Friday, April 30, 2010

Amigurumi Cow

When I finished the cow, I started to feel a sense of accomplishment and wanted to find a Fisher Price Barn to take pictures with for the blog. Obviously, that did not happen. Seeing the animals displayed on our piano continue to grow, I was starting to see the look I wanted it to for this present, though.

I was glad to return to working with slightly larger pieces. It allowed me to use the plastic safety eyes and avoid embroidering eyes again. There was an issue of legs, however. This was the first animal I made that had small skinny legs that would be the main support system for the animal. Working on getting the legs pinned to provide appropriate balance was a great learning experience.

As I read other blogs and yahoo postings, I am finding new techniques and tricks to improve my own projects. The cow benefited from learning a better method of decreasing. I can see where this will prove useful on the next goose.

This is an out of print pattern. For those who are looking it is Annie's Pattern Club Pattern, 87B54 Down on the Farm.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Amigurumi Goose

The goose pattern was surprisingly harder than expected. It could be I was over confident after my experiences with the pig and the duck. The goose looked to be very close to the chicken/rooster, but there were subtle challenges that proved to be learning experiences along the way.

While the rooster and the pig have basic weight and balance structures, the goose is created a bit differently. The body, neck, and feet have to be crocheted, stuffed, and molded correctly for the goose to maintain balance after creation. With these challenges in mind, the directions for the goose were unfortunately not as clear as the previous two creatures had been. I did end up working through the feet and balance issues to get the goose to work correctly. I am looking forward to trying him again with this experience to build on.

This is an out of print pattern. For those who are looking it is Annie's Pattern Club Pattern, 87B54 Down on the Farm.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Amigurumi Chicken or Rooster

The chicken/rooster was the second pattern I completed from the Down on the Farm pattern. While the pattern claims this is a chicken, everyone who has seen it has agreed with me that it is in fact a rooster. Either way it does fit nicely in to the farm toy experience.

This was one of the easiest patterns in the set. If one were not concerned with fitting all the animals into the bag, it would be easy to convert the rooster into a chicken and have a farmyard of creatures that are made up quickly.

The rooster and the goose were the only animals I could not use the plastic safety eyes when creating. I generally do not like embroidering the eyes, but do to size constraints needed to do so when creating the rooster.

One of the things that attracted me to this pattern and that already has me considering creating another set of these animals for Christmas is the size. They are comparable to the Fisher Price sets. They are small but have the advantage of not being hard when thrown or stepped on. I suspect children could use these with another farm set. That is my intention for the gifts I have in mind.

This is an out of print pattern. For those who are looking it is Annie's Pattern Club Pattern, 87B54 Down on the Farm.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Amigurumi Pig

I have adult nieces that went through the pig stage with Charlotte’s Web and Babe and while I bought the toys, I never really went through the stage myself. This pattern was a delight, though. I fell in love with this little pig by the time he was done. He does actually remind me of the Fisher Price toy we had.

One of the things I loved about this pattern was the ears were created while crocheting the head. Secondly, the head was not created as a separate part of the pig body; they were crocheted as one piece. This reduced the sewing portion of the exercise greatly.

I almost have the chicken/rooster finished and will share the outcome of that project next. This experience has made me eager to seek out other patterns from this series. I am also curious to find out if the kids will enjoy these animals as much as the Fisher Price toys, as they are similar in size and purpose.

This pattern is found in an out of print Annie's Pattern Club Pattern, 87B54 Down on the Farm.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Down on the Farm

The title of this blog comes from an out of print pattern I purchased recently. The Annie's Attic Pattern Club pattern, 87B54 printed in 1984, is my next big Christmas project. The pattern has a farmhouse carrying case and directions to complete a cow, pig, goose, horse, and what the pattern identifies as a chicken, but looks like a rooster on completion.

The reason I chose a Fisher Price photo for this blog is that is the idea I am going for with this pattern. I want to crochet some toys that give kids that same kind of play experience that I enjoyed with the Fisher Price toys.

So far I have one side of the barn completed and have begun production of the pig. The farmhouse has been the only challenge so far. The animal patterns appear clear and require less sewing than other patterns I have completed.

As I find more of these out of print toy and fashion doll patterns, I only wish Annie's still had these clubs. I really am enjoying finding the random patterns that are available in the resale market. It must have been wonderful when these were available on a regular basis.

See the finished project.

Picture Credit:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dinosaur Amigurumi

The project is complete. It feels great to work through an entire book and actually to have attempted and completed all the projects. Some were greater successes than others were, but each was a learning process that has taught me new skills and given me more confidence in trying new things. I will be back to this book before Christmas.

For those seeking the pattern book it can be found at Gourment Crochet's, Amigurumi's Dinosaurs.

If you want to see the individual blog entries and additional pictures for this project see the links below.

T-Rex and Brontosaurus




Wooly Mammoth

Please see the Dinosaur and Dragon Page for free knit and crochet patterns.

My next project is an old Annie’s Pattern Club pattern for a farm. Another Christmas present on my list.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wooly Mammoth Amigurumi

This pattern sold me on buying this book. The wooly mammoth was adorable and I had never seen a pattern for one before. When I read the pattern, I decided to make the mammoth last because I realized it was going to be different from the other patterns. On the surface, it appears to be simple, but as I read the directions and worked through them, there were more challenges than I expected.

The body itself was straight forward and as expected. The head worked up smaller than I anticipated based on the picture, but the row count seemed accurate. I was using a yarn I had never used before, so this could have affected the outcome. Gauge could also be a factor as none is stated. As stated in earlier blogs this will not be the only one I make, so I will have a chance to experiment and see what works.

The directions on the tusks did not work as I expected. When I switched from sc to sl I found I had a smaller size appropriate tusk for the animal I was creating. Again, this could be a result of gauge, yarn, or the size of the mammoth’s head.

Overall, I really like this pattern and am looking forward to applying what I have learned to another mammoth.

For those seeking the pattern book it can be found at Gourment Crochet's, Amigurumi's Dinosaurs.

Please see the Dinosaur and Dragon Page for free knit and crochet patterns.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pterodactyl Amigurumi

This was the only pattern in the series that I questioned the pattern, not just my skill level. The pattern book picture shows a triangle that creates the wing for the dinosaur. A rounded wing is the result of crocheting in the round as written in the pattern. I am going to experiment with the written pattern further and work on adapting the pattern on my own to see if I can create one that looks more like the one in the book. With the lack of wingspan, I adapted how I attached the arms as well. Since I have more requests for dinosaur presents, I will have time to practice the patterns.

That being said, Terri, as he has been lovingly named, still has drawn some popular attention. Thus, the increase in requests for dinosaur presents. I am going to continue to work on creating a pterodactyl with wings that are closer to the original intent. I will post any progress I make.

For those seeking the pattern book it can be found at Gourment Crochet's, Amigurumi's Dinosaurs.

Please see the Dinosaur and Dragon Page for free knit and crochet patterns.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Triceratops Amigurumi

This was the project I was least interested in starting and most pleased with when it was finished. The picture seemed awkward when I viewed the cover. However, as I began working on the project, seeing him in a squatted position seemed to work. This project was one of the most enjoyable because I had such a low anticipation of the outcome.

The triceratops was one of the easiest of the patterns to create. The most challenging part was getting the back legs positioned correctly. I have learned to pin all the legs prior to sewing anything to an animal.

One of the goals I presented myself with at the start of this project was not to buy any yarn to finish it. It has been fun digging through yarn stashes to find matches. I wanted fun colors and was not concerned about following the pattern color suggestions in all cases. This is working out.

For those seeking the pattern book it can be found at Gourment Crochet's, Amigurumi's Dinosaurs.

Please see the Dinosaur and Dragon Page for free knit and crochet patterns.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Stegosaurus Amigurumi

I completed the next step in my dinosaur Christmas project. The pattern for the Stegosaurus, or as he became known as I was working on him Steggi, came from Gourment Crochet's, Amigurumi's Dinosaurs.

When I started this project, I thought the Stegosaurus would prove more challenging than the previous two dinosaurs I had made, the T-Rex and the brontosaurus. Creating the body was a typical project. I think when I make the plates again; I might try a lighter weight sports yarn. The plates were cute, but I think a lighter yarn might provide a more defined look. I can also experiment with hook size to see if that makes a difference as well. I learn a bit as I work through each one of these projects.

I will say as I have shown people the results of my efforts, this is one of the creatures that almost does not escape so I will say people still are finding him attractive.

Please see the Dinosaur and Dragon Page for free knit and crochet patterns.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Amigurumi Dinosaurs

I can remember the well intentioned gifts I received from adults that were not always identifiable. I want the kids to actually enjoy what I make as much as I enjoy making them.

I have purchased plastic dinosaur sets for kids for years. Dinosaurs are such a popular toy for kids. It has been a pleasure realizing I could create something that kids could use with the same creativity as the old plastic play sets and I have a better control over what I use to make them.

My goal in making gifts is to find patterns that will be interesting to make and meet the fun standard. When I saw Gourment Crochet's, Amigurumi's Dinosaurs it inspired me to buy and try. The thought of making the patterns intrigued me and I could see kids enjoying the toys if I was successful in assembling them. I have finished two T-Rex Amigurumi and a Brontosaurus to date. The first T-Rex has already made an Easter journey. I have a Stegosaurus that just needs the plates attached and it will be completed. I will continue to update my progress on this project, which I hope to have ready to mail for a Christmas present.

The pattern book includes directions for a T-Rex, Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Pterodactyl, and a Wooly Mammoth. The three patterns I have made so far have had clear directions and have been easy to follow. It has been great not finding any missing steps in the process.

Please see the Dinosaur and Dragon Page for free knit and crochet patterns.

Pictures may not used without written permission.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Barbie Shorts

Shopping for vintage patterns I came across the Leisure Arts Hawaiian Honeymoon Fashion Doll Wardrobe, 2132. The short patterns for Ken and Barbie worked up quickly. Using sports yarn for both patterns made this an attractive option. Some of the patterns in this leaflet and others require crochet thread. As of yet, I have not mastered the use of thread when crocheting. I have not given up. However, my attempts so far have produced twisted pieces that do not maintain a single straight or round row on one side of the thread. My hope is that more experienced crafters can help me achieve this goal by teaching me the skills involved.

The top for this is a result of a practice piece from a dress. The dress pattern came from Annie's Pattern Club Fashion Doll Quick and Easy. Of all the vintage pattern books, I have purchased so far, this is still my favorite. All the patterns are crocheted in sports yarn, a big benefit. Another reason it has continued to be a favorite is there were patterns I could do when I got the book and patterns I am still working on learning how to crochet. It is great to be able to start on a project and still have room to grow in a pattern book.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Barbie Spring Dress

This was created using the Springtime Sun Dress pattern created by Joyce Bishop. The pattern can be found in Annie's Pattern Club Fashion Doll Quick and Easy, 87D20.

I made two of these for Easter. The one pictured was crocheted using Bernat Satin sport yarn and the other in traditional pink sports yarn. This was one of my more challenging fashion doll projects to date. The yarn choices were interesting. The pink sports yarn presented certain challenges, the Satin others. The Satin slid through some of the tighter areas, but frayed more around the edges. That proved challenging during assembly and presents concerns for wear since these will be used for kids’ toys.

The Ken shorts made with the Satin did not create nearly the same challenges. This was likely because the stitches were much simpler and there were fewer edges requiring finishing. Further research should help me become better acquainted with using the Satin in these projects.

For practice purposes, I think I will create the next few in traditional sports yarn to master the actual technique before adding more challenges to the project.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Christmas in Crochet

I rarely buy on impulse, but I got a good deal buying this book online before it was released. That being the case I had a limited chance to preview before purchasing the book.

If you like thread crochet there are lots of projects. When I master the art of thread there are some decorations and ornaments I would like to crochet for holiday projects.

I was pleased to find a tree skirt pattern crocheted in worsted weight yarn, that actually meets my skill level. I have not seen many tree skirt crochet patterns yet that I think I could complete. I also liked the reindeer.

As for non-holiday projects I can see making the football caddy for our next Super Bowl party. That was a cute idea that might work for more than one person on my gift list who would find it amusing.

I would like to have seen more Christmas decorations and ornaments done in worsted weight and sports yarn. While I realize thread is popular to work with, for those of us who use mostly traditional yarn, this book does not provide as many options for holiday projects.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Barbie Crochet Easter Outfit

While I did lose a number of digital photographs, with help from the child getting the presents, I was able to take some additional photographs of some of the items I made for Easter. This was an Easter, spring outfit crocheted for a couple of Easter Baskets. Next year I think I would add a hat.

The skirt pattern is from a 1986 Annie's Pattern Club book Fashion Doll Quick and Easy. Joyce Bishop was the designer. The top is actually adapted from the top of another dress pattern found in the book. As I was working on how to make the dress, I started by making some doll tops from the dress pattern to wear with other outfits.

I have learned to check the sizes of the dolls when working with older patterns. Even among current dolls, not all the clothes fit the same and I do have to adapt the patterns to make sure they fit the doll measurements.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Crochet Today Amigurumi Patterns

New Amigurumi patterns are available in the May/June 2010 Crochet Today magazine. The article is titled, "Roar It's a Zoo." The patterns include a Mom and child panda and tortoise, a monkey, and lion. I am looking forward to trying the Panda when I finish my dinosaur project. There is also an adorable mobile. The pattern is a rainbow motif that includes a rainbow, sun, and stuffed raindrops. This is a project is on my list of patterns to try.

For those who are hesitant to buy, try your local library. I find through our local library, I am able to get a number of knitting and crochet magazines through interlibrary loan.

Pictures may not be used without my written permission.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Carrot Rattle

With a new baby nephew I needed something to put in his Easter basket. I combined two bib patterns from the Daily Crochet Calendar and free Duck Bib pattern found in the free Easter Links to make one of the items I needed. I wanted something else. When I looked at the carrot rattle it just seemed cute and fun to make. This free pattern link can also be located in the crochet section of the Easter Links on this blog.

Oddly the most challenging problem was finding carrot colored yarn right after Christmas. The shade I used was not the ideal color I wanted, however, orange was not a popular post Christmas color in the stores I shopped at when I was ready to make this item. As many of us know, sometimes you use what you can find. The pattern was easy to follow and the directions were clear. The pattern did not include directions for creating a “rattle” noise, so I followed directions I had from other books about making child safe crochet rattles.

Pictures may not be used without my written permission.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hello Kitty

I came across this pattern at Naida's Crochet. The free pattern link can be found in the Toy Links under Other Toys.

I don't know if any of you have huge Hello Kitty fans in your family, but I do. While I have purchased items I have not had many options to make any items. It was wonderful to see a pattern that resembled the beloved character that I could actually make. It had the benefit of still looking like the character when I was finished. The pattern directions were easy to follow and clear. I did use plastic eyes and added fabric to back them so they would not poke through the back of the purse. This is different from the original pattern.

I sent this off in the Easter items and have not yet heard back about the reaction. However, there were times I was not sure it would make it to the box, so I do have high hopes it will be a pleaser.

For those of you looking for Hello Kitty free Ami patterns I recently came across a blog that has free patterns of Hello Kitty in a variety of costumes. Armina's Ami-Nals has some patterns I want to try out for my Hello Kitty fans. Check them out for yourself.

Pictures may not be used without my written permission.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Ducks and Chicks

Along with bunnies I wanted to find a crochet version of chicks and ducks to put in the Easter baskets this year. This first pattern I found and made is a free pattern that can be found under Duck in the Easter links for those who would like to try it. It was a great practice project in working in Amigurumi. The round pattern of the foundation was simple to follow and there was little that needed to be sewn on after completion. This would be a great project for teaching Amigurumi to children. It also makes a great year round toy. Ducks and chickens are not limited to Easter. Kids could make a farm yard of animals.

The chick pattern was a mini ami pattern from Amigurumi World. I missed this pattern when originally looking for Easter patterns. I was taken by the mini bunnies, but did not appreciate the mini chicks as potential Easter toys. The pattern was more complicated than the Lion Brand free one above, but it was still easy and created a very cute finished product. I will definitely be making more of these for next year's baskets.

These pictures may not be used without my written permission.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Bunnies Amigurumi Style

I needed an Easter bunny pattern for my Easter baskets this year. My hope was to find a fun bunny pattern to try that the kids would love as much as the stuffed bunnies in the stores. These were a big hit this year.

The bunny pattern in Amigurumi World provided a great foundation for my efforts. I am not a huge fan of felt when working on crochet projects. I have a problem with ripping it while sewing and I hate gluing for fear of it falling off. Therefore, I try to avoid using felt when possible. As a result, I do find myself adapting some of the patterns in this book to avoid the use of felt. In making these bunnies I wanted to create the two colored ears without adding felt. I also wanted facial features that required no use of felt.

To adapt the ear pattern I followed the crochet instructions using a smaller hook for the inside pink of the ear. I made two. I used the suggested hook to make two white outer ears. Then I single crocheted the pink ear to the inside of the white ear as seen in the picture.

I tried making the pink bunny as shown in the book, but I just couldn’t get the same expressions I got with the white yarn bunny face. I had a hard time getting the crochet face to work in the same way the felt worked on the pink bunny in the book. The pink bunny is one of the pictures that did not make the digital cut. If the recipient sends me a photograph I will post it.

These photographs may not be used without my written permission.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dragon Finger Puppets

I had fun making some unique Easter basket toys for the younger relatives. These crochet Dragon Finger Puppets were easy to make and so cute when finished. They are part of a free pattern offering for a complete castle and fairy tale play set that can be found in the Finger Puppet Links on this site. The pattern was created by Melissa Mall at Crochet Me. The Castle patterns can be found in the Toy Links.

I did use plastic eyes in my puppets as I really like the way they looked. Providing a backing for the eyes can be challenging, but I thought it was worth the final finished product. You can also choose to embroider the eyes. I do want to attempt the two castles which can also be found in the links. I hope at some point to complete the complete fairy tale set.

The photographs are not to be used without my written permission.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Barbie Fashion Doll Easter

The drive was on to complete Barbie and fashion doll clothing for Easter baskets this year. As I mentioned before not all my digital photographs made the cut. However, I do have a few photographs to share. I will add more if I get the chance.

Mom again came through this better than I. She knitted outfits for the Easter season. I managed to save photographs of one of the Easter baskets I made. The pattern can be found in the freeEaster Links under crochet.

For all my complaints about lost photographs it was fun making finding the vintage pattern books online that use sports yarn. I have not mastered the art of thread crochet and finding books that utilize sports yarn has been a great gift. I managed to complete several dresses, skirts outfits, and short outfits. Even Ken got into the mix with a new pair of shorts. I am still struggling to find sports yarn patterns for him, but have a few I am looking to locate. So even without the pictures to document the efforts, I feel progress has been made.

I retain rights to all pictures. Written permission must be obtained to use pictures.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Graduation Bear

I still have more Easter Projects to post, but for those planning ahead I thought I would share my graduation bear project.

This was one of the first amigurumi patterns I tried. For those of you who would like to see the free pattern you can find the pattern link for the bear in the Graduation Links. Look for the Lion Brand Bear link.

The gown is not in the Lion Brand pattern. I made it up by chaining the distance around his neck and increasing outwards as I went along. I do not have a written pattern. It was my first experiment with clothing and no pattern. I wanted an outfit that could be removed so the bear could be dressed in other clothing later. I found a few sweaters at one of the craft stores that fit. I also did not sew the hat to the bear. It is pinned with saftey pins in the crochet holes so the hat could come off at a later date and be replaced with other outfits. The pattern does call for it to be sewn on. It is obviously the choice of the creator.

After this picture was taken, I did add the graduation tassel and the honors scarf when I was able to discover the appropriate colors. One of the fun things I am enjoying about crochet is adding the personalized details. My Mom is going the Build a Dog route and is knitting the gown using a bear pattern and using her knitting skills to make it more personal by adding the school colors and the honors regalia. This is something that just was not an option before I learned these skills. I would have to beg a relative to do it for me.

For those looking for a knitted bear graduation pattern this book may also be available at your local library.

The photo is my personal property and not to be reused without written permission.

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