Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Elf Bombing

Today seemed like a good day to do some elf bombing. I didn’t make as many elves as I had hoped - only four little guys - but hopefully this small gang will be able to spread some cheer this Christmas Eve.

The first two were left at bus stops. They seem kind of desperate to get a ride. I hope they make it back home in time.




The third elf was looking to earn a few bucks before the season was out. I dropped him off near some amazing street art.




The fourth and final elf just needed a place to chill. We found him a nice spot in the park.




Have an absolutely magical day tomorrow, everyone! Merry Christmas!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Kim-me is Finished!!

I’ve finished the Ami-me challenge set by the Mad Crochet Lab. Here’s Kim-me!


I’m a big geek, if you haven’t noticed already, so I gave her some geeky couture. She’s wearing Jayne’s iconic wooly hat from Firefly and she has a lightsaber stitched onto her shirt. I have this fleecy brown yarn and at one point I was tempted to make her a wookiee suit but decided not to. That’s a project for another day.

I didn’t have any yarn to match my maroon glasses so I gave her yellow glasses ... or are they gold? Elton John eat your heart out.



I had some success with giving her eyelashes. I followed this great tutorial from charmcityoriginals.com and made some from yarn fibres but I ended up adjusting them one too many times and they fell apart. I suspect I didn’t give the glue I used enough time to dry. I ended up using the frayed ends of some black ribbon for the eyelashes. They highlight the eye but are not as delicate as the yarn eyelashes.

Eyelash made from yarn fibres.


I’m very happy with her. I think she’s happy with me too though she finds Buddy pretty irritating. What can you do? Everybody’s a Firefly fan.







Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Berg the Christmas Elf



This is Berg the Christmas Elf. He communicates solely by waggling his ears, loves his morning cup of coffee and collects chocolate covered marshmallows that look like Santa. He’s not as good at acrobatics as his fellow Christmas elves but he makes up for this by having an astounding ability to bounce no matter which way he falls. His heroes, besides Santa Claus, are Dr Seuss, Rosemary Clooney and Jimmy Durante.

After decorating my house this weekend, I had a sudden urge to make a Christmas themed pattern and so Berg was born. His high hat and ears were originally inspired by the elves from Rise of the Guardians but I wanted him to look more like a dumpling. I kinda think he looks a little like the Mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas but that might just be me.

I know there are quite a few free elf patterns out there so I thought I would share the love. Here are some patterns you might also like to check out:
Santa’s Elf  by Sue Pendleton
Shelf Elf by Jill Watt
Lily the Christmas Elf from yarninspirations.com
Elf by Amanda Critchley

Good luck with the holiday season, everyone! Take it easy, don’t stress, and enjoy the season!

I've made a change to the pattern. Instead of lightly stuffing the feet, leave them unstuffed. Your elf will stand better this way and won't tumble around like someone tipsy on eggnog.

Berg the Christmas Elf



Size
11cm/4.3in tall when made with DK yarn and 2.75mm hook

Skill Level
Moderate. This pattern requires that you crochet in a spiral and in rows. There are several colour changes in the pattern. I recommend these two tutorials on changing yarn colour: Colour Changes in Amigurumi by June Gilbank and Crocheted Jogless Stripe by NeedleNoodles. The colours in the patterns are suggestions only so feel free to experiment. If you don’t feel like crocheting the ears or the eyes, felt would work great for both.

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
Peach
Red
Black
Green
Gold
White

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

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 Peach, Red, Black and Green)
Start with Peach.
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 3: *sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (16)
Rnd 4: *2 sc in next st, sc in next 3 st*  around (20)
Rnd 5: *sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (24)
Rnd 6: *2 sc in next st, sc in next 5 st*  around (28)
Rnd 7: *sc in next 6 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (32)
Rnd 8-9: sc in each st around
Change to Red.
Rnd 10: sc in each st around
Change to Black.
Rnd 11: sc in each st around
Rnd 12: *sc in next 7 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (36)
Change to Green.
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)
Start stuffing.
Rnd 17: *sc in next 2 st, sc2tog*  around (18)
Rnd 18: *sc in next st, sc2tog*  around (12)
Finish stuffing firmly.
Rnd 19: sc2tog around (6)
Cut yarn and weave end through remaining stitches. Pull tight to close up hole. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Hat (in Gold, Green and Red)
Start with Gold.
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 3: sc2tog around (6)
Change to Green.
Rnd 4: sc in each st around
Rnd 5: *sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st*  twice (8)
Rnd 6-7: sc in each st around
Rnd 8: *sc in next 3 st, 2 sc in next st*  twice (10)
Rnd 9-10: sc in each st around
Rnd 11: *sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st*  twice (12)
Rnd 12: sc in each st around
Rnd 13: *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st*  around (18)
Rnd 14: *sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (24)
Rnd 15-16: sc in each st around
Change to Red.
Rnd 17-20: sc in each st around
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a long tail of yarn. This yarn tail will be used to stitch down the red cuff of the hat and to attach the hat to Berg’s head. Weave in all other yarn ends. Leave unstuffed.

Feet (in Red)
I've made a change in the pattern. Instead of stuffing the feet, leave them unstuffed. Your elf will be able to stand more easily this way. Attach them the same way as show in the photos. The only difference is they will be flatter.

Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2-3: sc in each st around
Rnd 4: sl st in next 3 st, 2 sc in next 3 st (9)
Rnd 5: sl st in next 3 st, *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st*  three times (12)
Rnd 6-11: sc in each st around
Rnd 12: sc2tog around (6)
Cut yarn and weave end through remaining stitches. Pull tight to close up hole. Leave a tail of yarn to use later when attaching the feet to the body. Make two.

Arms (in Red)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2-4: 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.

Ears (in Peach)
Chain 4.
Row 1: sl st in 2nd chain from the hook, sc in next st, 2 sc in last st
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn to use when attaching the ears to the head. 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. Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn.

Small Eye (in White)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Sl st in next st and pull through yarn. Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn.

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 eyes at all times.***

Join the eyes to the body. The eyes sit close together immediately above the red line on the body. Attach using the tail ends on the eyes.


Join the hat to the body. Fold up the red part of the hat to form a cuff. Stitch down the cuff with the tail of yarn then thread the yarn out through the bottom edge of the cuff. Pin to the head and stitch on.


Join the arms to the body. The arms sit on the red line on the body. Pin on and attach using the yarn ends on the arms.


Join the feet to the body. Pin the feet to the body and stitch on using the yarn ends on the feet.


Join the ears to the head. The ears sit just below the hat. Stitch on using the yarn ends left on the ears.


Add the buckle. To make the buckle, take a length of gold or yellow yarn and stitch in a square over the black line on the body.



Your Christmas Elf is complete! Deck the halls with elves and more elves, fa la la la la, la la la la!

Copyright © Kim Lapsley 2013

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Adding Hair to Kim-me

Kim-me, my amigurumi me, is coming along nicely. She has some frizzy new hair and I’m now working on her eyes.


I decided to add the hair strand by strand because this is a special project. It takes longer than other methods but you have more control, I think, on the hairline and the flow of the hair, plus it’s quite a relaxing process. I folded the lengths of yarn in half, pinned the folded ends to the head and then stitched them on with some polyester thread. I first started with the part and then the hairline and after that it was just a matter of filling in the gaps.


When all the strands were stitched on, the hair was incredibly thick. However, after I brushed it out to match the frizziness of my own hair it thinned out significantly. I think it now has just enough crazy in it to match my own.


I’m going to do more work on the eyes tonight. I might add some eyelashes. I foresee much experimenting in my future.

Hair Tutorials
If you want to check out some different methods for adding hair to your amigurumis, I’ve included some links below. Happy crocheting, people!

Amigurumi Hair from esshaych.blogspot.com: Looping on the hair method. This method is simple and quick.
Amigurumi Hair Tutorial from owlishly.typepad.com: Stitched down hair method. I love the neat look of this type of hair.
How To - Amigurumi Hair from mygurumi.blogspot.com: Multiple methods are included in this tutorial.
Making and Attaching Hair from needlenoodles.com: Fringe method. This is probably my favourite method. I make the fringe differently than what's described in this tutorial. You can take a look at the method I use here.

Friday, 15 November 2013

My Amigurumi Me

It’s my birthday tomorrow! Yay! I’m a big fan of birthdays. Always have been. This year it’s a big one for me. I’m turning 30. I’m the same age as Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and Return of the Jedi.

So, what am I crocheting during this milestone? I’m making an amigurumi me! It’s a crochet challenge that the Mad Crochet Scientist came up with. You can check out the challenge details here. I call this mini version of myself Kim-me, a name my friend Ellen thought up for her. It has been such a fun project. I’ve still got a ways to go as you can see but I'm very pleased with how she's turning out. I’ll keep you posted with her progress.









Saturday, 2 November 2013

Video Tutorial for Egmont's Umbrella

A request was made for a video tutorial for Egmont's Umbrella. Here it is! This is the first video tutorial I've done and I was pretty nervous so I might sound a little serious. If anything is unclear, please let me know. I recommend reading over the written tutorial first.

Part 1
0:14 Crochet the canopy
0:41 Stitching in the ridges
3:48 Weaving in the yarn ends
5:27 Making the wire stem

Part 2
0:05 Attaching the handle and wrapping the stem
5:40 Attaching the stem to the canopy








Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Oddball Mummy

First pattern for the new blog! Wahoo!

Let me introduce you to Karl the Oddball Mummy. Karl hates sand, small spaces and museums. That's an unfortunate list of pet peeves for a mummy. It's no wonder he's groaning all the time. He tries to ease his woes by perusing magazines, cutting out examples of haute couture and saving them in his scrapbook. He yearns for a new outfit but has yet to figure out how to remove his bandages without his body falling apart.


The Oddball Mummy




Size
8cm/3in tall, 7cm/2 ¾in wide

Skill Level
Intermediate. This pattern requires that you crochet in a spiral and in rows. It is quite a straightforward pattern but some rounds are worked in the back loops and there are colour changes.

Note on yarn and hook size
I used DK weight yarn and a 3.0mm hook for this pattern. For those using US hooks, I recommend a size C or D, for those using UK hooks, I recommend a size 11. 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
White
Light Green

Crochet Hook – 3.00mm or preferred size
Filling
Plastic pellets or dried beans and stocking (optional)
Tapestry needle
Black felt for the eyes
Craft glue and/or thread and sharp needle for attaching felt
Pins
Scissors
Used teabag and some cool water

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 (White and Light Green)
Some of the rounds are worked in the back loops to create lines around the body and make it look like Karl is wrapped in bandages. If you're not familiar with back loops, I recommend looking at this tutorial on Stitch Diva Studios.

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: Working in the back loops only, *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: Working in the back loops only, *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: Working in the back loops only, *sc in next 6 st, 2 sc in next st*  around (48)
Rnd 9: sc in each st  around
Rnd 10: Working in the back loops only, sc in each st  around
Rnd 11: *sc in next 6 st, sc2tog*  around (42)
Rnd 12: Working in the back loops only, *sc in next 5 st, sc2tog*  around (36)
Rnd 13: sc in each st  around
Rnd 14: Working in the back loops only, sc in each st  around
Rnd 15: *sc in next 4 st, sc2tog*  around (30)
Rnd 16: Working in the back loops only, *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. This will also give your toy a bit more stability when you stand it up.
Rnd 18: Working in the back loops only, *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)
Change to Light Green yarn.
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)
Change to White yarn.
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)
Cut yarn and weave end through remaining stitches. Pull tight to close up hole. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Arms (in White)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 7 sc in ring (7)
Rnd 2: sc in each st around
Rnd 3: Working in the back loops only, sc in each st around
Rnd 4: sc in each st around
Rnd 5: Working in the back loops only, sc in each st around
Rnd 6: sc in each st around
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn. Leave unstuffed. Make two.

Bandage (in White)
Chain 3.
Row 1: sc in 2nd chain from the hook, sc in next chain (2)
Row 2-13: chain 1, turn, sc in next two sc (2)
Row 14: chain 1, turn, sc2tog (1)
Row 15-16: chain 1, turn, sc in next sc (1)
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn. Weave in other yarn ends.

Mouth (in White)
Chain 6.
Row 1: sc in 2nd chain from the hook, sc in next 4 chains (5)
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn. Weave in other yarn ends.

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. Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn.

Small Eye (in White)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Sl st in next st and pull through yarn. Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn.

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 eyes at all times.***

Join 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 eyes to the body. The eyes sit close together on the green section of the body (the green section being his mouldy face). 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.



 Join the bandage to the head. The narrow section of the bandage sits above the eyes and the bandage should sweep to the side, as if blowing in a desert breeze. Stitch on using the tail of yarn left on the bandage.


Join the mouth to the face. Don't stitch down the upper edge of the mouth. Let it gape open a little in a grimace. Stitch on using the tail of yarn on the mouth.



Stain the bandages. Make a cup of tea and place the teabag aside. Use a black tea. I used English Breakfast. Make sure to set aside the teabag before adding any milk.


Run a little cool water over the teabag so that it's not too hot to handle. Give the teabag a squeeze so that it's not too wet - it should be damp but not dripping. Have a little water sitting by in a bowl. Now dab your Mummy with the bag to stain his bandages. This will leave quite dark stains. To soften them, wet your finger in the bowl of water and then run it over the stains. Try to keep his eyes stain free.



Your Oddball Mummy is now complete. If his groaning starts to bother you, give him a magazine and that should keep him quiet for a while.

Copyright © Kim Lapsley 2012
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