Amigurumi amp; Plushies, hoot, sewing

Giggle and Hoot

A little while ago, my stepsister Nadia asked me if I could make a plush version of Hoot the owl from Giggle and Hoot for my nephew, Ethan. I agreed and promptly forgot about it until his third birthday started looming, and then I remembered. Since I’d never seen the show, I googled Hoot and got a good picture of him to work from.

Initially, I thought I’d make him out of felt, but I changed my mind and went for blue fleece instead, to make him softer and more sturdy. I used orange felt for his wings, legs and beak, beige felt for his eye outlines and heart patch, and black and white felt for his eyes. Making him was quite an adventure – although I had made some plushies before, they’d all been quite small and made from felt, and most importantly, their bodies were made out of two pieces of material stitched together on the outside. I wanted Hoot to be quite round, so I had to use the “orange segment” method of making him, and doing it with the seams on the inside. I made two half circles out of segments, then sewed them so one was half inside the other to create the seamed effect around Hoot’s middle. It worked surprisingly well! I then stuffed him, and although he was a little bit lumpy, he was still nice and round. I then hand-sewed all his embellishments, and finally finished him this morning, ready for Ethan’s birthday this afternoon! He was a big hit, and everyone recognised him as Hoot (phew!)

I learned a lot from making Hoot, and I look forward to making more plushies in future with my new-found skills ๐Ÿ™‚

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accessories, Amigurumi amp; Plushies, craftster swap, crochet, Hats and other stuff, sewing

Back from the dead

Yes, I do realise it has been well over a month since I last updated this blog, and I sincerely apologise for that. I started full-time work at the end of July, and quickly realised that there really isn’t time for much else once you’ve been to work, come home, cooked dinner, done the housework and spent time with a sorely neglected husband. Still, I haven’t stopped crafting! In fact, before I quite realised what the impact of a job would have on my spare time, I entered into 3 craft swaps on Craftster (!!), which was probably something of a mistake, but oh well.

Despite my continued crafting, I don’t really have that much to show for the time I’ve spent. This is because I’ve been crafting solely for other people, and like the dill I am, I forget to take photos of the finished object before I give it away and never see it again. However, I did remember to take photos of some of it, so here we go:

This is Chewbacca, as you may have guessed. I made him for a guy at my new workplace, who really loves Star Wars. I made him Han Solo, too, but I forgot to photograph him. Don’t ask me how I remembered one and not the other. I bought the pattern from Ebay, and it was my first attempt at brushing a crocheted object.

Next, I made this adorable little fellow for my Dad on Father’s Day. He’s rather partial to foxes, you see. He does have a slight chunky missing under his tail, where I got a little too enthusiastic with the brushing, but other than that, he turned out fine. I also sewed my father-in-law a glasses case, but I forgot to photograph that.

Let’s see, what else. I’ve tried my hand at stencilling a few t-shirts – I did a metallic blue Transformer for my stepbrother Jordan, a white-on-black Placebo t-shirt for my brother-in-law Bill, and a black and orange hand on a white t-shirt for my brother, Duncan. Each one was significantly better than the last, so at least I’m getting better at it. I’m also currently working on a hoodie for a Craftster swap that involves a fair bit of stencilling, so fingers crossed that looks okay.

I made this tea wallet for my stepsister for her birthday – I got the pattern from this website. She loves tea, so I figured it would be perfect for her. I also made her a necklace, which I didn’t photograph.

I’ve also made 3 headbands for another swap on Craftster, but I won’t post the photos of those until they’ve received them – I don’t want them to stumble across this blog and have the surprise spoiled!

I’ve still got a heap of stuff to work on, even after getting all that done – I’m crocheting an Iron Man figure for a guy at work, I still need to finish knitting the scarf I’m making for my husband (it was meant to be a July birthday present…oops!), I’m crocheting myself a cardigan (although who knows when that will get done), plus a myriad of other things for other people that I was meant to have done ages ago. I’m also meant to be making the Christmas crackers for Christmas this year.

I don’t know how frequently I will be able to update this in the coming months – I don’t want to bore anyone with details of my life, but I’ve just taken on a second, evening job in addition to my daytime one, so my time will be extremely limited until March next year, when my husband and I are taking a two month holiday to Japan. I’ll try and keep you all updated, though, and post photos of everything I finish ๐Ÿ™‚

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Alice in Wonderland, Amigurumi amp; Plushies, craftster swap, crochet

Curiouser and curiouser

This is just one of the items I sent to my Craftster swap partner, Seabound23, for the Newbie Swap Round 13 that occurred recently. I also sent her a zip-up pouch made from funky mushroom print fabric, a lime green scarf with a black border, two tiny crocheted owls and a felt octopus. In return, she sent me an embroidered cat, a scarf and some beautiful sky blue wristwarmers. It was a really positive crafting experience, and I’ve already signed up to two more swaps! The Amazing Hoodie Swap and the Favourite Plushie swap. Even though I don’t have a lot of time now I’m working, I still want to craft as much as I can on the weekends.

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Amigurumi amp; Plushies, crochet, patterns, reddit

An Arbitrary Alien

After having so much fun participating in the Reddit Secret Santa gift exchange last year, I just had to sign up for the next event, which was Arbitrary Day! My match listed one of her likes as the Reddit Alien, and so I got straight to work. I have now produced the little guy you can see below, and he turned out quite well! So, I thought I’d post the pattern so other fans of Reddit can make their own little fluffy alien (provided they know how to crochet, of course ;P).

Ingredients:

  • White yarn. I used Paton’s Big Baby 8ply yarn, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It was slippery and quite difficult to work with.
  • Black yarn or thread (for the alien’s mouth)
  • A 4mm crochet hook
  • Small red pom poms (for his eyes – or you could use felt, or crochet little circles)
  • A black pipecleaner (for his antenna)
  • A white pom pom (once again, you could use felt or crochet to make the circle at the end of his antenna)
  • A needle
  • Stuffing
  • Glue

Method:

Head:

Sc 5 in a magic ring. Alternatively, ch 2 and sc 5 into the 2nd chain from your hook.

Round 1: 2sc into each sc around (10).

Round 2: *Sc in 1st sc, 2sc in second sc* around (15).

Round 3: *Sc in next two sc, 2sc in next sc* around (20).

Round 4: *Sc in next three sc, 2sc in next sc* around (25).

Round 5: *Sc in next four sc, 2sc in next sc* around (30).

Rounds 6-11: Sc around (30).

Round 12: *Sc in next 4 sc, dec* around (25).

Round 13: *Sc in next 3 sc, dec* around (20).

Round 14: *Sc in next 2 sc, dec* around (15).

Round 15: *Sc in next sc, dec* around (10).

Fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing head onto body, and stuff. Squish it down a bit so it has the oval-shaped head of the Reddit Alien, rather than a round ball.

Body:

Follow directions for head up to (and including) round 4.

Rounds 5 – 14: Sc around (25). Begin stuffing gently

Round 15: *Sc in next 3 sc, dec* around (20).

Round 16: *Sc in next 2 sc, dec* around (15).

Round 17: *Sc in next sc, dec* around (10).

Fasten off and sew in ends. Finish stuffing.

Ears (make 2):

Sc 4 in a magic ring.

Round 1: 2sc in each sc around (8).

You should get something looking roughly like a semi-circle. Sew ears onto head with the flat part of the semi-circle against the head. Sew tightly so the ears bend towards the head.

Arms (make 2):

Ch 6

Row 1: Sc along chain (5). Ch 1, turn.

Row 2: Sc along chain (5). Ch 1, turn.

Row 3: Sc along chain (5).

You should have something a bit like a small rectangle. Fold it in half, and sew onto body with the curved side facing away from the body. There’s no need to stuff the arms.

Feet (make 2):

Sc 5 into magic ring.

Round 1: 2sc around (10).

Round 2: *sc in 1st sc, 2sc in next* around (15).

Round 3: Sc around (15).

Round 4: Sc, dec around. (10)

Round 5: Sc around. (10)

Round 6: Dec around. (5)

Flatten foot out (no need to stuff) and sew onto bottom of the body. I sewed a stitch into the middle of the foot, creating a concave space that allows the alien to stand up without assistance.

Finishing details:

Glue the white pom pom to the end of the pipecleaner, and allow to dry. Stick pipecleaner into the top of the alien’s head and bend at a 90 degree angle.

Glue red pom poms onto the alien’s face and allow to dry. Sew on black mouth.

Sew head to body, and voila! Alien is completed!

If you have any problems with this pattern, email me at kirsty [at] whimsicalkitty [dot] com and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

PS: Of course this isn’t the only thing my Arbitrary Day match is getting…but the rest will have to be a surprise for now ;D

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Amigurumi amp; Plushies, crochet, fish, otter, patterns

Sea Otter and Fish

I saw this pattern for a sea otter on Ravelry recently, and I just HAD to make it. He’s so adorable! I honestly think he is the cutest thing I have ever crocheted ๐Ÿ™‚ I used some Moda Vera Jazz yarn I had bought on a whim a while ago from Spotlight, and although it was a royal pain to work with, I think it turned out perfectly! What do you think?

Although the pattern called for him to be holding a starfish, I felt that a fish would be more fitting. I searched Ravelryย  and the Crochet Pattern Directory looking for a tiny fish pattern to crochet – but I couldn’t find any that matched what I wanted. So, I made my own!

Ingredients:

  • A little bit of blue yarn, either worsted weight or dk. I used Spotlight’s Premium Marvel Plain, 8ply.
  • A little bit of black yarn, for the eye.
  • A 4mm crochet hook
  • A needle

Method:

Sc 4 into a magic ring. Alternatively, you could ch 2 and sc 4 into the 2nd chain from the hook. I like the magic ring because it looks neater and leaves less of a gaping hole at the end.

Round 1: *2inc, sc* twice (6)

Round 2: *2inc, sc 2* twice (8)

Round 3: *2inc, sc 3* twice (10)

Round 4: *2inc, sc 4* twice (12)

Round 5: *2inc, sc 5* twice (14)

Round 6: *2inc, sc 6* twice (16)

Rounds 7 – 11: Sc around (16)ย  Stuff the fish.

Round 12: *dec, sc 6* twice (14)

Round 13: *dec, sc 5* twice (12)

Round 14: Dec around, finish stuffing and fasten off. (6) This is the body of your fish.

For the tail:

Sc 10 in a magic ring.

Round 1: 2inc around (20)

Round 2: Sc around, fasten off. (20)

Fold the tail in half so you have a semi circle, and sew onto the end of the fish. Sew a black cross onto the fish’s head with your black yarn and needle. Ta-ha! Insta-fish! Would make a great cat toy if you popped some crinkly material or cat nip inside! If you have any questions or problems with the pattern, email me at kirsty [at] whimsicalkitty [dot] com and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

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Amigurumi amp; Plushies, crochet, Hats and other stuff, patterns, scarf, tips

Tea Scarf 2.0

I love the tea scarf pattern on Ravelry – it’s one of the simplest, yet prettiest scarves around. However, it’s quite a small scarf when worked in worsted weight yarn (as it suggests it should be), both in length and width. I don’t know about you, but I like a scarf I can wrap around my neck a couple of times. So, without further ado, here’s how to make a long tea scarf in a dk weight yarn.

I used 2 balls of Moda Vera Wool/Cashmere Blend (which I highly recommend – it’s beautifully soft and has a bit of stretch in it) for this, with a 4mm crochet hook. First, ch 250. I know, I know, it seems like a lot. But it really doesn’t take that long! Then, simply follow the original tea scarf pattern – but double the amount of rows it says to do. At least. Really, you can keep going with the rows as long as you like, depending on how wide you like your scarves. Once you’ve finished adding rows, switch to a 5mm hook and do your edging as per the original pattern. If you want a really pronounced ruffle edging, do 3 dc in each stitch instead of 2. Ta-da! A long, elegant tea scarf is born! You may find it curls a little at the ends when you’ve finished, but that can be cured by blocking it.

Blocking is when you dampen your scarf (or other project), pin it out on a surface and wait for it to dry. That’s a very simple explanation, by the way, there are a few different types of blocking that can be used for different yarn types. For instance, when I made my first tea scarf, I made it in Noro Silk Garden yarn, which is worsted weight, and I put that in the washing machine on the wool cycle (without detergent), then pinned it out on a towel on a futon and left it overnight. For the wool/cashmere one, because it was a more delicate yarn, I pinned it out on an ironing board and steamed it with an iron – being very careful not to let the iron touch the yarn! Blocking a project just gives it a bit more of a professional look, in my opinion, so it’s something I’ll be doing from now on.

I gave the above-mentioned scarf to my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day, incidentally, and she loved it! I used a cream coloured yarn for the main body of the scarf, and black for the edging. I almost wished I could keep it for myself! For my mother, I made her a Japanese kokeshi doll trinket box that I found a pattern for on Ebay. One day I hope to have the time to come up with my own patterns for this stuff – maybe after the craft fair is over!

Kokeshi Doll

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Amigurumi amp; Plushies, crochet, octopus, patterns

Octopus in the garden

I’ve seen so many cute little octopuses around the internet lately that I just had to try making one. Coincidentally, my step-nanna also gave me a big bag of yarn that she’d cleared out of her shed, and in it was the perfect octopus shade! So I made this little fellow in about an hour yesterday, while I was watching TV.

Octopus

He’s so adorable! I made him from this pattern, and I think I might use him as a pincushion ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes it’s good to have a quick little project you can do and feel accomplished!

Now, some of you may be wondering when I’m ever going to put some patterns of my own on this blog. That’s fair enough, and I am very eager to have some patterns of my own up! I’ve got some works in progress at the moment that are from my own patterns, and I promise that as soon as I’m finished with them, I’ll put them up for you guys to see. I still have another week of University holidays, so hopefully I’ll be able to finish a few more projects before I’m swamped with study again.

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