Knitting & Crocheting

Hairpin Lace

When my mother was a young woman sitting around her Uncle Henry's kitchen table, he taught her how to make hairpin lace. Every time I think of my great uncle, with his short, stubby aging fingers, handling a crochet hook, and patiently teaching his young protege, I smile. I would love to know how he learned, but alas, I never will. But even now, I love being able to trace this technique back to Uncle Henry, and have a true sense of the creative legacy we can impart on younger generations.

It has been a quarter century since my mom or I have used hairpin lace to make anything. Recently she decided to make each of her grandchildren afghans. While trying to decide on a pattern to use, I remembered this all but forgotten technique. My mom use to use 2 long knitting needles, pushed through 2 spacers my father had cut for her. We could not find these anywhere, so I purchased her a new set. And just because I was so excited to rediscover this technique, I got a set of hairpin lace needles (sometimes called a hairpin lace loom) for Michelle and myself. The pictures above are the start of an afghan I'm making for our home... although our 5 pound Yorkie, George, seems to have claimed it already!

This morning I'm heading over to mom's to have a cup of coffee, deliver the needles, and help refresh her memory of how to craft with them. I reminded her of how easy and fast it is to make hairpin lace, and she is anxious to get started. I'm having so much fun and think it is a technique that many of our readers would enjoy learning. With hairpin lace needles, you can create very thin, dainty lace to thick and warm lace great for afghans. So, if you are interested in learning a new technique, one that requires nothing more than being able to single crochet, you are in for a treat. By the end of the week, you may be starting your own hairpin lace project... and you can look heavenly and thank Uncle Henry! 

Gnome House Crocheted Rag Rug

We are still very busy crafting Valentines Day decorations for the gnome house. Thought a festive rug or two would be a nice touch. Whenever I make my Rip and Tear Napkins, I always have a long, narrow strip of fabric left. One of the great ways to make use of this fabric, is to rip it into 1/2" strips and crochet with it like you would yarn. (Hint: Prewashing the material removes the sizing and makes it easier to work with.)   

To join the strips into one continuous piece, simply overlap the ends and sew together. You do not need to be neat. You'll never see it once you start crocheting.

This is so easy. To make a rug 5 1/2" x 5 1/2":

Using a crochet hook size US I, loosely chain 14.

Rows: Turn and chain 2. Double crochet into 3rd stitch and ever remaining stitch.

Repeat until 5 1/2".

Dah Tah... you are done. When crocheting, it doesn't matter whether the right or wrong side of the fabric is showing... the variation will just add to the interest of the finished rug. Obviously, this can be enlarged to make pot holders and even floor rugs. That's one of the projects I would like to tackle soon.
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2010. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights.

Community Knitting Basket

Just about everyone I know knits. If they didn't know how to before meeting me, chances are I'll be teaching them. Although I am a multi-crafter, knitting is often my "go to" craft I use for television watching, chatting with friends, or waiting in doctors' offices. It's neat, easy to pack up, and if you don't have a complex pattern, easy to do while you're doing something else. 

Over the holidays many evenings were spent around an open fire, where you could hear lively conversations and the clicking of knitting needles. On one such evening, Michelle found herself without a knitting project. She disappeared into my attic closet, and she returned with a basket full of yarn remnants and a pair of knitting needles. She informed me that this was now the Community Knitting Basket. She cast on 36 stitches, and started a scarf. She had gotten the idea from the book Weekend Knitting. Now, any guest in our house that finds herself without a knitting project, will be invited to pick up the scarf and continue knitting. It doesn't matter whether you're an experienced knitter, adding fancy stitches, or a beginner, turning out row after row of garter stitch, all knitters are welcome. And, if you don't know how to knit, we'll gladly show you!

Weekend Knitting suggested making a narrow ribbon, which could be used as a "memory ribbon" of sorts, reminding us of past projects and lovely friends. We liked that idea, but decided instead to make scarves. Then, next winter, we will donate our scarves of many colors and talents to a local shelter. I'm loving this idea!

EDIT: I'm thinking it might be fun to pack a Community Knitting Bag when I go somewhere that I know there will be a long wait... like a surgery waiting room. You can't imagine how many people have said to me, "Wish I thought to bring some knitting." Then, I could smile and ask if they'd like to add a bit to our community scarf!

Yarn Dolls

Over the Holidays our house was a constant hub of activity. Beginning with that life affirming first cup of morning coffee shared with fellow pajama wearers, to the wee hours of the night, snuggled on the couch watching a barrage of Christmas movies, the house buzzed. Michelle and her family were around for most of it... departing for home only for a good night sleep. Although the children handled the long days and chaos quite well, every once in a while 3 year old Pixie needed to find the lap of a nurturing adult, where she chilled and regrouped before rejoining the other children.

A couple of nights after Christmas, Pixie climbed onto my lap. I was sitting in our family room, happily nestled between my computer desk and felt table, chatting away. As she sat, she was fingering one of the many ubiquitous skeins of yarn that can be found hither and yon in our house. Without giving it much thought, I asked her to show me her yarn. I picked up the lid of an embroidery floss container, and began wrapping the yarn around and around as I talked. She was fascinated. Then, over the next 10 minutes, I tied here, braided there, and clipped loops until, wah lah, a multi-colored yarn doll came to life. She was enthralled! I can't tell you how many boy and girl yarn dolls I made over the next few days. Pixie began hitting my stash in the attic closet to bring me different yarns with the anticipation of yet another new dolly friend.

Yarn dolls were one of the first crafts I remember making as a child. There is something so awe inspiring to take a simple skein of yarn, and in minutes, create a doll that takes on a life of its own. If you've never crafted yarn dolls, you are in for a real treat. Young crafters will quickly join you, and before you know it, your house will be over run by yarn dolls! The directions for the Yarn Dolls can be found HERE or with our FREE Patterns. Enjoy!  


Yarn Dolls

If you have a skein of yarn and 15 minutes, you can create a yarn doll! This is a great craft to share with young crafters, and soon, everyone will be busy creating a community of yarn dolls! Making the dolls is an "ish" thing. How tall you make your dolls will determine how many times you need to wrap the body. My dolls are 7 1/2" tall. If you want to make yours larger or smaller, just experiment until you find satisfying proportions.

4 ply yarn
cardboard, book, lids, etc. for your wrapping board

Girl Doll:
1] Choose a book or lid that is the size of the yarn doll you want to make. You can cut a piece of cardboard to get the exact size you want. Basically, the doll will be as tall as the wrapping board you use.

2] Begin by taping or simply holding and end of the yarn at the bottom of your wrapping board. Begin wrapping the yarn around the board. For my 7 1/2" doll, I wrapped the yarn around the board 70 times. Note: Do not stretch the yarn while you are wrapping or when you remove the yarn from the board, it will "shrink" as it resumes its unstretched state. DO NOT remove the yarn from the board yet. 

3] Cut a piece of yarn around 10" long. Slide it under the yarn at the top of the board and tie a tight knot. Young children will some help making sure their knots are nice and tight. 

4] Carefully slide the yarn loops off the board. The tied section is the top of the head. Cut another piece of yarn 10" long. Keeping the yarns straight, and the tie at the top, wrap your piece of yarn around the doll's neck 2 times. This creates the head and neck. I make my head 1 1/2" long. Again, tightly tie off the thread on the front of the doll. After you have a secure knot, tie a bow. Then, tie the 2 loops of the bow again to prevent it from untying. You now have a bow at the girl's neck. 

5] To make the arms, wrap yarn around the board 35 times in the same manner described above BUT this time, tie off the yarn 1" from the bottom of the board.

6] Cut the yarn on the front of the board 1/2" below your tie. The yarn will come off the board. It will not be a series of loops like the body, but rather, it will be a long bundle of yarns.

7] Divide the bundle into three sections and tightly braid. Temporarily, tie off the other end. Basically, you want the arms to be the length of the doll. Measure 7" from the first tie and place another tie on the braid. Cut through the braid 1/2" away from this tie. Your arm braid should be ABOUT 7 1/2". 

8] To attach the arms, carefully find the middle of the doll's body and "open" it up.

9] Insert the arms in so the middle of the arm braid is centered between the loops directly under the head. 

10] Lift the arms over the dolls head to get them out of the way, and tightly tie the body directly under the arms using 10" of yarn. It is very important to tie directly under the arms so the arms are trapped securely, otherwise, the arms could slide out. Tie on the front of the doll.  After you have a secure knot, tie a bow. Then, tie the 2 loops of the bow again to prevent it from untying. You now have a bow at the girl's waist. Note: If you feel like this knot might not hold your arms securely, turn the doll over, and using a yarn needle, tack the back to the arms, making sure you do not go through the front, and tie off. Hide the thread ends in the doll's body.

11] Cut the loops at the bottom of the doll's body.

12] There are 2 ways you can finish the top of the doll. If you want to hang the doll from something, leave the yarn on the doll's head long and tie to create a loop. If the doll is going to be used as a doll, tie a bow. Then, tie the 2 loops of the bow again to prevent it from untying.

Boy Doll:
1] If you wish to keep the boy and dolls the same size, you will need to wrap the boy's body on a larger wrapping board. This is because you will be braiding the boy's legs, which uses more yarn length than the skirt. I found in making the 7 1/2" dolls, that if I used a board 9" long, it made the finished boy measure 7 1/2".

2] Continue making the doll as described through Step 11. Note: Instead of making bows on the boy, after tying secure knots, I simply cut off the extra yarn leaving 1/2" ends.

3] To make the legs, divide the yarn into 2 equal sections.

4] Braid each section separately, creating 2 legs.

5] Finish with top as described in Step 12 with a loop for hanging or with the 1/2" ends. 

Note about patterns: We are sharing patterns we have designed and made for our own children, families and friends. Every effort is made to share information in a clear and accurate manner. We offer preemptive apologies for any mistakes that may be made. Please let us know via comments or emails if you stumble upon a mistake or if you encounter directions that leave you scratching your head! We will rectify the situation as soon as humanly possible!


We make every effort to share patterns and directions as accurately as possible. DUH, right? But we are human, although I often long for superhuman powers, and as humans, mistakes will be made. Before beginning any of our patterns, think of yourself as a Beta Tester. We do not have a staff, editors or even volunteers that are crafting our projects before we share them. YOU are the first to have a go at them. As such, other than a heartfelt apology, we accept no responsibility for mistakes made, or in an extreme circumstance, for time or supplies wasted. Please tackle our projects in the same manner that we are sharing them, with a spirit of goodwill and global friendship!
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 20010. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights.

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