Tag Archive | shell

Watch It, Football Head!

DSCN1664I have finally completed the large amigurumi that I started months ago.

There have been moments of both joy and tears with this amigurumi and it has lived part of it’s life in the closet, hidden, so I did not have to look at it on a daily basis letting me know of my failures and that it was still uncompleted. It also spent a lot of it’s life sitting next to my cutting table, reminding me daily that it was still somehow not yet completed. DSCN1656

But all of a sudden, a couple of weeks ago, as I contemplated starting yet another amigurumi rather than finishing this one, the decision was made to finish this amigurumi instead.

Let me tell you the whole story.

Instead of making yet another New Year’s resolution this year. One that would be doomed to be broken along with all the rest, I decided to make this the year of “Just Do DSCN1659It” for my amigurumi projects.

I have so many wonderful amigurumi patterns that I just can’t wait to crochet but I just never seem to start any of them. So in January, I said to myself that I would no longer say someday and instead I would just start to make these wonderful patterns one by one until I had them all stitched up.

Closing my eyes, I randomly picked out this turtle pattern to start this journey. I fell in love with this pattern at first sight. I love the turtles droopy eyes and his detailed tennis shoes. I was very excited to get started on it. DSCN1665

As I started by reading the pattern though a red flag went up right away as I read the large stitch count of his body. At this point I knew he was going to be big, so I chose to use my F hook instead of my favorite G hook. Even when using the F hook, as I crocheted the pieces, they were finishing much larger than expected.

As I continued to crochet, I became concerned about running out of yarn. Luckily, I was using stocks colors of Red Heart yarn and so I was able to make a trip to the store to pick up another skein easily if needed. I stuffed the turtle as I crocheted, but soon I had used up all the stuffing that I had on hand and once again I had to make a trip to the store for more stuffing.

DSCN1662I grew tired quickly of crocheting the large parts of this turtle and I had to set them aside often during the crocheting process.

Then the guilt of having a UFO (Un-Finished Object) would set in, and I would pull the pieces back out and crochet on it some more. Finally, the day came that I had all of the pieces crocheted and stuffed and ready to stitch together. I was so relieved to finally have this part done, that I just could not muster up the energy or excitement to stitch this turtles pieces together, so they where once again pushed to the side to work on something else. DSCN0900 (1)

Then a fateful day finally came when I said, “It is time to finish this turtle.” and the stitching together process started. I knew the stitching process was going to be long and tedious, so I turned on the Hey, Arnold cartoons the husband had just gotten for me and over the course of several more weeks and with Arnold’s help in the background, I completed the stitching together process. DSCN1191

With the turtle pieces all stitched together, it still needed a name.

This part came easily though and I named him Arnold even though he does not have a football head like the Arnold in the cartoon does. Somehow it just seemed fitting.

Much more time was consumed in creating the turtles details work. It took a lot of thought and time to stitch the lines and details of the shell and the shoes. The pattern called for the arms to be stitched to the body and the legs to be button jointed. I debated about making the arms button jointed too, but then I decided to follow the pattern due to the shell being in the way of his arms moving much. DSCN1193When it came time to pick out eyes, I did not have large enough round black ones to make his droopy eyes with.

As I was about to make another trip to the store, I found these speciality eyes hiding in my crafting supplies. They looked great and I was excited to use these eyes on him. Since these eyes already had an eyebrow look to them I did not add the crocheted eyebrows above the eyes that the pattern called for.

With Arnold, the turtle, completed, I am both happy and sad. DSCN1667I am happy because Arnold is very cute and I am pleased with the end results. His feet are so BIG and yet I still love his tennis shoes.

He is not perfect, but I think he will make someone a great friend, just like Hey, Arnold. I am sad though because I no longer want to continue with the “Just Do It” plan and I am having a hard time picking out my next amigurumi project.

I am trying to talk myself into continuing the plan of crocheting one of those “always wanted to” projects, but to just be a little more picky about which one I choose, i.e. a smaller one.

Only time will tell!

Until then, crochet forth and turtle on!

It’s A Jelly

P1040309Honestly, jellyfish were not going to be my next amigurumi project. Instead I had started a very complicated amigurumi pattern to be my next project, but I quickly grew weary of working on it. I do have most of its pieces crocheted up and I had even started to stitch it together, but my interest in continuing to work on it was waning. I am going to complete this complicated amigurumi later, but I also want complete it correctly and not just rush to complete it or cut corners just to get it done. So I decided to take a break from the complicated amigurumi I was working on and find a fun and simple project to make for now. This lead me to my most recently completed amigurumi, a jellyfish.

It was not hard to pick the jellyfish pattern as the simple project that I wanted to make to alleviate the stress of working on the complicated project. The picture on the pattern looked like it would be simple but fun to make. Its twisty tentacles looked like a new thing to try out and I would get to use some of the fun variegated yarn I own, plus I could use some of the fun wiggle eyes I have in my eye stash. P1040306

The only drawback I saw to making the jellyfish was that the stitching together of the parts was not going to be very fun. But when is it ever? As written, the first step was to crochet and stuff a round ball for the body, then crochet the 8 tentacles, stitch the tentacles to the bottom of the ball and then add the ruffle, thus completing the jellyfish. Using what I had learned from attaching the legs to the my bee amigurumi’s, I would attach the tentacles with a knot in the back and then hide the knot, but as I started to crochet the round ball for the body, my thoughts turned to the turtle shells I had crocheted a while back.

P1040222The turtle’s shell was made in two parts. Remembering back, I learned that I liked to stitch the legs of the turtle to the bottom of the shell before attaching the bottom of the shell to the top. This would be true for the jellyfish as well. It would be easier to attach the tentacles to the bottom of the jellyfish before the top was completed and stuffed. So, I decided to change the jellyfish pattern. I crocheted the body or top of the jellyfish to the second round after the ruffle, then I started at the bottom of the pattern to make a circle that fit the top. I then attached the tentacles to this bottom circle, sewed the bottom circle to the body and stuffed the jellyfish before completing the stitching. It worked great, making the jellyfish one of the easiest patterns to stitch together so far.

P1040298I followed the instructions on the pattern to make the ruffle around the bottom of the jellyfish but I did not like how small it turned out. So, using the patterns for the scalloped edges that I use on my fleece baby blankets, I played around with the crocheting of the ruffle until I found a ruffle design I liked.

The pattern called for this jellyfish to be made with an E size hook. As you know, my favorite size hook is a G. But because I did not want a monstrous jellyfish, I opted to use an F size hook instead. After completing the first blue jellyfish and seeing her size, I decided to make another jellyfish with my G hook. I made the second jellyfish the same way as the first jellyfish in the two parts. This made it a fun and fast crochet. I did however make the tentacles a little different style on the second jellyfish.

P1040304On the first jellyfish, I carefully counted the chain stitches to make sure they were all the same.On the second jellyfish, I threw caution to the wind, chained however many chains looked like a good length and made all different length tentacles. I like the various lengths better and it was more fun to crochet. These jellyfish were a great distraction from the complicated amigurumi I was working on. They also peaked my interest again in working on the complicated amigurumi. So, I am diving back into my next or should I say my previous amigurumi project and I will let you know how it turns out.

Until next time, crochet forth and crochet on!

Thank You Turtles

IMG_7095“Do you ever use yarn?” asks a coworker the other day as she hands me a bag of yarn. She knows full well that I crochet amigurumi’s and that I *LOVE* yarn. She said that she was cleaning out her closet and that she was tired of storing this yarn and it was mine if I wanted it. Why yes I would take it, but why on earth would she be parting with her yarn stash? I didn’t ask and she didn’t say why she was parting with all her yarn but I grabbed the bag of treasure from her and thanked her. Later when I was looking through it I found it full with a large variety of yarn, full skeins, partial skeins, solid colors, variegated colors, 4-ply, fingerling and even some fuzzy novelty yarn she had decided to part with. I was so excited! I could see so many fun amigurumi’s made from each piece. Sitting in the very bottom of the bag was a small ball of variegated yarn that in a color that just said ‘turtle shell’ and I figured what better way to thank this coworker for this lovely bag of treasure than with an amigurumi turtle. Of course, this meant I got to make another one of my favorite patterns again too.

.

IMG_7096While crocheting the parts for this turtle, I thought of one more coworker that needed a big thanks, and that was the coworker who volunteers her time as the leader for our relay for life team at work. As long as I was making one turtle, it was just as easy to make two or ten. I have donated a some of my amigurumi’s to our relay for life team before, even the momma and baby turtle I made a while back. They were sold at a silent auction several months ago. The team leader coworker had told me how much she wanted the turtles, but she was out bid and lost them so it just seemed right to make her a thank you turtle. After I had crocheted the first turtle’s shell from the variegated yarn from the treasure bag, I was not sure if I had enough to make a second shell. So, I picked another variegated yarn from my stash for the second turtle’s shell. The yellow for both turtles did come from the treasure bag though.

.

IMG_7097The crocheting of the turtles was a pleasure. This time though when it came time to stitch them together, I tried something different. I stuffed and stitched the legs of the turtles to the bottom of the shell before I attached the bottom of the shell to the top shell. This seemed to make the stitching and spacing of the legs easier, and it was not long before the turtles were done. I just love this pattern and these turtles, and this time was no different.

.

I gave each of the coworkers their turtles and a big thanks, one for the yarn and one for her hard work. They both seemed to like the turtles. Little do they know that I need to also thank them for giving me a good reason to make more turtles.

Escargot

Yes, it’s true. I have been playing on raverly.com again and found a pattern I just could not wait to make!

And it is a (Drumroll Please!)  SNAIL!

I know, I know. It seems like a silly thing to make, but I needed a distraction and it seemed like a good fit at the time, so I downloaded the pattern and I was off and crocheting.

After having so much fun making turtles, the snail pattern seemed to be a logical next step, a pattern that used some of the fun variegated yarn I now owned and that wasn’t another turtle.

The pattern said that the snail would be 4 inches tall if crocheted with a 2.5 mm hook. I hate using tiny hooks plus all the fun variegated yarn I have is a little thick for that small of a hook. With that in mind, I decided to use my favorite G or 4 mm sized hook.

I knew that using a bigger hook meant a bigger snail but I did not think by that much. I also did not think about my snail not only being taller but also much wider. As I crocheted his shell, I knew he was going to be big. When I crocheted his body, I made it longer than the pattern called for to accommodate the larger shell. When all the parts were crocheted I worried about the size but as the parts were stitched together, this snail came to life and his size no longer mattered.

This snail turned out very cute and I have named him Escargot. And just like the turtles, I will be making more snails in the future since it turned out so well.

So as the French would say, C’est la vie!

Momma and Baby

We have done some traveling recently so I have found myself with travel time to crochet. Because I love the turtle amigurumi pattern so much, it was still packed in my travel crochet bag. After my last purchase of variegated yarn, a lovely skein of Woodsy Sylvestre from Red Heart, another turtle became my next project.

As before, the turtle’s pieces crocheted up easily and were a lot of fun to construct. As I finished crocheting the shell of the turtle, I started to debate about what my next project would be, and that is when I noticed the baby turtle pattern on the back side. Now, I had looked at the baby turtle pattern previously but I like to make bigger amigurumi’s so I had just passed over it. Sitting in the car, I decided that since the pattern was out and I had the colors right there handy, and since the adult turtle pattern is so much fun to make, I would just whip a baby turtle up to see how it looked.

The baby turtle pattern was easy to follow, but it was not as much fun to make as the adult pattern because of the tiny pieces, but it was still turning out to be very cute. All was going well until I put the eyes in. The smaller eyes in the smaller head made the baby turtle look evil. So evil was its look, that I almost titled this post “Momma and the evil step child”. I continued the construction of the baby turtle hoping that as I stitched the pieces together that the look would soften. It didn’t. My last hope was the smile. A cute little smile on the baby turtle would erase the evil and would help the baby turtle to become cute and cuddly. It didn’t happen that way, but it did help. It turned some of the evil to a look of mischief instead.

When sitting side by side, the momma and baby turtles are cute. But, I can still see the mischief in the baby’s eyes. Maybe it’s just me though. I have wondered if I used bigger eyes on the baby turtle the next time if that would soften the look some, but I don’t know if I am willing to try another baby turtle with bigger eyes yet. I enjoy the making and the results of the adult turtle pattern so much that I would rather spend my time making more adult turtles than trying the baby pattern again. We will see.

By Land Or By Sea

I am in love with this turtle amigurumi pattern. It is from the Crochet Today magazine May/June 2010 issue. The pattern is by Ana Paula Rimoli, one of my favorite amigurumi authors, so of course, I have already made three turtles from it and have more planned.

.

The first turtle I made was in browns. These were the colors used in the original pattern. The pattern crocheted very quickly and was easy to follow. I had no problems keeping count while watching tv at the same time. I was concerned about the crocheting of the head and neck but it was no problem either. I love the flare it has at the bottom of the shell. On the last row, you HDC in the front loop and then leave 8 stitches un-crocheted. This gives you the back loop for sewing the bottom of the shell on to so no stitches are visible on the shell side and gives you a nice opening for stuffing and sewing the head on. This made the stitching of the turtle together easier than most amigurumi’s. The legs also stitched on easily being centered around the first round of the bottom of the shell. I used a small amount of embroidery floss to stitch a mouth on the turtle and it was completed.

 .

I made the little bird pattern that came with the turtle pattern. But I was not happy with how the little bird looked on the back of my turtle, so I did not stitch the bird on the shell of my turtle. I decided that if I made the turtle for an adult as a decoration, I may add the bird, but if the turtle was going to a child to be played with, the bird would just be in the way and would soon be tore off with lots of play time. Since I don’t know what the fate of my turtle is to be yet, I didn’t give it the bird.

 .

With the first turtle complete and such a delight to make, I took a look at my other variegated color yarns and quickly found the blue/green/yellow to make the shell for another turtle. I needed a sea turtle to go with my land turtle. It was as much fun as the first one to make. I also found a variegated multiple color yarn. I think the yarn is called fiesta mix. I decided to go ahead and try a turtle  from it as well. Although, I like the first two turtles better, I still think the fiesta mix turtle turned out very cute. I gave him a slightly off set smile to give him a little bit of character. The husband says the fiesta mix turtle is his favorite so far.

 .

On my last trip to Walmart, I actually bought another skien of variegated yarn that I did not already have to make yet another turtle. How many turtles do I need? Several I guess.  So stay tuned to see the herd of turtles I want to make.

P.S. Sara loves the turtles too.