I Heart Crochet

I just finished a big project for a magazine and a second round of magazine work will start again soon. In the lull I needed to make something silly and fun. And not knit. I love knitting but I had not picked up a hook in months. Hearts are fun. And seasonally appropriate.

I heart crochet
Pattern here – yes it is in Japanese but it’s not hard to figure out and if you get stuck there is always Google Translate.

After reading that this week’s iheartfaces challenge was hearts I thought it would be fun to get shots of my son with the crocheted hearts. He just was not into it. But he did think they were fun to throw.

I heart him too

And I made an owl this weekend too. The sun was down when I finished so trust me that it is cute. Here is it’s head getting stuffed.

It's Stuffing Time

The Most Redonkulous Photo Shoot Ever

So Brandy (PixiePurls and co editor of Petite Purls) and I had a “simple” mission. We wanted to photograph two babies together wearing hats. No problem right? What could possibly go wrong?

Lets start the list of signs this shoot would not bode well:
1. My boy did not get a good nap in that morning, most of his nap was on the 45min car ride over to Brandy’s place.
2. Brandy’s AC broke and the temperature was in the mid 90s that day.
3. Brandy’s eldest was just not having a good day. It is tough being a toddler.
4. I am still getting used to my new camera. I packed my 50mm lens because it is fast but it only had manual focus on my camera body.

Well the first thing you might need to know is that at least my half of the baby duo does not wear hats. Ever. That is why I developed my Harper’s Hood pattern after all. Brandy’s LG was more willing by a hair. So I did manage to get a single shot of LG in the hat. It was ripped off about .4 seconds later.

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So we gave up on acutely having pictures of the kids wearing hats. Maybe it would be okay if we had them sitting near the hats or playing with them. Sounds good right? Well it would have been great if there were not much more interesting things in the room like say curtains and electrical outlets.

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awww look how nicely they play.

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Still playing nicely ignoring the hats until my son wanted to put his fingers in the same outlet as LG. Sigh. A loud smack followed by a crying LG later I am apologizing to Brandy while putting my kid in time out.

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Brandy stayed cool the whole time despite the fact I think all 3 kids were crying at this point. Putting the hats on her older daughter stopped one set of tears.

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And I even got brandy to put on a hat herself.

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Maybe we would have better luck outside on a picnic blanket? Oh wait they can both crawl.

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Brandy went all out and got a cake in Petite Purls colors for the kids to eat with the hats near by. Sounds nice right? While my kid did not appreciate the cake LG did. Wow.

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So I do not think we got a good photo in the bunch. But it was fun, or at least funny, in a frustrating way.

Celebrate – Knitted and Crocheted Party Hats

Happy Birthday Petite Purls! You are a great magazine and your first birthday issue is fantastic.

A few months ago I sent co-editors Brandy and Allegra a goofy tweet saying they should knit party hats to celebrate. I almost immediately got an e-mail asking me if I would be willing to design the hat in Petite Purls colors. No problem!

Photo by  Brandy Fortune

Photo by Brandy Fortune

I had no problem envisioning how to make a crocheted hats – spots and a shell edge seemed like a must. But they wanted a knit hat too. So I spent far too much time trying to make the same crocheted hat into knit. Nothing looked right. I must have swatched 5-6 times. Then I remembered something I already knew. Knit and crochet are different. Trying to design the same way for both crafts just will not work.

Photo by Brandy Fortune

Photo by Brandy Fortune

So out went the shells and spots and in came a ruffled edge and french knots to quilt the layers together (a step that the stiffer crocheted fabric did not need). The knit hat was also worked differently. For the crocheted hat you started at the tip of the hat and increased while for the knit it made more sense to start at the base of the hat and decrease on the way up.

Photo by Brandy Fortune

Photo by Brandy Fortune

It was a fun challenge. I hope you guys enjoy the patterns. And they are free!

Celebrate – Knit | Celebrate – Crochet

Later I will share how this was the most redonkulous photo shoot ever.

Dream Eating Monster

My dear college bud Cynthia asked me to make a toy for one of her close friends in Italy early this summer. Cynthia’s friend had requested “something American” and anything I make is American because I am American right?

While we were in college Cynthia used to always tell me what she dreamed about the night before. Her dreams were always funny to hear and I was always amazed with the details she was able to remember.

Cynthia also always loved dream catchers (and I never knew her to have a bad dream) so a monster that ate bad dreams just felt right. Of coarse he needed a web in his mouth to catch the bad dreams.
I hope this toy makes a newborn Italian baby happy.

Oh and before I forget! Plush You! is this Friday, Oct 10th at Schmancy in Seattle. If you live around there you should defiantly check it out.  I’ll be there!

Bombs Away!

The last of my Plush You toys for this year. Despite my husband suggesting the name Dropy McSplat I think I am just going to call this guy a gremlin, the kind that wrecked airplanes, not the kind that you cannot get wet.


He has the same base as this blue guy I made last year. But this year’s model sports spiffy goggles and a parachute.


The parachute was a real challenge to make but a lot of fun. Boning in an i-cord casing makes a frame that holds up the chute that is attached to the swanky backpack.

Whaley McBlubber

When asking my husband what I should name some of my toys he always gives me names in the form of Blanky McBlank. Most of the time I laugh and then tell him to come up with something better but something about Whaley McBlubber just felt right.

 

This white whale has been a white whale of mine for a while now. I originally wanted to make a whale that ate people after listening  to the Mariner’s Revenge one to many times. Then I realized that would require me to make a doll. I never played with dolls as a kid and I don’t feel right making them now. But I did want to make a tinny cabled sweater…

 

 

After three or four deformed whales and one grossly oversized waterspout I finally have a whale I love.

 

 

This guy will be for sale at Plush You, October 10th in Seattle.

Plush You 2008 – Toy 1

 

Some of you might remember my Friday Doodle from a while back. By popular demand, meaning my Mom and the few other people who peeked at my sketch book, he is now a toy.

This guy will be for sale at Plush You, October 10th in Seattle.

3 New Toys Coming Soon

Pinning all the little pieces together.

I have been working hard the last few weeks trying to get everything ready for this year’s Plush You Show. As soon as I finish touching up the photos I will post three new toys.

See you soon Esther

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Made this little guy foe a commission. He looks almost exactly like my original Kitsune but in a smaller more pocket size. Hope Esther enjoys him.

Snow Sprite

I live in Georgia and I often joke with people that I have never seen a “real” snow. Only a few times in my life have I seen snow that does not melt away with a single footprint. Because of this snow has always seemed a magical thing to me. So when I saw snow come up as a topic in the Holiday Softie Awards I was immediately draw to it. If I can’t have real snow here I thought it would be fun to make a little sprite that brings snow.

 

pi.jpgThis little guy was probably my most challenging piece construction wise to date. When I was drafting the pattern for him I forgot some basic math. I had in my head that the circumference of a circle was TTr2 instead of dTT. Stubbornly I cut the pieces even though I knew it is not look right and I even went so far as to sew them together. Looking at that huge head and tinny legs and body I had to admit defeat. A quick glance at wikipedia and a slap on the head later and I was fixing the pattern. See kids, math is important. It helps you make softies.

 

After remembering middle, possibly elementary, school math. I was ready to roll. First I made the body, legs and arms, saving the head to later. I wanted the feet to be crocheted but I had to fumble how to do it. I did not want to have a sewn line running horizontally across the arms and legs because that would destroy the bell sleeve look I was going for. So I ended up having to make the crocheted sections fit under the already sewn arms. It would have been much simpler the other way around. Then a quick running stitch along the top edges before attaching the arms and legs and it was all good.

As a final touch I painted the eyes of my little guy blue. I used Testor paints, the kind you use in models. Worked great. I like how the blue eyes are much softer than the classic black safety eyes.

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