Sunday, July 25, 2021

Crocheting Cactus Families and Farm Animals

 I had a request to make a cactus family for a baby shower. I used several cactus patterns from the book Whimsical Stitches by Lauren Espy.

I made a daddy saguaro cactus, a baby barrel cactus, and a mommy prickly pear cactus. After looking at the little grouping, I decided it needed a little color. I added a cactus bloom to the mommy cactus. Now, it is finished.


A friend saw the picture of the cactus family and asked if I could make one for her family. She wanted all of the cactus in one pot. I didn't want to go out and buy a terra cotta pot, so I crocheted one. Her cactus family has two cactus kids.

Another friend asked for a hen & chick and a pig. The pig pattern is adapted from the Whimsical Stitches book.  The chicken pattern is from Amigurumi Space.

I could not understand why she laughed so hard when I delivered her farm animals. It turns out she wanted the succulent plant called a hen and chick.

Ooops! I have four crochet projects I am currently working on. It may be a while before I attempt to make this plant.

My mother-in-law has asked for three crochet dogs. I have just about finished the first of the three. I still need to add the eyes. It is going to be for a toddler, so I need to crochet the eyes instead of using plastic ones. I am still trying to decide if I want the dog to be awake or sleeping. I found the pattern on Ravelry. It is called The Dreaming Beagle Oskar by Marivan Crochet.


One of my unfinished projects is this elf doll. I love the way the head turned out! I found the pattern by Julie on  Heart & Sew.

I finished the body and legs but really did not like the way they looked. I am going to find a different body pattern for this head. I am not in a hurry because I have until Christmas to finish it. This was the first time I have tried to make curly hair. I think it looks so cute.

What is on your hooks or needles?

Custom Crochet Horse

I love to crochet. I started crocheting in February and started selling pieces by April. Recently, a friend asked if I could crochet a horse doll to match a picture of her friend's horse. I didn't know if I could do it, but I gave it a try. 

The picture I was given.

I searched for horse patterns and found this one on the Free Amigurumi Blog


It looked pretty close to the picture I was sent, so I decided to use it. I changed the pattern on the face to match the picture better. 

I tried to make the far back leg pattern match.


Overall, I think it turned out pretty close to the picture.



After I finished it, I realized it was missing something.


I added a blue saddle blanket to complete the look. The saddle, saddle blanket, and the bridle can all be removed. The neck is not quite as stiff as I would have liked, but I did not want to use any wire inside because this horse is being given as a baby shower gift.

What do you think? Is is a close match?  

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Crochet Freediver

 I showed my friend the scuba diver I crocheted and she loved it. 

She insisted that I make one for her daughter who is a freediver. She kept saying, "I commission you to make one for me." It was funny. She did not stop saying that until I told her I would try to make one. She asked me to change the hair and eye color to brown, to make the wetsuit black, and to make the accessories turquoise. She also said to make sure it had big lips. As a freediver, the doll would not need a scuba tank and vest but would need a snorkel. 


It was soooo much easier to make this doll the second time. I felt like I knew what I was doing. Luckily, I had saved my handwritten notes (on this pattern from AmiLovesGurumi) showing how I'd changed the first scuba diver from the pattern of a frog to the pattern of a human head. I think the freediver has a much better nose than the first one.


I really struggled with how to make a snorkel. I could not find a pattern for it and was unsure how to crochet the mouthpiece. I remade the mouthpiece twice and the snorkel tube four times before I felt like it look correct. 

After finally figuring out the snorkel, I felt like the doll was missing something. I whipped up a little weight belt for it and it completed the look. The weight belt can be unbuttoned and removed. The little gray weights can also be removed from the belt. I left the hair long and untrimmed so my friend could cut it to match the length of her daughter's hair. I really like the way it turned out. I bought about $10 worth of supplies to make it. Now, I just have to decide how much to charge for the doll. 


I had a different friend request a beagle to give as a baby shower gift. 


I found three amazingly adorable beagle patterns and had to buy all three. (One, Two, Three) All three patterns were less than $15 and I know I will be making and eventually selling all three. When I showed them to her, my friend chose the first little puppy. She asked me to add pads to the bottom of his paws. I chose to make them pink. I think they make this puppy look even more adorable.


It is so hard for me to figure out how much to charge for these creations. If I didn't have to support my crafting habit / budget, I would give them all away for free. 

I am currently looking for some cute Christmas patterns to make and sell at craft shows in the late Fall. What amigurumi Christmas items do you think people would want to purchase? 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Crochet Scuba Diver

 

Whew! This was a tough doll to make. I really wanted to find a cute scuba diver pattern to make a gift for a friend. All the patterns I found were really fat looking and I thought that would be kind of rude. Then, I found THIS pattern on Ami Loves Gurumi. 

  
I loved the body shape, mask, snorkel, and fins on this adorable crocheted frog, but I did not want to make a frog. So, I used Ami's pattern for everything but the head. I looked up a bunch of crochet head patterns and came up with one for the scuba diver I wanted to make. 

I have only been crocheting for 4 months, so I still have a lot to learn. For instance, I am unable to see the stitches in a magic ring. I constantly end up with more stitches in the second round than I am supposed to. So, I use stitch markers every time I make a magic circle. My sister has been crocheting for a long time, she thought this was really funny.
My first try at making a human head for my scuba diver did not turn out well. It was way too round, so I had to frog it. Hee hee. How appropriate was that??? "Frog it" is a crochet term for ripping/undoing stitches.
I finally figured out a way, with my sister's help, to elongate the diver's head. Then, I had to think backwards through Ami's pattern for the head. Her frog head was attached to the body and worked up. I had to work from the top of the head down. I did this because I wanted to attach hair. I only know how to attach hair by going through the scalp. That would not work if I started the head from the chin area.

I tried to make it look like my scuba diver had the same sun bleached blond hair as my friend. I think it turned out okay. The reason the mouth is so big, is because it has to hold the regulator mouth piece from its scuba gear. After I took this picture, I went back and added bumps to the top lip to make it look more human.

Ami's frog was all one color. I made a color change to make it look like the hands and feet were coming out of the blue wetsuit. I think the fins are my favorite part of the pattern. Aren't they adorable?
I also love, love, LOVE the air tank, bcd vest, and regulator. So cute! My diver was not quite the same size as the pattern, so I had to rework the vest to make it fit.

I was very pleased when the body was able to stand up on its own. The pattern said to firmly stuff it. I also poked two pipe cleaners twisted together inside the legs to help with posing.

The scuba gear comes completely off. I think that is good because you can make other accessories or outfits to change the doll's appearance. I later added two small buttons to keep the bcd vest closed.
This was such a fun project. I am giving it to my friend tomorrow. I hope she really likes it. I have already had someone ask if I can make one for her daughter who is a free-diver. I guess I will try to make it again.
I really appreciate Ami Loves Gurumi for sharing the frog scuba diver pattern. 


I wanted to keep track of all the crochet I am doing. So far I have made a blanket, straw sun hat, ski hat, fox, turtle, starfish, whale shark, black cat, octopus, lobster, crab, seahorse Hobbes, 3 birds, 4 sting rays, and 3 jelly fish. Today, I am finishing up a beagle puppy. I found this crochet planner and am putting it to good use. I ordered it from Amazon.
What projects are you working on?

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Crocheting Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson is such an incredible comic. Calvin's antics with Hobbes were what sparked a desire in Boogs to read on his own. HERE is an old post showing the transmogrifier Boogs made after reading about it in one of his Calvin and Hobbes collection books. My sister made Boogs an amazing crocheted Hobbes stuffed animal. He loved it! Recently, a librarian at another campus in my school district asked if I could make a Hobbes for her library. I am new to crochet. It has been 15 weeks since I learned how to make a stitch beyond a simple crochet chain, but I said I would give it a try to create Hobbes.

I called my sister to ask her about the pattern she used to crochet the Hobbes for Boogs. She pointed me to the free pattern on Sukigirl created in 2013. You can find the pattern HERE. I am so glad she shared this pattern. It was easy to follow and her directions and pictures were clear and helpful. I was very intimidated about crocheting stripes that line up properly. I sent a picture of my first leg to my sister and she said it looked good.

Then she told me to turn it over so she could really see what my stripes looked like. Hee hee!

I wasn't too bad and kind of looked like a seam, so I continued crocheting the rest of Hobbes. After making his arms and legs, I moved on to his ears. I used any spare time I had to work on him. It sure made waiting at parent pick up in front of the band hall go by faster.

I made every piece of Hobbes before I tried to tackle his body. I knew I would have a hard time lining up all those stripes. 

And I did.
So I cheated a little and hid that mess behind Hobbes' chest patch.

All I had left to do was put a face on Hobbes and stitch him together.

I used my sister's Hobbes face as a guide for my own. The stripes and facial features on Hobbes' head are made out of felt. I used adhesive stick-on felt so I would not have to sew it on.

My Hobbes is so much bigger than the one my sister made even though we used the same pattern. I think she used thinner yarn and a smaller hook than the pattern called for. I am terrible when it comes to sewing things together. I had to take off his right leg twice because my stitches were so messy. Finally, I felt like I had him put together well enough to give away.
My Hobbes can sit or stand. He will be perfect for sitting on top of a library shelf.
Hobbes looks like he is ready for any adventure the elementary kids in his new home can throw his way.
I really enjoying trying to figure out how to create things with crochet. My next project is already started. It will be my first time to try and alter a pattern to create something similar but different from the given pattern. I'll share it if it turns into anything other than a mess of knotted yarn.

What crochet projects are you working on?




Saturday, May 8, 2021

Amigurumi Marine Animals

I am still working my way through the list of marine animals my friend wants me to make for her new classroom next year. This week, I made an octopus, leatherback sea turtle, lobster, crab, and sea horse. I decided to try again to make an octopus. I still had a ton of trouble with the tentacles. I think I remade the tentacles 4 times before I got them the way I wanted them. I used THIS pattern from The Friendly Red Fox for the octopus. I love the huge eyes and the little white spot of light. It really brings character to this octopus.

I made a turtle a few weeks ago, but my friend wanted a sea turtle. I found this adorable leatherback sea turtle pattern HERE. Another friend gave me a bunch of yarn they had been storing for about ten years. There was a skein of camouflage yarn in that stash. I thought it was the perfect yarn to use for the shell. The pattern was clearly written and easy to follow. I think this little turtle turned out really cute.
I found a cute little lobster pattern HERE. I did not realize how small this amigurumi creature would be. It is about 4 inches long. I redid the lobster with thicker yarn and a larger needle, but that piece did not turn out well. I gave my friend this lobster and she was happy with it.
I found this Kurt the Crab pattern HERE. The pattern was easy to follow. It did take longer than I expected it to take. I need to get better at attaching pieces together. 
This turned out to be a funky little seahorse. The color combination is because I was using up leftover yarn that I had laying around. I found the pattern for the seahorse HERE on One Dog Woof's site. She has a blue whale pattern that I have been looking at making.

I think I am pretty much finished with marine animal crochet for a little while. I have a cuttlefish pattern and a hammerhead shark pattern printed, just waiting for me to get started on them. I had a request from a school librarian for a Hobbes tiger. I have been avoiding it because I am scared of making the stripes on Hobbes. I think I am going to start that next and then go back and finish those last two marine animals. I am looking for an easy, but looks great, beginner pattern for a scuba diver to add to my friend's marine animal collection. If you know of a good one, I'd love to see it.

I think my crochet skills have come a long way in the 12 weeks since I first started crocheting. Eventually, I want to try and tackle making a cardigan sweater. I am really nervous about making the arms and armholes match perfectly. I will probably wait until school is out to start a big project like a sweater. I am really enjoying making these small, quickly finished projects. It is fun to make them and give them away.



Amigurumi crochet

I have had a lot of fun learning how to crochet amigurumi patterns. Amigurumi is the art of creating small stuffed yarn creatures, working in rounds, and making cute things. I started crocheting in February and have made quite a few cute creatures. I have posted about all of the animals in this picture except for the cat.


I have a friend who had two feral kittens living under her backyard shed. When we had an ice storm back in February, she trapped the kittens and set them up in her guest bathroom until the weather warmed up. She had quite an adventure getting through that week with feral kittens. After the storm, she had the cats neutered before she released them. Both kittens were jet black with green eyes. I decided to make a little black crocheted cat for her. Here is a picture of one of the feral kittens glaring at my friend.
I think my crocheted kitten turned out really cute! I found the free crochet pattern HERE from Little Bear Crochet's website.
It looks like it is ready to pounce. The pattern was written for a black cat with white paws or a white cat with black paws. I kept the entire cat black to match the little feral kittens. The pattern calls for a 2.5 mm hook. That is teeny tiny and I did not have yarn small enough to use that size hook. My kitten is a bit larger than the pattern. The pattern was easy to follow and I love how it looks like this cat is ready to play.

I gave this same friend one of the jellyfish I had made the previous week. She is moving to a new school next year and has decided to make her new classroom marine themed. She asked if I would create some marine animals for her new classroom. I found a post on pictopals.com with links to 23 free sea creature patterns. My friend and I went through the list so she could pick out which animals she wanted.

First, she asked for a ray that was multiple colors of blue. I made four rays using patterns from here, here (I made it without the cephalic horns on the sides of its mouth), and here. She chose the striped ray and I gave the other rays away. The ray is my school's mascot.

I tried crocheting an octopus next, but I could not get the tentacles to cooperate. I tried to make a starfish next but I had trouble with the arms. My friend kept the star fish and said it had "character" and "charm".  Sure! Definitely not my best work.

My friend fell in love with Whitney the Whale Shark, a pattern created by The Kotton Kaboodle. My friend loved the look of this whale shark so much that she purchased the pattern for me to use. The picture below shows the start of Whitney's mouth. If you look at the paper behind it, you will see that the mouth is covering up some little yarn skeins. Those yarn skeins rate the difficulty of this pattern at 5 yarn skeins. It was a 12 page pattern. On her post, the creator of Whitney stated that there are more than 4,300 stitches on the body of this whale shark.

I love the way the mouth pushes into the face of the whale shark. I added a few stitches to keep the mouth open without any sagging down.
If you compare my Whitney to the original one, you will notice that mine is a bit shorter and is missing two stripes. I got confused on my count and just persevered and fixed it as best as I could. I think it still turned out fantastic! I was very surprised that I was able to complete it and it turned out so well. The pattern is easy to follow. I think if I were a more experienced crocheter, it would have turned out to more closely match the original.