Tag Archive | water

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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DSCN0801I just love to do Christmas crafting. The idea of making that something special for that special someone really gets me in the Christmas mood and gets my creativity flowing. I love baking holiday cookies, crafting that new ornament for the tree, or sewing that perfect gift. Unfortunately, my hopes, dreams, and ideas are usually bigger than the holiday season, and I never get everything done that I want to, but over the years I have learned to not let that ruin my holiday fun. This year was no exception. I was able to do some holiday crafting, not as much as I would have like to, but some and I am thankful for that.

Each Christmas season, my work has an auction for the Relay for Life cancer event and asks for donations. This year I decided that my Christmas crafting would be to make something to donate. I wanted to make something small that people would not mind spending a dollar or two on. So, when I found some fun snowflake patterns on ravelry, I knew that was what I wanted to make and donate.

DSCN0776The problem with that was that I don’t crochet with thread so don’t have any in my stash, or have any good small sized hooks to crochet with. So I wondered what the snowflakes would look like made out of 4-ply acrylic Red Heart yarn and my favorite size G hook instead? Let’s find out! And the answer is they turn out just great! I had a great time crocheting the snowflakes and changing up the pattern each time so that each flake was just a little different just like real snowflakes. When they were finished though, they were kind of boring. I needed to spice them up.

DSCN0780To do that I found a pattern for a star shape in a scarf pattern I had. That would work to spice up the snowflakes, but what color should I make them in? I started out with a light blue. What about dark blue? Oh, maybe black? No, silver! How about this blue variegated? It is Christmas, so why not some red and green too? I started making stars from all of the colors to see what I liked best and found that I liked them all. Some colors I liked a little more than others, and some colors the husband liked better than others, but all the star looked great with the snowflakes. I had to modify the star pattern a little and use a size H hook to get the larger sized star that I needed to match the snowflakes size.

DSCN0792I thought about stiffening the snowflakes, but I decided not to. Because of the yarn I used, they were already stiff enough. I did block the snowflakes and stars with water to help them lay even and flat. When I started to glue the snowflakes to the stars, the husband said they needed to be spiced up even more, so he helped me use spray adhesive to glue blue and silver glitter to the snowflakes before I used some tacky glue to attach the flakes to the stars.

DSCN0809And now my Christmas snowflakes were complete! With the changes to the snowflake pattern and the different colors of the stars, and the glitter, no two snowflakes are the same just like real snowflakes. These snowflakes were fun to make and turned out great. I hope they will make someone’s Christmas I little bit merrier and make a little money for the Relay for Life event.

In the meanwhile, while watching Christmas movies, I crocheted this little reindeer. I call him Rudy. He has the tiniest body for his big head but he is so cute! He was a fun and quick crochet and will accompany the snowflakes to the auction. Hopefully someone will get a kick out of a tiny crocheted reindeer with a big red nose!

Until next time, crochet forth and Christmas craft on!

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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!

Quiet Down Fish

One of my favorite time wasters is to check out flickr groups to see what amigurumi’s other people are making. I call it a time waster, but it actually inspires me to do my next amigurumi project. Unlike sewing, I am anxious to start my next amigurumi project and need no wandering time to get started.

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On my last look through the pictures, I found someone had made a shark. The picture was very cool and the shark looked awesome, so I went in search of the pattern. I found the pattern on a site of free amigurumi patterns. Some people are so talented and can make up their own patterns. I am not one of those people, but I admire those who are. I decided that my next project would be a shark.

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I printed out the pattern and started crocheting but I started having a difficult time figuring out the instructions. I was off in the count of the rows, first not enough stitches then too many. I muddled my way through the body, but the fins were a whole other story. I crocheted the top fin but it looked so funny that I undid the whole thing and started again, twice. I finally decided to stop following the pattern and just make it up.  The other fins gave me the same grief.

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When it came time to stuff the shark, the hole at the bottom of the body was very small and it took a long time to get the stuffing inside. The details, teeth and eyes, took a long time too, but that had little to do with the pattern. I have been trying to slow down when it comes to the final details to see if, one, I enjoy the process more, and two, if I get better results. Now that the shark is done, I am pleased with the results. He makes me laugh when I look at him.

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My problem is the pattern. Did I just not follow the directions close enough, or did I not understand the directions, or, and I hate to say this, was it written poorly? I believe most of the blame falls with me not being a very seasoned crocheter and not understanding the pattern well enough, but I do give some blame to the author. I am sure in her mind that the pattern made complete sense. On the other hand, how much can I really expect for free? It was very nice of the author to create and post her pattern for free to everyone to use, and for that I am thankful.

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The reason this frustrates me is that I tried another free pattern which is now my first amigurumi UFO. I can’t figure out the arms and I have made multiple changes to the pattern to get it to work the way I think that it should. I have currently bagged this amigurumi and will get it out the next time I see my mom or my mother in law and see if they can help me with the pattern. I am moving on to another amigurumi from a pattern book next. I hope that this will ease some of my frustrations and keep me happily crocheting.