Projects, projects everywhere!

I’m back! And still insanely busy… In between the holidays, a very busy time at work, getting sick a couple times, and having my birthday, I’ve been working on loads of little projects that just didn’t seem to want to be made into a blog post. Thus, I’ve decided to try and put them all in one.

So here’s a quick overview of what I’ve been up to:
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I made a bunch of stuff to sell with Tegendraads at Gamepitcon last January.
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Finished work on the blanket I started back in October/November (still need to somehow attach the fleece that I bought for the back)
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Made some cute felt owls with a kit I bought way back at the Kreadoe
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Went to the Haakathon for the Dutch leprosy relief and made a couple ‘red cats’
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Went to the opening of a new Crochet store by the girls behind Briljant Crochet (they seem to really be living the dream!)
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Made some cards with a kit I got for my birthday.

And together with my friend Doretta, we taught two more people to crochet ^_^ I hope they enjoyed it and are still working on their skills.

Right now, I’m working on Vlad the vampire bat by Lalylala. Using this:
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A ball of awesome ‘magic swing’ yarn from Briljant Crochet. It’s got a little sparkle mixed in it ❤ but I have to work it together with my normal yarn, which made for some hard work. Thankfully it's almost done now!
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Magic swing in action, it’s a lot of fun to watch the balls of yarn taking shape.

After Vlad is finished, I’ve got a couple projects lined up already (african flower crocodile, a froggy coin purse, actually really finishing the blanket, maybe even start on another blanket with the Stylecraft CAL in April) I hope to be making more blog posts again in the future! I’ll probably elaborate a bit on the Haakathon in a later post ^_^

Plus, something totally not crochet or craft related, I got a new fish tank!

What have you guys been up to?
Cheers, Lydia

Octopi Family – the tale of a Crochet Lounge gone wild

A while back, I joined a FaceBook group called Briljant (Brilliant) Crochet. The group was started by two very enthusiastic ladies who love to crochet so much they just had to share with others. They started organising Crochet Lounges, either evenings or Saturday afternoons when you could come in and crochet together with other people with the same interest. Like the Hook-ins I go to every once in a while, except a lot closer to home ^_^

I hadn’t had the chance to join in any of them though, since work and other obligations held a tight grip on my time. But at the end of April there was one that I just couldn’t pass up: a Lalylala themed Crochet Lounge. Some of you may remember Paul the Toadstool that I made last year. He is one of the patterns in ‘the Doll Project‘ from Lalylala. I really enjoyed making him, even though there were some bumps along the road.

But I digress. Back to the Lalylala Crochet Lounge. The idea was that you’d pay a certain amount, pick the pattern you wanted, and come to the Crochet Lounge to pick up your kit to build your very own Lalylala doll. It was quite the task to pick out the pattern that I really wanted to make, up until the point where my eye fell on Oleg the Octopus. I have no idea why, but I adore octopi. They are just too darn cute with all their squiggly legs and puffy bodies. So the choice was made. I dragged along my friend Doretta from Hagoort&co (Dutch blog!) who picked Buzz as her first Lalylala project.

The project turned out to be a bigger challenge than normally is the case with a big pattern. But I believe the story is best told in pictures, because for once, I took loads of them while working 😛

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Upon arrival at the crochet lounge, everyone could pick up their kit containing the pattern they chose together with the yarn, stuffing, eyes and other accessories to make their own Lalylala doll.

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The pattern for Oleg

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Everyone was asked to bring any and all Lalylala’s they made before. So many different kinds of cuteness! (and no, my Paul isn’t in this picture, because he doesn’t live at home any more ^_~) There were 70 crocheters gathered at the lounge, but luckily, not as many dolls or else there would’ve been no room left on stage

 

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At the end of the evening, I had finished the head already!

Continued working hard on Oleg at home, but Murphy showed his ugly head: I ran out of yarn!

Continued working hard at home, but Murphy showed his ugly head: I ran out of yarn!

Ran out of yarn again, so no arms yet for Oleg...

Ran out of yarn again, so no arms yet for Oleg…

As if that wasn't enough, my hook broke! It was one of my favourites...

As if that wasn’t enough, my hook broke! It was one of my favourites…

Finally Oleg is done and able to play with his little elephant friend

Finally Oleg is done and able to play with his little elephant friend

A wild girlfriend appeared! (Olga? Help me name her!)

A wild girlfriend appeared! (Olga? Help me name her!)

The happy couple with their pet elephant (that's not weird at all!)

The happy couple with their pet elephant (that’s not weird at all!)

Luckily, working on his girlfriend didn’t take me quite as long and I came prepared for any yarn-shortages. I ran into that lovely coral colour at the crochet lounge and instantly the idea of a little female Oleg popped into my head. When I had to order more blue yarn, I immediately included some skeins of coral to make sure I wouldn’t run into the same problems again (Paul flashback >_<) I’m not sure why she looks so different from Oleg, though. I followed the exact same pattern with the exact same brand of yarn and the same hook. Only difference is the stuffing and that I excluded a few rounds on the hat part. But I really like how they both ended up with their own looks and personalities!

They now live happily ever after on our dinner table until I have found a better spot for them ^_^ These dolls can take up a lot of time and yarn, but in the end, it’s all totally worth it!

Right now, I kind of can’t wait for the next themed Crochet Lounge!
Cheers, Lydia

ps: the elephant pattern was translated by All About Ami and can be found here for free!

Toadstool Paul

In the crochet world, you come across patterns that make you go: WHOA! I really need to make this one!

Toadstool Paul was such a pattern. I saw it on the Amigurumi Patterns.net FaceBook page and couldn’t resist making the purchase. It’s even designed by a namesake of mine ^_^

DSC05291The pattern itself isn’t too difficult, except for the collar that uses a backpost stitch. I’ve had my fair share of trouble with that one, but after some practise I managed to make it look right. Another thing that can make it a bit hard to work on, is that it’s pretty much worked up in one piece. On the other hand, that does limit the amount of sewing you have to do, which is a good thing for me ^_^” In the end, it turned out that I didn’t stuff the neck enough, so now he kind of hangs his head because of the weight from his toadstool hat. But I think that makes him look a little bit shy and a whole lot cuter ❤

He loves hanging around near the lights that are left over from the Christmas decoration

He loves hanging around near the lights that are left over from the Christmas decoration

Or just staring outside, thinking of how lucky he is to be inside with all this cold weather

Or just staring outside, thinking of how lucky he is to be inside with all this cold weather

I love how, in the pattern, he’s made with yarn that looks kind of earthy. So I tried to find the right colours and succeeded with my first try! A stand at the market had just the yarn I needed (Annell Rapido Plus) and I love the way he turned out. This was a heavier kind of yarn than was used for the pattern though. The main colour was said to need about 50 grams, which amounts to one skein most of the time, but I ended up using three skeins of 50grams. For the other colours, one skein per colour turned out to be enough, luckily. Especially since it was quite a hassle to get my hands on the two extra skeins I needed. But I already vented that fruststration ^_~

A detail of his grass-embroidered sweater

A detail of his grass-embroidered sweater

And his toadstool hat of course! (you can take it off ^_^)

And his toadstool hat of course! (you can take it off ^_^)

I always love to know who I’m making an ami for and I had just the person in mind for this one. As I’m writing this, I haven’t given it to him yet, but when I do, I’ll be sure to let you all know if he liked it 🙂

Cheers, Lydia

Edit 1-15-2014: He LOVED it ^___^