Tag Archive | Baby

Harriet The Big Dragon

After finishing Franklin the black panther, I picked up the momma dragon pieces and decided to make it my next “in process” amigurumi to complete.

I started the crocheting of the pieces for this dragon with the legs. After crocheting the legs and attaching them together, I started crocheting the body. I kept crocheting and crocheting and crocheting. Was this body ever going to end? Was the body alone going to take a whole skein of yarn?

I had crocheted about half of the body when I decided I had better start stuffing the body before I could no longer reach the legs. So, I started stuffing, and I kept stuffing and stuffing, and stuffing. Was I going to use a whole bag of stuffing to stuff the body of this dragon? Even with stuffing the body relatively flat in shape, I was still using a lot of stuffing.

A little flustered by the crocheting and the stuffing of the legs and body, I stopped working on them and crocheted and stuffed the arms, hoping that a break from the body would help me feel better about finishing it when I started working on it again. It did not. I felt like I was never going to finish the body. By the time I finally got the legs and body of this dragon done, I had grown very weary of crocheting this dragon.

And so I put this amigurumi aside and started another one.

Now, the time had come to finish this amigurumi. After all the crocheting I had done to complete the legs and body, it was easy to crochet and stuff the rest of the pieces for this dragon. Assembly of this dragon went smoothly but took extra time due to all the little pieces the dragon had to have stitched on, like the horns, spikes, tail, body spot, ears and wings. I believe the assembly went so smoothly because the the majority of the stuffing was already done and it was fun to see the dragon develop as the the extra pieces were added.

Once the dragon was completed, I fell in love with her. The long slender body was complimented by the small size of the spikes, wings and horns. The combination just looked so cute. This large dragon was not named until the completion of the baby dragon but that is a story for the next post. Stay tuned to read that story.

Until then, crochet forth and big momma dragon on!

Oh! I Want To Make That! Now!

124025535d79d799e41221839803134bThis summer I have suffered from a severe case of “Start”itis.

By definition, Startitis is a condition caused by seeing a new amigurumi crochet pattern and needing to make it NOW despite the fact that the last amigurumi project isn’t even close to being completed.

It is the process of abandoning the current amigurumi project that was being worked on previously, and leaving it as a UFO (unfinished object) to start yet another amigurumi project with the broken promises of later returning to that deserted project as soon as the new one is done, and before yet another new one is started.

My case of Startitis has been quite severe and it is going to take some time to get over at this point.

img_5668At the first of the summer, I found the cutest little lamb pattern. I have seen several cute lamb patterns over the years but I had passed on making them because of the challenge of crocheting the lamb’s wool. When I saw this lamb pattern, I was ready to accept img_5689the challenge, and started to crochet the pieces for this lamb. After crocheting the body with popcorn stitches, I needed a break from this project.

The popcorn stitches took a lot of time and concentration to crochet and keep count and I was feeling lazy. This was not a “watch tv” and still crochet project. I tried to crochet the other parts of the lamb that did not have popcorn stitches like the arms and legs, but the thought of the up coming parts with popcorn stitches just made me completely lose interest. I was determined though to see the lamb project through to completion until I spied an amigurumi pattern that I just had to make IMMEDIATELY!

Yes of course, you guessed it!

img_5687It was a ferret in a sweater!

I mean come on, EVERYONE NEEDS one of those don’t they? Boy, I sure thought that I did!

It was love at first sight when I first saw this ferret pattern and it was simple to put down the cream colored yarn of the lamb and pick up the dark brown yarn of the ferret and start on yet another new project. The ferret’s pieces crocheted easily, and I loved adding the little sweater to his body. I crocheted his head and the cut and tied yarn color changed for his little bandit face but then I promptly put my hook down. The problem was, I just saw the cutest momma and baby dragon patterns and I just had to make them both. NOW!

img_5695Since it was so easy to stop working on the lamb project, and start the ferret project, I had no problem at all in deserting the ferret project to start to crochet the dragons instead. I picked out burgundy and gold for the momma dragon and two shades of purple for the baby dragon and then I started crocheting on the momma dragon’s body right away!

Because I was in such a hurry to start the dragons, I didn’t take the time to read through the pattern first so I was surprised as I crocheted the momma dragon’s body just how big she was going to be, but since the body was turning out really cute I had no problem continuing to crochet on it. I finished the momma dragons body and then I started crocheting the next pieces until I was presented with a new challenge.

Yes, you again guessed correctly. I just had to make a black panther!

img_5693You see, while I was visiting with an old friend, I decided to make her an amigurumi and asked her what her favorite animal was. I was expecting her to say a dog, a cat, a mouse, a cow, a pig, a monkey, or, could I be lucky enough, a lamb, a ferret or a momma dragon, but her response was a black panther instead.

As soon as she named a black panther, I lost total interest in making her an amigurumi for two reasons. One, I have never seen a pattern for a black panther and two, I can’t see black yarn very well so it is more difficult to crochet with than other colors. Crocheting an entire amigurumi from black yarn and getting something that resembled a panther out of it was just too much for my little brain at the time.

But, as time when on and I thought more about it, my little brain started to design a black panther for my friend. This challenge intrigued me so I stopped working on the momma dragon to get the panther started.

img_5699After crocheting a few pieces of the panther, I put my hook down. Luckily, not to start yet another amigurumi project but to evaluate what I had been doing. So far I had a bag of cream and beige yarn and pieces of a little lamb, a bag with the cute ferret’s pieces ready to be stitched together, a bag with a big momma dragon’s body, and now a bag with black panther’s pieces in it.

tumblr_nrsok0hg571uawe7no1_1280I decided that I really had to stop this and focus on one project, complete it and move on. These were all projects that I wanted to finish, but I had let new pattern after new pattern get in the way. I could not allow myself to start a new amigurumi project again until I had completed these four that were already started.

So, my new amigurumi project was to pick one of these four current project and compete it. This was a great goal until I realized Halloween is in just six weeks.

Oh crap!

I had wanted to make more candy filled ghosts and spiders for Halloween this year. Now, what do I do? Do I abandon the little lamb, the cute ferret, the momma dragon and now the black panther to start on Halloween projects before it is too late? Stay tuned to see what I decided next time!

Until then, crochet forth and start yet another project before you finish the previous one on!

Pepper And Piper

DSCN3431 (1)Squeals of delight rang from my sewing room when I saw the pattern for these penguins. They were so cute, and the pattern showed pictures of endless possibilities in colors and variations for making a whole colony of penguins. I could not wait to get the crocheting started. I envisioned making several penguins in a variety of colors and belly spots.

DSCN3439 (1)I decided to start with a basic penguin with a gray body with no belly spot and black feet and beak. Crocheting the pieces went smoothly. When it came time to crochet the different colors of the head, I decided to cut and tie each color change. The last time I made a multi-colored head for Charlie the horse, I carried the yarn across the color changes instead of cutting and tying each color change, and I had to work very hard to keep my tensions even. Cutting and tying the color changes was easier than keeping an even tension, but it was time consuming, so it slowed down the crocheting process.

DSCN3438 (1)Before I stitched the first penguin together, I crocheted the next penguin in the colony. This time the penguin would have a gray body with a white belly spot and yellow feet and beak. Once again, I cut and tied the color changes in the head and now the body. If you look closely at the pictures, you will see a small “birth mark” on this penguin’s belly. I miss counted and did not notice my mistake until a couple of rounds later after several cut and ties were completed, and I did not want to undo all my work to fix that one stitch, so I am calling it a birthmark. It adds character to the penguin and in no way decreases his cuteness. Soon enough, I had all the pieces for the second penguin crocheted and ready to stitch together.

DSCN3436 (1)I picked up the yarn to start crocheting the next penguin in the colony, but then I decided to complete the first two penguins, whose pieces were already crocheted up, before starting another. The stitching together of these penguins was much easier than the stitching together of most my amigurumi’s. Because of the multi colored head, there was no question as to where the eyes were inserted, or where the beak DSCN2730was placed. On the second penguin, I had left a long piece of gray yarn from the head to stitch the head and body together. When I came to the white of the head and the belly spot, the gray stitches stood out badly. I had to stop the gray yarn and start a piece of white yarn to sew the white areas together and then return to the gray yarn to finish stitching the head and body together. On the first penguin, I had left I long black tail for sew from the body. This blended in well with both a gray and the white of the head. The color of yarn I leave for stitching is something I will have to keep in mind when I make amigurumi’s with multicolored heads and bodies in the future.

DSCN3432 (1)Because of the black heads, I stuffed the penguins a little lighter than most of the amigurumi’s I make. Usually, I over stuff my amigurumi’s. They say the stuff settles over time, so to over stuff at first. But, when you’re working with a dark color and white stuffing, the stuffing really shows through as the stitches are stretched by the over stuffing. Although, I really like no stuffing showing through the black stitches of the head, it was very hard for me stop stuffing before I thought the pieces were completely stuffed.

DSCN3434 (1)Feeling his head now that he is stitched together, I wish I had added just a little more stuffing to the first penguin’s head, especially in the back, but the second penguin is stuffed just right. The husband likes the less stuffing. I explained to him about the stuffing settling over time, but he still said that he liked the lighter stuff and he felt that the penguin’s still had enough stuffing to withstand the settling and a lot of be played with. It will be interesting to see if that turns out to be true or not.

DSCN3433 (1)With these two penguins completed, I picked up the yarn for the next penguin in the colony and asked the husband what color beak and feet I should crochet for this penguin and should it have a belly spot or not. The husband rolled his eyes and reminded me about all the fun patterns I have yet to crochet. And, he was right, I had already made this pattern, twice, and it was fun and the finished amigurumi’s were just adorable but other just as fun patterns are waiting in the wings.

I quickly named the two penguins Pepper and Piper and they are now waiting for a good home to go and live at.

I have tucked this pattern close to the front of my crochet pattern stash, and if and when the day comes that I want to complete the penguin colony or I just need a fun and simple amigurumi that turns out super cute, I know which pattern to reach for.

Until then, crochet forth and colony on!

Jill and Joey

IMG_0028I had never seen an amigurumi kangaroo pattern, nor had I thought about making one until I saw this pattern. I fell in love with this pattern the second I saw it and I could not wait to get started on making a kangaroo from it. So away I went in a furious display of yarn and hook spinning!

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IMG_0024The crocheting of the pieces of the adult kangaroo went smoothly and the pattern was easy to follow, but when it came to stitching the pieces together, I was a little unsure about attaching the legs to the body. The legs were crocheted and then flattened. The top round part of the leg was then stitched against the body. Then the leg was to be stuffed very lightly in the top against the body and then firmly at the bottom of the leg to hold the kangaroo up. The feet were then attached to the bottom part of the legs. This worked out great and I was amazed how well the kangaroo could stand up on its own.

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IMG_0026After stitching the head to the body, the legs to the body and the feet to the legs, I stitched the tail on. Looking at my results thus far, my thoughts turned to making some stubby little arms instead of the nice long arms that I had crocheted for this kangaroo. If I had made stubby little arms and reshaped the face just a little, I would have had a great t-rex. Oh, wow, wouldn’t that be great? But, I was making a kangaroo. I will keep the t-rex in mind for another project though.

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P1040007With the adult kangaroo all finished and looking great, I turned my attention to the baby joey. The joey’s pattern was very simple. It was just a head, two ears and a stick body so he would easily fit in the pocket. And, yes, designed like this, the joey did fit in the pocket easily but I did not like the “head on a pole” look. I thought that the joey needed arms and legs and a tail. My first thought was to just crochet tiny arms and legs, but I could not made the rounds small enough for the size I wanted and still be crochet-able. My next thought was to do a bobble for the arms and legs as I crocheted the stick body, but in P1040195the end, all I got was a lumpy stick instead of what I wanted. Looking at the ears, I decided to crochet some flat arms and legs for this joey. I chained 6 then single crocheted 3 times in the 5th chain then slip stitched to the top of the chain and back down the other side. This looked pretty good on the stick body. It had shape but it was still flat against the body and could be folded to easily fit in the pocket. Sticking with the flat and P1040197easily fitting into the pocket theme, I made a chain tail for the joey, but it looked awful. I tried to think of another way to make a tail that would not be a problem fitting in the pocket but in the end I left the joey without a tail. So, I apologize in advance to whatever child is going to play with the kangaroo that the joey is not anatomically correct.

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Since only female kangaroo’s have pouches, my adult kangaroo is a female, a jill, and therefore I named her Jill. And, of course the baby kangaroo is a joey and therefore I named it Joey. So this is Jill and Joey, my amigurumi kangaroos. What do you think of them?

Until next time, keep stitching!

I Just Want To Sew

P1040122Make sleepers, I said to myself!

So I did! And it was fun!

Of course because I have some new patterns that I want to try out, and I have some very complex and involved projects that I want to make, and I have some new techniques that I still need to learn, I felt guilty for not doing them instead of just sewing for the fun of it. But for now, I just wanted to sew something easy and fun that would not require a lot of thought on my part, but that would still end with wonderful results.

P1040125 I was not ready to get into a large, thought provoking, time consuming project just yet, so I opted to make a sleeper or two instead. I like to always keep a couple of baby sleepers cut out so that when I am in one of these moods, I can just pull one out my sleeper box and sew away.

When I opened my sleeper box, the sleeper on top was one that I had already started. It needed to have something embroidered on it before it could be completed. Luckily, I had not put away my embroidery tools from my last project of embroidering on the husband’s shirts, and soon enough a teddy bear with a big purple bow was embroidered on this sleeper. The sleeper was then easy to finish and a lot of fun to make.

P1040121The next sleeper in the box was cut out from a scrap that I had picked up at a thrift store. The fabric is thin and has a patterned design cut in it so there would be no embroidering needed on this sleeper. Even without a design embroidered on it, it is an adorable sleeper and was a very straight forward, fun sew to complete.

P1040117The last of the sleepers in the box was two terry fabric sleepers. I had pulled out these two pieces of terry from the stash when I cleaned out my stash last year to get rid of them. They were barely 1/2 of a yard pieces and in odd colors, left over scraps from some projects of long ago, but as I looked at them again in the departing pile, I decided it would be more fun to donate these pieces of fabric as sleepers rather than just pieces of terry cloth.

Until I started sewing these sleepers, I had forgotten just how much “fun” terry cloth is to work with. I forgot about the fuzzy mess that terry makes when working with it, and how wonderfully terry cloth stretches in every direction all at once. My fun and easy P1040120project just got a little more complicated all of a sudden. Over the years I have accepted this as a sewing reality. No project is as simple as it at first seems to be, and there is always a lesson to be learned and patience to be tried no matter the project you are working on.

So I got the vacuum out and parked it right next to the sewing machine to help control the fuzz problem as I stitched, and I got out lots of extra pins to help with the stretch problem. I had the walking foot at the ready, but I did not have to use it. Actually, about half way through these two sleepers, I was ready to move on to my next project. But I did not want to just give up, and stop working on these and put them back in the box for another day. And since the fuzzy mess was already started, I soldiered on!

P1040114As these two sleepers came together, I could see many possible designs in my head to be stitched on them. I finally picked a Tiger and Pooh design for the purple sleeper. Although I love the Tiger and Pooh on the purple terry, this was not the design for this stretchy fabric. This was a large design and with all the jumping around to stitch, it caused this already stretchy fabric to stretch even more. I held my breath until the design was done stitching and it came out ok, a bit off, but ok. While looking closely at the design while I was trimming jump stitches, I realized that the Tiger had no eyes. ARGH! I wasn’t willing to hoop it back up to fix it, so I just used a black sharpie marker to give him some! P1040116With all the problems with this design, I will not be using it again, not even on a non stretchy fabric with the eyes added in to the Tiger design.

The Snow White design that I used on the second sleeper, was much easier to stitch on the stretchy terry. It turn out great and I think it is very cute on the yellow fabric, it will be just right for some little princess.

Wow, four sleepers made! And I had a great time making them, despite the stretchy mess. They were just what I needed, fun and easy, and ending with great results. I am now ready to dive into my next project. Stay tuned!

Sewing Has Occurred

P1030142Finally, after I completed the reorganization of my fabric stash, I have had some free time to do some sewing. As I have mentioned before, it is always difficult for me to get started on my next project after completing my previous project, especially if the last project I was working on was involved and complicated. Since the reorganization of the fabric stash was very involved and very complicated, it has taken me longer than usual to get my sewing mojo going and get back into the swing of things. I have wanted to sew many times recently, but every time I sit down to the machine, I would just drawn a blank on what to make next and lose all desire to sew. I knew that once I started sewing something, my mojo would return and my creativity would take off, but the project needed to be a simple one that I would enjoy but would not be that involved or complicated. And so the answer ended up being baby sleepers.

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P1030170I had already left some fabric out of the sleeper box while I was boxing up my baby prints, so I did not use my newly taken stash pictures to search the stash for the fabric to make the sleepers. It was just sitting there waiting to be sewn up. Because I have made so many sleepers recently, it was easy to cut out three new sleepers and start to sew them up. To make it easy on myself, I cut the smallest size for all three of them. And only one piece of fabric had any usable scraps still remaining after cutting out the sleepers, so there is now two less pieces of fabric in the stash, and the third piece is quite a bit smaller than it was before. I have not decided yet if this scrap will return to the stash or make its way into the good will box instead. The sleepers sewed up easily and were fun to make but because I was making three, they took some time to get completed. The sleepers were not very quick to complete, but they were very simple to sew and not very involved and complicated. Two of the sleepers were from fabric that had a pre-printed design so they would not be embroidered on. I was not going to embroider on the third sleeper but as I sewed it together, I decided that I did want to embroider something small on it. So, it is not completed yet. I will wait to complete it until after the next time I am embroidering something else and I have all the stabilizers and threads out to embroider with. The sleepers were a fun sew and I could feel little sparks of my mojo returning, but once the sleepers were completed or at least as much as I was going to complete them at this time, I had completed a project and the sparks started to fade.

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P1030134Now, what would I do for my next project? Something for me? Something for the husband? Something for the little neighbor girl? I could just make more sleepers but what about when I finished them? I determined that I needed a plan, so I sat down in front of my patterns and started to look through them. It was not long before I found three patterns that caught my fancy. One is for a fur vest. After learning so much from the fur jacket, I have wanted to make more with the fur so I don’t forget what I have learned, and also I feel I have more to learn before starting my jacket so a vest would be great option to learn more skills while sewing with fur. I especially want to learn more about lining the fur and the vest pattern would do well to accomplish that. The other two patterns are for flannel pajamas. Since I purchased over 25 yards of flannel from Fabric Mart recently and I found lots of flannel in the stash in pieces smaller than I would use for blankets, these two patterns would be a great next project too. Plus, one of the patterns has piping on the pajamas, a sewing technique I am not skilled at yet. So, by making these patterns, I would use up fabric from the stash, and learn a new skill. It seemed like a win-win to me.

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I have currently traced all three patterns and I have the pattern pieces cut out and ready to be used. And I tested my reorganization of the fabric stash by searching my stash photos for just the right piece of fabric for these projects, identifying which box the wanted fabric was in, retrieving that box, and retrieving the chosen fabric. It worked great! Now I am off to the cutting table then the sewing machine. I am so excited. Let the sewing begin!