Thursday, 29 March 2012

Say cheese everyone . . .


Over the past few weeks I've hardly put the crochet hook down. Cupoftea times and lunchtimes at work, evenings, days off and weekends have been spent mastering that elusive magic circle and I've been working my way through the growing library of amigurumi patterns I've collected to try.

Wilf the wolf is my first ever amigurumi creation. I have to keep him for me because I think he's just the beginning.

Bun-Bun was a special request from Aimee.

Poppy puppy was for mum.

Bob frog is for Mary and Spike below was made for Fionn; my niece and nephew.

As for Henry? He's been much admired by Aimee and friends so who knows where he'll end up!

I owe big thanks to Cat Carlisle, Britainy Relland, Nancy Anderson, Erika Hughes, Willy-Nilly Waterlily and Jean Herman for sharing your patterns for free on Ravelry or blogs.  You have all been inspiring.

Working on all these different amigurumi I've spotted similarities in the way some of the pieces are worked and I'm feeling confident that I can maybe make up my own simple pattern. I seem to have lots of grey yarn (leftovers from a cardigan I finished last year) so have decided that Peter Puss is going to be my first amigurmi and I hope to share the pattern soon.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


Practise makes perfect, or so they say. I think crochet is a bit like knitting; it's one of those techniques where it's essential to do things by the book or mistakes stick out like a sore thumb. I rather like adding my own fancy crowd pleasing steps to my sewing (and the odd mistake on purpose) but I'm determined to learn to do crochet properly.

This week I've been practising in front of the TV while Alan and Aimee watch The Simpsons, again! I've used some lovely silk yarn I sort of acquired from the yarn store when I was at Art School; it was along time ago!! Sshh . . .

Flower Crochet

Spiral Shell from The Handbook of Crochet Stitches by Betty Barnden

Flower Crochet

Crochet Apple Jacket by Sara Sinaguglia

Patterns are certainly getting easier to follow and I'm not having to refer to my Crochet Handbook so much to check I'm doing the stitches right. They're far from perfect but I'm getting better and having fun. I love detailed and intricate things so crochet holds a lot of appeal. 

I've decided to try and move on from flowers and apple cosies and in anticipation of attempting some amigurumi I've started practising magic circles. They seem to be essential to getting started but despite looking at several tutorials and video clips I'm finding them awfully tricky to master. It doesn't help that my left hand doesn't always work properly (a complete nuisance which I just have to live with) but I shall persevere (or possibly revert back to slip stitching a few chains and crocheting over them!). I've spent several hours over the last week trawling through the freebies on Ravelry and I've built up a library of amigurumi patterns I want  to try. Aimee wants a rabbit!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Aaaarrgghh, Spider!

a well ready copy of Aaarrgghh, Spider!
When Aimee was little one of her favourite stories was Aaarrgghh, Spider by Lydia Monks. I'm a complete cowardy custard when it comes to real spiders but I loved when she chose this book for bedtime. It's so beautifully illustrated and when we read it we would have great fun seeing who could do the loudest, shrillest Aaaarrgghh!! I was pretty good I have to say!

We read it again quite recently and it provided the inspiration for my brother Steven's 40th birthday present. After making a felt flower bouquet for my sister Nic I decided I could maybe get away with some felt flowers for a boy if the colours were right, so I've chosen charcoals, greys, browns and a wee pop of lime green. The flowers were layered to create a 3-D picture and I added some beadwork and simple hand stitching for extra detail.

Aaarrgghh, Spider!

It looked great recess framed and the reaction was a pleasant surprise. Happy Birthday Steven (and Nic).