# 4 – amigurumi

amigurumi in progress

I’m feeling more comfortable with my crochet hook, and keeping busy.  I’m finding it a nice portable craft – so easy to pick up my bits and take myself out in the garden for some fresh air and vitamin D. 

As you can see, I was busy with yellow yarn . . . following a pattern in one of the books I treated myself to.

ami book

Yep, I bought myself “My First Crochet Book” which is for kids, but just perfect for a novice hooker like myself.  And here’s amigurumi number 4.

amigurumi chick 02

He doesn’t look quite as egg-shaped as the bird in the book, but I think that’s a question of stuffing.  I am confident I followed the pattern correctly this time and even managed the invisible decrease.    He stands 2” tall.    I followed an example found on Moji-Moji Designs in the links with her free pattern of micro-chicks,  and have sewn a 30mm orange button to act as a base, so he can stand up and I added a few tufts on the top of his head so he’s not completely bald. 

third time lucky #3 amigurumi . . . and . . . what a good-looking lad!

Okay everyone, this is the last time you’ll have to admire one of these owlets, I promise. 

amigurumi pink olw

Pattern by A Morning Cup of Jo, and downloadable on Ravelry.  This is my third attempt and this time, I feel I really have nailed it.  My owlet’s eyes are smaller and I’m still not an expert beak embroiderer, but those are minor details  It’s the crochet I was concentrating on. I’ve got the shape right, and the correct number of stitches & rows.  Successfully followed the pattern without having to unravel all the time. 

amigurumi owls X3

Here are my 3 owlets.  Attempts one, two and three.  I crocheted a little loop for them all using DMC Perle cotton, the idea being, to hang them in a tree in the orchard for photos. Unfortunately it was too breezey so I had to make do with laying them on a few logs.

My parliament of owls stands at three with this particular pattern therefore.  That’s not to say I won’t be crocheting more owls in the future.  In fact I will.  But they will be following different patterns.

Weather has been gorgeous these past few days. Gibbs has been enjoying lots of fresh air and play time.  And here is a photo I managed to snap, after one very energetic play session.

Gibbs 10 03 17

Okay, I know I’m his “Mum”, so I’m biaised . . . but I do think he’s a good-looking lad lol.

more round and round in circles #2 amigurumi

A week ago, I showed you my first attempt at amigurumi, following a pattern by A Morning Cup Of Jo, available for free download on Ravelry.  It was far from perfect, but that’s to be expected . . . it was my first attempt at following a pattern and I only started teaching myself to crochet a couple of weeks ago.

Anyway, me being me . . . I just had to sit down and make it a second time.  To improve on all the mistakes I made first time around, and to prove to myself that I could read a pattern if I set my mind to it.

owlet the second

And voilà !  I won’t tell you how many times I pulled the yarn out and started again, because I lost count on my seventh (or was it eighth?) attempt.  This matters not lol . . . I have something that looks a lot more like it’s supposed to . . . and I even managed to give it pointy ears.

owlets x2 01

Here he is, next to the first attempt.  Purple owlet felt tiny & fiddly when I was crocheting him, but just look how small the second one turned out!

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Teeny tiny.

owlets x2 04

And definitely looking more like Jo’s original owlets.  I think I should have attached the eyes even lower?

The question now is . . . do I go ahead and make a third one until I really get it spot on? or do I make something different next time?  Hmmm  decisions decisions . . .

I’m certainly not short of yarn.  Went totally mad last week and now have lots of lovely colours to play with.

yarn stash 02

Bought these Stylecraft Special DK colours on-line along with

yarn stash 03

safety eyes and a row counter.  Safety eyes won’t be needed until I become more competent.  For my trials, I’ll just be using beads & buttons for eyes.    And then, while in a local bargain basement store, I bought

yarn stash 04

I think this might be 4ply but I’m a total dimwit where yarn goes.  All I know is, label says to use a  3mm or 3.5mm hook, which I did (3.5mm), and this is what I used for my aqua owlet who turned out very small.  1.5” tall.

round and round in circles #1 amigurumi

I’ve been hooking round and round in circles . . . still on a very important learning curve with crochet.  I have got lots lots of free patterns printed out, and in a ring binder, and also have an order of Stylecraft Special DK yarn & safety eyes on the way.  However, I was too impatient to wait, so I set to work with a tiny 20g ball of 100% cotton and a 3.5mm hook.

Following a pattern I found on Ravelry, by A Morning Cup of Jo.

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Now, don’t get excited . . . those are the ones crocheted by Jo . . . my version doesn’t quite look the same lol

ami owl 01

He looks shorter, but in fact, he’s the correct height, just fatter.  I thought I’d worked out how to increase (and I have) but I also seem to be increasing when I’m not supposed to.  No need to try and offer advice lol . . . I’ll work it out.

The top of his head (and ears) isn’t the right shape . . . but I know what I did wrong there too.  I finished him off and stuffed him anyway, rather than unravel and start all over.  He’ll be my little amigurumi mascot, and remind me of mistakes to correct for next time.  Because, of course, there will be a next time!  Crafting wouldn’t be fun if we got it right the first time, would it?  

I plan on trying this pattern a second time, in a different colour,  in the hopes of ending up with an owl that looks more like the ones in Jo’s photo.   So stay tuned for my second attempt.

more birthday surprises

The postie brought me some belated birthday surprises the other day . . . I don’t mind that they were late, it was just lovely to know that friends had thought of me.

All the way from Australia, from Debbie and her MOTH

from debbierose

The most gorgeous piece of fabric in rich chocolate browns, along with a purple ribbon . . . a coaster, and some tea.  Debbie actually used the fabric to wrap everything, and it looked much prettier before I undid and then tried to do up again lol.

And from Yvonne (in France), who doesn’t have a blog

from yvonne

A book to inspire me for my new crochet crafting, and a lovely selection of tiny flowers and butterflies that Yvonne made.

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I’ve put a 1€ coin in amongst them so you can see just how tiny and delicate some of them are.  A big thank you ladies.  It was quite exciting opening parcels and discovering all these goodies inside!

a very sorry swatch

I’ve been persevering with my crochet hook and, despite the following photo, am feeling rather pleased with myself.  Ready to cringe, all you crocheters lol?

sorry swatch

Yes, I know it’s a very sorry looking piece of work . . . .  Like many beginners (from what I’ve seen) I found it very difficult to work out what stitch I’m supposed to hook each time I begin a new row (as is evident from the sides) but . . . I was pleased because I have (more or less) understood the basic repeat stitch.  I used a thicker yarn for this practice piece so that it would grow faster and make it easier for me to see what I was doing. However the mottled effect of the yarn didn’t help.  T therefore nipped out afterwards and bought myself a cheap ball of a solid colour for future practice. 

However that then raised another problem.  The solid colour is a 50% acrylic 50% wool and requires a 7mm hook.  That largest I have is 6mm.

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Things started off very wonky on the sides again, until I thought to use a marker.  Can you see it? and can you see the difference?  Once I began using that, just to mark the first stitch on each row, my edges started to look more even.

Feeling very pleased with myself, I then went looking at a few more videos on youtube and found Bella Coco . . . who has several tutorials for left-handers. 

I jumped in both feet first to tackle a granny square

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Starting with my thicker cheap yarn . . . but giving up and moving to a 100% acrylic (part of a huge pack I bought to knit myself a cardie, that never got knitted).  I’m beginning to get the hang of things, although I’m still adding or subtracting stitches along the way unintentionally. 

Undeterred, I will be trying this granny square a few more times, using my stitch markers, in the hopes I’ll have something that looks more like a square.  And once I’ve mastered that, I’ll be tackling “magic circles”.   Born a natural optimist, I believe things can only get better.   I even treated myself to a new book Rire.

Zoomi 01

zoomi 02

Yep, can’t crochet properly yet, but I bought a new book.  That’s typical me.  Full of lovely amigurumi patterns, for different experience levels.  This is the first in the Zoomigurumi series.  Number 6 has just been published.  I plan on buying them all.

Oh, and a last photo . . . I also treated myself to a new lamp!  My old lamp didn’t really survive the last house move and being knocked over several times by cats.  It was holding together with extra strong sticky tape but I couldn’t move the flexible lamp bit properly to direct it in the right direction.  Now I have a brand new, bright shiney lamp

lamp

In purple (of course!) and it makes cross stitch sessions much easier on the eyes.

baby steps with my hook

For several years now, I’ve been admiring the skills of those of you who can crochet.  Because I can’t.  I can (sort of) knit, without dropping too many stitches along the way, but never progressed to the “read a pattern” stage, so my knitting has been strictly limited to knitting scarves lol.  It’s therefore something I don’t do much of, because family members only need so many scarves.

However, a couple of years ago, I went totally mad and bought loads of knitting needles and yarn – still all sitting in my cupboard – and then last year I bought a set of crochet hooks and some books to learn how to crochet because I fell in love with designs here:  Moji-Moji Design.

Janine Holmes is so talented, and I love visiting her blog to drool over her latest creations.  If I want to learn to crochet, it’s because I want to make amigurumi !

Anyway . . . I’ve watched videos, and I’ve been following instructions in one of my books . . . because, while I can dream on about making loads of cute amigurumi, nothing is going to happen until I can actually master a few stitches and learn to read a pattern!

crochet 01

These are 2 of the books I invested in.  “I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting” is the one I’m using at the moment. 

crochet 02

I’m a left-hander, so this book is handy, because it has step by step photos of “how to”.  I realise I could just put a mirror up to a right-handed version, but since the left-handed method is available in print, I’m using it.

crochet 03

Now the above, yes . . . it’s very yucky!  My first attempt at making a chain lol.  Tension problems all the way but I kept going . . .

I then tried with a different yarn

crochet 04

The blue yarn is almost 100% cotton, whereas the burgandy yarn is 70% acrylic and a whole lot easier to work with.  I spent hours, painfully, hooking . . . giving myself lots of encouragement with a “this isn’t rocket science!”.  I can’t say that I’m actually hooked on crochet yet but I will say that I’m about ready to progress to step 2, which is learn the single crochet stitch lol.