Teddy bear troubles

A cousin of mine asked if I could make a big teddy bear for his youngest son. It took a while to find the right pattern, but after a lot of searching online, I suddenly realised I had the perfect pattern all along. So I dove into my pattern folders and dug up a polar teddy pattern from a Dutch crafts magazine. The pattern is made by Christel Krukkert, one of my favourite Dutch crochet designers.

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The pattern ended up needing a lot more yarn than I anticipated, so after making the head and an arm, I needed to look for more. Sadly though, the yarn I had used, didn’t have a band on it and since I got it from a friend, I didn’t know which brand it was. So I had to find a matching yarn in the right colour and thickness, which turned out to be much more of a challenge than I could’ve imagined. Eventually, I found a colour that came close enough and thanks to a tip from the shop lady, I realised it was probably the best idea to frog the arm I had already made, so that the difference wouldn’t be too noticeable.

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I had finally made all the parts and was getting ready to put everything together. That’s when I saw that the arms seemed way too big for the body. It was as if this teddy spends all his time at the gym lifting. So I ended up frogging the arms again (well, one entirely and the other about halfway) and with some adjustments, they look a lot better to me. Now I just hope my cousin’s little boy likes this teddy as well ūüôā

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On the rigth: the arm as it was described in the pattern. On the left: the arm with my adjustments

How do you handle mistakes in patterns? Do you make your own adjustments, ask the creator, or give up on the pattern all together? I almost choose option three, I was pretty much done with the bear at that point ^_^’ but in the end, I’m glad I didn’t!

Cheers, Lydia

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Working hard, or hardly working? #BYATWF

It’s the first friday of the month again and by now you should all know what that means… Bring your amigurumi to work friday!

Since I work in a shoe store, I can’t take a lot of pictures during my work hours, but I tried to give you a ‘day in the life’ ūüôā

Today, Crocodile Steve got to come with me to work and he was as excited as could be:

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Come on, wake up already! It’s time to go!”

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“Have you got everything? Crickey, you sure eat a lot!”

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“Safety first.”

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Helping out with scanning all the new shoes that came in today, heavy work!

And after that, he decided to spend the rest of the day watching over the costumers from behind the register (but for some reason, the picture won’t load off my phone…) The manager didn’t even notice him until I pointed him out when it was time to go, so he wasn’t a bother at all ūüôā

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All tired out after a long day of work. “Goodnight!”

Remember to bring your amigurumi to work next month ^_^

Cheers, Lydia

Ps: pattern by Christel Krukkert, from the book ‘Kleine Knuffels Haken’ (Crocheting Small Stuffed Animals, available in Dutch only)

That was quick!

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I already finished the first project I had lined up for this week. It turned out a lot smaller than I thought it would, but I still think it looks really cute.

As long as you just look at the front that is.. the back looks a bit messy, but that’s because I’m not very good at hiding away the ends when it comes to flat work. So the back of the tail has some dots of glue to keep the knots from coming apart ^_^”

This afternoon I’m hooking up (pun totally intended!) with some friends to drink tea and work on some crochet. It’s so much fun to crochet with friends. I love seeing how they work and which materials they like to use.

What is your favorite setting to work on your crafts?

Have a great day everyone!
Cheers, Lydia

Fancy Chicken

Another project done after a request from my brother. A friend of his will give birth to a baby girl this summer, so he asked me if I could make a baby gift.

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I’ve had the pattern for this one for a long time already, but I never really felt the need to create it. For some reason, it looked a bit too.. feminine or girly¬†or something. But while working on her, I reaslised she was pretty fun to make! She does have a lot of details and parts, but if you just take your time for this one, it’s a really rewarding project.

Close ups:

She can't do without a fancy pearl necklace

She can’t do without a fancy pearl necklace

Her little purse is soooo cute~

Her little purse is soooo cute~

The pattern is from Christel Krukkert and you can find it in the book “Gehaakte Beestenboel” (Crochet Caboodle). As far as I kow, it’s only available in Dutch, though.

Looking at these pictures, I think I will add some wiring in her legs, to make her easier to pose… Hmm, I hope I can still get it in there without have to take them off completely.

Cheers, Lydia

Happy Mothers Day!

My moms pot-holders have been looking awefully raggy lately. And I just happened to have the cutest pattern for a set! So I couldn’t resist making them as a Mothers Day gift ^_^

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When my mother-in-law saw them, she said she’d like a set as well. But since I don’t really like making the exact same pattern twice, I decided to make this second set with different animal heads: cats!DSC03187 DSC03186 DSC03185

I hope they’ll like them…

The pattern for the sheep and chicken heads and the pot-holder itself is from Christel Krukkert. For the cat-heads, I improvised ^_^

Cheers, Lydia

The cats who stare at goats

When we had just started dating, my boyfriend misheard the Dutch word for sweetie (schatje) for the word for goat (geitje). So, ever since, my nickname for him has been Goat.

This is why I just couldn’t resist crocheting him a goat once I’d found the perfect pattern for it. It came to me in one of the books from Christel Krukkert and I started working on it as soon as I could. A while back, I finished it and I love how it came out. It looks like it’s a lot bigger than the pattern suggested. In the materials list it noted that you’d need about 60 grams of white yarn, I ended up using over three skeins (more than 150 grams together)! But then again, I used a bigger hook and thicker yarn than it said in the book.

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Sadly, it’s a little bit too heavy for its hind legs, so I’ve made it sit.
Inside the goat is a little soundbox. When you turn it upside down and back again, it makes a bleating noise. Which scared the cats halfway across the appartment the first few times. I made a movie of it, but my camera and the computer don’t seem to see eye to eye. So you’ll just have to take my word for it ^_~

Since Smooshy isn’t around anymore to pose with my crochet work, I let our other cat, Wisky, have a try.

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Yeah, not so great, actually >_<” Looks like she was a bit scared of it… She poofed up her tail, put up her backhairs and arched her back to look bigger than she really is. Then went and started sniffing the goat. I’ve put it in a less obvious spot, so she won’t get scared anymore ^_^

Last saturday, we picked up a new cat from a local¬†animal shelter, lets just hope he’s better at it. Or maybe Wisky just needs a little practise, I’m not sure.

Cheers, Lydia

It’s so fluffeh!

Today, I’d¬†like to talk a bit about materials.
Normally, I use plain and simple yarn for my projects. Here in the Netherlands, the brands that are the easiest to get are Katia and Phildar. These brands come in all kinds of colours and thicknesses, which make them perfect choices for anything you need to make. Phildar is usually a bit shiny and more rugged, with bright and bold colours. Katia is softer and can thread apart a bit easier, but this brand has softer colours. So both have their strong and weak points.

But sometimes, you feel in need for a real eye-catcher. And that’s when I usually turn to fuzzy yarn.

It can be a¬†downright disaster to work with, but once you get the hang of it and aren’t focussing too much on whether or not you have the right amount of stitches, it is one of the most wonderful materials to make amigurumi with. At first you really have to experiment with the yarn. Try out different hook sizes and make sure you have enough light. If you normally work on you crochet in the evenings, make sure you have a strong lamp right on your work or I can guarantee quite a bit of frustration. I prefer natural light when it comes to this type of yarn, since it makes it much easier to see your stitches. Also, it is important to work ‘inside-out’ with this yarn, since most of the fuzzies end up inside you work otherwise. Luckily, with this yarn you can’t really¬†tell which side is which, so it’s pretty much invisible if you just turn your work ‘wrong-side out’ in the end. There really isn’t a definite wrong or right side with this stuff! Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, to be honest, it really is. But it does take a lot more time and effort to make a full project with this yarn, so I usually just use it as a detail.

I have used different brands of fuzzy yarn, but I have to admit that I don’t really have a favourite yet. It all depends on what look you are trying to achieve.
The brands I have used so far are: Katia Brazilia, Katia Coral, Schachenmayr Nomotta Bravo Color, Phildar Phil Douce and the house-brand of a local store (Zeeman).
Brazilia¬†and the house-brand are the hairiest of the brands I’ve used. These can be hard to use, since all the fluff gets in the way of your stitches. But at the same time, this gives a really nice effect, almost as if you didn’t crochet the work at all!
Coral and Bravo Color have shorter, quite stiff fluff, which does give the fuzzy effect, but isn’t nearly as huggable as with the first two. These brands are easier to work with though, because they aren’t so fluffy that you can’t see your stitches anymore.
Phil Douce was awesome to work with, since it’s so very soft and doesn’t have long fluff at all. It is easier to see your stitches, but not as clearly as you would with regular¬†yarn.¬†It does come out a bit different than other yarns, so it’s important to keep an eye on your work and how it is supposed to look when it’s finished. Sometimes, you need to adjust the pattern a little to get the shape you want. Also, this yarn just makes your work very, very soft. It doesn’t really have that furr-look that the others have.

I’m sure by this time, you are all tired of my rambling and want to give your eyes a rest. But before you do, I’d like to share some pictures of a couple of stuffed animals I made with the fuzzy yarns. Picture time!

My first attempt at using fuzzy yarn.

My first attempt at using fuzzy yarn.

The camel was supposed to have two humps, but I really lost count of my stitches with this one. So, it became a dromedary camel ^_^

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Funky Sheep

The head of this sheep is made with the house brand, but it didn’t really come out the way I wanted it to. So I made the body using Bravo Color and that looked a bit better. I never got around to make a new head for the poor thing, so it has to make do with two types of yarn. (my apologies for the blurry picture)

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a Zebra, obviously

The manes for this zebra are made with the house brand. They did come out a bit bigger than they should have, but this is because I kept following the pattern with a bigger hook than the one I used for the body. With these types of things, it’s important to keep an eye on your work and simply quit when it is big enough to go with the rest.

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Awesome Lion

This one really made me happy, since you use the fuzzy yarn for the last part of the head. So it’s a simple case of decreasing your stitches until the hole is small enough to be sewn closed. It is important to keep an eye on the head and make sure that you don’t decrease too fast, otherwise, the head becomes quite flat.¬†For this one I used Katia Brazilia.

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SQUIRREL!

The tail came out a bit too big at first and then, I couldn’t get the shape exactly right, but I still think it looks really cute on him!¬† It is made using Katia Brazilia.

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Another sheep

This one is made with Katia Coral. It’s a bit easier since you can see your stitches, but then again, I think this would look a lot cuter with a bit more fluff to it.

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Frog and Dog, I don’t have a picture of the dog on its own…

The dogs ears are made using Katia Brazilia. They did come out a bit small. This is due to the fact that I had to ration my yarn, since I only had a little less than one skein for this project.

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Little polar teddy bear

This one is (almost) entirely made of Phildar Douce. It doesn’t have that long furry look, but it is so amazingly soft. It was an absolute horror to make though, since the shape didn’t exactly come out when I followed the pattern. So it took quite a bit of tweeking to get this one right. It’s still one of my favourite fuzzy works though!

There are a lot of other fuzzy yarns for sale all over the internet and I’m sure you can find it in your local craft or yarn store. Be sure to give it a try, it’s a great challenge that comes with some wonderful results!

Cheers, Lydia