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Here is a real quick and simple dog toy you can make from recycled denim. It doesn’t even require any sewing and can be made in just a matter of minutes.

Take an old pair of denim jeans and cut around the lower pants hem and then continue up the side seam to make one continuous strip of denim. I cut up the side seam 27 inches and the hem length was 18 inches on my piece of cut denim.

Next I just started tying knots using either end of the denim strip. Using knots and then threading the long end through the knots, I create this 8 inch long denim dog toy.
You could also join the ends together to make a circle by either sewing the ends together or by joining them with a knot.

And there you have it, an instant denim dog toy made from the seams of recycled jeans. Oh and by the way, my dog loves this toy and carries it all around the house and even sleeps with it.[…]

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Here is a new twist on an old mini Christmas stocking pattern. This loopy trim option uses the chain 8 fold-over cuff that I wrote about in this recent post.

Instead of chaining 12 for the upper leg portion of the stocking, just chain 8. Once you complete the leg portion, you are ready to add the loopy edging trim.

Attach yarn at back of stocking. I used a contrasting yarn as shown. I always work from the inside so I can fold over the trim with right sides showing. Single crochet (Sc) around evenly 2 times. Then three row: Chain 5, skip 1 st, slip st in next st and repeat around. Chain 10 for hanging loop and join.

These mini Christmas stockings measure about 6 inch long. They make excellent little gifts and are cute ornaments to add to Christmas gift packages. I crochet mini Christmas stockings all year around for the Warmth for Warriors stocking drives each year. […]

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These mini 6 inch Christmas stockings use an optional fold-over cuff from my original crochet pattern for the mini cuffed Christmas stocking pattern. Below you will find the crochet directions for this optional fold-over cuff using contrasting yarn.

You work the first 8 rows of the stocking pattern but then only chain 8 instead of 12 stitches for the upper leg portion. Then work the pattern the same until you come to the first decrease row. In rows 9 and 10, you want to work the decreases on either side of the back of the heel for shaping.

Finish off the stocking and leave a long tail for closing up the back heel seam.

Now for your contrasting fold-over cuff, join the white yarn on the inside of the back heel at seam. Crocheting from the inside of the stocking, single crochet (SC) around evenly along the top edge. I don’t join and just continue to work SC stitches for a total of 5 rows. End at back edge of heel with a slip stitch to make an even edge on the last row.

Fold over the cuff leaving one row of white trim on the inside of fold to hide the color change. Then join white yarn at the top of back for the hanging loop. Chain 10 for the hanging loop and join with a slip stitch into the stitch next to the back where you started the loop. Weave under ends on the inside of cuff to hide your ends.[…]

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Here is a new Mother Bear idea that I wanted to share. Add a flower skirt to your bear. I crocheted this Mother Bear body all in BLO and added this skirt to finish off my bear. The head is crocheted in both loops.

This bear was crocheted using Red Heart yarn in a Flamenco stripe skein to crochet the Mother Bear. Then I added a skirt around the waist using some plum Love This Cotton yarn. I had just a small piece of the Flamenco stripe yarn left in pink so used that for the reverse SC trim around the bottom of the skirt.

Directions for skirt:

Starting at back of bear for attaching row, single crochet (SC) around the waist of the bear to start the skirt and join to beginning. *Ch 2 and working in the round and without turning, work 1 Double Crochet (DC) in next stitch then 2 DC in next stitch*. Repeat around and join with slip stitch to top of chain 2.

Rows 2-5 of DC
Ch 2, DC in each stitch around and join.

Trim row
Work reverse SC or crab stitch around for the trim row. Join and finish off.

Skirt is 2.75” long with 5 rows of DC and one row of trim.

Flower: Ch 11 into magic circle. Sc in 1st st, Ch2, 2DC in same st, Sk one st, and sl into next. Ch2, 2DC in same st, repeat around and join. Leave long tail and stitch to front of skirt as shown.

Here is a closeup of the skirt with a flower added for a bit of a splash.

Hope you enjoyed this Mother Bear idea and please join us in making Mother Bears at the Ravelry group here. […]

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I tried a new crochet hat pattern this week. It is the Stay Strong Beanie pattern from Elk Studio. I crocheted this hat in Knit Picks wool yarns with an I (5.25 mm) hook for the 2019 Warmth for Warriors hat drive.

I used wool yarn from my stash to match the color scheme as close to the written pattern as possible.

I did find that working even on 60 stitches did create a small head dimension. My finished hat circumference is 20.5 inches. The hat fits me so it should be okay for a smaller adult head size. I also had to add several additional rows of single crochet (SC) stitches to get a length of 8 inches long which is needed for the hats for the Warmth for Warriors. After 7 rows of SC, I finished off my hat with the reverse SC or crab stitch.

When I work the hat pattern again, I think I will work even on about 65 stitches to make my hat larger next time.

Final thoughts:
I love the look of the hat and the color layout of the stripes. I just need to make it a bit bigger next time.[…]

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I posted a few weeks ago about my crocheted plarn tote that a customer ordered to hold her recycled paper. I have been working on writing the crochet pattern and am happy to post it today.

Here is the crocheted base which is done in single crochet for added strength.

One final photo of the recycled tote bag laying down and showing the base.

So without further ado, here is the free crochet plarn pattern for this recycled tote bag. Please enjoy and share any comments with me concerning the project below.

Recycled Paper Tote Bag Pattern

Materials needed:
Plarn yarn 1” wide – approx. 90 plastic grocery bags
Hooks: K (6.5 mm) & N (9 mm) metal crochet hooks

Description: Recycled Plastic Tote Bag
Bag measures 18″ wide, 12” tall and 7” deep with 8.5” handles

Directions:
Recycled bag is crocheted in 2 pieces. A base piece is crocheted and then the sides are worked in the round to complete the bag.

Row 1 (Base piece)
With K crochet hook, Ch 52. Turn and Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain stitch down to end. Ch 2 and turn.

Row 2-10
Hdc in each st across row. Turn and Ch 2.
My base piece measured 18 inches long by 8 inches wide at this point.

Row 11 (beginning of bag sides)
Sc around entire base piece working stitches evenly around.
This starts the portion of the bag where you will be working in the round without turning or joining from this point forward.

Row 12
Using N (9 mm) crochet hook, Hdc in each st around. Again don’t join at the end of each row.

Row 13
Hdc in each st until you come to the short side of base. Work 2 Hdc TOG on short side of bag base to help draw up sides. Repeat the decrease on each side twice for a total of 4 decreases. (2 Dec’s on each side piece)

Continue working 1 Hdc in each stitch of row except for the decreases outlined above.

Row 14-25
Hdc in each stitch around bag.

Row 26
This row begins the handles so mark center 8 inches on each side of bag for the creation of the handle openings.

Hdc in each st around to the mark for the first side’s handles, Ch 22 for handle and skip 20 sts approx. for the 8 inches at center, then Hdc in each st around to other side’s mark for handles. Ch 22 and skip 20 sts.

Before going on make sure your handle openings match each side. Lay the bag down and check. Adjust your stitches as necessary so each side matches each other.

Hdc around in each st to complete the row. Again check to make sure your handles match each other and the skips are centered on the bag.

Row 27
Hdc around in each Hdc st until you come to the handle chain, Sc around the entire handle chain evenly which is […]

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A customer asked me if I could crochet her a large plastic bag tote to store her paper for recycling. She wanted a very large tote bag 18 inches wide, with a 7 inches base and 12 inches tall. Of course it had to have handles for carrying and be made from recycled plastic bags. I love a challenge and to crochet such a recycled tote bag was fun.

I used around 90 recycled plastic sacks cut 1 inch wide to complete this recycled paper holding tote. I used the double strand plarn making method to crochet this tote. Here are a few photos of the completed bag.

Here is a photo of the recycled tote bag laying flat.

I am working on the written pattern directions and will have the free crochet plarn pattern posted soon.

Remember this crocheted tote requires at least 90 plastic sacks to make so start saving those bags and get ready for the pattern to be posted shortly.[…]

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Here is a new baby hat pattern that features a double post ribbing. These little hats work up very quickly and make wonderful gifts and items for donations. I just recently crocheted these baby hats for our local hospital nursery. They have been requesting more handmade hats for the newborns and I always love a good reason to crochet more baby hats.

Here are a few more crocheted hats with the double post ribbing.

This pattern is a variation of my original ribbed band baby hat. I am going to post the full pattern here for convenience. That way you just have to scroll down to the complete double post baby hat pattern below. For a preemie size hat directions, please refer back to the original pattern as I only posted newborn and 3 month old baby sizes in the pattern below. Also the original pattern includes directions on how to crochet a striped hat using two different colors of yarns.

Double Post Baby Hat Pattern

Finished baby ribbed hat measures:
3-month old = 14 inch circumference by 6 inches long with WW yarn
Newborn = 13″ cir by 5-1/2″ long with WW yarn

Hooks:
H (5 mm) US sized crochet hook for 3-month baby
G (4 mm) US sized crochet hook for newborn

Materials: 1 ounce Worsted Medium Weight or Aran Yarn

Ch 3 and join to form ring. Hat pattern is worked in the round without turning.

Rnd 1
Ch 2, work 11 Hdc in ring and join to beg Ch-2. (12)
(Ch-2 counts as first Hdc st.)

Rnd 2
Ch 2, Hdc in same st and 2 Hdc in ea st around. Join with Sl St to beg Ch-2. (24)

Rnd 3
Ch 2, *2 Hdc in next st, Hdc in next st*. Repeat between * around Join with Sl St to beg Ch-2. (36)

Rnd 4
Ch 2, Hdc in next st, 2 Hdc in next st, *Hdc in the next 2 sts, 2 Hdc in next st*. Repeat between * around Join with Sl St to beg Ch-2. (48)

Rnd 5-13
Ch 2, Hdc in each st around. Join with Sl St to beg Ch-2. (48)

Ribbing Band:
Ch 2, *work front post double crochet (FP Dc) around next 2 Hdc stitches of prior row, then work back post double crochet (BP Dc) around next 2 Hdc of prior row*. Repeat by working 2 FP Dc then 2 BP Dc around except for last stitch (see tip below). Join with Sl St to top of Ch-2.

Tip: The Ch-2 at start of row is your first BP Dc so your row should end with a BP Dc before you join to the beg Ch-2. But if your stitch count doesn’t come out even, just work an extra BP Dc at end of row and join to the Ch-2. This way your next row will come out with even stitches and it really won’t be noticeable later.

Make sure you have 2 sets of FP […]

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Need a carrying case or sleeve for your laptop? Do you have a whole bunch of plastic bags that you’d like to recycle? Well you are in luck as here is a recycled plastic bag yarn (plarn) project for crocheting a laptop computer sleeve. This pattern uses up about 63 plastic retail sacks and creates a nice and sturdy carrying case for a laptop. The laptop shown is 15 inches wide by 10.5 inches and 1.5 inches deep.

As you can see the laptop fits in nicely and the holds the weigh just fine for carrying.

Should you have a larger or smaller laptop or tablet, just adjust the pattern by chaining additional stitches to start (or less) and crochet extra rounds to get the desired length you need. As always the free crochet pattern is found below.

Laptop Computer Sleeve Pattern

Materials needed:
Approx. 63 plastic grocery bags cut 1 inch wide

Here is my picture tutorial on how to make plarn from recycled plastic bags.

Hook: “K” (6.5 mm) crochet hook
Description: Recycled laptop computer sleeve
Sleeve case measures 16” wide and 12” long with 5” handles

Directions:
Using K hook, Ch 40.

Rnd 1
Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain st down to end. Work 2 Hdc in end st, then continue around other side of chain by working a Hdc in each st to other end then work 2 Hdc in end st.

Rnd 2 -5
Hdc in each st around to first end, work 2 Hdc in each of the three end sts, then Hdc in each st to other end, then work 2 Hdc in ea of the three end sts. Do not connect at end of rounds, just continue working Hdc’s in rounds as this creates a seamless bag.

Rnd 6 – 29
Continue working in rounds and crocheting 1 Hdc in each stitch around entire bag bottom. You will see that your bag begins to turn up from the bottom portion piece as you work up.
Sleeve is about 11 inches long at end of round 29.

Rnd 30
This is the round where you begin the handles. You want to mark the center 14 stitches at center front and back side of the bag for the handle openings. The center 14 stitch length is about 3.75 inches wide for the handle opening.

Start this round at the side edge of bag and crochet 1 Hdc in each stitch until you come to the mark of the 14 stitches of the center, Ch 15 and leave the 14 stitches un-worked for handle, then Hdc in remaining stitches and across other side to the 14 stitch center mark for handle opening for the other side.

Ch 15, leave the 14 stitches un-worked for handle opening on this side of bag to match the front side. Hdc in each stitch around until you reach side of bag. Check your work to make sure the back opening and handle matches the […]

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Happy New Year Everyone!

2018 was a great year for our crafting for Warmth for Warriors. As you may know, I head up the Warmth for Warriors group on Ravelry. Each year we knit and crochet warm, wool hats for our soldiers serving overseas and for soldiers and veterans here at home. We also make and collect small handmade Christmas stockings. The little stockings are stuffed by the Warmth for Warriors organization with small soaps, toiletries, and candies and shipped overseas to our troops as a little Christmas gifts.

We just received the final counts for last year on our hat and mini Christmas stocking drives. Warmth for Warriors received 3,295 wool hats and 877 acrylic hats in 2018 for a grand total of 4,172 hats. 3,746 hats were received in 2017.

As for the mini Christmas stocking drive the total number of stockings received in 2018 was 3,648! We blew out our achievement for 2017 which was 2,819 stockings.

Thank you all for your support of Warmth for Warriors for our troops.

We are just kicking off the 2019 charity crafting drives for Warmth for Warriors (W4W) this month. It’s never too early to start making hats and Christmas stockings for the troops. If you’d like to come and join us at our Ravelry group, we’d love to have more members as we have made a lofty goal of 4000 mini Christmas stockings in 2019. Let’s make 2019 a banner year for W4W crafting![…]

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