Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Three Billy Goats Gruff Medium Goat

I'm continuing to work on my ami's to go with my The Three Billy Goats Gruff present. I only need to make the small goat after this and this gift will be finished.

Having made the first goat from Once Upon a Time... in Crochet already, I found the second went a bit faster. The yarn for this project and the troll was another of my targeted attempt to finish off stash yarn. This was gifted to me by a friend when his sister passed away and I've been dilegently working on using it up but it is all one color and there was quite a bit of it. It worked well for this project.

I went from an f to an e hook as the yarn is slightly lighter than the worsted I used for the "large" goat, so it made the second goat slightly smaller than the first goat without having to go to a really small hook. I'm thinking about trying the last goat in sport yarn so I don't have to go to a real tiny hook. I'll have to experiment to see what works best.

This is the project so far. I'm pleased with it and I think it will make a fun way to retell the story and I suspect the goats will end up on the play farm at some point and the troll could even become a farmer.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Three Billy Goats Gruff Troll

I mentioned in a post last week that I was working on a crochet play set to accompany a book gift of The Three Billy Goats Gruff and I'd completed the large goat for the set from Once Upon a Time... in Crochetbut I wasn't happy with my options for the troll from the book.

This is the beauty of making your own toys. You can mix and match as you choose and I found a free pattern for my troll here. This troll is extremely adaptable and customizable.

There is a whole series of videos for the creation of the troll that are extremely detailed. If you've never made an ami before this starts right at the beginning and takes you through step by step. I had the current video for the section I was working on loaded on my phone and I'd fast forward to the places where the techniques were new or different than those I am used to using. I'm not generally someone who uses videos, but I'd advise anyone making this pattern to be prepared to refer to the videos as not everything you need to make the troll is documented in the print pattern. You will need to see some of the videos for directions on how to complete certain parts of the troll.

While my hair differs from her hair options I learned a wonderful new technique for rooting the hair which I will be using for my hair projects now. I loved the tail and I almost thought of using the technique for the hair as a throw back to the trolls of my youth but I really liked the way the hair looked when I was done rooting it and I left it as it stood. The feet are not attached to the body but to the pants and that was a really interesting technique I'd never seen done before. I learned a number of new shaping techniques that I used on the ears and face. The nose is another unique technique that I'd not encountered before.

This is one of my favorite types of projects because I loved the finished product and I learned quite a bit by making it. After making this troll and seeing how cute he came out I couldn't resist picking up the Troll's version of the story Listen, My Bridge Is SO Cool!: The Story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff as Told by the Troll (The Other Side of the Story) to send with my gift. After all I'm sure this troll has something to say on the subject of goats crossing his bridge.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Three Billy Goats Gruff Large Goat

I've long been a fan of giving gifts of books combined with themed toys that help kids act out the book as it is being read and retell the story long after they've heard it. My next project is to go with a gift of The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Paul Galdone Classics) for a summer birthday gift.

The pattern for the goats comes from Once Upon a Time... in Crochet: 30 amigurumi characters from your favorite fairytales a book I picked up with a couple of fairy tale crochet books that I'm finally putting to use. I found a free pattern online for a troll that has some unique techniques I wanted to try out so, I'm experimenting with that pattern first as I liked the troll better and I wanted to see if I could manage the challenges of the other pattern. If it doesn't work out I'll be back working the troll from this book. I'm sure I'll be documenting my journey at some point.

I haven't been working much from books lately and one of the challenges is keeping your page. One of the things I appreciated about this book was the end pages that bend in to create page holders.

The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn and C or D hooks for the goats making them around 4-4 1/2" for those of you interested in the pattern as written. I had no interest in making them that small and I also wasn't crazy about working in the round in such a tight area. There was also my quest to use as much yarn on hand as I can. Using worsted weight yarn to make the goats means not ordering more yarn and that is important to my goals of trying to use up yarn on hand.

I often read reviews where people say they don't like X pattern because they prefer X yarn. The reality with amis is that most can be adjusted to different yarns but it will effect size and in some cases textures and patterns created if there are yarn/hook changes, etc. In the case of the goats making them larger was not a huge issue. These will actually be about the size of the farm animals I made previously and something tells me they may end up on the farm play sets along with their journey through the Three Billy Goats Gruff so making them a compatible size was not the worse choice I could make.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

18 Inch Doll Girl About Town

This is another doll pattern I found in Crochet World's Best Animals, Toys, and Dolls and decided to add to the doll donation. You can purchase this digital magazine at e-pattern central here. As I mentioned in my previous post they have some amazing sales if you are patient.

I try to make a habit of listing where the patterns come from because when I go to a site I love knowing where the pattern came from so I can look for it if I choose. Free or paid, print, out of print, e-pattern or print it is nice to know where I can start the search for something I'm interested in making. When possible I try to pass this courtesy on by listing what information I have for someone else who may want to find the pattern.

Now on to my notes for the future.

This was a wonderful stash busting project. Many years ago as in the girls are now respectively in college and high school I crocheted Barbie clothes using sport yarn and I bought Red Heart Sport yarn because I could make some of the patterns with it. Eventually the girls outgrew Barbie and I had not real love for working with the tiny Barbie sized patterns which is why I don't donate the fashion sized dolls. However, the end of Barbie did not mean the end of her yarn stash. As I moved to larger dolls I had almost forgotten about this stash of yarn until I recently came across more doll patterns that needed sport weight yarn and realized that it was time to target this stash.

To get this pattern to fit with the old Red Heart Sport yarn I needed to move from the suggested g hook for the top to a G hook. I moved down to an f for the skirt but if I make this again I'd move back to the e hook. This dress works up quite easily and I would make it again and try different types of skirts to go with it. I think it is adaptable.

For the cardigan I also had to go to a g hook for the main body. However I had to return to the e hook to make the arms fit. I could see making the cardigan to add to other patterns. It works up easily enough.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

18 Inch Doll Back to School

As I mentioned in a previous post I'd been looking through Crochet World's Best Animals, Toys, and Dolls for doll patterns to use for the toy donation. The first one that struck me as one to try was this Back to School pattern. It was a great chance to use up more of the Green Herrschner's worsted weight yarn I wrote about previously using in the baby doll projects. I still haven't finished it off yet. This outfit seemed to hardly make an impact. However, I'm glad I had it to use for this project. It feels good to be using up yarn that has been too long sitting in the stash pile.

The pattern called for an f hook and that worked fine with the top and the AC Moore sport yarn that I am still working through. The skirt proved to be too large and I ended up going down to a D hook. Even then I added a draw string to make it a bit tighter. The pattern calls for elastic but I'm trying to avoid using elastic at the moment.

The vest and hat worked up according to pattern instructions but I had to play with the shoes. The AC sport weight was too small for the bottom until I moved up to an H hook to fit the bottom of the doll foot. However, the tops were too large with the green Herrschner's yarn until I went down to a D hook. Even then they were still a little roomy. I think they'd have been a better fit if I'd stuck with the AC Moore yearn for the whole shoe. However, I liked the idea of trying shoes with contrasting colors so I went ahead.

The backpack worked up according to directions but I used snaps on the back of the sweater and to close the backpack.

This digital magazine is available for purchase at e-pattern central here. As I mentioned in my previous post they have some amazing sales if you are patient.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Cuddly Caterpillar

It is time to start prepping summer and fall birthday gifts. This is for a fall birthday present so it probably could have waited, but while I was looking at doll clothes I saw this guy and he made it to the fall birthday list and then to the top of the must make list. He will be accompanied by a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as I like to match books and toys when I can.

As I mentioned before I was looking through Crochet World's Best Animals, Toys, and Dolls for 18" doll patterns. While I have a print copy of the magazine I picked up a digital copy at e-pattern central recently so I could easily print the patterns I wanted and store them in my pattern binders. They have a variety of sales, some better than others. I had held off buying this until I got it for $1.99. At that point the ease of printing was too hard to resist. Sadly, I often misplace my magazines so that was also an incentive. I know where to find it when I want it. For those of you interested in the pattern you can find the e magazine here. Patience is a virtue when it comes to getting the best price on their patterns. They almost always hit that $1.99 spot if you can hold out long enough.

While this pattern does call for cotton yarn and an f hook I am still trying to use up yarn on hand. I had cotton for the head and the first body section. The grey is the AC Moore sport yarn I've been using up. The Red is Red Heart Sport. The blue was the most challenging because I only had light weight darker blues on hand. So I used a Bernat worsted turquoise with a D hook to make the circle.

Note for myself if I make this again I would seriously consider not closing the circles for the body and instead changing colors and continuing the increases and decreases as one joined piece to avoid sewing the caterpillar's body together. There is no way to avoid sewing the head, but decreasing the need to sew the body together would be a plus.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Our Generation Teddy Bear Top and Skirt

I'm always looking for patterns either made for the size of dolls I donate or patterns that can be adapted to fit the dolls. This pattern is a free crochet pattern to make a skirt and top designed to fit a Build a Bear. You can find the pattern here. If you are interested in Build a Bear patterns she has quite a few free patterns for the bears but most of them are knit.

One thing to love about this pattern is that it requires no sewing other than weaving in your ends. Even the straps you see on the top are created through traditional arm hole methods, they are not sewn to the top as often happens when you make tops with straps. This alone makes it a new favorite for me.

I found the skirt pattern was a bit heavy and large for either doll when I made it with worsted weight yarn. So, I substituted Red Heart Sport yarn for the skirt. Making the skirt with a g hook and the sport weight yarn I then just needed to add a few more rows to get the length I needed.

My AC Moore sport yarn is still holding out but I'm trying to make a dent in it. The top is from that supply. I started out with the suggested g hook but the top was too large even for the Our Generation doll. I moved to an f hook and the fit was good. It needs to be a little loose as this top needs to slide on and off the doll and the arms need to slide into the arm holes. I will consider dropping the hook size to make this for the My Life doll.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

18 Inch Doll Seashell Summer Dress, Hat, and Purse

This was another attempt to finish off my Spud and Chloe box of sock yarn. I am happy to say the dress used almost an entire skein. I thought I'd have enough to finish off the hat, but I had to use some left over pink yarn I didn't manage to finish up in a previous outing. Thus the reason for the pink purse.

These are all free crochet patterns you can find at ABC Knitting. The dress is available here. If you give them your email address they will give you the ability to download the PDF for free. I suggest this as it is much easier to work from their PDF version than from the version posted on the website. I always end up missing some detail.

Pattern notes:

I used an f hook to get the dress to fit.

As I mentioned when I suggested getting the PDF I have a copy that predates this service and I missed the line after row 6 that says you will be dividing for the sleeve. Thankfully, I knew I was right about at that point and was able to figure out that should be happening. With the number of stitches decreasing it was also a good hint that I'd be skipping stitches to form the arm hole. However, having the complete descriptions and pictures would have made my life easier.

After decreasing the number of stitches in row 7 to make the arm holes you begin increasing in row 8 to create the flair in the skirt. I mention this because I misread the V stitch in between and had a very straight too tight dress that had to be pulled back to row 7 and redone. My hope is by making these notes when I make this dress again I'll remember having done this before.

You can find the free pattern for the hat here and the purse here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Our Generation Dovetailed

This is another one of my favorite free Darski patterns found here.

I love the historical look of the pattern and that it works up quickly without being too challenging. I've been making this outfit in pink and grey for years, but I'm thinking about possibly making this for the My Life doll in different colors to try something new this year. We will see what happens.

I originally intended this outfit for the My Life doll. I'm trying to keep a balance for the donation but I didn't use elastic for the waist band and as a result the waist was a little too big for the My Life and fit the Our Generation Doll a bit better. The top was also made with the suggested H hook and fit well for both dolls.

Monday, June 1, 2020

18 Inch Doll Cinderella

I did mention I'd eventually get back to making costumes for the donation dolls didn't I? I own several Cinderella patterns for the 18 inch dolls. Some are more challenging than others. I chose this one because it is quick to make up and I had the supplies on hand. While I've been focusing on using up orphan yarns I have a supply of staple yarns that the majority of my donations come from and since I haven't been out shopping much I haven't resupplied those as much as I would normally do and therefore there wasn't a guarantee that when I went to find light blue yarn I'd have any available.

For those of you interested in this pattern you can purchase it from Adoring Doll Clothes here. While her prices are quite reasonable she regularly has sales or deals for multiple pattern buys if that is of interest. I know I take advantage to keep up on her newer designs.

Pattern Notes:

To add the overdress I changed row 9. I crocheted in the back loops for this round to leave the front loops available to begin the overskirt. This is a change from the directions and one I'd like to remember when I make it again.

I had to add rows to the headband to make it long enough. When I make this next time I need to measure this prior to finishing off to make sure it fits.

To get the shoes to fit I needed an I hook. This is pretty standard for me.

Snaps closed the dress and the choker at the neck. This differs from the pattern directions.

The dress was short so I added rows to make it floor length.

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