monster crochet stash-busting

After making the bright pink crochet dragon, I had a tidy up in my “discount store” yarn drawer. Very happy to see that, whereas once upon a time it was overflowing and difficult to close, now there’s plenty of room in there.

I had lots of bright neon colours in there, just crying out to crocheted.   So, a quick flick through my pile of crochet books looking for a pattern to make something in another bright colour.

And this is what I made.

Pattern from the book “Amigurumi Monsters”.

Design by YOUnique crafts:  Toby the triclops.  My Toby turned out at 6″ tall (that’s the measurement to his middle eye).  I love his feet, with 4 toes each, and he has a thumb on each hand.  He was a nice, relaxing, easy project to make.

“I spy rainbow quilt” finished

I finally got around to adding binding, and finishing off the baby quilt I was working on.  I kept things simple.

Lots of details on the main print fabric for playing I spy, and learning colours, with this one.  It’s parcelled up and winging its way to baby Lucas, born on 28th July.

 

Dazzle the dragon

I’m having a very bright crochet happy dance here – yay!  The other day I showed you this photo of a new crochet project in progress.

A pink head, and beginnings of body parts which could have been just about anything in the making.  Well, now I can tell you it’s a dragon.

who started to look more like a dragon as soon as I added snout, nostrils, eyelids and a belly plate.  This was a pattern of many pieces . . .

The wings were a lot of work, making 12 membrane panels, assembling them into groups of three, and then sewing 2 pieces back to back to make a lovely pair of very sturdy dragon wings.

 

I’ve named this little dragon Dazzle, because it’s a little girl dragon and she’s very bright.  She finished up 7″ high, because I didn’t use the same yarn as suggested in pattern. The pattern is by Janine Holmes, also known as Moji Moji Design.

Her dragon is a boy dragon called Drake, in green & yellow.  This pattern is one of the 14 patterns in the book “Unicorns, dragons and more fantasy amigurumi” published by Meteoor Books, but you can also buy the pattern in pdf format.  You’ll find links to Janine’s Ravelry & etsy shops on her blog Moji Moji.

This pattern is skill level **** (expert).  I would say this is because of the number of very small pieces that need to be made & sewn together.  The wings and spikes required a fair amount of patience.  And pieces like nostrils, eyelids & ears need to be sewn on taking care to follow pattern instructions with plenty of pinning to keep things symmetrical.

When I first began making this dragon, I was imagining an entire family in different colours, but I have to say, now Dazzle is finished, I don’t think I have the patience to go through it all again.

 

 

another hooking happy dance (crocheted doll – Nancy)

In August, I bought two patterns on etsy by Chikchikhandmade.  I set to work straight away to make the first doll, Mila, which I have already shown on my blog.  She was a very girlie doll, with light blond hair and a pretty frilly dress.  The second pattern I bought was to make Nancy.

Nancy has a different hair style, and there were several other differences in that she had socks and knickers crocheted as part of her legs & body.

I decided to make my Nancy more of a redhead, using Stylecraft DK in “gold”.  The pattern called for mohair yarn for the hair.  I didn’t have any mohair, so got around that by separating each strand of DK yarn into 3 strands (which made them slightly curly) and then hooking those 3 thinner strands into each loop as I went round the wigcap.

I still need to even up ends a little, and make her hair neater, but for the moment I’ve kept it long.

I crocheted Nancy in Stylecraft Special DK colour “toy” for the skin tone.  And used “sage for the dungarees, “teal” for the shoes, “white” for socks & knickers, and a different brand in pale teal for her Tshirt.

Whereas the Mila pattern came with a ladybird bag to crochet as an accessory, the Nancy pattern came with instructions to make a pet goose.  This was fun to make, although legs were a bit fiddly (having to crochet only 8 stitches in the round) and I made legs more rigid by cutting two earbuds in half and sticking those inside legs so this little goose can stand on its own.  I also attached wings so little goose can do this

a double goosey “high five” lol.

And in case you missed Mila . . .

Here are Mila and Nancy side by side.  I kept facial detail to a minimum again: just eyes, eyebrows and some cheek colouring.

a WIP and a happy dance

I have some very colourful photos to share with you today!  First, a WIP with the beginnings of a new patchwork project. Inspired by the photo below, of a design in the book “Quick & Easy quilts for kids” by Connie Ewbank.

My version looks like this

As you can tell from my choice of fabric print, I’m making a baby quilt.  It’ll be a lovely “I spy” & rainbow coloured snuggle quilt when finished.

I’ve also been having fun in the evening with some diamond painting and have finished a very colourful unicorn.

Canvas is only 30cm x 30cm which makes the actual picture only approx 25cm x 25cm.  I’ll be buying a frame for this, and it will be wrapped & gifted to one of our little neighbours on her 4th birthday later this month.

 

a hooking happy dance (crocheted doll – Mila)

In July, Tracy, of It’s a T-Sweets day posted an article of the most gorgeous crochet doll she had made with photos that made me rush off to etsy with a view to buying a pattern by the same designer.  However, once I began browsing I came across lots of different styles of dolls and decided to give my custom to a different designer:  Chik-Chik handmade. 

The reason this particular designer grabbed my attention was that dolls are “dress up” dolls, ie, all clothes can be removed.  I also noticed that the doll body is almost seamless.  You can see in the photo below, how the legs are joined (very cleverly) and crocheting continues, in the round, for the body. This makes for quite a stable doll (when stuffed) which can stand quite well.

I actually bought two patterns from this designer: Mila and Nancy.  I started work on Mila.  My yarn stash is mainly Stylecreft Special DK, so that’s what I used, on a 2.5mm hook.  For Mila I crocheted the body in a very pale pink (not sure of the colour name, I’ve lost the label).

There is a seam to sew head on, and a few stitches to close arms . . . but on the whole, the basic body is seamless.  So far, so good . . . my doll measures approx 13″ (or 33cm).

The wig cap, hair, clothes and little bag probably took longer to make than the basic doll itself, but I feel it was well worth it.

I kept facial detail to a strict minimum because that’s where things can go terribly wrong . . . so my Mila just has eyebrows a hint of lashes, and some blush.

The pattern was so detailed, and I loved how the hair turned out.  And just look at her little ear !!!!!  it’s actually shaped like a real ear!

Mila took me a week of very intensive crochet sessions to make from start to finish.  And, before you ask . . . no, I’m not going to give her to any deserving little girl – lol.  I quite probably will make a second version of Mila (after I’ve made the Nancy doll) . . . but this blond haired beauty is going to stay right here with me.

cotton cardie happy dance

I’m having a cotton cardie happy dance here!

This is the pattern.  Sirdar 7283.  I chose it because it has both short & long sleeve versions, pattern sizes from child to adult, and I wanted to try my hand at some more “lace” knitting, after the success of a couple of doll dresses.  I also chose this one because I had some Rico Designs DK cotton in my stash and this seemed the perfect project.  I bought this pattern on Wool Warehouse here, the pdf version so I didn’t have to worry about p&p and pattern was downloadable the instant payment went through.

Here is a back view.

Front view (I didn’t block and the ribbed bands wanted to curl in a little).

And on yours truly, to show it fits!

Sorry about the face.  That was my “waiting for the husband to say cheese” face and the “is cardie looking even at the bottom?” but the husband didn’t give any warning and just clicked.  You get the general idea though.  A lovely short-sleeved cardie, in cotton, with round neck line, and just one button for fastening.  I am ever so pleased with it.  Not only did I manage to do the neck shaping “in pattern” but I also managed to do all the picking up of stitches neatly, for the neck & front ribbed bands.  It’s a perfect fit and looks exactly how the pattern models promised it would.  I’m also pleased because I used 7 x 50g of my yarn stash, and have 3 balls left of this Rico cotton, that I shall be using to make something in either child or doll size.

ScrapHappy # August

Today is the day to link up with fellow ScrapHappy people.  Today also falls on the same day as my usual SAL update, so if you came looking for that, it’ll be in a slightly later post.

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2,
Bear, Carol, Preeti, Edith

My photo for August was actually taken in July, only shortly after the last Scraphappy day . . . as I crocheted some more squares for the local yarn bomb.

None of them are terribly “pretty” but I really was going through the dregs of my leftovers.  There was a masked, socially distanced, get-together at the end of July to assemble squares with other ladies, at the local library.  I was rather disappointed to see the poor turnout, and the rather pitiful pile of squares that had been contributed. But, living in a village, population 1600, there weren’t very many local knitters or crocheters to participate.  We assembled the squares (alternating sizes, and trying to get a variety of colour) into five lengths of bunting.  Sadly, I haven’t been able to take photos because the bunting has been hung inside the library, and it’s currently closed for summer hols.

feather & lace

A finish and a new start to share with you today!

First . . . a large diamond painting project, begun in April, and finished only the other day.

No idea how many hours I spent on this but it was very enjoyable to do. I now have to decide where I’m going to hang it. It’s quite big: canvas measures 80cm x 30cm with the diamond painted part measuring approx 75cm x 25cm.

That’s the feather, now for the lace . . .

After the success of learning the “lace” stitching in knitting, I rummaged through my yarn stash and went on-line to look for suitable patterns.  I had 10 x 50g balls of Rico Design Fashion Fantasy DK cotton, bought more than 6 years ago, and never used because I always felt my knitting skills weren’t good enough.   Anyway, I shopped online at Wool Warehouse and decided on a Sirdar pattern:  Beachcomber DK # ref 7283 which is for a summer cardie, in cotton.  Options are for short or long sleeves, and sizes from 61/68cm (child) chest through to 112/117cm.

I’m knitting this for myself, so am following the 102/107cm size, which (if my yarn knits up like the Beachcomber) will need 6 of my 50g ballls.  If all goes well, I should have enough left to knit the smallest child version too.  I always begin with a swatch, especially when not using the recommended yarn for a pattern. Rico Designs says to use a 3.5mm needle for 22 x 28 tension, so I cast on 22 and knitted 14 rows on a 3.5mm needle.  That came out spot on, 10cm x 5cm so I didn’t waste any more time before casting on for the real thing.

This is how far I’ve got so far after using the first 50g ball.  I am knitting the back, which has 2 bands of the lace pattern (18 rows repeat).  To make things easier for myself, I’m using 4 stitch markers, one either side of the 13 stitch bands which means I can knit mindlessly until I come to a stitch marker, slow down to follow pattern, then speed up again.

And another to give you a closer look at the band ((which would have looked better if I’d blocked but I’ll worry about that when all parts are knitted).

 

learning lace stitch

Well, I’m feeling rather pleased with myself, I have to say because I recently mastered a new knitting stitch pattern and new horizons open up before me!  The stitch pattern in question is: “lace, or the art of deliberately knitting holes into the pattern lol.

It started, not very long ago when I spotted a lovely dress pattern for 32cm dolls on etsy.  Pattern is by CuklaMania here.

Sadly, I didn’t have any yarn in my stash that would work (so I had to order some in) but in the meantime, I saw no reason why I couldn’t give the pattern a try out on different yarn.  Having quite a collection of dolls in various shapes & sizes, I was confident, a dress knit in a slightly thicker yarn would fit at least one member of my dolly family.  So . . . pattern paid for (thanks to Daddy Viking, because I don’t have a p@yp@l account), downloaded & printed out.  And I set to work with Stylecraft Special DK in “citron” yellow on 3.5mm needles learning how to “yo” and “ssk”.  Much tinking happened along the way but . . .

in no time at all (okay, maybe longer!) I had finished a dress – yay!  A dress that looked exactly like the pattern photo – oh joy!  I then rushed upstairs to try it on a few dolls.  And it is the perfect fit for one in particular (a 40cm doll).  On a roll .  .  .  I then pulled out a ball of light minty green 4-ply and gave the pattern a second try, still on 3.5mm needles.  And then again in Stylecraft Special DK, a sort of raspberry pink, on 3mm needles.

The “exercise” being to see how yarn type or needle size alters the size of the finished dress. And also to give myself more practice with the pattern, which, in turn, gave me plenty of practice in “tinking” every time I forgot to “yo” and didn’t notice until the end of the next row.

This last photo shows the slight difference in size depending on yarn or needles.  Dresses 2 and 3 are good fits on my Disney Animator dolls.  I have yet to knit the pattern in a finer yarn and make it to fit the doll it was intended for in the first place.  But that will happen fairly soon.  In the meantime, now I’ve mastered a new knitting technique, I’ve been browsing patterns, and am feeling very motivated to take on a much larger knitting project in the interests of stash-busting.  The main problem there being, my stash is so big and choice of patterns is so vast . . . I’m dithering about what large project to begin.  Never fear, I will share with you, once I have decided.