Monday, March 30, 2009

To Meep or Not to Meep....

....that is the question. :)

Little J has asked me to make him a Roadrunner. Being the indulgent mom I am, I said "Of course, honey!" and proceeded to try to find a pattern for a road runner. Can't find one. I can find lots of filet patterns, afghan patterns...anything flat. But he actually wants a stuffed know, like an amigurumi! :)

Therefore, I'm scheming to come up with a pattern for one myself, after my "success" with creating the Amigurumi Buddies. I'm trying to decide, though, whether I want to go with a more "lifelike" design:

Or the "traditional" cartoon design... 

Which do you think?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Amigurumi Buddies

I finished the good-bye present for T's friend, Yuki. I wasn't at the school when the gift was presented to him, but according to T's teacher, Yuki and his parents were very surprised and pleased with the little buddies. Luckily, T doesn't really understand that he won't be seeing Yuki at school anymore, so it hasn't been too terribly sad for him.

The pattern is available through Ravelry, and I'll add a link for it here, as well, eventually. It's a little long to post, as there are several different parts to the project.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Amigurumi Craze Continues

I can totally understand the draw of creating amigurumi. So far, in my limited experience, they seem to be quick, easy projects. Great for near-instant gratification. The projects I've done so far can usually be completed in one day. Sure makes it feel like you're getting a lot accomplished quickly!

The dragon is done and he turned out really cute (I think). I don't know how the recipient liked it, as I haven't gotten any feedback and we weren't there to watch him open his presents after his party at a local video game arcade. But Little J (who's 7) thought it was cool.

Gumball kitten is also complete, although I had some trouble with its ears and I think it looks more like a mouse than a kitten. Plus, something went wrong with the gauge or my tension or something because it seems the body is a lot fatter than it should be. Three-year-old T wanted it, so he's now the proud owner of Gumball.

Not wanting to be left out, K requested a kitten, too. And she wanted it to look like our real life kitty. So, not to be one to disappoint, I made a sitting-up (hind legless) version of Gumball. I did the ears differently, so they're a little more pointy. And I used safety eyes for this one. What a wonderful little invention! Love the safety eyes!

Little J has yet another friend's birthday party to attend this weekend and he's requested that I make his friend a dog. Therefore, I present to you, Lollypup! I had the alphabet beads left over from an old Girl Scout project that I thought made a nice personalizing touch.

Little J wants his own Lollypup that I've started.

Finally, T's best friend in preschool, Yuki, is returning to his home country of Japan this Friday. T was sick for Yuki's birthday party a couple of weeks ago, so I'm making little amigurumi pals (one that represents T and one that represents Yuki) for T to give Yuki. I'm making the pattern up myself as I go along! So far I've got most of one of the little pals done. I'll take pictures tomorrow of my progress thus far and, once the pattern is complete, I'll post the pattern, too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Critters & Stash Depleters

I've been in a crochet mood lately. More specifically, critter crochet. I've been hearing/reading a lot about amigurumis and thought I'd give them a try. So far, they seem to be fun, quick projects that are great for using up my stash yarn! Plus, with the economy the way it is, and having three kids who go to various birthday parties, it seems like a good way to make hand-made presents for the kids.

I have two toy projects in the works. First is a dragon for one of Little J's friends, whose birthday party is this Sunday (3/22). I'm making pretty good progress. I just started it yesterday and so far have the body and two hind legs complete. Still need to make the front legs, wings, spines and ears...then assemble it, of course. I'm also going to embroider eyes and claws on it. Thanks go to Angry Angel for her pattern.

I've also got a Gumball Kitten started. Just the head (stuffed) and the body (unstuffed) done on that one, so far. Thanks go to falwyn for this pattern. I'm looking forward to completing both and making more! 

In fact, I went to Michael's today to get some safety eyes for future critter creations. The Michael's I went to is in a shopping center that also has a JoAnn's. All I can say is, I'm really glad I chose to go to the Michael's I did because this particular Michael's didn't have any safety eyes. All they had were tons of wiggle eyes (which I have plenty of already). So I took a quick walk over to JoAnn's and was relieved to find all sizes of safety eyes. Yay! So I picked up a bunch, and also bought a new size E crochet hook made by Clover. It has a nice little handle. The Susan Bates one I'd been using was really thin and making my hand hurt.

All in all, it was a successful craft-shopping trip!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

K's Shrug is Done!

Okay, it isn't my own design. But it worked up really fast. Less than a week from start to finish. And I successfully reduced my stash by completing this project. In fact, I ran out of the off-white yarn I was using. Luckily, I had a little hat that I'd goofed up on big time that didn't fit anyone and was able to frog to get the rest of the yarn I needed. Yippee!

The bad news is that I also ran out of the tan/mustardy yarn that I used for the ruffles. Unfortunately, I didn't have any goofed up projects I could frog to reclaim more yarn to finish it. So I ended up going to Michael's and getting another skein of the Vanna's Choice I'd originally used.

I found the pattern on the Moda Dea website here. This is the crocheted version.

K is really happy with it. She plans on wearing it at her piano recital this weekend.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

That Didn't Last Long

I did a few more rows on the latch hook rug for T, but then was repossessed by thoughts of the shrug for K. She wants it to wear for her piano recital in a week and a half, so I decided to just crochet it instead of trying to come up with my own design....for the time being. I may still try to come up with my own pattern when I've caught up on projects.

In the meantime, I've started work on K's crocheted shrug. I'll post pictures soon!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Speaking of Spring Cleaning...

In my little corner of the family room is a pile of yarn, pattern books, patterns that I've printed from the Internet and various other crafty supplies. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I'm trying to get that little corner cleaned up. So, in the process of sorting through everything that's been piled up, I also rediscovered two projects that I'd started for my youngest. One is a birth announcement cross-stitch, intended for his wall.

I used to love to cross-stitch. I taught myself how to do it (let's face it, it's not a hard craft to learn!) when I was in high school and subsequently taught my mom how. As I got older, my interested became more wide-spread and by the time I started having kids, cross-stitch wasn't really on my radar anymore. My mom, however, found a new passion in cross-stitch and kept up with it long after I'd stopped. All while growing up, I remember my mom crocheting. She, evidently, had traded her hooks in for  needles and hoops.

After the birth of my first child, she made a beautiful birth announcement for her which I had framed and hangs on K's wall to this day, 10 years later. By the time my second child was born, my mom had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the trachea. However, she made it her job to complete a cross-stitch for Little J's room, too. My mom passed away when Little J was 2 years old. He's now 7 and just about a month ago, we finally hung his cross-stitch on his wall. I sat in his newly rearranged room and stared at the cross-stitch for a long time. I cried a little. You see, Little J's cross-stitch is the last one my mom ever made.

Then, later in 2004 after my mom's passing, I found out I was pregnant with T. Since my mom was no longer available to make him a cross-stitch, and my mother-in-law doesn't cross-stitch (or knit or crochet, for that matter!), I decided to make one for him, instead. I started it when he was about a year old. T's 3.5 now, and it's still not done! :) So that's one project I'm putting at the top of my craft-priority list (poor K....her shrug just keeps getting bumped!).

The other project I was reminded about is a latch hook rug that, again, I'd started about 2.5 years ago. It, too, is for T's room. So that project, also, is being pushed to the top of the list.

Therefore, I'll be taking a little hiatus from knitting. At least until I get one of T's projects done! Or until my resolve wanes.... :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pre-Spring Cleaning

I sort of cleaned out my knitting basket over the past couple of days, trying to organize and just take stock of what I've got smashed down in the bottom of the basket! I found two projects that I'd started at least two years ago and never finished.

First, is a tunic/sweater for K's American Girl Doll:
On the right, is the "back" piece of the tunic. And I just cast on the front piece on the needle to the left.

I haven't taken another picture yet, but I finished the new piece that is shown as just cast on here. However, the piece I cast on is now the back piece since there appears to be an error in the pattern that results in the piece being made "inside out"...if that makes sense. In this picture, you're supposed to be seeing the right side of the piece...meaning, the stockinette stitching is all nice and purty. But you're seeing the wrong side of the ruffled hem. 
The ruffle has this nice detail to it: 

So I decided to redo the back piece and then frog the piece I'd already made all the way down to the ruffle.
I'm almost done, now, with the front piece. Then I have the sleeves to knit, stitch it all together, and add the neckline. I'm using a pattern from Knits for Girls and Dolls (seen through my Ravelry projects).

The other project I rediscovered is The Queen's Shrug. I have a bunch of JoAnn's Sensations Rainbow Boucle that I wanted to find a use for....and I guess the shrug was my solution. I never finished it....heck, I didn't even finish one sleeve of it, yet. :) 
But I do like the softness of the fabric and the texture. I plan on working on it again when I get the AGD sweater finished. 

In the meantime, K's shrug of my own design has taken a back seat. :)