Thursday, March 31, 2011

Overlapping path thimble ring

I'll be sewing on little flowers today, but before that, I thought I'd put up a short post.  Here's my latest thimble ring (bracelet sizes).  It's the first thimble ring I've done where the path overlaps and goes around the ring twice before ending.  I had it started, partway done and was planning to add it to Chloe Patricia's photo sharing.

Then I learned a valuable lesson about overlapping paths.  The starting point matters.  When the path does not overlap, I can restart a round anywhere on the circle.  It doesn't make a difference.  With an overlapping path, there is a bottom and a top layer.  If I start on the wrong layer, the places where my threads cross looks wrong.

This lesson cost me several hours pulling out and redoing the stitches, and I missed the deadline for the photo sharing.  One of these days, I'll learn not to do my work last minute...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Mermaid Hello Kitty

My little lady has been gently (and not so gently) reminding me that I'm making a Mermaid Hello Kitty for her.  I'm putting it up for Tami's Ami's WIP Wednesday so that hopefully it becomes an FO soon.  It's actually almost done.  The only thing holding this up is the f... ff... ff.... (hyperventilating here)...

Ok, let's try that again without the panic.  The only thing holding this up is the set of FIFTY little flowers that need to be attached to her tail and body.

Making them is not too hard.  It's the hiding ends and attaching that scares me.  The original uses yellow felt centers that look like they're glued on.  I'd prefer to sew instead of glue, so I'm planning to use french knot centers.  Yikes, I'm short two.  I could have sworn there were fifty last week...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Motif 4: Brooch & FO Friday: Cyber Zombie

Today I have both and FO and a motif.  I know some people separate their crafts into different blogs.  It does make for a nicer reading experience, but I don't think I could manage more than one blog.  So, with apologies, I'll leave it as, a jumble reflecting the insides of my jumled up head :-)

In no particular order, here's a the Kerongsang motif from Jon Yusof's Tatting with Rings.  I love the names of the patterns in this book.  Jon named them after all sort of pretty things in the Malay language.   Kerongsang means brooch, so I'm planning to put a pin on this and use it to jazz my baju kurung.  It's done in the sadly discontinued Altin Basak metallic polyester.

Fellow Malaysian, Paul, made a nice comment on one of my cluny attempts.  He said, "Everyday when you do a part of it, it reflects you that day; so one part will be wonky, one part will be too tight and never really often, perfect."

I like that thought.  A mistake is not a mistake, or rather, not just a mistake; it's a record of life events.  This particular motif is a record of living through a house renovation.  There are tight rings from when they used the electric saw (which made me clench my teeth).  The uneven wrapped stitches are a record of the uneven zzzt... zt.. zzzzt of the drill that completely threw me off my rythm.  Still, the crafting is helping me keep my temper and my sanity through the noise.

Next is an amigurumi for Tami's Amis FO Fridays.  As I understand it, the idea of the WIPs and FOs is to socialize and get feedback and encouragement.  I like the idea and I've been looking around at all lovely crochet and knitting, but still feeling a bit too shy to comment. 

My many WIP heads yielded only one FO; this Cyber Zombie from Creepy Cute Crochet.  This is a nice book to have for making toys for boys, but a lot of the charm of the dolls comes from the finishing details.  All the embroidery and embellishments have to be done right in order for the doll to look good.  Personally, I find this quite difficult.  This is the second time I've made this pattern, and only now am I able to get the exposed wires on the arm somewhat presentable.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Eye infatuation

In a previous post, I showed a book, Super-Cute Crochet by Nicki Trench, that my friend gave me.  In the book, the author uses black safety eyes.  The eyes looked cute, so after a little idle googling, I found a saplanet originals and put in a small order.

First I remade my friend's kitty, with plastic eyes and a plastic heart nose.  The nose was a free sample from saplanet originals; a clever tactic, since now I've used it, I feel compelled to become a repeat customer.  The little lady calls this the 'Dancing Kitty', probably because of the twirly skirt.

Next is this Grim Reaper from the Creepy Cute Crochet book.  This one  joins the little guy's collection of gruesome amigurumi.

Finally, I made this little fish for my sweet nephew, also from the Nicki Trench book.

The eyes are really, really easy to use and I am completely infatuated. Some purposeful googling produced with the magic words 'Free Worldwide Shipping'.  Now I am the somewhat sheepish owner of a small stash of plastic eyes.

I'm putting the stash to good use.  Here's the proof!  Look into my eyes!

I don't think I'll stop making amigurumi any time soon.  Everyone seems to want a toy to squish and squeeze and play pretend with.  So I thought I'd use my creepy eyes to join WIP Wednesdays on Tami's Amis.  Hopefully the WIPs will lead to FOs on Friday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Motif 2-3: Bracelet and heart

The little lady's bracelet is finished.  Here it is with the treasure box we made to hold it.  The box is from the Canon website.  We worked on it together; I cut, she glued.

The bracelet is just tatted split rings with enough stitches and picots to snug up to the beads.  It's just the right size for the little lady, but I wish I'd added a few repeats.  Then I could share with her!  Is it OK for a 30+ woman to wear blue plastic beads?

CindyK left a suggestion to make some tatted hearts.  I like the idea very much.  So here is Martha Ess's Two Hearts in One.  I like the serendipity of online tatting.  Here's another version from Val's Simple Passions

Round 2 really is the toughest.  These days, the thought of wasted paper bothers me, so I try not to print patterns, instead working off the computer or the iPhone.  For this pattern, I had to give in.  I printed it out, found 2 quiet hours, and glued my eyes to the paper.

It also helped that I don't reverse my work.  It reduced confusion.  I learned this technique from Teri Dusenbury's website, although I can't find the exact link right now.  I'll keep looking.  Basically, the rings are worked with flip stitches.  The chains are unflipped (encapsulated).  I just switch shuttles between rings and chains.  It also saves having to wind up the long thread after making rings.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Three crochet kitties

It all started with this machine.  The machine takes an exorbitant amount of money, then forces you to use a tiny joystick to manouver a claw to try to pick up the plush toy of your dreams.  They recently installed this at the local shopping complex.

In it they put Hello Kitty dolls.  The first Hello Kitty (not in the picture) was the best.  It had a sparkly tiara, fairy wings and a pink princess dress.  The little lady fell in love with it.

After some discussion, the little lady and I agreed to make ONE attempt at snagging the Hello Kitty.  Now, I can stitch a pretty seam, but I can barely walk across a field without falling.  So, needless to say, I was no match for the ultra-fast buzzer and the sticky joystick.

At that point, the tears were brimming in the little lady's eyes, so after some more rapid discussion, we agreed that I would make her a Hello Kitty doll.  Thankfully she's still young enough to think her mother can make anything.

After a bit of googling, I found a cute pattern on  Armina's ami-mals blog.  The result is the little Hello Kitty on the left.  The little lady loves it, and shows it to everyone she meets.

Craft projects are like potato chips to me.  I can never stop at just one.  So, I found more patterns, and made the one on the right.

A friend of mine saw the little dolls and, because she is a generous lady, she gave me a book; Super-Cute Crochet by Nicki Trench.  As a thank you, I made her the little kitty on the cover.  It's living with her now, and I fogot to take a picture, so here's the picture from the author's website.

So there you have it, three crochet kitties.