Happy little accidents

Earlier this week I was trying to get some work done on a pattern I had been thinking of for a while. For some reason, I just couldn’t get it the way I wanted to. Probably because of the yarn I was using (Phildar Douce, it’s of the fuzzy kind) The proportions just wouldn’t come out like they needed. But then, something strange happened. I suddenly realised that even though the project wasn’t going to look like I wanted it to, it started to look like something I could work with. And after a little while, this little cutie rolled of my crochet hook:

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And, lets be honest, who would have the heart to frog something like this?

In order to spread some of the cuteness, I decided to share the pattern with you guys, even though there might be a gazillion different teddy/panda/bear patterns out there. Enjoy!

Fuzzy Panda pattern

Materials
Phildar Douce Ecru and Taupe
4mm crochet hook
Stuffing
Needle with a big enough eye to fit the yarn through
A little bit of black yarn for the nose and mouth
A pair of 9mm safety eyes

Abbreviations
ch – chain
sc – single crochet
inc – increase
dec – decrease
st – stitch
fo – finish off
repeat – repeat what is in between **
(x) – x is the amount of stitches you should have at the end of the round

Pattern
Head
With ecru.
chain 2 and work the first round in the second chain from the hook
R1: sc6 (6)
R2: inc around (12)
R3: *sc1, inc* repeat 6 times (18)
R4: *sc2, inc* repeat 6 times (24)
R5: *sc3, inc* repeat 6 times (30)
R6: *sc4, inc* repeat 6 times (36)
R7-12 (6 rounds): sc1 around (36)
R13: *sc4, dec* repeat 6 times (30)
R14: *sc3, dec* repeat 6 times (24)
R15: *sc2, dec* repeat 6 times (18)
Start stuffing and continue to do so until the last round.
R16: *sc1, dec* repeat 6 times (12)
R17: dec around (6)
FO, close the hole and weave in end.

Eyes (make 2)
With taupe.
chain 2 and work the first round in the second chain from the hook
R1: sc6 (6)
R2: inc around (12)
Fo, leave a tail for sewing. Position the safety eyes in the middle of the circles and sew the eyes onto the head. Embroider the nose and mouth with black yarn.

Ears (make 2)
With taupe.
chain 2 and work the first round in the second chain from the hook
R1: sc6 (6)
R2: inc around (12)
R3-6 (4 rounds): sc1 around (12)
Fold your work and sc through both layers to close the hole. Fo and leave a tail to sew the ears to the head.

Body
With ecru.
chain 2 and work the first round in the second chain from the hook
R1: sc6 (6)
R2: inc around (12)
R3: *sc1, inc* repeat 6 times (18)
R4: *sc2, inc* repeat 6 times (24)
R5: *sc3, inc* repeat 6 times (30)
R6: *sc4, inc* repeat 6 times (36)
R7: *sc5, inc* repeat 6 times (42)
R8-11 (4 rounds): sc1 around (42)
R12: *sc5, dec* repeat 6 times (36)
R13: sc1 around (36)
R14: *sc4, dec* repeat 6 times (30)
R15: sc1 around (30)
R16: *sc3, dec* repeat 6 times (24)
R17: *sc2, dec* repeat 6 times (18)
Fo and leave a tail, stuff and sew to head.

Tail
With taupe.
chain 2 and work the first round in the second chain from the hook
R1: sc6 (6)
Fo, leave a tail and sew to the body.

Arms (make 2)
With taupe.
chain 2 and work the first round in the second chain from the hook
R1: sc6 (6)
R2: *sc1, inc* repeat 3 times (9)
R3: *sc2, inc* repeat 3 times (12)
R4-6 (3 rounds): sc1 around (12)
R7: *sc2, dec* repeat 3 times (9)
R8-11 (4 rounds): sc1 around (9)
Fo and leave a tail. Stuff and sew to body.

Legs (make 2)
With taupe.
chain 2 and work the first round in the second chain from the hook
R1: sc6 (6)
R2: inc around (12)
R3: *sc3, inc* repeat 3 times (15)
R4-7 (4 rounds): sc1 around (15)
R8: *sc3, dec* repeat 3 times (12)
R9-12 (4 rounds): sc1 around (12)
Fo, leave a tail. Stuff and sew to body.

Give your panda-teddy a nice little bow if you want and tadaa~ it’s all done ^_^

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Can't resist those cute panda eyes <3

Can’t resist those cute panda eyes ❤

The tail doesn't stick out much

The tail doesn’t stick out much

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through comment or email ^_^ And make sure to share your own panda-teddies with me if you use my pattern.
Also, please do not post or sell this pattern as your own. You are free to share, of course, but be kind and give credit/link back

For those who are wondering what I was trying to make: it’s Puppycat from Bee&Puppycat (go check it out on youtube). But that pattern will have to wait ’till another day.

Cheers, Lydia

I should update / Hook-in

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I really should, but what exciting news do I have for you?

Well, nothing extremely special really. Except for this.

Last week, me and a friend went to a so-called ‘Hook-in’. Now, I know you’re all wondering what the fudge a hook-in is. Well, basically, it’s a gathering of people who like to crochet. You bring your own work with you and/or whatever project you are working on at the moment and you all sit down in the same room and well.. crochet. Plus, there is tea and coffee and all sorts of sugary goodness!

I had a lot of fun that evening. It gave me a great opportunity to see other people work on their crochet and talk about all sorts of different techniques and styles. For instance, I managed to surprise quite a few people with the tutorial I’d used for the hair on my My Little Ponies. (it can be found here)
And in turn, I got to see how your work turns out if you finish off every round with a slip stitch. I know now that it’s not really for me, but then again, it does make it a bit easier to see where your last round ends and the next one begins, plus, colour changes are a lot smoother that way. (I usually hide my colour changes at the back of bottom of my work or behind limbs…)

The event was organised by a Dutch crochet studio called ‘Echtstudio’ and it was held in their actual studio/store. It was great fun to see all the different kinds of yarn they sell. They also had loads of different amigurumi’s, bags and other accessories on display, which was awesome to see. I actually just wanted to browse all evening, but instead I got a little bit of work done on my Catbus and just chatted the rest of the time away.

Here are some pictures I nicked from the Echtstudio facebook page:

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It was pretty full, but really cozy at the same time 🙂
And the best part of the evening? 10% off everything you bought there! But I managed to contain my enthusiasm and actually only bought some yarn that I’d needed:

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I really needed to get more dark-brown, as the Catbus was starting to devour my last skein. And I simply adore the fuzzy yarn, they actually had a lot more colours and shades, but I had to take it easy and only took some colours that could be used in an upcoming project (ssst, it’s a secret ^_~ ). Great thing is, I can always order more from their online shop! I did already, couldn’t resist the package deal for their Easter Bunny pattern, got the pattern in my mailbox immediately (PDF file, yay!) and I should have gotten the yarn in the post today, but I haven’t checked yet. They also have some free patterns on their site, which are really fun to make.

And just for fun, here’s a link to Echtstudio on facebook. It is all in Dutch, mind you.

To finish my rambling, I learned something new about myself that night. I appear to have a “crochet-tic”. I put my yarn over the hook as if I’m knitting! Well, the best excuse I could think of was that I learned how to crochet with my right hand, while I’m actually left-handed. But frankly, I have no idea why I would do that. It’s not as if I’m more familiar with knitting or anything. Oh well, I was quickly consoled by another guest who admitted that she didn’t like to crochet in public much because she had a tic of her own. I never got to see what it was though…

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed another bit of my rambling! I might be able to put up some pictures of the Catbus pretty soon. Right now, it’s just down to making all the paws (that thing has TWELVE legs 0_O) and the windows and then it’s just a matter of sewing it all together.

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