Tag Archive | park

Hey Chubby! Stop Eating All My Stuffing! – Part 2 of 2

DSCN0091As I passed the neck and was heading on down the body, the rounds of crocheting just kept increasing in stitch count until I had to add an extra stitch marker to help me keep track of the count. And the body of the moose just kept getting bigger and bigger. I was afraid at one point that I would run out of yarn. And since the head and body of the moose needed to be stuffed as I crocheted, I was really starting to notice just how big this body was getting as I went along.

I had started with half of a bag of stuffing and I thought that would certainly be enough to complete this amigurumi but I was wrong. I used that half bag and then had started well into another before I got this chubby moose body all stuffed and finished.

DSCN0083As I was stitching the pieces of this amigurumi together, I realized why the legs were so stubby. Something had to hold up this chubby body so it didn’t fall over when sitting. The antlers were time consuming to stitch all of the smaller pieces together, but they went together easily and looked great once done. The placement of the ears and antlers on the head was a little tricky but they worked out fine. And the arms stitched on just great.

Now was the moment of truth…

Was one round at the neck the correct decision early on in the construction of this moose or should it have been three?

I still don’t know the answer!

DSCN0074The snout and mouth were a tight fit and the extra two rounds might have helped in stitching them on, but the snout and mouth were supposed to be a tight fit according to the picture. So that means that one round might still be correct. I guess the only way to know if it should be one or three rounds is to make another moose with three rounds at the neck and see how it looks compared to this first one.

I really do like the look of the snout and mouth as two separate pieces though. I think it gives this moose it’s character.

DSCN0087This moose received his name Kevin very early on in the crocheting process. I don’t know why he is named Kevin, he just looked like a Kevin to me, so that name stuck. Kevin the Chubby Moose.

And even though he consumed way too much of my stuffing stash, he turned out to be very cute once completed. I will have to make a trip to the store for more stuffing before I can make another one though.

Until next time, crochet forth and moose on.

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Hey Chubby! Stop Eating All My Stuffing! – Part 1 of 2

DSCN0089I’ve been to Yellowstone National Park, and I’ve seen a real moose from six inches away. Yes, they are big animals. Yes, they not to be messed with. Yes, they go and do whatever they please. Yet as I reached 80 stitches per round on my latest amigurumi’s body, I thought to myself, “this is a little too much moose”.

Because this is a story about Kevin.

Kevin the Chubby Moose.

When I read through the pattern for this amigurumi, I knew it was going to be big, but I did not realize just how chubby this moose would be when I first started it. As always, I started the crocheting with the arms, legs and other parts. After I crocheted the arms, they looked good. So I crocheted the legs next and they looked stubby. Then I crocheted the antlers and ears and they were fun to make. Finally, I crocheted the snout and the mouth. These are two separate pieces. I was not going to have to give this moose a smile since he was going to have a mouth. It was then time to start the body and head.

P1040413In this pattern the head and body are all stitched as one piece, not two separate pieces stitched together. This combo started at the top of head and all was going well until I reached the rounds just before the neck. The pattern called for three rounds of equal stitches but the round count on the pattern only showed one round of stitches.

So, do I crochet one round or three rounds?

DSCN0082I crocheted just one round and it looked too short, so I crocheted two more rounds and that looked too long. I undid the extra two rounds and held the snout and mouth to head. One round looked right with the snout and mouth so I decided to go with one round. Now, this would not have been a big deal if the head and body had been two separate pieces. If I decided later when stuffing that I wanted the extra rounds at the neck and the pieces would have been crocheted in two pieces, it would just be a matter of adding in the extra rounds. But because they are all done as one piece, if I decided I that I had wanted the extra rounds when I was stuffing, I would be out of luck. I would have to undo everything that I had crocheted of the body portion to add in the extra rounds. And I was not willing to do that. So once I decided that just the one round was right, there would be no changing it to three rounds later. So I hope that I chose correctly.

Find out next week if I was right!

Until next time, crochet forth and moose on.

More Leftovers

There is always good news and bad news in people’s daily lives on this planet. Mine is no different. The good news is that the husband has lost some weight, and the bad news is that his shirts that I previously made him no longer fit well. And, the terrible news at least for me anyway, is that I needed to alter his basic sloper shirt pattern to fit him better at his current weight. And as much as I didn’t want to mess with his sloper pattern, his collars and necks are looking so big and sloppy that I had to take action now.

I knew that altering his pattern would have a cascade effect. Making the neck opening smaller would change the curve of the yoke which would have to be redone, and then the tab adjusted along with it. And that would also end up making the shoulder seam longer which really needs to be shorter as it is. And then that would mess with the armscye and so on and so on.

Wow! Perhaps it would be easier to just throw away his current sloper pattern and start fresh?

After a lot of thought, a simpler answer occured to me. Luckily the neck opening is big all the way around the neck so, if I took some out of the top of the shoulders, that would make the neck opening smaller without affecting the curve of the neck so it would not end up affecting the yoke or tab. And taking some out of the shoulders would also make the shoulder seam a little smaller without affecting the armscye. This sounded like the answer.

I decided to be conservative and only take 1/2 inch out the the seam, front and back, to total 1 inch on each side. And I just folded the pattern down the 1/2 inch so in case this was the wrong path, I had not chopped up the original sloper pattern. I then cut the fabric out and sewed the shoulder seam to test my theory, and then I had the husband try it on. It looked good so far. Taking the 1/2 inch out brought the neck opening back up to where I wanted it to be.

Next I continued on with the construction of the shirt. And I had the husband try it on frequently throughout the process to make sure it was all was fitting well along the way. I did end up cutting the back curve of the neck opening down just a little, maybe 1/8 inch before I sewed the collar on and I did have to cut 1/2 inch off the top of each yoke to match what I had removed from the shoulders. When the collar was finished I had the husband try it on once again and it all looked good still.

After some other alterations to the side seams, I noticed that I had plenty of scraps left over from the cutting out the husband’s shirt. Even though this fabric is just a single knit, it was easy to sew so I decided to make some kids shirts from the scraps I had left. I was able to cut a size 1 and 2 t-shirt from the scraps. These shirts sewed up quickly and easily. Picking out and embroidering the dinosaurs on them was a lot of fun. Plus there will be no scraps returning to the stash. I ended up using all the fabric I had left over.

I don’t know yet if the alterations I made to the husband’s sloper were the correct ones yet. The shirt will need to pass the wear test to see if the fits as good as it looked when it was tried on. At this point the shirt has been washed and ironed and is hanging in the closet waiting for its turn to be worn. So, I will know soon if the changes I made will work out for now.

Skipping A Step

Or how not to do, what you think you should do, when you think you should do it.

Late last year around Halloween I started working on digitizing an embroidery design of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, one of mine and the husband’s most favorite Disney attractions. The plan at the time was to embroider the design to the latest shirt I had been making for the husband, but this plan went awry and it just never happened.

I did get the design completed last year and once it was completed I was smart enough to hoop a scrap of fabric from the husband’s shirt instead of the actual shirt to test it out on. This proved to be a very good thing. The embroidery test on the scrap did not turn out well at all. But, was it the design’s fault or user error? Had I not hooped the fabric tight enough? I was leaning towards poor hooping because the fabric was so stretchy but I returned to the computer and did some tweaking of the design anyway just in case.

Returning to the embroidery machine, I hooped another piece of scrap fabric with a top stabilizer this time and started to stitch my revised design. The design stitched much better but still not good enough to put on the shirt. Since I felt that I had hooped this scrap very well, I leaned more to blaming the design for the failure this time. I would have went back to the computer to tinker with the design but a little voice in my head kept saying that maybe this fabric was just too stretchy for this large of a design. Was this the problem?

Flustered, I picked a smaller design for the husband’s shirt and set the HM design aside for another shirt at a later date.

Well, the time had finally come to try again. This time the fabric I picked for the husband’s shirt was far less stretchy than the last one. I hooped a scrap of the fabric carefully and used a top stabilizer again. My revised design was stitching great on this fabric. I was greatly pleased. After stitching the first thread color which was black, I noticed that I actually liked the design with just that color alone stitched on this color of fabric. It looked kind of like how some black & white photographs looks better than their color counterparts.

I showed the husband the result and he said that he really liked it in the mono color as well. But because this was a trial run, I decided to go ahead and stitch the rest of the colors anyway. I was using the same colors that I used the last time I stitched the design but as they stitched on this fabric, I did not like them as much. So half way through the stitching of the other colors, I started switching out colors to see what looked the best. When I was done, I had a pretty funky looking multi color design but a lot of colors for the husband to pick from.

It did not take much debating for the husband to pick the colors he wanted. He said that he liked the black only design the best on this particular color of fabric. This was great for me since it cut the number of stitches in the design by half, but it was a terribly odd feeling to stop the machine after the first color and say that the design was done.

I really like the results of the half stitched single color design on this shirt. It looks very rich and clean to me. How about you? Do you like the full color version or the black and white mono color version better?

I don’t think the black and white effect would work on every design I use, but in the case of this bright fluorescent yellow green glow in the dark color of fabric it turned out wonderfully!

It is a useful and helpful technique I will remember to use for another day.

All Day and All Night

I have been very busy this summer, just not sewing busy. The month of July has just slipped through my fingers. First the 4th of July week which involved a visit to the parents along with a small family reunion, followed later in the month with a trip to Disneyland for some summer fun and to see the new World of Color show at Disney’s California Adventure as well as a side trip to Knott’s Berry Farm to see the Snoopy Starlight Spectacular at Camp Snoopy. So, between working, the trips and just keeping up with the usual daily grind (house work, laundry and ironing), I have not even turned on my sewing machine the entire month of July. Not even to sew on a lost button from the 4th of July picnic back on its shirt. The trip to Disneyland also involved a trip to M&L fabric which added many yards of fabric to the stash. So I guess that counts as something sewing related.

But, I know I must get busy and get the wheels of my machine turning again. I need work pants, either hemming and altering some purchased pants or starting from scratch to make some new pants. I have a new niece on the way, and I found out that a friend is adding a new little boy to her family, so I need to get the sleeper pattern out again and get started. The husband is complaining that it is time for him a new shirt, and  one of my goals this year was to start the Christmas sweater that I wanted to make in July, so that it would hopefully be done by Christmas. Yes, I know,  I am a little behind on that goal, but I am proud that I have accomplished several of my other goals for the year already.

So, without further ado, I am off to the sewing room to re-acquaint myself with my sewing machine, and hopefully I will come out with new pants, shirts and sleepers, as well as some new tales to tell.