Of Bears And Presents

Gentle reader,

Here’s is the next float in my FO Parade! Only one today, because I have something else awesome to show you too.

Blue Bear says "Wassup!?"

He’s more or less what I call my “formula bear”. When I start crocheting something, I have no idea what it’s going to be. Often I’ll have the body and head before I even have a clue what kind of critter it will be. Sometimes it even comes down to the ears. But, if nothing strikes my fancy along the way, they become a bear like this. I love these bears though, even though I can do them on autopilot now. I especially love this little gentleman because of his wonky eye and lopsided nuzzle. And his little tongue!

For this fella (and the Nugget the Owl, actually), I used a yarn from Spotlight called “Cardinal” which is an acrylic, alpaca and merino blend. I actually really liked it! It can be easy to be a yarn snob, but sometimes a decent, cheaper acrylic or acrylic blend is just the trick for these little critters. And hey, sometimes we crafters are on a budget, right? ^_~

The other thing I wanted to show you is a gift from my lovely friend Kate, who has a food blog called The World Is A Chocolate Cupcake which you should check out. Anyway, she has been taking sewing classes at Thread Den and she got a sewing machine for Christmas, and she made me this project bag!

le Bag du Project (that's French for project bag, y'know)

Firstly, who does’t like presents? Secondly, who doesn’t love handmade presents? And furthermore, a thoughtful gift is the most awesome, and clearly Kate knows me pretty well. I LOVE project bags. I mean, I have tons of them and it’s never enough! I usually buy drawstring bags from Japanese dollar stores (if you’re looking for a good, cheap project bag and you’re in Melbourne, check out Daiso right this minute!) but I’m always looking for new ones. And I love green (in case you haven’t noticed) so when she presented me with this little treasure I melted! I love, love, love it!

She’d also stuffed it full of all kinds of interesting yarn remnants which I’ll put to good use soon, I’m sure. It’s the ideal size for an amigurumi-to-be and some yarn. I can even fit my little notions pouch in there as well. Perfection!

Thank you, Kate! ❤

What’s the best handmade gift you’ve ever gotten? Or that you’ve given? Ooh, do tell!

– R

A Deer-ish Dear, A Post-Op Teddy & New Toys!

Gentle reader,

I’ve been house hunting lately and attempting to start packing (read: procrastinating and putting something into a box every couple of hours. Oy!), so it has been mildly cray-cray around here. But, I’ve also gotten a few things done and treated myself a lil bit.

First up, we have the Pop Merino teddy who had some serious proportion/club-foot issues. Well, I operated and I think he came out on top. I also tweaked his eyes a touch.

I also finished off a new ami. I had a ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran that I’d bought for something or other but had since forgotten what for. Well, I’ve been told by a few people that Cashmerino pills like crazy-town, so I decided I’d make a critter with it rather than a garment. I had literally no idea what it would be until I’d made the body, head and face, and then I was stuck. “What are you!?”

As it turns out, I was watching season two of True Blood (I’m not a totes massive fan or anything – it’s a little rudey-nudey for me – but I did enjoy it) and a deer popped onto the screen and *bing!* went the little light bulb above my head. He didn’t come out a dyed-in-the-wool deer – he’s too round and chubby – but rather had a deer-ishness about him, so he’s kind of his own little critter, which makes me kinda happy. So, I’ll package up Mr. Deer-ish and his newly-leggy buddy so they’re ready for my Etsy store.

O Hai! Antlers? I Got 'Em.

I’m also pretty excited about my little treat to myself. My yarn store I work in has a loyalty program that sends you a gift voucher after you accrue a certain amount of points, and I got mine the other day and it was pretty much burning a hole in my pocket. So, I bought myself the Clover Takumi interchangeable needle set.

Behold! And Drool With Crafty Covetousness!

The store had gotten these sets in months ago, and being the Clover fanboy that I am, I immediately fell in love and have been coveting them ever since. With my voucher and my staff discount, I couldn’t resist any longer, and I’ll tell you what, I carried that box home in my arms like a baby. Yup, I’m that sad.

I could tell you all of the things that I love about them, but I think I’ll save it for a proper review to post another time after I’ve played with them for a while.

Have any TV shows ever influenced your projects? Or are there some crafty treats you’ve been coveting? Sharing is caring! ^_~

The Bear & The Cat

Gentle reader,

Amongst my wanderings, I’ve also been quite productive. I really have my sights set on getting enough items together to start my Etsy store. It’s been a while since I’ve done some serious amigurumi stuff (excluding the bits and pieces I made for the Dirty Granny show, but that was deadline crochet which is never fun).

First up is this little bear. I used the Pop Merino I got from Pierrot Yarns, and I have to say that it was a delight to work with; very soft, but didn’t split too much for an un-plied yarn. I love how the colors came out too, even the muddier sections where the overlap was. I wasn’t entirely happy with the proportions, and his legs turned out a little short and club-footed. I’ll probably snip those off and remake them – I have plenty of yarn left. He has a wonky eye, which I actually love, and I’m super pleased with how his nose and mouth embroidery turned out.

Pop Merino Bear With Muto Legs

Next, I made a cat with the left over yarn I had from making a beret for my friend Leeana (I’ll be writing a post on our swap later in the week!), and he turned out pretty much exactly as I wanted. The yarn is Cleckheaton Country Tartan, which I must say I loved crocheting with, and his snout is just a bit of random acrylic. His proportions are right on, and I love his longer legs (I usually get impatient and start the body sooner), and I made some i-cord for his tail (the first time I’ve ever done a knitted i-cord rather than using a knitting nancy! Super pleased). Also, his confused look kind of makes me happy.

Tartan Kitty

What crocheted critters would you like to see me have a go at? I feel like I’m on a lion-bear-cat-bunny loop, so suggest away!


Raynor