Intro

Welcome to my blog! This is where I'll be keeping track of all my crochet projects! Find me on Ravelry!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

UCLA Bruin Plushie

This week is the annual white elephant gift exchange in my department at UCLA. I wasn't sure what to make, but eventually decided on a Bruin (brown bear) which is the mascot of UCLA. I asked the /r/crochet community and they pointed me to the perfect pattern, Winston the Bear, which is free on Ravelry. I made it a tiny scarf from some dark blue and gold yarns to give it some character, otherwise I feared it might not be recognizable as the school mascot specifically.

The whole thing took me only a few nights of working on and off and procrastinating. Every time I see an adorable amigurumi I want to make it, but once I get to doing anything but the body, I start to despise it and usually want to quit working on it. Overall this guy wasn't too traumatizing, but I do hate sewing on those ears and legs. The nose turned out surprisingly well. Usually when I embroider something, it looks ridiculous or downright scary.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Easy Cat Toys

I made these cat toys for my local animal shelter. I needed to get rid of a lot of yarn that I have no idea why I bought, and I had a lot of scrap yarn as well. I think they turned out great (once I remembered how to crochet, it's been a while)! These balls are great for using up scrap yarn. I had a lot of little bits and pieces which I joined together with square knots to make the multicolored toys!

For these toys I recommend using an H hook with heavier worsted-weight yarn like Red Heart Super Saver or Craftsmart Value, as opposed to Caron Simply Soft. I have found that the Red Heart and Craftsmart yarns make nice, stiff toys, while the Caron makes squishy toys and the slightly thinner quality has a tendency of showing the stuffing through unless you use a smaller hook. Another great idea is adding a little dried catnip when stuffing.

Pattern

Key:
sc: single crochet
sc2tog: single crochet invisible decrease

R1: 5sc in a magic ring
R2: 2sc in each st around
R3: [1sc in next 2 st, 2sc in next st, 1sc in next st, 2sc in next st] around
R4: 1sc in next 4 st, 2sc in next st, 1sc in next 4 st, 2sc in next st, 1sc in next 4 st
R5: 1sc in each st around
R6: 1sc in next 4st, sc2tog, 1sc in next 4st, sc2tog, 1sc in next 4st
R7: [1sc in next 2 st, sc2tog, 1sc in next st, sc2tog] around, stuff
R8: sc2tog around
R9: weave hole closed and secure end

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rainbow Brocade Ripple Afghan

I decided I wanted to make a pastel rainbow afghan using the Brocade Ripple pattern from the book Reversible Ripple Afghans by Kim Guzman.

I used Caron Simply Soft yarn, as suggested by the pattern, as well as a J hook to ensure I didn't crochet too tight, as I did in the test squares. In addition to White, the six colors I chose are Blackberry, Soft Pink, Lemonade, Soft Green, Soft Blue, and Lavender Blue. I'm a bit sad that I decided to make the posts in white; the brocade pattern looks much nicer when the posts are the darker color. I couldn't do that with the rainbow colors though, so I had to settle for white.

I wish I could have omitted the Lavender Blue in favor of a light orange, but my local Michael's didn't offer anything other than burns-your-retinas bright orange. I also wish I had chosen a more muted yellow, but again they didn't have anything suitable.

The finished product is approximately 55" across and 72" long. Unfortunately, the couch monster ate several hooks over the course of making this blanket and I inadvertently switched to an I hook so the top of the blanket is more tightly crocheted than the bottom, but it isn't too noticeable.

Overall, I like the colors even though the purple is too dark and the yellow is too bright. I'm disappointed with the look of the white brocade pattern, so hopefully my example will help steer others away from the same mistake (or towards, if you prefer this look!). I much prefer the plain ripple side and honestly I wish I had just done that; it would have taken much less time to finish.

My cat also enjoyed the blanket even while it was still in progress. All she needs is a PopTart and she'd be NyanCat! Also being able to survive the vacuum of space would help.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Joining With Slip Stich Over Loose Ends

While making my second sampler afghan, I found that I needed to join the squares with slip stitch, but my squares had many carried strands and loose ends from color changes. I didn't want to weave in all the ends, but couldn't find anything on the internet about how to hide these less than desirable bits. The nature of slip stitch makes it less bulky than a single crochet join, but it also means the ends aren't hidden under the stitches. My method hides the ends and carried strands securely and even adds a zig-zag pattern to the slip stitch that adds some character when joins are made using contrasting yarn.

Begin joining yarn as usual, holding the two pieces with the right sides facing each other (wrong sides exposed). Slip stitch through both pieces in the far right corner (or wherever you want to start joining), and continue slip stitching across until you get to the loose end. Hold the loose end over the top edge as you normally would, going under the loose end for the first slip stitch. For the next stitch, move the loose end slightly down and slip stitch above it (essentially, the loose bit won't be in the stitch at all). Repeat alternating slip stitches under and "bypassing" the end, until you're satisfied with the join or reach the end. Because of the alternating stitches, you end up with a zig zag pattern.

If you have multiple loose ends, you can tie them in a square knot, ensuring the yarn stays flat against the edge, not too tight or hanging off loose. That will both ensure a clean and easier join, and that the loose ends won't unravel.

Once I'm able to take some pictures (or a video), I'll edit this post. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 20, 2014

White Baby Elephant Bookmark

After making the large blue elephant bookmark the other day, I wanted to make a smaller one. I decided to use Loops & Threads Woolike White yarn, as it's soft and thin. It's Super Fine (1) weight, so I used a B hook.

It took me a long time to make, longer than the larger elephant, because I had to be very meticulous with each stitch. Attaching the pieces together was even more difficult and slow going, but it was well worth it. The finished product is incredibly adorable. I didn't embroider eyes because I'm not very good at it, and I think it looks quite cute without them.

I took a picture with both the elephants together for size comparison. The small elephant measures approximately 2" across at the ears, 3" long body plus head, and 6" long from trunk to tail.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Elephant Bookmark

I saw this pattern today on Ravelry, and just had to make it right away! I chose Lion Brand Pound of Love Pastel Green yarn and an F hook, but I'd also like to use Loops and Threads Snuggly Wuggly Big! in Denim, as it's a bit thinner yarn.

It only took me a few hours from start to finish, with many interruptions. The pattern was overall easy to understand, though it did use UK terminology so I had to keep myself in check. The only thing that tripped me up a few times was where to put the stitch where the rows start and stop, but that would have been easily remedied through the use of additional stitch markers. I wish there were fewer gaps where the legs are, and where the trunk is, but I think after some use it'll relax a bit. I used two small, white brads for the eyes.

The bookmark measures 4" wide at the ears, the body plus head are 6" long, and from tail to trunk it measures 11".

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

More Tiny Chickens

I made some more tiny chickens for my Ingress group, this time using not only Vanna's Choice Oatmeal yarn but also Craft Smart Desert yarn. For the former I used an E hook and an F hook for the latter.

The Desert chickens turned out a bit larger than the Oatmeal, so I had to improvise the comb and beak a bit to make them more proportional.

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