A Long Hiatus

It has been a very long time since I’ve updated this blog. During that time I’ve been busy working on the most complicated and tiring crafting project I’ve ever undertaken. And any day now I’ll finally get to meet the result.

pregnancy silhouette

(Photo credit to Natasha McCarthy of McCarthy Photography and Design)

Finally, after many months of having no urge to craft I’ve been struck by the crafting bug, and now I have the best possible reason to create.

There are lots of projects to come, but the very first thing I made is this pair of crocheted shark booties. I bought the pattern from Janine Tsakisiris on Ravelry.

These are insanely adorable and were quick and easy to make. My husband used these to announce to his co-workers that we were expecting by placing them on his desk at work and waiting for people to notice.

crocheted shark booties

I hope you like them too!

Kirby

I’ll sheepishly admit that I’ve never actually played a Kirby game. I’ll also admit that I finished this little guy quite awhile ago but never managed to post him here. That being said, here’s Kirby with his star pillow:

Amigurumi Kirby with crocheted star pillow

Amigurumi Kirby with crocheted star pillow

You can find the PDF pattern on the Patterns page.

Kirby came into creation solely because he’s simple shapes to practice on as I keep trying to develop my amigurumi design and patterning skills. He now lives on the desk of my husband’s co-worker Kerby, who also may have never played a Kirby game. But apparently having the same name with a different spelling is enough to get you gifted with toys 🙂

And a couple more pics, just because:

Amigurumi Kirby

Crocheted star pillow

Candy Monster

I’m a huge sucker for cute crochet. Particularly cute crochet with a bit of an edge. So when I found Brenda K.B. Anderson’s Beastly Crochet: 23 Critters to Wear and Love, I was totally smitten. The book is full of patterns for purses, stuffed creatures, slippers, baby clothes, and more, all featuring adorable monsters, skulls, vampires, robots, and other delightful critters.

My first creation from the book is a hilarious candy monster, with a particular penchant for chocolate.

Crocheted candy monster

He’s an interesting type of design that I haven’t encountered before. He’s crocheted in the round, like any amigurumi, using a wool yarn, and then felted in the washing machine until the fabric is dense and can stand up on its own. Once the felting is complete, a hole is cut for the mouth turning him into an adorable container. It never occurred to me to use the hollowness of amigurumi as a feature rather than simply a repository for stuffing. Obviously, this would only work with felted fabrics as the felting helps prevent the cut yarn from unraveling, but I think this technique opens up a lot of possibilities for purses and bowls.

And who doesn’t want an adorable monster sitting on their desk guarding their afternoon snack? I just hope he’s willing to share!

 

 

Crochet Snowflakes

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a page on the Crochet Crowd’s website soliciting crocheted snowflakes to help Diva Dan build a full size igloo at this year’s Creativ Festival. The festival runs from October 15-17 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m planning to spend all three days at the festival (and I’m insanely excited since I’ve never been before), so how could I resist whipping up a few snowflakes when I’ll actually get to see the final result?

It turns out that snowflakes are super fun to make (even in the Summer!), and I had a blast varying the pattern, hook size, and yarn to make each one unique.

Here’s the final set:

Group of crocheted snowflakes

And close-ups of some of my favourites:

Crocheted snowflake Crocheted snowflake Crocheted snowflake Crocheted snowflake Crocheted snowflake Crocheted snowflake

Oh, and did you know that October 17th is I Love Yarn Day? What better way to spend the day than at a craft conference?

Mondrian-Inspired Baby Blanket

Wow, I’ve been crazy busy crafting but haven’t been posting any of my projects here. Time to start making up for that!

The first one is the Mondrian inspired baby blanket from Stacey Trock’s Modern Baby Crochet. I was immediately taken with this blanket when I saw it, and intrigued by the way it was created, so I had to give it a go.

It’s single crocheted in seven long vertical strips which are then mattress stitched together. I’ll be honest: The mattress stitching was a pain in the *b*. I actually might have preferred to mitigate the colour changes as I went than to have that much finishing to do at the end. But, it made for a really nice way to stitch an afghan during the heat of the summer without having a huge pile of blanket in my lap.

I didn’t have a plan for this afghan when I started it, but the son of a good family friend just had a baby, so my “Aunt” (who may in fact be the proudest new grandma in the world) was also quite taken with this blanket and thought it would be a great one to have on hand for when new baby Audrey comes to visit. And since it’s made from easy care acrylic it should be able to withstand all the wear and tear and washing a baby blanket will require.

Mondrian inspired crochet baby blanket

Book Review: Modern Baby Crochet by Stacey Trock

Book cover of Modern Baby Crochet

Confession time: I don’t have kids. I don’t have anyone I currently need to make a baby gift for. I just couldn’t resist buying this book based solely on the rainbow pillow on the front cover. In the end, I’m so glad I did.

Stacey Trock’s Modern Baby Crochet: Patterns for Decorating, Playing, and Snuggling is full of patterns that will appeal to anyone, not just babies. In fact of the 21 patterns in the book I’d really only classify five as true baby patterns (two mobiles, a play mat, a crinkly toy, and a rattle). The rest are simply fresh, fun designs that even a childless girl like me can enjoy.

The book is organized into three sections based on colour themes: Bold and Bright, Pretty in Pastel, and Naturally Neutral, making all of the patterns wonderfully unisex. In fact, there are only two patterns in the entire book that do the pink for girls, blue for boys thing. Within each section the patterns span a range of difficulties from beginner to expert. The vast majority of the patterns, however, fall into the beginner or easy classifications (16 of the 21 patterns) so the book is best suited to new crocheters or experienced crocheters looking for quick, easy projects.

Each project is beautifully photographed and the instructions are clear and simple to follow. For the only difficult stitch used in the book – the wiggle stitch to make the rainbow pillow on the cover – detailed step-by-step images are provided. Stacey also includes a detailed introductory section with clear drawings of all of the basic stitches to help any new crocheter get up and running.

Most of Stacey’s yarn choices are standard yarns that can be found in any craft store, with an emphasis on easy care, washable fibres (the patterns are meant for babies after all!).  Brands like Cascade, Bernat, Caron, and Lion Brand all make multiple appearances, which also means that none of these projects will break the bank, making them ideal gifts for any mom-to-be.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the types of patterns in the book:

  • Eight afghans
  • Three stuffed plushes (monster, owl, bird)
  • Two mobiles
  • Two pillows
  • Bunting
  • Play mat
  • Crinkle toy
  • Rattle
  • Pouf
  • Bear bookends

In my opinion, afghans are a little over-represented, but all in all the variety of projects is fairly good. Overall, I am quite pleased with the book and I highly recommend it to any crocheter looking for some fast, easy, modern projects.

Katamari Prince Amigurumi

NAAAAAAAA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NANA-N’NA-NA-NA-NAAAAAA

When the idea was first pitched in a meeting to create a game where the player rolls up the world to make new stars, do you think anyone actually thought it was a good idea? Crazily enough, it turns out it was. Katamari Damacy is certainly one of the oddest, and yet most enjoyable, games I’ve played. So next up in my crochet amigurumi adventures is the Katamari Prince.

katamari_prince_front_large

I’ve seen a couple of patterns for a Katamari Prince, but the finished plushies were all fairly small. I wanted mine to be bigger and hence this pattern was born. He’s around 10 1/2 inches tall when he’s sitting (not including his antenna) and 20 inches if I include both the antenna and legs.

I’ve been planning to make one of the adorable magnetic katamari balls for awhile, but now I’m worried if I do, that this little fellow will roll up my apartment.

Want your own Katamari Prince? The pattern can be found on my pattern page.