Keeping warm

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After seeing my warm winter hat, Boyfriend asked me if I wanted to make one for him as well. So I got the yarn for it and planned to make it in secret to give to him for Christmas.

Saturday we had our annual celebration of ‘Sinterklaas’ (basically a dutch Santa). Each year, we buy generic gifts and play a game together with Boyfriend’s family where you can get gifts, but also need to trade or give them away. You start with all the gifts still wrapped and end up unwrapping them during the game. Long story short: Boyfriend ended up with a hat…

So a change of plans was made and now I’m making a scarf. I hope to have it done by winter 2015, it’s so very big! It measures about 2.5 meters in length and it needs to be broad enough to keep his neck warm. This is how far I’ve gotten:
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In the meantime, I’m also working on a slightly secret project to give to a friend and I finished working on a commission for another friend, but can’t post about it yet, since he needs it for a gift as well ^_^”

Working on the scarf is a bit boring, so I think I will work on some small projects in between. I plan to make some Christmas ornaments for work, those should be quick enough to make whenever I get really sick of going back and forth.

How do you handle slightly boring projects? Do you just stick to it to get it done faster, or do you switch every now and again to keep things interesting?

Cheers, Lydia

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As a bonus, here's a picture of Japie next to our Christmas tree ^_^

Holiday Hangover

Hello everyone and to everyone a happy new year!
I hope the holidays went by without a hitch and that you all received some great gifts for Christmas, cause I know I have.

At first when I was asked to make a wishlist for Christmas, I didn’t really know what to ask for. But then it hit me: I still needed some more pattern books! And so, for Christmas I got two amigurumi books that I’d been wanting for a while now, but didn’t get the chance to order myself: Amigurumi Toybox by Ana Paula Rimoli (who is amazing and you should check out her blog!) and Crobots by Nelly Pailloux.

I already have the first two books from Ana Paula, so I knew what to expect: absolutely amazing cute creatures that make the most awesome baby gifts. Her patterns are easy to follow and pretty much always turn out very cute, even if you’re not that much of an experienced crocheter yet. I immediately made the little tugboat that’s in there, since I needed a quick and simple project after the huge Moogle I made (pics come further down this post). It made the perfect gift for the grandson of my mothers hairdresser (yes, I am that desperate to find babies to give my ami’s to). Now I just need to make the koala’s, tree, unicorn, garden snake… and every single other pattern in there ^_^

Crobots was a bit more of a gamble for me, since I’d only ever seen the cover. But as soon as I had this book in my hands, I just knew I had to make all of these cute little critters as soon as possible (no, I haven’t started yet..) They do require a bit more skill and a lot more details. I already fear the embroidering I’m going to have to do on them, but then again, it’s always good to learn new techniques. I am also going to need to search the house for any nails, screws, bolts and pretty much anything that looks techy. But I’m pretty sure we have a big bag over leftovers somewhere from when we put together our furniture (yay IKEA!). I also ordered a few mixes of coloured beads, bugle beads and sequins and am still looking for a perfect batch of mixed buttons. It may seem like a lot of trouble over a few crochet patterns, but I can assure you, they nééd these details. The pictures in the book look really cute and I kind of want to make the entire set all at once. But I do believe I need to pace myself here and calmly start with the first pattern in there. The great thing is that they’re sorted by difficulty, so you can start with the easiest one and work your way up to the more difficult patterns.

Not only did I receive awesome gifts, I also got to give out a few. A while back, I gave you guys a glimpse into a work in progress: the giant Moogle head. Well, it isn’t just a head anymore!

Mog close-up

Just for scale: Mog in my reading-chair

From the back

This guy was requested by my sister-in-law, who wanted a life-sized Moogle named Mog to go with her cosplay for one of the upcoming conventions in the Netherlands. This is a creature from the video game Final Fantasy XIII-2.
He was a lot of fun to figure out, but surely took a whole lot of work. I used about seven skeins of white yarn, half a skein of light pink yarn, half a skein of orangy pink yarn, one and a half bags of stuffing and four sheets of purple felt. The tips of the wings are a bit yellowish, which I tried to replicate by using acrylic paint. I finally managed to get the antenna to stand up by itself using about a mile of wire. I don’t really like the way that looked, but then again, I had no idea how to fix it otherwise. My sister-in-law loves it either way and we will get to see some action photos after the convention.

By the way, this is the picture I used to figure him out:

Sadly, I did not write the pattern down as I went along, but maybe in the future, I’ll ask if I can borrow him back again and figure it out.

Which brings me to my three new year’s resolutions:
– Write down patterns for everything that I work out myself. Looking back on what I’ve made so far made me realise that I let slip quite a few, which is a shame really, especially if I want to continue to fill this blog.
– Never ever get fake nails again, even though they look awesome and I can still crochet with them. For new year, I thought it would be nice to get my nails done. About halfway through, it came to me that it might be very hard to crochet with these things. Luckily, I can still do it, but it isn’t as easy as it is with my own nails. I’m missing a lot of feeling on my fingertips and it’s pretty hard to pick at knots and stuff.
– Share every pattern I make with the world. Which shouldn’t be too much of a problem, as long as my boyfriend lets me use the computer. He’s been hovering for a while now, so I believe it is time for me to wrap this up.

Cheers, Lydia

Merry Christmas!

Goodmorning everyone and merry Christmas!

The great thing about being crafty is being able to make my own decorations ^_^
The first big project I ever worked on was a Christmas scene, the pattern for which I found in a Dutch arts and crafts magazine the grandma of my boyfriend just happened to have a subscription to.

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I kind of still want to re-do the sheep, because I changed the fuzzy yarn I used after I finished the head. But on the other hand, I quite like it and don’t really feel like making it again. This whole thing took me weeks to complete and actually wasn’t finished until New Year last year (this year? anyway…)

This year a friend of mine found a pretty fun-looking pattern online and suggested that we make it. We try to get together once every month to work on some crochet projects, have a cup of tea and keep in touch. This pattern she found was a bit of a challenge, cause it consisted of many different parts and took a lot of sewing together. I would like to make it clear that sewing is not my strong point. But I still like the way it turned out.

Gingerbread house frontGingerbread house back

If you click the pictures, you get taken straight to the site with the pattern, nifty eh?

The last decoration I made came from a package deal. Basically, it’s a big bag with a pattern and all the materials you need included. Sadly, I think the yarn you get with these kinds of packages is usually not as nice to work with as the yarn I usually use and the stuffing is a bit too stiff for my tastes. But then again, it is pretty handy to have everything together in one buy, especially when a pattern uses colours you wouldn’t usually have in your collection. (yes, I know, every crocheter who is even remotely serious about themselves has every possible colour they could ever need, but humor me ^_~)

Package deal reindeer

Next to making my own decorations, it is also very convenient that I’m able to make presents. Some of you may have already seen the giant moogle head I posted a while back. That is actually part of my Christmas present to my sister-in-law, who asked me to make her a life-sized Mog. (it’s almost done and I need to finish it before tomorrow!)

A friend of mine also asked if I could make him something to give as a present, and his request was a bit.. well, unusual, but certainly Christmas related.
Meet Mr. Hanky Poo from the show South Park:

Mr. Hanky Poo in his natural environment Mr. Hanky Poo

Yeah, my cat doesn’t know what to make of him either 😛
This was another project where I didn’t use a pattern, but more or less just improvised using pictures online and seeing where my imagination led me. Now, I’m a bit sad that I didn’t write a pattern down for him, but then again, it should be pretty easy to work out how I made it if I every do wish to make a pattern out of him.

Well, that’s pretty much it for me when it comes to Christmassy things. I hope you all have a couple of wonderful days with your family and loved ones!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a huge moogle to finish up ^_^”

Cheers, Lydia