container, gone wrong, Grade B

Lumpy teacup and saucer

This is cute and simple, but comes out pretty lumpy, as shown, so I call it a B+

Here’s the free Lion Brand pattern: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L10635.html  However, I think there are some better ones on Ravelry that can recommend some ways that these might keep their shapes better.

Still, it’s kind of cute. My son wasn’t that into it, but he’s a three year old boy who is into trucks. Tea parties aren’t his thing.

Not much to share about this one. There is a really good pattern for a basket that, if you used a thin yarn and teensy hooks, could probably be used to make a better cup, with a flatter bottom: https://www.e-patternscentral.com/detail.html?prod_id=7564&cat_id=780&criteria=  You’ll have to add it to cart as if you’re going to purchase it, but it’s still free. I’ve used it for a basket, and since the bottom is entirely flat, it tends to stand up better. I’d start with that and combine it with the first pattern for a good cup. I’ll try it again sometime, but I’m behind on posting, and working with a somewhat horrible pattern for a amigurumi cat, not to mention prepping for a new semester, so more very soon that doesn’t involve lumpy cups.

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Taken separately, they’re rather cute.

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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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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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