Sunday, July 2, 2017

Okja the Super Pig amigurumi



Netflix has been putting out some awesome stuff for a while now. Kimmy Schmidt is one of my favorite shows, and there's Orange is the New Black, GLOW, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, House of Cards, and of course Stranger Things! They're also making movies, and the new film Okja is sorta strange, heartwarming, sad, funny, and completely unique. There are big stars on screen and behind the scenes. It's like Free Willy for grownups. The super pig star of the show is a creature named Okja. Okja is a lovable giant pig/hippo/rhino looking animal, and I made him out of yarn. If you want to, here's a pattern!

OKJA
Materials:
  Bulky weight gray yarn (Lion Brand "Hometown USA" -- Dallas Gray)
  Polyester fiberfill
  Black embroidery floss
  8mm brown safety eyes
Tools:
  Size J (6.0mm) crochet hook
  Yarn needle
  Embroidery needle
  Quilting pins
  Super glue

*Okja as written measures 10" long. If you would like a smaller doll you can substitute worsted weight yarn and an E hook. Smaller eyes will also be needed.

Pattern:

Body/Head:
Rnd 1: Starting at the back end, make an adjustable ring, ch 1, sc 6 into ring. Pull tail to close hole.  (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 Sc in each st (12 sts)
Rnd 3: *(2 sc in first st, sc in next st), repeat from * to end of rnd (18 sts)
Rnd 4: *(2 sc in first st, sc in next 2 sts), repeat from * to end of rnd (24 sts)
Rnd 5: *(2 sc in first st, sc in next 2 sts), repeat from * to end of rnd (30 sts)
Rnd 6: *(2 sc in first st, sc in next 3 sts), repeat from * to end of rnd (36 sts)
Rnds 7-10: Sc into each st.
Rnd 11: *(2 sc in first st, sc in next 11 sts), repeat from * to end of rnd (39 sts)
Rnds 12-15: Sc into each st.
Rnd 16: *(Sc2tog, sc in next 11 sts), repeat from * to end of rnd (36 sts)
Rnds 17-18: Sc into each st.
Rnd 19: *(Sc2tog, sc in next 4 sts), repeat from * to end of rnd (30 sts)
Rnd 20: *(Sc2tog, sc in next 3 sts), repeat from * to end of rnd (24 sts)
Rnd 21: *(Sc2tog, sc in next 10 sts), repeat from * to end of rnd (22 sts)
Rnd 22: Sc in next 9 sts, sc2tog twice, sc in next 9 sts (20 sts)
Rnd 23: Sc in 8 sts, sc2tog twice, sc in next 8 sts (18 sts)
Rnds 24-26: Sc in each st.
Rnd 27: *(2 sc in next st, sc in next 8 sts), repeat from * to end of rnd (20 sts)
Rnd 28: Sc in each st.
*Insert a stitch marker to hold your place. Stuff the Body firmly. 
Rnd 29: Sc2tog around (10 sts)
Rnd 30: Sc2tog around (5 sts)
Fasten off and leave a long tail. Use a yarn needle to sew end closed. Weave in ends.



Muzzle:
Rnd 1: Ch 4. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and next ch, 5 sc in last ch, working around to other side, sc in next 2 chs, 5 sc in last ch (14 sts)
Rnds 2-3: Sc in each st around.
Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.
Pin Muzzle to Head of Okja. Stitch into place with a yarn needle, adding stuffing. Weave in ends.


Ears (Make 2):
Ch 7. Sl st in first st, sc in next 2, hdc in next 2, dc in last ch (6 sts)
Fasten off and leave a long tail. Sew to each side of head.



Front Legs (Make 2):
Rnd 1: Make an adjustable ring, ch 1, work 3 sc and 4 dc into ring. Pull tail to close ring (7 sts)
Rnd 2: Working into back loops only (BLO) of each st, sc in each st.
Rnds 3-5: Sc into each st.
Rnd 6: 2 sc in first st, sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts (9 sts)
Rnd 7: 2 sc in first st, sc in each st around (10 sts)
Fasten off and leave a long tail. Stuff and sew to bottom of Okja as shown.

Back Legs (Make 2):
Rnd 1: Make an adjustable ring, ch 1, work 4 sc and 4 dc into ring. Pull tail to close ring (8 sts)
Rnd 2: Working into BLO of each st, sc in each st.
Rnd 3: 2 sc in first st, sc in each st (9 sts)
Rnd 4: Sc in each st.
Rnd 5: Sc2tog, sc around (8 sts)
Rnd 6: 2 sc in first st, sc in each st (9 sts)
Rnd 7: *(2 sc in first st, sc in next 2 sts), repeat from * to end of rnd (12 sts)
Fasten off and leave a long tail. Stuff and sew to bottom of Okja as shown.


Tail:
Ch 5. Sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next st, hdc in next 2 (4 sts)
Fasten off and leave a long tail. Sew to the back of Okja.




Finishing:
Apply a dab of superglue to the post of each eye and insert into the head as shown. (Using super bulky yarn, it is difficult to use the washer and assemble the eyes, so gluing the eyes into place works better.)

Thread a yarn needle with a strand of gray yarn. Come up beside each eye and stitch a small short stitch over the top of each eye for an eyelid. Weave in ends.

Thread an embroidery needle with black embroidery floss. Stitch nostrils making loop shapes and straight stitches on the muzzle. Stitch a vertical line and two short diagonal lines for the mouth. Refer to photo.



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Easter Basket Babies -- FREE Crochet Amigurumi Pattern



When I was little there was a gift shop in my hometown that sold lots of little stuffed animals. They had some that turned inside out to turn into something else; I remember a caterpillar that turned into a butterfly, and some eggs that "hatched" into little birds. I loved those things! I made my own version, easy to crochet, that will be a perfect Easter springtime gift. 

* This pattern was originally written for Michaels.com.

Easter Basket Babies
by Allison Hoffman, craftyiscool.com

On one side, a colorful trio of eggs rest in a soft bed of Easter grass. Push the eggs through to the other side, flip it over, and three sweet Easter babies are hatched!

Materials List
Loops & Threads "Impeccable" – Aqua (A, 1 skein), Lavender (B, 1 skein), & White (C, 1 skein)
Loops & Threads "Impeccable Ombre" -- Luxury (D, 1 skein)
Loops & Threads "Charisma Baby" -- Yellow (E, 1 skein)
Martha Stewart Crafts "Glitter Eyelash" -- Peridot (F, 2 skeins) *I believe this is discontinued but  green fur/eyelash yarn is available from other brands
Crochet Hooks, Sizes 3.5mm (US E/4) and 4mm (US G/6)
Tapestry Needle
Black, Pink, White DMC Embroidery Floss (1 skein each)
Embroidery Needle
Blue, white, and orange felt
Craft glue
Pink blush

Notes:
The pieces are all crocheted in the round in unjoined spirals. Use a locking stitch marker if necessary to mark the beginning of each round. When you complete a round, move the marker to the loop on your hook and continue crocheting.


Egg (Make three; one each with yarns A, B, and D)
With yarn and E hook, make an adjustable ring, ch 1, sc 6 into ring. Pull tail gently to close ring.
Rnd 1: Work 2 sc into each st (12 sts)
Rnd 2: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 4 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (15 sts)
Rnd 3: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 5 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (18 sts)
Rnd 4: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 6 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (21 sts)
Rnd 5: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 7 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (24 sts)
Rnds 6-13 Sc into each st around.
Rnd 14: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 5 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (18 sts)
Rnd 15: Sc into each st around.
Fasten off, leaving a long strand of yarn for sewing. Set aside.

Chick (Make two with yarn E)
With yarn and E hook, make an adjustable ring, ch 1, sc 6 into ring. Pull tail gently to close ring.
Rnd 1: Work 2 sc into each st (12 sts)
Rnd 2: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next st), rep from * to end of rnd (18 sts)
Rnds 3-5: Sc into each st.
Rnd 6: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 4 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (15 sts)
Rnd 7: Sc into each st.
Rnd 8: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 4 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (18 sts)
Rnd 9: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 2 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (24 sts)
Rnd 10: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 7 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (27 sts)
Rnds 11-12: Sc into each st.
Rnd 13: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 7 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (24 sts)
Rnd 14: Sc into each st.
Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing. 

Cut two tiny circles from blue felt, two slightly larger circles from white felt. Layer the blue and white circles for eyes and sew onto Chick with a tiny stitch (or French knot) of white or black embroidery floss. Glue an orange triangle onto Chick for a beak. Set Chicks aside.


Bunny Body (Make one with yarn C)
With yarn and E hook, make an adjustable ring, ch 1, and sc 6 into ring. Pull tail gently to close ring.
Rnds 1-8: Repeat pattern for Chick, ending up with 18 sts at the end of Rnd 8.
Rnd 9: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 5 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (21 sts)
Rnd 10: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 6 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (24 sts)
Rnds 11-14: Sc into each st around.
Rnd 15: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 6 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (21 sts)
Rnd 16: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 5 sts), rep from * to end of rnd (18 sts)
Fasten off and leave a long tail.
Cut two tiny circles from blue felt, two slightly larger circles from white felt. Layer the blue and white circles for eyes and sew onto Bunny with a tiny stitch (or French knot) of white embroidery floss.
Stitch an elongated X onto the Bunny's face with black embroidery floss for nose and mouth. Stitch tiny straight stitches at the edges for an upturned smile. Fill in the top of the X with satin stitch in pink embroidery floss. Set Bunny aside.

Bunny Ears (Make two with C)
With yarn and E hook, make an adjustable ring, ch 1, and sc 3 into ring. Pull tail gently to close ring.
Rnd 1: Work 2 sc into each st around (6 sts)
Rnds 2-6: Sc into each st.
Rnd 7: Sc2tog around (3 sts)
Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing. Flatten Ears and sew to Bunny on the top of his head. Fill in inside of Bunny's Ears with pink blush.

Bunny Arms (Make two with C)
With yarn and E hook, make an adjustable ring, ch 1, and sc 6 into ring. Pull tail gently to close ring.
Rnds 1-4: Sc into each st.
Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing. Flatten Arms and sew to the front of Bunny. Stuffing is not necessary.

Nest (Make one with F)
With yarn F and G hook, ch 48, keeping stitches loose. Join with a sl st into the first ch to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Sc into each st around (48 sts)
Rnd 2: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 7 sts), rep from * around (54 sts)
Rnd 3: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 8 sts), rep from * around (60 sts)
Rnd 4: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 9 sts), rep from * around (66 sts)
Rnd 5: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 10 sts), rep from * around (72 sts)
Rnd 6: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 11 sts), rep from * around (78 sts)
Rnd 7: *(2 Sc into next st, sc into next 12 sts), rep from * around (84 sts)
Rnds 8-9: Sc into each st around.
Rnd 10: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 12 sts), rep from * around (78 sts)
Rnd 11: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 11 sts), rep from * around (72 sts)
Rnd 12: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 10 sts), rep from * around (66 sts)
Rnd 13: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 9 sts), rep from * around (60 sts)
Rnd 14: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 8 sts), rep from * around (54 sts)
Rnd 15: *(Sc2tog, sc into next 7 sts), rep from * around (48 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long tail. Flatten the tube you've just created. Thread the tail onto a yarn needle and sew the first and last rounds together. Weave in ends.

Assembly
Sew each Egg to a Chick or Bunny, lining up the bottom row of each piece, stitch to stitch. No stuffing is necessary. Weave in ends.


Line up the seam of the Egg/Bunny with the inside edge of the Nest. Using a strand of white yarn C and a yarn needle, sew along the front of the Egg/Bunny, stitching it to the edge of the nest, for 12 sts. Weave in ends. Repeat for the remaining Egg/Chicks, using yellow yarn E, evenly spaced around the inner edge of the Nest. Chicks may be facing forward with the Bunny or they can all face outward.


For a Nest full of eggs, push each Chick and the Bunny up into the Eggs, stuffing them. To "hatch", invert the Nest and pull out the Chicks and Bunny, stuffing the Egg into them.

Abbreviations
Ch: Chain
Sc: Single Crochet
St: Stitch
Rnd: Round
Rep: Repeat
Sc2tog: Single Crochet 2 stitches Together

Techniques
Adjustable ring: Make a ring with yarn. Insert hook into ring, yarn over and draw up a loop. Ch 1, as directed in pattern. Work the stitches required in pattern into the ring. When complete gently, but firmly, pull tail to close up the ring.



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Build that Yarn Wall!


I've been collecting yarn for years and years and years. I have a hard time throwing away a color and usually, in my line of work (amigurumi) I will use just a little of this and a little of that. I'm really choosy about what color I want to use, so if I need a specific color I tend to buy a new ball of yarn instead of just using something close that I might already have. I've also been sent yarn from companies to try out, and I never want to get rid of free yarn! This has led to a giant stash!

I have kept my yarn in big bins in my 16-unit Ikea Expedit shelves forever. The bins are cardboard and just do not hold up to my constant digging around in them, which leads me to another problem. The yarn was pretty much in giant tangles inside each bin. Here's an example. Scary.


A couple of years ago I bought a yarn ball winder like this. I mainly used it for winding hanks of fancy yarn I got from the local yarn store but now I took it out and worked overtime winding up every ball of yarn I had into beautiful yarn "cakes"! Look at the difference!


I was totally inspired by Knits for Life. Their yarn storage wall is art. After I did all the winding, I went to Home Depot and purchased six pegboard panels 2ftx4ft each to cover one wall in my office. These were $7.99 each. Honestly I could have used more space but I wanted it on this particular wall. I don't know if it is the same at every Home
Depot, but these boards had two bar codes on them. One of them rang up at $19.97 each! I was in shock when I checked out but figured I'd made a mistake. I had to go back and get two more to go along the top and at that point took the photo below. This time the cashier scanned both barcodes and we discovered the discrepancy and I was refunded. Just a warning if you decided to buy the same boards! I also bought "pegboard kits". They include long screws and spacers, which hold the pegboard away from the wall, as well as a small assortment of hooks (most of which you won't be using). These kits were $6.98 each and are located in the shelving/closet storage area of the store, not by the pegboards. I bought two and didn't have enough spacers for the whole project so I ended up using hex bolts behind the screws and they worked just fine.



Here's how the pegboards looked after hanging just four of them.


For hooks, I found out through trying out the hooks that came with the kits that I'd prefer to use 2" long straight hooks. Other hooks worked ok but they either stuck out too long or weren't long enough. I ended up finding the best deal at Harbor Freight Tools. They sell five-packs of 2" long hooks for just $1.49, which is cheaper than I found on Amazon. I bought all they had. If you have a Harbor Freight Tools store nearby, you should check there. They were WAY cheaper than Lowes or HomeDepot on hooks, but their website doesn't tell you in store stock, which is a MAJOR drawback! They also sell seven-packs of 1.5" hooks that work ok too, for the same price.

Look at my teenage son helping!



Once I had the boards up and the yarn rolled, I started hanging. I had my yarn sorted so I started with red and worked from there. I knew I had tons of white and brown yarns so I pretty much filled up the top two panels with those. I did not use a hook for each ball of yarn. I think that would have been impossible. All of the larger balls have hooks and the smaller balls I wedged in between. They are secure, and won't fall out, but when I take out a ball of yarn I will have to be careful not to knock out other ones around it!

TL/DR version:

Pegboard (comes in 2ftx4ft units)
Screws and "spacers" or two stacked hex nuts (holds away from wall)
Pegboard hooks (2" long preferred)
Yarn and yarn ball winder
PATIENCE

Look at my pretty yarn wall! I have had people ask what about dust? Well I figure only the top yarn would be affected or the outside front face of each ball, and I can dust it off before I use it. We don't have moth problems around here, knock on wood, and I don't foresee that as a problem. I just love the look of it, and it really opened up my room. Its definitely beautiful to look at, if you like rainbows, and I'm inspired! I see what yarn I have without having to dig through a box. It will be easy to see what I'm running low on, and its easy to rearrange if I need to. I may need a stepstool to reach the yarn on top. I don't have cats, but I can imagine that might be an issue. One funny thing is that it has really changed the acoustics in my office! I was turned towards the wall talking to my husband last night and it was absorbed right into the wall and he could barely hear me!




Do you have any other questions? I would love to help answer anything you want to know. I haven't had a lot of experience "using" my wall yet, since I just finished it, but I will update from time to time here and on my social media. Thanks for reading!



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Family Portraits

Black Friday Special!



At Christmas time lots of people get a portrait done for Christmas cards or just to have for the year so it got me thinking. Of course I love making unique gifts and what better way to celebrate my little family than with crocheted versions of them? Most kids like anything with their names on them so these fit that bill.

I'm excited to be offering custom crocheted "Family Portrait Ornaments" in my Etsy shop this year! They start at $25, so they are affordable, and each one is made to order in the likeness of whomever you want! I'm working on some families with pets too, so I can't wait to show you!

If you'd like to order, head over to my Etsy shop. You can pick out how many family members, what color you want the backing heart to be, and then just wait on me. I'll write you to get the information I need to complete your order.


As of the writing of this post, I have about 12 spots left before Christmas. Of course if you want them and you're past the deadline, I will still be making them. The sooner you get your order in, the longer they can hang on your tree this year.

Below are some examples of ornaments sets I've already made!


Family Portrait Ornaments

Family Portrait Ornaments

Family Portrait Ornaments -- these are a secret! shhh

Family Portrait Ornaments

I'm going to have to find a way to keep these on display all year long. Maybe a shadow box?


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