Christmas Pickle – a free crochet pattern

Stacey loves eating pickles, and is a Christmas Pickle Collector – so it’s no surprise that she designed a pattern for a crocheted Christmas Pickle! We’ve updated it here with some new tutorial links.

The skills you’ll need for just about any amigurumi are. . .

This project uses a couple of extra skills, but don’t worry. They’re easy, and we have video tutorials showing how!

You can go through all those posts now, or just hop to them as you get to those points in the pattern – whatever works best for you!

Yarn

This pattern can be used with any weight yarn. If you use worsted weight yarn, your pickle will be about 5 1/2 inches long.

Materials

Gauge Notes

This pattern doesn’t specify a gauge. It’s a stuffed pickle, and you don’t need to be too picky about exact sizing. The most important thing is that you use a hook size that creates a nice looking fabric for your yarn. If you use the recommended hook size, and your fabric looks very loose (so that stuffing would show through), then you will want to use a smaller hook. Other than that, no measuring required!

Stitch into the Back

All stitches in this pattern (that are worked in the round) are worked through the back loop only, unless otherwise directed. Look at this picture.

Stitching in the Back Loop

See how one loop is highlighted in black? This is the back loop, and it’s what you’ll stitch into. Stitching into the back loop creates ridges on the right side of the piece.

Want to see crocheting through the back loop in action? Check out this blog post. It talks all about why Stacey crochets through the back loop and even has a handy dandy video showing how to find that loop. 

Abbreviations

  • ch: chain
  • sc: single crochet
  • hdc: half double crochet
  • bbl: bobble stitch
  • sc2tog: single crochet 2 stitches together
  • st(s): stitch(es)

Ready? Let’s jump in!

Ch 2 (I like to start with a sloppy slip knot. This video shows how. And this video shows how to chain.)

Round 1 sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook (6) This post will help you find that second chain from the hook.

Round 2 sc twice in next st (12) This video will help you if you find it tricky to start the second round.

Round 3 [sc twice in next st, sc in next st.] 6 times (18)

Round 4 sc in each st. (18)

Round 5 [bbl in next st, sc in next 5 sts.] 2 times (18)

Round 6 sc in each st. (18)

Round 7 [sc in next 4 sts, bbl in next st, sc in next st] 2 times (18)

Rounds 8-11 Repeat rounds 4-7.

Round 12 sl st in next 6 sts, sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next 6 sts, sc in next 3 sts. (18)

This video shows how to slip stitch – it’s what gives your pickle that classic bend in the middle. And this video shows how to half double crochet. These slightly taller stitches are what give your pickle room on the back to make that bend.

Round 13 sl st in next 6 sts, [bbl in next st, sc in next 5 sts] 2 times (18)

This video shows how to bobble stitch.

Round 14 sl st in next 6 sts, sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next 6 sts, sc in next 3 sts. (18)

Round 15 sl st in next 6 sts, [sc in next 4 sts, bbl in next st] 2 times (18)

Rounds 16-23 Repeat rounds 4-7, twice.

Lightly stuff your pickle.

Round 24 [sc2tog, sc in next st.] 6 times (12)

Round 25 [sc2tog] 6 times (6)

Add a bit more stuffing if needed and close up the top using your favorite method. I like the drawstring method – there’s a video here showing how. And here’s a video showing how to fasten off.

Bury the tail. Tie a ribbon to the top for hanging.

Congratulations! You have an adorable Christmas Pickle ornament!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Jack the Tiny Pumpkin – free crochet pattern

Make an adorable tiny pumpkin to celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving!

It would also be adorable stitched up in red to be a cherry. 🙂

Here’s how to make it!

The skills you’ll need for just about any amigurumi are. . .

You can go through all those posts now, or just hop to them as you get to those points in the pattern – whatever works best for you!

Yarn

This pattern can be used with any weight yarn. The sample is crocheted with worsted weight yarn to make a 3-inch tall pumpkin with a 10-inch vine. You can use thicker yarn/a bigger hook to make a bigger pumpkin, and thinner yarn/a smaller hook to make a smaller pumpkin.

Materials

Stitch into the Back

All stitches in this pattern (that are worked in the round) are worked through the back loop only, unless otherwise directed. Look at this picture.

See how one loop is highlighted in black? This is the back loop, and it’s what you’ll stitch into. Stitching into the back loop creates ridges on the right side of the piece.

Want to see crocheting through the back loop in action? Check out this blog post. It talks all about why Stacey crochets through the back loop and even has a handy dandy video showing how to find that loop. 

Abbreviations

  • ch: chain
  • sc: single crochet
  • sc2tog: single crochet 2 stitches together
  • st(s): stitch(es)

Ready? Let’s jump in!

We’ll start with those googly eyes in white yarn.

Ch 2 (I like to start with a sloppy slip knot. This video shows how. And this video shows how to chain.)

Round 1 sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook (6) This post will help you find that second chain from the hook.

Round 2 sc twice in next st (12) This video will help you if you find it tricky to start the second round.

Round 3 [sc twice in next st, sc in next st.] 6 times (18)

Round 4 sc in each st. (24)

Fasten off with a long tail. Insert a 12 mm eye into the center of the bowl shape. Repeat to make a second eye.

Now for the body. Use orange yarn for the pumpkin. Ch 2.

Round 1 sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook (6)

Round 2 sc twice in next st (12)

Round 3 [sc twice in next st, sc in next st.] 6 times (18)

Round 4 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 2 sts.] 6 times (24)

Round 5 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 3 sts.] 6 times (30)

Round 6 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 4 sts.] 6 times (36)

Round 6 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 5 sts.] 6 times (42)

Round 8-13 sc in each st. (42, 6 rounds)

Round 14 [sc2tog, sc in next 5 sts.] 6 times (36)

Round 15 [sc2tog, sc in next 4 sts.] 6 times (30)

Round 16 [sc2tog, sc in next 3 sts.] 6 times (24)

Round 17 Change to green yarn for the pumpkin top and vine. This post shows you how to get a clean color change. [Sc2tog, sc in next 2 sts.] 6 times (18)

Remove hook, but do not fasten off. Stuff the eyes and attach them to the body, as pictured.

Stuff the body and continue crocheting.

Round 18 [sc2tog, sc in next st.] 6 times (12)

Round 19-54 (or until vine is about 10 inches long) Sc in each st. (12, 36 rounds)

Round 55 [sc2tog] 6 times (24)

Close up the tip of the vine using the drawstring method (there’s a video here) and bury the tail.

Tie the vine in a loose knot.

Done!

Make some more – enough to fill a whole pumpkin patch! They’re so much fun to make!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

October Free Desktop Wallpaper

Happy October!

It’s Monster Month! Woo hoo!

I love monsters, but I try to keep it in check most of the time. I know you don’t want monster patterns every month!

But in October, I let loose with All The Monsters, All The Time. 😄

Download your wallpaper below. There are options both with and without the October calendar.

That monster is one of the blocks in the Mix & Match Monsters quilt pattern.

Isn’t that purple batik I used for his body fabulous? Batik is especially lovely for applique. It’s usually a very tight weave so it tends not to fray, and the little bit of fraying that occurs is practically invisible because batiks are dyed all the way through, so there are no white threads on the fabric back. Look for some colorful batik fat quarter bundles in the shop later this month!

Have a terrific month!

Best,
Wendi

September Free Desktop Wallpaper

Happy September!

That fairy is the new Ami Club pattern for the month. Isn’t she adorable? I was so tickled when she was finished that I had to go out and photograph her in some greenery and flowers. And I loved the photo so much that I had to make it my desktop wallpaper for the month! 🙂

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the September calendar.

If you want the Flit the Fairy pattern, join Ami Club here. It’s just $4 a month and you’ll get immediate access to download the pattern. She’s easy to make!

Have a great month!

Best,
Wendi

Make a Fancy Felt Frame – free tutorial

I had so much fun with the Bears in the Hills project that I immediately needed another way to play with felt applique and embroidery. I had been having glimmers of an idea about using traditional quilt patterns as felt applique and I thought it would be fun to do that as a frame around one of my applique patterns.

It was so much fun to make that I decided to put together a tutorial showing how to make the frame. I want you to be able to use it in combination with any of my applique patterns you already have. I’m always looking for ways you can get more use out of your library of patterns. 😄

So here we go!

This layout works for two different possibilities. If you want the full rectangle, use a double-sized sheet of felt (I carry them now in the shop in some colors) and a 12″ x 18″ frame. That’s a standard size I know for sure you can get at Michaels because I checked over the weekend. 😄

If you want just a square frame around your square image, ignore the blue striped parts of the image and use a 12″ x 12″ frame – also a standard size.

What You’ll Need

One 12″ x 18″ sheet of felt for the background. I highly recommend wool-rayon blend or bamboo felt. Don’t use acrylic felt – it will pill and look grubby before you even finish making it. This is the felt I use in all my projects.

Assorted felt colors for the other parts. I used the following colors. . .

  • ruby red slippers (background)
  • grape jelly (purple triangles)
  • blue snow (blue stripes)
  • sandstone (cat)
  • Tahitian sunset (cat stripes)
  • black (cat nose)
  • shocking pink (polkadots)

Thread to match all the applique pieces. (I use this Invisafil 100 wt. thread.)

Thick black thread to embroider the eyes and mouth. (I use this.)

Other thick thread for fancy embellishment. (I used this Razzle rayon thread. I love how the shine looks against the wool felt.)

Glue stick to hold the applique pieces in place. (This is my favorite.)

Optional – I like to use a Q-snap frame for this kind of handwork, so I bought a couple of extenders for my 17-inch frame so it could go all the way to 20 inches. I also used some cheap muslin as a base for my felt so I didn’t need to catch the felt in the clamps.

That’s it!

Prep the Pieces

You’ll need to cut some strips, triangles and circles from your felt.

For the triangles, cut four strips of felt 1″ wide and 12″ long. From each strip, cut 1″ squares. You need a total of 40. Cut each square in half on the diagonal to get 80 triangles.

For the blue stripes, cut 8 strips 1/4″ wide and 12″ long.

For the pink polkadots, cut nineteen 1/2″ circles. (I buy mine pre-cut from Woolhearts on Etsy.)

Choose your pattern for inside the frame and print it at 80% size. I used one of the cats from the Cuddly Cats quilt pattern, but changed his eyes to happy sleeping eyes. There are also a bunch of free patterns available here. Cut out all the pieces. (I like to print mine on freezer paper to make it easier to cut out the pieces accurately.)

Put It All Together

I started by gluing my large background sheet of felt to some cheap muslin so I could easily hoop it without covering up any of the stitch area. Here you can see my piece in its hoop.

I used a couple of batting scraps under the clamps to give them more to grab onto, since the muslin was pretty thin.

Next I started to arrange the cut pieces onto the background felt. Here’s the plan. . .

Each square in the grid is 1/4 inch. I don’t like to mark on felt, so I used a ruler as a guide to position my pieces.

Here you can see that I’ve laid the ruler across the bottom of the background piece so that the top edge of the ruler is exactly 3 inches up from the bottom edge of the felt. That’s where I lay down the purple triangles in a pinwheel arrangement. I originally positioned one triangle in each inch of the background felt, but I photographed this after I finished all the stitching – which draws up the width a little bit. (You can see that the finished width is now a smidge less than 12 inches, which throws off the alignment of the triangles a bit – but you get the idea.)

Once you get the bottom row of triangles in place, it’s easy to build out the rest of the pinwheel frame. When you’re happy with how it’s all laid out, glue each piece in place with a swipe of glue stick.

Use the ruler as a guide to position all the skinny blue stripes as shown in the diagram and glue in place.

Position your face. I shifted mine a bit to the right, just to make things more interesting.

Sprinkle some polkadots in the background and glue them down too.

Once the glue is dry – hoop it up and start whipstitching all the pieces in place. This video shows how I whipstitch applique felt.

Once you get all the pieces whipstitched in place, it’s time to have fun with the embellishment.

I used backstitch to embroider the cat’s eyes and mouth.

I used darker blue straight stitches to stripe the stripes.

I used three lazy daisy stitches in each triangle.

I used simple running stitches in the pink negative-space triangles in the pinwheels and also in the spaces between the blue stripes.

I used straight stitches arranged like spokes in each polkadot, and French knots scattered around the polkadots.

Here you can see all the different types of embellishment stitching I used, in one close-up shot.

I’m definitely not a member of The Back Is As Neat As The Front Club – though this isn’t bad at all for me.

And that’s it!

You can frame your finished piece, make it into a wall hanging, a pillow cover, a tote bag, or more. Have fun with it!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

August Wallpaper

Happy August!

We just wrapped up a Beach Craft-Along so I had swimming on the brain – and decided I needed to make a water buffalo for this month’s Ami Club pattern.

A water buffalo who can’t swim yet, so he needs a swim ring. 🙂

I was so tickled with the results that I decided to make him this month’s calendar. 🙂

(I named my water buffalo Walter after my grandfather. That’s why he has the super high-waisted swim trunks. That was the fashion in my grandpa’s day. 🙂 You can, of course, switch to buffalo-colored yarn a few rows before I did if you want your buffalo to look a little more contemporary.)

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the August calendar.

If you want the Walter the Water Buffalo pattern, join Ami Club here. It’s just $4 a month and you’ll get immediate access to download the pattern.

Have a great month!

Best,
Wendi

April Wallpaper

free penguin calendar April 2019

Happy April!

I made a cute pink penguin for this month’s calendar. 🙂

The pattern is Paxton Penguin – the current Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club pattern.

The color palette is the Pretty Pinks fabric bundle. I like the colors so much that I think I’m going to use it for every month’s block pattern. I’ll end up with a pretty pink quilt with lots of different funny faces. 🙂

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the April calendar.

Click here to download the one for computers/tablets.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Click here to download the one for phones.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Want to see what’s happening this month at Shiny Happy World? I’ll tell you!

Here are some of those links I promised. . .

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

March Wallpaper

Happy March!

Easter is coming soon, so I used the new Ami Club bunny pattern for the calendar this month. Meet Boone Bunny!

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the March calendar.

Click here to download the one for computers/tablets.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Click here to download the one for phones.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Want to see what’s happening this month at Shiny Happy World? I’ll tell you!

Here are some of those links I promised. . .

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

February Wallpaper

Happy February!

This year is the Year of the Pig – so for our calendar I used the pig block from the Noisy Farm quilt, with some cool glasses from the Fancy Doodads pattern. So cute!

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the February calendar.

Click here to download the one for computers/tablets.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Click here to download the one for phones.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Want to see what’s happening this month at Shiny Happy World? I’ll tell you!

Here are some of those links I promised. . .

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Happy January! New Wallpaper and What’s Coming this Month

Happy January! Happy New Year!

For this month’s wallpaper I decided to revisit one of my favorite projects – these little beanbag mice. They were so much fun to make in a rainbow of colors! Did you know that a group of mice is called a mischief? Get the pattern here.

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the January calendar.

Click here to download the one for computers/tablets.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Click here to download the one for phones.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Want to see what’s happening this month at Shiny Happy World? I’ll tell you!

Here are some of those links I promised. . .

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi