmly holds it’s shape.
19. Sc4, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc4, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc4, (SC2tog) (23)
20. Sc2, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc2, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc2, (SC2tog), Sc1 (18)
21. (SC2tog), Sc1 x repeat around (12)
22. 4 x SC decreases. Fasten off and weave hole shut.

Button

  1. SC 6 in a magic circle (6)
  2. 2SC in each stitich (12)
  3. Change to black, SC in ea stitch (12)


Fasten off and cut leaving plenty of yarn for sewing the button on. You can increase the stitch count to 18 if you prefer but I’ve found that 12 gives a much tighter and straighter edge when the button is sewn onto the Pokeball. Sew button on over any visible colour change stitches.

And there you have a Pokéball!


This takes me about 45mins to make at the moment but I’m getting faster. I’ve already got lots of requests from friends and family for Pokéballs and I can’t wait to make them. Gotta catch ’em all!

Liz x

Amigurumi 💕

Usually I find a cute pattern, crochet it, hand it to Lottie then never see it again.


I found these when organising her toy chest and was hit with the instant urge to make all of the things!

The macaroon is my own pattern, strawberry and cupcake from HappyBerryCrochet and the star was a mix of a Pinterest pattern and my own improvising. 

Amigurumi is one of my favourite things to crochet as it is usually quick and satisfying. The pieces look polished and adorable when they’re done and they’re just so cute!

Liz x

Cute Crochet Bunny for Easter

I wanted something special and not made out of chocolate for Lottie’s Easter present.

Thanks to the wonderful Laura at HappyBerry Crochet I was able to make this sweet little bunny.


Lottie loved her bunny and I loved the sweet amigurumi pattern that worked up in a few nights.

Here is the link to the video tutorial and also HappyBerry Crochet‘s wonderful website if you are looking for polished, easy to follow patterns.

I’ve been crocheting all my life on and off however the last 2 years of actively working on my skills has been helped so much by this website and Laura’s videos. I’ve made beanies, toys, play food and all sorts of things and I always know they will turn out perfect if she wrote the pattern.

Next I want to try another crochet doll. I wasn’t all that happy with my first attempt and I think I need something easier, a bit more piece by piece instead of working the whole body, head and legs in one. Any suggestions?

Liz xx

 

Crochet Macarons Pattern

Feb 2019 Update – PDF Pattern now available on Etsy

I’m considering making a bunch of these as favours for Lottie’s birthday party next month so I combined some of the bits I’ve picked up from amigurumi and cupcake patterns and came up with a pattern of my own. I have come across crochet macarons before but they always turned out so small and not very macaron-looking. So here’s my own attempt at a pattern.

free crochet macaron pattern from liz&lottie

They are pretty much the same size as a regular macaron you get from a cafe. Perfect for pretend tea parties and play kitchens.

Here are the finished products. They work up in about half an hour if you’re familiar with the 6-12-18-24-30 round stitch expansion.

crochet macaroons 3

  (20c coin for scale)

I think they look pretty good. Here’s the super basic pattern.

Crochet Macarons

U.S based terminology; SC = single crochet, SlSt = slip stitch, Ch1 = chain one,

(2SC) 1SC x 6 = two SC into one stitch to create an increase, 1 SC into the next stitch then repeat six times.

{xx} = stitch count at end of round.

You will need; 

  • 3mm crochet hook
  • 8 ply/ DK yarn in 2 colours – one for the biscuit and on for frosting.
  • Toy stuffing or yarn scraps
  • Scissors & Yarn needle

Method; Top Biscuit

  1. 6 x SC into a magic circle. Sl St to join. Ch1. {6}
  2. 2 x SC into each stitch around. Sl St to join and Ch1. {12}
  3. (2 SC) 1 SC x 6. SlSt and Ch1. {18}
  4. (2SC) 2 SC x 6. SlSt and Ch1. {24}
  5. Final increase round. (2SC) 3 SC x 6. SlSt to join and Ch 1 {30}
  6. SC into each stitch around. SlSt, Ch1 {30}
  7. SC into each stitch, change colour and Sl St, Ch1 to reach row 8 with a new colour. {30}

Frosting

8. 30 SC into back loops only. SlSt to join. Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing.

Bottom Biscuit

Repeat steps for rows 1 – 7 and fasten off instead of changing colour.

vvvv What you have should look something like this vvvv

crochet macaroons 1

Notes on Sewing

Everyone has their preferred way of putting crocheted toys together. In this instance putting the needle straight through the V created by the SC in the frosting and then into the bumps on the inner side of the bottom biscuit all the way around created the neatest edge. It also made a little ridge on the bottom part to match where you crocheted into back loops only.

crochet macaroons 2

Sew 2/3 of the way closed then stuff with toy filling or yarn scraps. Don’t over stuff or you’ll end up with an oval shaped ball. Even out the stuffing by holding your macaron in the centre between your thumb and forefinger and rotating it to flatten the shape slightly. Finish closing the gap and sew in your ends. And that’s it!

I’ve made a bunch of these and have plans to put them in my Etsy store as well as use them for party favours.

I’m loving making these and I hope you will too.

Liz x

The usual blog pattern disclaimer notes apply; You can sell the macarons you make but don’t sell this pattern. If you share it on your blog, Pinterest etc. please link back here. Thanks!