Spikey the Stegosaurus Done!

Blogged under amigurumi by Tammy on Friday 12 September 2014 at 4:34 pm

Woot! I finished Spikey the Stegosaurus today! This is one of those amigurumi projects that is not really hard, but there are a lot of fiddly part and piece to it. The pattern is from FreshStitches.com (of course), and the yarn it Knit Pick’s Brava in the orange and cornflower colorways. The white yarn for the eyes is just some leftover white worsted I had around, and I cut out black felt circles and glued those on to the centers. This is going in a box full of goodies for my soon-to-be new momma niece.

Of course, like anything I make I can see a zillion imperfections in this guy, but generally, I’m pretty happy with him.

Now I have to figure out what the next amigurumi project will be!

Amigurumi Cutie Pie Dragon

Blogged under amigurumi by Tammy on Sunday 13 July 2014 at 1:23 pm

I have to admit that I’ve been working on this guy for awhile. It definitely not an immediate gratification type crochet project, but I think it was finally worth the effort. This pattern is from FreshStitches.com and is called “Choose Your Own Dragon Adventure.” You are provided with options in the pattern so you sort of design your finished dragon. Tails, scales, wings, and so on are items you select and decided which to use. The original pattern is also a little involved because it has you use two colors for the body so that the tummy is a different color than the rest of the body, but as you can see, I didn’t do that. The darker green yarn is leftover from a previous project, so I was not sure if I had enough. Plus, by just using one color, it made the whole project a little faster and easier for me.

Now that I made it through this pattern….finally!….I’m thinking of making a second one. I am not sure if I have enough of the yarn left from this one to make an entire second dragon, but we will see what happens. I may have to dig around in my scraps and pick up a third color like purple or pink to finish off a second one.

Amigurumi Toys’ New Home

Blogged under Charity Crafting, amigurumi by Tammy on Wednesday 9 July 2014 at 5:47 pm

While leaving my Zumba class the other day, a friend and I noticed a large empty box in the lobby of the community center. It had a note on it about a toy drive for an organization called PATCHES PPEC, Pediatric Alternative Treatment, Care, Housing & Evaluation Services, Inc. and Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care. I immediately thought of the crochet toys I’ve been collecting. While there are a few places I can donate them to, I have already send them some other items, and one place in particular is difficult to hook up with to the point I was considering mailing this big box to them. But just as I was leery about simply putting all these toys in the box in the lobby - who knows where they were going or if they would make it there or if they were really what they were looking for - I didn’t like the idea of packing them off and sending them off without handing them to a person. So I came home, googled the organization, and called the local PATCHES office.

As it turns out, they are close to school, and though they said they would not be able to use my stuff toys in the hospital due to germs getting on them from one child to another, they said they would love to be able to give them out when the children are able to go home. They also said an emphatic “yes” to baby afghans, score! I am loading all these up and hope to drop them by in the next few days.

I will miss my little animal toy menagerie, but it is nice to find them all homes!

Bunny and Baby Ghan Combo

Blogged under amigurumi, crochet jewelry by Tammy on Saturday 21 June 2014 at 2:22 pm

Squeee! Serious cuteness ahead……

I will get a chance to briefly see my niece and her hubby soon and wanted to give at least the first installment of baby goodies to them, so I managed to crank out this baby afghan (started at the beginning of this month) and a matching bunny stuffie.

I used leftovers to make the bunny. This bunny is a favorite of mine, and I have probably made a half dozen of them already for charity. The pattern (Blair the Bunny) comes from Freshstitches.com. It’s a paid for pattern and definitely worth $5. In fact, she has sales occasionally and I usually stock up on patterns from her her when she has them, so I probably paid less than $5 for this pattern.

The afghan is 32 x 36 inches, and I basically just used 2 different types of yarn and the fan stitch. I may take some time to write up the pattern for this because I really like how it turned out and could see making it again. The finished size is a good baby or even small lapghan size, and it works up very fast.

Here’s the bunny and baby afghan together. Love!

Crochet a Small Baby Bird Nest

Blogged under Free Craft Projects, amigurumi by Tammy on Sunday 18 May 2014 at 9:22 am

I created this pattern using basic amigurumi techniques for crocheting in the round. The nests are needed by various wildlife rehabilitation groups. I originally put this pattern together for San Rafael’s WildCare, but feel free to use it for any group that needs small bird nests.

This uses Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn and a size H hook. The finished size should be 3 inches high and 4 inches wide. This should be stitched with a tight gauge so that there are no holes that the bird’s legs might get stuck in. A few crocheters have used this same pattern and used doubled worsted weight yarn and either a G or F hook. Obviously, everyone’s gauge varies, so keep this in mind.

You can start with magic ring, or I prefer to do what some people call a “sloppy slip knot.” I got this technique from Fresh Stitches, and it works well for making sure you don’t have a hole in the center when you crochet in the round. A stitch marker to keep count of each row that you increase in is very helpful. I also crocheted in the back loops (something else I learned from Stacey at Fresh Stitches). I find this helps for counting rows since you actually have lines on the nest by doing this.

ch 2
Round 1: sc 6 times in 2nd ch from hook (6)
Round 2: sc twice in each st (12)
Round 3: * sc twice in next st, sc in next st. Repeat from * 5 times (18)
Round 4: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 2 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (24)
Round 5: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 3 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (30)
Round 6: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 4 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (36)
Round 7: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 5 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (42)
Round 8 – 13: sc in each stitch
End with 1 slip stitch in the next stitch and pull yarn through top of next stitch.
Weave in all tails.

Finished a Flamingo!

Blogged under amigurumi by Tammy on Monday 7 April 2014 at 4:57 am

I posted a teaser recently, and here he is, Gordon, the Pink Flamingo. This is another pattern from Freshstitches.com. I’m not 100% happy with how my legs turned out, but I’m happy enough with it that I plan to make this at least once more. He is adorable!

Guess My Latest Project

Blogged under amigurumi, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Wednesday 2 April 2014 at 12:52 pm

I recently started another amigurumi project. Can you guess what I’m making?

Blue Dog Do

Blogged under Charity Crafting, My College Craft Club, amigurumi by Tammy on Saturday 15 March 2014 at 2:37 pm

The past two semesters have been busy yarn-wise for my college craft club. You never know who is going to join us, and of course, students graduate, so pretty much every fall we have to recruit new members. While we teach members how to crochet, some jump in and do great, and others are slower to grasp enough to make something more than a snuggle blanket or wash cloth. I lucked out the past few semesters and have had a small group stick with the club who not only learned how to crochet pretty quickly but have consistently worked at it that we have been able to make amigurumis.

Some we will sell with proceeds going to one of our charities, and some we will be donating to a local women and children’s shelter. Since we now have a few members who have the skills and also have been pretty good about making items for our charities, I splurged a little and got the club some Knit Picks Brava yarn. Yes, it is acrylic, but it is a nice change from the Red Heart Super Saver (most of which has been donated to us and we are very grateful for and use).

Here is one of the first items I made with our new stash yarn, a dog from the Fresh Stitches Valentine Dog pattern. The darker blue yarn is Brava in the denim colorway, and the lighter blue is some left over Lion Brand Baby Wool yarn. I try to make sure to make a range of toys so that both boys and girls have something to pick from. He turned out really nice, and it has been a welcomed break from RHHS!

Amigurumi Frogs Hopping Around

Blogged under amigurumi by Tammy on Sunday 23 February 2014 at 2:43 pm

I’m watching knitting podcasts and whipping up a few of these cute frogs. (Homespun House is on in the background, and I have to cover my ipad cover w/a catalog because Chanel kept coming over and kneading it!). My college craft club is going to have a little mini-boutique for spring with proceeds going to one of our charity projects, so we are making spring related items to sell.

These frogs are very fast to make. The basic pattern is from Lion Brand, but I changed a a little of it. I used thinner yarn so used an F size (versus an H) hook. The eyes are simply 18 stitch circles that I stitch flat onto the body, and then I usually either glue on black felt eye or googly eyes. The green yarn is some kind of mystery stuff that was donated the club years ago, and the white yarn for the eyes was also donate. We usually make a few small amiguruimi items like this and sell them for just $3. They are fast, and because we get yarn donations (lots of acrylic of course), they don’t cost us anything but time to make. In fact, this guy is even stuff with scrap yarn!

It has been a nice, lazy Sunday!

Why I Amigurumi

Blogged under Charity Crafting, amigurumi by Tammy on Friday 10 January 2014 at 3:27 pm

Crocheting amigurumi (aka stuffed toys) is one of my favorite techniques. I usually have at least one amigurumi project in progress all the time. I like the challenge of trying a new pattern, but at the same time, I feel pretty sure I will be successful when I attempt a new one because, at this point in my crocheting career, I have made dozens of these. And, for the most part, the technique is pretty much the same as far as counting stitches and increasing and decreasing. I’m not saying they are perfect in any way, but generally, the outcome is okay. For example, here is one of my most recent “new to me” patterns that I finished, Phil, the Groundhog, designed by Stacey from Freshstitches.com.

I made him right after finishing another bunny, like the pink one I made not that long ago. This time, I made the same bunny but used Knit Picks’ Wool of the Andes in blue berry held double. (I really needed a break from acrylic yarn!)

A second reason why I like to make amigurumi toys is because….they are just so cute. I have to admit that the cuteness factor is a big draw, which is why I don’t making duplicate toys. Who can resist making a cute bunny or giraffe?

My third reason is the best: I donate finished amigurumi to a local women and children’s shelter, so I can be reasonably sure that a little boy or girl will enjoy playing and snuggling with each toy I make. Last year, I was able to crank out 18 of them.

I am not sure how I managed this exactly because this year I feel behind. I have made 6 so far, and a club member has made 2 to add to them. I have one bird that is almost done, but that just brings me up to 9. I delivered the last batch in early May last year, so if I want to reach the same number, I need to get cranking again! I know I’m putting this pressure on myself. While the shelter did enjoy the toys and I received a nice thank you note, it’s not like they are calling me up demanding more toys. But, again, it is part of the challenge. I should finish the bird either tonight or tomorrow, so that means 9 down and 9 to go!

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