Tag Archive | wildlife

Hey Chubby! Stop Eating All My Stuffing! – Part 2 of 2

DSCN0091As I passed the neck and was heading on down the body, the rounds of crocheting just kept increasing in stitch count until I had to add an extra stitch marker to help me keep track of the count. And the body of the moose just kept getting bigger and bigger. I was afraid at one point that I would run out of yarn. And since the head and body of the moose needed to be stuffed as I crocheted, I was really starting to notice just how big this body was getting as I went along.

I had started with half of a bag of stuffing and I thought that would certainly be enough to complete this amigurumi but I was wrong. I used that half bag and then had started well into another before I got this chubby moose body all stuffed and finished.

DSCN0083As I was stitching the pieces of this amigurumi together, I realized why the legs were so stubby. Something had to hold up this chubby body so it didn’t fall over when sitting. The antlers were time consuming to stitch all of the smaller pieces together, but they went together easily and looked great once done. The placement of the ears and antlers on the head was a little tricky but they worked out fine. And the arms stitched on just great.

Now was the moment of truth…

Was one round at the neck the correct decision early on in the construction of this moose or should it have been three?

I still don’t know the answer!

DSCN0074The snout and mouth were a tight fit and the extra two rounds might have helped in stitching them on, but the snout and mouth were supposed to be a tight fit according to the picture. So that means that one round might still be correct. I guess the only way to know if it should be one or three rounds is to make another moose with three rounds at the neck and see how it looks compared to this first one.

I really do like the look of the snout and mouth as two separate pieces though. I think it gives this moose it’s character.

DSCN0087This moose received his name Kevin very early on in the crocheting process. I don’t know why he is named Kevin, he just looked like a Kevin to me, so that name stuck. Kevin the Chubby Moose.

And even though he consumed way too much of my stuffing stash, he turned out to be very cute once completed. I will have to make a trip to the store for more stuffing before I can make another one though.

Until next time, crochet forth and moose on.

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Hey Chubby! Stop Eating All My Stuffing! – Part 1 of 2

DSCN0089I’ve been to Yellowstone National Park, and I’ve seen a real moose from six inches away. Yes, they are big animals. Yes, they not to be messed with. Yes, they go and do whatever they please. Yet as I reached 80 stitches per round on my latest amigurumi’s body, I thought to myself, “this is a little too much moose”.

Because this is a story about Kevin.

Kevin the Chubby Moose.

When I read through the pattern for this amigurumi, I knew it was going to be big, but I did not realize just how chubby this moose would be when I first started it. As always, I started the crocheting with the arms, legs and other parts. After I crocheted the arms, they looked good. So I crocheted the legs next and they looked stubby. Then I crocheted the antlers and ears and they were fun to make. Finally, I crocheted the snout and the mouth. These are two separate pieces. I was not going to have to give this moose a smile since he was going to have a mouth. It was then time to start the body and head.

P1040413In this pattern the head and body are all stitched as one piece, not two separate pieces stitched together. This combo started at the top of head and all was going well until I reached the rounds just before the neck. The pattern called for three rounds of equal stitches but the round count on the pattern only showed one round of stitches.

So, do I crochet one round or three rounds?

DSCN0082I crocheted just one round and it looked too short, so I crocheted two more rounds and that looked too long. I undid the extra two rounds and held the snout and mouth to head. One round looked right with the snout and mouth so I decided to go with one round. Now, this would not have been a big deal if the head and body had been two separate pieces. If I decided later when stuffing that I wanted the extra rounds at the neck and the pieces would have been crocheted in two pieces, it would just be a matter of adding in the extra rounds. But because they are all done as one piece, if I decided I that I had wanted the extra rounds when I was stuffing, I would be out of luck. I would have to undo everything that I had crocheted of the body portion to add in the extra rounds. And I was not willing to do that. So once I decided that just the one round was right, there would be no changing it to three rounds later. So I hope that I chose correctly.

Find out next week if I was right!

Until next time, crochet forth and moose on.

Cheap Panels

img_2238I purchased a couple of cheap fleece blankets. I use the word cheap instead of inexpensive because the of how thin the fleece is and how poor the edges were finished, but the blankets had nice photos of animals printed on them and I thought these would make fun blankets for kids. Of course, the little thread that was used to finish the edge would never do, so I removed it and  crocheted new edges around the blankets. This became more of a challenge than I expected and a good lesson about crocheting on a thinner fleece.

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img_2347

img_2350I started by removing the thread edge which just took a couple of minutes. I tried to crochet using the holes that were left from the thread, but they were too small. So, I got out the skip-stitch blade and got to work. On the first blanket, the yarn I chose was a thinner baby yarn so I used skip-stitch blade #2.

All was well until I started to crochet.

As I pulled the yarn through the holes, the thin fleece stretched and did not close  back up around the yarn as heavier fleece would do. This left large holes especially on the side of the blanket with the stretch of the fabric. I had to pull the yarn through the holes very carefully to minimize the size of the holes. Even with being as careful as possible, I still have holes that are far  larger than I wanted. After finishing the first row, I about gave up on the blanket, but decided to persevere and see what the end results would be. Now that the blanket is done, the end result looks better than I expected but if you look closely the holes are definitely still there.

img_2355img_2352One the second blanket, I picked a heavier yarn to use and this was a big mistake. It is a good thing I used the baby yarn first of I would not have completed either blanket.

Because of the heavier yarn, I used the skip stitch blade #1 to make my holes.

As I pulled the heavier yarn through the holes, there was no amount of care that could be taken to stop the gaping holes that resulted. I stitched about 1/3 of a side and decided that the resulting holes were just too large to keep going. I finally made a trip to the store and purchased some thinner yarn in the color I wanted. I removed the heavier yarn, but the fleece did not recover. I carefully stitched with the thinner yarn, but on that section of the blanket, there are still huge holes. With the thinner yarn, I decided to go ahead and finish the blanket. Luckily, I was smart enough to start at the bottom of the blanket so the gaping holes are on the bottom and not the top.

As before, the end results are better than I expected, but not as good as I had originally planned on.

One good thing about this whole endeavor, I purchased my first skein of Caron brand yarn, and I loved it. It was nice yarn and crocheted very well. I would not hesitate in purchasing or using that brand again.


The Visitor

Knock, Knock, Knock!

It was 6:30 in the morning when the knock came at the door.

Who could it be? Could FedEx really be here this early?

Nope, no packages, just your friendly neighborhood roadrunner trying to have some breakfast. He was tapping on the glass of the front door trying to scare some lizards or bugs from their hiding places.

We don’t get many roadrunners here because we are at a higher elevation, and as it gets colder in the winter months their food supply dwindles. But this guy has come to visit us before the cooler temperatures prevail. We have seen him almost daily for a week now.

 I have enjoyed watching him hunt for lizards and bugs. I thought about finding something to feed him, but I don’t want him to hang around for an easy food source as the cooler nights come on, and I am certainly NOT gathering lizards in the yard for him. The roadrunner does not like us watching him and runs away as soon as he realizes that we’re there, but we were able to get some great pictures.

 

The last picture is of the sunset’s reflection on the clouds coming over the mountains in my front yard.

I just think it is a pretty picture.