bag, grade C, tiny

Tiny handbag– perfect for a can of Spaghettios.

This is supposed to be a cell phone cozy, I think. It’s perfect for holding Spaghettios! I put the can in there to demonstrate the bag’s size, but now I just find it funny. Don’t mind me; I tend to laugh at my own jokes a lot more than everyone else does.

This pattern is about a C. Try it here: http://knitaly.blogspot.com/2010/06/cell-cozy.html Scroll down to the bottom for directions in English, unless you are fluent in reading Italian.

As for the pattern’s instructions, somewhere the stitches didn’t line up, or I misinterpreted, but I got confused and it’s not the same on both sides of the bag. It’s not bad, but I probably wouldn’t sell this to anyone. Somewhere in the turning of the bag clockwise, and sew straps on here — I almost sewed the straps on the wrong sides, because that’s how turned around I got. I’m unimpressed by that, because this bag looks SO simple in the pictures, and I’m fairly certain I could find a youtube video explaining it without any problems (and I probably should have). If any of you reading try this and want to give me some additional tips in the comments, I’d love to see them.

Actually, it’s about the right size for a cell phone and not much else. If you carry a small wallet, this may work. The pattern doesn’t include the flower – that’s something I looked up on youtube at some point in the past and sewed on because I wasn’t 100% happy with this. Since it matched far too well, I also added an outline and put a different colored center on it. I hope I didn’t add too much, actually.

The nice part is that this little bag takes a really small amount of yarn, and I’m sure with a thicker yarn or a larger hook I could have made this much larger and actually had a handbag that I (mother and teacher and crocheter, ergo generally large handbag carrier) would like to carry.

Wee cell cozy/hand bag. Perfect for hanging on your wall.

Wee cell cozy/hand bag. Perfect for hanging on your wall, or carrying around Sphaghettios. Or, if you want to be practical, your cell phone and a tiny wallet. 

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amigurumi, penguin

Easy little penguin

Totally an A+ for this simple little penguin. Pattern: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L10250.html?noImages= This was cute and fast. You do have to sign up for Lion Brand, but that’s free and everything. I think my pin on Pinterest says it’s $8.95, but it’s not. I’ve been avoiding the patterns that cost money of late, since I have none.

The only part of this little guy that caused any trouble was the sewing in of the eyes – I always manage to catch the edges of the body in yarn when I’m sewing stuff in and this was no exception. It’s truly annoying when you find you’ve sewn the lower body to the eyes of your little character. I almost turned him into a bent over little old man of a penguin. Fortunately, I saved him in time!

Don’t use super soft yarn when making stuffed animals, unless you are really good at making REALLY TIGHT stitches. I never fail to have small gaps in mine, and it’s unfortunate. Softer yarn tends to stretch more and it’s just not a pretty when you can see the gaps. They’re not nearly as obvious when you’re holding it as it is in the pictures, but my camera is decent enough to pick up everything.

This little guy will go up for sale on Etsy under the shop name Addled Mab’s. (That’s me – I’m addled, and Mab is a “lovable” character (Amabilis, latin) and a character from Shakespeare that invades your dreams.)

Anyway, easiest Amigurumi ever!

Also fits perfectly in a tea cup!

Also fits perfectly in a tea cup!

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The side view. Clearly someone needs to sew in the strings better.

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amigurumi, bag, blue, cat

Cute pencil case, cat style

So this little pencil bag is awfully cute.

I give the pattern a B, (Link here: http://kandjdolls.blogspot.com/2010/08/free-cat-school-bag-crochet-pattern.html) because the ears couldn’t have been done in a sillier way,(four complete triangles, then sew together and stuff. You can make a cone so much more easily – see the horns on previous patterns for the dragon and the unicorn) and the bow was kind of dumb, too. (crochet the cross over part. I just wrapped the yarn around it several times – easier and it holds the bow tighter) The rest of this case was simple and easy, and there’s suggestions on the pattern for how to decorate it differently if cats aren’t your thing.

The original had a smiley face, and button eyes, but if I don’t have to hunt down buttons for eyes, why bother? I can make them almost as well. You’ll notice, of course, that the right eye isn’t perfectly round. Bah. I’m going to get that right one of these days!

Anyway, this was nice and simple. I whipped this together in less than half a day. It would’ve been faster, but the path of parenting never did run smooth, especially if one crochets too much and has an antsy kid.

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Close up of the bow. The pattern called for making it longer, then folding it in half and sewing together, leaving this rather odd pointy end (because it has you crocheting the stitches together midway through). So odd! It just made a very simple bow more complicated for no reason I can figure.

Note the ears? The better looking, non wonky one is the one I made using a cone pattern, instead of sewing together separate triangles.

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grade C, slipper, toddler

Pirate Booty(es)

Here be pirate booties. (Forgive the bad image editing – I was trying to blur some of the tiny strings of white – they’re not nearly so obvious in person as the camera picked up. Cameras are weird).

The pattern says these are going to be from size six months to 1 year, roughly. The author of the pattern didn’t expect me, I suppose. I used a small hook for this, but as usual the looseness of my crocheting ended up making much larger booties than I planned. Which, as it turns out, is good, because I have a three year old who loved these.

However: loose crocheting for booties, along with a soft yarn (which seemed necessary when making something for one’s feet, after all) made the soles soft enough that the booties just fall off of my son’s feet. The soles simply fold over and the booties fall off. I think the best option here would be to somehow attach these to something firmer for the soles, so that they’ll stay on my son’s feet. I think what I’m going to do is buy some shoe inserts and cut them to the appropriate size and sew them to the bottom.

This is a free Red Heart Pattern: http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/pirate-feet

I give the pattern a C+ – it’s a little confusing here and there when working the sole, and the heels don’t meet with the front well at all – if you notice from the picture i learned from the first bootie and did it corrected the problem on the second one, and enlarged the toe to fit the bootie as a whole better. If you do this, make the toe BEFORE you do ankle part, so that when you complete the ankle, you can verify the the toe portion will reach the ankle, and that will improve the whole bootie a great deal.

However, dang these things are cute! As soon as I have something firmer to complete the sole, I’m certain my son would wear these often (if he didn’t have a pair of Spider Man slippers. Spider Man, unfortunately, takes precedence over everything else in my house, except race cars).

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Amigirumi, fantasy, lopsided, PITA

The Lopsided dragon

Here we have my little lopsided dragon. I’m tempted to call this little guy Quasimodo, because I can’t sew straight to save my life. Well, considering you’re looking at my second ever Amirugumi, I suppose it’s not the worst. I may break down and remove the forehead horn and place it a little closer to the top, like the one on the right, but that depends mostly on whether I intend to sell it (shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AddledMabs?ref=hdr_shop_menu ) or just give it away, or let my son claim it, as he tries to do with almost everything I make.

Anyway. here’s the pattern: http://sweetncutecreations.tumblr.com/post/15562379629/kawaii-amigurumi-dragon-free-pattern

I LOVE this site. She’s got tons of adorable creations, she has no qualms about letting the makers of her patterns sell them, there is lots of free ones, and her directions are beautifully specific. Nothing in her directions is vague. My sole complaint came from the wings, and this may be that I’m misreading her directions, but they came out looking like a pair of rhombuses. (That is the plural of rhombus; I checked!) Either way, I had to do some fiddling to fix that. Also, I would have liked to do the wings in the same color as the rest of the dragon, which is actually in a greener green than the picture appears (natural lighting isn’t as great as everyone says) but I ran pretty low on yarn towards the end.

The funniest part of this? There are SO.MANY.FRIGGIN.PIECES! I’m not joking. There are absolutely 20 pieces to this little bugger, and with sewing the body in two colors, and sewing every single piece on by hand, this took me well over two days, and that’s with me not working (I teach. I have Christmas break. I’m not jobless.) Anyway, I made the pupils of the eyes, too (I just made a magic circle of 6, and then two single crochets in each, and then fastened off. Super simple). I did that because I don’t want to buy safety eyes. They’re not that safe, anyway –my dog could’ve chewed those out in 11 seconds flat, and did several times.

One million pieces for my dragon. And my coffee.

One million pieces for my dragon. And my coffee.

What makes this awesome? I should’ve said it right off. She pays very close attention to detail, even listing carefully when each piece ought to be sewn on, and adding a decrease to indicate feet on the legs, when most people would’ve just made plain old posts for legs. It’s so adorable, and carefully crafted. However, I must warn makers of this dragon: if you are not a very, super, uber tight crocheter, learn to crochet tighter, because even a smaller needle may not save you with this one.

So, anyway, A+ for awesome, if quite challenging. I can do complicated lace, but I don’t know if I want to take this guy on again for awhile. The fact that he’s lopsided is entirely my own fault.

Side view. Loving the little ridge line on his back.

Side view. Loving the little ridge line on his back.

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blanket

A lovely little cars blanket

This one does not have a pattern, so I cobbled a couple together, which I provide here.

To begin, you need to do a simple chevron blanket pattern. The width is up to you. Mine ends up being about 37 inches wide. To begin, chain 170 stitches.

In the first row, chain three more, and then in the third stitch from the hook, double crochet for seven stitches and  skip the next two stitches. In the 10th stitch begin to double crochet seven more. In the 18th stitch, double crochet once, chain 1, and then double crochet once more. Repeat this exact pattern all the way until the end of the row. There will likely be one or two at the end, just do a double crochet in those.

Repeat this pattern for as long as you like, (I used three skeins of 120 yards) and then use a darker gray for the road. I would have chosen a slightly lighter gray than I did, as the wheels blend in a bit in mine. Do three rows of dark gray, and then continue on in blue, or green if you prefer grass for the road sides.

After you have completed the length of your blanket (I made a baby sized, so roughly 40 inches, or 6-7 balls of yarn 120 yards each), then you need yellow yarn for the road line stitches. I did this completely free hand, and each stitch is about an inch in length.

Then, for the car pattern, the only free one I’ve found that makes any sense is here: http://amurushka.blogspot.com/2010/11/carapplique.html

I’m not in love with the grammar and capitalization, but she appears to be Russian. The clarity is actually perfect, so I have no issues there.

For the wheels: The wheels are not explained, so I did a magic circle, in round 1, crochet 6 single crochets in the circle (I didn’t attach)  then in round 2, 2 single crochets in each for a total of 12 stitches, and then in round three, do a single crochet in each for the third circle around, attach and finish off. Leave a long tail for sewing onto the cars. (I actually did that after I’d sewed each car onto the blanket. The circles were just perfect for wheels for these cars. 6 wheels, three cars.

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boring, hat

Le Boring Hat

Pattern: B for boring.

It’s a perfectly fine pattern. There’s nothing wrong with it; it’s not confusing and it’s not poorly written. It’s just dull. Even the results are dull. However, my husband requested a warm, comfy hat, and many men do not care for frills. My husband is unfortunately included in this bunch, so I produced the above hat.

Here’s the pattern: http://www.piece-by-piece.net/Patterns/fp45.htm

What’s nice about this pattern is it features increases and decreases based upon the size of the prospective head, so the hat can be longer, or shorter, or narrower, etc. Very few patterns do this correctly, so I appreciate that.

Le boring flat hat:

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I need to get a mannequin, or a model, or something. Unfortunately, even the tiny things cost money, and I don’t get paid this month, because of the Christmas break. Which reminds me, the next person who says I get paid through the summer and holidays when I don’t work is getting punched in the mouth.  Le Boring Hat, btw, was made with gray cashmere yarn that I bought ages ago at That Place That Shall Remain Unnamed that I no longer go to. (Rhymes with Bobby Dobby).

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