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!

Baby Bird Crochet Prototype

Blogged under Charity Crafting, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Tuesday 6 May 2014 at 8:36 am



After I posted about the need for baby bird’s nests, I pulled out some scrap yarn and a hook and started experimenting. As anyone who has read this blog before knows, I’m addicted to amigurumi, so that is the first technique that came to mind for me. I increased until I got the correct size for a small next (4 inches wide) and then continued to make rows until it was 3 inches high. I have contacted the moderator of the Baby Bird Nest Ravelry group and someone over there is also going to give my simple pattern a test run. If they give it the thumbs up, then I will publish it here, and I will probably try to create a few more patterns for the medium and then large size nests needed as well. I will keep you posted.

Knit & Crochet Bird Nests Needed

Blogged under Charity Crafting, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Sunday 4 May 2014 at 9:18 am

San Rafael’s WildCare is asking knitters and crocheters to pick up their sticks and hooks and make some much needed bird nests for their residents. The organization’s current goal is to collect 1,200 woven yarn nests in various sizes (small 3×4″; medium 4×6″; and large 4×7″). They can be knitted, crochet, or felted, and they need to be very tightly woven so that the bird’s tiny legs do not poke through through. As you can see in the video below, the nests are put in small plastic containers and tissue is added as well.



What a great way to help animals in need, and you can use up some yarn scraps as well.

Here are some links with more information if you’d like to help out:

San Rafael’s WildCare seeks volunteers to knit nests for orphaned baby birds

Baby Bird Nest FAQ

Wildlife Rescue Nest Patterns

Ravelry Baby Bird Nest Craft-a-Long Group

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!

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!

Amigurumi Doll Done!

Blogged under Charity Crafting, amigurumi by Tammy on Tuesday 11 June 2013 at 10:10 am



Ta da! She’s done, and she’s a monster size at 20 inches tall. Compared to many amigurumi projects I do, it seems like she took forever to make, but luckily, I recorded her progress under my Ravelry.com project section, and it says there that I started her on May 26, 2013. I finished her today, June 11, 2013. So 17 days is not that bad when I consider how large she is and the fact that I didn’t necessary work on her a ton each day. The last few days I have been focused on finishing her, but before that, I took it pretty leisurely as I worked on this project.

Once I made the dress, I realized that this gal needed some undies, and I like the idea of how the pattern (A Doll Like Me from Fresh Stitches) has the clothes of the doll either attached or stitched as part of the constructions (like the shoes for example). This way, the clothes are not lost as some point later. After finishing the dress, which I also embellished with a little flower, I went back and used a similar technique to the dress and gave her some “boy shorts” style undies.




Though she’s pretty large, I have plenty of yarn to make another doll, so I’m plotting and planning now. I am not sure if I will make one very similar to her or change it up a little, maybe different hair or different outfit.

Freakin’ & Free Adorable Penguin Pattern

Blogged under Charity Crafting, amigurumi by Tammy on Monday 13 May 2013 at 6:36 am



This was the last little dude to make into my box of toy donations. He is a free pattern called “Howie the Holiday Penguin” and is available on the Fresh Stitches site. And he is so, so, so cute! Seriously! How freakin’ cute is this guy? I will definitely have to make him again. This pattern is also a good one for newbies to amigurumi. The hardest part is crocheting with black yarn. You need to have lots of light, so that was kind of a pains for me since I usually crochet in the evenings while watching TV. Other than that issue, this is probably one of the easiest softies I’ve ever made, and I whipped him up in just a few days.

Best Bunny Business

Blogged under Charity Crafting, amigurumi by Tammy on Sunday 12 May 2013 at 6:27 am



Some of the last few softies I made for the shelter included a few bunny rabbits. Of course, my menagerie would not have been complete without a funny bunnies, right? Since I had already done this pattern before (and honestly have not found a different bunny pattern that has interested me), I went ahead and made the Lion Brand Best Bunny pattern again.

For the blue bunny, I used Lion Brand yarn as well that was donated to the club, Baby Wool. Actually, it’s not real wool, but that’s what the name of the yarn is for some reason. I held it double in order to get a larger bunny from it, and used a size I hook. This was the first time I doubled my yarn to make an amigurumi, and it was not as difficult as I had anticipated. He ended up being 10 inches tall.




For the second bunny, I used some Lion Brand purple Fun Yarn. It claims to be an Aran 10ply yarn, but I am a little skeptical. I just thought it would be noticeably thicker than regular worsted. He ended up to be 9 1/2 inches high, and I used orange and yellow felt for his features because this yarn was so dark.

Even after making this multiple times, I still struggled with those ears and had to frog a few times before getting them right, but the ears are what make this guy so dang cute, so I had to get them right.

Packing Up the Amigurumi Gang

Blogged under Charity Crafting, amigurumi by Tammy on Monday 6 May 2013 at 1:58 pm

I surpassed my goal of 12 and have a total of 18 amigurumi toys to donate to the shelter. Along with loads of wash cloths, soaps, coloring books, blank journals, and crayons, my car is just about full, and I will be delivering the goods tomorrow.

It feels weird saying good-bye to my little gang of amigurumi, but hopefully, they will comfort a little one or at least put a smile on a few faces when they arrive at their new home.


Crochet Wash Cloth Overload, Yeah!

Blogged under Charity Crafting, My College Craft Club by Tammy on Friday 26 April 2013 at 2:23 pm



Above is a photo of some of the bags my craft club is putting together. They include travel soaps we have been collecting as well as hand made cotton wash cloths made by both club members and the Yahoo Crochlist, who have sent a whooping 33 wash cloths already! We are even able to double up and add two cloths per bag, which is great. It looks like I will have about three boxes full of these bags by the end of the semester.

Along with the toiletry bags, we have made blank journals and coloring books. I picked up some boxes of crayons at the dollar store. Plus, of course, there are the amigurumi toys I’ve been make. I’m up to 15 so far. I may be able to squeeze out one or two more before I deliver everything. We may also be teaming up with another club who wants to donate children’s books to the shelter. So I will have one full car when I make the final delivery!

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