Chunky Little Manatee

Many people don’t know that manatees are closely related to elephants. In fact, if you look closely at a manatee’s flipper, you’ll see the remnants of nails and toes that resemble an elephant’s foot. Under an x-ray, they even look like human hands. Pretty cool.

myfwc.comManatee flipper under x-ray

Here in Brevard County, we are fortunate enough to see Florida manatees fairly often in the Indian River Lagoon (brackish water), and in nearshore coastal waters by way of going in and out of local man-made ship inlets.

They are also known as “sea cows” because they move slowly, but they are VERY powerful. I’ve gotten knocked off my paddleboard more than a few times by a manatee. Hey, they didn’t want ME on their lawn….I don’t blame ’em.

I still love manatees, and they’re a good indicator of the health of the Lagoon system, which is obviously very sick and toxic currently, heading into a state of eutrophication sadly.

So I wanted to share some of of this fun info with you, plus a pattern I made up to make your own little chunky manatee Amigurumi toy! It helps to know basic single crochet in the round for this pattern. Add a loop of heavy thread on top to turn it into an ornament for the holidays. Manatee Tree. Freakin’ cool.

Chunky Little Manatee Pattern (PDF file)

Stuffing the body of the manatee

Sewing the tail closed

Making the flippers

Fluke view

Front view

Manatees are cute, so they might get people’s attention.

I’d love to see this

DIY Surfer Girl Necklace or Wrist Wrap

Sometimes people think of crochet as only hats, scarves, and shawls. Yawn. There’s always fun stuff to make with crochet that doesn’t have to turn out fuzzy and hot, it can even come out beachy and summery.

Bowling a perfect strike

That’s good for here in Central Florida, since it’s already getting up into the 90’s. Hurricanes, anyone?

I used my favorite macrame thread in the world- Linhasita– which is essentially nice waxed nylon cord for this project. I also prestrung all of the beads I wanted to use onto the spool of thread. I used these cool wooden beads from Hawaii (no, someone brought them to me from there- boo…) and various glass E beads, but I needed to decide on my pattern BEFORE beginning to crochet with the beads.

My supplies

Using a 2.5 mm crochet hook, I made a chain of 6 tight chain stitches, strung on a wood bead or group of glass beads, made a loop around them, then repeated the pattern for all the beads.

Chain 6, add some beads. Cooler than a scarf

I ended the necklace with a small loop tied off and melted and sealed using a lighter (outside!) since this is waxed nylon. The other end is a blue recycled glass button as a toggle, so it can also be worn as a wrap bracelet. It makes nice beach wear, since the wood beads are light, and the crochet loops make a lightweight cord.

The blue glass disk is the toggle closure

This is something boho-hippie stylin’ and fun to make using the most fundamental of crochet stitches. And it’s wearable when it’s 100 degrees outside.

Hey, I could have shown you how to crochet something else Ocean themed that’s a lot worse…

Surfer’s Jewelry Tray Pattern

It’s been super mega frosty here in Florida lately. The water has been extra cold this season, hovering right around 60 degrees F, which is right at my tolerance level limit in a 4/3 wetsuit. I’ve surfed in 55 degree water before, and it felt like tiny needles on my hands when I paddled. More motivation for me to NOT wipeout. I lasted for a whole TWO waves before I needed to bathe in some hot soup.

In winter, I have to remember to take all of my jewelry off, including my wedding ring. Cold water will cause you to lose a priceless ring faster than you can say “Shark!” Ask a few surfers- they’ll have stories. Not going to embarrass anyone in particular, but I did learn to take my jewelry off from hearing their stories. And around here, the littoral drift means you’re probably not getting it back.

So I wouldn’t forget where I left my stuff when I get back home from surfing, I made a simple little jewelry tray with some waxed Linhasita cord and some simple crochet techniques. This little basket could also be done in fine hemp, but it won’t shape and hold up as well as the waxed cord will.

Here’s the pattern I came up with if you’re so inclined….

Surfer’s Jewelry Tray Pattern

Made in continuous rounds. I crochet tightly, so I used a 2.0 mm hook for this project with the Linhasita, but you may want to size up or down, depending on how “nautical” looking you want it. The firmer crochet in a tan/sand gives it a fisherman’s basket look. To me.

This is also a good reference for using this type of pattern: Crochet Abbreviations

1st Rnd: 10 sc in Magic Ring (10 st)

2nd Rnd: Make 2 sc in first sc from 1st rnd, place a marker in the first sc in this rnd. Make 2 sc in next sc in rnd, and in every sc around. (20 st)

3rd Rnd: Make 1 sc in the first sc (place marker), 2 sc in the next sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (30 st)

4th Rnd: Make 1 sc in each of the first 2 sc (place marker in first sc), then 2 sc in the third sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (40 st)

5th Rnd: Make 1 sc in each of the first 3 sc (place marker in first sc), then 2 sc in the fourth sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (50 st)

6th Rnd: Make 1 sc in each of the first 4 sc (place marker in first sc), then 2 sc in the fifth sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (60 st)

7th Rnd: Make 1 sc in each of the first 5 sc (place marker in first sc), then 2 sc in the sixth sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (70 st)

8th Rnd: Make 1 sc in each of the first 6 sc (place marker in first sc), then 2 sc in the seventh sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (80 st)

Now, here we’ll start making the sides of the Tray. I’ll crochet just a hair more loosely on the sides, allowing some stretch.

9th Rnd: Make 1 sc in FLO of first sc. Repeat this for the entire rnd. (80 st)

This round makes the base for the side.

10th-14th Rnds: Make 1 sc in BLO of first sc. Repeat this for the entire rnd. (80 st)

Bind off, weave in ends.

Shape the tray, hand pressing the bottom flat and hand shaping the sides outward.

Starfish Accent

I riffed off of the original motif pattern which can be found at this website, or you can check out my other Motif post.

I used a bit of fishing line to sew the motif onto the tray, like it’s going up the side.

Ready to use! I put my 4Oceans bracelet in the pic. If you buy a bracelet, they claim they pull 1 pound of trash out of the ocean.

WHOA…..what if MY pound they pulled contained 100 surfers’ lost wedding rings? I want in on that action, so I bought one of these bracelets. Just waiting for a call when I win my pound of trash.

What? That’s not how it works?

Meet Max Chill, The Amigurumi Surfer Dude

I’ve been crocheting for a while now, and honestly, I’m SO over all the pricey, “yummy” (I freakin’ HATE that yarn store word!) yarn out there. Gimme the Red Heart cheap stuff, and let me sculpt something goofy in my favorite crochet technique, Amigurumi, and I’m all good.

Case in point, I wanted to make a fun cartoony Surfer Dude, but I’m better at doing it in yarn- I’m not a great clay sculptor. So, I just started crocheting, spiraling around Amigurumi style, starting with the head, hair and face. I typically use between a 2.5 to 3.0 mm hook with the standard acrylic yarn like you find at most hobby stores for a couple of bucks. On this project, I used a 3.0 mm hook. No pattern, I just made it up as I went, yo, it’s all righteous….

Starting with the bulbous head

Made each individual dreadlock, brah

Nothing says surfer like droopy eyelids and a Zinka nose

Making the rest of the torso

I made the appendages next, and I wanted them to be exaggerated and goofy. The narrow legs and arms made it tricky to stuff, though. 

I used a paintbrush to stuff a little

I even made the Dude some boss boardshorts from an old rash guard sleeve. Plus, I used a tiny holed shell I found on the beach last week to make him a gnar surfer necklace, so he has some cred.

Sweet boardshorts

When he was finally complete, he just looked like he should be named Max Chill. Cool, bro, stoked. Let’s surf.

Is it 4:20 yet?

Duuuuuuude…

Seaside Motifs

One of my favorite bloggers on here is Elenora from Coastal Crochet. She likes to crochet things by the seashore. I like to craft stuff with those same ocean inspired things too, so her ideas are great to explore.

She posted a cute ammonite pattern a while back (be sure to check out her other stuff too!) and I thought it would be cool to work up in my favorite coated nylon Brazilian thread, Linhasita. I also found a simple starfish pattern on Pinterest as well.

For these motifs, I really enjoyed using the Linhasita since it has a stiffness to it, allowing the piece to be shaped by hand. It’s nylon, so blocking it with your fingers is the best option. It also helped the starfish look more real since the arms could be shaped, and looked less “cookie cutter.” I love how the ammonites came out looking very lacy. I used a 2.0 mm hook with these, but I did make some size adjustments for variety. In other words, I had fun, yo.

Just had fun with these

Next, I simply whipstitched the motifs onto little 3” muslin drawstring bags from the craft store. 

Natural thread, natural muslin bags, easy

Used a simple backstitch

Lookin’ classy now. This would be nice to give to a salty, crunchy, surfer needing a little surfer’s tune-up kit (wax, fin screws, fin key) OR collect some seaglass or shells to give to your buds!

Hold yer stuff, man….

Happy Freakin’ Whatever. Let’s surf!

This sums up my ideal PAR-TAY

DIY Outdoor Patio Coasters

One of the best things about being a crafter is that there’s always something in the “job jar.” Since we had the recent hurricane, pushing us all indoors for a spell, it was a good time to knock out a few crafts. Now that the power’s come back on reliably, I can share some with y’all on here.

I figured my patio would be used often after the hurricane passed and left us without power, so I’ve been wanting to make some outdoor coasters that wouldn’t break. They also needed to absorb some condensate from iced drinks, and look kinda beachy also.

Hemp was a good choice for this since it’s a little sponge in a way, but dries out quickly outside in the Florida heat. Plus, they won’t break apart if I drop them on my pavers. Bonus.

I also wanted some color, but color dyed hemp can fade unevenly. To add color subtly and to minimize uneven fading, I decided to crochet a strand of one color of super colorfast Linhasita macrame thread in with my hemp, with a contrasting color on the outer circle. I chose colors to complement my Surf Tee Pillows.

Burgundy, Yellow, and Purple fiesta siesta

All this pattern is, is one big circle made with single crochets (triple quadruple axel crochet for the Brits..hehe). Soooo frickin’ easy, even I got-r-done!

Get da free .PDF pattern here—> 

Outdoor Patio Coasters


No more drippy condensate!

I made these oversized, since I drink A LOT of Diet Coke. When the local convenience stores start to reopen, I’m back to my large fountain drinks, so I need a coaster that can handle the load…..

This was sooo me before Hurricane Irma

Beach House: Mini Air Plant Baskets

I absolutely love air plants. They’ve always had a tropical feel to them, I guess since they kind of resemble palm trees or pineapple tops. They’re

Various air plants like mine

easy to maintain, requiring just a hint of care.

I have a growing collection (pun intended) of them that I get from a local place in Brevard, Florida, Rockledge Gardens.

I wanted to bring a couple inside since they’re good for air quality, but I wanted to make sure they would get plenty of sun and ventilation.

The window in the main bathroom turned out to be a perfect spot for some mini hanging baskets. Eleanora at Coastal Crochet did a mini basket for Easter, so she inspired this craft. Thanks!

Get my pattern here. Enjoy….

Small shells make for good drainage

These Baskets stand up on their own

 

Since the temperature is only going to get hotter from here, these might just be the only green things left around here. Luckily, it’s rainy season now in Florida.

Still frickin’ hilarious