Tag Archive | position

Mousey Decisions

DSCN0060Have you ever seen a crochet pattern and said “Oh, I can’t wait to make that”? I know you have and I so have I. Usually I say that and then promptly push the pattern out of site and out of mind and continue on with my current project, and just hope that I will somehow just remember that pattern when its time to start on a new project. Most times though, I don’t remember that awesome, have to do next, pattern and I end up working on something else instead. This time though I did not. I had fallen in love with this little mouse pattern and I wanted to make it next, and so I made a point to remember it and I did it right after my previous project was done.

DSCN0062Although this pattern looked really simple, there were some design decisions that had to be made while crocheting the pieces of this mouse. The first decision was the length of the legs. The pattern called for short stubby legs to be crocheted to the feet which would be best if the mouse would always be in a sitting position like a shelf sitter. But I decided that I wanted the option for my mouse to be either sitting or standing, so I added two extra rounds to his legs to accomplish that. The next decision came with the crocheting of his arms. The pattern called for no stuffing in the arms. As I crocheted the arms I decided I wanted a little stuffing at the ends of the arms to give them some form and shape. I had to add the stuffing as I crocheted to get the stuffing where I wanted it. Decision number three came with the crocheting of the tail. The tail is 21 crocheted rounds of 4 stitches. This was a tight and difficult crochet and took me a long time to make. As I worked on the rounds I debated whither the tail needed stuffed or if a pipe cleaner should be inserted into it to help it keep its form. The pattern did not call for anything though, so I decided to leave the tail as just the crochet stitches. Since the tail seems to hold its curl just fine on it’s own, that was probably the correct decision.

DSCN0072With the pieces of this mouse all crocheted, I had to rethink one of my previous decisions. As I stitched the longer legs on the mouse I decided that I did not like the longer length. The longer length was fine when the mouse was standing, but when sitting, the legs were too long and looked funny. I thought about attaching the legs to the bottom of the body instead of the front of the body to solve this longer look problem while the mouse was sitting but then the mouse would not be able to sit. So, I finally undid my two extra rounds and made the legs the length the pattern called for. And I DSCN0067stitched the legs to the front of the body as the pattern called for. In a sitting position, the mouse looks great. In a standing position, he looks ok with the shorter legs. He looks better in a standing position with shorter legs than he did in a sitting position with longer legs, so the short legs attached to the front of body, as the pattern called for, was the best result. Luckily, I do still like the stuffing in the arms and the tail is fine without it.

The final decision on this mouse was his smile. The pattern did not call for a mouth or smile but I wanted one. This guy was just too cute not to be happy, so I gave him a simple smile. I like his smile. It makes me happy when I see it.

DSCN0066Making design decisions is not always my favorite thing to do, even though you have to make design decisions all the time while crafting and sewing. Even with all this decision that had to be made, this little mouse was a fun project and I think he turned out just as adorable as the pictures were in his pattern. I have not named him anything more than little mouse yet though. I hope that someday he will find a good home and that someone will give him a proper name.

Until next time, crochet forth and crochet on.

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Triangulating The Joint

P1040340Remember Thready the teddy bear? Sure you do. He was the cute, but bulky teddy bear that I crocheted a while back. He was my first try at making an amigurumi with thread joints. I have been wanting to make another amigurumi with thread joints to see if I could change the things that I did not like about Thready, like the bulky look that he had and to incorporate all the things that I learned recently from making several different types of thread joints. This made picking out my next amigurumi project easy. I found a pattern for a puppy with thread joints, but with a little variation to the joints that I had been making.

P1040350Starting with the crocheting of the pieces, I quickly found out that this was not a particularly easy pattern. I had to watch my rounds and stitch count more closely than usual. This was not difficult, just a pain. Unlike Thready’s pattern, the arms and legs of this puppy tapered in at the ends. I was also careful not over stuff the arms and legs.

The instructions in this pattern for the thread joints were a little different than for the ones on Thready’s joints. This pattern called for a separate piece of yarn to make the joints, not just to use the tail of the yarn left after crocheting. The separate yarn piece was pulled from the bottom of the puppy’s body into the leg but then angled towards the front of the leg, and then pulled out of the leg at the front. The yarn was then reinserted into the leg, not catching the crocheted yarn, pulled through under the crocheting but close to the outside of the leg to the back of the leg. Finally the yarn was pulled out from the leg at the back, then, as before, reinserted into the leg, once again not catching the crocheted yarn, pulled to the inside of the leg where it first entered the leg, then out the bottom of the body at the starting point. This formed a triangle for the joint inside the leg.

P1040227Forming the triangle joint pulled the leg closer to the body, decreasing some of the bulky look. This was a good thing. The problem, though, was that the leg was very loose. I did not feel that it was secure enough to the body to withstand any play or pulling from a child. So, I cut some more yarn and stitched the joints again the same way. While this did tighten up the joint so that it was more secure it caused another problem. I now had a ton of loose ends of yarn to knot and hide in a small space at the bottom of the body.

P1040231The idea of the triangle thread joint was good, but the execution needed to be refined, so when I made the arm I changed it up a little. I had left a long tail at the end of my crocheting of the arms, as I did with the legs but then cut off to use a separate piece yarn for the joint. On the arms, I decided to use the tail from the crocheting for the joint instead of cutting it off and using a separate piece of yarn. I pulled the tail from one arm through the body to where the other arm was to be attached. I did the same with the other arm. Then using the tail from the opposite arm, I made the triangle thread joint in the arm and then pulled it into the body. I did the same thing for the other arm. The arms were so much more secure than P1040343the legs with only one time through. Just to be safe though, I repeated the joints again but with the same thread I was using, and not a separate piece of yarn. I am glad I left a long tail on the arms so I could use it for the joints twice. This worked out great for making the thread joints, plus I could knot and hide the loose end through out the body instead of all in one spot and I only have one piece of yarn for each joint to hide. But more importantly, the arms were very secure whereas I still would have liked the legs to be tighter.

P1040351Even with the tapered and less stuffed arms and legs and the triangle joints that pulled that appendages closer to the body, the puppy still looks bulky to me although much less bulky than Thready. Maybe I just don’t like thread jointed amigurumi’s or maybe I need more taper and even less stuffing and even a tighter pull of the joints. Like Thready though, this puppy has grown on me. He is fun and cute and I hope someone will enjoy playing with him.

Until next time, crochet forth and crochet on.

Button Joints, Gin Joints, and Pin Points – Part 2 – The Sewing

P1030554With all of the pieces crocheted for my button jointed bear, I next started the sewing together process. First came attaching the ears and nose to the head and adding a smile. That went easy enough. Then the pattern called to indent the eyes. I had never done this on an amigurumi before, but I was game to give it a try. I inserted the yarn at the bottom of the head, pulled it up next to the eye, then I took a small stitch and pulled it back down to the bottom of the head. Then I pulled the two yarns at the bottom of the head, causing the eyes to sink into the head slightly, giving the head an even better more bear like shape. At this point I was falling in love with this bear design.

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P1030505Next, was to sew the body on to the head. This is the only place that I deviated from the pattern. I did not like how big the opening was on the body when I started. When I finished stitching the body, I left the sewing yarn extra long. And before sewing the body to the head, I weaved the sewing yarn around the opening to close it up some. I did not pull it closed but instead just brought it in so it was a smaller opening. I had thought about crocheting a few more rows with decreasing stitches to decrease the opening size but I didn’t want to make the body taller and take away from the round body.

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P1030741With the head and body attached, it was finally time for the button joints. These joints are made by inserting pieces of yarn into the body, pulling it out where the limb is to be attached. Then you insert the yarn through the limb, through a button, back through the limb and then back into the body headed to the other side of the body to repeat the process for the next limb. Then you give it a good pull to bring it all together. I was concerned that the entire limb was attached with just one piece of yarn, so I repeated the process one more time for safety reasons. I’m pretty sure this teddy bear is going to be played with so I wanted the limbs to be stitched securely. I did dig through my sewing supplies and found a super long needle to make the joint sewing easier, and it did. The button joints were fun to make and the buttons on the sides of the bear look so cute. It makes it look a little old fashioned and nostalgic.

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P1030790P1030792Now it was test time. How did the joints work and move? And the answer is just great! The arms and legs twist around just fine. And this bear is able to sit, stand and hold his arms out for a hug without any problems. I love the button joints. They were fun and easy to do. The buttons add some cuteness to the amigurumi, and the amigurumi is more fun to play with because of them. I also love this pattern. This bear turned out so cute that I want to make another one.

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And so I did. I went ahead and made another bear from this pattern right away, but he is white and I used my 4.5 mm hook so he is bigger, but still just as stinking cute as the first one was!

 

Several people have asked for a link to the pattern on this bear and here it is.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/151920094/crochet-madison-teddy-bear-pdf-pattern?ga_search_query=Madison&ref=shop_items_search_1

 

 

Button Joints, Gin Joints, and Pin Points – Part 1 – The Crocheting

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Crocheting up some pockets pals recently was a fun stress reliever for me. After completing three of them, I was ready totackle a bigger and more complicated amigurumi project. This brought my back to my to do list. On the list was the category of joints. I had listed several different ways to make jointed amigurumi’s. After studying the list, I picked button joints. So my next project would be an amigurumi with buttons joints.

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IMG_3855But first a little explanation is in order. Up until now, I have just sewn the arms and legs on to my amigurumi’s and the position I sewed them on at was the position they were in forever. For example, if I sewed the legs to the front of the body so that the amigurumi would sit nicely, then the amigurumi would sit but not stand. If I sewed the legs on so the amigurumi could stand, then having it posed in a sitting position is difficult if not impossible. A jointed amigurumi would have its arms and legs attached somehow so that the arms and legs are moveable. Another example, with a jointed amigurumi you could either twist the legs so the amigurumi could sit or twist the legs so the amigurumi could stand. And with jointed arms, you could twist the arms forward for hugs or twist them up to play peekaboo or just position them at the side. As I said there are several different things you can use as joints in an amigurumi, and for this project I had picked buttons to use.

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Now, picking button joints over the other types of movable joints was not a totallyrandom idea for me. I was given a great pattern and I have been wanting to make it for some time now. The pattern is a jointed teddy bear using buttons. For some reason I have a thing for bears. So it was very easy to pick a brown Red Heart yarn and my favorite size G (4mm) hook and get crocheting.

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I started with the arms and legs. As I was crocheting, I quickly learned that this project was a stuff as you go project, and I quickly learned not to overstuff the pieces which I am prone to do. The arms and legs needed a taper, more stuffing at the bottom than at the top. The nice thing though is that the pattern was designed to lead you to this taper.

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Next, I crocheted the body and stuffed it as I normally would. My result was a round ball. What? Thiswas a horrible body. What happened? Had I miscounted? No, instead I learned that I had overstuffed the body, and that it too needed a taper. The head of this bear is crocheted in two parts and then stitched together, so after crocheting the head pieces I had two flat head pieces. Wondering how the head was going to look, I stitched the two pieces together and started stuffing. The head took shape and came out just perfect. The head is stuffed firmly with no taper.

You know I still have a lot more to say about the button jointed teddy bear, but for now I’m going to stop the story here. Join me next time and I’ll tell you how I sewed it all together and how it worked out in the end.