I need this!

I need dis

Couldn’t resist, I love this little guy ^_^

Have you ever come across something you didn’t even know existed and all of a sudden you realise you can’t live without it any longer?
A while ago I was just clicking around on PlanetJune and I came across this handy, little gadget:

Stuffing tool

Detail stuffing tool

Now, I have tried stuffing small parts with pretty much anything: the back of my crochet hook, scissors, pens, needles, my own pinky. But it can be ever so hard to get the stuffing in properly. I manage, that’s not the problem, but ever since I learned about this tool I’ve noticed that it should be so much easier.

The same kind of goes for stitch markers. I usually just count out every round, or I put a small safety pin of a bit of yarn at the beginning of a row. But lately I’ve realised that it would be easier to use something that’s actually made for it.

Stitch markers

Stitch markers

Plus, I think I really want June Gilbank’s book: ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi’. Because after working on her ‘mop top mascots’ pattern (they became my Lemmings set), I really think I could learn a lot from her.

Now all I need to do is either win the lottery, or be a bit careful with my spendings for a month and I’ll be able to order some of this stuff ^_^”

Is there anything you can’t live without to work on your crafts?
Cheers, Lydia

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Lemmings

For a lot of people the Lemmings games are something they grew up with. I have to admit, I am not one of them, but I did buy the game for PSP a few years ago. It can be pretty addictive, but then again, if you fail a level thirty or more times, it gets really frustrating.

Basically, what you need to do is get a certain amount of your lemmings safely from one side of the level to the other. Sounds simple enough, but there’s a catch: the lemmings will continue walking in a straight line as long as nothing blocks them. This means they will easily walk off a cliff and dive to their deaths if you don’t do something about it. This is why you can assign special abilities to your lemmings. There are eight different abilities: Climber, Blocker, Miner, Digger, Floater, Basher, Builder and Bomber.

A while back I came across a pattern online for so-called Mop Top Mascots by PlanetJune. The first thing that came to mind when I saw her pictures was: “those are Lemmings!” And sure enough, when I’d read a bit more, I found she’d actually made a set of five, including the little accessoiries needed for them to use their skills. There wasn’t really a pattern for the accessoiries, more like notes on how to make them. But the pictures are very clear and makes them easy to reproduce (for the little more advanced crocheter that is, I think).

The full set of five

I have to say, making these little guys is almost as addictive as the game! They’re fun and easy to make, although they did make my hands hurt. The pattern calls for 3.5mm and 5mm hooks and approximately 8mm eyes, but I used a 2.5mm hook with thinner yarn than I usually use and a 4mm hook for the fuzzy stuff, so my lemmings came out a bit smaller than they were supposed to be. Therefore, I had to use 4mm eyes, which were a nightmare to fasten.

I had two  pairs of safety eyes with metal washers, which slided on like nothing, but then I had to use new sets, which came with plastic washers. After battling with them for a full afternoon, I very nearly gave up on making the whole set. First I decided to order some new eyes with metal washers, but then, I need to  wait for them to come in the mail and I wanted them done ASAP. Then I tried to find out if there was a surefire way to get the washers to click into place. It’s pretty hard to find tutorials on fastening eyes, I must say. Only a few tips could be found online. I tried soaking them in hot water to make the plastic more bendable, but only ended up with a bit of a mess and washers that were still as hard as a rock. Then I read that you could push them on using something like a screwdriver that has a hole in it to switch heads. Of course, I have no such thing in the house, but I decided to look for something similar. I ended up taking a pen apart and using the clicky-top, which just happened to have the perfect sized hole to go over the pens of the eyes, but not entirely over the washers. It was still pretty hard to get a grip on it, since the clicky-top is pretty small as well, but it gave just the extra leverage I needed to push on the washers. So succes was mine and I could move on to making all the lemmings the pattern provided for!

And here’s the result:

Your everyday, average Lemming, designed to just walk and walk and walk until it either reaches the goal or plumges to its untimely death...

Your everyday, average Lemming, designed to just walk and walk and walk until it either reaches the goal or plunges to its untimely death…

The Blocker, stopping Lemmings from walking too far. When a Lemming comes across a Blocker, it turns around to walk in the opposite direction.

The Blocker, stopping Lemmings from walking too far. When a Lemming comes across a Blocker, it turns around to walk in the opposite direction.

Busy doing his job ^_^

Busy doing his job ^_^

This is what the Lemmings see when they approach the Blocker, would you pass that?

This is what the Lemmings see when they approach the Blocker, would you pass that?

The Digger, capable of digging a safe, slanted way down, so nobody falls to their death straight down!

The Digger, capable of digging a safe, slanted way down, so nobody falls to their death straight down!

Digger, with his mighty pick-axe

Digger, with his mighty pick-axe

The Builder, building stairs to get to a whole new level

The Builder, building stairs to get to a whole new level

A bit of wire provides the lift crochet can't give it

A bit of wire provides the lift crochet can’t give it

Its little backpack for storing those building blocks

Its little backpack for storing those building blocks

The Floater, floating down to safety using its trusty umbrella.

The Floater, floating down to safety using its trusty umbrella.

From the top, a bit of wire makes a great standard, though the wire I used is a bit too thin, so I have to carefully place the Lemming to avoid it falling over.

From the top. A bit of wire makes a great standard, though the wire I used is a bit too thin, so I have to carefully place the Lemming to keep it from falling over.

The pattern is available for free on PlanetJune’s blog, but you can also make a donation to her and get the pattern in a handy PDF file. It will only cost you what you want to give for it and it helps her keep her creativity available for the world!

The set I made will be going to a game-crazy friend. And my boyfriend already requested a Floater ^_^ Normally, I’m not much for repeating a pattern, but these little guys are so much fun to make that I wouldn’t mind making another set and maybe even figuring out the accessoiries for the other skills…

Cheers, Lydia