Tag Archive | gold

Have Yourself Some Merry Little Christmas Crafting.

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…

EXCEPT for the crazy crocheter with visions of grandeur still frantically crocheting her Christmas mouse!

2015 Christmas Card Picture

 

I told myself NO CHRISTMAS PROJECTS this year, despite all the wonderful ideas and patterns there are to read about in the blogosphere and on Ravelry for Christmas crafters.

But, right around Thanksgiving the Christmas crafting bug bit me and I decided that just one little, teeny, tiny, project that could be easily completed before Christmas came and went would be ok to make.

This project needed to be something small and simple that could be made with minimal stress and time. As I looked at my patterns and some ideas on line, I found this pattern for some amigurumi Christmas light bulbs and picked it to be my one and only Christmas crafting project for this year.

The pattern for these Christmas light bulbs is very simple and it only took a couple of Christmas movies for me to have 10 bulbs, 2 of each color, crocheted up. It took a few more Christmas movies to stuff the 10 bulbs, and then I had to stop watching movies altogether so that I could concentrate on the details of these Christmas bulbs. The devil is always in the details isn’t it?

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It took just a few minutes to stitch the tops of the Christmas bulbs closed once they were stuffed. I decided to use googly eyes instead of safety eyes, so, with the husbands help, it only took a few more minutes to glue the eyes on to each bulb. But now the long process of giving each bulb a smile and a personality started.

I tried big smiles, small smiles, v-shaped smiles, rounded smiles, and crazy zig-zag smiles but nothing looked good to me. I finally decided on smaller v-shaped smiles. I was using black yarn to make the smiles but the black yarn was not showing up well on the darker color bulbs so I tried white yarn instead. That looked awful, so I switched to some silver color yarn. After much trial and error, I completed the 10 smiles on the Christmas bulbs.

Now, what should I do with 10 Christmas crocheted amigurumi light bulbs? I could chain them together into a string of lights to make one Christmas decoration. Or I could put a bulb on a long piece of string or yarn and make it a necklace for all my friends and coworkers, but who wants a silly Christmas light bulb necklace? At last, I decided to make them up as Christmas tree ornaments.

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I dug through the closet and found some silver and gold metallic cording to make loops to hang these Christmas light bulb ornaments. I carefully cut even lengths of the cording, and threaded the cording through the top of each bulb. I knotted the cording, planning to twist the cording around and then hide the knot in the top of the bulb but this did not work.

The knots in the cording were too big to pull into the stuffing at the top of the bulbs. In hind sight, if I had stuffed the tops of the bulbs less, this would have worked, but I stuffed the tops good and plenty so hiding the knots in the top was not an option. I tried using yarn instead of the cording but that did not look as good. The silver and gold cording added an elegant Christmas touch to the bulbs. So, after much debate, I decided to just leave the knot at the top of the cording so it was still visible.

This was a great idea and a simple solution except that the bare ends of the cording knots frayed like crazy. I wanted the ends of the knots trimmed close but then the cording would fray and the knot would come untied. Flustered, I turned to the husband who said one word.

GLUE!

So thank heavens for clear drying glue. So, after carefully knotting and trimming the cording ends, I doused the knots and ends in glue to seal the cording, stop the fraying and keep the knot tied. After much patience with the knotting, cutting and glueing, the glue dried clear and the Christmas light bulb ornaments were done.

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At first, I did not like what I had made and I thought seriously about tossing the bulbs into the garbage can. But after they sat on the cutting table for a little while, their silliness grew on me and I now think that they are very cute silly little Christmas light bulb ornaments that my friends and family will be more than willing to hang them on their Christmas trees this year.

Until next time, Crochet forth and Christmas craft on!

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Buzzing for Spring

happyspring2014-2Hurray for spring! Hurray for the return of warmer weather! Hurray for the return of the bunnies, the birds and the bees! Hurray for the green plants and flowers blooming! As spring emerges, I have watched the lavender plants in my yard bloom their beautiful purple flowers and watched the bees dance around as they do their job of pollinating them. All of these hard working bees got me thinking about all the fun free bee crochet patterns I had ran across over the winter and in that thought, my next crocheting project was chosen, a spring display of bees.

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P1040174The first bee pattern I wanted to make was found on the blog, http://kristenscrochet.blogspot.com. He is a fat little bee with stuffed wings. I started by picking out which colors to use which does not sound like a difficult task since the only colors that I needed for the bee where yellow, black and white. Of course, black and white were easy enough to pick out but I went through my entire yarn stash trying to find a bee colored yellow, not a bright yellow but then again not quite gold either. I could not find the color of yellow that I wanted in my entire stash. I had either bright yellows or golds. After debating for quite some time, I finally picked the bright yellow that I had.

The pieces of this bee P1040173crocheted up easily and the sewing went quickly with only the wings left to stitch on. When this bee was finished, the husband said he needed some antenna’s. So, looking at the next bee pattern that I was getting ready to start on, I copied the antenna from that pattern and attached them to this bee. The husband was right. The antenna’s were the finishing touch for this bee. The husband promptly named this bee Air Bee One after the big fat Boeing 747 that the president flies around in called Air Force One.

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P1040164The next bee pattern was found on a skein of Red Heart yarn. It can also be found on ravelry.com. Since the three colors of yarns were out and all ready to go, the crocheting started right away. The pieces of this bee were fun to crochet. The stitching together of this bee was a little more complicated than the last bee because of the six legs. Each leg had two yarns to attach it to the body with. At first I tried to stitch each yarn into the body, tie a knot in the single strand and then hide the knot. This was a lot of work and it had poor results. The arms were just not secure enough on the body. I tried a couple of things to secure the arms but I finally found that if I stitched the two yarns ends into the body, knotted them behind the arm and then hid the ends that I got a secure arm and the knot at the base of the arm was not even noticeable. This worked so well that I went back and reattached Air Bee One’s antenna this way too. This bee turned out very cute and was named Red after his pattern.

IMG_0004Bee number three’s pattern was found on ravelry.com. The pattern is called Bumble Bee Buddy by Ham and Eggs. After making the first two bees, the pieces for this bee crocheted up just as quickly. As I was crocheting the head, it was easy to see that this guy’s head was huge compare to his body. At first I thought it was just too big and it needed to be made smaller, but then I decided that no, it was fine, and that was what made this bee different from the last bees. The pattern only called for two legs and no antennas. This made this bee look incomplete to me, so I made him four more legs and some antenna’s and attached them like I did Red’s arms and antenna. Because the pattern called for the legs to be stitched making a picot at the end, I did the same for the antenna so they would match. And with this bee finished, he was named Hammy.

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P1040154I had planned to make a couple of more bee patterns that I had found online but when I found the pattern for the queen and worker bees at http://kimlapsley.blogspot.com, the other patterns got pushed to the side. Unfortunately, unlike the other bee patterns so far, the pattern for these bees was not as simple or easy. These bees were very detailed and had several pieces to be crocheted. The crocheting of the pieces took time and thought, especially for the queen bee. Luckily, I only needed one queen bee. Because of the detail in these bees, they took more time and thought to stitch together as well. To complete their eyes, I spent a couple of hours cutting tiny black felt dots and then had to have a glue party with the husband to get the tiny felt dots attached to the white crocheted bases. But, in the end, all this extra work and thought paid off. The queen and her worker bees turned out fantastic. And I think they are just so funny.

Bees4Bees3Thanks to the husbands wonderful ideas and photography skills, I have a great spring diorama of my bees to be sent out with my Spring Fling cards. We bought a vase, some silk flowers and a few wooden dowels, and photographed the bees on a green back ground. We had a fun time together arranging the bees in various poses and taking their pictures. Then the husband went to work and photoshopped the dowels out of the pictures and created me a fun springtime photo of my bees.

My spring fling with the bees was now over and I had had a great time making each bee. And I now have a fun spring display of flowers and bees and some great photos of my work.

Until next time, Crochet forth and crochet on!

Hidden Button Joints on a Cool Cat

P1040187Since I have recently taken a fancy with button joints, I found this amigurumi cat pattern that called for the use of button joints but with a variation. Instead of showcasing the button and using large fancy expensive buttons to accent the amigurumi, these buttons are hidden inside the amigurumi, so you only need small flat inexpensive buttons to complete this amigurumi’s joints.

P1030778The construction of this cat started out with the crocheting of its parts. The crocheting was simple and fun. This cat pattern is similar to the monkey pattern I had previously made so I was familiar with how it was made. I stuffed the arms and legs as I crocheted them. The pattern called for the eyes and nose to be crocheted pieces and then the mouth would be embroidered to the head. Because the eyes and nose are crocheted pieces, I prefer to stitch them to the head after stuffing the head. Of course, if I was using safety eyes, I would have inserted them before stuffing the head. So, after stuffing the head, I placed the eyes and nose on the head to stitch them on P1030766and screamed in terror. This was the most scary face I have ever seen on an amigurumi before! I read the pattern again to make sure that I had made the eyes and nose correctly. And I studied the pictures that the pattern came with, but I could in no way get my cat’s face to be the adorable face on the cat in the pictures of the pattern. Not wanting to use this terrifying face, I turned to other amigurumi patterns for ideas. Remembering back to when I had first started making amigurumi’s and some of the techniques I had learned, I decided to embroidery the nose and mouth on to a piece of felt. I had purchased some P1030769safety cat eyes many years ago, knowing that some day I would make a cat and this was that day. So, I first unstuffed the head so that I could attach the safety eyes backs and then stitch the felt piece to the head. I dislike stuffing in the first place but to have to un-stuff only to have to re-stuff the head again was agonizing for me, but I could not finish this cat with it’s original horrifying face. I unstuffed the head, attached the eyes, stitched on the felt embroidered nose and mouth and then I re-stuffed the head. Now, with the head and cute face completed, I could continue on to the next part of this amigurumi, the hidden button joints.

P1030770The arms and legs were crocheted with two small patches at the top of each piece. When sewing the arms and legs on, one button was placed in between the patches and one button was placed inside the body. The buttons were lined up and stitched together through the one patch and the body. Then the two patches were stitched together to hide the button. The arms and legs can now rotate around the button joints. How fun is that?

P1040189And with a little more stuffing and stitching, this cat was finished. I think he turned out to be very cute and I really like the hidden button joints and the way they work. I was a little surprised by how expensive small buttons cost, and then the fact that you needed to use 8 buttons to complete this project really made the cost add up. I spent about the same amount on fancy buttons for the previous jointed teddy bears that I made previously as I did on the small buttons for this cat.

P1040194This was a fun variation to the button jointed amigurumi’s that I have made in the past and I really like the results. Stay tuned because in the next post, I’m going to show yet another way of making a jointed amigurumi. It should be fun!

And… ACTION!

I see where patterns are on sale again at Joanns and now that I have worn both of the shirts I made from my new Connie Crawford Butterick patterns, I thought I would report on the wearable muslins I ended up making from the patterns and how the garments/muslins are performing.

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B5503

The golden shirt I made from pattern B5503 is very loose and very comfortable and the fabric is so soft. It is a pleasure to wear but I do feel like I have a pup tent on sometimes. Even with cutting so much off the the length and width, it is still huge. This keeps me from wearing it to work or out to dinner but it has became one of my favorite hang around the house shirts. For some reason I’ve gotten tons of comments from people when wearing it about how much they love it so it must look ok on. As I said before, if and when I make this pattern again, I will use my basic sloper as the start and just use the design ideas from the pattern to spice up the shirt a little.

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B5583

The princess seams of pattern B5583 are wearing well. The first time I wore the shirt I was very self conscious of the princess seams. Would the princess seams show off my rolls that I so carefully try to hide? But, the more compliments I got on the shirt the better I felt about the way it looked. There are a couple of things that I will definitely change on the next shirt from this pattern. First, the front facings will be cut smaller. With such large front facings, I feel like the shirt has a steel breast plate in the front. The large facings make the front heavy and hot when wearing. Sitting becomes an issue too as thebreast plate bulges as you take a seat. Cutting down the facings next time will make this shirt a more comfortable fit. Next, for me the arms eye needs to be deeper. I feel a slight constriction when I reach in this shirt. This is an easy fix for the next shirt and it will make it easier to fit the sleeve in as well.  The final change is to take some of the fullness out of the back princess seams at the hem. I will need to give this some study before I make the cut on the next shirt. I may need that fullness to sit down in it.

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Embroidery

As far as embroidery designs go, check out the monorail design on the husband’s new shirt. Ooo, doesn’t he look sharp? It seems to be wearing very well and everyone including him seems to love it.

Monkey Sale

I received an e-mail from Smart Needle advertising a sale on their pack, Monkey Adventures. Since I love to embroidery monkeys on kids clothes, I could not resist purchasing this pack. The pack contained 10 double appliqué designs for the 5 by 7 hoop. Excited about stitching monkeys, on one of the trips to M&L fabric I specifically purchased fabrics to use in the appliqué’s of the monkeys.  When I cut out the Indy shirt for the nephew, I went ahead a cut a second shirt for a monkey design.

I had done appliques before, but I have never perfected the technique, so the stitching of the monkey design became a learning experience. It was actually more of a re-learning experience. I remember learning these same things previously when I appliqued some letters to a pair of sweat pants, but I did that so long ago now that I made the same mistakes again when doing these appliqués. I learned that I need a much sharper pair of very small scissors with very fine points if I am going to continue to do appliques. I was smart enough this time though to use a little spray adhesive on the applique fabric to keep it in place. This helped with both the stitching and the cutting of the applique. Although the design is not perfect, it is usable and sure turned out cute. If and when I stitch another monkey, I want to get a little fur or at least a fussy fabric to make the monkey.

As I stitched the monkey to the shirt, the shirt became quite feminine, so I have decided to give it to the little neighbor girl instead of one of the nephews. She just got a new little brother and needs a little extra attention.

 

More Fun With Indy Designs

After finishing the shirt for the nephew and the bag for the brother, the husband noticed that he did not have anything with an Indy design on it. So, my next project was a new shirt for the husband with an Indy design on it. I picked some $1/yd fabric I had just got at M&L fabric. I had not tucked it into the stash yet so it was an easy pick. I had planned to use one of the stitched samples and do the fraying, but the husband decided he would rather have the design stitched right to the shirt.

The construction of the shirt went well and the design stitched out beautifully.  I had a little issue with the tips of the collar. I did not stitch as close to the point as I should have but did not notice until I had the collar completely sewn onto  the shirt. Not wanting to unpick every thing, I cheated and used a little clear finger nail polish to seal the points of the collar. So far it has held up well.

The husband had the chance to wear the shirt last weekend and it passed the wear test. Generally the husband is not that fond of brighter colors, so I was concerned about the gold fabric, but I noticed that the color did not stand out. I liked the looks of both the color and the shirt’s fit on him.

I have enjoyed making things with Indy designs on them, but I can not decide if I want a shirt with an Indy design on it for myself. What do you think?