Monday, 22 October 2012

The Oddball Little Devil

Some people were having trouble viewing the Oddball Little Devil pattern (sorry about that) so I'm posting it again. I'm hoping this will solve the problem. Let me know if you're still having problems.


This is Buddy. He's such a nice little fellow he's in danger of being a bad little devil. Buddy has been preparing for Halloween. Scroll down past the pattern to have a peek at his costume.

If you need any help or if you come across any mistakes, please let me know.

Oddball Little Devil

Size
8cm/3in tall, 7cm/2 ¾in wide

Skill Level
Moderate. The pitchfork/prong section is a little tricky. I recommend you read through that section before you start.

Note on yarn and hook size
I crochet with a light worsted (DK) weight yarn. You can use a slightly heavier or lighter yarn as long as you use the same type of yarn for the different colours. This will ensure your toy is in proportion. Use a hook size that will give you a nice firm stitch. The 3.00mm is my favourite hook.

Materials
Yarn
Red
Black
White

Crochet Hook – 3.00mm or preferred size
Filling
Plastic pellets or dried beans and stocking (optional)
Tapestry needle
Black felt
Craft glue and/or thread and sharp needle for attaching felt

Terminology
***This pattern was written using US crochet terminology***
ch – Chain
hdc – Half double crochet. Yarn over hook, insert hook in stitch, yarn over hook and pull through stitch. Yarn over hook and pull through all three loops on hook.
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. Use which ever method you prefer.
* * - 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

Body (in Red)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12)
Rnd 3: *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st*  around (18)
Rnd 4: *sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (24)
Rnd 5: *sc in next 3 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (30)
Rnd 6: *sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (36)
Rnd 7: *sc in next 5 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (42)
Rnd 8: *sc in next 6 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (48)
Rnd 9-10: sc in each st  around
Rnd 11: *sc in next 6 st, sc2tog*  around (42)
Rnd 12: *sc in next 5 st, sc2tog*  around (36)
Rnd 13-14: sc in each st  around
Rnd 15: *sc in next 4 st, sc2tog*  around (30)
Rnd 16: *sc in next 3 st, sc2tog*  around (24)
Rnd 17: *sc in next 5 st, 2 sc in next st* around (28)
Can start lightly stuffing now. Plastic pellets or dried beans tied in a stocking can be placed at the bottom of the body to give it a bit of weight.
Rnd 18: *sc in next 6 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (32)
Rnd 19: *sc in next 7 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (36)
Rnd 20: sc in each st around
Rnd 21: *sc in next 7 st, sc2tog*  around (32)
Rnd 22: *sc in next 6 st, sc2tog*  around (28)
Rnd 23: *sc in next 2 st, sc2tog*  around (21)
Rnd 24: *sc in next st, sc2tog*  around (14)
Finish stuffing firmly.
Rnd 25: sc2tog  around (7)
Weave yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight to close up hole. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Horns (in Red)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 4 sc in ring (4)
Rnd 2: *sc in next st, 2 sc in next*  twice (6)
Rnd 3: *sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next*  twice (8)
Rnd 4: sc in each st around
Rnd 5: sl st in next 3 st, sc in next 5 st (8)
Rnd 6: sc in each st around
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn. Stuff firmly. Make two.

Arms (in Red)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 7 sc in ring (7)
Rnd 2-6: sc in each st around
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn. Leave unstuffed. Make two.

Big Eye (in White)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Sl st in next st and pull through yarn. Leave a tail for joining to the body.

Small Eye (in White)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Sl st in next st and pull through yarn. Leave a tail for joining to the body.

You can now attach a small circle of black felt to each eye to make the pupils, using needle and thread or glue. They should sit off-centre, close to the edge of the eye.


Make point
In the instructions for the prongs of the pitchfork and the tail I’ll use the term ‘make point’. Below I describe how to do that. It’s a little tricky and it will look a bit messy while you’re doing it but it should come together in the end.

You start with a chain, then sl st in the 2nd chain from the hook.


Chain 2. Sc in the 2nd chain from the hook.


Chain 2 again. Sl st in 2nd chain from the hook.


To finish the point off, sl st in the chain that the first sl st was made. Now you should have a nice triangular point.


If you’re not comfortable with crocheting the points, you could replace them with triangles of felt. Also, there will be a non-point option for the prongs.

Tail (in Red)
Chain 22, make point, sl st in the remaining 20 chains (20 st and 1 point)
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn.

Prongs (in Black)
The three prongs are made as one whole part.

First Prong: Chain 8, make point, sl st in remaining 6 chains.
Second Prong: Continuing on from this first prong, make another 8 chains, make a point and sl st in the next 6 chains. You now have the two outside prongs.
Third Prong: Continuing on, chain 9, make point, sl st in remaining 7 chains. You now have all three prongs.
To finish off, sl st  around point where the three prongs meet. Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn.


Alternative Prongs with no points (in Black)
First Prong: Chain 7, sl st in 2nd chain from the hook, sl st in next 5 chains.
Second Prong: Chain 7, sl st in  2nd chain from the hook, sl st in next 5 chains.
Third Prong: Chain 8, sl st in 2nd chain from the hook, sl st in next 6 chains.
To finish off sl st around point where the three prongs meet. Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn.

Pitchfork Handle (in Black)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in ring
Rnd 2-12: sc in each st around
Cut yarn and fasten off. Weave in ends. Leave unstuffed. Join the prongs to the open end of the pitchfork handle.

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

Join the arms to the body.
Attach the arms just below the neck, the narrowest part of the body, using the tails of yarn left on the arms.



Join the horns to the body. The horns are slightly curved. Pin the horns on top of the head, curved sides facing each other. They should line up with the arms. Use the tails of yarn left on the horns to attach them to the head.



Join the tail to the body. Use the tail of yarn left on the tail to stitch it on to the middle bottom of the back of the body.


Join the eyes to the body. The eyes sit close together just below the horns. Position the eyes so that the pupils are close together. Use the tails of yarn left on the eyes to stitch them on to the body.


Stitch in mouth. Use black yarn to stitch in his little mouth.

And you're done. I hope you like your new little devil.

What does a sweet little devil wear for Halloween?



If he keeps it up, who knows where he'll be headed next ... cue the trumpets and strings ...



The pattern for Buddy's angel costume can now be found here! And check out his friend the Cranky Angel here.

Copyright © Kim Lapsley 2012

The Cranky Angel

This is the pattern for Buddy's nemesis/best friend, the Cranky Angel. Scroll down past the pattern for a short Cranky Angel comic.


The Cranky Angel


Size
8cm/3in tall, 7cm/2 ¾in wide

Skill Level
Easy.

Note on yarn and hook size
I crochet with a light worsted (DK) weight yarn. You can use a slightly heavier or lighter yarn as long as you use the same type of yarn for the different colours. This will ensure your toy is in proportion. Use a hook size that will give you a nice firm stitch. The 3.00mm is my favourite hook.

Materials
Yarn
Cream
Yellow
White

Crochet Hook – 3.00mm or preferred size
Filling
Plastic pellets or dried beans and stocking (optional)
Tapestry needle
Black felt
Black cotton or embroidery floss to use for the mouth
Craft glue and/or thread and sharp needle for attaching felt

Terminology
***This pattern was written using US crochet terminology***
ch – Chain
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. Use which ever method you prefer.
* * - 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

Body (in Cream)

Make a ring.
Row 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Row 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 3: *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st*  around (18)
Rnd 4: *sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (24)
Rnd 5: *sc in next 3 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (30)
Rnd 6: *sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (36)
Rnd 7: *sc in next 5 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (42)
Rnd 8: *sc in next 6 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (48)
Rnd 9: Working in back loops only. Sc in each st around (48)
Rnd 10-11: sc in each st around
Rnd 12: *sc in next 6 st, sc2tog*  around (42)
Rnd 13: *sc in next 5 st, sc2tog*  around (36)
Rnd 14-15: sc in each st around
Rnd 16: *sc in next 4 st, sc2tog*  around (30)
Rnd 17: *sc in next 3 st, sc2tog*  around (24)
Can start lightly stuffing now. Plastic pellets or dried beans tied in a stocking can be placed at the bottom of the body to give it a bit of weight.
Rnd 18: *sc in next 5 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (28)
Rnd 19: *sc in next 6 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (32)
Rnd 20: *sc in next 7 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (36)
Rnd 21: sc in each st around
Rnd 22: *sc in next 7 st, sc2tog*  around (32)
Rnd 23: *sc in next 6 st, sc2tog*  around (28)
Rnd 24: *sc in next 2 st, sc2tog*  around (21)
Rnd 25: *sc in next st, sc2tog*  around (14)
Finish stuffing firmly.
Rnd 26: sc2tog  around (7)
Weave yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight to close up hole. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Arms (in Cream)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 7 sc in ring (7)
Rnd 2-6: sc in each st around
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn. Leave unstuffed. Make two.

Halo (in Yellow)
Chain 20. Sl st in 1st chain made to make a ring.
Rnd 1: sc in each chain around (19)
Sl st in next st, cut yarn and pull through. Leave a tail of yarn to use for joining.

Wings (in Yellow)
The wings are identical to those made for Buddy’s Angel Costume. Follow those instructions to make two wings in yellow for the Cranky Angel.

Big Eye ( in White)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Sl st in next st and pull through yarn. Leave a tail for joining to the body.

Small Eye (in White)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Sl st in next st and pull through yarn. Leave a tail for joining to the body.

You can now attach a small circle of black felt to each eye to make the pupils, using needle and thread or glue. They should sit off-centre, close to the edge of the eye.


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

Join the arms to the body. Attach the arms just below the neck, the narrowest part of the body, using the tails of yarn left on the arms.


Join the wings to the body. 



Join the halo to the body. 


Join the eyes to the body.  The eyes sit close together just below the horns. Position the eyes so that the pupils are close together. Use the tails of yarn left on the eyes to stitch them on to the body.


Make him cranky! Cut out a ‘v’ shape from black felt for the brows of the angel. Attach above the eyes using needle and thread or glue.


Give him a mouth. Use black sewing cotton or embroidery floss to stitch in a mouth. You could use black yarn but I think it looks a little too bold against the cream of the angel.


Yay! Your Cranky Angel is now complete. Treat him well - even a cranky angel needs a hug now and then ;)

Are you curious to know what happens when you mess with the Cranky Angel? Take a look at what happened to poor Buddy ...



Copyright © Kim Lapsley 2012

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Buddy's Angel Costume


 
Here is the pattern for Buddy's angel costume. I used a fuzzy white yarn (wool, acrylic blend) to make the wings. The yarn was quite soft and so the wings were a little twisted when they were finished. I used some fabric stiffener to make them sit the way I wanted. If your wings turn out a little twisty then you might want to take a look at this site: crochet.tangleweeds.com/stiffeners.html. It discusses a few techniques for stiffening crochet work.

Good luck with the costume. If you need any help or if I've left anything out, let me know.

Buddy’s Angel Costume




Materials
Yarn
Yellow
White
Fuzzy White

Crochet Hook 3.00mm preferred size
Tapestry Needle

Terminology
***This pattern was written using US crochet terminology***
ch – Chain
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. Use which ever method you prefer.
* * - Repeat the instructions between the asterisks as directed.
( ) – The number of stitches that should be in a completed round/row are placed in brackets at the end of that round’s/row’s instructions.

Instructions

Harness (in Yellow)
Make sure you leave a tail of yarn when you start the chain. This will be used to join the arm strap to the back of the harness later on.

Leave a tail

 You’ll need to use Buddy (or the toy the costume is for) to determine how many chains you need to start with. First, chain five. Pin this chain to the middle of the back of Buddy, one pin in the first chain, one pin in the fifth chain.


 Continue the chain until it can wrap around the arm of the toy and reach around the back, stopping under the pin in the fifth chain.



Count the number of chains you’ve added to the first five chains and note it down. This will be the length of the harness’s arm straps. Add one more chain. This is the turning chain.

Now you’ll start to make the back of the harness.
Row 1: Sc in the 2nd chain from the hook, sc in next 4 chains, chain 1, turn (5 sc, the unworked chains make up the first arm strap)
Row 2: sc in each sc, chain 1, turn (5)
Row 3: sc in each sc, chain 1, turn (5)
Row 4: sc in each sc (5)
Remember that number you noted down? Add that number of chains to row 4 to make your second arm strap. Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn to use when joining.

Your harness should look like this:



To finish off, attach the ends of the arm straps to a corner of the back of the harness as shown in the photos below.

The completed harness



Halo Support (in Yellow)
The halo support is what the halo sits on. It’s attached to the back of the harness.

Place the harness on your toy. Attach yarn to the middle of the back of the harness. Make a chain that rises over the head of the toy.


Sl st in the 2nd chain from the hook and in all the remaining chains until you’re back where you started. Cut yarn and pull through. Weave the halo support’s yarn ends into the back of the harness.



Halo (in White)
Chain 20 then sl st in 1st chain made to make a ring.
Rnd 1: Sl st in each chain around
Sl st in next st, cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn to use when joining. Use the tail of yarn left on the halo to attach it to the halo support.




Wings (in Fluffy White)
I've used yellow yarn in the photos because I think the stitches are a little easier to see in yellow rather than in fluffy white :)

Chain 5
Row 1: sc in 2nd chain from the hook, sc in next 3 chains, chain 1, turn (4)
Row 2-5: sc in each sc, chain 1, turn (4)
Row 6: sc in next 4 sc, then continue to crochet down the side of the piece, making 5 sc evenly spaced down the rows, then chain 5, turn (14)


Crochet evenly down the side of the rows making 5 sc
How your wing should look after row 6 is completed

 Row 7: sc in 2nd chain from the hook, sc in next 12 st, chain 1, turn (13)
Row 8: sc2tog, sc in next 11 sc, chain 3, turn (15)
Row 9: sc in 2nd chain from the hook, sc in next 11 st, sc2tog, chain 1 turn (13)
Row 10: sc in next 13 sc, chain 3, turn (16)
Row 11: sc in 2nd chain from the hook, sc in next 12 st, sc2tog, then sl st evenly down the side of the rows.

Sl st evenly down the side of the rows


Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn to use for joining.
Attach the wings to the back of the harness.




Your little angel costume is complete. Not only will it fit an Oddball Little Devil but it will also fit an Oddball Mouse and the Easter Bunny.



Hope your toys enjoy the outfit!

Copyright © Kim Lapsley 2012

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Interview with a Mad Crochet Scientist


You really meet all sorts through crochet. I recently met a Mad Crochet Scientist. To my surprise she wasn’t diabolical or maniacal and she didn’t have plans to use her crocheted creatures to take over the world (none that I knew of in any case). In fact, Teeni from the Mad Crochet Lab uses her incredible crochet and blogging skills to do only good and, the other day, I had the great pleasure of interviewing her.

One of Teeni's Cro-ations

WT: Hey Teeni. You are undertaking a challenge called the Yarndango where you aim to make an amigurumi each week for a year. So far you have completed nine of these cro-ations, as you like to call them, designing each one yourself as well as sharing the patterns on your blog. I’m wondering, what was the first crochet item you designed yourself and why did you decide to make it?

Hummingbird

 MCS: I believe the first amigurumi I designed myself was the one I used for my hummingbird Yarndango project.  I created it years ago because I wanted a simple bird that had more of a bird shape and not just be a ball with a beak and wings.  It was a tiny gift for an adult friend and I didn't want it to be too cutesy.  It was my first experiment with increasing and decreasing to create a shape on my own without even knowing there was actual math involved.  I guess that is a good thing since math and I don't get along well and had I known then, it might have kept me from attempting to design at all.  LOL.  The first bird I made was an awful lot like the Yarndango project you see now but it originally started out as just a regular bird so it had a small yellow beak.  I only changed the beak to make the hummingbird. I do sometimes change the wings and the tail, using different stitches for different effects.  It's neat to see how many ways you can take the basic pattern! 

WT: You know, I have noticed with your cro-ations that you strive for detail and quality and I can see from your Hummingbird that even as a rookie designer that this was something you set out to do (and achieved by the way).

MCS: Thank you!  I'm flattered that you think so! 

WT: It’s true. With the Yarndango challenge, I’m amazed that you are able to produce a new cro-ation every week. What inspires you to start a particular project? Do you have criteria for your Yarndango projects? Are their any ideas you have had to scrap? 

MCS: Hmm.  I actually started a list of possible ideas in the weeks before the challenge began because I was afraid that I might run out of ideas.  That hasn't happened.  If anything, I've added to the list and I've made six from the original list so far and three that I'd added on whims.  As for the criteria, well, obviously the projects cannot be too intricate or too large so that I can design them, actually make them, and then create a post on my blog for it.  Sometimes I forget how long it takes to upload photos, format a post, and type up a pattern from my notes.  My handwriting is horrendous and that is how I realized I was truly a Mad Crochet Scientist.  Either that or a doctor.  But crochet hooks can be warmer than any stethoscopes, and so my career was born.  LOL.  I haven't actually scrapped any Yarndango projects yet.  I did have a fail with some teeth in my last project and so I put it aside for a week, did something else, and then returned to the original idea for the following week.  I still was not extremely happy with the final dental results, but one week deadlines don't allow much time to totally switch gears once you get going.  So I think I will continue to try to finish projects that I start and just learn as much as I can from my mistakes.  I don't mind sharing that I'm not perfect, and I'm using the entire challenge as a learning process for myself.  When Yarndango is over and I can spend more time on each design, I will be more free to explore other solutions.  That is why right now all my designs are free.  I don't have the time to spend doing a lot of pattern testing or even doing a fantastic job writing the patterns themselves, so I'm sure there are errors or unclear areas in them.  But as I force myself to get more comfortable with the process, I can slowly start refining everything I do, including writing better patterns and including more step-by-step photos.  I'm hoping to sell some of my patterns and finished objects in the future and I am hoping all this will help me learn to do it all much more professionally.

WT: I love it. It’s like learning a language by living in a city where it’s spoken – you’re immersing yourself in crochet and crochet designing and by the end of your challenge it will be like a second nature to you.

So, after you have an idea for a new cro-ation, what are the next steps that go into creating it? 


Count Finger Muppet with shrink plastic monocle

 MCS: Oh, the next step is the most fun for me.  Once I have something in mind, I go looking for materials!  I have to find just the right color and texture of fiber, whether in my own stash or shopping for something new.  I am in no way a yarn snob.  Since I'm not making garments in this challenge, I feel I can use anything from the most luxurious down to the cheapest synthetic materials made - so long as it will give me the look that I want for the finished item.  And since I like to use other materials in my craft, I could be playing with shrink plastic, wire, or plastic containers that are the right size and shape that I am looking for!  Next, and almost, but not as much fun is getting it all to work together. I try to think of how it is going to be put together but sometimes that has to change based on the time I have. Then I might make a sketch (sometimes I don't need to if images of the character already exist) and start the actual crocheting. That is when I have to make decisions such as whether to split yarn, include an armature, and take notes.  I hate taking notes.  LOL.  But it has to be done.  So I draft the pattern while I'm creating it and then I test it in my head as I'm typing it up from my notes.  When I'm typing up the notes, if there is something I don't understand, I go and make that part again.  Because if I don't understand it, how is anyone else going to understand it?  This is probably not the way I would do it when I have more time than one week deadlines, but it works for now!

WT: I hate taking notes too. Hopefully one day they’ll invent a crochet dictation hook and note taking will become obsolete.

I’m relatively new to the crochet internet community and every day I’m discovering more and more talented crocheters. I’m blown away by the things that people can do with this craft. Are there any crochet artists you particularly admire?

MCS: Oh heck yes!  You are certainly one of them!

*WoollyToons hides her red face in her hands and suppresses the urge to say shucks*

MCS: Kim Sofia of Kim's Sticks and Strings is another.  What I admire about the two of you is your style.  You each have your own very defined style.  I don't feel like anyone would look at my work and be able to guess who made it.  But I think I can see something in both yours and Kim's work that carries some certain element to it that makes it your own.  I love that and maybe someday I will also have a recognizable style but even if I don't, so long as people like what I make, I'll be happy with that.  There are other crocheters I admire just because they have great ideas or fabulous technique.  You fall into the great ideas category as well because some of the things you make are just not the ordinary ideas someone may think to crochet.  I appreciate things that are slightly different.  Sharon Ojala is one who has fabulous technique and I really admire her work all around.  One thing of hers I especially admire of hers is the fingers she does on some of her characters.  I have done fingers like she does but I absolutely hate doing it.  If you watch her video tutorial (she makes it look so easy), you will be amazed at how consistent her stitches are on those detailed digits and how calm she is when doing it.  When I do it, on the other hand, I am mangling the entire body of my creation to move it around in order to make the stitch, cussing and walking off to throw some dishes onto the floor in frustration, and then returning to try again and catching my hook between fibers the whole time.  And I finally finish.  And then there are nine more fingers to make.  LOL.  But the result is such a nice detailed touch to finished objects. Happily, my Yarndango projects have been so small that they can be done in other ways that will not affect the finished look.  I will suffer through it when needed but I will admit I avoid them when I can and I hope I get over that someday.

WT: Haha – I have seen that video tutorialand I noticed the same thing! She explains everything so calmly and gently. I love Sharon’s work and only discovered Kim Sofia’s recently. Her zombie designs are brilliant and shockingly hilarious!

I think I would actually like to try to make a zombie one day. At one time I was going to make a zombie bear. Do you have a dream crochet project, something that you have been wanting to make for a long time but for some reason or another have not tackled just yet?

MCS: Yes, I would love to make an afghan for my new bedroom.  My husband is finishing a tiny attic room that will soon become our bedroom.  It has a cozy cottage feel to it and I'd love an afghan to complete that picture in my head.  I started one but I just don't have the attention span for such a large project these days.  On the other hand, I also have a lot of small projects that I am dying to attempt.  Fortunately, the Yarndango challenge will allow me to knock some of those out.  Also, in general, I prefer making small items as gifts for others.  A little stuffed toy makes a great gift for a child or an adult.  It can be put in the car on the dash or sit on a nightstand and hopefully bring a smile or warm thoughts to them whenever they see it.  I may have some other larger ideas in my head for someday, but first I have to survive the Yarndango.  LOL.

WT: Oh, wow, your future bedroom sounds lovely. I struggle with larger projects too. I find it hard to stick with them. I enjoy making the toys for the same reasons that you do: they’re quick and generally delightful. 

I know that some crocheters are very passionate about what they do and if a non-crocheter were to criticize the craft, they would be in danger of being tortured by a selection of hooks in varied sizes. Still, with the good there is always the bad. What is your least favourite thing about crocheting?

MCS: My least favorite thing about crocheting is that it isn't appreciated enough as its own art form. Many people still confuse knitting and crochet and I sometimes get the feeling that crochet is somewhat looked down upon.  I do not understand that at all, because one really neat thing about crochet is that it CANNOT BE REPRODUCED BY MACHINE!!  Sometimes I am still surprised by this with all the technology we have these days, but it is still true!  There is one type of machine made lace I've seen that appears a lot like crochet, but a closer inspection reveals that the loops are just overlaid and fastened in place with some type of glue or stitch.  So when you think that every crocheted item you have ever seen has been made by hand, I think that is pretty amazing.  Fortunately, I think that with amigurumi becoming so popular, and with the many talented designers on the scene with their unique and creative ideas that people are really starting to look at it differently now.  The other thing I dislike and which I already mentioned, is making FINGERS!

WT: I completely agree with you.  *WoollyToons shakes her fist angrily at the world* I hate it when the media refers to a crochet artist’s work as knitting. Oh, and I didn’t know that crochet couldn’t be reproduced by a machine! That is awesome. Vive Le Crochet!

Ahem ... moving on …

Through crochet, have you discovered any other interests?

MCS: Well, I've always been interested in miniatures and stop-motion animation.  And crochet seems to be really taking steps in those areas.  I think it's fabulous!  I'm not saying I'll ever be actually doing any of those things myself but my interests in those things has definitely heightened recently.

WT: Yeah, I agree. It’s incredible some of the things that are happening with stop-motion animation and crochet, particularly over on saddayscrochet.tumblr.com. I would love to have a go one day.

You have a knack with coming up with fun challenges and activities that really bring people together. What other challenges do you have planned for the future?

MCS: I really try to be a people person.  Sometimes I have to force myself out of shyness but I come up with challenges for two reasons. One is truly to force myself to do things I wouldn't normally do so I can improve in different areas, and also to have company!  I usually hope that when I come up with a challenge for myself that others may be interested as well.  I'm very bad at joining existing groups because I always feel intimidated and that I'll ask too many questions to try and catch up or that I won't fit in, blah, blah, blah.  Shy person's social nightmare.  And that is why when I do a challenge or come up with one, I like to have anyone feel extremely welcome, the way I would want to be treated.  I could be sitting here all alone doing my challenges myself, but that would be no fun.  The internet has allowed me to include people from all over, in different time zones, and we can share the love of our craft together.  Well, as you know, lately I had been thinking that it would be neat to cro-ate an amigurumi version of myself to be my little mascot and profile picture, so I just put the question out there on Facebook as a challenge to see if any other designers would be interested in doing it with me.  I gave a generous amount of time to finish the challenge and there were quite a few interested people!  There were even a couple who had already created amigurumi versions of themselves!  So the Ami-Me Challenge of 2013 has been born. I don't have any other challenges planned at the moment, but my mind works in mysterious ways and I never know when something might pop up.

WT: I think it’s wonderful and I really admire the way you take the initiative. You reach out to people and include people in a fun and interesting way while at the same time you encourage them to experiment with their craft. I’m extremely shy and I can find it hard at times to connect with people even over the internet. These kinds of activities give me they nudge to participate. I’ll be doing the Ami-me challenge. I can’t wait to see everybody’s dolls.

Okay, this question is a bit out of left field, but lately I’ve been noticing how popular designs based on movie and TV characters are and how few there are based on literary characters (maybe I’m not looking in the right places). Is there a literary character you would like to make? I’ve been thinking that Marley’s Ghost from A Christmas Carol would be a fun one to try.

MCS: That is a great observation.  I'm sure I could think of all kinds of literary characters I'd like to make!  It would take a little time though because I'd like to make characters I really loved and that have not been interpreted too many times already.  I love to read so I'd have to go snooping through all my books to find some good ones!  Marley's Ghost would be great!  You should definitely do that and you know, I think you just came up with a great idea for a challenge yourself!  If you put it out there with a generous deadline, I bet you'd get some takers.  I'm in!

WT: No way! I didn’t even know I was doing it! Hehe. It’s a shame I didn’t think of it earlier – this year was the National Year of Reading here in Australia. It would have been a great challenge to hold at the beginning of the year. It would be exciting to set up a challenge. I shall have a think about it.

So, we’re at the end of the interview. Is there anything else you would like to add?

MCS: Just a couple of credits here: First, a big thank you to my hubby who allows me to be me, with all my imperfections and flaws, who other than an occasional request for some clean clothes or a home-cooked meal, supports me in my craft.  Because of him, I have been able to lower stress levels in my life and find my creative outlets.  And he's cute too!  And also a big thank you to all the people who take the time to post positive comments or messages about my crochet designs.  It takes time and effort to do the work, write it down and print it up, no matter how big or small the project may be.  In this day of simply being able to click a button to "Like" something on Facebook, those comments and messages mean a lot.  Those positive messages fuel my desire to continue to create fun patterns and to always strive to improve.  Thank you to you, Kim, for coming up with great new questions!  And one last thank you to everyone who read this interview.  It's good to have you here - don't be a stranger!  :)

WT: Thanks, Teeni! I had so much fun doing these interviews and learning more about you and your craft. I’ll be following you and cheering you on as you do the Yarndango!

Want to learn more about this wonderfully Mad Crochet Scientist? (Of course you do) Read a wonderful interview she did with Jaime Maraia on Crochet Dynamite here. You’ll also want to check out her blogs, Mad Crochet Lab and Aunty’s Tea Room, and her facebook page.

Thanks for reading, everyone!


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