Tag Archive | aran

Our Brother, He’s Special

P1030454Do you have a list of projects that you would just love to do? I most definitely do. Do you ever look at the list and pick something off that list as your next project? I rarely do that, but I did it this time. Hopefully you will remember back to the post about the fun monkey pattern I purchased on Amazon and I made a girl and a boy monkey from it and I had a great time making them. And also at the end of that post I stated that I wanted to make more monkeys in different colors? When I made that statement, I doubted that I would ever make another monkey from that pattern in any color but when it came time to chose my next project, I peeked at my ‘want to do list’ and a purple monkey from that pattern was decided on.

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P1030452The first step was to pick the colors to use. I was going to use all shades of purple but then I dug out this variegated purple and blue out of my yarn stash. It matched the purples I had already picked very well and it would work great for the sweater look of the monkey too. The crocheting of this monkey’s parts was a lot of fun. I followed the same crocheting process for the purple monkey’s arms and legs as I did when crocheting the first monkey. I also did the purple monkey’s pupils the same as the first monkey’s were, but using 4-ply yarn and a smaller hook and just leaving off the second row. When I was picking the yarn color for the eyes and ears, my first choice was of aran, the same color of the other monkey’s muzzle, rather than the white yarn, but I switched back to the white color in the end. I can’t decide if that was the right change in color or not. The white in the eyes and ears really stands out but then it is a purple monkey and should stand out. The white in the eyes and ears really catches your attention when you see the monkey. The aran color would have been softer. P1030450The white color made this monkey look a little more mischievous looking which made naming this purple monkey easy.

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As I completed the purple monkey, he took on male characteristics. As he sat next to the other two monkeys, he became younger too. So, this purple’s monkey’s name is Jimmy and he is the younger brother of the other two monkeys. You know, that younger brother that is always getting in your way and touching your things and you yell and scream at him, but he doesn’t care cause he is the younger brother. Yep, that’s the one!

The Grim Reaper

P1030657Halloween is my favorite holiday. I make more plans for Halloween than any other holiday. I decorate more for Halloween than any other holiday, and I usually have more fun on Halloween than on any other holiday. So as Halloween time approaches every year, it is only fitting for my crocheting and sewing projects to mainly involve Halloween. This year while checking out Halloween patterns on Ravelry, I came across this great pattern for the Grim Reaper and I knew that he would be my first Halloween Amigurumi for this year.

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I started out this project by selecting the yarn. Of course, the grim reapers cloak is usually black, but I wanted some thing a little different. Then I found this steel gray yarn at Hobby Lobby and it looked like what I wanted. It is a great color for the grim reaper’s cloak and I had no problem stitching it up. I chose Red Heart Yarn’s Aran color for the body instead of white. I thought it would give the reaper a little more of a “dead” aged bone look. The other colors were simple to pick, gray for the scythe blade and brown for the staff. The pattern called for a red belt but I picked the same P1030491gray as the blade for the belt instead.

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The crocheting of the pieces of the grim reaper went smoothly. The body of the cloak is his body so you had to lift his skirt up to attach his legs. I thought the hood might give me a hassle but the pattern was very clear on how to crochet the hood and it was quite easy. The hardest part of this pattern was attaching the arms. The arms and the sleeves are crocheted separately. Then the arms are placed inside the sleeve as far as you can push them and then the arm and sleeve attached to the body. It worked out ok, but I am concerned about how loosely the arms are attached to the body. Luckily, this reaper is a decoration and will not be played with as a doll, so I think the arms will hold up ok.

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P1030660The blade and staff of the scythe were interesting to crochet and sew together. Before I stitched the blade to the staff, I decided that I wanted the staff to be stiff so I inserted a dowel in it. Then I decided that I wanted the blade to be stiff as well but I still wanted it to curve as the blade should. To get this affect, I insert a pipe cleaner into the blade and shaped it to the look I wanted. Then I stitched the staff and blade together to complete the scythe. Because this is just a decoration, I stitched the scythe to the reaper to keep it in place. I also inserted a dowel in the back of the reaper to help him stand, so between the stiff staff and the back dowel, the reaper stands on his own.

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Unlike so many of the amigurumi’s that I make, the reaper’s smile was very easy to stitch and soon enough he was complete. I think he turned out to be just adorable which is not the word that usually described the “grim reaper”, but in this case it is right on. I am very pleased with my end results of this project and am happy to have the grim reaper as part of my Halloween diorama this year.

The Little Brother, Red

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Roxie, the amigurumi cow I made awhile back, has been lonely lately so I decided to make her a friend. While surfing Raverly.com, I found the perfect friend for Roxie. Someone had taken Roxie’s pattern and given it big long steer horns. How cute! I could not wait to get started.

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IMG_0065Crocheting the parts for Red, the long horn steer, was easy and fun since I had already made the pattern once before minus the horns. This is a fun pattern and is simple to make. I totally enjoyed the crocheting part of the construction. As always though, yarn sometimes can vary, and sewing together the crocheted parts presented some challenges. I used Red Heart yarn which one would think would be fairly consistent across manufacturing lots, but the beige color called aran stretched so much more in the stuffing process than the orange carrot color had. It made Red’s nose huge compared to Roxie’s nose. I tried to stuff the nose less but then it seemed under stuffed. I spent quite a bit of time trying to shape Red’s head so that he was not all nose. When I finally declared that his head was done, I stitched the buttons for nostrils to Red’s nose and they instantly became his eyes because of how big his nose is. This was very discouraging to me. But with a lot of positioning of Red’s head on his neck, I finally got Red to sit so that you could see his real eyes and could tell that the buttons are his nostrils and not his eyes. The mouth did help with this. This was not something I experienced with the construction of Roxie.

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P1030115Because Red is a boy, I did not get the pleasure of making him a popcorn stitch udder, but I did get to make him two long complicated horns. The pattern started at the tip of the horn and worked it’s way towards the head. This meant that the first couple of rows were only 3 single crochets big. The horns were difficult to crochet and count and then to stuff. I learned a lot while making the first horn. I learned to stuff it early on and as you crochet with just a little bit of stuffing. I also learned to use a post-it P1030113note to mark on the pattern which row I was on and move the note on the pattern as I completed rows. That way I did not have to go back and try to count those small rounds as I went. The turns in the horns took a lot of patience and counting to crochet them. I learned that I don’t really like crocheting into slip stitches. After completing both horns I pinned them to Red’s head to sew them on and realized that the width of his horns and head was going to be over 2 feet wide. That was just way, way, way too big! I unpinned the horns and undid the crocheting to the first turn of both horns. Pinning the horns back on Red’s head, this made a big difference. I was much happier with the width, now just 17 inches. I was disappointed that I had spent all that time crocheting and stuffing only to undue those parts of the horns, but at least I had not sewn the horns to his head before I decided to shorten them.

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IMG_0066Now with Red completed and sitting next to Roxie, he immediately became her little brother. He took on a mischievous personality all his own and quite different from Roxie’s personality . It is amazing to me even though they are from the same pattern, they ended up being so different. But, I guess that is what is so fun about making amigurumi’s. They are never the same twice and their own look and personalities as you crochet them.