Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blue & Orange Summer Ribbon Wreath

I started this wreath months ago, like all the way back in November or December.  Originally, I wanted a Gator ribbon wreath, but I couldn't find the right ribbon at Hobby Lobby.  However, I still like the combination of blue and orange, so I started on it.  Part way through this wreath, I decided to make a Gator Balloon Wreath instead.  The Gator Balloon wreath stayed up for months and looked great.  The summer heat finally got to it, and the balloons started melting off of it, so it was time to put up a new wreath.  Thus, this blue & orange ribbon wreath came back out, and I finally finished it.  I really like how it turned out.

--Styrofoam wreath form
--a variety of ribbons
--sequin pins (lots of them)
--wooden letter
--acrylic paint
--paint brushes and sponges

Step 1:  Cut your ribbon into strips.  The strips should be about 4" long at the most.  If the strips are any longer, then they will be difficult to use.

Step 2:  Attach your ribbon to the wreath form using your sequin pins, 1 piece of ribbon at a time.  To attach the ribbon, roll it into a loop, and then pin it on the inside.  The number of pins you use will depend on the size of your ribbon.  You may also want to put in an additional pin to make the ribbon lean one way or the other.

Step 3:  Continue pinning the ribbons until the wreath form has no white space.  I just did the front and sides, but some people also do the back of the wreath to make it fuller.

Step 4:  Paint wooden letter as desired.  Let dry.  I painted spots on mine to make it match with the ribbon.

Step 5:  Add ribbon to wooden letter and attach to wreath form.  There are a couple of ways you can do this step.  You can use glue to attach the ribbon to the back of the letter, and then glue or pins to attach it to the wreath form.  However, your wooden letter may be too heavy for the glue to hold up for the length of time that you want to use your wreath.  Instead of glue, I just tied the ribbon around the letter, and then I used a bunch of sequin pins to pin the top of the ribbon to the wreath form.

TAH DAH!!!!  Your wreath is done and ready to put up.

This wreath was pretty simple to make, but it was very time consuming and by far my least favorite wreath to make.  It looks really good and was worth it. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hoops' Amigurumi Adventure

Last week, I made Yoyo, and he was lonely, so I decided to go ahead and make Hoops.  The pattern I used for Hoops was from Amination Blog.  I followed the pattern, except for making the eyes just slightly bigger.

 Hoops' Amigurumi Adventure

When last we met, at Yoyo's Amigurumi Adventure, we encountered Yoyo the bunny, who was patiently awaiting the return of his best friend Hoops.  Now, we adventure from the perspective of Hoops the cat.

Hoops was outside scavenging for food when a bad rainstorm came through.  He sought refuge under a nearby porch.

The rain stopped, but it looked like it could rain again at any moment, so Hoops decided to stay awhile longer.

Hoops wandered around the porch and animal that he thought resembled himself.  He had never encountered another of his kind, and he was very curious, so he jumped up into the chair with the animal.

However, the beast in the chair began to attack, or so he thought, so Hoops ran away into the house.

Hoops found some other animals when he entered the house, and he talked to them. They seemed really nice.  He was hungry, so he decided to look for food.  Hoops stood up by the window to look out for food.

He couldn't see any food, but he found a higher spot, so he decided to climb up and look.  Hoops climbed up to the top of the cactus hill.

From his perch atop the hill, Hoops did not spot any food, but he did see something else.  He saw another animal that resembled the one he had encountered earlier.  Hoops tried again to make friends, but he was met with even less success than last time.

Hoops walked around the house some more, and he didn't find any food, so he decided to go back to the nice animals.  As he walked back to them, he spotted a friendly face.  Hoops was excited because he spotted Yoyo.

The other animals were so nice that Hoops and Yoyo decided they would stay awhile.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Yoyo's Amigurumi Adventure

While perusing Ravelry this week, I found these great Hoops & Yoyo ami patterns at Amination Blog.  I already had the right yarn for Yoyo (but not for Hoops), so I made a Yoyo.

If you don't know who Hoops & Yoyo are, then here's a pic from Hallmark:

Hoops & Yoyo are two characters found on the Hallmark website, and they have a number of adventures that you can watch.  Of course, they also have lots of Hoops & Yoyo cards and other things Hallmark sells.   There used to be quite a few free Hoops & Yoyo online cards available, but it seemed like the free Hoops & Yoyo stuff pretty much disappeared after awhile.

Anyway, without any further ado, I present

Yoyo's Amigurumi Adventure

Yoyo woke up and couldn't find Hoops, so he decided to go look for him.  Yoyo went to the first house he could find, and he entered through a window. 

He walked through the house looking for Hoops.  Yoyo came upon a hill full of cacti.  He looked around, but Hoops was nowhere to be found.

Yoyo became very thirsty, so he began looking for water.  After much searching, he found a pond full of fish.

*No fish were harmed while making this adventure
**The fish tank is not this yellow in real life.  However, I'm still trying to get it to be clear again.

Yoyo drank some water and played with the fish for awhile, and then he returned to his task of finding Yoyo.  While searching around in the living room, Yoyo thought he had finally found Hoops. 

He played with Hoops for a few minutes, and then Yoyo realized he must just be tired or delirious from all of his adventuring because he discovered it was actually a wild beast.

Yoyo played dead until the wild beast lost interest.  After his escape, Yoyo decided it was time to sleep.  He thought he remembered a place to sleep near where he had first entered, and he made his way back.

Yoyo found a comfy place to sleep. A group of ami friends was also planning to sleep there.  They were very nice to Yoyo and made room for him.  The friends told Yoyo that Hoops had come through the area earlier that day and would be back soon.  Yoyo felt very relieved, and he drifted off to sleep.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Amigurumi Yarn Fiber & Texture

I wanted to try out some different things this week--different fibers and textures.  I normally use worsted weight acrylic yarn, but I recently wanted to try cotton.  Until this octopus pattern, all of my amigurumi have used the method of single crochet using the back loop.

Turtle, turtle, turtle 

(my turtle walking around on some vinyl grass)

--turtle pattern
--2 colors of yarn
--crochet hook
--stitch marker
I made this turtle using a free pattern from Lion Brand yarns.

Instead of using acrylic yarn like I normally do, I used cotton.  It feels a little bit softer than some of the acrylics, but not as soft as some other yarns (like the yarn I used for my Yeti).  It was not spun together quite like acrylic yarn, and it was easier to miss a strand, but I like the look and texture of the cotton.  It seems like a good texture/fiber for younger kids or depending on the project.  Note that cotton yarn comes in more expensive, smaller quantities, so the cost is another consideration in deciding what yarn to use.

I made the parts of the turtle a few weeks ago,

but I finally sewed it together this weekend.

This project was pretty easy and fairly quick.  It is a smaller project using continuous rounds.  I did it all using single crochet.

I thought about adding eyes, but they just didn't look good.  First, I tried some 9 mm plastic eyes, but they looked too big.  The plastic eyes may have looked better if they were smaller.  Next, I tried adding some black yarn for eyes.  I have done it before, and it looked good last time.  However, this time it just looked bad.  I didn't have any black cotton yarn, and instead tried black acrylic, so maybe black cotton would have looked better.  Anyway, I ended up choosing not to add any eyes.

Small Octopus

(my little purple octopus swimming around in some vinyl water)

--octopus pattern
--crochet hook
--stitch marker
--plastic eyes

This octopus is another free pattern from Lion Brand yarns.  I used acrylic yarn for this project, but the difference here is that I did single crochet both loops.  It looks really different.

I like the texture for this project, but I like the look of the back loop only better.  However, now that I have the 2 for comparison, I think I may switch back and forth depending on the project.  I will say that when it comes to attaching limbs and counting, back loop only is much easier.  On the other hand, the limbs attached to booth loop crochet have a more invisible attachment.

This project was easy, but I did get a little bit bored by the end when I was making the 8 legs.  It is made using single crochet continuous rounds.  For this one, I used a size G hook and 9 mm plastic eyes.  I do like how it turned out.

Update:  This post was featured on Taelia88's blog.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Space Amigurumi

Space..the final frontier.

For this week, I picked a space theme.  The planet is a free pattern from Stacey Trock, and the rocket is a free pattern from Lucy Robson.  Both of these patterns were quick, fun, and easy to make.

Gaseous Planet

--planet pattern
--size H crochet hook
--2 colors of yarn
--stitch markers
I found the cute planet pattern a few weeks ago, and I've been wanting to make it.  It's my first non-animal amigurumi.  The solid planet was pretty easy--some increase rounds, plain rounds, and decrease rounds.  To make the gas ring, I took a second color and crocheted into the front loops.  It was made with some increase and decrease rounds.

The main planet portion of the pattern could be adapted in a number of ways.  It could be a planet like earth without rings.  One could crochet continents and attach them.  The pattern could also be used to make a ball instead of a planet--solid, striped, add spots, etc.


After making the planet, I wanted to make something else space themed to go with it, and I found the rocket.  I thought it was pretty cute, and it was easy to make.

--rocket pattern
--size H crochet hook
--4 colors of yarn
--stitch markers

First, I made all of the pieces and parts.

Next, I stitched the windows on before stuffing the rocket.  The windows are continuous increase rounds, and the rocket body is a combinations of increase, plain, and decrease rounds.  After attaching the windows, I finished stuffing and crocheting the rocket closed.

Finally, I added the fins.  The fins are increase rounds with strategically placed increases, rather than evenly spacing the increases around a round.

Here is my finished rocket.  I'm happy with how it turned out.