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Monday, 31 December 2012

Introducing....Pig and Monkey (woo woo)

As I was rustling up mini monkey...I was unable to get the song from the youtube video out of my head:

So I made a pig too

I might have to photograph them all again since I'm not very happy with the images but the patterns turned out really nice and simple.  Pattern available at Ravelry as usual, here's a sample page:

Crochet Pig and Monkey pattern at Ravelry

Friday, 28 December 2012

pattern in progress...

I was getting a weeny bit bored of single chain and its myriad variations, so thought it was time to learn something new...something....bobbly!

You could do a lot worse than watch a few of this chaps videos  I wanted a rib for the cuff and some bobbles for the main body of my glove and learnt both from his videos.  Huzzah.

Anyway...the first result was....semi-successful

I love the bobbles and it works up fairly quickly
The bobble trim (same pattern but with slip stitch between bobbles instead of hdc) looks great

What a miserable coloured yarn - nice to work but dismal (and to think I bought it to make a tank top with!)
Don't like the's just too...chunky
Don't like the linear nature of the bobbles (not that they are very linear in this sample since I kept getting muddled)
Think perhaps bobbles on the palm would be really annoying.

I think I have something to work with though :)

Thursday, 27 December 2012

christmas colds and flu (and a little ecoli)

A little something inspired by my daughters school since they're studying microbes at the moment and a particularly vile green yarn that I found in my stash :)

6sc in adjustable circle
inc in each (12st)
(inc, sc) 6 times (18st)
18sc for 10 rows
(dec, sc) 6 times (12st)
Stuff and add some eyes
dec 6 times (6st)
pull up tight to finish

The strands are simply chains, roughly double the length I want them to finish and hooked through random parts of the body.  The result is an Ecoli germ - (can't post picture of the crochet one...explanation below)

Easy peasy

Unfortunately, I am unable to post pictures of this project at this time because it was kidnapped by her teacher and has spent the christmas holidays languishing in a school drawer or some such rather than being the subject of my photoshoot.  The follow up (a rather splendid flu germ) was also kidnapped at the same time.  These posts will be updated once negotiations to free the victims have reached a satisfactory conclusion.  Over and out.

Monday, 10 December 2012

on the 7th,8th and 9th day of christmas....

I crocheted something I made up as I went along so a pattern is a little bit tricky....

For starters...check out the work of Camilla Engman.  She has a pattern printed in The debbie Stoller Happy Hooker book...which I have to say thoroughly confused me till I noticed the (admittedly it was in bold type) line that says....stitches worked in back loop only.  Duh.  Lesson learnt - Read the instructions.

So, to start with is used and work in back loop only!!!!  there..I added exclamation marks to make it stand out more for idiots like myself.   Also,  I found doing 2 in one hole for increases a bit messy..could just be me but I found increases more attractive if I did a then a ch.  So in this case 'inc' means ', ch1' righty ho.  To decrease (dec) I put the hook through one, then the next, yarn round and pull through all three loops on the hook.  Word of warning....this method of working is really, really, really slow...

ch3 and join with to first to make a ring
inc (, ch1) in each ch (6st) (6st)
inc 6 times (12st)
(, inc) 6 times (18st)
(, inc) 6 times (24st)
(, inc) 6 times (30st)
(, inc) 6 times (36st)
change for 4 rows
(, dec) 6 times (30 st)
(, dec) 6 times (24st)
(, dec) 6 times (18st) fix eyes in and stuff
(, dec) 6 times (12st)
(dec) 6 times (6st)
pull up to close.


ch3 and join with to first to make a ring
inc (, ch1) in each ch (6st)
inc 6 times (12st)
(, inc) 6 times (18st)
(, inc) 6 times (24st)
(, inc) 6 times (30st) for 10 rows
( dec) 6 times (24st)
(, dec) 6 times (18st) might want to poke the (eye) leg joint through at this point as it is ridiculously fiddly later.
(, dec) 6 times (12st)
leave long enough end to sew to body.  Don't sew on just yet as need it open to fix legs in.


ch3 and join with to first to make a ring
inc (, ch1) in each ch (6st)
inc 6 times (12st)
(, inc) 6 times (18st) for 5 rows
change colour then
(, dec) 6 times (12st) for 8 rows
Now the fiddly bit.  With the eye part of the safety eye poking out of the body where the leg is to pivot from, push it through the top part of the leg and fix the safety eye back inside the leg. Stuff.
Do a kind of running stitch through the top half of the and pull up to close


ch3 and join with to first to make a ring
inc (, ch1) in each ch (6st)
inc 6 times (12st) for 7 rows
(, dec) 3 times (9st) for 4 rows
I'd lost the will to joint things by this point but you could if you wanted...or just pull up to close as the leg and stitch onto body.

and....I've made a really fugly little er...woodland creature's a potentially interesting base for something else.  I may make him some ears and a little jacket or something.

The 'fluffing' incidentally is done with what my mum calls a teasel brush, think its something to do with felting. You attack the piece with this evil wiry brush thing (bit like one that's used to detangle dog fur!) and it pulls the fibres up and out.  It only works with proper wool, acrylic fibres just break off.

I honestly cannot recommend working in slip stitch...maybe just for sculpted faces or something but it's sooooo slow to produce anything.  Next time, it's back to good old single chain.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

day 2....(cos december came about quicker than I expected ?!)

Day 1 of the advent calendar then had to be a squinkie.  Not terribly exciting but marginally better than a chocolate (though that's a matter of opinion).

I think I may be being a little over ambitious for a 'quickie' project but I want to make a mini jointed creation.

A bit of research and looks like using the plastic push fit eyes is the way to go for tiddy little joints.

Also, using a steel hook and embroidery floss seems to be the way to get tiny crochet but a) I have no idea what a steel hook is and the smallest hook I have is a 2.50mm and b) I really don't have that sort of patience (or eyesight) so....

Tiddy toy made with 2.5mm hook and some 3ply yarn

here's my sketch:

Yep, a kind of demented bunny type thing.

leg - make 2
6sc in loop
sc, inc 3 times, 2sc
3sc, inc 3 times, 3sc
5sc, inc 2 times, 5sc
14sc for 2 rows
5sc, dec 2 times, 5sc
3sc, dec 3 times, 3sc
9sc for 3 rows and stuff
leave long end

foundation chain of 5
5sc, ch1, 5sc (bottom half of fsc) ch1
inc, 3sc, inc, sc, inc, 3sc, inc, sc
16sc for 5 rows
dec, 6sc, dec, 6sc
14sc for 3 rows
dec, 5sc, dec, 5sc
12sc - don't cut end yet...still got ears to do

poke eye through top of inside leg joint from inside to outside and sew top of leg closed
hold eye washer inside body where leg to fix and push through - (bit fiddly this bit!)

2sc, then sc through next and sc opposite across the middle, 2sc...ignore remaining 6sc for now
not sure if this diagram could possibly help or not...

working on just the, 2sc, inc, sc
7sc for 4 rows
cut yarn and use a needle to pull up to finish.
Start again for other ear....join at outer edge,2sc to middle and go through the opposite sc, 2sc.
inc, 2sc, inc, sc
7sc for 4 rows
cut yarn and use a needle to pull up to finish.


Final thoughts...
I used 5mm pull through eyes - the ones with little wire loops rather than washers.  They aren't so bulky but are very different to fix and....I got mine in wonky.  Also - not small child friendly but then neither is a 3inch toy.

Do check that your legs are the right way round before fixing them...there isn't a lot of shape to the feet but it does sort of notice when one is on back to front...*sigh*

All in all, I'm quite excited at the possibilities of eye leg joints.  No point on toys with big floppy legs but for little things like this it works a treat.

And it fit in the advent box - yay!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Quick heads up!

Think I may have inadvertently started something with last years crochet advent calendar project...the darling daughter has requested the same thing this year.  Now, I think I managed about 10 little critters...maybe not that many, can't really remember.  They were restricted in size because they had to fit in the little drawers of the wooden advent calendar thingy...I'll post a pic when I dig it out of the loft.

My plan then is this
a)  to make a critter for every third day I think is perhaps realistic, I'll have to find some little cheapo toys for the in between days.

b)  to write up my 'patterns', so that anyone else who sees them can have a go too!  Let's all make loverly calendar surprises :)

a word of caution though...I won't have chance to thoroughly check and recheck the patterns...they will be very rough...which, in my view is part of the charm.  It would be glorious to see if anyone follows them and what you come up with.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Zombie invasion!!!!

I finally got zombie monkey written up!! Yay! (Took a little longer than anticipated as I've been getting a teensy bit engrossed in Guild Wars 2...)

Zombie monkey is sporting the latest in detachable brain accessory, along with the obligatory zombie acoutrement....the falling eyeball.

There's nothing particularly tricky in the pattern and I've discovered the joys of making charts in Adobe illustrator so most of the parts have a nice chart to follow and written instructions.  Huzzah!

Link to the pattern on Ravelry

Zombie Monkey with Brains

"Derek, you take that brain back right now!"

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Halloween creepiness

I really am rubbish at keeping blogs up to date but I have a new pattern I am desperately trying to get finished for a halloween creation.  We don't do the halloween thing so much in this country which I've always found a bit disappointing.  It's usually just some teenagers 'trick or treat'ing with their hoodies pulled up expecting you to give them a bit of cash just to go away.  It's got better in recent years though to be fair (well the available merchandise has certainly taken off), kids seem to be putting in a bit more effort.  Mine wants to be a zombie from plants vs zombies game so on the lookout for a duck rubber ring....or traffic cone....

Talking of zombies...there's a bit of a clue about the upcoming pattern...:)  My mother actually suggested that some 'crochet types' might find it a little offensive!  Hahahaha. (It really isn't!)

Also, I've worked out how to do those Japanese style crochet diagrams with Adobe Illustrator so will be updating all my patterns to include diagrams which will hopefully make things easier for those more visually oriented amongst us.

Just noticed the number of my blog posts that start with 'ok'...bad habit that. OK.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Toast and Jam - the giraffes

So, apparently my nieces favourite animal is a giraffe and when I asked what colour they were the answer was....purple.  Happy to oblige my little sweetie....:)

Crochet giraffe pattern

It took me ages to work out the hooves, and they are a bit fiddly but look so nice.  As usual, the pattern is available at Ravelry. :)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I made a hat...

Well, it's got to that time when I really should venture out to get a haircut but what to do if I simply can't be arsed??  Make a hat obviously!  A felted hat too.  I was surprised at how close I managed to estimate the shrinkage - I think with a few tweaks, my lovely hat has potential.  Ok, it really is quite  fugly hat....perhaps I'll just go to the hairdresser after all :)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

oh no....errors...

I'm going to keep this post updated with any errors that turn up, I will also correct the patterns as soon as I can so that the current version is always on Ravelry.  

I have discovered that there is a bit of a booboo on the Penelope elephant pattern, (mostly a case of semantics so hopefully not too catastrophic) but when following the hippo body instructions line 4, where it says "20sc in front/lower loop of" - this bit has no relevance at all to the elephant and should just be 20sc as normal.  Hopefully that's it.

OK, there is also an error on the Toast and Jam giraffe pattern....Rnd 3 of the Head should read "(2sc, inc, sc, inc, 3sc) 2 times".  That'll teach me to mark the end of my rounds when I am testing the patterns :)

update: Jan 2013, an updated version of giraffe pattern is now on Ravelry so these errata should no longer apply

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Yay new pattern...

Ok, I know it looks a bit more like a dog than a bunny - so make it into a dog, I don't mind, in fact, perhaps I'll do an addendum for a muzzle or summat. Or just call it DogBunny.

It's mostly done in one piece (apart from the ears and one leg) cos I really hate having to stitch pieces together.

So, well, this pattern was going to be free but then I got my hours at work cut so.....sorry's still really cheap though!:)

Anyway, now that's done and dusted, back to Mass Effect multiplayer...

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

totally nothin to do with crochet but...

Ok, so I just finished Mass Effect, having played them all back to back for the last 3 weeks or so and...I have no problem with the ending whatsoever.  So, ner.  Maybe I'm just a bit dense or something but, without creating spoilers for the unwary, I am totally accepting that the end sequence was all in Sheps head and you're supposed to let your imagination take over.  Maybe I just have a nice romantic imagination and am quite happy to fill in the blanks with whatever takes my fancy.  Little fluffy kittens anyone (or rather, little, blue children)?  This video helps ease the pain (is bloody genius actually) - DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THE GAME!!!  (I also wanted to put this here cos I've never worked out how to stick a video in my blog before.  Huzzah!)

Also, I'm kindof in the minority in that I liked being forced into the multiplayer game.  I'm a total coward where multiplayer is concerned.  My heart rate gets so high when I have a go at Call of Duty that I seriously fear for my (real life) health.  I sort of enjoyed playing the Beta Star Wars but mostly avoided too much interaction with other peeps so kind of missed the point.  I don't like upsetting people and being the fuckwit in the team is always a bit depressing frankly.  Fortunately, the multiplayer side of Mass Effect is quite clearly sectioned into Bronze (fuckwits unite!), Silver (ok, we might let you fw have a go) and Gold (FO!).  So, I trawled through several bronze levels to get my requisite Galactic Readiness and I had a ball.  I may even go back in.  So, please be nice if you see Cowpatface getting herself stupidly cornered by 3 brutes again.  I also want to add that I found the whole thing a very emotional experience, the soundtrack was perfect, the dialogue marvelously cheesy and I love the way so many people are arguing about it now.  A total success for EA, I'd have thought. 
Now, I really will write up the next pattern.....really want to make a crochet Volus now....

Friday, 23 March 2012

new projects on the way but....

OK, I've got oodles of ideas for nice things to make and stuff but...well...I'm too busy snivelling my way through Mass Effect 3.  That's when I'm not ogling Commander Shephards nice new uniform choices..hmmm...I'm so sad in all meanings of sad.  I'm already looking forward to the next run through when I will play as FemShep, I hate that tag she's aquired, sounds like a feminine hygiene product.."there to tackle the periods that you're just not man enough for"...or some such. Although, if James isn't a romance option, I'm not sure I'll bother :)  And yes, I have read that the ending is atrocious but I am going to see it through...hanky at the ready..Fortunately, there are epic cut scenes during which time I can grab the crochet hook..and inadvertently miss one of those flash mushy (nice Shep) or mashy (tough Shep) mouse button pushes.  Oh well, can't have everything......

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Cheers big ears

Think I may have got a bit carried away with the ears....

I am working on something so super duper right now in preparation for easter....

Friday, 9 March 2012

Good grief -

I've worked out how to put my pattern on Ravelry as well as Craftsy.  Cheeky eh?  Also got slapped wrists (well a wrist slapping email) from Craftster for putting sales links.  Got a bit carried away there.  Where does the phrase 'wrist slapping' come from or have I got it totally wrong....*skipping off to google*

Course, I haven't yet worked out how to configure this blag to work with a ravelry cart, got all excited for nothing there.  *update* I did work it out but think the whole leaping straight to a paypal checkout thingy was a tad scary and to be honest a bit heavy handed so I've linked to my Ravelry theory...

Haven't got any further than opening the Mass Effect 3 box yet but looks promising so far....I'm not allowing myself to play it till I've been through the other two again since I want to import my characters and lost them in a pc overhaul.  I'm really going to have to make an effort to spend some quality time with my children....

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Blogging is hard work...

I find this blogging lark very tricky to keep up with, especially when it appears I am only talking to myself...oh, hang on, I do that all the time anyway.

But Huzzah!!  I have something to blog about - I have finished making a proper crochet pattern.  It took ages because I wanted to get all the photos just right and the layout and all that stuff.  I've had lovely fun getting it all just so.  Anyways, without further ado, may I introduce.....

The two patterns are constructed much the same way, all in one, no sewing pieces together afterwards (except ears and nostrils!)  The only difference is the heads, which is why I've decided to stick them both into one pattern.  What a bargain :)

It's available here:

Now, this is all well and good but the postman has just dropped off my Collectors edition of Mass Effect 3 (yes, I've fallen for the old 'collectors edition' crap again) so I am going to unwrap that and see what we've got.