Category Archives: recommendations

Life gets in the way

Happy New Year!

I’d like to say I’ll be posting more this year. Maybe I will! I certainly want to; we’ll see. As the title says… Life gets in the way… sometimes.

In December, I finished another amigurumi doll that I designed myself again adapting the lalylala Dirk the Dragon pattern (it’s so inspiring- well worth buying).


I designed a cow/calf. It’s half the size of the original Dirk doll and has horns, different ears and a simple tail. The scarf is a nice loose stripey you crochet that was quick to make (apart from the weaving in of ends!).

I’ve realised I’ve not shared the half sized sheep I made last year. I will as I was really pleased with how it turned out. The calculations when halving the original pattern all happened then and I just applied to this project.

🙂

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Bear a thought

Whilst trying to declutter, I read a tip that suggested getting rid of old incomplete craft projects that were simply taking up space. My mind instantly flitted to a couple of  projects that had stopped and just not progressed in a long time: an experimental scarf which was more about me testing out an idea, and Lollo the African flower bear (pattern can be found on ravelry).

Without any regret and wondering  why I hadn’t done it sooner, I frogged (unravelled) the scarf and wound up the yarn into a ball.  But as for my bear… No! There was no way I could throw away the body and head I’d made so long ago. It sat in a bag by the side of my bed waiting for me to be inspired- so sad.

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I started crocheting this pattern at least two and half years ago. I made the head and body but got no further than making the motifs for the arms. I blogged about having stopped crocheting the bear (here) and had intentions to continue but alas untouched it sat.

The pattern is very detailed and broken into many parts. Being relatively new to crochet at the time I found its scope a little daunting. There were many motifs requiring various sized crochet hooks and a level of organisation I was struggling with.

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If I wasn’t going to dispose of this unfinished project then there was only one thing to do; I needed to complete my bear.

That is exactly what I’ve been doing. Sadly, I’d long ran out of one of the colours of yarn that I had been using for the motifs so I had to be a little creative. I crocheted motifs using a different (but similar) colours and mixed these in with the arm motifs that I’d crocheted previously. It seems to be working and feels good to have made progress.

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Tomorrow, I’ll post my finished bear. 🙂

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Finished!

I have finished the sheep I’ve been crocheting; it looks marvellous.

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I’ve previously been referring to sheepy as a he but I’ve recently seen a female sheep name that I really like. I’m open to suggestions , any ideas?

The fleece really finishes him/her off. It was a great deal of work and I did have to take a break from it for a while but it works so well.

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My sheep was very much based upon Lydia Tresselt’s Dirk the Dragon pattern from ravelry. Its a lovely pattern that provides a great body shape. The idea for the fleece was one I’ve used before on a previous sheep crocheted using a pattern from Toft’s Edward’s Menagierie.

I crocheted the scarf using the simple Tunisian crochet stitch. I like the addition of the scarf it just adds that little extra something. The yarn used is Sirdar Snuggly Snowdrop Chunky. Its a really attractive yarn but can be tricky to work with as the stitches can be a difficult to see if you are using a smaller crochet hook.

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Ironically, the sheep contains no wool all yarns being synthetic or cotton blends. This was an intentional choice as I move away from using yarns and fibres from animal sources.

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Inspired (finally!)

[Insert apologies for lack of posts]

Last week I decided I wanted to crochet a sheep or cow in the style of Dirk the Dragon by Lydia Tresselt (follow link to ravelry). I’ve used her lovely pattern to create a basic body shape to which I’m planning to add different ears, feet, hands and tail. I’m also planning on adding a surface crocheted fleece.

I’ve got quite a lot done in a short space of time and will add some updates as I progress!

 

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Crocheted Booties

A few weeks ago a friend posted a photo to me on facebook. It included a link to a lovely pattern for crocheted booties with a crocodile stitch cuff. The same friend was having a naming ceremony for her little girl 4 days later. I decided it would be lovely to make her daughter a pair of the booties.

I have never crocheted so fast or furiously- it was totally worth it.

I purchased the pattern from knit picks UK and received the pattern within an hour via email (it seemed longer as I was so eager to start!). The pattern was written using american terms (by Lianka Azulay) and easy to follow.

The yarn I used was Sirdar Folksong. In retrospect this was maybe a little on the thick side for this project but I liked the feel and colour.

I love way they turned out. They are a little too big for my friends daughter but I was worrying they might be too small. Its nice she can grow into them. 🙂

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Crocheted Kokeshi Doll

I felt like crocheting up something quickly. So, I decided to look for inspiration in a magazine given to me by a student I taught last year (thank you Leah).

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Simply Crochet: Amigurumi Collection Summer 2015

I came across a pattern for small Japanese dolls called Kokeshi dolls (though it’s my understanding that these folks are traditionally made of would and ornately decorated).

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The pattern was very easy to follow and I finished my doll in a couple of hours (whilst also watching TV).

The next time I use this pattern, I might stitch the hair on rather than crocheting a wig cap. I will definitely make sure I stuff the body more firmly and perhaps the head less so- my little doll is a little top heavy and is prone to toppling. 🙂

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Sea horse

A few weeks ago I started an amigurumi Sea horse from Vanessa Mooncie’s book “crocheted Sea Creatures”.

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There are 12 wonderful creatures to make. However the creatures that really caught my eye and persuaded me to buy the book were the Sea horse and the Octopus (which I’ve yet to start).

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I love the way my sea horse has turned out. It is just over a foot tall which was longer than I expected it to be. The crocheting involved was relatively easy involving simple increases, decreases and a fair amount of colour changing.

The pattern uses UK terminology which wasn’t a problem. However, I must admit that the wording of the pattern was not always straight forward. There were several points where I was left a little stumped. I persevered and I’m glad I did so.

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I used Paton’s DK Smoothie and some old Navy blue acrylic yarn I had left over from another project.

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Crocheted to completion

Isn’t that moment when you finish a project (or projects) lovely? Even quick projects hold a sweet satisfaction upon their completion.

I finished the scarf I mentioned in my last post a couple of days ago. It’s got a lovely light but warm feel to it and was so easy to crochet. All I did was use double crochets (US terms) chains to create a grid/net to the length I desired. 🙂

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I’ve also crocheted a hat using the same Patons Colour Works Aran.

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The hat has ribbing created  through alternating front post double crochets and single crochets. The pattern is free; designed by Nancy Smith, and available from www.nlsstitchings.com.

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So now onto my next project… Minion (from despicable me) inspired amigurumi!

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Feeling chunky!

Recently, I’ve been working with Sirdar’s Snowflake chunky yarn and I thought I would write a short review.

This is a fleecy polyester yarn that caught my eye as I was perusing the range at hobbycraft. I was in the market for some yarn to make baby things so this really seemed to fit the bill. Not knowing the gender of the babies I’m crocheting for, I opted for neutral cream and light brown.

20140117_155928 20140117_160004The first project I’ve used it for consists of two parts: a striped granny square comforter and an attached teddy bears head (There will be a more comprehensive post about this during the next few days).

For the granny square I used a 4mm hook. The yarn crocheted together nicely and I’m really happy with the resultant square. The only issue I encountered when crocheting the comforter was when I needed to frog (undo) a portion of my crochet. The yarn seems to latch to itself and I had to be quite firm when pulling my stitches undone; at the time I worried the yarn might snap but it didn’t. The yarn sticking to itself in such a way may actually, in the long run, make it more suitable for it’s purpose. Hopefully, it will resist the rigours of little hands 🙂

The nature of the yarn makes the stitch definition poor. However, you get a wonderfully soft fluffy effect.

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I used, or attempted to use, part of an amigurumi teddy pattern to create a head to attach. This was really difficult and I must admit I considered giving up at one point. As I’ve mentioned, the yarn results in poor stitch definition. I really struggled to see what I was doing. I remedied this by using another strand of dk yarn alongside thus making it a little easier to see the stitches I was working. Persevering was well worth it the finished comforter looks lovely.

Overall, I’m really happy with this Sirdar Snuggly Snowflake Chunky yarn the fluffy effect the yarn has produced is fantastic; and it was very reasonably priced. I shall definitely be using this yarn again but am now prepared for difficulties I may encounter.20140117_155934

 

 

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A whole new world

One of my Christmas gifts was a yarn winder. I saw Mikey on The Crochet Crowd show how they could be used and I thought then that in the future one could be useful. I liked the idea of having balls of yarn that would definitely pull from the centre and being able to stack them sounded great.

Ball winderThe photo above makes it look like my feline assistants helped… they did not. I was struggling to find a surface I could attach the bracket to. The cat’s activity center/scratching post worked quite well 🙂

The balls produced are smaller and stackable 🙂

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My stash is already looking deceivingly smaller! I’ve only wound up the balls that I’m currently using in projects, when it’s all done I’ll have lots of room for more wool 🙂

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