Tag Archive | nose

Silly Rabbit! Crocheting is for Long Car Trips!

DSCN2318What better way to whittle away the time of a long car trip than to work on a crochet project? Since I had a long car trip coming up, my next amigurumi project needed to be something that I could crochet in the car. This meant I needed a project that was larger in size than I normally do. A project who’s pieces could be crocheted now and stuffed later and wouldn’t need any stuffing during the crocheting process. A project with a simple count, not a lot of increases and decreases to keep count of or to loose count of when distracted. And, a project that was made from just a few colors so there would be less yarn to carry. After a bit of searching, I came across this bunny pattern. And since it seemed to meet all of my criteria for a car crocheting project, I was soon all packed up and ready to go!

DSCN2324As I crocheted the pieces of this amigurumi, it did meet the needed criteria. The pieces were coming out a nice size while crocheting with my favorite G size hook. The pieces did not need to be stuffed as I crocheted them which was nice. And except for the soles of the feet, and the increases in the head for the cheeks, the piece’s counts were even and it did not take a lot of concentration to keep the count correct. With just two colors needed, I only had to work with two skeins of yarn to crochet all the pieces. Plus, the opening of the head was large enough that I could complete the crocheting of the head and still get the safety eyes and nose put in later. This was truly a great car project!

DSCN2322Upon arriving home, it was easy to start the stuffing and the stitching together of this bunny. The pieces stuffed nicely, and soon I was pulling the button joints. Button joints are becoming one of my favorite ways to attach amigurumi project arms and legs. I did have one problem with pulling the button joints. Some how I got a knot in the stuffing or yarn as I was pulling the leg joints. It left a small dent in the bunny’s belly where it pulled. I tried to undo what I had done but I couldn’t. I tugged and pulled the bunny’s belly, trying to work the dent out but I had little luck with that. I finally decided to just leave the dent and to learn my lesson of being more careful as I pulled the yarn for future button joints.

DSCN2327When it came to the smile, I tried several different styles, including an open smile with a top and bottom lip using two strands of yarn but a simple line with a little curve was the best. I opted for a fluffy white pompom for the tail rather than the crocheted tail like the pattern called for and I also left off the belly spot that the pattern had. The bunny in the pattern had a crocheted purple spot on his belly. I crocheted the circle but when it came time to stitch it on, I did not like the look on my bunny, so my bunny does not have a belly spot.

DSCN2329A name for this bunny never came to me through the entire crocheting and stitching process, but the husband quickly named the finished bunny Trix because it reminded him of Trix the Rabbit from the cereal, so this bunny’s name is Trix.

He was very fun to make and he turned out just adorable in the end.

He also made a long car ride much more enjoyable. I don’t have another car trip planned for the near future but if I did I would probably make another one of these bunnies!

Until then, crochet forth and ride on!

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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DSCN0801I just love to do Christmas crafting. The idea of making that something special for that special someone really gets me in the Christmas mood and gets my creativity flowing. I love baking holiday cookies, crafting that new ornament for the tree, or sewing that perfect gift. Unfortunately, my hopes, dreams, and ideas are usually bigger than the holiday season, and I never get everything done that I want to, but over the years I have learned to not let that ruin my holiday fun. This year was no exception. I was able to do some holiday crafting, not as much as I would have like to, but some and I am thankful for that.

Each Christmas season, my work has an auction for the Relay for Life cancer event and asks for donations. This year I decided that my Christmas crafting would be to make something to donate. I wanted to make something small that people would not mind spending a dollar or two on. So, when I found some fun snowflake patterns on ravelry, I knew that was what I wanted to make and donate.

DSCN0776The problem with that was that I don’t crochet with thread so don’t have any in my stash, or have any good small sized hooks to crochet with. So I wondered what the snowflakes would look like made out of 4-ply acrylic Red Heart yarn and my favorite size G hook instead? Let’s find out! And the answer is they turn out just great! I had a great time crocheting the snowflakes and changing up the pattern each time so that each flake was just a little different just like real snowflakes. When they were finished though, they were kind of boring. I needed to spice them up.

DSCN0780To do that I found a pattern for a star shape in a scarf pattern I had. That would work to spice up the snowflakes, but what color should I make them in? I started out with a light blue. What about dark blue? Oh, maybe black? No, silver! How about this blue variegated? It is Christmas, so why not some red and green too? I started making stars from all of the colors to see what I liked best and found that I liked them all. Some colors I liked a little more than others, and some colors the husband liked better than others, but all the star looked great with the snowflakes. I had to modify the star pattern a little and use a size H hook to get the larger sized star that I needed to match the snowflakes size.

DSCN0792I thought about stiffening the snowflakes, but I decided not to. Because of the yarn I used, they were already stiff enough. I did block the snowflakes and stars with water to help them lay even and flat. When I started to glue the snowflakes to the stars, the husband said they needed to be spiced up even more, so he helped me use spray adhesive to glue blue and silver glitter to the snowflakes before I used some tacky glue to attach the flakes to the stars.

DSCN0809And now my Christmas snowflakes were complete! With the changes to the snowflake pattern and the different colors of the stars, and the glitter, no two snowflakes are the same just like real snowflakes. These snowflakes were fun to make and turned out great. I hope they will make someone’s Christmas I little bit merrier and make a little money for the Relay for Life event.

In the meanwhile, while watching Christmas movies, I crocheted this little reindeer. I call him Rudy. He has the tiniest body for his big head but he is so cute! He was a fun and quick crochet and will accompany the snowflakes to the auction. Hopefully someone will get a kick out of a tiny crocheted reindeer with a big red nose!

Until next time, crochet forth and Christmas craft on!

Thread Joints

P1030815Since I have enjoyed making button jointed amigurumi’s so much, I decided that I would tackle the next type of joints on my to do list, thread joints. Thread joints are actually simpler to make than button joints. Like button joints, the thread joint is made by inserting the yarn through the body to the appendage, but unlike the button joints, the yarn is only inserted into the inside of the appendage then back into the body. The yarn is not pulled to the to the outside of appendage. The advantage of the thread joint is that you can pull the thread through the body and appendage several times in a loop without the limitation of the size of the holes in the button and this makes for a stronger joint. The disadvantage is that you don’t have cute decorative buttons shown on the outside of an amigurumi. But maybe that’s an advantage, since you don’t have to find matching buttons, or have the expense of the buttons added to your project.

P1030816There are many patterns out there for thread jointed amigurumi’s. After reading a couple of these patterns, I decided that just about any amigurumi could be stitched together with these thread joints. All that needs to be done is to close off the appendages when you’re crocheting them and then stitch them on with a thread joint. So, my choice of patterns to try a thread joint was almost limitless, but in the end I picked a teddy bear pattern that was designed to be stitched together with thread joints.

P1030819As usual, I started the crocheting of the pieces for this teddy bear with the appendages. As I completed the first arm, I noticed that the pattern ended the arm with a large stitch count on the last row. The yarn left for sewing was to be weaved through the stitches and then pulled tight to close up the arm. This made the top of the arm flat. I did not really like this look. So I thought about adding more rows and tapering the arm closed or at least stuffing the arm less, but in the end I followed the pattern and made the four appendages with flat tops and stuffed them full and firm.

P1030459The thread joints were easy to make and it made stitching the appendages to this teddy bear quick and simple. When I was done though, I did not like the look of the bear because it looked too bulky to me. Two things were at fault for this bulky look. The first was the flat top of the appendages. If I had tapered the ends of the appendages or stuffed them less, they would not have stuck out from the body so much and looked so bulky. The second thing was the thread joints. Because the yarn is not pulled to the outside of the appendage and then pulled back into the body, the appendage was not pulled tightly to the body. And although the appendages are securely fastened to the body with the thread joints, they are not tight against the body like the button joints of the last teddy bear were.

P1030465Next I had quite a bit of trouble with the face of this teddy bear. The nose and mouth were to be embroidered to the muzzle and then the muzzle was to be puffed up as it was stitched on to the head. After embroidering the nose and mouth, I puffed the muzzle and stitched it on, but I did not like the look. So I decided to use a plastic nose rather than an embroidered one. I attached the plastic nose to the muzzle and then puffed as I stitched it on again. I really did not like the results when it was finished. So, I attached the plastic nose through the muzzle and the head and stitched the muzzle flat to the face. This was still not the look that I wanted, but it was better than the other looks. Because I was disappointed with the bulky look already, I just left the flat muzzle and plastic nose on this bears face.

P1030455The picture of the bear on the pattern is just precious, but my bear just did not turned out to be that cute. He looks sad, and not cute sad, just sad. So I sat this teddy bear on my cutting table and started my next project hoping I could figure out what to do to make him look better. As he stared at me for several days, he seemed to just want some love and he melted my heart and I grew to love his little sad face. I named him Thready Bear, and now he just needs a loving home to go to and for someone to love him.

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!

Nose Above the Eyes

IMG_7141After completing Orion with all his challenges and complexities, I was ready to crochet a simpler amigurumi. And still being in the alien making mood, I decided crochet another simpler alien life form. His pattern name is Zork. I liked the name so I decided to keep it.

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IMG_7147Zork’s pattern is from a book I purchased a long time ago but never crocheted anything from. The book is Crocheted Softies by Stacey Trock. Remember Mark and Clark, the experimental monsters, who’s pattern I downloaded from Raverly? They were designed by Stacy Trock as well, and if you remember, her patterns are all stitched in the back loop technique leaving front ridges. Zork was designed the same with the front ridges and I decided to crochet him as the pattern directed.

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IMG_7139In this pattern, you start at the eyes and crochet your way down to the head and then on to the body. This means that you have to insert the eyes early on in the crocheting process, after crocheting the white eye balls and just before starting the green stalks that hold the eyeballs. This was a little difficult for me. It would have been easier if more of the head and body would have been crocheted first so I could tell how the eyes were going to look with the head and body when choosing which size or shape of eyes I wanted to use. I inserted several different shapes and sizes of eyes but just was not happy with any of them. With what started out as a joke, I inserted a couple of noses instead of eyes and voila, they made the perfect eyes for this alien.

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IMG_7144This pattern worked up easily and simply. It was a little tricky to keep the eyes facing forward while crocheting the stalks of the eyes together to form the head. As you can see, mine are not quite straight, but they are as straight as I could get them and their off position gives a little personality to Zork. I really enjoyed adding the ruffle at the bottom of Zork’s body. It was fun to crochet and added more personality to Zork. When it came to making his mouth, I read the pattern and thought, “This will never work.” but I followed the pattern and it worked out great.

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Zork was fun and simple to make from the crocheting to the stitching together. It was nice to have something just relaxing to make for a change. I would make another Zork anytime.