Tag Archive | Penguin

Pepper And Piper

DSCN3431 (1)Squeals of delight rang from my sewing room when I saw the pattern for these penguins. They were so cute, and the pattern showed pictures of endless possibilities in colors and variations for making a whole colony of penguins. I could not wait to get the crocheting started. I envisioned making several penguins in a variety of colors and belly spots.

DSCN3439 (1)I decided to start with a basic penguin with a gray body with no belly spot and black feet and beak. Crocheting the pieces went smoothly. When it came time to crochet the different colors of the head, I decided to cut and tie each color change. The last time I made a multi-colored head for Charlie the horse, I carried the yarn across the color changes instead of cutting and tying each color change, and I had to work very hard to keep my tensions even. Cutting and tying the color changes was easier than keeping an even tension, but it was time consuming, so it slowed down the crocheting process.

DSCN3438 (1)Before I stitched the first penguin together, I crocheted the next penguin in the colony. This time the penguin would have a gray body with a white belly spot and yellow feet and beak. Once again, I cut and tied the color changes in the head and now the body. If you look closely at the pictures, you will see a small “birth mark” on this penguin’s belly. I miss counted and did not notice my mistake until a couple of rounds later after several cut and ties were completed, and I did not want to undo all my work to fix that one stitch, so I am calling it a birthmark. It adds character to the penguin and in no way decreases his cuteness. Soon enough, I had all the pieces for the second penguin crocheted and ready to stitch together.

DSCN3436 (1)I picked up the yarn to start crocheting the next penguin in the colony, but then I decided to complete the first two penguins, whose pieces were already crocheted up, before starting another. The stitching together of these penguins was much easier than the stitching together of most my amigurumi’s. Because of the multi colored head, there was no question as to where the eyes were inserted, or where the beak DSCN2730was placed. On the second penguin, I had left a long piece of gray yarn from the head to stitch the head and body together. When I came to the white of the head and the belly spot, the gray stitches stood out badly. I had to stop the gray yarn and start a piece of white yarn to sew the white areas together and then return to the gray yarn to finish stitching the head and body together. On the first penguin, I had left I long black tail for sew from the body. This blended in well with both a gray and the white of the head. The color of yarn I leave for stitching is something I will have to keep in mind when I make amigurumi’s with multicolored heads and bodies in the future.

DSCN3432 (1)Because of the black heads, I stuffed the penguins a little lighter than most of the amigurumi’s I make. Usually, I over stuff my amigurumi’s. They say the stuff settles over time, so to over stuff at first. But, when you’re working with a dark color and white stuffing, the stuffing really shows through as the stitches are stretched by the over stuffing. Although, I really like no stuffing showing through the black stitches of the head, it was very hard for me stop stuffing before I thought the pieces were completely stuffed.

DSCN3434 (1)Feeling his head now that he is stitched together, I wish I had added just a little more stuffing to the first penguin’s head, especially in the back, but the second penguin is stuffed just right. The husband likes the less stuffing. I explained to him about the stuffing settling over time, but he still said that he liked the lighter stuff and he felt that the penguin’s still had enough stuffing to withstand the settling and a lot of be played with. It will be interesting to see if that turns out to be true or not.

DSCN3433 (1)With these two penguins completed, I picked up the yarn for the next penguin in the colony and asked the husband what color beak and feet I should crochet for this penguin and should it have a belly spot or not. The husband rolled his eyes and reminded me about all the fun patterns I have yet to crochet. And, he was right, I had already made this pattern, twice, and it was fun and the finished amigurumi’s were just adorable but other just as fun patterns are waiting in the wings.

I quickly named the two penguins Pepper and Piper and they are now waiting for a good home to go and live at.

I have tucked this pattern close to the front of my crochet pattern stash, and if and when the day comes that I want to complete the penguin colony or I just need a fun and simple amigurumi that turns out super cute, I know which pattern to reach for.

Until then, crochet forth and colony on!

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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.

No Longer a Toy

When I decided to make the penguin a hat and scarf, I did not know what a job that was going to be. I picked the color forest green to make the hat and scarf. The hat crocheted up quickly and easily, but I was not happy with the end result. The scarf was not as easy. I followed the directions from the pattern, but did not like how wide the scarf was turning out, so I decided to half the count. As I crocheted, I was not happy with this either, so I decided that a color change might help, but that turned in to a disaster. A 3 stitch row was too small for a color change. There was no where to hide the knots or the loose ends. I had a mess. I tried several different methods of changing yarns. I read tutorials on the internet, and watched videos on YouTube to try and make the color change work, but to no avail. It was time for me to go to work, so a little flustered, I left my failed attempts laying on the sewing room table.

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When I got home from work, the husband had heard my frustration, and had stopped at lunch and bought me a skein of variegated yarn. He had picked out the color called cherry chip. He thought this would make a great hat and scarf. Excited about the color, I quickly crocheted a new hat for the penguin. This time, though, I crocheted 4 extra rounds at the bottom of the hat, 3 the same size as the last row, and decreased by a couple of stitches on the last row. I then folded the 4 rows up so that it looked more like a stocking cap. This gave the hat the finishing touch that the first hat did not have, changing it from a clown’s hat to a stocking cap.

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Next came the crocheting of the scarf. With the yarn changing colors for me, I chained the length I wanted for the scarf and then single crocheted 3 rows. The scarf turn out beautifully. I then put the fringe on each end to complete the scarf. The husband had chosen the color well. The cherry chip yarn made a wonderful hat and scarf for the penguin. In fact, I like the colors so much, I am going to go buy more cherry chip variegated yarn and make me something to wear with it.

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The only problem now to me is that the hat and the scarf changed the penguin from a toy into a decoration. Without the hat and scarf, I could see a child playing with the penguin. Now, with the hat and scarf, I see the penguin sitting on someone’s desk. So, now what do I do with him? He was on his way to one of the nieces or nephews or maybe even the neighbor girl, but now whose desk should he sit on?  So, the penguin is still in need of a home. Does anyone want to provided  a home for a penguin with a new hat and scarf?

The Penguin That Flew

I know penguins can’t really fly, but this one sure did. This penguin’s parts were crocheted during our layover on the trip back from Disney World. I only had black yarn with me, but I was able to crochet all of the black parts which made it quick to finish up the remaining white and yellow pieces when we got home.

The pattern for this penguin came from Lion Brand Yarn’s web site. It is one of their free designs. The pattern was very easy to follow and written well, but I am sure yet if I like it or not because this penguin ended up with such a fat body. Maybe I am just so use to all the ninja I had been making, and because their bodies were smaller than their heads on most of them. I did change the construction of the penguin just slightly from what the pattern said. I only stuffed his wings a little and sewed them flat to his body rather than stuffing them fully as the pattern instructed and sewing them so they stood out from the body. I do like the fact that this penguin can stand by himself. I did like that about the design.

This pattern also came with the the instructions for a hat and scarf for the penguin. I have not decided if I want to make them for him yet.

I have named this penguin Tubby and I have placed him on my sewing table for now. Tubby does not have a home yet, but I will need to find him one soon. I have too many things on my sewing table as is. But I will tell you, the more I stare at him the cuter he becomes and I have decided to make him a hat and a scarf now.