Tag Archive | chain

Star Wars Senior

DSCN4060DSCN4067“They won’t fit.” That is the reply I got from the husband when I showed him my latest sewing project, the kid’s Star Wars sweatshirts. What do you mean they won’t fit? These shirts will fit a 2 year old just fine. Then, it dawned on me. These shirts would not fit the green eyed husband. So, my next sewing project would be a Star Wars shirt for the husband.

 

Looking at my Star Wars embroidery designs, I picked a maroon colored knit from the stash for the husbands shirt. After laundering the fabric, I laid it out on the cutting table to get started only to find out that the maroon fabric was not big enough to make a shirt for the husband a shirt from it. So, the husband picked a black knit from the stash for the sleeves and the collar. As I cut out the fabric, I was glad that I did not have enough of the maroon fabric. The black and maroon fabrics looked really good together. Far better than the maroon would have looked alone.

 

DSCN4044DSCN4043It’s been awhile since I have made the husband a new shirt, but the sewing process went smoothly enough. Both the maroon and black knit fabric are nice fabrics and where easy to work with. The husband picked his embroidery design, the Stormtrooper with the sun ray rising sun background, and it embroidered on to the shirt nicely.

 

All was going along nicely until the husband picked white/clear buttons and white thread for the double needle hems on the bottom of the shirt and the sleeves. I was more then a little apprehensive about this. Sometimes when using a double needle, my sewing machine and the knit fabric that I’m DSCN4065DSCN4063sewing with like to argue during the sewing process. I can hide a lot of this arguing with a matching thread color but could I hide the arguing with a white contrasting thread?

 

Luckily, as I mentioned before, these were nice knit fabrics to work with and they did not argue with the double needle and the hems sewed fairly smoothly and they look good.

Finally with the last step of sewing the buttons on, the husband’s Star Wars shirt was done!

 

DSCN4041DSCN4042But before I could go back to sewing some more kid’s Star Wars clothes, the husband pointed out the Chewbacca fleece blanket kit we purchased at Joann’s last half price sale. After the husband gave me some sweet puppy dog eyes that said “Please make my blanket next”, I got started on his blanket.

 

To increase the size of the blanket, I did not cut off the black dotted line edges of the blanket that were supposed to be cut into strips and then tied together. Instead I squared the top and bottom fleece pieces and then sewed them wrong side together 1/8 inch from the edge. Next I cut 1/4 inches from the edge with the skip stitch blade. The blanket was then ready for its edge to be crocheted on.

 

DSCN4035DSCN4038After crocheting the foundation row, I tried several different edges like scallops and triangles but the husband liked the chained edge the best. So I chained 3, skipped 2 stitches on the foundation row, then slip stitched in the 3rd stitch. On the next row, after changing colors, I chained 3 then slip stitched in the next chain 3 of the 2nd row. For the 3rd row, I picked a different color but I didn’t like the multicolor look so I changed back to the foundation rows color and crocheted the 3rd row like the 2nd row. I had planned to crochet a 4th and 5th row, but this did not look good so I stopped after the 3rd row.

 

The husband was pleased with his finished Chewbacca blanket as well as his new Stormtrooper shirt. Both were fun for me to sew and crochet. Now, that the green eyed monster has left the sewing room. I can get back to sewing more kid’s clothes.

Until then, sew and crochet forth and remember to always let the Wookiee win!

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Doubling the Edge

dscn0498dscn0527On one of my journeys into the stash, I ran across two fleece blanket kits that I had purchased on clearance many years ago. “Why had I purchase these?” I wondered to myself. A John Deer Blanket? A Christmas Blanket? “What was I thinking?”

Well I will tell you what I was thinking, they were cheap and they were fleece and they were blankets and I needed them to live in the stash. But alas, their time had finally come. They would no longer just live in the stash. They were blankets and since it would soon be getting cold, they needed to be made into blankets and used as blankets. I would not be keeping these blankets once they were made. They needed to go to a good home and to live with someone who needed a blanket. And even though they would be leaving, I would still get the pleasure of transforming them from a kit in to a useable blanket, and that is the real reason of why I bought them.

dscn0506Prepping the fleece was the first step in this adventure. At first I thought about making 4 single layered blankets from the two kits, but then I decided to make the kits just as they came and to make two double layered blankets. Because I wanted to crochet around the blankets instead of just cutting and knotting the edges, I had to attach the two layers together before I could use the skip stitch blade to make my edges to crochet.

Sewing the wrong sides together and turning the blanket, like I would if I was using flannel, would have given me too bulky of a seam with the 4 layers of dscn0528fleece along the edge. And I did not want that bulky edge.

Because the fleece would not ravel like flannel would, I decided to skip the turning part. So, after squaring the fleece, I held the wrong sides together and sewed along the edge of the blanket, about 1/4 inch in. This made the edge of the blanket only two layers thick. Next, using the skip stitch blade, I cut 1/2 inch from the edge of the blanket to make the slits for crocheting. I did not cut off the dotted lines part of the top fleece. These dotted lines were the cutting guide to be used if you were knotting the edge of the blanket together. I did not think the lines looked bad around the design and it made the blanket just that much larger.

dscn0505With the skip stitch portion done, it was time to start crocheting. Since both blankets were in masculine colors, I decided to make a simple edge, with no scoops or scallops.

The first row was the foundation row into the skip stitch cuts. For the second row I changed to the complimentary color and did a chain 3, skipping every other stitch. Changing back to the foundation row color, the third row was a chain 3 and then slipstitched into each of the second dscn0530rows chain 3.

I have made this edge several times before on baby blankets and it is a quick crochet and I love the look of it when it is done.

One difference between these blankets and some other blankets I have made, was that I got quite warm under these larger fleece double blankets while I was crocheting the edges compared to a lighter flannel baby blanket. This was actually ok this time of year, but I will not be making any of these large double thick fleece blankets in July.

Now that they are completed, these blankets are ready to find a needed home.

Until next time, crochet forth and blanket on!

Ollie the Rhino

DSCN0407Awhile back when I made my pocket pal monsters, I needed a pattern for horns. And so I looked at several patterns of different animals with horns. One pattern I looked at in particular was for this cute rhinoceros that stood on his hind legs and had suspenders. Even though I did not use this rhino’s horns for my monsters, this pattern made its way up my to do list, finally reaching the top and becoming my next amigurumi project.

DSCN0409The pieces of this rhino crocheted up easily. His pattern is well written. The only thing issue I had with the pattern was the way he was stitched together. When I read the pattern the first time, I knew better than to follow its instruction but I did anyway. The pattern calls for the horns and ears to be stitched to the head as the head is crocheted. I have learned over the years that I prefer to crochet the pieces first, stuff them and then stitch the pieces together. I decided to go against my grain and stitch the horns to the head after completing the snout as the pattern instructions stated to do before completing and stuffing the rest of the head.

Nope!

It was not a good idea to do it that way at all! I found it very challenging to line the horns up where I wanted them to be without having the head completed. It was also difficult to keep the horn in place while stitching them on without the head being completed. I did not waste my time trying to attach the ears before the head was completed. I waited to attach them after the head was crocheted and stuffed. I had learned my lesson yet again!

DSCN0412This rhino’s little suspenders were simple to make. They are just a chain. It is surprising how such a simple detail can add so much cuteness to a project. I picked bright yellow buttons on his maroon colored pants for a little pop, to add even more cuteness to this guy. The buttons made him not suitable for an infant, but I am sure an older child would still like him just fine.

Upon completing this rhino, he was named Ollie. I debated about a couple of different names but I kept returning back to Ollie, the first name I had picked. He is very cute and was great fun to make. Ollie is now anxious to fine a good home and have someone play with him.

Until next time, crochet forth and charge on!

I Can’t Seem To Take My Own Advice

p1020347With all the new sleepers I have made recently, I decided to get a few blankets made to go with them for the day that I may need a baby gift for someone. Since I now want to use my pieces of polar fleece to make jackets, I turned to the flannel stash to find fabric to make the blankets with.

I picked out 4 pieces of flannel to make 2 blankets. I then laundered the flannel,  got it squared up, stitched and turned, all with no problems.  .

Then I had a brain fart!  .p1020349

Instead of going back to the my previous posts on skip-stitching flannel blankets, I just started using the skip-stitch blade to cut the holes for the edges. I did remember to pick the yarn I wanted to use first, so I knew which size blade to use, but I forgot to double check how far from the edge to skip-stitch. I had picked Red Heart 4 ply yarn so I used skip-stitch blade #1 for the proper stitch length I wanted, but I made the cuts at 1/2 inch from the edge.

After I cut all four edges of the polar bear blanket, it dawned on me that when using flannel instead of polar fleece, I like to only have a 1/4 inch edge because I don’t want to fold the flannel edge over like I do with the fleece blankets.

Well, this blanket was already cut so I had to make a decision on what to do to fix my mistake. My choices were to either to fold the edge over or to have a 1/2 inch drop with the yarn on the edge. .p10203511

After trying both, I decided to have the 1/2 inch drop of yarn. It looked better that way to me. But, as I crocheted the edge of this blanket, I  had nothing but problems. The flannel would not lay flat. It insisted on wrinkling under the yarn since it was much thinner than polar fleece. I tried and tried to straighten the fabric, but I finally decided I was just going to have to minimize the wrinkles and leave it at that. After completing the foundation row, I did a chain three, skip two stitches and chain in the third stitch in blue and then a row of white in chain three and then a chain in each of the previous rows with chain three. I have done this edge before and really like the results it produces.

With the blanket completed, I am very disappointed with the wrinkles in the fabric under the yarn. It will not deter the use of the blanket, but I am not happy with the finished results. I doubt anyone but me will notice the imperfections though.
p1010971On the next blanket which I made from the Snoopy flannel, I was smart enough to remember the problems I had on the previous blanket and learn from my mistakes. I skip-stitched the blankets edges at 1/4 inch this time. And the blanket stitched up very nicely once it was skip-stitched with the proper edge width. I used the same edge design on it with green and yellow yarn this time.

The only thing I would change about this blanket was the use of so much yellow yarn with the yellow back. The husband says it looks ok, but once again I am not totally happy with it. Yet, it is still a very cute blanket and the colors certainly will not keep it from being used as a blanket.p1010968

It’s just the perfectionist in me that has to nit pick about something, so that was what I chose. .

As I look back now at the flannel blankets I just finished, my mind wanders to what else I could do with the pieces in the flannel stash besides making blankets.

My brain is still working on some ideas, so I don’t know if you will see more blankets soon or perhaps something else entirely!

Putting the Magic Circle To The Test

After determining that I liked the looks of my sample magic circle better than my chain two sample, I decided to use the magic circle in my next amigurumi project. What I figured out was that I had more to learn about the magic circle.

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I started my latest amigurumi project with a magic circle. Row 1 turned out great, but as I crocheted row two, the circle grew and grew. It ended up making a bigger hole than I have ever got with the chain two method. Confused and a little disappointed, I undid my crocheting and started again but got the same results, so I tried it again. Now, totally confused and flustered, I said to myself, “Strike three, you’re out.” and went back to the chain two method. But, after finishing a couple of the parts for this amigurumi, the magic circle started to haunt me again. And I just could not get over the fact that I could not get it to work, so I tried it yet again. And the same thing happened. After crocheting the second row, the hole was huge!  This is when the simplest thought ever hit me.  To fix the problem, I needed to pull on the tail again and tighten the circle again like I did on row one. And, guess what, it pulled that big hole in tight. Wow, how simple!  Sometimes I amaze and scare myself.

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With this new knowledge on how to use the magic circle, I started the next piece with a magic circle and it worked great. Now that I have done the magic circle with success, the only advantage I can see to the chain 2 method is that you have a little knot to push in the hole to hide it. The magic circle is smooth with no knots, but you still have the tail to cover the small hole.

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I don’t think I will discard the chain 2 method completely. I think I will let the project, the yard and the pattern determine which method I start with, but for now I think I will continue to work with the magic circle.

Chain 2 or Magic Circle? That Is The Question.

The first amigurumi pattern I ever followed, started each piece with chain two and then so many sc in the second chain for the hook. It was not until several patterns later that I was told to start with the magic circle or ring. I read the instructions from the pattern for the magic circle and was totally lost, and decided at that point just to use the chain 2 method I had always used. It was not until the construction of Blue and the monkey and the comment from a reader that I decided to look into the magic circle a little closer. According to the comment, if I would start with the magic circle instead of the chain 2 method, I would not get the big hole when the first row called for more than six sc. So, I decided to figure out the magic circle and see what I got.

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Since the written instructions I had for making a magic circle seemed to be written in a foreign language, I turned to YouTube and watched a couple of videos on how to crochet a magic circle. I learned very quickly that all videos are not created equally. The first video I watched left me more confused than my written instructions had. I understood what the next video I watched was telling me to do but when it came time to try it, I just could not get it to work. About to give up, I watched a couple of more videos and finally found one that made sense to me and that I could easily reproduce. Now, I am not going to tell you which one I finally had success with because it may not be the best one for you. What I will recommend is that you watch several different videos and determine what works best for you.

Now that I knew how to make the magic circle, it was time to compare it side by side with the chain two method. So, here are my samples with 8 sc as the first row. I know which one I like the looks of best but what do you think? Let’s just say, I will hate to give up the chain 2 method. It has served me well and is a quick and easy start.

Ninja #10 – They Call Me Bruce

As his namesake ninja, Bruce is the greatest ninja of the husband’s army. He is ready for the fight, to defend honor and defeat his enemies.

Bruce is made from the same pattern as several of the other ninjas, Keen, Kato, and Hawk. To change the pattern just a little, I used an H size hook to crochet Bruce. I don’t think it made much difference though. I was expecting Bruce to be larger than Keen but he is really about the same size. One thing though about using the larger hook was that the ring of 8 for the arms and legs made a larger hole at the end so there was some extra work involved in covering up the hole. I used the stuffing tool to stuff Bruce, and I am still pleased with the results.

Bruce’s weapon is fashioned after the knife on a chain weapon used in the recent movie, Ninja Assassins, a movie for the strong of heart and stomach. It is the second time I have had one of the ninja hold their weapon in their hand. Tiny Bear is holding his star. Thanks goes to the husband for the making of the knives like Kelly’s.

As I put the finishing touches on Bruce, I started to think about what to do different on the next ninja only to remember that Bruce is the last of the army. This made me just a little sad. When the husband asked for 10 ninja, I didn’t think I would complete that many before I got bored and moved onto something else, but I have really enjoyed crocheting the ninja’s and I  learned many things from their construction. I think I will console myself by crocheting a teddy bear, or a new doggie, or maybe a penguin or the cutest giraffe ever.