Tag Archive | turtle

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!

Leftovers

DSCN1114“Can you use this?” asked my mother as she tossed me a small ball of brown toned bulky yarn left over from her last project. “Sure I can!” I answered as I tossed the yarn ball into my stash. Since I only crochet amigurumi’s, I can always use small bits and pieces of yarn. I just needed to wait for the right pattern that would use a small amount of brown bulky yarn to come along, and it finally did. When I saw this pattern for a bunny in a hoodie, I knew it was time to dig this ball of bulky yarn out from the stash and put it to good use.

DSCN1116Because I would be working with this bulky yarn for the hoodie of this bunny, I decided to crochet the pieces with my H hook instead of my G hook that I normally use to make amigurumi’s. I picked white as the color for the bunny, but as I reached for my white skien of Red Heart yarn, I remembered the abandoned white pieces of the bad Snoopy pattern that I had given up on. Since I was using left over yarn from Mom for the hoodie, why not see how much yarn was in the left over pieces from the abandoned Snoopy project and use it up too.

DSCN1115I was surprised at how much yarn was in the white abandoned pieces and how much of the bunny I was able to crochet using these pieces. I was able to crochet the legs, ears, hands, the bottom of the body and half the head before I had to get my skien of white yarn to finish up. I should not have been surprised how quickly I ran out of the brown bulky yarn though. After crocheting the arms and the body, I did not have enough bulky yarn left over to make the hood. I did have enough of the bulky yarn to make a collar for what would now end up being a sweater rather than a hoodie. After completing the bunny, I decided that I really like his bulky sweater and I am not unhappy at all that he does not have a hoodie.

DSCN1117I gave the bunny a small pink nose, a little smile and tiny whiskers as well as a small pom pom tail at the bottom back of his sweater. And I jokingly named him Leftovers, since he was made from left over yarn, but now the name is starting to stick so I think I will keep it.

I have only one problem. I have a tiny bit of the bulky yarn left. I would say about 6 yards. Not enough for another project but too much to throw away. I have thrown this last bit of left over yarn away a dozen times and then dug it out of the garbage a dozen times. To keep or not to keep it, that is the question. It is currently sitting on my cutting table as I debate its fate. Any suggestions on what to do with a tiny amount of left over yarn? Please let me know if you have any great ideas for it!

Until then, crochet forth and left over on!

Larger than life

DSCN0483Am I still crocheting? Am I still making amigurumi’s? Is my next amigurumi project all lined out and ready to start? Yes, yes, and yes. Yet, the reason you haven’t heard very much from me about crocheting amigurumi’s recently is that I have been tackling some larger amigurumi projects and in the process I have lost my ump to complete them quickly.

DSCN0443Several months ago I blogged about Kevin, the chubby moose. He took a lot of time and lots of stuffing to make. After Kevin, I made a pig that I named Porcine. When I had finished with her, she was much larger than I expected. I did not blog about her before now because she was finished before my big amigurumi art show and she now has a great new home with someone who loves her.

DSCN0454Porcine was a lot of fun to make, especially her tail. To make her curly tail, the pattern called for a long tail of yarn to be left at the start of the magic ring. After completing a very straight crocheted tail, the tail of yarn from the starting point was pulled through the center of the straight tail and then pulled tight to form the curls. It was a much simpler way to make the curly tail than increasing and DSCN0458decreasing stitches while crocheting the rounds. I did have to purchase a special skein of yarn while making her to get the right dark pink color I used for her snout and hooves. I could not believe I did not have that color in the stash. Her belly button was a fun feature that added to Porcine’s personality.

DSCN0891The next large amigurumi I have made is a bee. I did not expect the bee to be large, but he finished up larger than I expected due to the hook size used. To get the colors I wanted for this bee, I choose two skeins of Caron yarn. I find Caron yarn heavier than Red Heart yarn so I decided to use my 4.5mm hook instead of the 4.0mm hook that I usually use to make my amigurumi’s. When I reached in to my hook box to get out the 4.5mm hook, I accidentally grabbed the 5.0mm hook instead. I did not notice that I was using the 5.0mm hook until I was well into the crocheting process. Not wanting to undo all my crocheting and start again, I decided to just complete the bee with the larger hook.

There are two comments I would like to make about this bee’s pattern.

First, after crocheting the wings, I decided to crochet around the wings edges for a nicer finished look. The wings look smoother with the edge on them.

DSCN0894Second, I found the way that the pattern instructed to make the antennas quite odd. The first antenna was crocheted from the bottom to the top then back down to the bottom of the antenna. The yarn tails were at the bottom ready to be stitched to the head. The second antenna is crocheted from the top to the bottom then back the top. The tail is then threaded through the crocheting to the bottom. I know that the antennas were crocheted this way to keep the same sides of the crocheting facing the same direction, but to me the antennas looked different from each other when made this way.

DSCN0895I stitched the antenna to the bee’s head to see if that helped the antenna look more even. It helped the look a little, but not much. I debated about crocheting another antenna the same as the first one and stitching it on what would be backwards, with the crocheting facing different directions, to see if I liked it better. It was late when I was working with the antenna so I decided to sleep on it. The next morning the antennas looked better to me, and so I decided to leave them completed as the pattern called for. I still pause sometimes when I see the bee and wonder if I should redo the antennas. Even though the bee is larger than the pattern said he would be, and has funny looking antennas, he is still very cute.

I have not given him a name yet, so he is just called The Bee.

DSCN0900I have started yet another large amigurumi too. I knew this one was going to be large when I read the pattern and I briefly debated about starting another large amigurumi but I have been wanting to make this pattern for a long time, so I got started on it. I am about 3/4 of the way through the crocheting process but I have lost any compulsion to finish it up.

When I think I will sit down to do a little crocheting, I don’t! Why? For some reason I am just not interested in working on this big amigurumi. So until I do get excited about finishing it up, I am going to set this amigurumi to the side for now and start a smaller amigurumi instead. I am not giving up on the large amigurumi and it will not becoming a UFO (Un-Finished Object). I just need a little break from it.

With that, stay tuned for some fun but smaller amigurumi’s.

Until then, crochet forth and super size 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!

Second Try

P1030516As I said in a previous post, I was not 100% happy with the alterations to my sloper pattern after the wear test. And as I stated in that post, I decided to not just move on to the next sloper pattern, but to continue to alter this pattern to fine tune it some more and to make another shirt from it. So here is the shirt I made after altering my pattern yet again.

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The first alteration I made to the pattern before cutting out the shirt was to add 1/2 inch back to the side seams at the bust, but not at the hips. Next, I added the 1/2 inch back into the sleeve at the armscye but not at the hem line. I also lifted the armscye up just a little more. The last alteration was to raise the slit on each side of the shirt up by an inch. All of these alterations were to help make the shirt more comfortable while sitting.

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P1030521The fabric that I picked was one of those purchases that at the time was the cutest, greatest fabric I had ever seen but after living in a box for several years, just wasn’t quite as appealing when it came back out. I find it so funny when that happens. Fortunately, I remember buying this fabric and I did not pay that much for it, but I did buy a lot of it.

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The cutting and the sewing of the shirt went well. I used a different interfacing this time around and I had better results with it. I did not encounter the stiffness problem like I did with the last interfacing I used. I used some inexpensive buttons on this shirt so that if my alternations did not work out, I did not have much invested in the construction of it.

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P1030519After the shirt was all finished, the wear test was started. After wearing the shirt a couple of times, I have determined that my alterations are all good and working out well. This shirt is much more comfortable to wear when sitting than the last one was. There is now more room for my bust and hips when in sitting positions. Plus, the different interfacing did not interfere with the wear test. I see, though, after wearing this shirt that my next alteration needs to be with the length of the shirt. It needs to be shorter, and the button placements need to be adjusted.

Now looking at my original sloper pattern with all of the changes lying on my cutting table, I see that it is a mess. Not wanting to lose any of the alterations that I have made so far, and even though I want to make a couple of more alterations before I’m done with it, my next step will be to to retrace my sloper pattern with the alterations I’ve made up to now. After that I will make the alterations I want to the length and the button placement, and then make another shirt. If all goes well with the length and buttons alterations, I will retrace the pattern one last time and call that my final ‘altered button up the front, v-neck, no collar sloper’ pattern.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!