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

Pierrot Yarns Haul 2.0 – It May Look Like I Have A Problem, But…

Gentle reader,

Now, I’m writing this post to present my second Pierrot Yarns haul to you, and though it may look like I may be in the fledgling stages of a serious self-control problem, I assure you it’s not the case. Or at least, I can rationalize those niggling thoughts away for now…

A good part of this haul was on behalf of my dear friends, Judith and Jules. Their interest was piqued when I showed them the bounty of my first haul and we poured over the color card together ooohing and aaahing at the delicious little snippets of beautiful yarns. And so I ordered them each two cones of Irish Linen. Naturally, I had to throw in some goodies for myself and so I chose a ball of Pop Merino, three balls of Zakka Acrylic Namibuto which are for an amigurumi project I need to get started on, and a set of Hamanaka double-ended crochet hooks.

Yarnie delights from Japan!

The Pop Merino is a lovely aran weight single spun 100% merino wool yarn. I had actually intended to buy the #6 color way, but accidentally ordered the #7 (this happens to me far more often that is humanly probable), but I’m not at all bothered, #7 is still a very nice color way.

The Irish Linen is absolutely gorgeous; it has a beautiful texture and the most amazing sheen to it. I’ll definitely follow up with Judith and Jules to see what they think of it.

Now, the Zakka Acrylic Namibuto is an insanely soft and squishy acrylic yarn that is somewhere between an 8 ply and a 10 ply. I’m sure some of you are turning your noses up at the very thought of acrylic yarn – I know, how reprehensible of me! – but hey, acrylic is awesome for amigurumi, especially if they’re intended for children to put their grubby, unforgiving little paws on them. I’m totes not a pink person, but I have to make a pig to test out a pattern I’ve written (the pig I made while writing the pattern was stolen! True story.) and I’ve been procrastinating like WHOAH. I was pleasantly surprised by how soft and fuzzy this yarn is, so it’ll be perfect for a little pig.

And as for the Hamanaka crochet hooks… well, I’ve not even used them yet and I’m completely obsessed with them. So obsessed in fact, that I became a bit snap-happy when I was photographing, and I felt that they deserve a collage of their own.

Hamanaka Hooks

I’ll probably get started on that piggily using one of these and the Zakka. My fingers are itching to get started even as I type!

Fear not, gentle reader, this will be the last Pierrot haul for at least a while, so this blog isn’t in danger of becoming a Pierrot Super-Fan page (well, not yet…).

What online yarn companies do you like ordering from? Comment below!

Dandy Lion

Gentle reader,

It’s been a fair while since I’ve made an amigurumi with the exception of a fish for work a few weeks ago. So, I thought what better to make with my new Japanese yarn that a cute ami! So, I took my ball of Poka Poka Hitsujichan and my 3.5mm hook to while away my public transport time, and came up with this over a few trips:

Almost done!

When I’d finished his body and head, I decided I’d use the Ethnic Denim cotton to make his mane. I’ve finished the first strip, but I’ll probably make a few more strips to give him a nice full mane. I’ll keep you posted and let you know what I thought of the yarns!

Judy’s Bolero

Gentle reader,

Well, it’s been quite the Pierrot party around here! Just before I’d received my yarn parcel from them, I had completed a crocheted bolero from one of their free patterns. I had started it quite a while ago, but a monogamous crafter I ain’t. But, my dear friend, Judy, who I made it for is off on a trip to Europe in the next few days (totes jel!) so I had to get my ass into gear and finish it so she could take it with her if she wanted to.

Judy's Bolero

So, some crocheted edges, blocking and Express Post satchel later, here are the pics she sent me! I have to be honest, I’m very happy with how it turned out. There are a few things I’d do differently next time, but they’re nothing that affects the finished look.

So, the nitty-gritty:

There pattern is called Bolero by Pierrot Yarns (of course) which you can find on Ravelry or the Pierrot website (it’s image #027). It’s not in English, but the charts are impeccable, so don’t let that phase you.

I used Morris Paddington yarn, which I love to death. It’s 80% bamboo and 20% wool so it’s crazy soft and smooth and has a beautiful drape to it. The pattern calls for two 5 ply yarns held together with a 7mm hook, and while Paddington is a 6 ply my tension is quite tight so it was even-stevens. For the Ravelry peeps, you can check out my project page here.

Perhaps I’ll have to make another one with Pierrot yarn as well? ^_~

Pierrot Yarns Arrived! First Impressions

Gentle reader,

Pinch me! I’m must be dreaming! My Pierrot Yarns order has already arrived. Well, that was rather quick-quack. And let me tell you, I am one VERY happy customer. As I outlined in an earlier entry, I ordered one ball each of four different yarns just to for the sake of seeing what the yarns are like and how the online English store is. I placed the order on the 27th and it was here from Japan on the 6th!

So here are my yarns:

Scrummy Japanese Yarns!

But, wait! There’s more! They also sent me a free color card (which you could buy separately on their website for 1000 yen) and a book which showcases some of their yarns and even has a few free patterns (charted, of course).

Color card and booklet

All the yarns are so soft and lovely to touch, and they were sent individually wrapped so they got to me in perfect condition. There was even a little printed letter which had been addressed by hand thanking me for my purchase.

All in all, the prices and freight are perfectly reasonable, the service so far has been of a very high standard, and find me someone who’s heart isn’t warmed by thoughtful freebies? I’ll definitely be putting another, bigger order in.

Pierrot Yarns

Gentle Reader,

I received a notification today from Pierrot Yarns that my order had been shipped. Ever since I made my green hat from one of their awesome patterns, I’ve been so curious about their yarn. So, I went to the website and was pleased to find an English store front, incredibly cheap prices and very reasonable shipping costs. They were sold out of their color cards, so I just bought a few different yarns.

I got:

Yuyake No Sora

I got one skein of color 108. It’s a fingering weight yarn, and I thought it just looked so scrummy and delicious. (Click the pictures to see the yarn page at Pierrot)

Ethnic Denim

This one is a 3 ply cotton, and I got color 55 which is a lovely warm red. They have so many nice looking cottons, it was hard to choose one.

Poka Poka Hitsuji

Poka Poka Hitsuji is an 8 ply super wash wool. I got color 3, green (naturally!). Even though it’s super wash, it still looks quite fluffy and nice. I also like the color variation.

Junmo Namibuto2

This is another super wash wool, but Junmo Namibuto2 is a worsted weight yarn. I ordered color 16, which is a navy blue. I didn’t want to just get all green yarn, since I might give some away once I’ve made grabby hands at it.

There were so many other yarns I was curious about, and lots of it was really quite cheap. All in all, it came to about $40 AU, and about a third of that was shipping, which I thought was fairly reasonable, to be honest. I don’t know what postage costs are like in other countries, but it costs a bomb to post anything in Australia, so I’m never sure what is reasonable on an international scale.

Anyhoo, I’ll keep y’all posted and will give a full review of the yarn and the service when it gets here. So far though, I’ve been very impressed with the service and the English store front.

Have a great weekend, peeps!

(All images are property of Pierrot Yarns and are linked to the yarns they depict)