amigurumi, cat, scarves

Turning crazy cat lady scarf

I don’t know what it is about cat patterns. They’re everywhere! I don’t have a cat, but it appears that I have a lot of cat patterns pinned. *shrug* I don’t know what to say about that. I’m a crazy cat crochet lady instead of a cat lady. I’m going to have a house full of crazy cat crochet things. I can be like this old “wood carver” witch in Brave who only does bears (only I’m cats):

She only carves bears.

For some reason, I pinned this thing:

It’s a dead cat.

I find it really looks like it’s a dead cat, and I’m not sure why I would pin something quite so unappealing. However, I did pin it, and I’m going to crochet all the pins (that I can manage). However, I refuse to pay for this particular pattern, so I figured it out on my own. There are several versions on Pinterest, so I guess it’s not entirely nuts. I gave mine open eyes and an unhappy face — it kind of looks more alive that way.

Anyway, so here are some pictures – if you know how to make a circle, some ears and the legs and tail are in no way difficult if you’ve done any amigurumi. I can’t believe some people have the hutzpah to try to sell this pattern. When I make something complicated, I’ll try to sell the pattern, maybe. I really need to get a dress form so I can make scarves look decent. No one else in the family will pose for pictures, and selfies just look silly.

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amigurumi, cats, gone wrong, grade D

The cluster of a cat pattern

This pattern, on instructables.com was a straight up mess. I’d give it about a D.

Here’s the pattern: http://www.instructables.com/id/Crochet-White-Kitten-Doll-Mao-Mao/

Granted, this little girl kitten wouldn’t look so awful without the wonky eyes. However, at most turns, this either didn’t look correct, or simply didn’t exist and I had to make it up as I went along. There’s even a comment that the same image attached to the pattern is from a book, which perhaps explains why it doesn’t come out looking much like the picture.

The cat’s neck is a bit long. There’s literally no instructions as to how the author expects one to make the arms fit the dress (they don’t, btw – you basically sew them on the arms and then sew them on the outside of the dress). The pattern ignores the headscarf altogether, and since I sewed the ears a wee bit too far back – nasty habit of mine – I just created holes in the headscarf I made in order to compensate. Also, the dress was far, far too short. It was like a shirt, and while little girls wear shirts as dresses all the time, it wasn’t going to fly unless I gave this poor cat a giraffe neck.

I think it’ll be fine once I remove and reattach some decent eyes, but right now it’s a mess. My handmade eyes don’t work this small.

Also, one assumes that the original pattern has you sew the hands together and make a little yarn ball with knitting needles for the basket — a bit silly considering that the whole thing is crocheted –but I skipped that bit. So, this turn out to be a bit of a cluster, but I think the results will be ok. I wouldn’t start out with a project like this, that’s for sure. Unless you want to curse a lot more than I did.

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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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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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Amigirumi, christmas, PITA

Unicorn amigurumi

Pattern grade: A-

This unicorn looked deceptively simple to me. I started to do the picture posted at the bottom of my 1500 odd pins, but it does not lead to a pattern, alas. So, I used this one: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/unicorn-8

That comes from Ravelry, and if you haven’t signed up for Ravelry and you like to knit or crochet, that’s simply a travesty. You MUST! There are bazillions of free patterns. Most of the cutest ones are not free, but this one is, and it’s pretty dang cute.

Small amigirumi stuff is a pain, and that Crayola brand yarn that I mentioned in the last post still frays like crazy. I’ve nearly used up the entire skein, though, so I’ll stop complaining about it soon, since Crayola doesn’t make it any more. I’ve used up antique yarn! Maybe I shouldn’t have done that. Oh well.

My primary complaints about this, aside from the cuteness that makes it nearly irresistible, are that 1 – I was under the delusion that somehow I wouldn’t have sew on every.single.piece. and that there are parts where the patterns says, “decrease” and gives no indication as to how to decrease. I know how, mercifully, but if one were reading this and didn’t, I could see that as frustrating. There is more than one way to decrease! It’s uncivilized to spike my anxiety by making me wonder if I’m doing the wrong one.

I sewed my own eyes rather than do what the directions said (sew on safety eyes) and once again, I used one size smaller hook than instructed, mostly because I cannot find my F hook, but using an E was a good idea for me, because I tend to work more loosely than average. My son wants one of these now, and I’d rather sew my own eyes with yarn onto my eyelids. It’s awfully cute, but it’s an abominable pain in the ass to stitch together (henceforward PITA for short and for the rare sensitive soul who might read. Or the rare soul in general!

The bottom of the hooves and the horn are in Martha Stewart Lemon Chiffon and the hair, while the original was each strand in a different color, I chose a multi colored baby yarn (the brand of which I no longer recall.)

I think I may post this one on my Etsy page!

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Amigirumi, ball, christmas, Christmas tomato, ornament

Tiny Christmas Balls

Pattern Grade: A- because there’s no tips on how to make it larger, and I’m a follower, not a leader (yet) so I just follow patterns, so far. Otherwise, it was nice, clear and easy, and I love all that.

Yes, I meant balls. Crocheted, non-male anatomy related balls. You thought it, too!

So, here’s the pattern: http://www.eatdrinkchic.com/post.cfm/diy-colourful-crochet-balls

Cute little crochet balls, perfect for Christmas ornaments, right?

Well. They ARE pretty cute. I did these in probably an hour, with distractions.

The pattern is delightfully simple, which is nice. It’s also TINY, if you use the size F (5/3.75 millimeter) hook that I used. I have a lot of yarn that is not labelled lying around. Some of it is actually yarn I got from my grandmother, who hadn’t knit or crocheted since the 80’s.

This isn’t that yarn, so I’m digressing.

As you can see, they’re small. Very, very small. I put them next to my son’s Matchbox car to give you an idea of exactly how tiny they were. I didn’t have a quarter. I seriously don’t have a quarter.

Anyway, so the smaller one turned out nearly perfectly, except that when I stuffed it, you can see the stuffing through the sides, probably due to the stretchy yarn. I tried to expand the size by adding a row of expand and a row of crochet every two stitches together, but I ended up with more of a tomato then a ball. I should have added a row of repeated stitches in the “repeat single crochet same number of stitches around” rounds of the ball. I didn’t, so now I have a Christmas tomato.

ETA: I tried it again with a size G hook, too (4.5 MM) and it’s roughly the size of the Christmas tomato with no added rows. It’s still smaller than the palm of my hand, though.

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