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!

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Obligatory Resolutions Post

Happy new year everyone! I’m finally taking the time to write a proper post, even though I don’t really have much to talk about. So I’ll just discuss my New Years Resolutions, since that’s what pretty much everyone in BlogLand has been talking about lately 😛

I have to admit, I never really liked the idea of resolutions. If you want to change something, you don’t really need to wait until the new year to do so.
On the other hand, I do have some plans for things I want to do this year, so I guess that’s kind of the same thing, right?

#1: Continue to make loads and loads of amigurumi
I’m probably already in the clear for this one, since I busted my stash using a cute little octopus pattern. It all started very innocently with just two tiny octopi, but then, I got the hang of it and now I have 19 >_< I usually don’t like to repeat a pattern, but this one was so quick and simple, I couldn’t contain myself.

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I made two more after this picture was taken

The pattern is from Tessa van Riet-Ernst and can be found in her book Amigurumi&Mini’s (Dutch).
Since I’m not sure what to do with them yet, I’ve decided to store them in some yars until a plan unfolds.

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#2: Design more amigurumi’s of my own and write down the patterns
The last thing I fibbed a pattern for last year was a desk chair. Now, why would I need a desk chair, you might ask. Well, I gave Boyfriend a new chair for Christmas, but since he had to come with me to pick one, I didn’t actually have a gift to give him. So I decided to crochet a tiny chair. Turns out, there aren’t many desk chair patterns out there, but it was simple enough to create one from scratch.

wpid-wp-1389518022397.jpgI did write down the pattern, but have yet to make a nice document of it. So I’ll probably post it here in the near future.

#3: Work on this blog
It’s been a while since I made crochetnanigans.com my own, but I still have to move this blog there. I want to wait until I have my own laptop to do so, so I’ll have my own space to really work on it. It will most likely still be WordPress, though, as it’s really easy to work with. I do want to add some features, but you’ll have to wait and see. I also want to try to blog more often and regularly. Maybe even throw in a weekly feature? But the ideas for that are still pretty vague, so no promises!

#4: Spread the crochet love!
A friend of mine (Doretta, from Hagoort&Co [Dutch]) came up with the plan to start giving crochet workshops. Even though I never have much patience to explain things, I want to try this together with her.  And who knows, I might be a great teacher ^_~

Of course, there are also some non-crochet related plans:

#5: Be nicer to people
#6: Move out of the appartment together with Boyfriend (we want to buy a house)
#7: Work on my career (I want to get in to the course for assistant manager, but still have a long way to go)

In the end, I’ll just have to wait and see what the new year brings me. But hopefully there’s a lot of nice things coming my way and yours, of course! ^_^
Have a great 2014 everyone!

Cheers, Lydia

First amigurumi of the year, also from Amigurumi&Mini's

First amigurumi of the year, also from Amigurumi&Mini’s

Design contest: voting is now open!!~

Hey guys,

you might remember my entry for the Amigurumi Patterns.net design contest, Dr. Bear and his lovely nurse Octopus:
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From today until saturday (25th till the 30th of november) you can vote for your five(!) favorite designs here! Check it out and please vote for me? It would be totally awesome to win something with my very first completely-not-based-on-any-existing-character-ever design! In other words, this was the first (and so far, only) design I’ve ever made without pictures to work from.

I know there are loads of great designs that entered in the contest, but please take your time to check them out and hopefully, mine will be in your top five!

Also, if I win anything, I will háve to do a giveaway/contest kind of thingy, cause lets face it: what’s a crocheting girl to do with two copies of Zoomigurumi? ^_~

Here’s the link one more time: Amigurumi Patterns.net design contest voting page. Click the little hearts on your top five so that they turn green and leave your name and email. Thanks!

Check out the cuteness once more:

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Cheers, Lydia

PS: choosing five favorites is hard! I know, I’ve done it. If you’re having trouble finding five to vote for, consider Chance the Football Cheeta, by Lelie. He was made by a friend of mine ^_^

Docto-Bear (design contest entry)

Octo-Bear works really hard during the month October as a mascotte, but that doesn’t mean the duo just sits around the rest of the year! Instead, they try to rid the world of illness using the best medicine there is: cuteness overload.

Meet Dr. Bearnard and his trusty Nurse Octopus:

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I had loads of fun designing this duo and it was a challenge for me to make the clothes (well, jacket) I’d never made anything like this from scratch and I’m pretty proud to say that they got accepted as my entry for the AmigurumiPatterns.net Design Contest. The theme of the contest is animals at work and the other entries look amazing! So I’m crossing my fingers, hoping I might win something. But the best part is, all the visitors of the site get to vote, so when the time comes, please vote for me? Don’t worry, I’ll remind you guys when you can vote ^_~
You can check out all the entries here.

In other news: Crochetnanigans is now on FaceBook! Just check the sidebar on the right side of your screen and you will find the link to like this page! Here I will post WIP’s and tiny tidbits that just aren’t big enough to make into a blogpost. And it will be easier for you guys to post about the things you’ve made using my patterns, or anything else you’d like me to know about ^_^ So I hope you will join me there as well!

Have a wonderful sunday!
Cheers, Lydia

Release the Kraken!

Or rather, Octo-Bear!

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I couldn’t help myself. I’d been walking around with this idea ever since I saw the internet meme at the beginning of the month:

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Octo-Bear: 50% octopus, 50% bear, 100% adorable! I just knew I had to crochet something like this.

I’m not new to internet memes in crochet form. I’ve made a Nyan-Cat quite a while back, by combining two patterns into one:

Nyannyannyannyan~

Nyannyannyannyan~

But this is a pattern completely by me. That’s why I’m going to share it with you guys, so next year (or tomorrow, if you crochet really fast!) you can have an Octo-Bear all of your own ^_^ He’s rather small, so he shouldn’t take up too much of your time and it’s a great way to get rid of some left over bits of yarn. I made the octopus with a dark pink, but you can make her any colour you’d like. I imagine the octopus being a girl and the bear being a boy… I’m weird like that ^_^”

Octo-Bear pattern

Best of friends

Best of friends

Materials
Brown yarn, dark pink yarn. White felt and a textile marker. One pair of safety eyes 6mm for the bear. One pair of safety eyes 7,5mm for the octopus.

Abbreviations
ch – chain
ss – slip stitch
sc – single crochet
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 row

The Pattern
The pattern is worked in rounds unless it says otherwise. You do not need to join rounds.

Bear-part
Head
With brown yarn, ch2
Round1: 6sc in second chain from the hook (6)
Round2: 2sc in every st around (12)
Round3: *1sc in first st, 2sc in next st* repeat ** 5 times (18)
Round4: *1sc in first 2st, 2sc in next st* repeat ** 5 times (24)
Round5: *1sc in first 3st, 2sc in next st* repeat ** 5 times (30)
Round6: *1sc in first 4st, 2sc in next st* repeat ** 5 times (36)
Round7-12 (6 rounds): 1sc in every st (36)
Round13: *1sc in first 4st, dec1* repeat ** 5 times (30)
Round14: *1sc in first 3st, dec1* repeat ** 5 times (24)
Attach the safety eyes.
Round15: *1sc in first 2st, dec1* repeat ** 5 times (18)
Start stuffing the head
Round16: *1sc in first st, dec1* repeat ** 5 times (12)
Finish stuffing
Round17: dec6 (6)
Fo and weave in the ends.

Ears (make 2)
With brown yarn, ch2
Round1: 6sc in second chain from the hook (6)
Round2: 2sc in every st around (12)
Round3-4 (2 rounds): 1sc in every st (12)
Fold your work together and crochet through both layers to close the gap.
Fo and leave an end for sewing the ears to the head.

Legs (make 2)
With brown yarn, ch2
Round1: 6sc in second chain from the hook (6)
Round2: 2sc in every st around (12)
Round3-6 (4 rounds): 1sc in every st (12)
Fo the first leg, there is no need to leave a tail of yarn, so weave in the end.
Do NOT finish off the second leg! You need to keep going with this one to make the body.

Body
Take both legs and put them together. Sc 3 times through both layers to attach them to each other and then continue to work around both.
Round1: Not counting the first 3sc you used to attach the legs together, sc1 in every st around (18)
Round2-5 (4 rounds): 1sc in every st (18)
Round6: *1sc in first 4st, dec1* repeat ** 2 times (15)
Round7: 1sc in every st (15)
Round8: *1sc in first 3st, dec1* repeat ** 2 times (12)
Fo and leave a tail of yarn to sew the body to the head.

Arms (make 2)
With brown yarn, ch2
Round1: 4sc in second chain from the hook (4)
Round2: 2sc in every st around (8)
Round3-7 (5 rounds): 1sc in every st (8)
Fold your work together and crochet through both layers to close the gap.
Fo and leave an end for sewing the arms to the body.

Tail
With brown yarn, ch4
Round1: starting from the second chain from the hook, 1sc in every ch (3) continue on the other side of the chain, 1sc in every ch (3). This gives you a total of 6 sc all around. (6)
Fo and leave an end of yarn to sew the tail to the body.

Sew all the parts together and cut a little tummy and snout out of white felt. Glue or sew the tummy onto the body and give him a little belly-button using a black textile marker (you can also use acrylic paint, felt or yarn for this, whichever you prefer)
Glue or sew the snout on the face and draw a little happy mouth and nose on it with the textile marker. (once again, you can of course use whatever you prefer)

Front

Front

Back

Back

The bear is all done! Now, all you need is a little octopus for the top of his head ^_^

Octopus-part
Head
With dark pink yarn, ch2
Round1: 6sc in second chain from the hook (6)
Round2: 2sc in every st around (12)
Round3: *1sc in first st, 2sc in next st* repeat ** 5 times (18)
Round4: *1sc in first 2st, 2sc in next st* repeat ** 5 times (24)
Round5-9 (5 rounds): 1sc in every st (24)
Round10: *1sc in first 2st, dec1* repeat ** 5 times (18)
Round11: 1sc in every st around (18)
Attach the eyes and start stuffing the head
Round12: *1sc in first st, dec1* repeat ** 5 times (12)
Finish stuffing
Round13: dec6 (6)
Fo and weave in the ends.

Legs (make 8)
With dark pink yarn, ch16
Row1: starting from the second chain from the hook, 2sc in the first half of the leg and 1sc in the second half.
Finish off and leave a tail of yarn to sew to the head.

I switched the amount of double sc in the legs, so they don’t all curl for exactly the same length.
Sew the legs to the bottom of the head and your little octopus is done!

She's a little cutie, isn't she? ^_^

She’s a little cutie, isn’t she? ^_^

Now all there is left to do, is put the octopus on the bears’ head and voilá: Octo-Bear!

If you have any problems using this pattern, be sure to let me know! And as usual, I’d love to see your work ^_^
But also: please to not post or sell this pattern as your own. If you use it, make sure to give credit and link back here. Thank you!

Cheers, Lydia