Tag Archive | Cute

Drop Down the Cuteness – Part 2

DSCN0901The panda bear’s pattern was easy to follow so the crocheting of the pieces was fun and it stitched up quickly. Then something changed. As I began to stitch the panda bear together, cuteness did not burst from every stitch. What went wrong? Upon completing the panda bear, I sat the latest cute bear and the panda bear side by side and studied the differences.

DSCN0903Of course there were the obvious difference in the bears, but as I studied their faces, my attention was drawn to their muzzles. Now, the size of the muzzles of these two bears are quite different from each other, but that is not what caught my attention. It was the placement of the muzzle on the head. The first bear has a big muzzle so it had to be sewn lower on the head, closer to the neck and the eyes needed to be inserted right above the muzzle. The panda bear had a tiny muzzle in comparison, so it could be stitched up higher on the head with plenty of room for a space between the eyes and the muzzle. Was the placement of the muzzle on the face in a different position the answer to the cuteness issue? Was the panda’s face just too high and separated on his head?

I turned to the pattern and, yes, the pictures showed the eyes and muzzle of the panda stitched lower on the head and closer together. I also pulled out the only other teddy bear pattern that has turned out cute for me as I crochet it, the pattern I used to make Madison and Tux, and, yes, because the head is crocheted sideways in this pattern, the muzzle is even with the neck and the eyes are inserted right above the muzzle. If my theory was correct, lowering the muzzle and placing the eyes closer to the muzzle of my amigurumi bears would bring out the cuteness.

DSCN0939I was excited to test my theory and make another amigurumi teddy bear with a lower muzzle and closer eyes, but first I had to try and fix this panda bear. I was not willing to unstitch his head and muzzle plus his eyes were already permanently snapped into place, so I crocheted him a bow tie. I found a free bow tie pattern for a dog on Ravelry and modified the size to fit the panda bear. The bow tie filled in the distance between the panda’s neck and muzzle making the neck and muzzle seem closer together. Whether it’s the illusion of bringing the neck and muzzle closer together or just that the bow tie is cute, adding the bow tie help bring out some of the panda bear’s cuteness that wasn’t previously there.

DSCN0942I did not have a quick fix for lowering the eyes to see if my theory on their placement versus the bear’s cuteness is correct. I will just have to place the eye closer to the muzzle on the next amigurumi bear I make and see if the cuteness appears spontaneously. I am betting it will.

I don’t know if my next amigurumi will be a bear or not, but I see I a bear with a lower muzzle and eyes closer to that muzzle soon in my future. Perhaps then I will know if that was truly the answer to bear cuteness or not. I hope it is and I will have another crocheting mystery solved.

Until next time, crochet on and cute on.

Drop Down the Cuteness – Part 1

DSCN0924I have finally just crocheted the most adorable teddy bear ever!

DSCN0927As you know, I seem to have an issue with crocheted teddy bears. I never seem to be quite happy with the end results once I complete one. It does not matter wether the bear is big or little, fat or tall, skinny or small. For some reason the cuteness factor is just lost for me once I complete the bear and I have to sit and study the bear before I think has any cuteness at all and I can finally accept my completed results. So why was this time any different?

DSCN0926I had pretty much given up on making any more amigurumi bears. I figured I would just stick to monkeys, monsters and such, but when I ran across this pattern, it looked so cute, I thought I would go ahead and give a teddy bear another try. The pattern was well written with lots of pictures, so it did not take long before I had all the pieces of this amigurumi crocheted up and ready to be stitched together.

As I stitched the pieces of this bear together, cuteness just poured from every stitch. From his thread jointed arms and legs to his little bob tail to his cute nose and smile, I just fell in love with him. This made him much easier to stitch together.

DSCN0932I would like to make a comment about the construction of this bear when it came to stitching his head and body together that might be helpful to someone else making something similar.

DSCN0933Because I had picked a variegated yarn with a color in it that closely matched the main color of the bear, I twisted this bears body before I stitched it on. Normally, I have the starts of the rounds on the back of the amigurumi. On this bear, that placed a big patch of the variegated yarn with the matching color on the very front of the bear and it looked odd. So, I turned his body until I had more variety of colors from the variegated yarn on the front and then I stitched the head and body together.

Since I was so happy with the end results of this bear, I picked another bear pattern, a panda bear, for my next amigurumi project. Stay tuned to see if I could get the same cuteness factor from this panda bear pattern too.

Until then, crochet forth and cute on!

Take Off That Hat And Scarf! It’s Still Summertime out there!

DSCN0243I must have been trying to think of cool thoughts while enduring the heat of the summer when I decided that my next amigurumi project would be a penguin.

Actually, a more accurate reason for choosing it was the purchase of a particular color of variegated yarn. I love the extremes of it. First a bright neon color then the complete opposite, black, then the bright neon color again. What would show off the burst of colors in this P1040325yarn? Of course, an animal with the same contrast, a black and white penguin.

I found the cutest penguin pattern and it included instructions to make a hat and scarf too. The crocheting of the pieces went smoothly, and the pattern was very well written with lots of detailed pictures. The only change that I made to the pattern was the penguin’s white belly spot. The pattern called for just a round white circle for the belly spot, but that looked odd to me. So, I undid the last round and added some double crochets to what would be the top of the spot, making it an oval at the top and round at the bottom. This looked better to me than just the round circle did. The oval top seemed to fill the belly area of the body better.

P1040335Stuffing and stitching the pieces together went smoothly as well. Soon enough, I had an adorable penguin all crocheted up! I actually thought about stopping there, but the whole reason for making this amigurumi was to use the new variegated yarn, so I started crocheting again to make the scarf and hat.

The scarf was no problem to crochet and it was a good length after being tied around the penguin’s neck. The hat was also a simple crochet to make. There is one thing I thought about changing on the hat and that was the color of the last round of the cap. The last round is crocheted in double crochet versus the single crochets of the rest of the cap, to give the cap a finished edge. This edge is lost when made in the variegated yarn. I thought about undoing the double crochet round and chaining the color to black. But I figured that would that just make the double crochets blend with the penguin’s black head and I would lose the edge anyway. In the end, I decided to leave the double crochet round in the variegated yarn, mostly because I love this variegated yarn on the black and white penguin.

DSCN0241The challenge for this amigurumi came with the pompom on the hat. I know how to make a pompom, but I have never had any luck making a successful one. They always fall apart on me. I thought about leaving the pompom off the hat but I really wanted one so I got started on it. After trying a couple of times to make the pompom and having it fall apart on me, I was ready to quit. So after filling the bottom of the garbage can with failed pompoms, I decided that the hat did not need a pompom after all. I showed the husband the completed penguin with the pompomless hat and scarf and his first comment was “Where’s the pompom?” Flustered I showed him the garbage can and explained to him how I had been trying to make the pompoms with no success. He said to let him try. I watched closely as he did the exact same thing that I had done to make a pompom, DSCN0247but when he pulled the yarn to tie the knot, he pulled it so much tighter than I could have had pulled it, I found my problem. The husband’s pompom was a success and I promptly stitched it to the top of the hat for the penguin. It looks great and best of all it did not fall apart. Unfortunately for the husband, he is now the official pompom maker.

This penguin was quickly named Paulie, not a very original name, but a good name. I think Paulie is very cute and was fun to make and I love his hat and scarf from the variegated yarn the most.

Until next time, crochet forth and crochet on.

Experimental Monsters

P1030333P1030332I remember when I had first started crocheting amigurumi’s, and all my animals had tall pointy heads. And I remember how I learned that the reason my amigurumi’s had tall pointy heads was that I was only crocheting in the front loop of the stitches instead of both loops. And I also remember that once I learned this lesson, and started to crochet in both loops instead of just the front loop that my amigurumi’s heads and body parts turned out flatter but rounder the way they were suppose to. And after remembering all of that, then you will understand my trepidation when I started my next amigurumi project.

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P1030318I found some patterns online for some fun amigurumi monsters. I love monsters, so here was my next project. I chose the pattern named Lark, one of the smaller monsters to try first. Upon reading the pattern, the author said to crochet the entire monster in the back loop only (BLO). What? This went against the lessons I had learned before. Wouldn’t my monster come out tall and pointy, not cute and round? Contemplating the construction of the monster, I figured that the author of the pattern must have designed the pattern that way and she also clearly said that if you crocheted in both loops that your monster would not be the same as the picture. So, I decided I P1030317would crochet this monster in the BLO even though that was going against what I had previously learned and see what I got.

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When I picked up my favorite G hook to start crocheting, I completely forgot about only crocheting it in the BLO. It wasn’t until I had crocheted both arms, ears, and eyes and had a good start on the body when it dawned on me that I was not crocheting in the back loop only. I thought about undoing all that I had crocheted but then I had a brilliant idea. I would continue making this monster crocheting in both loops and then make a second monster, of the same size and using the same hook and the same yarn, but crochet it in the back loop only P1030319and see just how much difference there was between the two. I would do a little experiment to see which way I like the monster best.

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I finished crocheting the parts for the monster in the both loops and then I crocheted the parts for the monster in the BLO. Both were easy and fun to crochet as long I kept reminding myself BLO, BLO, BLO. Next, came the stuffing and stitching together. They both stuffed easily. This was not a complicated pattern. But, when it came to sewing the parts together, it was easier to stitch the arm and the eyes on to the BLO monster. The arms on the both loop monster were short and stumpy which made it P1030321more difficult to sew them on and the eyes of the both loop monster were flatter, so I had to hold them in a cup shape as I sewed them on. But, when both monster were done, they were equally cute. So what I learned was that, yes, the author of the pattern did adjust the pattern for crocheting in the BLO, but that in the case of a monster that does not have a specific look, it did not really matter too much in the end. That might not be true for an actual animal pattern. If the author has adjusted the pattern for BLO crocheting and you choose to crochet in both loops then your animal may come out looking a little funny, like my first pointy headed ones did.

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P1030314With these monsters done, I named them Mark and Clark. Mark is the older monster brother crocheted in both loops. He has the straighter smile. Clark, the younger brother, is the monster crocheted in the back loop only. He has the crooked smile. Clark also has ridges because of being crocheted in the back loop only. The ridges are formed from the exposed front loop. I asked the husband which one he liked better and he said he liked them both, but he really liked the ridges on Clark better. I can not pick which one I like best. I think they are both fun, silly monsters and I can’t wait to start the next monster pattern.

From the top of the Charts!

circularchartsThe patterns that come in my Crochet Today magazine have both written text instructions and a chart using symbols to show you how to crochet the pattern. In the past I have always promptly ignored the charts, and instead chose to follow the written text instructions to crochet my projects. That was about to change though. A few days back while I was searching for crochet patterns on the internet, I found a great Japanese web site with several great free patterns to crochet, P1020718but the patterns were all in the chart form. The instructions for each part of the amigurumi’s are in two charts. The first is a table with the count of each row and how many stitches are in each row, and the second is a chart with symbols. Great, I don’t know how to read those! And so I quickly decided that I wouldn’t be making any of those patterns anytime soon. But after I had thought about it awhile, I decided that the teddy bear pattern was so cute, that it was time to learn how to read and follow the symbols of the charts.

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P1020720At first, I only followed the table in the patterns. Because I have made enough amigurumis in the past I know how to increase from 6 to 12 to 18 to 24 and so on per row without really reading the instructions or, in this case, without following the chart. But, as soon as the pattern became more complicated, I had to finally learn what the symbols meant and how to follow the chart. To my surprise, it was very easy to follow the symbols of each row, and soon I found that I was no longer watching the table with the stitch counts, and I was just following along with the symbols on the chart. It was great! A whole new batch of patterns were now available for me to download and try out. I don’t know that I am ready for a really complicated chart pattern yet, but I am willing to try some more pattern that are just charts.

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P1020726As for the pattern I chose to start with, I was very unsure about the resulting pieces of this teddy bear while crocheting it up. I knew that I had followed the table and chart correctly, but I did not like the looks of the finished pieces. First came the head. When I was done crocheting the head, it was very flat and fat. I felt like I needed to add at least three more rows in the middle to make it taller. Then I studied the photo of the bear very closely and decided not to add the extra rows and just see what I got after I stuffed the head. Next came the feet. The feet came out huge and even much larger than I expected even though I knew I followed the table and chart correctly. But I didn’t know how to fix them, so I left them the way they were.

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After finishing the crocheting of the pieces of this bear and after stuffing the head and adding the muzzle and eyes, I felt a lot better about this look of this bear. Stuffing the head, helped to make it look taller, and made it look less fat. Stuffing the feet, made the feet look even bigger but I liked the big feet better after they were stuffed for some reason. And after stitching the legs and arms to the body and adding the head, I sat the bear down and fell in love with it. I really like the variegated yarn that makes it look like the bear has a sweater on and especially the white strip on the top and bottom and around the arms that encases the variegated yarn to give it a even more of a sweater look.

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P1020729P1020724As the bear sat on my table waiting for pictures, he fell over. When I picked him up, I noticed just how ugly he really was especially his big feet. Where had the cute bear I was in love with gone? I sat the bear up and there he was. The cute bear had returned. It did not take long for me to figure out that I really like the bear sitting upright but not laying down flat. I picked the bear up by his ears and folded his feet up to his body, cute. I let his feet drop, not cute. Folded the feet back up, cute. Let them drop again, not cute. The husband says I am crazy, that the bear is just as cute sitting or standing, but I have to disagree.

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I have named this teddy bear Sebastian and he is currently SITTING on my sewing table, but he will have to find a new home soon. Hopefully some one will want to love him even with those big feet.

The Headless Cow, Man!

P1020618 Or as Bart Simpson would say: “Don’t have a headless cow, Man!”

Roxie, the amigurumi cow I recently finished, has made her way into my heart quickly. She was just a couple of hooves when I decided she was just going to be too cute, and would be living here with me next to T-Bone and Three Eyes. When I first found her pattern, I fell in love with the pictures of her, and I was very excited to make her. The author of the pattern said to use whatever size yarn and hook you wanted and did not give a finished size, so I again turned to my favorite G hook and started crocheting.

P1020595I made the legs first and then the body because the legs are crocheted into the body, rather than being attached later as most patterns call for. With the legs and body completed and stuffed, my crocheting got interrupted and a headless cow sat on the sewing table for awhile and drove the husband crazy. He could not leave the headless cow alone and talked about it all the time. “Well that’s some disturbing news but not as disturbing as that headless cow in there.” he would joke or how about “I had a nightmare last night and in it a headless cow was after me.” Soon after the headless cow was flying around the sewing room with the husband’s assistance, trying to scare me as I worked.

By this time, the husband was having just too much fun with the whole headless cow thing, so I finally tucked the body into a drawer until I could finish crocheting her head and get her finished up. I think the fact that our Halloween trip was just a few weeks away was getting to him. We always go to Disney for Halloween every year, and they always do a re-enactment of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow galloping down Main Street USA right before the Boo to You Halloween Parade starts.P1020620

P1020628The cow’s udder was the most fun part to crochet for me. The teats are made from popcorn stitches which I had never crocheted before making her, so I ended up learning a new stitch while making this cow pattern.

Roxie turned out much bigger than I had expected her to be, but her size is fine with me. As I have said before, I like bigger amigurumi’s. They are just more fun to make for me. I ended up using some white leftover yarn I had from making  T-Bone the skeleton to make Roxie. I believe it is Caron brand yarn, and it seemed to be thicker than the last skein of Red Heart yarn I used. I am sure that the heavier yarn added some to Roxie’s size. If and when I make another cow, I will use a different brand of yarn but I will still use the same size hook and I will expect to get about the same size cow.

Well that is it for this week’s adventures in yarn! I think that Roxie the newly headed cow turned out as cute as could be, but the husband is a little sad that he cannot make any more headless cow jokes.

Bosom Buddies

Who would have thought that a dog and a bird could be such good friends for so long. Luckily for all of us, Charles M. Schulz did and the completion on my current amigurumi simply reconfirms the fact that Snoopy and Woodstock are meant to be friends forever.

Due to my disappointment in the finished Woodstock, I almost did not finish the Snoopy pattern from the same author I had previously started before I made the Woodstock. I finally decided that it would not take much to finish Snoopy so I started crocheting. I found another error in the pattern count for a grand total of 4 miscounts I had to correct on the pattern. This really ruffled my feathers. I paid money for these patterns and expected the author to make every effort to have the counts correct.

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I would make some of the same changes to the Snoopy pattern that I would change on the Woodstock pattern. I would like his nose and arms longer. I like Snoopy’s feet much better than Woodstock’s feet, so I don’t know if I would change them as I would Woodstock’s feet. I disliked Snoopy’s neck as much as Woodstock’s neck until I attached Snoopy’s collar. Snoopy’s collar lifts up his head and hides the stitches at the neck. I thought about putting a collar on Woodstock to see if I would get a same effect, but decided that a collar on Woodstock just wouldn’t look right.

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Now that both amigurumi’s are done and they are sitting on my table side by side, I can finally say that I like my end results well enough. Alone, I do not like either pattern very well, but together they match and are very cute. The things that I see as a problem on each individually, are not there when they are posed together. I am so happy that I finished Snoopy so that Woodstock would have a friend and find his place in my heart.