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Berry Hat (Free Pattern)

Crafts February 7, 2018

Try Knitting This Berry Cute Hat For Baby

I have several friends who are either pregnant or have very small children. It’s that time in our lives when we’re settling down, having kids, and becoming families. It’s an exciting time, for them and as well as for those of us who will be helping out when the little one comes along.  I love gifting new parents with homemade presents for their darling babies, especially gifts that will grow with the child. I was looking for hat patterns the other day for a friend’s baby and I came across the cutest knitted berry hat.

Now, I’m not as well-versed in knitting as I am crochet, but I do have several friends that knit and if I needed help, they’d be more than willing to walk me through it. This pattern isn’t beginner friendly, but if you’ve spent some time working with fiber, you should be able to make this work for you.

You’ll need to know how to use circular needles (the bane of my existence), knit on double pointed needles, knit two strands together as well as use two colors, how to read a chart, and how to weave in ends. If you’re not exhausted by this point, my hat is off to you.

Of course, with this hat, you’ll want to use soft materials, in worsted weight yarn. Whatever sort of berry you’re making, real or imagined, be sure the colors for the leaves and fruit complement each other. You can try red and green for a strawberry or raspberry hat, a dark plum and green for a blackberry hat, or a bright orange and softer green for a more imaginative berry. There is also a note in the pattern that 100% cotton does not always wear well, and something mixed with wool will stretch and shape much better.

If you want to make a bigger hat, the pattern includes instructions for re-sizing in multiples of 8. You’ll only be using the knit stitch with this hat, and five stitches together should equal one inch, if you want to try the gauge before starting on the hat. Materials for the project are 16″ circulars (US7 and US8), 5 double pointed needles (size US8), a stitch marker, a yarn needle, scissors, a measuring tape, and of course, worsted weight yarn in whatever colors you prefer.

If this sounds like something you’d love to make for the little one in your life, whether you’re a family member or a friend (or the parent!), the written pattern, complete with chart, directions, and photos, is available as a free download from Michele Sabatier on Ravelry.

If you have not yet signed up for a free Ravelry account, I highly recommend joining. There are loads of free patterns as well as for-purchase patterns, and the search engine can be specialized to find exactly what you want for your next project. You can even store PDF patterns in your own personal library and keep track of what you want to make, what you have made, and how easy the patterns were. I love browsing the smaller patterns and working them up to bust my yarn stash.

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Make These Car Booties for Baby’s Next Road Trip

Crafts February 7, 2018

I remember my first road trip. I was four years old, and we were driving from South Carolina to Wyoming to spend the summer on a ranch. We were in a red Isuzu Trooper, and my little sister sat beside me in her carseat. Every time we stopped at a gas station, I got a new book to read, and by the time we arrived in Wyoming, I had the start of a small library.

I grew up on the road, traveling throughout the Southern states, heading West occasionally, and even had a few trips to Canada and throughout Europe. I’ve always loved traveling by car. I don’t drive (perhaps that’s the reason?) so I get comfy and read, or listen to music and daydream.

I wish, however, that I’d had a pair of these soft slippers for my feet while on the road. Car Booties are cute for travel as well as for those young vehicle enthusiasts who want to wear everything that proclaims them such. With soft yarn, some knitting needles, and a few hours, you can make these booties for the car lover in your life. I was the resident car lover in our family, taking cues from my mother’s side of the family, several of whom are mechanics. My brother, however, preferred tractors, and my sister preferred airplanes (if you have a kid or know a kid who likes other machines besides cars, there are patterns available for their preferences).

YouTuber Sevil Orgu has posted a video tutorial on how to make these car booties, but in the video they also show a chart for those of you who need to look at some instructions beforehand. If you’re new to charts, you may want to learn a bit more about how to read them before jumping into this project. I’d honestly recommend this pattern for more advanced knitters who have a background in reading charts and have spent a little time making up their own patterns.

However, if you’re up for a challenge, I think advanced beginners could get a kick out of this project. Just be sure that you know the measurements of the feet you’re making the booties for, check the gauge as you go along, and have someone on hand if you have a question or slip a stitch. The best place to go in those cases is the local fiber shop, as there’s always someone around that is willing to lend their expertise for the sheer joy of sharing a hobby.

All that aside, these booties are too cute to resist, and even though I haven’t used my knitting needles lately, I might just have to brush up on my stitches and make a pair for the car-crazy babies in my life. I can imagine these in cute pastels, bold colors, or to match their favorite car.

If this sounds like something right up your alley, you can find the video tutorial on YouTube, on the Sevil Orgu channel. You can follow them on Instagram, and browse through their other video tutorials, which include another car bootie pattern, converse sneaker booties, and a set including a sweater, hat, and shoes.

 

739 total views, 1 today

Warm Hedgehog Mittens (Free Pattern)

Crafts February 7, 2018

Burrow Into These Warm Hedgehog Mittens

There seems to be an explosion of animal wear. Not necessarily leopard print or zebra stripes, but I have seen a lot more outfits and accessories with imitation animals either attached or used in creative ways. I went looking for a glove pattern several weeks ago and somehow stumbled onto an animal pattern that I instantly loved. There’s something so cute about hedgehogs.

Back when I was in college, I had a professor who was allergic to most animals, so his children couldn’t have pets. They eventually decided to try getting a hedgehog, which they promptly named Twinkie. Turns out, he was allergic to hedgehogs too (can you imagine?!) and Twinkie went home with a student. Twinkie lived a long and happy life, just not at the professor’s home.

I wish I had seen this pattern at that time – I could have made him some hedgehog mittens as a joke. He is a master prankster and would have gotten a good laugh out of it. Of course, you don’t need a hedgehog or much knowledge of them to be drawn to them. They have a somewhat mysterious air about them, trundling along with sparkling eyes, sniffing out their next meal or curiously exploring the world around them. If you’ve ever read a Beatrix Potter book, you’ll know she was also fond of these creatures and even wrote a story around one, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.

If you or a friend or family member loves hedgehogs, this is the perfect gift. The free knitting pattern from Mom.me is child-sized, but if you’ve got small hands, or an online program that lets you convert patterns into larger sizes, you should be good to go. The pattern is mostly simple, with the trickiest part being the shaping of the thumbs. If you want to check your gauge before you start, grab a pair of size 8 knitting needles, some worsted or aran yarn, and knit using the stockinette stitch. 18 stitches and 24 rows later, your gauge piece should measure four inches.

To make your own pair of adorable hedgehog mittens, you’ll need to gather the following supplies: 2 balls of yarn (don’t feel like you have to stick to the earth tone light and dark browns. Your hedgehog can be any color, either all one color, ombre, or two bright colors. Experiment and don’t be afraid to reach for unique color combinations!), a small amount of black yarn for the eyes and noses, size 8 knitting needles, a tapestry needle or yarn needle, an embroidery needle, and a pair of scissors.

As knitting is only two stitches, knit and purl, there aren’t a lot of variations in this pattern. Even if you aren’t an old hat at knitting, you can try this out and, should you need it, look up tutorials on YouTube for help with the thumbs. Remember that you’re doing a right and left, so they should be opposites. You will be knitting flat and then sewing up the mittens once they’re complete. This will make it easier to embroidery the eyes and noses as well.

Intrigued? You can find the free pattern at Mom.me. The author also has a book of 35 creature-inspired accessory patterns, which is available on Amazon.

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Cat Socks (Free Crochet Pattern)

Crafts February 7, 2018

I’m Not Kitten You, These Cat Socks Are Tres Chic

Continuing with the animal accessory theme, today I’m delighted to present your new favorite pair of socks — they’re practically purrrrfect. These knitted socks are available as a free pattern from Ravelry member Geena Garcia, and she’s put a little twist on the pattern: instead of making the same sock twice, she has reversed the colors to make a yin-yang effect. The cats perfectly balance each other and you have a fun pair of socks to show off. Of course if you’d rather lose the yin-yang look, you can most definitely make the colors the same throughout each sock, but where’s the fun in that?

The pattern comes highly rated from other Ravelry members, and is on the easier side of knitting patterns, though you will need to be familiar with intarsia, short rows, and ribbing. If you’re an intermediate or advanced knitter, you should already be comfortable with these techniques, and if you’re an advanced beginner ready to take on a small challenge, you can refer to video tutorials on YouTube or ask a knitting friend for help through the tricky parts.

These kittens will fit small to medium feet, though if you’ve adjusted patterns in the past, it would be simple enough to make these for larger feet. The socks make a great gift for all the cat lovers in your life, including veterinarians, animal shelter volunteers, kids, or friends and family members fond of pop culture kitties like Garfield, Felix, or Heathcliff. You can change the colors to accommodate these fans, maybe adding in some black and orange variegated yarn for Garfield and Heathcliff. You could also model these socks and the recipient’s favorite furbaby, which would make this the ultimate meaningful gift.

To make your own pair of these cute-as-kittens socks, you’ll need to gather the following: 250 yards of fingering weight (14 wpi) yarn (Geena Garcia used Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat for her socks), US size #1 knitting needles, and a pair of scissors. You’ll need to check your gauge before beginning, as these socks need to fit without falling off of your recipient. You can check the gauge by knitting 32 stitches over 40 rows. The square should equal 4 inches.

The free pattern comes as a PDF download from Ravelry, which you can save to your computer, print out, or store in your Ravelry library if you’ve already got an account. You can also follow Geena and see what other patterns she has available. The PDF comes with a list of materials needed, a note about the gauge, written instructions, and a graph for the kitten part of the socks.

The end result? The cat’s meow in stockings. You can show them off by themselves or with a cute pair of Mary Janes. You can also wrap them in animal print to present to a friend, or you can simply curl up on the couch and enjoy them all by yourself (or with your favorite kitty on your lap).

If this makes it on your to-do list, you can save the free PDF pattern from Geena Garcia by visiting Ravelry and downloading or printing the pattern. And if you don’t have an account on Ravelry, join for free and browse thousands of free patterns immediately.

2307 total views, 1 today

Crochet Hat (Free Pattern)

Crafts February 7, 2018

This Fair Isle Hat Is No Slouch

The first time I became aware of the Fair Isle pattern, I was probably about nine or ten years old. My mother’s friend spun and dyed her own wool, she had a giant loom, a spindle, and several Angora rabbits. She presented my mother with the softest, coziest, most beautiful winter hat I’d ever seen. It was grey and white, all spun from Angora rabbit fur (despite what some people think, Angora rabbits are not killed for their fur. They shed it and the shedding is spun into yarn). We still have it and every now and then I like to touch it and marvel at how soft it is, so soft you can barely feel it.

Of course, not many of us have access to (or the finances for) such fine yarn, but the Fair Isle isn’t just for homespun yarn. You can use any worsted or Aran weight yarn for this hat, and if you’re new to Fair Isle, this is a great place to start because it doesn’t cover the whole hat — just a small portion. You can use up some yarn remnants while you’re at it, whether you decide to go with two colors, three colors, or more.

The free pattern from Destashification also comes with several pointers on how to make your first Fair Isle project without pulling your hair out. If you prefer video instructions over written, you can find plenty of help on YouTube, or even by visiting your local fiber shop. I guarantee someone there will know how to do Fair Isle, and if they don’t, they’ll know someone who will.

A note about yarn weight: if you’re going to use worsted weight or Aran yarn, you’ll need to use US size #7 knitting needles. However, if you’d prefer to work the hat up in DK yarn, you can do so by going down two sizes and using a pair of US size #5 knitting needles. Using DK will require some more stitching and rows, but if you prefer it, it’s worth a little extra time. Another perk of using DK yarn is that you will not have to increase in Row 16. You will need to be aware of how tight your stitches are, as this will affect the hat’s ability to stretch when someone wants to wear it.

The free pattern also comes with photos, and more importantly, graphs. One square of the graph represents one stitch, so my advice is to print out the graph (doesn’t have to be in color as long as you are sure of which colors you’re using where), and as you go, mark off the stitches you’ve made. This will prevent you from losing a stitch and having to go back and figure out where it went wrong.

This hat would make a great Christmas gift or fall/winter birthday gift, with or without an accompanying scarf or pair of boot cuffs, gloves, or mittens. You can use the recipient’s favorite colors, add embellishments such as buttons, and customize it to you or your recipient’s liking.

Interested in adding this Fair Isle Slouch Hat to your collection? You can find the free pattern over at Destashification.

 

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Use A Simple Square To Make This Adorable Knitted Bunny (pattern)

Crafts January 2, 2018

Use A Simple Square To Make This Adorable Knitted Bunny (pattern)

Though we may not realize it, there is a lot of rabbit imagery in North American and European culture. Individual bunnies like Thumper from Bambi, Peter Rabbit, The Velveteen Rabbit, Rabbit from Winnie The Pooh, The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, Judy Hopps from the film Zootopia, and the Easter Bunny make frequent appearances, but we also have things like the hare in the moon, sayings regarding rabbits, and Spain’s name, which came from travelers to Spain, who used the word “Hispania”, meaning, “Land of Rabbits”.

With all this rabbit imagery, it’s no wonder we’re so fond of the fluffy creatures. Many of us have had them as pets, enjoying their company and laughing at their antics. When you aren’t able to have live rabbits around, however, the next best thing is to make a plushie — which is where this beginner-friendly knitting pattern from Gina Michele comes in to play.

If you’ve been thinking about making your first plushie, this is a great project to start with because all you’re knitting is a simple square. It doesn’t take long, you can use any color you want, and the end result is always adorable. The free pattern also comes with several pictures to illustrate the process, a bonus for those of us who lean more toward learning with visuals.

To make your own soft, sweet bunny, gather the following materials: Size 13 knitting needles, yarn (the pattern recommends using Lion Brand’s Wool Ease Thick & Quick in a brown shade, though of course you could use grey, white, or black as well), a yarn needle, scissors, fiber fill, and either a ready-made pom pom or the materials to make your own (there is a tutorial for using a pom-pom maker if you’d rather go that way).

Once you’ve settled on a yarn color, be sure and pick complimentary colors for the eyes and nose, such as black and pink. Of course, you don’t have to stick with “normal” colors for the bunny – you can use variegated yarn, pastel colors, or bold tones if you’d prefer.

Gauge isn’t as important in this pattern, so don’t feel like you have to check your gauge prior to beginning. The only thing that needs to be done is to make sure the knit is tight enough that the fiber fill won’t poke out of the body and head. The square is knitted with 24 stitches by 24 rows, using the stockinette stitch, which means you will need to be able to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. These should all be familiar to every level of knitter.

After the square is done, there is a bit of sewing to do to shape the rabbit. The head is stuffed first, then the body, and once it is all sewn up, the pom pom can be attached as the tail. After that, you can embroider in the eyes and nose, or leave the face blank.

And there you are! A pretty little rabbit ready to make friends and cuddle. If you’d like to try out this easy beginner plushie pattern, you can find it at Gina Michele

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This Knit Hooded Cowl Is Perfect For A Walk In The Woods (Free Patterns)

Crafts January 1, 2018

This Knit Hooded Cowl Is Perfect For A Walk In The Woods (Free Patterns)

Do you ever feel a yearning to explore the woods at dusk? Or a desire to see the sunrise peeping through the trees? If you live anywhere near nature or enjoy taking vacations to spend time in nature, you know how lovely it can be, but also how the temperature fluctuates, how many bugs there are at certain times of the year, and just how many thorns can find your sensitive skin.

That’s why I love clothing items like this hooded cowl – it provides protection, can be removed easily, and allows one to daydream about being an elf or dwarf exploring uncharted territory. It’s a great item to have if you’re a re-enactor or a cosplayer, as it would complement a wide range of characters (depending on the color and styling of course).

If you’re looking for a simple knitted pattern, then Balls To The Wall Knits has the perfect one available for free on their website. To make your own knitted hooded cowl, you’ll need to gather the following supplies: One 16″ size 9 circular knitting needle, a set of 9 double pointed needles, a tapestry needle, scissors, a stitch marker or two, and three skeins of yarn. The pattern, which comes in sizes Small, Medium, and Large, recommends using an alpaca mix such as Lana Grossa Alta Moda. You can use about any worsted weight yarn, however. Just be sure that you have enough — though it takes just about two skeins depending on size, you don’t want to run out of yarn for the last few rows. Buy three just to be safe and maybe add some edging if you’re feeling fancy. You can also use buttons and ribbon to dress up your hood if you like.

Be sure and check your gauge beforehand, because the last thing you want is an accidental facelift when trying to squeeze the cowl around your face, or to have a hood that’s far too big and makes you look like you’re on the way to the executioner. To check your gauge, knit 18 stitches using the stockinette stitch and then measure it. It should be around four inches.

If you know how to cast, knit, knit two together, purl, wrap and turn, bind off, and do short rows, you’re all set to recreate this pattern for yourself. If you don’t know how to do one or more of these stitches, it’s worth looking up a tutorial and practicing until you’re comfortable so you don’t have to undo your project over and over again. (Most knitters, even beginner knitters, should know how to cast, knit, purl, and bind off, as these are standard stitches for every project)

Whether you’re making a hood for cosplay purposes or to take along on your next camping trip, the end result is stylish, comfortable, and just a little mysterious. Earth tones work well, but don’t be afraid to mix it up and go for a brighter color, like the yellow used for the hooded cloak in The Village.

Want to make this Friend Of The Forest Knitted Hooded Cowl? You can find all three pattern sizes (all free) with pictures and a materials list on the Balls To The Walls Knits website.

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For This Ice Cream Snuggle Sack (free pattern)

Crafts December 8, 2017

I’m lactose intolerant, so I don’t typically eat ice cream. That does not stop me, however, from enjoying all the adorable ice cream paraphernalia that abounds in the crafting community. Recently I was looking for a blanket pattern and stumbled across the cutest blanket ever — the ice cream snuggle sack from Bernat. Bonus, it was a free pattern so I downloaded it and looked it over.

While it is rated an “Intermediate pattern”, the only stitches you need to know are chain (ch), double crochet (dc), double crochet front post (dcfp), half double crochet (hdc), single crochet (sc), and slip stitch (sl st), which means that the stitches should be accessible to any level of crocheter. I think the reason it is labeled “Intermediate” is because it is such a huge project, and there are some tricky sections when switching colors for the ice creams.

That being said, if you are a beginner looking for a new challenge, you might find this one enjoyable, and the payoff is at the end you have a snuggly, cozy ice cream blanket that everybody will be screaming about. You can make it whatever colors you want, whether you prefer a sugar cone, waffle cone, or dipped cone; whether you like strawberry and vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan, or mint chocolate chip. Get creative about which flavors and toppings you love and add them to show off your preferences. You can even put a cherry on top. You can also add accessories to make it more “3-D”, such as buttons, lace, rickrack, ribbon, or beads.

The original pattern says it fits children 4-8, but it would also make a great lap blanket if you wanted to go that route. It would make a perfect gift for the ice cream and dessert lovers in your life, whether that’s a sibling, cousin, parent, or child. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it for yourself.

Take make one ice cream snuggle sack, you’ll need 16 skeins of yarn — 4 for the cone, and 6 each for the scoops. The pattern recommends using Bernat’s Baby Blanket yarn, along with a size “L” crochet hook and 3 stitch markers. You’ll also need a good pair of scissors and tapestry needle weave in the ends.

Be sure and read through the pattern beforehand — when I make the mistake of glancing over it and thinking that I’ve got everything in order, that’s when I mess up. I now tend to read the pattern fully first, then make note of whatever stitches I need to brush up on, go watch a few videos, and then gather the materials I’ll need for the project. That way I don’t get aggravated, and slowing down means I’ll make fewer mistakes.

Do you want more ice cream in your life without the brain freeze? Want to make someone’s naptime a bit sweeter? Then the Ice Cream Snuggle Sack might be just the thing. You can find the free pattern, along with some photos, on Bernat’s website. There are lots of free patterns there to inspire you and I recommend bookmarking the site or signing up for their newsletter if you want easy access to their library.

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Use This Tiny Felt Home To House A Few Of Your Favorite Things

Crafts December 8, 2017

I’ve been interested in felt for a long time, but never tried working with it until very recently, when I found this incredibly adorable tiny felt house pattern from Delilah Iris Designs. It was small enough that I didn’t feel intimidated, and cheap enough that I felt I could afford to make mistakes without feeling too badly about it. While I already had notions such as lace, thread, and buttons, I did purchase several pieces of felt for about two or three dollars. Ten pieces of felt will allow you to make several of these tiny houses, which means this craft is thrifty, and if people like your work, you can sell the houses (as long as you credit the designer) and make a nice profit.

Though the original intention for the tiny felt home was to house the felt dolls from Delilah Iris Design’s line (a for purchase pattern available on her site), I found a variety of uses for it, including as a storage area for tea, business cards or recipe cards, and sewing notions. Of course, if you’d like to house little creatures but don’t want to buy the felt doll pattern, you can also use it as a home for Calico Critters and other 3-4″ toys.

To make your own tiny felt home, you’ll need the following materials: felt (2-3 pieces, which can be different colors if you want or simply one color), scissors, an embroidery needle, embroidery thread, lace, and a button. You can also add foam cutouts, ribbon, beads, and Sculpey clay to make your house unique.

I used felt in three different colors — one color for the back of the house, the front, and the door, one color for the sides and bottom of the house, and one for the roof. I cut out an oval shape for the window in the door, and added lace above it. I also included a button doorknob with a ribbon loop to keep it closed.

You will need to know the blind stitch, the running stitch, and the blanket stitch to sew the house together. I learned the blanket stitch to do this project, but the other two I was already familiar with. You’ll want to refresh your memory (or get some practice with any new stitches) before beginning because there are some fiddly bits, such as when you are joining the front of the house (the smallest piece) to the sides and the roof.

Cutting out the pattern doesn’t take very long at all, but depending on how fast a sewer you are, putting the house together can take anywhere between a few hours to an afternoon. I did cheat a little and sewed some of it using my sewing machine, but I wouldn’t recommend it as the felt can stretch and then the pattern pieces won’t match. Despite the few little mistakes I made during the first house, this has quickly become a new favorite craft of mine. I made a second house yesterday and used netting and ricrac to spruce it up.

If you’d like to make your own tiny felt house, you can find the free pattern at Delilah Iris Designs

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Make A New Friend With This Free Narwhal Plush Pattern

Crafts December 8, 2017

Lately I’ve been amassing a bunch of free patterns for plushies (or stuffies, as the Canadians say). While I’ve not gone beyond dolls quite yet, I’ve found some easy, beginner plushie patterns that I’d like to use to make gifts for friends and their kids (and who am I kidding — myself as well. I adore plushies). There is one particular pattern maker that I adore because of their simple designs, excellent written tutorials (with several pictures to illustrate), and adorable creations. Choly Knight (or Sew Desu Ne? on DeviantArt) has several free patterns for plushies that include projects for the beginner who has never made a plushie before to those advanced enough to try something a little more ambitious.

I’m particularly fond of the Narwhal Plush, which is rated 2/10 for beginners who have little to no experience constructing stuffed animals. It’s one of the easiest to make and will not take more than a few hours. If you like you can leave the horn off the Narwhal and make it a whale, or you can make it and then make it a buddy with Choly Knight’s free dolphin plushie pattern.

If you’re going to make your own unicorn of the sea, you’ll need the following materials: fabric in two colors (the pattern suggests using slightly stretchy fabrics like fleece or minky, as felt and cotton will not stretch and will make the wrong shape), felt for the eyes, fusible web, sewing notions (scissors, thread, needle, seam ripper, pins, etc.), and a sewing machine. You’ll also need to be familiar with the gathering stitch, the ladder stitch, basting, and sewing darts. If you’re unfamiliar with the ladder stitch, it’s the stitch used by employees at Build-A-Bear to sew up the back of their plushies. Once the string is pulled tight, the seam is pulled close and the thread disappears.

The free PDF comes with the pattern (the pieces appear on the last two pages), so I would suggest either printing the pattern pieces out or putting the whole thing in a sewing notebook for reference and later uses. The trickiest parts according to the tutorial are placing the fins and sewing the smaller pieces together. As long as you take things one step a a time and go as slowly as you need to in order to avoid rushing, you will be able to craft an adorable little pocket friend for yourself and your nearest and dearest.

Do you hear the call of the sea? Do you delight in whimsical creations? Then this little narwhal might be the perfect companion for you. You can try out different fabrics and even add buttons, ribbon, and lace to make it a little more fancy (you can use buttons for eyes which will cut down on the assembly time, and you can add a little lace or ribbon bow to the narwhal to make it feel extra special).

If you’d like to make your own pocket narwhal, you can find the free PDF pattern and photo tutorial on Choly Knight’s website, Sew Desu Ne? Be sure to check out her other free patterns as well as her Etsy shop.

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