Wednesday, February 13, 2013 2 comments

Operation Christmas Child 2013 #4

I just came across these pictures on my computer and realized that I had never shared them. So here's the next installment in my quest to fill Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes this Christmas ...

A friend and I stopped in at Rite Aid the day they marked their Christmas items down to 75% off. All of these hair accessories were $0.25/package.

... And these ...

... And the ones at the bottom here. The headbands on top were from Michaels. I caught their clearance at 80% off, making these just $0.20 each. I took all that was left at that price. :)

Here are some more Rite Aid $0.25 items - puzzles and a Lego-style building set.

All of these were only $0.25 each - pencils, erasers, Winnie the Pooh figurines, and lacing/beading sets.

These flashlight sets were only $0.50 each! I'm sending a pack of batteries with each of these.

I know these aren't Hot Wheels or Matchbox brand, but I was able to pick these up for $0.50/box. I figured boys would enjoy cars, even if I got 12 for the regular price of 1. :)

Lastly, here are a few 75%-off items from Wal-Mart: plastic slinkies and shaped soaps.

I enjoy clearance shopping! I'm sure you would have never guessed. :)

Monday, February 11, 2013 1 comments

Zoe Bunny for Operation Christmas Child

How about a cute knit bunny for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes? She was actually my first knit toy for these boxes, but it took me a little while to get pictures of her.

She was much easier than I had feared! I envisioned all kinds of annoying seaming, but that was not the case. The only part requiring seaming is the ears. Admittedly, they're a bit fiddly, but not enough so to make me vow to never make another one.

For the tiny pieces started in the round (i.e. everything done in the round), I used Emily Ocker’s crocheted cast-on, which is pretty much the same thing as magic loop in crochet. I used a size “D” hook for this. You could also use Judy's Magic Cast-On, which I may do the next time I make one.

I wasn't planning to knit the dress, but after I assembled her, she looked very much in need of clothing. See, she's not really designed to look like a real bunny with her arms and legs the way they are. So she looked a bit ... bare. The dress was cute and quite easy, once I got the lace pattern memorized. You could easily substituted any lace pattern you wanted for the dress to make it go faster.

I already have another one knit, waiting to be assembled. You can find this free pattern on Ravelry: Zoe Bunny by Patons.
Friday, February 8, 2013 2 comments

A Different Knit Lamb for Operation Christmas Child

Here's another version of a lamb, and these are my favorite. I made this pattern in two sizes by simply varying the yarn and needle sizes. I followed the same instructions and used the same number of rows for both of them.

I made the bigger guy first. (Sorry that the color is a little off, but he is indeed off-white.) I used worsted weight yarn and size 5 needles for him. He turned out really cute, but I wanted something just a little bit smaller so I could fit more in the shoeboxes.

Then I made his "little brother" with sportweight yarn and size 3 needles. He's the perfect size!

For the larger lamb, I didn't attach the arms and legs according to the pattern (so that they rotate). I've always been a bit leery of this construction, fearing that the arms and legs would fall off easily. But after unsuccessfully trying to break this acrylic yarn with my hands, I'm pretty confident that these arms and legs aren't going anywhere. So I made the smaller one with "jointed" arms and legs. I like them better that way, and they're actually easier to attach.

This picture is a bit washed-out, but I just had to show you his cute little face. I used French knots with DMC floss for the eyes and simple embroidery (if you can call it that) with scrap yarn for the nose and mouth.

Believe it or not, this is also a free pattern: Fuzzy Mitten Lamb by Barbara Prime. After knitting this lamb a few times, I've put a few of her paid patterns on my wish list. They are very thorough and well-written, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to you.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 0 comments

Stuffed Lamb Toy for Operation Christmas Child

In the US, we are able to make toys for the Operation Christmas Child boxes (not so in the UK). As a result, I searched for some cute, small and free patterns to make some toys that are much nicer than I could buy at the store. The bonus is that most of the patterns I found can be made with scrap yarn, so it was also much cheaper than buying a storebought stuffed animal.

This is the first little lamb for the boxes.

Because of the way he's designed, you add a small bouncy ball near his back end to keep him from nose-diving all the time. It worked quite well!

I think I added the head a bit too far down. Next time I'll have to move it up closer to the shoulders so he doesn't look like a hunchback.

However, he did turn out cute and will make some child quite happy, I'm sure! He's also a perfect size for the boxes.

This pattern was a bit more fiddly than I would have preferred, only because of trying to sew on those little legs while the stuffing kept trying to escape. Other than that, it's pretty quick and easy.

You can find the free pattern on Ravelry: ASE's Little Lamb (Knit Version). There is also a crochet version available, but I don't think it's as cute. :)
Monday, February 4, 2013 1 comments

Puppy Hats for Charity

I was thrilled to discover this adorable hat pattern since my recent haul of yarn from the thrift store contained a lot of browns. This was my first one. For the next one, I decided not to use such a dark yarn for the eye “patch”. It makes it harder to see the eye on top of it.

Instead of using buttons, I crocheted the entire eye:

Row 1: With white, Magic Loop, ch 1, sc 8 into magic loop.
Row 2: Change to black, ch 1, 2 sc in each sc around.

After looking at these two hats, I realized what looked wrong about the ears. They look like donkey ears because I started anchoring them at Row 3, but I made them go across several rows instead of straight across Row 3 so that they flop downward to the sides. You can avoid my mistake. :)

You'll probably want this pattern, too. It's another free one from Ravelry: Crochet Puppy Hat Pattern by Sarah Zimmerman.
Friday, February 1, 2013 1 comments

Penguin Hats

This hat is adorable and super-easy. I love this designer’s patterns!

My son claimed this one before I was even finished, so I had to make another one for charity.

At first I thought my gauge was off because this one came out a little bit longer than I was expecting. After looking at it more closely, I think the problem is that I mistook the back for the front when I added the facial details. Oh well, he still loves it!

I made a second one for charity. This one is done in Hobby Lobby's I Love This! yarn and will most likely be going to a children's cancer ward for kids who lose their hair to chemo. I figured they would appreciate these cute hats even more than most kids.

You can find the pattern for free on Ravelry: Crochet Penguin Hat by Sarah Zimmerman.