Monday, September 23, 2013

Taffyghan Part 1

I have seen a lot of pretty granny patterns and other afghan patterns on Ravelry, and I have been wanting to start trying them out.  I had never done any "granny" crocheting, but I decided to start with stitching that type of afghan.  Eventually, I would like to try some other afghan types like blocks, granny squares, ripples stitch, etc.  If I can get this granny square thing down, then I would really like to make a Mario themed granny square blanket like this one or this one.  For now, I will just start with a very simple expanding granny afghan in fun taffy-like colors.

In order to learn how to do the granny square stitch, I used this easy illustrated how to tutorial.  I used it as a basis for my afghan and have been expanding upon it to make a continuous granny, rather than squares to be stitched together.

I am still trying to decide whether I will make it into a rectangle and do rows on the ends or to make it a square. The plan is to have this afghan finished by the end of this next week.  So whatever I decide, I will share it next week in my Part 2 post.

I picked 4 bright taffy-like colors of yarn:
Red Heart Super Saver Light Raspberry
Red Heart Super Saver Lemon
I Love This Yarn! Super Soft Turquoise
I Love This Yarn! Super Soft Periwinkle

The I Love This Yarn! skeins are a little bit softer, but the Red Heart Super Saver isn't much different feeling.

For the first time through with each color, I went around 2X.  After that, I am doing 1X around with each color.  I am partially weaving in the ends, but waiting until the afghan is finished to complete that task.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Christmas Cross Stitch Ornaments

I'm behind on my crafting again because I have been super busy at work.  I recently had some court appearances that required additional preparation and I am preparing for another trial.  So, I am writing about a project I completed some time ago.

I found these cross stitch ornaments on Amazon.  They are Dimension's Christmas Pals, and they can be found here.  I thought they were super cute, so I had to make them.

The kits contained the pattern, cross stitch cloth, thread, and needle.  The pattern was easy to follow.  However, each of these ornaments had a lot of detail work, so they took quite some time to complete.

Instead of using the cardboard that came with the kit, I used a thicker adhesive board.  For the hangers, I used some leftover silver cording I had from another project. I glued them to the back of the adhesive board using my glue gun.

Christmas may still be a few months away, but Christmas crafts are fun any time of the year and some crafts need to be started early to be finished in time for Christmas.  Have fun crafting.  :) 

On a side note, our family recently grew by 2 guinea pigs.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall Great Pumpkin Amigurumi Roundup

It's fall now, and pumpkins can be out on display pretty much all season, so I decided to try my hand at some of the free crochet amigurumi pumpkin patterns.  I'm showing off my pumpkins this week and providing links to these patterns as well as many other free pumpkin patterns.

I tried out 3 free crochet pumpkin patterns:

1. Amy Lehman's Crochet Pumpkin available at her blog Crochet Jewel

This pattern was fairly easy to make, but it is more complicated than it appears.  It looks like 2 pieces, but it is actually 4 pieces--stem, top, bottom, and main body.  The main body is done in rows rather than rounds, and it is a mix of SC and  HDC.

It is a more lifelike pumpkin, rather than a being a cutesy pumpkin like the other 2 patterns that I tried out.  I like the ridges in this pumpkin, which are created using the mix of stitches and gathering.

2. Stacey Trock's Amigurumi Jack the Tiny Pumpkin available for download at Ravelry

This pattern was by far the easiest of the 3 patterns I tried out.  The pumpkin was composed of 3 total crochet pieces--2 eyes and a body.  The body and stem were continuous rounds. I think it turned out very cute.  It would also look good in a bigger size by doubling the yarn or doing more increase/decrease rounds.

3. Allison Hoffman's Squeeze N' Sniff Pumpkin Pie available at her blog Crafty Is Cool

This pumpkin pie pattern was just ridiculously cute, so I had to make it when I saw it.  I really like how my version turned out. The project was not the most difficult amigurumi piece, but it included more detail work and more complicated stitches than the other 2 patterns.

I decided not to do the sachet, but I did put the cardboard on the bottom of the pan to help it keep its shape. 

I found quite a few other cute and free pumpkin patterns, but I only have so much time and space to devote to amigurumi pumpkins.

The following is a list of some other free amigurumi crochet pumpkin patterns:

stitch by stitch

We Made That

Monday, September 2, 2013

Raccoon Amigurumi Plush

If you have read my previous posts, then you will have seen that I enjoy making crafts for my nieces and nephews.  Some time ago I was told that my oldest nephew would like a raccoon plush, so I started making it.  This project took significantly longer to finish than originally intended.  It was not a difficult project, but it was not as colorful and fun to make as some other projects that I have been working on recently. It was a struggle to make, but I like how it turned out, and I hope my nephew enjoys it.

I already had a good raccoon pattern from Stacey Trock included with a Craftsy class that I had purchased.  (I think it was like $10 to $15 on sale.) You can find the class and pattern here.  In fact, this class is the one that got me started crocheting again and was my introduction to amigurumi.

This pattern is fairly simple. It requires knowledge of SC, DC, color changes, and joining stuffed animal body parts. 

I made one change to the pattern.  The original pattern expects the maker to use felt on the eyes--large crocheted black oblong eye patch, small white felt circle, and then plastic safety eye.  However, I didn't think I would be able to cut out perfect circles, so I crocheted circles for myself.  

My pattern for the white circle for the eye is as follows (back loops only):
Rd 1: MC=ch 2, SC 6 in second ch from hook (6 SC total)
Rd 2: 2SC in first SC, SC in next 2 SC, 2 SC in next SC, SC in next 2 SC (8 SC total)

If you like this amigurumi raccoon, you should check out my other amigurumi projects.  You can find them under the labels of amigurumi and stuffed animal.