Free Crochet Pattern and Video: Lemon Stress Ball!

Lemonball1April is National Stress Awareness month, and the Craft Yarn Council asked if I would help them create a crochet pattern for a stress ball, so that people can not only stitch away their stress, but then also squeeze away their stress!

I threw some ideas at them, and they decided on my idea for a lemon stress ball, in the spirit of “when life gives you lemons….”

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If you crochet a lot, this will be a quick n dirty pattern for you! If you are a beginner, it should still be very doable and good practice for working in the round. All month long, the Craft Yarn Council will be posting giveaways, project ideas, and helpful info about how knitting and crocheting can help reduce stress. Vogue Knitting also helped create a knit version of the lemon, so that knitters won’t be left out!

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(That’s my current table cloth. I thought it would evoke PICNIC, but it really evokes WELCOME TO GIUSEPPI’S PIZZERIA MAY I OFFER YOU THE CHIANTI.)

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Here is the YouTube tutorial for the crochet version!

Here is the crochet pattern and here is the knit pattern on the CYC website. They made cute little PDF’s for you!

I’ll have the pattern written out down below as well. Hope you guys make lots of fun stuff this month to #StitchAwayStress :).

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“When Life Gives You Lemons” Lemon Stress Ball Crochet Pattern
by Twinkie Chan

Materials

  • Green worsted weight yarn, like Red Heart Super Saver in Spring Green – approx. 1 yard
  • Yellow worsted weight yarn, like Red Heart Super Saver in Bright Yellow – approx. 26 yards
  • H8/5.0mm crochet hook
  • scissors
  • tapestry needle
  • Polyfil stuffing

Finished Size
Approx. 4.5 inches long and 2.5 inches wide

Gauge
15 sc x 18 rows = 4 in. x 4 in.

Abbreviations
ch(s) : chain(s)
dec: decrease
FLO: front loop only
hdc: half double crochet
rnd(s): round(s)
sc: single crochet
sc2tog: single crochet two together
sl st: slip stitch
st(s): stitch(es)
YO: yarn over
(   ): work everything inside the parentheses into the next stitch
[   ]: repeat everything in the brackets the number of times indicated

Notes
– When decreasing in this pattern, I would suggest the invisible decrease. With the Right Side of your work on the outside of the Lemon, insert hook into FLO of next st, then insert hook into FLO of following st, [YO and pull through 2 loops] 2 times.

– This pattern calls for Polyfil to stuff the lemon, but you can use some other stress-relieving options such as:

1) Cut the leg off a pair of pantyhose. Insert the toe into your nearly completed Lemon at around Rnd 18 and use a funnel to fill the pantyhose with Poly beads until your are happy with the feel of the Lemon. Tie off the pantyhose to close the opening and trim any extra pantyhose. Finishing crocheting the Lemon.

2) Blow up a water balloon to stretch it out. Then insert it into your nearly completed Lemon at around Rnd 18 and use a funnel to fill the balloon with sand or corn starch. Tie off the balloon when you are happy with the feel of the Lemon and finish crocheting the Lemon.

(Okay, if you watch the video, you’ll discover that I couldn’t really figure out the poly bead solution, but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t!)

Lemon

With Green, make magic ring, or ch 3 and sl st to 1st ch to form ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, work 6 sc into ring. Don’t join rnds and continue to work in a spiral. (6)

– Break off Green. Join Yellow.

Rnd 2: 1 sc in each sc. (6)

Rnd 3: [(2 sc), 1 sc] 3 times. (9)

Rnd 4: 1 sc in each sc. (9)

Rnd 5: (2 sc) in each st. (18)

Rnd 6: [(2 sc), 2 sc] 6 times. (24)

Rnd 7: 1 sc in each sc. (24)

Rnd 8: [(2 sc), 5 sc] 4 times. (28)

Rnd 9 – 15: 1 sc in each sc. (28)

Rnd 16: [dec, 5 sc] 4 times. (24)

Rnd 17: 1 sc in each sc. (24)

Rnd 18: [dec, 2 sc] 6 times. (18)

– Begin stuffing the Lemon firmly and continue to stuff a little more as you finish the rest of the pattern.

Rnd 19: dec 9 times. (9)

Rnd 20: 1 sc in each sc. (9)

Rnd 21: [dec, 1 sc] 3 times. (6)

Rnd 22: 1 sc each in the next 4 sts. Sl st into next st and leave last st unworked. (6)

– Break off and weave yarn tail through remaining 6 sts and pull to close. Tie off and weave in end.

Posted at 04:55 PM in Crochet, Patterns & How-To's, Videos | Comments (11)

IDGAF Kitchen: Pancake Muffins w/ Maple Lemon Glaze AAAND Double Chocolate Muffins!

If you celebrate Easter, I hope you had a great Easter weekend! I went to an Easter egg hunt at my brother and sister-in-law’s house, as well as a friend’s bday bbq, and also a fun family dinner in the city!

For the Easter egg hunt, I volunteered to make muffins and also deviled eggs (not pictured). Why would I ever volunteer to bake muffins when anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I am …. not reliable in the kitchen!? Even if I try to GAF? As I have mentioned before, I am terrible but hopeful!

First up was Joy the Baker’s recipe for Maple Syrup Pancake Muffins. This looked like a fun challenge to me for reasons twofold: 1) BROWN BUTTER. I have never browned butter before. I should have googled it before attempting it. 2) Maple lemon glaze. Making a glaze sounds extra fancy, and you know how fancy I am…

So about that brown butter….

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This was my first attempt. Let’s remember that I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT COOKING/BAKING, and I didn’t know if, like, ALL the butter would turn brown or what! Cuz that’s what it sounds like to me! I was like, “Manda! Does this look like brown butter!? Is this brown butter!?” And she acted completely disgusted and said, “I would NEVER brown butter!” As it turns out, small bits will start turning brown, and that’s what is supposed to happen and that’s when you pull it off the heat. It should look like nutty brown bits suspended in butter. The whole thing will not turn brown. JUST THE BITS. If you let it go too long, you get the above burned up debacle, which will henceforth be known as the buttery char of Satan.

So, I started again, AFTER googling brown butter, and all was well. For the moment.

I forgot to grab a lemon at the store for the maple glaze, so I ran outside with a flashlight and grabbed a Meyer lemon off my tree. As much as I suck in the kitchen, I probably suck MORE in the garden, and my lemon tree is more like a luxury spider condo filled with horrible disgusting THICK spider webs but also some lovely fruits. I plucked the least gnarly lemon off the tree and ran back inside screaming and flapping my arms all over myself. Manda was like IS THERE A SPIDER ON YOU WHAT IS GOING ON!?!?? But it was just that yucky feeling of having walked through ten million spider webs Indiana-Jones style.

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 1.49.36 AMThe lemon turned out to be super juicy and delightful, so at least the spider dance was worth it.

Here’s me dipping my muffins in some bad ass glaze.

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So here’s something else I have to keep telling myself while baking: TRUST THE TOOTHPICK. Sometimes I’ll stick a toothpick in my baked goods before pulling them out of the oven, and the toothpick comes out clean, but I feel like the baked good is still mushy and I’ll leave it in the oven more. Self: STOP DOING THAT. TRUST THE TOOTHPICK. Sadly, most things I bake end up over-done. Sorry, Joy the Baker. I’m trying.

To make things double-worse, I made a second batch of muffins. This time, Nigella Lawson’s Double Chocolate-Chip Muffins. I told myself: YOU PULL THOSE OUT OF THE OVEN AFTER TWENTY MINUTES NO MATTER WHAT NO MATTER WHAT!!!! When the timer on my iPhone went off (I was using my phone, cuz Manda was asleep and the oven timer is really loud)…

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… I was in the middle of cleaning up the kitchen and trying to find a place to put the sugar. I got obsessed with finding the sugar a good place in the freezer (and throwing away mysterious unlabeled frozen objects with frustration) that I forgot to take the dang muffins out of the oven. They were probably three minutes over and not really springy on top anymore. Sorry, Nigella Lawson. I’m trying. Even though I forgot to sprinkle more chocolate chips on the tops of the muffins before putting them in the oven. Shhhhhh…

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I’m not a complete disaster, and I’m not burning anything (except brown butter, I GUESS…), but I can’t seem to master this kitchen thing. I would like to say it’s cuz IDGAF, but I kinda do, and I’m working on it! Whatever!!!

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I’m gonna conclude with a photo of a cute baby to pander to all the baby-lovers. This is my nephew and me on Easter. He just woke up from a nap, and we played ball and danced around, but he told me “No” when I started dancing. WHAT’S NEW!?

 

Posted at 09:03 AM in Blog | Tagged | Comments (8)

I’ll be in Simply Crochet Issue 30 – with an interview and a pattern!

Issue 30 of Simply Crochet magazine hits the stands tomorrow, April 2, and there’s an interview in there with yours truly as well as an easy peasy crochet pattern for my soft pretzel brooch!

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Simply Crochet is also available on your iPad/iPhone via Apple Newsstand and for your Mac, PC, tablet or smartphone via Zinio.

Posted at 09:10 AM in Crochet | Comments (5)

Yes, I am writing my second crochet book! It’s true!

BookPeek1

So you’ve probably seen me mention it a little bit on Facebook, and hint about it on YouTube, or straight up talk about “I’m writing this book right now!” on Instagram, but I haven’t really announced it here on my blog. YES. I am writing my second book :). FINALLY!

We only have a working title right now, which may end up being the final title… but I really don’t want to talk about the title or anything until closer to publication and until we’re actually promoting cover art. I WILL tell you that my second book is going to be all about crocheting stuff for your home :). There is one really awesome item that’s for you to wear, but I wanted to focus more on stuff that you could use around the house to make life more yummy.

I have a really tight deadline, which is why I haven’t been blogging as much, although I would like to blog more even while I’m crazily crocheting and writing. Most of the projects are brand new and are still just figments of my imagination (I’m actually making sketches of everything right now for my editor), so I have a lot of work ahead! My deadline for the whole thing is June 1, and the book miiiiiight come out in Spring 2016. I’ll let you know more whenever I learn more!

The image above is from right before I sent some items to my buddy Marissa to photograph. So yeah, those thingies up there will be in the book, and that’s the only peek you get for now!

Posted at 09:00 AM in Crochet | Comments (38)

Tiny Easter Crochet Pattern Round-up!

EasterCrochetI’m super sorry I don’t have time this year to create a new pattern for Easter, but don’t forget that I have two patterns from years past that you might enjoy!

Mini Chocolate Easter Bunny (with video)

… and my cute collab with Normalynn of Crochet Cake Sachets: Panorama Easter Eggs!

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Oh! I almost forgot about my Jelly Bean Scarf!

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Posted at 09:45 AM in Crochet, Patterns & How-To's | Comments (3)