Tag Archive | G

Hooked on a feeling

 

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So the question at hand today: Can you wear out a crochet hook?

I think I may have done just that!

I wouldn’t have thought it was possible, but I have had to throw away my favorite G size hook and get a new one to replace it.

DSCN4056I have four common crochet hooks that I use to crochet with, but by far the one I use the most is a Susan Bates brand size 4 or G-6 hook. It is my “Go To” hook unless I know I want an amigurumi a little bit bigger or smaller. All my hooks have rubber pencil grips attached to them to help me crochet with them for better ergonomics and over the years I have replaced the grip many times on this G hook, but the hook itself has been just fine.

DSCN4053But when I picked up my favorite G hook to crochet something the other day, I noticed it had a burr on the end of the hook. I tried to remember if I had done something stupid with my hook like grout the tub or something that would have damaged the end, but I could not think of anything in particular. When I tried to crochet with the hook the burr was definitely a problem for me. It continually got caught on the yarn, and it slowed down my speed while crocheting with it.

ce45de1f58a1c2629e2a4a5b3695bc99I showed the burr to the husband and he said he could fix it. The husband took my hook to the garage and returned with the burr removed, but so was the anodized coating on the hook. I crocheted a few stitches with the hook but without the smooth coating on the hook, it felt odd like it wanted to stick instead of passing over the yarn smoothly.

Now, whether the hook was really sticking or the sticking part was just in my head, I don’t know, but I was not happy crocheting with this hook. So, I decided it was time to retire my favorite G hook and get a new one.

DSCN4057I purchased the exact same hook in the exact same size and brand and brought it home. Upon examining the two hooks together, it seems to me that the new hook has a deeper hook portion than the old hook had. Once again, I may have just been imagining this, but that is how it looked to me. I put a new pencil grip on this new hook and then I crocheted a few stitches with it. And for some reason it seemed odd in my hand.

But, really, this has to be all in my imagination. The hooks were essentially the same. They were the same size, same brand, same color. But were they? Yes, they were both the same size of crochet hooks by the same brand, but would the stitches they made be exactly the same? Could I switch hooks in the middle of a project? Would it effect the size and shape of the finished item if I did?

DSCN4058I did not know the answers to this questions and I did not want to ruin my current amigurumi project by switching hooks in the middle, so I dug my old G hook out of the garbage can. I decided that even though it did not seem to crochet as smoothly as it once did, I would work with it to complete my current amigurumi project and then I would start the next project with the new G hook.

Make sure an watch for the next exciting crocheting post to see if I really do find any differences between the old hook and the new hook, or if it really is just ALL IN MY HEAD!

Until then, crochet forth and G hook on!de38496775ab435d1dee24b18ca2bbd2

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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.

Happy Easter

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With Easter being so early this year, I had decided early on to not make any amigurumi’s for the holiday this year. But when I came across the pattern for these googly eyed easter eggs and bunny, I changed my mind. This project became a must do for some reason! I just fell in love with the pictures on the pattern and I could not wait to make my own eggs and bunny.

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The pattern said to use a size 3 hook, but you know me, I used my favorite size 4 or G hook instead. But who cares if they are a little bit bigger than the pattern called for? Not me! In fact, “who cares” became the theme of this project. Who cares if the bunny is a little lope sided? Who cares if the eyes are a little bit crooked? Who cares if the smiles are off slightly from the eyes? These little guys were supposed to be lop sided, and crooked and off center. That’s what makes them so much fun! And, that is what made them so much fun for me to crochet and stitch up.

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These guys did end up being a little time consuming in the end though. Crocheting the pieces and stuffing them were no big deal but the small details on them did take some time to finish. They have a lot of small felt pieces that need to be cut out and glued on. After I had cut out all the felt eyes, eyebrows, nose and teeth, I invited the husband to a glue party and he helped me to glue all the felt pieces onto these guys in one go. I could have used safety eyes instead of felt but since it is a meant for a decoration, and not a toy for a child, I decided on the felt. Plus with felt eyes I could make the eyes different sizes and shapes and make everything look just the way I wanted.

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So what do you think? Have you fallen in love with these crazy googly eyed easter decorations like I did?

Escargot

Yes, it’s true. I have been playing on raverly.com again and found a pattern I just could not wait to make!

And it is a (Drumroll Please!)  SNAIL!

I know, I know. It seems like a silly thing to make, but I needed a distraction and it seemed like a good fit at the time, so I downloaded the pattern and I was off and crocheting.

After having so much fun making turtles, the snail pattern seemed to be a logical next step, a pattern that used some of the fun variegated yarn I now owned and that wasn’t another turtle.

The pattern said that the snail would be 4 inches tall if crocheted with a 2.5 mm hook. I hate using tiny hooks plus all the fun variegated yarn I have is a little thick for that small of a hook. With that in mind, I decided to use my favorite G or 4 mm sized hook.

I knew that using a bigger hook meant a bigger snail but I did not think by that much. I also did not think about my snail not only being taller but also much wider. As I crocheted his shell, I knew he was going to be big. When I crocheted his body, I made it longer than the pattern called for to accommodate the larger shell. When all the parts were crocheted I worried about the size but as the parts were stitched together, this snail came to life and his size no longer mattered.

This snail turned out very cute and I have named him Escargot. And just like the turtles, I will be making more snails in the future since it turned out so well.

So as the French would say, C’est la vie!

Sarah B

This is Sarah B. The B, of course, is for brachiosaurus. She is my latest completed amigurumi project.

Sarah’s pattern is from an old book my sister gave me called Crochet Dinosaur Park Nursery. It was an American School of Needlework Book #1177 and it was published back before the term amigurumi became popular. This book contains the pattern for 4 dinosaurs, with each pattern having a larger adult version and an smaller baby version of all 4 of the designs. I decided to make the adult brachiosaurus first.

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When I first read the pattern, I thought to myself “No, way. This pattern is too weird.” But I decided to make some changes to the pattern and gave it a try. The pattern called for two hooks to make it, with the main hook being a size K. I don’t know if I even own a size K hook, no less used one to make any amigurumi. Wouldn’t a larger hook make larger holes in the crocheting for the stuffing to come out of? To fix this, the pattern called for two strands of yarn to be used at a time. I have never done this before either. If I followed the pattern, it said that my brachiosaurus would be 27 inches long. What?!? That is over 2 foot long. I want a brachiosaurus, not a monsterasaurus. Plus I only had one skein of yarn in the color I wanted to use. About ready to fold up the pattern and say forget it, I decided to use a size H hook with 1 strand of yarn and see what I got. If I did not like the results, I would just abort the project.

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So I got started with one of the feet, my H hook, and a single strand of yarn. I followed the pattern and got the cutest little foot, so I crocheted on. I followed the pattern and made all four feet, the tail and the body. I continued to follow the pattern through the head to the neck. At the crook of the neck, the pattern calls for the rows to be half hdc and half slip stitches. I had a really hard time crocheting this part. Although I followed the pattern, if I make another brachiosaurus, I will modify this part of the pattern to make it easier to crochet. At first I was not sure how to crochet the head bumps and thought about just leaving them off, but I gave the pattern a try and they turned out to be very simple to crochet.

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The eye lids were not that easy. The second hook the pattern called for was to make the eye lids. Since I had used a size H hook for the pattern, I got out my F hook for the eye lids. I followed the pattern and got an eye lid that was too short to curve around both eyes but too long for one eye. I undid this eye lid and made a shorter one to fit around just one eye. I did not like the height of this eye lid so, I started again, and just slip stitched across instead of sc. I liked the results in the height but length was still wrong. The next try was the charm. I got the length and the height I liked, so I made a second one the same way.

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Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges in making this brachiosaurus was the yarn. Well, to be fair, not the yarn but its dark blue color. I had difficulty seeing the stitches well and I had to turn on extra lights while crocheting and sewing it up. It was certainly not the pattern or yarns fault, but it wasdisappointing to me none the less.

As I mentioned on another post, the sewing together of this brachiosaurus was made much easier with pins, so the sewing together was not the dreaded chore it has been previously. I did spend some extra time on the details. I tried several different looks, head bumps no eye lids, eye lids no head bumps. I finally decided on both head bumps and eye lids. I embroidered her mouth and nose with black yarn as the pattern called for with the dark blue yarn but you could not even see what I had stitched. So I dug through the yarn stash and found this nice gold yarn to match the eyes and the end result is much better.

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As I crochet an amigurumi, it takes on a personally all its own, sometimes quickly during the crocheting and sometimes not until the very end. From the first foot to the final eye lid, this dinosaur turned out so cute and took on a feminine quality almost immediately. I struggled with this a little. Dinosaurs are usually boys, not girls, but Sarah is all girl and I have just fallen in love with her. I do not have a place to put her so I must find her a home, but I will have a more difficult time parting with her than some of the other amigurumi’s I have made.