Category Archives: gifts & easy to make gifts & presents

Upcycling old crochet cotton with potholder looms

For many years, I have adopted all the stray balls of crochet cotton that I have found at the thrift shop.

I have happily been using them in many different ways, but now they are coming together to be upcycled into lovely kitchen cloths to use instead of paper towels.

They are a pleasure to weave on potholder looms and are lovely and soft.

While we are all holding the fort at home, let’s create some beauty, and enjoy the sweet pleasure of weaving on simple looms!

Here’s the video I made about this very satisfying form of upcycling.

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, potholder loom, tutorial & how to, video tutorial

A Yarn Baby Doll that Hugs Your Finger

Today, I figured out how to make a Yarn Baby (Yarn Tassel Doll) that hugs your finger like the Comfort Bears.

We all need a little extra comfort these days, so having a small yarn doll in your pocket to give you a hug when ever you need it is a good idea!

Take good care of yourselves!

Here’s the how to video

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How to Fold and Origami Box

 

I have been folding little Origami boxes to help me organize the Comfort Bears as I weave them.

People have asked me for instructions on how to make the Origami boxes, so here’s a video tutorial on how to fold them:

Happy Folding!

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100 Little Comfort Bears in January 2020

I have been making Comfort Bears for a community in Northern Saskatchewan.

One of our close relatives has been working with people in the town because of his job.

When he heard that there is a high stress level there, he mentioned to a front line care person there that I make Comfort Bears, and so they asked if I would be willing to make some Comfort Bears for them.

I couldn’t get to them right away because at that point in time I was working 24/7 to deadline on the 2 new books that I have coming out this year as well as a solo show that was here in Edmonton before Christmas.

Once those deadlines were met, I set in on making Comfort Bears for them.

I sent  a box of 30 Comfort Bears off to them:

The timing of sending them seemed to be powerfully right… as  a teenager had died of suicide and that the box of 30 bears had arrived soon after and had been given to his grieving classmates.

I was deeply saddened, and was grateful that the little bears had been there at the right time to do their job.

When my contact person told me that there were other people waiting for Comfort Bears, and that their need is great   (I  don’t want to say why, as that would be a violation of their privacy) I cried.

I was galvanized to get more Comfort Bears to them as quickly as possible.    I had been working on more bears for other groups, but I chose to re-direct them to my contact person.

I set myself a goal to weave 100 Comfort Bears before the end of January.

This meant that I had to put aside everything else that I was working on, but that’s okay.

I DID IT!   Hurrah!

I have sent another 50 bears off to my contact person and I hope that they will bring all kinds of happiness with them.

Sometimes people just need to know that someone that doesn’t know them still cares about them.

There are 50 Comfort Bears in this box.

With love in every stitch.

It helps me to sleep at night to know that I am doing this small thing,  when otherwise, I would be worrying about people who are going through ghastly things.

A few things that I have discovered as I have ‘marathoned’ on the Comfort Bears-

1- Wow, have I ever gotten fast at weaving them! The more I weave the more streamlined the process has become!

2- No 2 bears are alike. Even the ones who were born out of the same ball of yarn have totally different faces.

3- The faces on the little bears seem to be ‘destined’ – a couple of the bears look distinctly grumpy.  I was not pleased about that as I was aiming for them to be comforting after all.  But, as much as I tried to cheer their faces up, they solemnly refused my efforts.  Okay.  Maybe some people need a Comfort Bear that isn’t going to be grinning at them.

4- I usually have a hard time with January.  Yes, the days are getting longer, thank goodness, but for crying out loud, when an Arctic cold front lands on us for record breaking days and days and days, it’s truly brutal.

And, the political situation…. sigh….  and worries about the planet……  sigh/sob….. and awful things that people are dealing with…. oh my word…..

BUT… I have found great joy in the making of these 100 little bears, and respite from the worries and woes about the state of the world.

Yes, it’s such a small thing that I am doing, but it has helped me to feel better.  And, that matters.

5-  People are so kind!

I have talked about this on facebook and youtube, and people have offered to make some Comfort Bears and send them to me, but I am asking them to please make Comfort Bears for the people who come into their lives, wherever they live- whether it’s a classroom full of special needs kids, or a neighbor who is having a tough time or a stranger that is obviously in need of a little kindness, or someone is sick or scared or lonely or working really hard or studying for exams…….

The pattern for the woven Comfort Bears is in my book: Potholder Loom Weaving.

Free patterns for crocheted and knitted Comfort Bears are on this link: LINK

Please won’t you join me in making Comfort Bears?

Thanks ❤

 

 

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Filed under blessing bear, crafting for charity, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, potholder loom, teddy bear, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven

How to Weave a Tiny Snowman on a Pin Loom

I designed this tiny snowman to weave on a 2 inch (or whatever size pin loom you want to use).

Here is a video for  the step by step instructions.

Please go to https://youtu.be/F2c0yxkt1Os to see how to weave a bias Triangle on a square pin loom.

If you want to weave this on a Weave It style loom, then go to
https://youtu.be/m-1yK4GYUj4 for instructions on how to weave a triangle on a Weave It style loom.

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How to Make Woven Brooches with Upcycled Bases

Woven brooches are a quick and easy eco friendly gift to weave on a pin loom – any 2 or 3 inch pin loom will work fine.

The bases of the brooches are made using bottle caps or shapes cut from plastic jugs or other bits and pieces pulled from the recycling bin.

Here’s the video showing how to make them:

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, jewelry, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, pin loom, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven

Weaving swatches on the potholder loom for color and pattern design

Weaving swatches and samples with yarn to learn about color and pattern on the potholder loom is a great design tool, and the bonus is that you end up with some stellar squares that can be used (and gifted!) as potholders or stitched together to make fabulous projects.

Here’s a video that shows why:

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Crocheted Panda Blessing Bear

For the last almost 20 years or so, I have been crocheting, knitting and weaving little bears and giving them away as my way of spreading kindness, comfort, solace and delight.

I have made thousands of them, and I have never had anyone say no when I offer them one.

And, the lovely stories that people tell me about their experiences with them are so special.

(LINK to the Craft Yarn Council of America Website for the explanation about how I was inspired by the events of 9/11 to design the first Comfort Bears and the pattern for the very first one.)

So, anyhow… back to Panda Pocket/Comfort/Blessing Bears……

Last week, I had an ‘Aha’ moment…  I thought….. I should design a Blessing Bear that is a Panda!

After all…. who doesn’t love a Panda?

I set to work on it and came up with this little darling:

I’ve seen that people love the ‘hugging arms’ that allow the bear to hug them back, so I designed the arms to be all one piece.  Perfect for giving hugs.

Although, the little huggetty arms can also cleverly hang onto things….

A dear friend came for tea today and fell madly in love with the Panda, and she was thrilled when I gave the prototype to her.  It immediately jumped onto the clasp on her bag:

I thought that that was very clever of her!

Even though I designed the pattern to be a Panda, it doesn’t have to just be a Panda….

Crochet it in blue yarn, and it’s a Blue Bear of Happiness.

Crochet it in brown yarn, and it’s a dear little ‘Regular Sort of a Bear’.

No matter how you crochet it, please put love into every stitch.

Please DO NOT SELL THEM.

Please make tons of them and carry them in your pockets, because you’ll be amazed at how much joy you can spread by giving them away.  You will bring kindness and happiness and goodness knows, we all need that.

I make Blessing Bears as often and as much as I can and give them to the ministers at our church, and they give them away as part of pastoral care.  Please feel free to do the same.

I love that these  bears bring a ray of sunshine.  I hope that you’ll enjoy making and sharing them, too!

HERE’S THE PATTERN- IT IS MY ORIGINAL DESIGN, SO PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHT AND SEND PEOPLE TO MY BLOG (AND YOUTUBE FOR THE VIDEO)-  PLEASE DO NOT COPY OR SHARE THE PATTERN.  

Scroll down the page for the video of how to crochet the Pandas.

CROCHETED PANDA BLESSING BEAR
Designed by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c) 2019
The size of your hook and weight of your yarn will determine the gauge of the crocheting, and the finished size of your bear. When made with worsted-weight yarn, the Panda Blessing Bear is approximately 3 inches tall. When made with thicker yarn and a larger hook it will be bigger.  When made with thinner yarn and a smaller hook it will be smaller.    To make this bear, you will need to know how to make a chain, slip stitch and single crochet.

MATERIALS:
The bears in the photos were made with less than half an ounce of worsted-weight yarn or bulky weight yarn. Hand spun is wonderful.
Black embroidery floss for embroidering the features.  2 tiny beads for eyes- but embroider the eyes if you are going to give it to a child who is younger than 3 years old.

Crochet Hook in a size slightly smaller than you would usually use for the size of yarn to give a denser fabric

A tiny amount of stuffing
Darning needle for sewing seams
Embroidery needle for embroidering features
ABBREVIATIONS:
Ch= chain
Sc= single crochet  Turn= turn the work over and start the next row in the last st of the last row
* to *= you will repeat the instructions that appear between the two”*” signs however many times stated in the pattern.

DIRECTIONS

BEGIN WITH THE FIRST LEG: With Black Yarn: 
Ch 5, leaving about 4 inches of yarn at beginning of ch. This tail will be used to sew the legs up later.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch to end. (4 sc). Ch 1 and turn.
Row 2: 4 sc, ch l, turn. Cut yarn, and draw end through last ch l.

SECOND LEG: Repeat Rows 1 & 2 for the second leg.  Tie white yarn to black yarn end, leaving a 4 inch/10 cm tail.

NOTE: If you are doing a bear in just one color, don’t cut the yarn at the end of the 2nd leg.  Just continue working with it.

BODY: With White Yarn:
Row 3: Work l sc in each of the 4 sc of one leg, then work l sc in each of the 4 sc of the other leg. (8 sc). Ch l and turn.
Rows 4 & 5 & 6: 8 sc, ch l, turn.

HEAD:
Row 7: 2 sc in each sc, (16 sc ) ch l, turn.
Row 8: 16 sc, ch l, turn.
Row 9: (l sc , sk next sc) 8 times, 1 sc in last sc. (9 sc) ch l turn.                                                                                               Row 10: *1 sc, skip next sc* Repeat from * to * 5 times. (5 sc).

Cut yarn, leaving a tail of about 10 inches, pull yarn end through last ch l.

ARMS: Make 1: Note: The arm piece should be about 2 1/2 inches/6 cm long, so depending on your choice of yarn and hook, you may have to change the number of stitches you use to make it.

Row 1: Ch 10, slip stitch in 2nd ch from hook, and in each remaining ch. (9 slip stitches).  Cut yarn, leaving a tail of about 4 inches, pull yarn end through last ch l.

FINISHING:
HEAD: Take the yarn end into the needle and then go through each of the 4 sc at the top of the head to gather the upper edge of head, then pull up tightly. Stitch to anchor.
-Sew center back seam of head.
-Stuff head.

NECK: Wrap yarn end around neck of bear 3 or 4 times, and pull up tightly.
– Stitch over the neck wraps 2 or 3 times to lock in place.

BODY: Stuff body and sew shut.

LEGS: Fold the leg edges together. With the starting yarn end, sew the leg seams. Tie the yarn ends in a tight knot and take all ends inside body.

 

ARMS: Take one yarn end of the arm through the shoulders of the  bear. Pull up to lock the arm piece to the bear.  Use the end to stitch the other end to the bear’s shoulder.  Take the ends inside the bear.

Stitch the other end of the arm piece to the bear and then take the ends inside the body.

EARS: With Black yarn: Push crochet hook into a stitch in the top of the head, yo, pull up a loop onto hook.  Ch 4.
-Cut yarn, pull end through last loop on hook.
-Tie a knot with first yarn end, then thread yarn end into darning needle, and hide yarn ends inside
head.
-Repeat for other ear.

FEATURES: With Black yarn: 

EYE PATCHES:  At the midpoint of the head, take 2 or 3 stitches that cover 2 sc for the first eye, then 2 or 3 stitches that cover 2 sc for the second eye.   Note, if you are making a bear that isn’t a Panda,  skip the eye patches.

NOSE: take one stitch slightly below and between the eye patches.

MOUTH: Take 2 stitches slightly below the mouth.  Take the yarn end inside the Panda’s head.

EYE BEADS: Stitch one small black bead at the center of each eye patch.  Start at the back of the neck- take the needle in through the body and out at the neck, then make a securing stitch then take the needle to the front of the face, stitch one bead on for the first eye, then go to the second eye and stitch another bead on.  Take the needle back through the head and out at the back of the neck. Make a tiny securing stitch and then take the needle into the body and out, pull up and snip the end close to the body.

 

Here is a link to  a bunch of posts for patterns that I have designed.  Sometimes, I call them ‘Comfie Bears’,  sometimes, ‘Blessing Bears’, sometimes, ‘Pocket Bears’, sometimes, ‘Prayer Bears’ or ‘Compassion Bears’.   LINK

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Teneriffe Lace Bookmark

Oops! I have been so busy that I totally forgot to make a post here on my blog about the Teneriffe Lace Bookmark.

Yup…. it’s been crazy busy here…. whew….. I’m working on one book, while doing revisions on another, researching the next one,  writing and designing the techniques and projects for new looms that I have designed, as well as all kinds of family stuff…. yup…. busy!

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Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, lace making, Teneriffe lace, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weave along

Teneriffe Lace Bunny -Teneriffe Lace Weave Along

My wonderful son-in-law suggested that I design and make a Bunny for the Teneriffe Lace Weave Along to celebrate Springtime and Easter.   He’s a genius!

Here’s the video showing how to make the Teneriffe Lace Bunny:

The links that show where to go to get the videos for making the Teneriffe Lace circle and dewdrop are at:

LINK

The looms are available from:

The Teneriffe Lace group on ravelry is at:
and the Teneriffe Lace group on facebook is at:

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