Monday, 19 June 2017

Teddy Turtle

I started working on another Daisy Doll over two weeks ago. I planned to add pink petals. Daisy Doll was almost done before I realized this doll could not be a Daisy Doll. This doll was destined to be different. 

This doll sat unfinished for a couple days until its true identity finally came to me. I set to work making the necessary alterations to create a totally new crochet critter.

Allow me to introduce Teddy Turtle. Isn't he adorable?

Teddy Turtle was happy to show off his shell from every angle as he twirled and posed for the camera... such a handsome little fellow.
Teddy Turtle was excited to join the rest of the gang in the basket. 
To make Teddy Turtle, I followed my Sunflower Doll pattern, but instead of adding hood trim and petals, I made a turtle shell for his back. I love how such a simple change makes a completely different crochet critter.

For Teddy Turtle's shell, I followed this free pattern by blogger Sharon Ojala at Amigurumi to Go just increasing the size to fit Teddy. 

What should I make next ... possibly another lamb or perhaps a bear? Whatever I decide, I'll be sure to share when I finish.

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Biddulph '77 Grade 8 Grads Reunion

It has been 40 years since we graduated from Biddulph Public School near Lucan. Three years ago, we attended a reunion at Teresa and Jeff's place. If you missed it, I wrote all about that event here.  Everybody had such a good time, it was decided we should try to get together every couple of years. Tentative plans were made for a gathering in 2016, but then it was decided to wait until 2017 to make it a 40th Anniversary celebration. 

Rob and Sandi offered to host, word went out to mark our calendars and hold the date. It was planned for June 10th, 2017 starting around 3 p.m. 

The 40th Anniversary of Biddulph '77 Grade 8 Grads Reunion took place this past Saturday. With a flurry of last minute cancellations, our class photo was smaller ... almost half the number from three years ago. We would have enjoyed seeing all those who could not make it, but were happy to see everybody who did. 

The party was a success. Like last time, we thoroughly enjoyed a good time spent with old friends. The venue, food and, most of all, the camaraderie were truly outstanding. A huge thanks to Sandi and Rob for hosting and to Ferlin for helping organize and sharing his fabulous photos.
Back: Mrs. Garrett (teacher gr 1), Joanne, Laura, Beth, Kathy, Ethel-Lori, Heather, Diane, Barbara, Sherry
Front: Rob (host), Gord, Tracy, Ferlin
We were so busy socializing, we didn't think to stop for photos until after dinner. Eric and his wife Annette left shortly after eating to babysit their adorable granddaughter, so missed the photo shoot (sorry Eric). 

Mrs. Garrett taught grade one at Biddulph all those years ago. We thought she should stand at the end "where teachers stand" ... perfect.
Diane and her Mom share a laugh with Kathy
I moved to Lucan and started at Biddulph in grade 5, so never had Mrs. Garrett as a teacher. I enjoyed chatting about her upcoming travel plans to Iceland... such a nice lady. I imagine she was a fun teacher too.
Diane and her Mom (gr 1 teacher from Biddulph)
When I moved to Lucan in 1973, I made friends with the neighbourhood kids ... so many happy memories from those years.
Part of Langford Drive 'gang' - Laura, Ethel, Ferlin, Beth
My husband lived in Ilderton and did not go to Biddulph, but we both went to the same high school. Fun Fact - Although we went to the same high school, we're not "High School Sweethearts" because we did not know each other or spend time together until he asked me out on the very last day of classes in grade 13. Timing really is everything.
Beth and Lee
Laura was one of my best friends through grade school and high school. We share many happy memories together. Fun fact - Laura went back to school and became a teacher eleven years ago. She loves teaching.
Brad and Laura
Thanks again to Sandi and Rob for hosting. They have a lovely home and perfect backyard for parties. 

Fun Fact - You can see Ferlin and Julie's house from Rob and Sandi's back yard. They were pleasantly surprised to discover they were moving on the same day into the same neighbourhood quite a few years ago now. 
Sandi (host), Julie (Ferlin's wife) and Ethel
Tracy and I both started at Biddulph in grade 5. I have always loved her laugh and bubbly personality ... so much fun. 

Fun Fact - When we were in school, Tracy and her family lived on the same property where the Black Donnellys lived and tragically died.
Cheers Tracy!
Getting a shot of us 'girls'
Us 'girls' - Laura, Joanne, Tracy, Beth
As it got dark and started to cool down (just slightly), a fire was lit adding to the backyard party ambiance... ahhh a perfectly wonderful evening. 
My husband likes to enjoy a Cuban cigar once in a while. In all these years, I have never tried one ... not even a puff. 

I sent this photo to my kids. My son said "Congrats on the cigar". My daughter said "Why?" My answer - "Because I'd never done it and to see what it was like of course.Thanks Ferlin for capturing this little bit of 'wild-and-crazy-for-me" moment.

* * * * *
To respect the privacy of my friends, I have used first names only. Biddulph '77 Grads are welcome to share this post and these photos with family and friends.

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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Road Trip Champions

Our son and his girlfriend drove from Guelph to Boulder (2,400 km) all in one go. They drove through the night arriving in time for a late dinner less than 24 hours later. They sent us this picture at the end of their road trip yesterday ... still smiling. They are truly Road Trip Champions.
Having done this drive twice ourselves with stops to sleep, we were impressed with their stamina. They left Guelph after our son's class getting to London by 11 p.m. By the time they switched vehicles, loaded their route in the Garmin and were ready to go, it was 11:30 p.m. They planned to drive through the night only resting if absolutely necessary. They promised to send us updates through G+ group chat when they stopped. As we waved goodbye, I tried not to worry. 

We got this message just before lunch "Still alive ... Somewhere in Northern California ... See you tomorrow". Our son likes to tease. As my husband reasoned, all must be well if he is joking. 

Four hours later, we got this message "I slept for an hour while Jules drove then I took over again. Were almost at Riverside now, whats your address?" Still joking, but obviously "still alive". 

My response "stop that - where are you really - must be past Lincoln by now. how's the traffic? course like your dad said - you must be doing fine if you're making jokes". 

His response "Lexington. No traffic, we chose a good time to go. Michigan was f**ked up in so many ways, cant imagine doing it in traffic."

They arrived at 9 p.m. (7 p.m. Boulder time) and sent this message "Were on your porch and I'm gonna pee on your chickens". Ha, ha - nobody was home as they had gone out for dinner and to get pizza for their guests.

My reply "Yay you made it ... stellar time. u2 are just a bit crazy and probably A LOT tired."

My husband added "world record".

Then I wrote "Have fun and get some rest you crazy kids."

Our daughter arrived home a few minutes later and sent a photo along with this message "They also found two baby deer and a mama deer in our front yard. We haven't seen tiny babies before." 
Our granddaughter was happy to introduce her chickens to her Uncle. 

It looks like they will have a fabulous week in Boulder hanging out and visiting local attractions. I hope to hear all about it when they get back.

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Friday, 2 June 2017

Lucky Lamb

I have made another lamb aptly named Lucky. "Lucky" that I was able to find and combine an assortment of chunky yarns from my stash to make him look adorable. Lucky Lamb loved posing for these photos.

Luckily I was able to make his face, ears, arms and legs from the same yarn, but if you look closely, you can see three different yarns were used for his head and body. It's a mish-mash that works.
My first Little Lamb was made using the yarn on the left in the photo above. Lucky Lamb was made using chunky wool like the yarn on the right. I followed the same pattern for both lambs but added a few more rows to the arms and legs to make Lucky look more balanced.
Lucky Lamb and Little Lamb enjoyed spending time in our garden before heading inside to hang with the gang in the big white basket. Lucky really is quite a big little lamb. He towers over the Little Lamb for Liam.
If you would like to make a Little Lamb too, you can find the free pattern here. This pattern is so cute, I might have to crochet a whole flock. 

In the meantime, I continue to crochet using yarn from my stash. I am currently working on another Daisy Doll. My last one went to live with a baby girl named Isabel Anne. I think I'll add pink petals this time. As always, I will be sure to share photos once I finish. 

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Thursday, 1 June 2017

Buster Bear

Buster (short for Stash-Buster) Bear was made using a leftover ball of light brown chunky yarn. I have no idea what kind of yarn because it came from a friend who gave me his deceased mother's stash earlier this year. 

I also have no idea how much yarn exactly. I started with one big ball of hand-wound yarn finishing with only a short strand leftover ... so lucky.
Buster Bear was happy to pose for photos. Isn't he a sweet little bear?
Boo Bear is soft and cuddly while Buster Bear is sturdier on his feet. Boo Bear and Buster Bear get along famously despite their differences. 

Buster Bear was made following my pattern for Boo Bear with extensive alterations to allow for chunky weight yarn making up the hood, arms, legs and body combined with worsted weight yarn for the head. You can read about the controversy over Boo Bear's pattern here if you missed it.

Buster Bear is different enough from Boo Bear that I think it totally fair to share his pattern. If you look closely, you can clearly see the difference in stitch sizes. My yarn was really quite thick, unfortunately, I do not know exactly how thick. If you choose a different weight yarn, you can use this pattern as more of a guideline making alterations as required.



Materials used:
1 ball of worsted weight yarn in cream colour (from stash)
1 ball of chunky weight yarn in brown colour (from stash)
Hook size = 3.25 mm + 4.0 mm
yarn needles to join pieces
Polyester Fiberfill for stuffing
Small amount of black yarn (for eyes)

Stitches used:
ch - chain stitch
ss - slip stitch
sc - single crochet
inc - sc increase
dec - sc decrease (sc2tog - single crochet 2 together)
Magic Circle - see how here (start each piece with magic circle)

Time to Complete - 14 hours (approximately)
Finished size - 14 inches tall

Legs (x2)
Use brown chunky yarn and 4.0 mm hook. Working from the bottom up, starting with a magic circle, use stitch marker to mark end of rows (work in continuous rounds with no joining)
R1 - 6 sc (6)
R2 - inc x6 (12)
R3 - (sc inc) x6 (18)
R4 - (2 sc inc) x6 (24)
R5-R6 - sc around (24)
R7 - sc2tog x4 + 16 sc (20)
R8 - sc2tog x4 + 12 sc (16)
R9-R16 - sc around (16)
R17 - (3 sc inc) x4 (20)
R18-R20 - sc around (20)
R21 - (4 sc inc) x4 (24)
R22 - sc around (24) Finish off and stuff leg.

Join legs on middle 2 stitches as shown in this tutorial. The instructions are in German but the video alone is enough to understand the technique. Once the legs are joined continue crocheting around both legs to form the body.

R23 - sc around (50)
R24 - sc around (50)
R25 - (5 sc inc) x 7 + 7 sc (55)
R26 - sc around (55)
R27 - sc around (55)
R28 - sc around (55)
R29 - sc around (55)
R30 - (9 sc dec) x5 (50)
R31 - sc around (50)
R32 - (8 sc dec) x5 (45)
R33 - sc around (45)
R34 - (dec 7 sc) x5 (40)
R35 - sc around (40)
R36 - (dec 6 sc) x5 (35)
R37 - sc around (35) 
R38 - (dec 5 sc) x5 (30)
R39 - sc around (30)
R40 - sc around (30)
R41 - sc around (30)
R42 - sc around (30)
R43 - sc around (30)
R44 - sc around (30)
R45 - sc around (30)
R46 - sc around (30)
R47 - sc around (30)
R48 - dec 2x on each hip (26)
R49 - sc around (26)
R50 - dec 1x on each hip (24)
R51 - sc around (24)
R52 - dec 2x on each side (20)
R53 - sc around (20)
R54 - dec 2x on each side (16)
R55 - sc around (16)
Finish off and cut yarn leaving a long tail to attach the head. Stuff body firmly.

Arms (x2)
Start with cream worsted weight yarn and 3.25 mm hook
R1 - 6 sc (6)
R2 - inc x6 (12)
R3 - (sc inc) x6 (18)
R4 - sc around (18)
R5 - (4 sc dec) x3 (15)
R6 - sc around (15)
R7 - (3 sc dec) x 3 (12)
Change to dark brown yarn at end of R7
R8 - sc around (12)
R9 - (4 sc dec) x 2 (10)
R10-R34 - sc around (10)
Finish off and cut yarn leaving a long tail for joining. Stuff only hands and part way up arm.

Use cream worsted weight yarn and 3.25 mm hook.
R1 - 6 sc (6)
R2 - inc x6 (12)
R3 - (sc inc) x6 (18)
R4 - (2 sc inc) x6 (24)
R5 - (3 sc inc) x6 (30)
R6 - (4 sc inc) x6 (36)
R7 - (5 sc inc) x6 (42)
R8 - (6 sc inc) x6 (48)
R9 - (7 sc inc) x6 (54)
R10 - (8 sc inc) x6 (60)
R11 - sc around (60)
R12 - sc around (60)
R13 - sc around (60)
R14 - sc around (60)
R15 - sc around (60)
R16 - sc around (60)
R17 - sc around (60)
R18 - sc around (60)
R19 - sc around (60)
R20 - sc around (60)
R21 - (8 sc dec) x6 (54)
R22 - sc around (54)
R23 - (7 sc dec) x6 (48)
R24 - (6 sc dec) x6 (42)
R25 - (5 sc dec) x6 (36)
R26 - (4 sc dec) x6 (30)
R27 - (3 sc dec) x6 (24)
R28 - (2 sc dec) x6 (18)
R29 - (2 sc dec) x3 + 6 sc (15)
R30 - sc around (15)
R31 - sc around (15)
Finish off and cut yarn leaving a long tail for joining. Stuff head and neck firmly to hold shape.

Use brown chunky yarn and 4.0 mm hook. Check to make sure hood fits. You may have to adjust increases or decreases depending on your yarn thickness.
R1 - 6 sc (6)
R2 - inc x6 (12)
R3 - (sc inc) x6 (18)
R4 - (2 sc inc) x6 (24)
R5 - (3 sc inc) x6 (30)
R6 - (4 sc inc) x6 (36)
R7 - (5 sc inc) x6 (42)
R8 - (6 sc inc) x6 (48)
R9 - (7 sc inc) x6 (54)
R10 - sc around (54)
R11 - sc around (54)
R12 - (7 sc dec) x6 (48)
R13 - sc around (48)
R14 - sc around (48)
R15 - sc around (48)
R16 - sc around (48)
R17 - sc around (48)
R18 - sc around (48)
R19 - sc around (48)
R20 - (6 sc dec) x6 (42)
R21 - ss loosely around (42)
Finish off and cut yarn leaving a long tail for joining. Position on head as shown in photos above. After attaching head to body, I like to wrap the tail from the hood around the neck to cover joining stitches.

Ears (x2)
Use brown chunky yarn and 4.0 mm hook.
R1 - 6 sc (6)
R2 - inc x6 (12)
R3 - (sc inc) x6 (18)
R4 - (2 sc inc) x6 (24)
R5-7 - sc around (24)
Finish off leaving 8" tail for joining.
Fold ear in half to form a natural curve and attach to head (see photo above).

Use brown chunky yarn and 4.0 mm hook.
R1 - 6 sc (6)
R2 - inc x6 (12)
R3-4 - sc around (12)
Finish off leaving 6" tail for joining.
I just stuffed starting yarn end into tail so it is only lightly stuffed then attached to form a neat little ball on his backside (see photo above).

Refer to photos of Buster Bear before joining ears, head, arms and tail. I like to pin the pieces in place to pick the most pleasing look before attaching. 

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