Monday, 5 January 2015

Micro Rose

So the blog is long overdue for a post … Let’s see, I’ve got a photo of a very small crochet project to share. I’ve got Awesome Mix Vol. 1 turned up loud and on repeat. All nerdy desk ornaments are in order, and dachshund mix, Oscar, has assumed the I-don’t-care-if-you-step-on-me position. Yep, I’m ready. Let’s do this, people.

First off, Happy New Year! I hope you all had a safe end to 2014 and are having a fantastic and creative start to 2015. Here in Perth we are having a stinking hot start to the new year — it was 44°C/111°F today. Let's face it, it’s not the best crochet weather. Progress on my main project, a micro serpent dragon, is very slow -- crochet is on the back burner for me at the moment.

I did, however, manage to finish this piece.


It's a micro rose and was done as a test project for my new 0.35mm hook! I ordered the hook from Mainly Lace. I have to say, I was scared about using it when I first saw it. The neck is incredibly thin and I was sure I would break it on my first go but, to my nerdy-crochet joy, it survived! I’m very pleased with it but I’ll likely keep using my 0.4mm for the bodies of my micro amigurumis and reserve the 0.35mm for embellishments.

The rose bloom was simple to make. I crocheted one row of a basic wave pattern (starting with a foundation chain of 31, *sc, dc, 2dc, dc, sc* five times) which I then rolled and stitched together at the base. It's a common method for making a rose and there are lots of free patterns online that use this rolling technique. Here are a few you might want to take a look at:

Rose Embellishment with Leaves, Oombawka Design
Easy Rose Crochet Pattern, Skip to my Lou
Crochet Roses in 9 Steps, Hachi Yarns

The stem is a chain of about 15. My thread ends from the stem, sepals and leaves were woven back through the stem chain to give it some extra strength. Polyester sewing thread was used. The glass bottle is 2cm/0.8in tall, including the cork. You can find these types of bottles on eBay for a few dollars.

Okay, guys, I will leave it at that. I'll post again when the new micro dragon starts to take significant shape and is more than the lumpy worm it is at the moment. All the best.

K.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Completed Large Blue Head

The large crocheted head I was working on is now complete! I’m pleased with how he's turned out. He's made from acrylic yarn using a 3.0mm hook and is 26cm/10in tall and about 20cm/8in wide.




I can already see some areas I can improve on (forehead, area below the eyes, possibly cheeks ... his left ear is a little dodgy). I think I could have added more shape in the main head piece instead of adding on separate pieces later … the result of bad planning I suspect. I thought about adding eyebrows and eyelashes but was told quite firmly by my trusted advisors that I was to leave him be. He’s going to sit on the bookshelf for a bit while I work on some other projects. Eventually I hope to make more heads in different sizes and colours and with different expressions, but for now, I am going to start on some micro pieces for the shop. It’ll be a nice change of pace. (I recently discovered that there is a smaller hook than my 0.4mm, a 0.35mm! I might have to go place an order …)

K.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

WIP Large Blue Head

You know when you pick up a new obsession, it might be a new craft or a game or a book or a TV series, and you spend so much time with this particular obsession that it eventually gets to a point where you close your eyes and you’re actually seeing it or images associated with it imprinted on the back of your eyelids. I’ve reached that point with my current crochet project.

What I’m crocheting at the moment is a large, slightly grumpy, slight creepy, blue head. It’s an exercise to help me with my shaping and I'm having a lot of fun with it. He's still a work in progress. In fact, I’m finding it hard to picture an end point for this guy. I keep thinking of new details I want to add to him so he’ll probably be with me for a while.

His progress photos are below. My biggest victory - the ear! I’m so pleased with it. Honourable mention to his lower lip and chin.

Cheers, guys.

K.






Friday, 26 September 2014

Micro Crochet Dragon

I think everybody is pretty fascinated by dragons when they first hear about them but I think I first fell in love with dragons when I watched the animation The Flight of Dragons when I was a kid in the 80s. It was a pretty awesome movie - it had talking dragons that came in all different types and sizes, as well as wizards, knights, a beautiful princess, James Earl Jones, even a Don McLean song! (You want to find this movie and watch it right now, don't you?) I haven’t seen it in years but I’m guessing the animation may seem clunky by today’s standards. Still, so many fond memories.

Why am I writing about this, you’re asking, well, I’ve made a dragon. He has a wing span of 9cm/3.5in and a of length 9.5cm/3.7in.






Even though he’s not that small, I class him as a micro project. I made him from rayon embroidery thread and polyester thread, using my 0.4mm crochet hook. I used 28 gauge jewellery wire throughout his body and wings so that he can be posed. I found the rayon thread to be quite weak - I had several thread breaks (paired with several minor panic attacks). I liked using the rayon for the wings because it made a nice fabric, it's more flexible than polyester, but I think from now on I’m going to stick mostly to polyester for the micro projects.

Some progress photos:








I’m aiming to make two more dragons by the end of October (I’m thinking black/gold and blue/white at the moment). I’m planning on listing these dragons in my Etsy store when they are done. I’ve also started on the large, disembodied head I mentioned in my last post. I will keep you posted on all projects.


Cheers, guys!

K.

P. S. There is no pattern for this dragon. I will not write up patterns for my micro projects mainly because I don't believe they would translate well into patterns.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Skrillex Doll

Hi, everyone.

It’s late here in Perth, quiet, a little cold. I’ve got my favourite knitted jumper on and I’m listening to a good song (“Shake it Out”, Florence + The Machine). I thought it was a nice moment to start posting again. It’s been a while. I didn’t mean to be away for so long but life kept getting in the way, as it does, and time just moves way too fast.

Since I last posted I haven’t crocheted much but I did manage to finish a doll. It was by request and it was in the likeness of the musician Skrillex. The doll is 45cm tall, made with acrylic yarn and a 2.75mm hook, and has wire throughout the body so it can be posed.


I used stitching to shape the abs and separate crochet pieces for his chest. His torso ended up being covered by his t-shirt but the shaping was more for practice than for anything else.



His hair is brushed out acrylic yarn. I crocheted his eyes using sewing thread and a 0.6mm hook. His glasses are made from wire and are wrapped in black yarn. I used glue and black tape to secure the yarn.

 

I think he turned out well. I really enjoy crocheting people, especially the faces. I have an urge to crochet a large disembodied head, something large and odd that would go under a glass dome. I might make that my next project after the current one.

Currently I’m working on another micro amigurumi. It’s a red dragon and it’s going well so far. I’ll have photos to post soon.

Okay, I’m going to go and browse some craft sites and listen to some more music.

Wishing you all lots of creative wonderfulness.

K.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Darwin

And here is the pattern for Darwin. He's a talking, walking goldfish from the cartoon The Amazing World of Gumball. I posted the pattern for his best friend Gumball a week or so ago.

Let me know if you have any problems or if you find any mistakes. Cheers, guys. Enjoy!

Darwin 


Size
14cm/5.5in tall

Skill Level
Advanced. This pattern requires that you crochet in a spiral and in rows. The head and the tail require you to crochet around a chain. Some parts are quite small. There are several colour changes in the pattern. I recommend these two tutorials on changing yarn colour for beginners: Colour Changes in Amigurumi by June Gilbank and Crocheted Jogless Stripe by NeedleNoodles. I’ve included lots of photos and if you need any help with the pattern, please feel free to contact me.

Note on yarn and hook size
I used DK weight yarn and a 2.75mm hook (US size C, UK size 11) for this pattern. You can use a different weight yarn than DK but it will change the size of your toy. Remember to use the same weight yarn for all parts so that your toy is in proportion. Choose a hook size that will give you a nice tight stitch.

Materials
Yarn
Orange
White
Green
Black

Crochet Hook – 2.75mm
Filling
Tapestry needle
White and Black felt for the eyes and eyebrows
Craft glue and/or thread and sharp needle for attaching felt
Pins
Scissors

Terminology
***This pattern was written using US crochet terminology***
Rnd – Round
sc – Single crochet
sc2tog – Single crochet two stitches together.
sl st – Slip stitch
st – Stitch. This term covers ch, sc, hdc, sl st and other stitches used in crochet.

Make a ring
– The starting point for crocheting in a spiral. There are several methods. If you’ve never crocheted in a spiral before, Google crochet magic ring and this will lead you to some tutorials on how to get started.
* * - Repeat the instructions between the asterisks as directed.
( ) – The number of stitches that should be in a completed round are placed in brackets at the end of that round’s instructions.

Instructions

Head (in Orange)
Instead of crocheting in a ring, the tail is made by crocheting around a chain.



When crocheting around a chain, you work in the loops of the chain. These are highlighted in purple in the photo above. The crosses show where you'll place the single crochets and the oval shows where you’ll make a chain in the first round. If you're having difficulty, this tutorial I made a while back may help you out.

Chain 6.
Rnd 1: Working in the back loops of the chain, sc in second st from the hook, sc in next 4 st, chain 1, turn the work around 180 degrees so that you can work in the unworked loops of the stitches, sc in next 6 st (12)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in next st, sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next 2 st, sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st (16)
Rnd 3: 2 sc in next 2 st, sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next 4 st, sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next 2 st (24)
Rnd 4: *sc in next 3 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (30)
Rnd 5: *sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (36)
Rnd 6: *sc in next 5 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (42)
Rnd 7: *sc in next 6 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (48)
Rnd 8-12: sc in each st around
Rnd 13: sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next 6 st, sc in next 28 st, 2 sc in next 6 st, sc in next 4 st (60)
Rnd 14-18: sc in each st around
Rnd 19: sc in next 4 st, sc2tog six times, sc in next 28 st, sc2tog six times, sc in next 4 st (48)
Rnd 20: *sc in next 6 st, sc2tog*  around (42)
Rnd 21: *sc in next 5 st, sc2tog*  around (36)
Rnd 22: *sc in next 4 st, sc2tog*  around (30)
Start stuffing.
Rnd 23: *sc in next 3 st, sc2tog*  around (24)
Rnd 24: *sc in next 2 st, sc2tog*  around (18)
Rnd 25: *sc in next st, sc2tog*  around (12)
Finish stuffing firmly.
Rnd 26: sc2tog around (6)
Cut yarn and weave end through remaining stitches. Pull tight to close up hole. Weave in yarn end.

Arms (in Orange)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 7 sc in ring
Rnd 2-6: sc in each st around
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn to use when attaching the arms to the body. Leave unstuffed. Make two.

Legs (in White, Green and Orange)
Stuff the legs as you go but leave the top part unstuffed.


Start with White.
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 3-4: sc in each st around
Change to Green
Rnd 5-7: sc in each st around
Four short rows are now worked to make a flap which will form the heel of the foot.
Turn your work, sc in the last 6 st made in rnd 7
Turn, sc in next 6 st
Turn, sc in next 6 st
Turn, sc in next 6 st
The foot should now look like this.

The white yarn marks the first stitch made in rnd 7.


Rnd 8: Insert the hook into the middle of the side of the flap (marked by the cross on the right in picture below) and pull up a loop, insert hook into the next sc at the bottom of the flap (marked by the cross on the left) and pull up a loop, pull yarn through all three loops on the hook to make first st of the round.




"Pull yarn through all three loops on the hook to make first stitch of the round."



Sc in next 4 st. Insert hook in next st (marked by cross on the right in picture below), pull up a loop, insert hook into the middle of the side of the flap (marked by cross on the left in picture below) and pull up a loop, pull yarn through all three loops on the hook to complete the stitch.



Sc in next 6 st (12)

Rnd 9: *sc in next 4 st, sc2tog*  twice (10)
Rnd 10-11: sc in each st around
Change to White.
Rnd 12-13: sc in each st around
Change to Orange
Rnd 14-21: sc in each st around
Rnd 22: *sc in next 3 st, sc2tog*  twice (8)
Rnd 23-25: sc in each st around
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn to use when attaching the legs to the body. Make two.

Tail (in Orange)
Like the head, the tail is made by working around a chain.

Chain 7.
Rnd 1: Working in the back loops of the chain, sc in second st from the hook, sc in next 5 st, chain 1, turn the work around 180 degrees so that you can work in the unworked loops of the stitches, sc in next 7 st (14)
Rnd 2-3: sc in each st around
Rnd 4: *sc in next 5 st, sc2tog*  twice (12)
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn to use when attaching the tail to the body. Leave unstuffed.

Now is a good time to stitch in the black lines on the tail. Take a length of Black yarn and thread it through from the inside of the tail to the outside, as shown below.


When you’ve finished stitching in the lines, thread the yarn back through the tail. Tie the two yarns ends together to secure them. Trim the ends and hide inside the tail.




Assembly
***These are guidelines only. Be guided by your own eyes at all times.***

Join the legs to the body. Darwin’s legs come together with the toes of his shoes turned out. I find the easiest way to join them to the body is to pin them on as though Darwin is sitting down, doing the splits. Use the yarn ends on the legs to stitch them to the head.



Join the arms to the body. Stitch on using the yarn ends left on the arms.



Join the tail to the head. Pin the tail onto the head as shown below and stitch on using the yarn end left on the tail.




Make and attach the eyes. I like using felt and for me it was the easiest way to make the eyes. If you don’t like using felt, you could try crocheting the eyes. I would recommend using a thinner yarn and smaller hook than used for the body. Also, if you’re comfortable with using fabric paint, I think it would work really well with this project, not only for the eyes but also for the eyebrows.

Darwins eyes are rounded rectangles and are quite thin. Cut out two large rounded rectangles from white felt. Mine were about seven rows tall but cut them to a size that feels right to you. The cartoon uses different eye shapes for Darwin and Gumball, so don’t be afraid to play around with the shape a bit. You can cut out a paper template first to help you out. Cut two slightly smaller and thinner rounded rectangles from black felt for the pupils. Attach the pupils onto the white rectangles using black thread and a needle or glue.


Pin the eyes close together ono the head and use white thread and a needle or glue to attach them.



Make and attach the eyebrows. Cut two small curved oblong shapes from black felt. Glue or stitch on above the eyes. If you prefer you could use black yarn to stitch in the eyebrows instead of making them out of felt.



Stitch on mouth. Use black yarn to make a line underneath the eyes.


Use pins to position the yarn into a smile.


Use black thread and a needle to stitch the yarn into place.


Use the same method to make the smile lines at the side of Darwin’s mouth.



Stitch in the eyelashes. Use black yarns to stitch in three short lines near the top of the eyes. If you have it on hand, you might like to use embroidery thread instead of yarn.



Stitch in the sneaker highlights. Stitch the highlights onto the side of Darwin’s shoes using white yarn.



Now you have your own Darwin! Did you make Gumball as well? Have fun with them, guys!






Copyright © Kim Lapsley 2014
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